During the period covered by this history, the Royal Irish Regiment fought in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, in America and in Australasia. Formed in 1684 as the Earl of Granard's Regiment of Foot it served with credit in William III's war in Ireland and subsequently fought with great distinction at Namur, in 1695; this was its first Battle Honour. The Regiment then formed part of the British contingent in the army commanded by Marlborough in the Low Countries and Germany in the War of the Spanish Succession - Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet. In 1727 a detachment was present at the defence of Gibraltar against the Spanish trying to recapture it; in the American War of Independence they were in action at Lexington and Bunker's Hill. Other scenes of action included Toulon, Corsica and the battle of Alexandria in the early stages of the Napoleonic Wars. In 1805 the Regiment (now consisting of two battalions) was sent to the West Indies where it remained for the next twelve years during which time losses from sickness amounted to 52 officers and 1,777 NCOs and men. In 1840 it was part of the expedition to China, followed by active service in the second Burma war, the Crimea, the Indian Mutiny, the Maori war, the second Afghan war, Tel-el-Kebir and the Nile expedition, campaigns on the North West Frontier and finally the Boer War.
The appendices are real gems: the first is a calendar of the Regiment's moves from 1685 to 1902 including location of peacetime stations during that time; each battalion is shown separately. Then follows the casualty roll giving names of officers killed, died of wounds or disease and wounded in every campaign or battle from 1690, the siege of Limerick, to the end of the Boer War. Other rank casualties are at first given as figures but from the American War of Independence on they, too, are named. Another appendix gives the names of all 52 officers who died in the West Indies and this is followed by the list of awards for gallantry (three VCs) and the recipients of the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (LSGCM). There is a list showing succession of colonels from 1684 to 1897 with biographies, including that of the Colonel-in-Chief (Viscount Wolseley). And finally there is a descriptive list of Memorials of the Regiment, noting to whom they are dedicated with any inscriptions and names. The book ends with a good, twenty-page index.
Keywords: Royal Irish Regiment, history, war, military, reference, research, historical, namur, oudenarde, china, new zealand, tel-el-kebir, blenheim, malplaquet, pegu, afghanistan, nile, ramilles, egypt, sevastopol, south africa, viscount wolseley