The Royal Irish Regiment celebrate a royal tradition

On St Patrick’s Day, the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, based at Tern Hill near Market Drayton, celebrate a tradition ordered by Queen Victoria.

St Patrick’s Day has always been an important one in the Royal Irish calendar. An opportunity to come together, not only to celebrate their Regimental heritage and Irishness, but also to thank the families and local communities for their enduring support throughout the year.

However, this year, like many other important milestones throughout the year, the Regiment have been forced to adapt to ensure compliance with COVID Force Health Protection measures.

On St. Patrick’s Day the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, based at Tern Hill, outside Market Drayton, will celebrate a tradition ordered by Queen Victoria following the visit of a 14-year-old bugler from the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. His name was James Dunne and he had been wounded in the arm and chest at Colenso during the Anglo Boer War campaign.

St. Patrick’s Day is usually a great opportunity for the Regimental family to gather as one and recognise the distinction and gallantry of the Irish Regiments CO 1RIRISH

On 14 March 1900, Army Orders promulgated an instruction stating: “Her Majesty the Queen is pleased to order that in future on St. Patrick’s Day all ranks in Her Majesty’s Irish regiments shall wear as a distinction a sprig of shamrock in their head-dress, to commemorate the gallantry of Her Irish soldiers during the recent battles in South Africa”.

The Commanding Officer said: “St. Patrick’s Day is usually a great opportunity for the Regimental family to gather as one and recognise the distinction and gallantry of the Irish Regiments during the relief of Ladysmith in the Boer War. Any opportunity to display our Irish heritage is always embraced and we look forward to hopefully connecting to reminisce together next year, over a pint of the blackstuff.”

St. Patrick’s Day comes once a year for an Irish Ranger. Every other day is different! As an operationally-focused Battalion, 1 R IRISH is held at very high readiness to deploy overseas when required.