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History of the Irish Guards

The current regiment was formed on 1 April 1900 by order of Queen Victoria in response to the many courageous actions performed by Irish regiments in the Second Boer War.

No 1 Company, 1IG, formed the armoured infantry component of the Kings Royal Hussars Battle Group on operations in the Petrovac ranges, in Macedonia. The Irish Guards' first honorary Colonel-of-the-Regiment was Field Marshal Lord Roberts, known to many troops as 'Bobs'. For a time, the regiment gained the nickname 'Bob's Own' but are now known affectionately as 'The Micks' (this term is not seen as offensive or derogatory by the regiment).

1902: The regiment's first Colours were presented by Edward VII in May at Horse Guards Parade. A few Irish Guardsmen saw action as mounted infantry in the final stages of the Boer War. Otherwise, the Regiment was stationed in the UK for the first fourteen years of its existence, performing ceremonial duties in London during that time until the beginning of World War I.

1945: The Irish Guards played a major part in both World Wars, winning a total of six Victoria Crosses including the last one to be presented in the Second World War. They have seen armed conflict in many parts of the world since.

2000: the 100th year of the creation of the Irish Guards, Liverpool granted them the freedom of the city. The following year the regiment took part in training exercises in Poland, BATUS in Canada and the large exercise in Oman called Saif Sareea II.

2002: At the funeral of the Queen Mother, the coffin bearer-party was made up of Irish Guardsmen. This was a remarkable honour, given the fact that the late Queen Mother not only was not the regiment's colonel (she was, in fact, colonel-in-chief of the Black Watch), she had no official connection with the regiment at all, in spite of her long identification with it.

Soldiers from the Irish Guards celebrate St Patrick's Day in Afghanistan 2003: The regiment deployed to Kuwait during the build-up to the Iraq War. The Irish Guards were part of the 7th Armoured Brigade (successor of the famed 7th Armoured Division, 'The Desert Rats') and began training for the war. The battalion was split up with companies, platoons and sections being attached to various units of the Desert Rats. Upon crossing the Iraq border, the Desert Rats began the journey towards the area around Basra, gradually taking control of much of the area that surrounded Iraq's second largest city.

2005: The 1st Battalion, Irish Guards became the first unit to be officially awarded battle honours for service in Iraq - this was to enable these to be displayed on the battalion's new regimental colour during the Sovereign's Birthday Parade.

2007: The Battalion deployed to Iraq under command of 1 Mech Bde on Op TELIC 10. The Battalion was tasked with ground holding and training and mentoring members of the Iraq Army.

2010: The Battalion deployed to Afghanistan under command of 16 Air Assault Brigade on HERRICK 13. This was the first time the Battalion deployed as a unit and was tasked with training the Afghan National Army and two companies where tasked with ground holding responsibilities. In recognition of the Battalions bravery a number of individuals where awarded medals in the Queens Birthday Honours list.

2011: Prince William was appointed to the honorary rank of Colonel of the Irish Guards.

2014: The Battalion deployed to Cyprus on Op TOSCA 20. This task saw soldiers from the Battalion patrolling the Buffer Zone to ensure that there was no encroachment by the Turkish National Forces or the Cypriot National Guards.

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