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Royal Munster Fusiliers

Last updated: 30 June 2014

Cap badge of The Royal Munster Fusiliers, 1894-1922Cap badge of The Royal Munster Fusiliers, 1894-1922
NAM. 1970-12-236-10


The regiment was formed during the 1881 army reforms by merging two former East India Company fusilier regiments, the 101st Regiment of Foot and the 104th Regiment of Foot, each of which formed one of the new unit’s two regular battalions. The reforms also made it the local regiment for Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick, four of the counties in the province of Munster in south-west Ireland.

1st Battalion was in Canada at the time of the merger and sailed for Wales two years later, remaining in England and Ireland until sailing for South Africa in 1899. 2nd Battalion was in Ireland, moving on to Malta in 1882 then India in 1884. It remained there until 1901, barring two years in Burma from 1886 onwards.

1st Battalion spent the whole Boer War in South Africa and then began a 12-year term in India and Burma in 1902. 2nd Battalion was only moved to Natal in December 1901, Ireland in 1902 and England in 1909.

1st Battalion sailed from Burma to Calcutta on the outbreak of war, then marched to Bombay, arriving in England in January 1915. It then sailed again for Gallipoli two months later and landed at Cape Helles on 25 April, suffering such heavy casualties in the fighting that followed that it had to be merged with 1st Battalion, The Royal Dublin Fusiliers, to form a composite unit known as the ‘Dubsters’. It was finally evacuated to Egypt in January 1916 and reconstituted before being moved to the Western Front, remaining there until the end of the war.

The unveiling of a memorial to The Royal Munster Fusiliers’ losses in Burma and South Africa at Killarney, County Kerry, 26 September 1906. The officers are wearing bearskins, a special privilege of fusilier regimentsThe unveiling of a memorial to The Royal Munster Fusiliers’ losses in Burma and South Africa at Killarney, County Kerry, 26 September 1906. The officers are wearing bearskins, a special privilege of fusilier regiments.
NAM. 1996-09-66-2-82

2nd Battalion landed in France 10 days after the declaration of war and stayed on the Western Front throughout the conflict. It suffered heavy casualties at Etreux in September 1914, where all its officers were killed or wounded and its chaplain, Father Gleeson, had to take over command of the battalion. It was badly mauled again during the German Spring Offensive in April 1918, leaving it with so few troops that it had to be absorbed by 1st Battalion for about a month.

Irish regiments were not required to raise Territorial Force battalions, though the regiment did raise nine reserve, service, garrison and home service battalions during the conflict, serving in Britain, Ireland, France, Salonika and Palestine. Both regular battalions moved in 1919, 1st Battalion to occupation duties in Germany and 2nd Battalion to Egypt.

All four of the regiment’s recruiting counties were in southern Ireland so, when the Irish Free State declared independence in 1922, the regiment was disbanded.

Key facts

Titles to date:

  • The Royal Munster Fusiliers
 The Royal Munster Fusiliers
101st Regiment of Foot
(Royal Bengal Fusiliers)

  104th Regiment of Foot
(Bengal Fusiliers)


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Regimental Museum

National Army Museum Collection


Wm and Mary Clogston
13 March 2013, 8.50pm

Thank you for preserving an

Thank you for preserving an unknown and very vital piece of history.
All the Irishmen who fought in the wars should be recognized. In fact they are all British (Celtic) as they all came from the British Isles and they are indeed the early Britons. So few people know this history and it is indeed a complete contradiction to Hollywood's horrible movie "Ryan's Daughter" which someone brought to our attention recently saying how badly this poor "English" soldier had been treated in Ireland. Funny how Hollywood can distort history.

One of our families have been in the US since 1719 while the other has parent's from Munster and relatives who did serve in your regiment. We saw the beautiful monument in Killarney and another one in Dublin. Hollywood always has an agenda and people deserve to know their true history. I can tell you our friend who told us about "Ryan's Daughter" was completely shocked. Thank you so much for preserving and sharing. This history has to be brought forward. So happy to see you on facebook. The internet is correcting so much of the false history that was passed on.

Tina Dunning
8 September 2013, 10.32am

My great grandfather James

My great grandfather James Armes service number 2305 served first with 104th foot Bengal Fusiliers from November 1862 and then the Royal Munster Fusiliers where he attained the rank of Sergeant. My dad was born in Malta and we did not know how his family got to Malta. However we now know after reading the information above. James was discharged from the army in 1884 when the Royal Munsters were in Malta. Thank you.

Margaret Mann nee Cooper
3 March 2014, 4.24pm

I am interested in the

I am interested in the regiment because I believe my father Private Robert Cooper served with them in WW1 or was transfered to the reserve. He was mobilized on 29th June 1918 I have a certificate of demobilization with a number 21329 saying he was transferred to the reserve with the Royal Munster from the Durham Light Infantry but there is no record of him on the forces record. He enlisted on 11th November 1916 shortly before his 18th birthday. He served in Italy.

Patrick Latham
27 April 2014, 4.01pm

My mother's cousin by

My mother's cousin by marriage, Corporal Isaac Logue from Doochary, Co.Donegal, Ireland served with the Royal Munster Fusiliers during the First World War. He landed in Gallipoli on April,25th.1915 and like many of his fellow soldiers died on the beach at Cape Helles Bay that fateful day.

john duggan
3 June 2014, 9.28pm

My great grandfather John

My great grandfather John Slattery joined the RMF at the age of 14 years 8 months. He was born in Ennis Militia Barracks Co Clare. He was a Drummer. He joined 26/3/1897 to 22/3/1909. He was also presented a silver bugle on behalf of Queen Victoria which I believe is on display in London some where.

Lucy Logue
6 June 2014, 9.30am

I also have a family

I also have a family connection to Corp Isaac Logue from Doochary - our records show he died on 7th August 1915

Tom Cambridge
6 October 2014, 3.03pm

My Great Grand Father John

My Great Grand Father John Cambridge served in the Royal Munster Fusiliers in the second Boer War. I have managed through family connections to retrieve a fabulous colour photograph of him leaving for South Africa from Dover, England. I intend to carry out some further research in the future.

Helen Broderick
21 October 2014, 6.23pm

My Grandfather Peter

My Grandfather Peter Broderick (a Dublin man) served in the British Army in WWI and was in Palestine which makes me think he might have been with 6th Batt. RMF. After the war he returned to Dublin and died in an fall from a tree he was helping someone trim. His loss ruined the family and my mother and her sisters were put in an orphanage. My mother Kay Broderick joined the ATS at the end of WWII (got pregnant) was discharged and later worked as a governess to the Singer "Sewing" Family in Switzerland. I was adopted, so my mother could marry "without baggage":. I was chosen Miss Ireland for 1966 and represented Ireland in the Miss World Contest. I live in America now and often wonder about my grandfather.

12 February 2015, 2.26pm

My Grandfather 615 Pte Joseph

My Grandfather 615 Pte Joseph Browne, 2Bn RMF was killed in action on 4th Oct 1918. Tracing his life prior to this has been very hard. It is believed he was born in Tunbridge Wells, England married my Grandmother Christina Jane (O') Connor 17 April 1911 at St James Church in Dublin. How and Why he got to Dublin, where and why did he join the Royal Munsters remain a mystery.

Francis Vincent Dunne
20 February 2015, 8.24pm

My grandfather James Joseph

My grandfather James Joseph Dunne joined the Royal Munster Fusilliers in 1895 in Fermoy, County Cork. He was born in Dublin, about 1876. He served in The Boer War 1899-1902.then transferred to the reserve then rejoined The Royal Munsters transferring to The Loyal North Lancashire Regt in 1904 as the regimental tailor in Preston Lancashire retiring on pension 1919.

Keith Donovan
5 March 2015, 12.26am

My Great Grandfather Denis

My Great Grandfather Denis Donovan 7674, from Cork, served with the Royal Munster Fusiliers 2nd Reg in WWI. He was discharged due to injuries in 1916, and died in 1974 aged 87.

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