Combined Irish Regiments Association.
Combined Irish Regiments Association.

First World War - Royal Irish Rifles.

 

In addition to their two Regular battalions, the Royal Irish Rifles raised a number of Service, and home based Reserve and Garrison battalions:

Total - 22:

Regular - 2. Service - 11. Reserve - 8. Garrison - 1.

 

1st Battalion.


At the outbreak of war, they were in Aden and joined 25th Brigade, 8th Division when they landed in France during November 1914.


In February 1918, the battalion transferred to 107th Brigade, 36th (Ulster) Division.

 

2nd Battalion.


At the outbreak of war, they were based at Tidworth, part of 7th Brigade, 3rd Division and moved to France in August 1914.

 

In October 1915, the battalion transferred to 74th Brigade, 25th Division.

 

In November 1917, they transferred to 108th Brigade, 36th (Ulster) Division, when they absorbed 7th Battalion and then transferred to 107th Brigade in February 1918.

 

6th Battalion.

 

Formed  in August 1914, they joined 29th Brigade, 10th (Irish) Division. and in July 1915, sailed to Gallipoli, landing at Anzac Cove in August.

 

In September 1915 the battalion moved with the division to Salonika.

After two years there, in September 1917, they moved to Palestine before being disbanded in May 1918.

 

7th Battalion.


Formed in September 1914, they joined 48th Brigade, 16th (Irish) Division and landed in France during December 1915.

 

In August 1917, the battalion transferred to 49th Brigade and then, in October 1917, to 108th Brigade, 36th (Ulster) Division before being finally absorbed into the 2nd Bttn during November 1917.

 

8th Battalion.


Formed in September 1914 from the (East) Belfast Volunteers, they joined 107th Brigade, 36th (Ulster) Division and landed in France during October 1915.

 

In August 1917, the battalion amalgamated with the 9th Bttn to form the 8/9th Bttn, before being disbanded in France during February 1918.

 

9th Battalion.


Formed in September 1914 from the (West) Belfast Volunteers.

 

The battalion's record was the same as the 8th Bttn.

 

10th Battalion.


Formed in September 1914 from the Belfast Volunteers.

 

The battalion's record was the same as the 8th Bttn and they were also disbanded in February 1918.

 

11th Battalion.


Formed in September 1914 from the (South) Antrim Volunteers, they joined 108th Brigade, 36th (Ulster) Division and landed in France in October 1915.

 

In November 1917, the battalion amalgamated with the 13th Bttn to form the 11/13th Bttn before being disbanded in France during February 1918 with its men going to 22nd Entrenching Battalion.

 

12th Battalion.


Formed n September 1914 from the (Central) Antrim Volunteers, they joined 108th Brigade, 36th (Ulster) Division and landed France during October 1915.

 

13th Battalion.

 

Formed in September 1914 from the (1st County) Down Volunteers, they joined 108th Brigade in 36th (Ulster) Division.

 

The battalion's record was the same as the 11th Bttn.

 

14th Battalion.


Formed iin September 1914 from the (Young Citizens) Belfast Volunteers, they joined 109th Brigade, 36th (Ulster) Division before landing in France during October 1915.

 

The battalion was disbanded in France during February 1918.

 

15th Battalion.


Formed in September 1914 from the (North) Belfast Volunteers, they joined 107th Brigade, 36th (Ulster) Division and landed in France during October 1915.

 

16th Battalion.


Formed in September 1914 from the (2nd County) Down Volunteers, they became the Pioneer Battalion in 36th (Ulster) Division during January 1915 and landed in France during October 1915.

 

7,340 men from the Royal Irish Rifles are listed in the CWGC database of First World War deaths:

 

1914 - 389.

 

1915 - 1,019.

 

1916 - 2,258.

 

1917 - 1,900.

 

1918, up to 11th Nov - 1,599.

 

After 11th Nov 1918 - 175.

 

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