The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers was an Irish line infantry regiment of the British Army in existence from 1881 until 1968. The regiment was formed in 1881 by the amalgamation of the 27th Regiment of Foot, on 1 July 1881 the 27th Regiment of Foot and the 108th Regiment of Foot were redesignated as the 1st and 2nd Battalions, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers respectively. In 1903 the Regiment was granted a grey hackle for their fusilier raccoon skin hats to commemorate the original uniforms of the Inniskilling Regiment. The regimental district comprised the City of Londonderry and the counties of Donegal, Londonderry, Tyrone and Fermanagh in Ireland, the local militia regiments also became part of the new regiment, becoming the 3rd to 5th Battalions. Militarily, the whole of Ireland was administered as a command within the United Kingdom with Command Headquarters at Parkgate Dublin. Under the Childers system, one battalion of each regiment was to be at a home station. Every few years, there was to be an exchange of battalions, the 1st Battalion landed at Durban, where they became part of the 5th Brigade. The battalion was involved in a series of military reverses at the hands of the Boers that became known as the Black Week, the unit subsequently took part in the Tugela Campaign before helping relieve Ladysmith in early 1900. The regiment lent its name to Inniskilling Hill, which was taken by the 5th brigade on 24/25 February 1900, the 2nd Battalion only arrived in South Africa from India in the late stages of the war and saw little action. The 7th Battalion and 8th Battalion landed in France as part of the 49th Brigade in the 16th Division in February 1916 for service on the Western Front. The 9th Battalion, the 10th Battalion and the 11th Battalion landed in France as part of the 109th Brigade in the 36th Division in October 1915 for service on the Western Front. The 12th Battalion fought against Irish rebels who were fighting to end British rule in Ireland, two of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers were killed and seven more wounded. After the war, the Childers system was resumed, with the 1st Battalion moving to India for foreign service, with the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922 all the Irish line infantry regiments of the British army regiments were to be disbanded. These were the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, the old 89th Foot, and the 2nd Battalion, Inniskillings, the Inniskillings moved from India to Iraq in 1922, returning to Shorncliffe, England in 1925. They were stationed in Northern Ireland from 1927 to 1933, before moving to Aldershot and they resumed foreign service in 1934, moving to Shanghai and then Singapore two years later. In 1937 there was an expansion of the army, and the 2nd Battalion was re-raised at Omagh, the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers was also reformed, and the arrangement of 1922 ended. The 1st Inniskillings moved to Wellington, Madras in 1938, the two battalions were in these locations when the Second World War broke out in 1939. In addition to the 1st and 2nd Battalions, both part of the Regular Army, the regiment raised three battalions to fight in the Second World War
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers Cap Badge
Soldiers of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers at the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917
Portrait of Captain Wood of Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers painted by Sir William Orpen in 1919
Men of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in France, September 1939.