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The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

The oldest Irish regiment from which The Royal Irish Regiment traces its heritage was The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The Inniskillings, like The Ulster Defence Regiment were originally raised for home defence during the war in Ireland between King James II and King William III.

Irregular companies first assembled in December 1688 for the defence of Enniskillen against the army of James II. These were placed under the command of Zechariah Tiffin in June 1689 and were taken into the Army as Zechariah Tiffin's Inniskilling Regiment of Foot. Their first battles were around Enniskillen, Newtownbutler, Lisnaskea and Wattle Bridge.

The Regiment served at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690, at the Battle of Aughrim in July 1691 and at the final Siege of Limerick two months later. With the war in Ireland over and the Regiment embodied fully into the Army it was posted to the West Indies thereby missing Marlborough's famous campaign in the War of the Spanish Succession.

18th Century Wars

As a result of Army reforms between 1747 to 1751 regiments ceased to be known by their Colonels' names; instead they were numbered in order of seniority. The Inniskillings became the 27th Foot but were permitted to include the Regiment's popular name as part of their title to become the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment, a distinction carried forward to this day in the full title of the Royal Irish Regiment.

During the Seven Years War the 27th Inniskillings served in North America and the West Indies gaining the Regiment's first battle honours at Martinique and Havana.