March 27 – Roll of Honour

In March 1945 Winston Churchill visits UK forces near the Rhine with Field Marshal Montgomery, the latter standing in a jeep, talking to Scottish troops. There are 16 records in today’s Roll. The 1918 entries reflect the German Offensive including a former CSM of the Royal Irish Rifles who was commissioned into the Royal Naval Division comprised mainly of naval personnel deemed to be in access to manning needs in ships. They fought with distinction at Gallipoli and in most major battles in Europe. WW2 entries reflect the war in the East and the Pacific. A Killyleagh RAF man is remembered in Singapore and a RN aviator with Limavady links served on three carriers in the Pacific. Read More

March 26 – Roll of Honour

The Medium Mark A “Whippet” tank went into action for the first time against the German Spring Offensive on this day in 1918. Among those remembered today are George Henry MM from Cookstown who was the bodyguard of Sir John French when he was Commander-in-Chief in WW1, and five lost in HMS Jaguar in WW2. Three remarkable veterans complete today’s Roll. Photo – Whippet Firefly of F Battalion in The Museum of the Army in Brussels. Read More

March 25 – Roll of Honour

The 1918 entries in today’s Roll continue to reflect the cost of resisting the German Spring offensive – the Kaiserschlacht. Other WW1 entries include a Dungannon medic with Indian forces who died in Iraq. In WW2 an Old Portoran medic from Coleraine is lost at sea, and two men die closer to home in local military hospitals. Photo – Kaiserschlacht: German soldiers advancing through Etricourt in March 1918. This village had been a British rest area prior to that. Read More

March 24 – Operation Varsity Roll of Honour

The Battle Honour RHINE was awarded to The Royal Ulster Rifles for its actions during the Rhine crossing in Operation Plunder in which Operation Varsity was key, between 23 March and 1 April 1945. The distinction has been carried forward and is emblazoned on The Queen’s Colours of the 1st Battalion and the 2nd Battalion of The Royal Irish Regiment. Read More

March 24 – Roll of Honour

On this day in 1918, 94 men of the Royal Irish Rifles, 2nd Battalion, died in action when they fought to the last man at Cugny, south of St Quentin. See Notes below. Kaiserschlacht in Photos: By 27/03/1918 the Germans had taken Albert, which had once sat at the heart of the British line in 1916. This image was taken by a German soldier at that time. See also post this date for RUR Airborne role in Operation Varsity Read More

March 23 – Roll of Honour

24 records today. The morning of 23/03/1918 was again foggy and soon after dawn the enemy captured Ham and advanced on Brouchy, to the rear of the position held by the 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers. Kaiserschlacht in photos: the carnage of the battlefield. Dead horses and smashed British limbers and field guns on the Somme front in March 1918. Read More

March 22 – Roll of Honour

Kaiserschlacht in Photos: An abandoned British camp, and British MkIV Female tank, Somme front March 1918. The WW1 Roll includes men from Belfast, Ballymena, and Derry who were lost when their ship hit a mine and the continuing cost of resisting the 1918 German offensive when the first of two brothers died. A Coleraine Gunner’s Mediterranean meandering in WW2 is featured. Read More