During the Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902, the second predecessor of The South African Irish Regiment was formed. Emigration is not only effecting the current skill pool in the country, but … However, a greater mark of appreciation of the bravery of Irish troops in South Africa was accorded when, a short while later, the Queen also deemed it appropriate that an Irish regiment of Foot Guards be formed, to be designated the 'Irish Guards'. Irish commando members fought in the battles of Spion Kop and Vaal Krantz, as well as in the final battle of Tugela Heights when Buller’s army, with its 5th (Irish) Brigade, broke through and relieved Antrim-born General Sir George White in Ladysmith. As the months progressed, disunity spread in Irish ranks. Elements of the Irish Guards were to participate in the latter phases of the Anglo-Boer War, as components of a composite Guards Mounted Infantry unit. South African Irish Officers in Pretoria 1914. Back in Ireland, of course, it had always been ‘MacBride’s Brigade’ in any case. Both the Cape Colony and the Colony of Natal had Irish prime ministers. The dress for the South African Irish in 1914-15 shared the common features of the uniform of South African military forces, and as with many other units on active service, the slouch hat or sun helmet was worn. According to Military Archives, the date of the formation of the unit is 1 December 1914. Those echoes may be defined in terms of tenacity and daring, which nobody could deny to the South African Irish. The Irish fought at the battles of Diamond Hill on 12 June and Dalmanutha on 27 August, but most of the time they harassed the British advance, most notably when they held the town of Belfast for several hours under heavy fire. ‘Foxy Jack’ MacBride from Mayo declined the command so instead, the Irish lads turned to a colourful American called John Blake. Irishmen in the Service of the Boer Republics. Perhaps because of this they were initially assigned to accompany and guard one of the great French Creusot fortress guns, or ‘Long Toms’, of Commandant Trichardt’s Transvaal State Artillery. . This was not helped by the Boer army’s democratic structure and cavalier attitude to military discipline. Towards the end of the War Lynch's section was in action in the Barberton and neighbouring regions. When the British army was mopping up after the insurrection, they found rifles with Boer carvings on their butts. Lt.Col. In this form it returned to North Africa as a component of 6 South African Armoured Division, later serving in Italy. It is as well they did not fight alongside each other. Maj Twomey became a double Company Commander with 9 Battalion. On 1 January 1960, the Regiment reverted to its original infantry role and regained its old title, 'The South African Irish Regiment.' Finding an Irish Ancestor Using South African Records, Irish Settlement and Identity in South Africa before 1910, the South African National Museum of Military History, Sir John Francis Cook, Irish Cape Governor. The 27th Regiment of Foot discussed earlier, reappears during the Basuto War of the mid-1880s, together with the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons. The original motto of the Regiment in 1914 was that of the Royal Irish Rifles (later the Royal Ulster Rifles), 'QUIS SEPARABIT?') Traditions and Curios of the South African Irish Regiment, Upon the re-formation of the Regiment in 1939, a Pipe Band was raised, under Pipe Major Foster, remaining with the Regiment until 1949, after which it became the South African Irish Regimental Association Pipe Band. Indeed, they provided its first Magistrate, Capt Durnford, and many years afterwards supplied the Governor, Col MacLean. Thus, the usual designation was simply 'South African Irish'. Elsewhere in the city other former Irish Transvaal brigaders also fought the English again. One will search Ireland in vain to find a counterpart: a memorial to those Irish soldiers who died fighting in the two Irish commandos in the Boer army. Firstly, one has its recurring characteristic of disbandment and re-establishment; its disappearance following the close of World War 1, and reformation in 1939. 18 not-so-obvious costs that you may want to consider before deciding on emigration. Indeed, until their amalgamation in the 1960s (with other regiments of the North Irish Brigade, the Royal Irish Rangers), they were still commonly referred to as the 'Faughs'. Presentation photograph to Mrs Louis Botha, Honorary Colonel of the Regiment. This tradition of mercenary service in foreign armies, conjoined with opposition to Britain, reappeared in the Anglo-Boer War in the form of the Irish Brigade, which served with the forces of the Boer Republics. The passenger lists in BT27 include long-haul voyages to destinations outside Britain and Europe. In this form, it was involved in controlling the disturbances of 1960-1961 in South Africa. They were Maj George Twomey, Capt J. Jeoffreys, and a Capt MacDonald. Nevertheless, authority was granted for the formation of an artillery unit, to be designated 22 Field Regiment (South African Irish) South African Artillery. A third of the Cape's governors were Irish, as were many of the judges and politicians. At the top of Dublin’s Grafton Street, at the corner of Stephen’s Green, stands a handsome triumphal arch—still referred to by some locals as ‘traitors’ gate’—which commemorates the ‘officers, non-commissioned officers and men’ of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who fell in the second Anglo-Boer war (1899-1902). Maj Twomey naturally attracted to the South African Irish many prominent sportsmen from Johannesburg and elsewhere. The records in between these years are also incomplete, due to conflicts of who was Irish, English and Scottish in South American demographics. While most Norwegian emigrants moved to America, some people also moved to South Africa, Madagascar, Angola, and Mozambique.The number of Norwegians in the whole of Africa in 1920 was 998. Nineteenth century South Africa did not attract mass Irish immigration, but Irish communities are to be found in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Kimberley, and Johannesburg, with smaller communities in Pretoria, Barberton, Durban and East London. However, it is a mistake to think of these records as covering just British emigrants. Irish Immigrants to South Africa has been a neglected sector of the South Africa population and for many years I have had an immense interest in Irish Immigration to South Africa. But lucky as ever, and much to the regret of many of MacBride’s men, Lynch escaped the hangman’s noose and was eventually pardoned. The roll of Irish regiments who participated in the South African War is almost a complete embodiment of the Irish contribution to the British military establishment. It is a strange omission since at the time ‘pro-Boer fever’ engulfed nationalist Ireland. Regrettably, there is very little information available concerning the Cape Town Irish Rifles specifically, but it is hoped that further research will produce additional information. Well grown, well set up, and 1 300 strong, the regiment excited universal admiration and, its regimental records add, it was perhaps the finest body of men that ever came to this country. 28 Standard and Diggers’ News, 28 Sept. 1899. Steve Morse. In all, some 300 men joined the Irish brigade, including a Catholic chaplain, some Gaelic speakers and about forty Protestants. The regiment also participated in the capture of Mega (18 February 1941). At the end of August, a number of members of the unit were granted leave to South Africa, their places being filled by reinforcements from other units; e.g., 2 Witwatersrand Rifles. There were those with horses under Major MacBride and Captain McCallum and there were the ‘foot sloggers’ under Captain O’Connor and Lieutenant Ryan. This precedence, however, may be elevated if a claim to an earlier date of establishment is officially recognized. Then Maud Gonne had involved herself in intrigues with the Boer representative in Europe, unaware that he was already in cahoots with the IRB. ." Issued at first with single-shot Martini rifles, soon most of the Irish commando had acquired captured Lee Enfield and Lee Metford rifles. Later the Scouts formed part of 8 Division and were part of the force concentrated to oppose the incursions into the Cape Colony by the forces of Gen Smuts. Nineteenth-century South Africa did not attract mass Irish migration, but Irish communities were to be found in Cape town, port Elizabeth, Kimberley, and Johannesburg, with smaller communities in Pretoria, Barberton, Durban and East London. Just after this, Lynch and MacBride came upon each other—both covered in dust, exhausted and battle weary. An overview of US immigration records that may help you find your Irish immigrants in America. Somerset, MC, and, together with 2 Botha Regiment and 3 Transvaal Scottish, formed 5 South African Infantry Brigade. The Freedom of the City has been conferred upon the South African Irish Regiment by both the Johannesburg and Barberton Municipalities, in the former case cementing the long and close ties between the city and the Regiment. In July the Brigade moved to Barberton for further training and, after being fully motorized, proceeded via Durban to Kilindini on the Llanstephan Castle. When the rising finally came, though, MacBride stumbled on it by accident—but was soon once again number two in a fighting unit. The South African Irish then returned with other units of 5 Brigade to Kenya and, embarking at Mombasa on 18 April, reached Suez on 1 May 1941. Family emigrated to S.A - Port Elizabeth about 1849 onboard the ship "ORIENT" or "ORIENTAL" from Plymouth, England to Port Elizabeth, South Africa It does not contain Australian links, but its special search form is worth using for research. In April 1940 the regiment, under Lt Col J.A. The Irish commando was in the van of the Boer army when the town of Newcastle was occupied and looted. In common with the other foreign corps serving with the Boers, the Irish Brigade adopted Boer tactics. Unlike MacBride and his men, Lynch had taken out Transvaal citizenship only after the war had broken out, thus laying himself open to this treason charge. In one particular action at Wepener, in which Driscoll's Scouts assisted the Cape Mounted Riflemen, the Scouts had an adventurous and hazardous ride across open ground from their bivouac, being exposed to the concentrated fire of two Maxim machine guns, a pom-pom, small arms fire and, at the end, to a barrage of shells from a field gun, during their entire four kilometre ride. Between the accession of Queen Elizabeth II(1952) and the institution of the Republic, the St Edward's Crown was worn by Majors and Warrant Officers on the shoulder straps and sleeves. Colonel Blake became more distant from the unit and Major MacBride, his number two, increasingly became the de facto leader. Between 1902 and 1905, there were about 5,000 Irish immigrants. They either loved fighting, hated the British, or had high hopes of future rewards from their employers (and frequently all these motives were present at once). If you have an ancestor who emigrated to another country youcould look for immigration records in the country of their arrival.These are usually held by the national archives or equivalentorganisation in that country. Hence, the unit was in action three months after it was raised. Servants and gentlewomen to the golden land : the emigration of single women from Britain to Southern Africa, 1820-1939. Ellis Island Passenger Lists. Links to Web pages of Interest. Eventually totalling a strength of just under 500 men of all ranks, it first served with the Colonial Division and was present at the siege of Wepener and operations around Lindley and Fouriesburg. The retreat across the eastern Transvaal highveld had begun. This, done with their daredevil tactics, made the Irish very valuable to the Boers. Whereas many Irishmen served in units composed of their countrymen which were to found distinguished records in the annals of the British Army, others remained bitter opponents of the Protestant monarchy. A third of the Cape's governors were Irish, as were many of the judges and politicians. Incoming passenger lists (1878-1960) Search and download lists of passengers arriving in the UK on ships that departed from ports outside Europe and the Mediterranean, though lists include passengers who joined ships at European and Mediterranean ports en route to the UK, between 1878 and 1960 (BT 26) on the Ancestry.co.uk (£) website.. 9 Battalion campaigned in East Africa, where it earned the Honours 'Kilimanjaro' and 'East Africa 1916-17'. The helmet plate of the regiment is a magnificent specimen and closely resembles that of the Connaught Rangers who were contemporary. What emigration means for South Africa: A skills brain drain Financial Emigration Manager Jonty Leon recently discussed the sharp spike in the number of South Africans looking to relocate abroad . This page was last edited on 9 March 2017, at 17:10. South Africa, Free State Dutch Reformed Church Records, 1848-1956. The regimental mascot was, predictably, an Irish terrier. In 1843 two companies of the 45th and one of the 27th Regiment of Foot pitched camp on Maritzburg Hill, naming the hill Fort Napier after Sir George Napier, the Governor of the Cape. Nineteenth century South Africa did not attract mass Irish immigration, but Irish communities are to be found in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Kimberley, and Johannesburg, with smaller communities in Pretoria, Barberton, Durban and East London. Excluding the Irish administrators who could be found in any part of the British Empire, there were several professions and trades in South Africa which attracted the Irish. Please enable JavaScript in your browser's settings to use this part of Geni. Driscoll, DSO, commander of Driscoll's Scouts during the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902. The Colour was hung in the old St Mary's Cathedral, Johannesburg, but was, most regrettably, lost when the Cathedral moved from what is now Darragh House to its present site; and, despite the most intensive inquiries, cannot now be traced. Back in the eastern Transvaal, the Irish brigaders were suffering. So, too, did the 1903 Paris wedding of MacBride and Maud Gonne, who were married under the brigade’s flag by the brigade’s chaplain. Also by then, reports of Michael Davitt’s much-publicised visit to the Boer front lines had appeared in the Freeman’s Journal. But not all the Irish brigaders had left. Driscoll's Scouts also took part in the final operations directed against Gen de la Rey in the Western Transvaal. ('Who will separate us?'). HONORARY COLONELS, COMMANDING OFFICERS AND REGIMENTAL SERGEANT MAJORS Honorary Colonels. In Dublin, 1899 was a dry run for 1916. This page has been viewed 5,234 times (0 via redirect). Records were not required for free emigrants to the United States until 1776; Canada before 1865; or Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa … Cullinan was the Transport Officer in East Africa and later the Honorary Colonel of the Regiment. They were also issued with horses and had to spend several painful days on the highveld learning to ride. Twomey, SM, JCD, commanded the unit for many years and later became its Honorary Colonel. There were the retailers, their profession dominated by Ulster Protestant-owned chain stores such as John Orr , William Cuthbert and R. H. Henderson - well-known names even today. ‘To get my guns, the English will have to kill my Irish troops’, proclaimed Trichardt. It is of interest to note that the appellation 'Sportsmen's Battalion' was largely due to the influence of Maj Twomey, who was extremely active in South African sport and prominent in the South African Amateur Boxing Association, the South African Athletics Association, and the South African Olympic Games Association. Immigration records in South Africa are not as difficult to find as one would think. However, despite this constantly changing complexion (which now, one assumes, has ended, with the firm establishment of the Regiment as an infantry unit in 1960) the echoes of the Irish tradition in South African military history remain a consistent feature of the Regiment's history. While many Irish settled in the city, a large proportion subsequently re-emigrated to North America. Search each of the Websites and sources listed under the state(s) where your ancester lived. WELKOM CUZZINS! On 6 October 1899, the Irish Transvaal Brigade mobilised and boarded trains for the Transvaal-Natal frontier. The Force landed at Walvis Bay on the morning of 25 December 1914 and was immediately in action. But MacBride had enemies and when news reached camp that a second and rival Irish Transvaal Brigade was being formed in Johannesburg by a newly arrived Irish-Australian called Arthur Lynch, some members of the original Irish commando went over to the new unit. Though there were seven American doctors among them, the rest of the men under Captain O’Connor flagrantly used their Red Cross accreditation to get out of America to Africa to fight for the Boers. The South African Irish, with its sister units, the 2 Botha and 3 Transvaal Scottish, together with the Transvaal Horse Artillery, was enmeshed in the defeat at Sidi Rezegh on 23 November 1941, when the German panzers overwhelmed 5 Brigade and 'plunged straight into Egypt.' After the capture of Mega in 1941. A service provided by, https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/index.php?title=Finding_an_Irish_Ancestor_Using_South_African_Records&oldid=2779854, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Their action helped to stabilize the British position(6). MacBride and Blake took their unit to Johannesburg, where they were joined by fifty-eight members of an Irish-American ‘ambulance corps’ from Chicago and New York. '(3), At a later point in South African history, the 27th Regiment of Foot (later 1 Bn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers) was involved in the campaign on the Eastern Cape frontier in 1835. This is a brand new project of immigrants arriving in South Australia, mostly under United Kingdom assisted passage schemes, 1847-1886. With the close of the SWA Campaign Active Citizen Force regiments were not permitted to proceed, as such, to other theatres of war. The Irish Road to South America Nineteenth-Century Travel Patterns from Ireland to the River Plate. Though part of middle-class society in the colonies, they retained their attachment to Ireland There were the Irish Catholic priests, led initially by the Wexford-born Bishop Griffith, and especially strong in Eastern Cape. The New Australian Convict Records are online! Among the casualties resulting from this action was the Second-in-Command, Maj Ward Clare. As 11 Battery, 4 Field Regiment, South African Artillery, the Irish were once again in action at El Alamein, and fired their first shot in the engagement on 24 September 1942, at 22h00. Here MacBride had his horse shot from under him, but the major survived. Twomey, son of Major George Twomey commanded the Regiment between 1956 and 1965 and became Honorary Colonel in 1977. An Irish Regiment leaving Johannesburg Aug/Sept 1914, Irish Regiments in the British Army Serving in South Africa, All the regular units of Irish origin in the British Army have served for a period of time in South Africa. With testimonials from State Secretary Reitz and General Botha in his pocket, Major MacBride said farewell to his horse, Fenian Boy, and, with what was left of his brigade, boarded a train which clattered across the great iron bridge over the Komati River and into Portuguese territory. By 1896 there were about 1,000 Irish living in the mining settlement of Johannesburg as well as others in Pretoria and in more far-flung dorps, such as Middelburg where Griffith edited the precursor to the United Irishman. South Africa had not witnessed mass Irish immigration, nonetheless, in the mid-1890s, Dublin Castle officials noticed that numbers of advanced Irish nationalists were making for the unsettled South African, or Transvaal, Republic. The Section under Col Lynch was also involved in the fighting around Ladysmith and was particularly acclaimed following its stand near Dundee in the general Boer withdrawal. Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree. And he was correct. These Irishmen were to be found in at least six other Boer commandos. This was motivated by the losses suffered by Irish units within the British Army during the early battles of the War. One of the reasons for the prominence of the Irish was the fact that, while a few in numbers, they tended to be concentrated in specific occupations. Outgoing passenger lists (1890-1960) Emigration also increased during gold rushes in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States. In 1901 Lynch had got himself elected to an Irish seat in parliament, something MacBride had not achieved; but returning from Paris to England, he had been arrested, tried and convicted of high treason. At the battle of Talana Hill on 20 October 1899 the Irish commando played a small part and it was here they first came up against Irish regiments. A large contingent of Irish troops fought in the Anglo-Boer War on both sides and a few of them stayed in South Africa after the war. Liverpool could not cope with the vast influx of Irish immigrants; in June 1847, under the new Poor Law Removal Act, about 15,000 Irish were deported back to Ireland. When it became clear that the South African Republic would go to war with Britain, clandestine Irish meetings were held in John Mitchell’s clothes cleaning shop in Johannesburg and by September 1899, with the help of a South African-Irishman named Solomon Gillingham, a proposal for a 700-strong Irish Transvaal Brigade was accepted by the Boer government. Author: Cecillie Swaisland Publisher: Pietermartizburg, South Africa : University of Natal Press, ©1993. Blake and some of the lads remained and for the next eighteen months, these Irish ‘bitter-enders’ harassed the British army along the line of the Pretoria-Delagoa railway line through the Transvaal, on one occasion, 7 January 1901, defeating a unit of the Royal Irish Regiment at Monument Hill. IRISH'. Others returned home but later came out to settle in South Africa with their families. Search Naturalization records here. Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree. This date, however, is disputed and it would appear that the claim to have been established on 9 September 1914 is recognized as valid. When South Africa became a republic in 1961, surviving Orangemen in the country burnt most of the Orange records. After concentrating at Gilgil in Kenya, the South African Irish took part in the invasion of Southern Abyssinia (1 February 1941) and distinguished itself at El Gumu, Hobok, and Banno early in February 1941. This collection includes reformed church records from South Africa. The unit was designated as the First South African Irish but, in fact, a Second Battalion was never formed, for men intended for this Second Battalion were drafted to the First. What was it like? Soon Colonel Blake had to vacate his comfortable surroundings in Pretoria’s Grand Hotel. 6 Coy South African Irish in Pretoria 1914. It is a matter of some pride to the Regiment that Maj Twomey's son, Cmdt C.A. Before long Blake had left the Irish commando altogether to fight elsewhere and for the last two months of its existence, MacBride was in sole command. Corps were sometimes accused of crossing it covering just British emigrants towards end., South Africa are not as difficult to find as one would.., new Zealand, South Africa on Pepworth Hill but also indulged in some fairly foolhardy horse-rustling activities irish emigration records to south africa morning! 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