Royal Munster Fusiliers History (Continued
In the war in �South Africa, 1899-1902,� the 1st Battalion was one of
the Regiments sent out to reinforce the garrison at the Cape and served
throughout the whole war. The 2nd Battalion volunteered and served from
February 1900 to March 1902. During the War the Regiment lost 6 officers
and 75 rank and file killed or died of disease, and 4 officers and 79 rank
and file wounded. In addition to the honours conferred on officers, 18
non-commissioned officers and men gained the medal for distinguished
conduct in the Field, and 6 were specially promoted for gallantry.
As regards the history of all Battalions of the Regiment during the
European War of 1914 � 18: suffice it to record here that the 2nd
Battalion went to France on the 13th August 1914 in the 1st Brigade of the
Expeditionary Force - the �Old Contemptibles� - and a fortnight later
suffered almost total annihilation at Etreux, on 27th August, where 9
officers and 113 other ranks laid down their lives; after holding up the
advance of a whole German Army Corps for twelve hours. At the outbreak of
war the 1st Battalion was scattered from Rangoon to the Islands in the
Indian Ocean, and could not reach home with the other troops from India.
They however later formed part of the �Immortal 29th Division,� and took
part in the landing at Gallipoli, from the steamer �River Clyde� on the
disastrous Easter Sunday of 1915. Here they also met with annihilation,
many being drowned ere they could reach the shore, while those who did,
were shot down by a murderous fire from which there was no cover. The
losses were 4 officers killed and 13 wounded, and about 600 other ranks
killed and wounded. By A.O. 324 of 1914, issued on the 21st August, the
6th and 7th (Service) battalions were raised. These Battalions formed part
of the 10th (Irish) Division, which took part in the operations against
the Bulgarians, in the Balkan Theatre of War. These two Battalions were
later amalgamated into one - the 6th Battalion - which after serving in
Palestine, was transferred to France and absorbed into the 2nd Battalion.
On the 11th September 1914, A.O. 352 ordered the formation of the 8th and
9th (Service) Battalions. These Battalions went to France and added to the
laurels of the Regiment, but owing to the difficulty in getting recruits
from Ireland after the Easter Rebellion of 1916, they were disbanded and
absorbed into the 1st and 2nd Battalions. No attempt can be made to record
the numerous honors and distinctions earned by all ranks of the Regiment,
beyond the Victoria Crosses awarded to the following: - Corporal W.
Cosgrove, 1st Battalion, Gallipoli, 1915; Captain A.H. Batten-Pooll, 3rd
Battalion � France, 1916; and Co. Serjt, Major M. Doyle, 1st Battalion -
With the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, the Royal Munster
Fusiliers was disbanded on 31st July, having previously handed over the
Regimental Colours at Windsor Castle to King George V on 12 June 1922.
Such is the very briefest outline of the glorious history of a Regiment,
which, owing to an unfortunate coincidence of the �Geddes Axe� and the
political crisis, in Ireland by Army Order 78 published on 11th March
1922, has ceased to exist, save in the undying memories of all who served
in it and of their families.