‘For the Queen and old Ireland’, 1900

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

For your consideration, courtesy of the National Army Museum, a photogravure after Frank T Copnall (1890-1942), 1900. Published as a supplement to ‘The Spear‘, 1900, of a tough-as-nails Irish soldier in the Queen’s Army during the campaigns against the Boer:

NAM. 1973-12-55-1

As noted by the NAM:

With the exception of the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards, which was stationed in India between 1894 and 1906, all the Irish regiments of the Regular Army served in South Africa during the Boer War (1899-1902). In appreciation of the services rendered by Irish regiments in the defence of Ladysmith, Queen Victoria authorized the wearing of the shamrock by all Irish regiments on 17 March 1900 and on St Patrick’s Day in all succeeding years.

Even after the great separation in 1922 and the disbanding of six regular Irish regiments in the British Army, today, the force still has numerous units with a Celtic identity including the Royal Irish Regiment (R IRISH) amalgamating the 27th Inniskilling, 83rd, 87th, and The Ulster Defence Regiment; the newly reformed The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry (SNIY), “A” (Liverpool Irish) Troop within 208 (3rd West Lancashire) Battery, 103 Regiment; and, of course, the “Micks” of the Irish Guards.

Besides heavy frontline service in both World Wars, the Irish Guards have been best known for…well, guarding (Photos: MOD Crown Copyright)

And with that, how about a great cover of As I Roved Out, an Irish take on the classic tale of the Trooper and the Maid.

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