Activity in the Museum over the past year has been largely confined mainly to sorting out the archive of documents and photographs relating to the 1st and 2nd Battalions.
Invaluable in this work has been Sarah Patterson from the Imperial War Museum and her husband, Mike.
A Committee Member, Sean Scully, has also very kindly come forward to put names to the faces to the mountain of photographs from the North Irish Militia years.
Alex Shooter bought at auction a 1st World War Military Medal, which was won by 2nd Battalion member in Palestine. He is at present trying to find out more about the recipient, prior to putting the medal on display. Unfortunately Alex was unable to negotiate the purchase of Colonel The Earl of Courtown's medals from the individual who pipped me at the post when I tried to buy them on ebay.
I receive an average of two enquiries a week for information about relatives who served/may have served or patently did not serve in the London Irish. These range from the 1890s to the 2nd World War. Until the archive is completely sorted, it is almost impossible to give people details of their relative's career. Even when it is sorted it will still be very difficult, bearing in mind that turnover in an Infantry Battalion, constantly in action for four years would be in excess of 100%.
I had a very interesting letter from the relatives of a Rifleman, Robert Shaw, who served with our 1st Bn in the First World War. He had been very badly gassed at the battle of Bourlon Wood, which took place on 4th December 1917. Due to heavy casualties and the effects of the gas, the London Irish were forced to withdraw. Rfn Shaw spent some time in hospital and was medically downgraded. Subsequently he was offered a commission in the Royal Engineers but was too sick to take this up. He was invalided from the army and died in 1920 and was buried in a pauper's grave. The family, having found the grave, contacted the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and asked if they would put up a headstone. This they have agreed to do after having carried out a survey. When we have a date for the ceremony the Band will be asked to produce a piper and bugler. Rfn Shaw will also be added to the war memorial at Connaught House.
I also attended a meeting of London District Museum and Heritage Group at the Horseguards. Most of the people there were from the big sponsored museums like the National Army Museum, Guards, and Royal Artillery Museum. However, there were two of the un-sponsored variety present, The Kensingtons and the Westminster Dragoons.
NW - Emerald 2009.