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Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment

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    Posted: 27 Oct 2010 at 19:49
Prince of Wales' Leinster Regiment
Active 1881–1922
Allegiance  UK
Nickname Royal Canadians
Patron Prince of Wales
Motto Ich Dien German for I serve

The Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians) was an infantry regiment of the line in the British Army, formed in 1881 by the amalgamation of the 100th (Prince of Wales's Royal Canadian) Regiment of Foot and the 109th Regiment of Foot (Bombay Infantry). The 100th Foot was first raised in 1763 and the 109th was first raised in 1761.

In March 1858, authority was granted to raise, in Canada, a regiment for imperial service to be known as the 100th Royal Canadian Regiment. The “New 100th” considered itself a reactivation of the “Old 100th”.

The Regiment served in the War of 1812–14 against the United States. The Regiment was in Quebec, Canada from 1866 to 1868 as part of the Montreal garrison. The regiment paraded with its headdress decorated with maple leaves on the first “Dominion Day”, 1 July 1867. The 1st Battalion was in Canada in 1898 as part of the Imperial garrison of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Nova Scotia the Battalion went off to the South African War. The regiment was in Aldershot, Shornecliffe, Malta, and Gibraltar. In 1875, the Regiment was authorized to carry the Battle Honour, “Niagara”, on its Colours. Battle Honours borne on the colours prior to World War I also included "Central India" during the Indian Mutiny; "South Africa 1900–02". The Regiment was involved in the colonial service in Aden, the Mediterranean, and the West Indies in the 19th century.

It was one of eight regiments raised and garrisoned in Ireland. Militarily, the whole of Ireland was administered as a separate command within the United Kingdom with Command Headquarters at Parkgate (Phoenix Park) Dublin, directly under the War Office in London[1].

The regiment served the counties of Longford, Meath, Westmeath, Offaly (King's County) and Laois (Queen's County), with its garrison depot at Crinkill, near Birr. Prior to World War I (World War I) there were 5 Battalions, two regular battalions, the 1st and 2nd with 3 Militia battalions. The 3rd was The King's County Militia, the 4th was The Queen's County Militia and the 5th was The Royal Meath Militia.


World War I

At the outbreak of World War I in 1914 two additional Service Battalions were formed, the 6th Battalion and the 7th Battalion. The Regiment raised seven battalions for First World War service, which saw action on the Western Front and in the Middle East. During the war the 1st Battalion served with the 27th Division and the 10th (Irish) Division. The 2nd Battalion with the 6th Division, 24th Division, 16th (Irish) Division and the 29th Division. The 6th Battalion served with the 10th (Irish) Division, 14th (Light) Division, 34th Division and 66th Division. The 7th Battalion with the 16th (Irish) Division.


With the partition of Ireland in 1922, most five regiments in the British army, were disbanded. The Leinsters became one of the five Irish infantry regiments disbanded under the Anglo-Irish Treaty following the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922. The Regimental Colours are kept, in safety and in perpetuity, by the British Royal Family in Windsor Castle. Present day guardians of the Regimental History are The Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians) Association [1]

On disbandment the Regiment's collection of silver was presented to the Government of Canada, “as a token of the regard for the Great Dominion which gave birth to the Battalion to be held in trust until such time as the Battalion is again raised.” The silver, known as “The Leinster Plate”, was deposited for safe keeping at the Royal Military College of Canada in 1923 at the suggestion of then Minister of National Defence, the Hon. Edward Mortimer Macdonald, and of Maj-Gen. J.H. McBrien, the Canadian Chief of Staff.[2]

In 2005, the Regimental Association began discussions in Crinkill, County Offaly, Ireland about designing a suitable memorial to commemorate the regiment's strong linkages with the area, particularly to Crinkill Barracks. The barracks was abandoned around the time of Irish independence, and was burnt down in July 1922 as a result of the Irish Civil War that followed. Today only the ruins of the outer wall remain. [3]

The pieces of Leinster Plate in the Royal Military College of Canada collection include:

Victoria Cross recipients


  1. ^ H.E.D. Harris The Irish Regiments in the First World War (1968) pp. 2–3
  2. ^ Leinster Plate at the Royal Military College of Canada]]
  3. ^ "Crinkill Barracks". Leinster Regiment Association. Retrieved 2008-06-28. 


  • Whitton, Colonel F. C.: Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians): the History of the Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians), late the 100th Prince of Wales Royal Canadian Regiment; Vol.1. 'The Old Army' is devoted to the regiment’s formation and activities before the Great War. Vol. II covers 'The Great War and the disbandment of the regiment'.
  • Hitchcock MC, Capt F. C. : STAND TO, a Diary of the Trenches 1915–1918, covers a period from May 1915 to the armistice in 1918. Naval & Military Press
  • Mills, T.F.. "The Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians)". Retrieved April 15, 2007.  Includes chronological index of titles.

Edited by Mal Murray - 27 Oct 2010 at 19:50
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