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Cloth Insignia of the I.D.F. (Part 18)

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by J. McDonnell

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Cloth Insignia of the I.D.F. (Part 19)

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by J. McDonnell

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Cloth Insignia of the Irish Defence Forces - U.N. Titles

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by J. McDonnell

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Cloth Insignia of the I.D.F. (Part 20)

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by J. McDonnell

UNITED NATIONS SERVICE

Two years after joining the United Nations in 1956, Ireland participated in their first U.N. mission (UNOGIL) in the Lebanon, which later transferred to UNTSO. This was followed by a larger scale involvement in the Congo (ONUC), with the first of many Irish UN Battalions formed the 32nd Infantry Battalion. As well as Battalions some Infantry Groups also served in the Congo and in Cyprus, but this was short lived and most of the overseas units were full Battalions. Apart from large units, Irish troops also served in the Lebanon at UN HQ in the form of Components, as Military Police Companies and as Transport Companies, and on various missions across the world. 

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Cloth Insignia of the I.D.F. (Part 17)

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Michael Kavanagh, R.I.P.

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The co-founder of our Society, Michael Kavanagh, has died at the early age of forty-eight. Mick died peacefully on Sunday, 17th May after a long illness, bravely borne.

Mick founded our Society in 1986 and earned himself No. 1 in the membership list. He was Society President from 1995 to 1997. 

He was the backbone of the Journal from the outset and right to the end he was busy producing articles for the journal. He was also the founder member of the Kavanagh Clan Gathering. 

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Royal Irish Regiment, New Zealand Medal 1860-66

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by Michael Kavanagh

Headquarters and eight companies of the 2nd Bn. Royal Irish Regiment embarked at Portsmouth with their C.O., Lieut. Col. A. A. Chapman, on April 2nd 1863. On April 12th th3 t-v-o Service Companies embarked with Major and Brevet Col. G.J. Carey in charge. The main body of the battalion reached Auckland on July 4th with the remainder arriving three weeks later.

Having disembarked the Royal Irish Regiment marched to Otamuhu, south of Auckland, where the troops commanded by Gen. Cameron were assembled. Five days later they were kitted for the forthcoming campaign and began the march through Drury to the Queen's redoubt, which guarded the crossing of the river Waikato at Te-ta Ford.

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Identification Parade - What is it No. 12

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Oval pierced medallion 40mm x 30mm with cross of Lorraine in centre. Medallion enamelled green with gold lettering G(rand) PRECEPTORY OF INSTRUCTION, two small red crosses and three shamrocks. Cross red enamel with white enamel Maltese Cross on upper limb. Reverse has maker’s name S.D. NEILL LTD, BELFAST. Almost certainly Orange or Black officials badge.

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Book Review: The Royal Irish Constabulary, An Oral History

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Written by John D. Brewer, Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast

This 138 page soft cover book might also be called “Policemen Talking” or “Old Men Remember” because it consists almost entirely of first hand reminiscences of 15 ex-RIC men who served in the force between 1917 and 1922 and who were interviewed exhaustively by the author during 1987/88. By the time these men joined, the RIC was of course embroiled in the “troubles,” as a result of which its role and character were dramatically changed. But there was sufficient of the old spirit and discipline still extant and enough of the old hands still in harness to convey to the youngsters many of the better aspects of what had once been perhaps the greatest police force in the world. The summary of the history of the RIC at the beginning of the book is masterly and the multitude of facts and comment make fascinating reading. For example, “The training centre in Phoenix Park was opened in 1839 and great emphasis was laid on drill, weapon handling, and military deportment and dress. The Park became famous for the quality of its recruits and its Spartan conditions. Until 1908 there were only three baths for 500 recruits and straw bedding was in use right up to the disbandment in 1922.”
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Badges of Belgian Troops in Ireland

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By E. Kenis

At the end of WW2 there were large numbers of Belgian troops stationed in Northern Ireland. The badges illustrated are relics of that period.

1.  Shoulder flash of Belgian Fusiliers Bn

2.  Bronze Commem plaque with shamrock and Ulster gate and legend ARMEE BELGE IRLANDE DU NORD. Le FETE NATIONAL BELGE APRES LA VICI OIRE.

3.  Bronze plaque with grenade superimposed on letter S and inscription 4e BRIGADE D’INFANTERIE 21 JUILLET 1945.
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Book Review: The Orders, Decorations and Medals of Sir Winston Churchill

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Douglas S. Russell. The International Churchill Society, P.O. Box 385, Hopkinton, NH 03229, USA. 19190

Winston Churchill was a man of many parts - soldier, historian, journalist, painter, bricklayer, aviator, politician, world statesman, Prime Minister and great war leader, to name but a few. When he died in 1965 at the age of ninety he had received every accolade his country and its allies had to offer. This unusual book sets out to record in detail the 37 orders, decorations and medals which he held and is a unique contribution to the history of this remarkable man. It may be, indeed, the first book devoted exclusively to one man’s medals and as such will have a special appeal to medal collectors.
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The Life Saving Awards Research Society

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There are those who would argue that a medal for saving human life is, in many ways, more important than a military medal for valour which, more often than not, was associated with killing. But the glamour of the military awards has consistently overshadowed those for lifesaving and even today some of the latter are under priced and under-estimated. The Life Saving Awards Research Society aims to rectify this state of affairs. Formed in 1987, its principle objective is to further research into worldwide humanitarian awards given for saving and perpetuating life, or endeavouring to do so.
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Pawnbrokers’ Marks on Medals

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by Ed Sullivan

I recently purchased an 1895 Indian General Service Medal to a Private P. Molloy, well polished with two bars, Punjab Frontier 1897-98 and Samana 1897. For a medal to the Royal Irish it was very reasonably priced, “pawnbroker’s mark to face” being the probable reason. The mark had been inscribed with a very fine stylus and appears to read ‘e/-’. Could this be the initials of the pawnbroker, or perhaps the amount for which the medal was pledged?
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A Golden Penny for an Irishman

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by George Callaghan

There are a number of societies whose object is preserving life from accident. Most, if not all, have instituted medals to reward persons who have risked their own life in attempting to save another’s. Some of these societies have been in existence for well over a century and the number of medals can be counted in thousands. The most famous, in the British context, are the Royal Humane Society and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

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Piper Findlater V.C.

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A Victoria Cross won by a piper on the North West Frontier in 1897 is expected to fetch up to £35,000 at Christies of London on April 30. Piper George Findlater of the Gordon Highlanders, although shot through both feet, continued to play the regimental march to encourage a charge to seize the 6,000 feet high Dargai Heights from Pathan tribesmen who had help up an advance by the British Army. Despite his war record, Piper Findlater had to appear on the music hall stage to earn a living before his plight was raised in the House of Commons. The Government then instituted the VC pension of £50 a year. After being awarded a pension, Findlater retired to a croft in Scotland but rejoined the army in 1914. He was wounded at Loos in 1915 and retired disabled from the army. He died in March 1942.

DAILY TELEGRAPH 8 April 1991
 

Identification Parade - What is it No. 10 and No. 11?

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Identification nos. 10 and 11
 

The Munster's Losses

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Timothy O'Hea VCDuring the Great War - a more appropriate name would have been the Great Slaughter - more than 8,000 men passed through the ranks of the 2nd Munsters and out of that number 4,261 men were classed as killed, wounded or missing.

(Des Ryan in the OLD LIMERICK JOURNAL, Autumn 1987)


See Journals 4, 6 and 7

 

Badges of the Irish Defence Forces

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by J. McDonnell

C.  POST EMERGENCY - FCA - 1953 - 1968

The Volunteer and part-time Local Defence Forces - (official name FORSAI COSANTA AITIUL - FCA) has been formed on the 1st January 1941 and were reorganised in 1946. Around 1953 various units began to adopt cloth shoulder titles.1 These were worn from 1953 up to 1959 or whenever stocks ran out. In 1959, the FCA were officially integrated into the Defence Forces and all the old designations of units changed. This period produced quite a lot of insignia - all had the same shape and size and were made by Burroughs and were embroidered onto a melton cloth. There was one exception, ‘B’ Company of the North County Dublin Battalion had their own flashes.
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Cloth Insignia of the I.D.F. (Part 4)

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Table 5: FCA shoulder titles

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Mayo Peace Park Garden of Remembrance

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by Ken Kingston

In the county town of Mayo, where Franco-Irish forces put the British garrison to flight (“The Races at Castlebar”) on August 27, 1798 and where Michael Davitt felt it necessary to found the Land League on August 16, 1879, the young men who had been written out of history because they fought in British uniforms in World War 1 were finally acknowledged and recorded on a roll of honour.

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Dublin Ambushes

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by Liam Dodd

Mr. A.G. Fry, District Inspector of the Royal Irish Constabulary, was awarded £1,600 compensation for injuries caused by being shot at London Bridge, Bath Avenue, Dublin on the 6th June 1920.

Lieutenant John G. Rowring of the Prince of Wales Regiment was awarded £450 in respect of injuries received at Redmond’s Hill, Dublin on the 19th March 1922 when he was wounded in the leg and groin.

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