THE IRISH GUARDS ASSOCIATION
The Irish Guards Old Comrades Association was formed after WW1 to enable friends to keep in touch with one another and to help members of the Regiment to find suitable employment. The provision of welfare assistance soon began, particularly for wounded Old Comrades. Now named The Irish Guards Association and fulfilling a similar role, the Association has five Branches: London (by far the biggest), West Midlands, North of England, Ulster and the Republic of Ireland.
The Governing bodies of the Association are the Regimental Council and The Association Headquarters Committee.
Management of each branch is carried out by a Chairman and Deputy Chairman, to be ex Irish Guards and a Committee consisting of the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, Welfare Officer and other members at each Chairman’s discretion.
Each branch carries out various social events each year and comes together for St Patrick’s Day and the Annual March to the Guards Memorial.
The Irish Guards Regiment is affiliated to The Worshipful Company of Girdlers. It was formed on 1st April 1900 by order of HM Queen Victoria to commemorate the Irishmen who fought in the Second Boer War for the British Empire. They are known affectionately throughout the British Army as ‘The Micks’.
The Irish Guards are part of the Guards Division, which comprises the Coldstream, Grenadier, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards along with the two Mounted Regiments the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals. The Irish Guards are the only Guards Regiment to have a Mascot – an Irish Wolfhound. The administrative headquarters for the Regiment is Wellington Barracks, London. The Irish Guards Regimental Band are also based here. The 1st Battalion is based in Mons Barracks, Aldershot.
Colonel-in-Chief – HM The King
Colonel of the Regiment – The Princess of Wales GCVO
Regimental Lieutenant Colonel – General Sir Mark Carlton-Smith
Regimental Adjutant – Major (Retd) Niall Hall
The Irish Guards’ role is mechanized Infantry and all five Guards Regiments have the honour of guarding HM the King on a rotational basis.
Number 15 (Loos) Company of The London Guards, formerly The London Irish Rifles, 'D' Company of The London Regiment
In November 2021, the MOD unveiled a report bringing significant changes to full time and reserve soldiers, including our affiliation – The London Irish Rifles 'D' Company – and to The London Regiment.
In April 2022, The London Regiment was re-designated The London Guards and The London Irish Rifles, D Company of The London Regiment was re-designated Number 15 (Loos) Company of The London Guards. Number 15 (Loos) Company became a reserve Company of the Irish Guards, and will wear Irish Guards Cap Stars and Uniforms. They will continue to train as reservists but will have more opportunities to train with regular soldiers and more potential to deploy on operations with the Irish Guards. They will remain at their base in Camberwell.
HISTORY OF THE LONDON IRISH RIFLES
The London Irish Rifles was originally formed in 1859 during the Victorian Volunteer Movement and named 28th Middlesex (London Irish) Rifle Volunteer Corps. In 1880, it was renumbered the 16th Middlesex Rifle Volunteers.
During the Second Boer War, the battalion sent eight officers and 208 private soldiers for active service. In recognition of their service, the London Irish was granted their first battle honour, "South Africa, 1900-1902". In 1908, the London Irish was transferred to the Territorial Force and renamed the 18th (County of London) Battalion, the London Regiment (London Irish Rifles).
Since 1993 and the incorporation of the London Irish Rifles as a company of the London Regiment, soldiers from the London Irish Rifles have served in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and Cyprus. During Operation Telic, the company contributed to the formation of Cambrai Company (Operation Telic 3) and Messines Company (Operation Telic 4), both commanded by officers of the London Irish Rifles. Soldiers from the company also deployed to Afghanistan with Somme Company in 2007 (Operation Herrick 7), Amiens Company in 2010 (Operation Herrick 12) and Arras Company in 2011 (Operation Herrick 13).
The London Irish Rifles moved from their historic home, Duke of York’s Headquarters, Chelsea to Flodden Road, Camberwell in 2000.
We are always proud to welcome representatives from the Irish Guards Association and Number 15 (Loos) Company, The London Guards to our Livery dinners and functions.