Original British Royal Irish Rifles Victorian Era Officer Dress Astrakhan Busby

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Original Item: Only One Available. This is a fantastic Victorian era officer's astrakhan busby of The Royal Irish Rifles. Features green wool top with embroidery, plaited cord loop and trim, corded boss bearing darkened bugle with Sphinx and Egypt, crowned harp and motto badge, leather and silk lining, leather chinstrap. The feather plume is regrettably missing.

The Royal Irish Rifles (became the Royal Ulster Rifles from 1 January 1921) was an infantry rifle regiment of the British Army, first created in 1881 by the amalgamation of the 83rd (County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot and the 86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot. The regiment saw service in the Second Boer War, the First World War, and the Second World War.

he regiment's history dates backs to the reign of King George III. In 1793 the British Army expanded to meet the commitments of the war with the French First Republic. As part of that expansion it raised two new regiments of foot, the 83rd and the 86th. In 1881, under the Childers Reforms, the 83rd and 86th were amalgamated into a single regiment, named the Royal Irish Rifles, one of eight infantry regiments raised and garrisoned in Ireland. It was the county regiment of Antrim, Down, Belfast and Louth, with its depot located at Victoria Barracks, Belfast. Militarily, the whole of Ireland was administered as a single command within the United Kingdom with Command Headquarters at Parkgate (Phoenix Park) Dublin, directly under the War Office in London.

The regiment suffered serious losses at the Battle of Stormberg in December 1899 during the Second Boer War. In October 1905, a memorial was erected in the grounds of Belfast City Hall in memory of the 132 who did not return. Field Marshal Lord Grenfell unveiled the memorial while the Times reported the event.

In 1908, the Volunteers and Militia were reorganized nationally, with the former becoming the Territorial Force and the latter the Special Reserve; the regiment now had three Reserve but no Territorial battalions.

The 1st Battalion landed at Le Havre as part of the 25th Brigade in the 8th Division in November 1914 for service on the Western Front.[12] It saw action at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in March 1915, the Battle of Fromelles in July 1915 and the Battle of Loos in September 1915 before taking part in the Battle of the Somme in September 1916.

The 2nd Battalion landed at Rouen as part of the 7th Brigade in the 3rd Division in August 1914 and in the remainder of that year saw action at the Battle of Mons, Battle of Le Cateau, First Battle of the Marne, First Battle of the Aisne, Battle of La Bassée and the Battle of Messines. By September 1914, only 6 officers and 200 men of the Battalion's original 1,100 men were still in active service.[15] By October the battalion had been further reduced to two officers and 46 men[16] and by the end of 1914, 97 per cent of the original battalion had been killed, injured or taken prisoner.
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