Irish Regiments

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THOMAS ESMONDE (Captain, afterwards Lieut. ?Colonel)  18th (The Royal Irish) Regiment  On June 20th, while in command of a covering-party, a fireball fell close to them, and, knowing that a heavy fire would greet any one exposing himself, he called to his men to stand and take shelter, and dashing out commenced to extinguish it.  As he had anticipated, a terrific hail of shot and shell directed upon him, but in spite of all he succeeded in his courageous act and escaped unscathed. 

HUGH STEWART COCHRANE  (Lieutenant and Adjutant, afterwards Colonel)  86th Royal County Down (Now 2nd Royal Irish Rifles)            At Jhansi on April 1st 1858, a company (No.1) of the 86th Regiment was ordered to charge and capture a gun.  Being mounted, Lieutenant Cochrane dashed forward- greatly in advance of his men-exposed to the musketry fire of the rebel infantry in rear of the battery as well as that from the gun itself.  Charging headlong on the gunners, who gave way almost to a man, he kept possession of the piece till support came up, afterwards charging the enemy?s rear-guard, who shot three horses from under him, his attack upon them being so close and resolute.  He became Ensign in 1849; Captain in the 7th Fusiliers in 1858; and afterwards Lieut. ?Colonel in the 43rd Light Infantry, which he commanded in India from February 1878, until his retirement.

HENRY EDWARD JEROME  (Captain, afterwards Major General)  86th The Royal County Down (Now 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles)  Major-General Jerome afterwards served through the Hazara Campaign, retiring in 1885.  He was born on February 2nd 1830, and died at Bath, February 25th 1901. 

HUGH SHAW  (Captain, Now Major-General, C.B.)  2nd Battalion 18th (Royal Irish) Regiment            On January 24th 1865 at the skirmish near Nukumaru, in New Zealand, Captain Shaw had been ordered to occupy a position about half a mile from the camp, and, advancing in skirmishing order to about thirty yards from the bush, he thought it prudent to retire to a palisade about thirty yards further back, as two of his men had fallen wounded.  Noticing that one of them, Peter Conolly, was too badly injured to move, he called for volunteers, and with four privates, who responded, went out to the wounded man within thirty yards of the enemy, and under a heavy fire, succeeded in conveying him to shelter.  Major-General Shaw, C.B., born on February 4th 1839, is son of Mr. James Shaw, formerly Principal Inspector of Hospital, and Madras.  Educated at Sandhurst, he became ensign in 1885 and served through the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, and the Afghan War 1879; and the Egyptian 1884.  In the latter he commanded the 1st Battalion of his gallant Irish Regiment during the march for the Relief of Gordon, which with the 2nd East Surrey, was brought from India.  His command on this occasion gained the ?100 prize offered by Lord Wolseley for the quickest and smartest voyage in the whale boast between Sarras and Korti (December 16th 1884, to January 24th 1885) from which point it marched on foot, through the Bayuda Desert, 175 miles, to Metemmeh in eleven days.  He retired from command of his old battalion in 1887.

J. BARRY  (Private)  1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment             On January 7th 1901, during the attack on Monument Hill, Private Barry was near the Maxim gun when his party was surrounded and threatened by the Boers.  To save is from falling into the enemy?s hands and being used against our own men, he heroically smashed the breach of it, rendering it quite useless, and while engaged in this devoted action, was killed.  The Victoria Cross as stated in the Gazette, would have been awarded to him had he survived, but it was handed to his relatives by the authorities in accordance with the new regulation framed by the Secretary of State for War in 1902

JAMES BYRNE  (Private)  86th Royal County Down Regiment (became part of the Royal Irish Regiment)            On April 3rd 1858, at the storming od the fort of Jhansi, Byrne carried Lieutenant Sewell, who had been badly wounded, to a place of safety, being assisted by Captain (afterwards Major-General) Jerome, V.C.  This act was performed under a very heavy rifle fire.  His Victoria Cross was sold in London, June 1893 for ?35.

JAMES PEARSON  (Private)  86th Royal County Down Regiment (became part of the Royal Irish Regiment)            On April 3rd 1858, at the storming of Jhansi this soldier bravely attacked several armed rebels, killing one and bayoneting two, being himself severely wounded in the fight.  He also at Calpee under a severe fire, carried into safety Private Michael Burns, who was wounded, but who unfortunately died soon afterwards.

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