After some time at Amirya, the unit proceeded to Mersa Matruh on 23 May and remained in the vicinity until October. But still, they fought on, now under the overall command of General Viljoen. A soldier of the 45th has supplied some interesting reminiscences of this time and mentions that the Grenadier Company of the 27th was 'the finest in the army, the tallest man being 'Long Hines' who stood 6 feet 8 inches, whilst the shortest was 6 foot.'. The original motto of the Regiment in 1914 was that of the Royal Irish Rifles (later the Royal Ulster Rifles), 'QUIS SEPARABIT?') For reasons unclear, Griffith returned to Dublin in October 1898, but there were more new arrivals in the Transvaal from Ireland by the day. (1) The 86th Regiment of Foot (later 2 Bn Royal Irish Rifles, to be reconstituted as the Royal Ulster Rifles, who were to be affiliated to the South African Irish Regiment after World War 2) arrived at the Cape on 22 September 1795, one week after the Dutch surrender. Nineteenth-century South Africa did not attract mass Irish migration, but Irish communities were to be found in Cape town, port Elizabeth, Kimberley, and Johannesburg, with smaller communities in Pretoria, Barberton, Durban and East London. But MacBride had enemies and when news reached camp that a second and rival Irish Transvaal Brigade was being formed in Johannesburg by a newly arrived Irish-Australian called Arthur Lynch, some members of the original Irish commando went over to the new unit. Just after this, Lynch and MacBride came upon each other—both covered in dust, exhausted and battle weary. ‘To get my guns, the English will have to kill my Irish troops’, proclaimed Trichardt. South Africa That Christmas Day 1899, under the flag sent out by Maud Gonne and the Dublin-based Irish Transvaal Committee, the Irish held a horse race behind Pepworth Hill and then a banquet was laid on for Commandant General Joubert and many Boer officers and their wives. By resisting the British advance for over an hour it gained valuable time for the remainder of the force engaged. Online records. Volumes Description Period. Some of the brigade’s members also fought opposite the Dublin Fusiliers at the battle of Colenso on 15 December. HQ, Support Company and 'A' Company were recruited in Central Johannesburg, 'B' Company on the East Rand and 'C' Company on the West Rand. But not all the Irish brigaders had left. Maj Twomey became a double Company Commander with 9 Battalion. Those echoes may be defined in terms of tenacity and daring, which nobody could deny to the South African Irish. They may have arrived as a fare-paying passenger, as an 'assisted' migrant, a member of a ship's crew, in military or naval service, or as a convict. In this form it returned to North Africa as a component of 6 South African Armoured Division, later serving in Italy. Nevertheless, authority was granted for the formation of an artillery unit, to be designated 22 Field Regiment (South African Irish) South African Artillery. The publication of Blake’s war memoir, Davitt’s The Boer Fight for Freedom, and later of a series of thirteen articles by MacBride in the Freeman’s Journal kept this memory alive. They were Maj George Twomey, Capt J. Jeoffreys, and a Capt MacDonald. He was rewarded by promotion and received a testimonial expressing 'appreciation of his indomitable bravery in maintaining his post at Port Natal. In recognition of its services during World War 2 the Battalion received the following battle honours: These honours were not awarded immediately upon publication of the official order, as was the case with other infantry battalions, because, at the time of publication, the unit was an artillery regiment and, as such, did not carry any Honours. The retreat across the eastern Transvaal highveld had begun. 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