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Royal Irish Fusiliers in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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Royal Irish Fusiliers

Want to know more about Royal Irish Fusiliers?

There are:55440 pages and articles tagged Royal Irish Fusiliers available in our Library

Those known to have served with

Royal Irish Fusiliers

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Adair William James Creagan. Sgt.
  • Alexander Thomas. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.10th Nov 1916)
  • Arnold T.. Pte. 5th Btn. (d.30th Sep 1918)
  • Atkinson Hector John. Capt. (d.26th May 1917)
  • Bannon Patrick. Sgt. 1st Btn. (d.25th Apr 1915)
  • Barnes Joseph. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.16th Aug 1917)
  • Barrett John. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.12th Oct 1916)
  • Bates Edward. Pte. 1st Garrison Battalion (d.31st Oct 1917)
  • Batterbee Charles. Pte. 9th Battalion (d.9th Jun 1917)
  • Bearney Patrick. Pte. 5th Btn. (d.4th Dec 1915)
  • Beck James. Pte. 11th Btn. (d.8th Aug 1917)
  • Behan Patrick. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.15th Jul 1915)
  • Behan Patrick. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.9th Apr 1918)
  • Beirne Patrick. A/Cpl. 1st Btn. (d.11th Apr 1917)
  • Best Hugh. Fus. 5th Battalion
  • Birmingham William Arthur. 2nd Lt. 6th Btn. (d.9th Aug 1915)
  • Blaikie Hugh. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.22nd May 1916)
  • Blanch Charles. Pte. 7/8th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Bloomfield Michael. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.3rd Oct 1918)
  • Boughton Albert. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.27th Apr 1915)
  • Boughton Robert. Sgt. 1st Btn. (d.13th Apr 1917)
  • Bradshaw William. Pte. (d.3rd Dec 1917)
  • Brady Charles. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.10th Jun 1915)
  • Brennan Joseph. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.11th Apr 1917)
  • Brennan Louis J.. Sgt. 1st Garrison Btn. (d.4th May 1917)
  • Bridgeman James. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.20th Nov 1917)
  • Brien Edward. Pte. 5/6th Btn. (d.5th Sep 1916)
  • Brien Thomas. CSM. 8th Btn. (d.11th Jun 1916)
  • Briscoe Henry Whitby. 2nd Lt. 3rd Garrison Btn. (d.15th Apr 1917)
  • Brookes Bernard.
  • Brophy George. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.17th Sep 1914)
  • Brophy Patrick. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.16th Nov 1917)
  • Brown Christopher. L/Cpl. 1st Garrison Btn. (d.5th Nov 1918)
  • Buckingham Clement Forester. A/Cpl. 7/8th Btn.
  • Burns Samuel. Pte. 1st Btn, B Coy (d.27th Aug 1914)
  • Bush Richard. Fus. 1st Battalion
  • Carey Joseph. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.15th Sep 1916)
  • Cather Geoffrey St George Shillington. T/Lt. 9th Btn.
  • Cather Geoffrey St. George Shillington. Lt. Adjt. 9th Bn. (d.2nd July 1916)
  • Clough William. 25th Btn. (d.1st July 1916)
  • Craddock Michael. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.7th Sep 1916)
  • Crawford William John. Pte.
  • Davis Vivian Alfred. Lt. 9th Btn. (d.4th Sep 1918)
  • Devlin W.. 14th Btn. (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • Dobbin George Frederick. 2nd Lt. (d.16th Aug 1915)
  • Doyle William Joseph Gabriel. Capt. att. 8th Btn. Royal Irish Fusiliers (d.16th Aug 1917)
  • Edward Kiernan. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.14th Feb 1917)
  • Farr Thomas. Pte. 9th btn. (d.1st July 1916)
  • Farrell Michael. Pte. (d.5th Sep 1916)
  • Fennessey William. 5th Battalion
  • Ferris Samuel. Pte. 2nd Btn.
  • Fitzpatrick Alexander. Pte. 7th/8th Btn. (d.10th Aug 1917)
  • Geddes R. Pte. 5th Btn. (d.20th Mar 1918)
  • Gilligan Thomas. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.15th Aug 1915)
  • Goggins Joseph. Pte 7th Btn.
  • Grace Patrick. Pte. 2nd Battalion
  • Greer William Andrew. Pte. 9th Battalion (d.17th Aug 1917)
  • Hague Isaac. L/Cpl. 9th Battalion (d.13 August 1917)
  • Hanna George. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.6th Nov 1917)
  • Hanna Samuel. Pte. 8th Battalion (d.4th May 1916)
  • Hanna William. Pte. 1st Battalion (d.3rd Oct 1918)
  • Harris Roland Hanwell. 2nd/Lt. 2nd London (d.27th December 1917)
  • Heaney Joseph. Pte. 3rd Btn.
  • Heaney Patrick. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.21st Jul 1916)
  • Hetherington Richard. Cpl. 1st Btn. C Coy. (d.18th Sep 1914)
  • Holton James Patrick. 7th/8th Btn. (d.26th Aug 1917)
  • Hopps Frederick Arthur. Private 1st Battalion (d.2nd September 1918)
  • Inglis James Malcolm. 2nd Lt. 9th Btn. (d.26th Oct 1918)
  • Keane William. 2ndLt. 7th Btn.
  • Kearns Michael L.. Pte. 7th Btn.
  • Kelly James Henry. Pte. 2nd Garrison Battalion
  • Kelly Philip Edward. Lt.Col. (d.11th Oct 1918)
  • Kirkland Hugh John. Pte. 3rd Battalion
  • Knox Michael. Pte. 5th Btn
  • Laverty John. L/Cpl. 7th/8th Battalion (d.20th Nov 1917 )
  • Laverty John. L/Cpl. 7/8th Btn. (d.20th Nov 1917)
  • Litton M.. Major. 7th Btn.
  • Lyons John. L/Cpl. 7th Btn.
  • MacIntosh Edward Roderick.
  • Mackill James. Pte. 1st Battalion
  • Mahon Joseph. Pte.
  • Martin Richard. A/Cpl. 6th Btn.
  • McAdam Wilson. Sgt. 9th Btn.
  • McArdle Thomas. L/Cpl. 1st Battalion, A Company (d.12th Oct 1916)
  • McAuley Henry. Pte. 10th Btn.
  • McCabe Thomas.
  • McCreanor Patrick. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.23rd Oct 1915)
  • McKee Patrick. Pte. 7th/8th Battalion (d.20th Nov 1917)
  • McKee Patrick. Pte. 7/8th Btn. (d.20th Nov 1917)
  • McNamara John. Pte 2nd Btn. (d.7th June 1917)
  • McPartland William James. Sjt. 7th Btn.
  • Medlow David. Pte. 9th Battalion
  • Morrow Robert. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.26th Apr 1915)
  • Mulvaney James. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.10th Jul 1916)
  • Murphy James. Cpl. 1st Btn. (d.11th April 1917)
  • Pengelley T.. Pte. 7/8th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Pilcher Arthur James. Pte 2nd Btn. (d.8th February 1915)
  • Rae William. Pte. (d.8th May 1915)
  • Rae William. Pte. 2nd Btn (d.8th May 1915)
  • Sharkey J.. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.12th Nov 1916)
  • Short John James.
  • Sutherland Alexander. Cpl. 2nd Btn. (d.7th July 1915)
  • Townsend Richard Stapleton Barry. Lt. 10th Btn. (d.1st July 1916)
  • Valentine Robert. Pte.
  • Verschoyle William Arthur. Capt. 1st Btn. (d.11th Apr 1917)
  • Vesey Patrick. Private 7th Battalion (d.5th Sep 1916)
  • Vipond Mark. Sgt. (d.9th Aug 1916)
  • Willis Alfred Frederick. 2/18th (Irish Rifles) Btn.
  • Willis Frederick. Pte. 7/8th London Regt

All names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Lt. Geoffrey St. George Shillington Cather VC. Adjt. 9th Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers (d.2nd July 1916)

Geoffrey Cather was killed in action on the 2nd July 1916, aged 25 and is commemorated on The Thiepval Memorial in France. He was the son of the late Mr. R. G. Cather and of Mrs. M. M. Cather, of Limpsfield, Surrey.

An extract from The London Gazette, dated 8th Sept., 1916, records the following: "For most conspicuous bravery. From 7 p.m. till midnight he searched 'No Man's Land', and brought in three wounded men. Next morning at 8 a.m. he continued his search, brought in another wounded man, and gave water to others, arranging for their rescue later. Finally, at 10.30 a.m., he took out water to another man, and was proceeding further on when he was himself killed. All this was carried out in full view of the enemy, and under direct machine gun fire and intermittent artillery fire. He set a splendid example of courage and self sacrifice".

s flynn


Cpl. James Murphy 1st Btn. Royal Irish Fusiliers (d.11th April 1917)

James Murphy was Killed in action on the 11th of April 1917, aged 28. He is buried in Brown's Copse Cemetery in France.

s flynn


Pte. Thomas Gilligan 6th Btn. Royal Irish Fusiliers (d.15th Aug 1915)

Thomas Gilligan

Thomas Gilligan – my Great Grandfather – was born on 21 October 1871, one of four children and the only son of Thomas and Catherine Gilligan (nee Wright), of Wicklow, County Wicklow in Ireland. No information is known about Thomas’ early education or his interests and hobbies however we do know that in Dublin; on 11 November 1893; Thomas enlisted as Private 4003 in the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, joining the battalion at Newry two days later. His surviving attestation papers state his civilian profession as painter and he is described as being 5’ 4” in height with red hair and grey eyes.

Thomas spent his first year on home service however on 10 November 1894 he commenced a prolonged period of active service in India; returning home on 15 February 1899. In November of the same year Thomas was again on active service; this time in South Africa during the Boer War where he remained until 10 September 1902. For the remaining period Thomas was on home service until 10 November 1905 when he received his discharge; thus beginning 5 years in the reserves.

Thomas married Rachel White, a Nursery Maid, in 1907 and together they raised four children while living in Dublin – the eldest being my grandfather George William Gilligan (b 1908); also Frederick (b 1911), Thomas (b 1909) and Annie (known in the family as Nancy) (b 1914).

At the outbreak of war in August 1914 Thomas re-enlisted; this time as Private 13757 in the 6th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers. Now aged 42; Thomas marched through the streets of Dublin to the docks en route to Liverpool with his battalion. This was the last time he would be seen by his 6 year old son George who could recall walking alongside the column.

The battalion was part of the 10th (Irish) Division; part of Kitcheners New Army made up generally of raw recruits with a sprinkling of older men who had already seen military service (i.e. Boer War and India) and who had either been recalled to the colours or had volunteered on the outbreak of war. With his age and prior military service it can easily be imagined that Thomas would have been looked up to by many of the younger men for guidance and support as they went through their training at Basingstoke

The 6th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers received orders to embark for service in the Dardanelles on 9 July 1915 as part of the 31st Brigade, 10th (Irish) Division. At the time the battalion was with the rest of the 10th (Irish) Division (less Divisional Artillery which had been sent to France previously) in Basingstoke having just completed their training. The battalion left Basingstoke in successive train loads on 12 July arriving at Keyham Dockyard, Plymouth where they were to embark upon the SS Canada. Owing to non-arrival of the vessel, the battalion located to a rest camp at Pull Point, Devonport overnight.

On 13 July the battalion and ammunition column commenced embarkation upon the SS Canada, setting sail the following day at 5pm. The vessel passed Gibraltar on 18 July and arrived in Malta on 21 July for coaling. The vessel then sailed for Alexandria; arriving on 24 July. On 26 July the vessel arrived at Mudros Harbour, Lemnos Island and during the period to 31 July the battalion participated in the disembarkation and sorting of stores and equipment; it having been recognised that equipment had not been loaded securely or in the correct order. On the evening of 31 July the SS Canada sailed for Mytilene Harbour, Lesbos Island arriving on the 1st August. During the next few days the battalion undertook route marches around the island.

On 5 August the battalion received orders to be prepared to move by 12 noon the following day to a destination not yet stated. At 5-30 pm on 6 August the battalion sailed to Suvla Bay, Gallipoli aboard the minesweepers “Snaefell” and “Honeysuckle”. At this time the battalion comprised 778 officers and other ranks.

At 4-35am on 7 August the “Snaefell” and “Honeysuckle” arrived off Suvla Bay under heavy shrapnel fire. A landing was made at 8-30am with the battalion going into action in support of the 5th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers and East Yorkshire Regiment at 9am the same morning. On its first day of action the battalion suffered casualties of 1 officer wounded, 12 other ranks killed and 76 other ranks wounded or missing.

Overnight the battalion occupied trenches atop Hill 53 and during the following days provided support and reinforcement to other troops attacking Hill 70. During the period 8 to 9 August the battalion suffered further casualties of 5 officers killed, 12 officers wounded or missing, 12 other ranks killed and 220 other ranks wounded or missing. The battalion was suffering from the environment in which they were serving and existed on the “iron” rations with which they had landed since no supplies were able to get to them.

Having received supplies late on the 9th August; the battalion held Hill 53 until relieved by the Essex Regiment on the 10th August. The battalion was rested in reserve lines for the next few days. The battalion moved into support trenches on 13 August and the following day received reinforcements of 5 officers and 159 other ranks from the battalion reserve at Mudros.

During 15 to 16 August the battalion was engaged in heavy fighting against Turkish Infantry. It was during this action that Thomas Gilligan was killed; one amongst 10 officers and 210 other ranks killed, wounded or missing in the battalion during the engagement on the Kiretch Tepe Ridge. Thomas Gilligan’s body was never recovered however his name is recorded on the Helles Memorial and in his local church at St Stephens in Dublin.

On 1 September the battalion was now recorded as comprising just 5 officers and 388 other ranks, as well as losses through enemy action the battalion was increasingly suffering from ill health.

The impact of Gallipoli was not confined to just the battlefield since Thomas’ death had major repercussions for his wife and children. Soon after being notified of his death the young Gilligan children who were now living in poverty were split up since Rachel was unable to cope. Annie and Thomas; who had sadly been blinded by meningitis were sent to live with relatives.

In 1918 George was admitted to the Royal Hibernian Military School (RHMS) in Dublin. In November that year Rachel, who had suffered the amputation of a leg; died of tuberculosis at the age of 33. The following year Frederick joined George at the RHMS.

Following closure of the RHMS George joined Group No. 1 at the newly opened Boys Technical School in Chepstow and then continued to serve in the army with the Tank Corps. Frederick moved to the Duke of Yorks School at Shorncliffe, Dover and then served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Both brothers saw service throughout the Second World War. George left the army in 1949 and then went on to work as a Civilian Technical Officer with the War Department, retiring in 1974; he died in 1999. Frederick, who had been awarded the Military Medal for bravery in Italy in 1944 was accidentally shot and killed while serving with the occupation forces in Salzburg, Austria on 1 October 1945. Thomas, although blind learnt to play and tune the piano, he died in Belfast in 1975. The last of Thomas Gilligan’s children was his daughter Annie who died in Surrey in December 2001.

The family keeps Thomas Gilligan’s in their memories with his photograph (reproduced above) featuring prominently in the homes of my self and my father and on each anniversary of his death he and his family are remembered.

Steve Gilligan


Capt. William Arthur Verschoyle 1st Btn. Royal Irish Fusiliers (d.11th Apr 1917)

William Arthur Verschoyle, Captain, 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, "who, though wounded, continued to lead his company in an assault and fell at the Battle of Arras on the 11th of April, 1917." Born 24 Sept. 1890

s flynn


Lt. Vivian Alfred Davis 9th Btn. Royal Irish Fusiliers (d.4th Sep 1918)

Vivian Davis was killed in action on the 4th of September 1918. He was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert E. Davis of 17 Oaklands Park, Ballsbridge, Co. Dublin.

s flynn


2nd Lt. George Frederick Dobbin Royal Irish Fusiliers (d.16th Aug 1915)

George Dobbin was born Aug. 18th, 1894, and killed in action at Suvla Bay 16th of August 1915.

s flynn


Pte. Samuel Hanna 8th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers (d.4th May 1916)

Samuel Hanna served with the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, in the 36th Division, comprising of 28 Battalions mostly of Irish Regiments. They arrived in France in February 1916 and were assigned to the Loos sector. The soldiers experienced trench warfare and suffered casualties during this early period in the front line. They were in the trenches at Hulloch when the Germans launched a gas attacks on 27th and 29th of April 1916. Of the 1980 casualties, 570 were killed and many of the wounded died later from respiratory diseases.


Pte. Samuel Burns 1st Btn, B Coy Royal Irish Fusiliers (d.27th Aug 1914)

Samuel Burns, my Great Uncle, was born in 1892, the son of Mary Ann Burns (nee McKinstry) and John Burns. He served with 1st battalion Princess Victoria's (Royal Irish Fusiliers) and was based in Shorncliffe, England at the outbreak of WW1. They immediately mobilised to York, then Harrow before travelling to Bolougne on 22 August 14. On arrival they then travelled by train to Le Cateau to support the BEF withdrawal from Mons. He fought at the battle of Le Cateau as part of the 4th Division 10 Brigade in the area of Haucourt during the day and night of 26th August 1914. They held the ridge between St Aubert Farm and Point 137. As the fighting went on it was clear that the German gun barrage was too overpowering and they risked being surrounded or flanked so the order was given to retreat South. It was during this retreat that Samuel was killed on 27th August 1914. His body was never found and he is remembered at the memorial for the missing at La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre. He was originally posted as missing with his death confirmed by the War Office on 20th January 1916. In his will he wrote "In the event of my death, I give all my love to all those I leave behind. That's about all I can do. So they can go to the bank and draw. I leave breath and my money. They can spend it anyway". His brother Isaac was my Great Grandfather.


Lt. Richard Stapleton Barry Townsend 10th Btn. Royal Irish Fusiliers. (d.1st July 1916)

Richard Townsend is remembered in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh.

s flynn


Lt.Col. Philip Edward Kelly Royal Irish Fusiliers (d.11th Oct 1918)

Lt.Col. Philip Kelly was killed in action at Dardizeele, Flanders aged 29. He is remembered on the Kelly Memorial in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh.

s flynn


2nd Lt. James Malcolm Inglis 9th Btn. Royal Irish Fusiliers (d.26th Oct 1918)

James Inglis died in France of wounds received in action at Courtrai, Belgium on the 26th of October, 1918 aged 19 years & 3 months. He is remembered on the Inglis Memorial in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh.

s flynn


William Clough 25th Btn. Royal Irish Fusiliers (d.1st July 1916)

William Clough was my father's (Septimus Clough) brother from Haverton Hill in Middlesbrough. His mother was Irish from Cavan hence the Irish connection

Brian Clough


Pte. David Medlow 9th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers

David Medlow was born on the 10th of March 1894. Originally from Kernan, Portadown and a member of Edenderry LOL 322, he enlisted on the 11th of August 1914. He was wounded on the 16th of August 1917 during the first day of the Battle of Langemarck, the second Allied general attack of the Third Battle of Ypres. After a long period of convalescence in hospital he was discharged due to wounds on 18th of June 1918.

Jon Medlow


A/Cpl. Richard "Duckser" Martin 6th Btn. Royal Irish Regiment

Richard Martin was wounded at the battle for Guillemont and Ginchy. I don't know if he served to the war's end.


Pte. James Mulvaney 8th Btn. Royal Irish Fusiliers (d.10th Jul 1916)

James Mulvaney was killed in action in France.

Michael Mulvaney


Pte. Michael Knox 5th Btn Royal Irish Regiment

My Grandfather, Michael Knox, served in WW1. He was born on 3rd of October 1882 in Waterford, Ireland and later moved to Wales were he got married to Ellen Young. We believe he served in the Army in 1914/15. Due to his service he was granted a land in Busselton, Western Australia, and moved there with his wife and children in 1925.

John Knox


Pte Arthur James Pilcher 2nd Btn. Royal Irish Fusiliers (d.8th February 1915)

Arthur Pilcher is commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres, Belgium.


Fus. Hugh Best 5th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers

Hugh Best joined the 5th Bn. R.I.F. during its formation at Portobello Barracks, Dublin, during August 1914. His home was at Lonsdale St. Armagh, were he lived with his wife Margaret (nee Armstrong) and six children (ages 2 to 16 approx.)

After training in Ireland, the Btn. along with the rest of the 10th (Irish) Div. were moved to Basingstoke, Hampshire, England in about May 1915. The 5th Bn. embarked at Devonport (nr. Plymouth) on the 11th July '15. The ship sailed on the early hours of the 12th of July (as per War Diary for 5th Bn. and not the 7th of July as mentioned in other reports). After the journey via Gibraltar, Malta, Egypt and the Greek Islands the 5th Btn. were landed at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli on 7th of August 1915. Hugh was wounded on or after this date and it is assumed that he went through the medical evacuation process and eventually arrived in Armagh. Meanwhile during his time away his wife Margaret died from cancer. Hugh remarried before the war was over and details on his marriage certificate stated that he was serving with A Company, 1st. Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers. This Battalion was in France and Flanders. I do not know when he joined, where he served or when he left the 1st Bn.

William Best


Pte. Samuel Ferris 2nd Btn. Royal Irish Fusiliers

Samuel Ferris fought at Battle of the Somme, he had been seconded (unverified) to Canadian Forces to fight at Vimy Ridge. He received a medal for gallantry (might have been mentioned in dispatch). He was wounded and gassed at Passchendaele and sent home with 'corrupted lungs', according to my uncle and mother.

He found labour difficult and was forced into carpentry in the cabinet trade. Subsequent poverty relegated his family to substandard living conditions. Samuel died of T.B. in 1931; as did his wife and youngest daughter (my Aunt Elizabeth) in 1933. My mother's memory of his passing is that on the night he died, he was delirious and yelling, "They're coming over the top, boys! They're coming over the top." This brave and loyal soldier's remaining two children were then sent to one of Dr. Bernado's orphanages in England. Both his children, my mom and my uncle Jim, fortunately made it to a more egalitarian country, Canada, wherein class and parentage mattered less. I mean, what, you blame the orphan for his parents' deaths? I am nonetheless proud of my Grandfather. He somehow managed to survive the Battle of the Somme and another full year of degradation I can barely comprehend let alone fathom.

Daryl Wakeham


Pte. James Beck 11th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles (d.8th Aug 1917)

We are currently researching Rifleman James Beck having visited the Somme and found him on the Menin Gate. He was killed in action at Ypres age 19. Our family name is Beck and we are told he is my husband's great great uncle.

Sarah Beck

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