During the Second World War, the remaining Regiments, both cavalry and infantry, provided a rallying point for all Irishmen from both the North and the South to perform a traditional selfless service in their resolute determination to secure the freedom that we now enjoy.
Regular amalgamations, most notably in 1968 and 1992, have taken place, culminating in the present day Royal Irish Regiment (27th Inniskilling, 83rd and 87th and the Ulster Defence Regiment) being the last remaining Irish infantry Regiment of the Line in the British Army.
On the 50th Anniversary of the year of disbandment in 1972, and with many of the surviving members now elderly, it was decided to “call it a day and fade away” whilst still "hale and hearty" (as one stalwart declared). It was then decided, therefore, to have a final Parade and to mark the significance of the occasion, Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer, took the salute and he went out of his way to greet and and spend time with the old soldiers, as indeed, did his gracious wife, Lady Templer.
Although this was supposed to be the “Final Parade”, a few of the surviving members of the original Disbanded Regiments, with the active support of sons, nephews and grandsons, not forgetting wives, daughters nieces and granddaughters, conspired to retain the parade. Although numerically small at first, they lacked nothing in commitment, spirit and dignity. During this period, the legendary Paddy Boyce (formerly 18th Royal Irish and subsequently Royal Ulster Rifles) was the motivating and driving force within the Association.
By 1982, the membership of many of the original Regimental Associations was in terminal decline and some had even ceased to exist. At this stage, Jim Scott of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, together with his friend Joe Curran of the Royal Ulster Rifles, set about arranging a re-birth of the Association which was now to include soldiers from all Irish Regiments past and present.
Contacts were established with other Regimental Associations such as the North Irish Horse, the Royal lnniskilling Dragoon Guards and the Royal Irish Hussars in addition to the Royal Ulster Rifles, the Royal Irish Fusiliers and the London Irish Rifles. The results of Jim Scott’s initiative and the active support of its members are clearly evident today on these absolutely splendid occasions.