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Unit History: Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Royal Dublin Fusiliers
In 1662 the newly-restored King Charles II married Catherine of Braganza and gained possession of the Portuguese territories Bombay and Tangier as part of her Dowry.  A year later four independent companies were raised and sent to garrison Bombay.
 
In 1668 control of the region was transferred to the Honourable East India Company (HEIC) which was a British Company formed in 1600 in an effort to break the Dutch spice trade monopoly.  The Company had interests at Surat, Madras, Bombay and Calcutta and raised its own army and navy, built its own ships and from 1670 effectively ruled much of the North, East and South India for the British Government.  The Regiment was transferred to the HEIC as The Bombay Regiment.
 
The Regiment went on to serve during the Third Mahratta War (1817-1819) fighting at the Battle of Kirkee.  This was the last conflict between the Company and the Mahratta Empire which consolidated the Company’s control over most of India.  In 1839 the Regiment was renamed as the 1st Bombay (European) Regiment and in 1844 became the 1st Bombay (European) Fusiliers.  The Regiment also served during The Second Sikh War (1848 -1849) fighting at the Battles of Mooltan, Goojerat, and Punjaub.   This was a conflict between the Sikh Empire and the Company resulting in the subjugation of the Sikh Empire, and the annexation of the Punjab and what subsequently became the North-West Frontier Province by the HEIC.
 
In 1742 another Regiment of European troops was raised for the Company as the Madras Europeans.  The Regiment went on to serve during the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824-1826) fighting at the Battle of Ava and the Second Anglo-Burmese War (1852-1853) fighting at the Battle of Pegu.  Both Regiments served during the Indian Mutiny of 1857 after which the HEIC was formally dissolved in August 1858 and the Crown took over control of the administration and its armies in India, as it was judged the Company had mismanaged the situation.  The two Regiments were incorporated into the British Army as the 103rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Bombay Fusiliers) and 102nd Regiment of Foot (Royal Madras Fusiliers).
 
Both Regiments were merged in 1881 as part of the Childers Reforms which restructured the British army infantry into a network of multi-battalion Regiments of two regular and two militia battalions and became The Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The newly formed Regiment went on to serve during the Boer War (1899 – 1902) fighting at the siege of Ladysmith and the battles at Colenso and Tugela Heights as well as two World wars.  Three Battalions of the Regiment were also involved during the 1916 Easter Rising.
 
The Regiment was disbanded in 1922 once the Irish Free State was established following the Irish War of Independence (1919-1922) along with all five British Regiments recruiting from the Irish Free States were disbanded.

Royal Dublin Fusiliers during WW1

Since 1815 the balance of power in Europe had been maintained by a series of treaties. In 1888 Wilhelm II was crowned ‘German Emperor and King of Prussia’ and moved from a policy of maintaining the status quo to a more aggressive position. He did not renew a treaty with Russia, aligned Germany with the declining Austro-Hungarian Empire and started to build a Navy to rival that of Britain. These actions greatly concerned Germany’s neighbours, who quickly forged new treaties and alliances in the event of war. On 28th June 1914 Franz Ferdinand the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated by the Bosnian-Serb nationalist group Young Bosnia who wanted pan-Serbian independence. Franz Joseph the Austro-Hungarian Emperor (with the backing of Germany) responded aggressively, presenting Serbia with an intentionally unacceptable ultimatum, to provoke Serbia into war. Serbia agreed to 8 of the 10 terms and on the 28th July 1914 the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia, producing a cascade effect across Europe. Russia bound by treaty to Serbia declared war with Austro-Hungary, Germany declared war with Russia and France declared war with Germany. Germany’s army crossed into neutral Belgium in order to reach Paris, forcing Britain to declare war with Germany (due to the Treaty of London (1839) whereby Britain agreed to defend Belgium in the event of invasion). By the 4th August 1914 Britain and much of Europe were pulled into a war which would last 1,566 days, cost 8,528,831 lives and 28,938,073 casualties or missing on both sides.

The Regiment raised 11 Battalions and was awarded 49 Battle Honours and 3 Victoria Crosses, losing 4,780 men during the course of the war.

1st Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Madras.
19.11.1914 Embarked for the U.K. From Bombay arriving at Plymouth 21.12.1914 and moved to Torquay.
Jan 1915 Moved to Nuneaton to join the 86th Brigade of the 29th Division.
16.03.1915 Embarked for Gallipoli from Avonmouth via Mudros.
25.04.1915 Landed at Helles and engaged in various actions against the Turkish Army including;
1915
First, Second & Third Battles of Krithia, the Battle of Gully Ravine, the Battle of Krithia Vineyard, the Battle of Scimitar Hill.
30.04.1915 Amalgamated with the 1st Royal Munster Fusiliers due to heavy casualties to form a composite battalion known as the 'Dubsters' as part of the 87th Brigade.
19.05.1915 Resumed its identity.
01.01.1916 Evacuated from Gallipoli to Mudros due to severe casualties from combat, disease and harsh weather.
08.01.1916 Moved to Egypt.
13.03.1916 Embarked for France from Alexandria arriving at Marseilles 19.03.1916 and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of the Transloy Ridges.
1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Langemarck, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle, The Battle of Cambrai.
19.10.1917 Transferred to the 48th Brigade of the 16th Division.
10.02.1918 Absorbed 10 officers and 200 men of the 8/9th Battalion.
14.04.1918 Amalgamated with the 2nd Battalion at Clety south of St. Omer.
19.04.1918 Reconstituted with men of the 2nd Battalion which was reduced to cadre.
26.04.1918 Transferred to the 86th Brigade of the 29th Division;
1918
The defence on Nieppe Forest, The Battle of Bailleul, The Action of Outtersteene Ridge, The capture of Ploegsteert and Hill 63, The Battle of Ypres 1918, The Battle of Courtrai.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at St. Genois S.E. of Courtrai, Belgium.

2nd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Gravesend as part of the 10th Brigade of the 4th Division and then moved to Harrow.
22.08.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1914
The Battle of Le Cateau, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne, The Battle of Messines 1914.
1915
The Second Battle of Ypres.
1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Le Transloy.
15.11.1916 Transferred to the 48th Brigade of the 16th Division;
1917
The Battle of Messines, The Battle of Langemark.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Rosieres.
10.02.1918 Absorbed 10 officers and 200 men of the 8/9th Battalion.
14.04.1918 Amalgamated with the 2nd Battalion at Clety south of St. Omer.
19.04.1918 Reduced to cadre and surplus personnel transferred to the 1st Battalion.
01.06.1918 Attached to the 94th Brigade of the 31st Division.
06.06.1918 Reconstituted with surplus men from the 7th Battalion.
16.06.1918 Moved to defend the Lines of communication.
15.07.1918 Transferred to the 149th brigade of the 50th Division;
The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, The Battle of the Beaurevoir Line, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of Valenciennes.
11.11.1918 Ended the war near Dourlers north of Avesnes, France.

3rd (Reserve) Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Naas and then moved to Queenstown and then moved to Cork.
Nov 1917 Moved to Pembroke.
Sept 1917 Moved to Gateshead.
May 1918 Absorbed the 4th 5th & 11th Battalions.
May 1918 Moved to Grimsby area where it remained until the end of the war.

4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Dublin and then moved to Queenstown.
Oct 1914 Moved to England and stationed at Sittingbourne.
End 1915 Returned to Ireland and stationed at Templemore.
April 1916 Moved to Mullingar.
Nov 1917 Moved to England and stationed at Brocklesby near Grimsby.
May 1918 Absorbed by the 3rd Battalion.

5th (Extra Reserve) Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Dublin and then moved to Queenstown.
Oct 1914 Moved to England and stationed at Sittingbourne.
End 1915 Returned to Ireland and stationed at Curragh as part of the 25th Reserve Brigade.
Aug 1917 Moved to Longford.
Nov 1917 Moved to Scotland and stationed at Glencorse near Edinburgh.
May 1918 Absorbed by the 3rd Battalion.

6th (Service) Battalion
Aug 1914 Formed at Naas as part of the First New Army (K1) and then moved to Curragh to join the 30th Brigade of the 10th Division.
May 1915 Moved to England and stationed at Basingstoke.
11.07.1915 Embarked for Mitylene from Devonport, Plymouth.
07.08.1915 Landed at Suvla Bay and engaged in various actions against the Turkish Army including;
The landing at Suvla, Battle of Sari Bair, Capture of Chocolate Hill, Hill 60.
Oct 1915 Deployed to Salonika.
Sept 1917 Deployed to Egypt and Palestine and engaged in various actions as part of the Palestine Campaign including;
The Battle of Kosturino, Retreat from Serbia, Capture of the Karajokois, Capture of Yenikoi.
27.05.1918 Embarked for France from Alexandria leaving the 10th Division via Taranto, Italy.
21.07.1918 Transferred to the 197th Brigade of the 66th Division.
10.09.1918 Transferred to the 198th Brigade of the 66th Division;
The Battle of Cambrai, The Pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle, a phase of the Final Advance in Picardy (17-20 October)
11.11.1918 Ended the war near Avesnes, France.

7th (Service) Battalion
Aug 1914 Formed at Naas as part of the First New Army (K1) and then moved to Curragh to join the 30th Brigade of the 10th Division.
Feb 1915 Moved to Dublin.
May 1915 Moved to England and stationed at Basingstoke.
1.07.1915 Embarked for Mitylene from Devonport, Plymouth.
07.08.1915 Landed at Suvla Bay and engaged in various actions against the Turkish Army including;
The landing at Suvla, Battle of Sari Bair, Capture of Chocolate Hill, Hill 60.
Oct 1915 Deployed to Salonika.
Sept 1917 Deployed to Egypt and Palestine and engaged in various actions as part of the Palestine Campaign including;
The Battle of Kosturino, Retreat from Serbia, Capture of the Karajokois, Capture of Yenikoi.
27.05.1918 Embarked for France from Alexandria leaving the 10th Division arriving at Marseilles 01.06.1918.
06.06.1918 Reduced to cadre and surplus personnel transferred to the 2nd Battalions.
10.06.1918 Cadre transferred to the 16th Division and returned to England.
18.06.1918 Absorbed into the 11th Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusilier at Greatham, Durham.

8th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed as part of the Second New Army (K2) and then moved to Buttevant to join the 48th Brigade of the 16th Division.
June 1915 Moved to Ballyhooly near Fermoy.
Sept 1915 Moved to England and stationed at Blackdown.
Dec 1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1916
The Battle of Guillemont, The Battle of Ginchy.
1917
The Battle of Messines, The Battle of Langemark.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Rosieres.
24.10.1917 Amalgamated with the 9th Battalion to form the 8/9th Battalion.
10.02.1918 Disbanded in France and remaining personnel to the 1st & 2nd Battalions.

9th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed as part of the Second New Army (K2) and then moved to Buttevant to join the 48th Brigade of the 16th Division.
June 1915 Moved to Ballyhooly near Fermoy.
Sept 1915 Moved to England and stationed at Blackdown.
Dec 1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1916
The Battle of Guillemont, The Battle of Ginchy.
1917
The Battle of Messines, The Battle of Langemark.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Rosieres.
24.10.1917 Amalgamated with the 9th Battalion to form the 8/9th Battalion.

10th (Service) Battalion
End 1915 Formed at Dublin.
Aug 1916 Moved to England and stationed at Pirbright.
19.08.1916 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre joining the 190th Brigade of the 63rd Division and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
The Battle of the Ancre.
1917
The Operations on the Ancre, The Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Arleux, The Second Battle of Passchendaele, The action of Welsh Ridge, The Cambrai operations.
23.06.1917 Transferred to the 48th Brigade of the 16th Division;
1917
The Battle of Langemark.
24.10.1917 Absorbed the surplus personnel of the 8th and 9th Battalion.
15.02.1918 Disbanded in France.

11th (Reserve) Battalion
July 1916 Formed at Dublin.
Jan 1918 Moved to Aldershot and absorbed into the 3rd Battalion at Plymouth.
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Active From: 1663 - 1922

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