This Irish infantry regiment was formed in 1881 by the amalgamation of the 87th (Prince of Wales’s Irish) Regiment of Foot and the 89th (The Princess Victoria’s) Regiment of Foot. These two regiments had been raised in 1793 in response to the Napoleonic crisis, and the 87th was distinguished by its involvement in the Battle of Barossa on 5 March 1811, in the course of which a single British division defeated two French divisions and captured a regimental eagle. The 89th Regiment served in the Crimean War (1854) and the Indian Mutiny of 1857. Following the amalgamation, the Royal Irish Fusiliers saw active service in Egypt and the Sudan and fought in the Second Boer War (1899-1902).
The Regiment retained its first title, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers) until 1920, when it was changed to Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria’s). The motto of the Regiment was ‘Faugh-a-Ballagh’ (Clear the Way) and its soldiers were often referred to as ‘the Faugh-a-Ballaghs’. Other nicknames included ‘The Fogs’ and ‘The Rollickers’. The garrison headquarters were situated in Armagh and the Regiment did much of its recruiting in Counties Armagh, Monaghan and Cavan. The regimental parade uniform prior to 1914 consisted of a scarlet tunic with dark blue facings, dark blue trousers, and a raccoon-skin cap decorated with a green plume and an Irish harp.
For more information on the Royal Irish Fusiliers contact the Museum of The Royal Irish Fusiliers.
Royal Irish Fusiliers | Meet the Fusiliers