Royal Munster Fusiliers and the Militia of Munster?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by chocolate_frog, Dec 29, 2010.

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  1. I have found reference to this particular unit (Irish Regiment but obviously with the Munster title).

    Disbanded in 1922, but saw action in WW1 (alot).

    Seems to have history from the East India Company, where it was formed from two previous Fusilier Regimetns and the 'Militia of Munster'...

    I can't find any information about this last unit.

    Anyone have any info? Alas the unit was disbanded rather than amalgamated, so it is unlikely the history has passed on to any other regiment in the British Army, unless there is an Irish unit with a claim.
     
  2. My grandfather was in an Irish regt that was disbanded in 22 (Royal Irish not the present one). He said the colours and museums/archives of all the Irish regt went to Sandhurst.
     
  3. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    c_f,

    Not an expert on Irish militias by any stretch, but I know that they were instituted in the early 18th Century in a similar fashion toEnglish ones, i.e. one per County or large city. I know that initially in Ireand it was restricted membership for Protestants only, but that this qualification was limited to the Officer corps only at the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars and that the ranks were opened up to all faiths.

    The militia was designed for home defence and there was (in England anyway) an element of compulsion to serve. The 'conscription' was often decided by a ballot draft. Some Regiments recruited heavily from militias, the 95th Rifles who prefered people with prior service, being an example.
     
  4. So is the Militia of Munster an Irish based unit that the other two bolted on to?

    Ifso what is with the Munster bit?
     
  5. are you confusing Munster Irland with Munster Germany?
     
  6. From Wiki
    Militia (United Kingdom) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I think following Cardwell they were attached to regular regts like the rest of the militia and later became TA.
     
  7. Munster Province is an area of the Republic of Ireland, consisting of a number of Counties and Cork as Capital.
    Münster is a German, independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
    They have no historical connection and are both pronounced very differently.
    The Royal Munster Fusiliers was a crown Regiment drawn from the Militias of that area.
    After fierce fighting in many theatres, (they have a very bloody and rich history !) they were disbanded in 1922, due to the independence of Eire.
     
  8. My bold.

    Like many British regiments they have an interesting line from start to finish and to say they came for the Munster Militia would be over simplifying it. According to the link I provided above they came from the Bengal Fusiliers. But I would not suggest that they recruited any Indians nationals. It was not till Cardwell that regts had local connections with local depots. I understand that most of the 24th at Rorke’s Drift were form London not Wales.
     
  9. I'm not too sure of my Irish History,, but I believe Munster, along with Leinster, Connaught and Ulster, were originally the four ancient Kingdoms of Ireland. (Ulster, incidentally, originally consisted of 9 counties-three of which were ceded to the Free State/Republic after partiition)
     
  10. Yep, I was going up the Munster Germany path... mainly due to a rhyme for the unit (the Kaiser will know the Munsters by their shamrock or similar) and the fact we had various German units in the British Army too (Kings German Legion). I thought it could be something to do with them.

    Weren't most of the 24th Foot at Rourkes Drift from Warwick? 24th had been a Warwick Regt before moving to Brecon.
     
  11. you could be right as they did not become the SWB till Cardwell.
     
  12. I think that originally they were one of the European regiments of the Hon East India Company. There were 9 in all of these from the 3 Company presidencies of Bengal, Bombay and Madras. John Company recruited separately to the Crown. The ORs in these units were European, native units recruiting separately. I'm pretty sure there were also European-manned cavalry and artillery units. The Company's forces were transferred to Crown service when the British government took over the government of India after the mutiny and the infantry were added to the end of the list of numbered regiments (101st-109th foot) . This was unpopular with those involved as pay with John Company was rather better. The numbered regiments acquired a range of titles in 1881, mostly Irish but also 2KOYLI, 2DLI and 2 R Sussex. The (southern) Irish titled battalions were disbanded on independence in 1922.
    The militia/TA bit I'll leave to others but, as I think that there was no TA/TF in Southern Ireland, for political reasons, i.e. the fewer guns the locals held the better, the militia being a different body in terms of recruitment and terms of service.
     
  13. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    When the Royal Munster Fusiliers were formed in 1881 there was a major reform by Sec. of War Childers. The Militias became numbered battalions of their parent Regt. For English, Scottish and Welsh Regt's which had 2 regular battalions, they were assigned two militia battalions who became the 3rd and 4th Bns of the Regt. Irish Regts were assigned 3 Militia battalions which became the 3rd, 4th and 5th Bns of the Regt, so the Muster Militia element would have become the 3rd, 4th & 5th Battalions, Royal Munster Fusilers.

    There was no Territorial Force till 1908 when several different kinds of reserve forces (Militia, Volunteers & Yeomanry) were reformed. The Militia dropped all form of compulsion back in the 1820's. The Militia was always the more proletarian reserve force and was almost exclusively Infantry. The Yeomanry were all gentry acting as cavalry and the Volunteers were predominantly enthusiastic 'Gentleman Rankers'.
     
  14. There was no TF in Ireland - I suggest for the reason I gave above. I think the militia were only embodied for annual training, rather than the drill nights and weekends of the volunteers and their successors. This would, presumably, also mean better control of their weapons.

    The North and South of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry were therefore designated as Special Reserve when the TF formed in 1908, taking precedence after the regular cavalry and before the yeomanry regiments. There were a number of yeomanry corps in Ireland during the French wars, none surviving for long thereafter.