92 Infantry Regiment – Glasnevin November 2016
During September 1916, the 92 Infantry Regiment was engaged in the Battle of the Somme, in the vicinity of Chaulnes, a few kilometers from Guillemont and Ginchy where the 16th Irish Division was also engaged.
Based in Clermont-Ferrand since 1881, the 92 Infantry Regiment carried the French National Colour at the ceremony dedicating the France-Ireland Memorial in Glasnevin, on 13 November 2016. The booklet associated with the dedication ceremony of the France-Ireland Memorial included a short history of the Regiment.
Availing of the contents of the 2007 publication titled, “The Irish Brigades 1685 – 2006” by David Murphy, (copyright The Military Heritage of Ireland Trust), the following paragraphs provide an insight into the 92 Infantry Regiment. The Regiment is the custodian of the traditions, history and heritage of its predecessors including the Regiment of Walsh.
The 92 Infantry Regiment is the last serving French regiment that derives directly from former Irish Regiments in French service during the period 1685 to 1871, including the Wild Geese Regiments, the Regiments of the Royalist Irish Legion and Napoleon’s Irish Legion. In 1701, the Irish Brigade in the French service included the Regiment of Dorrington, later to be called the Regiment of Walsh. It is through the Regiment of Walsh that the 92 Infantry Regiment has its lineage with Ireland.
The Regiment of Walsh was originally raised in Ireland as the King’s Royal Irish Regiment of Foot Guards. Having its allegiance to King James II, this unit was present at the siege of Derry and fought at the Battles of the Boyne and Aughrim,.
In 1692, the King’s Royal Irish Regiment of Foot Guards formed part of the Stuart Army in France, disbanded in 1698, but reformed within 24 hours as the Regiment of Dorrington. This Regiment fought in the War of the Spanish Succession and was renamed the Regiment of Roth in 1718, fighting in the War with Spain, the War of the Polish Succession and the War of the Austrian Succession.
During the Seven Years War, its title was changed to the Regiment of Roscommon, and in 1770 to the Regiment of Walsh. During the American Revolution, an element of the Regiment was detached to the West Indies. Detachments also served in the West Africa and were involved in the capture of Senegal in 1781. The Regimental Colour consisted of a field of white with a red cross. At the centre of the cross was a golden crown surmounted by a lion. In 1791, with the abolishment of the traditional titles, the Regiment of Walsh was re-designated as the 92 Infantry Regiment of Line and served in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. In 1792, the Irish Farewell Banner – Drapeau d’ Adieu was presented by the Count de Provence, later Louis XVIII, to the officers of the Irish Brigade. In 1914, a replica of the banner was presented by the Benedictine nuns of Ypres to the 16 Irish Division. The 92 Infantry Regiment of Line was disbanded in 1815. In 1855, the Regiment was reformed by renaming the 17 Regiment of Light Infantry as the 92 Infantry Regiment of Line.
The 92 Infantry Regiment and its predecessor the Regiment of Walsh is associated with significant battles, such as Rivole (1797), Austerlitz (1805), Iena (1806), Waterloo (1815), Constantine (1837), Ypres (1914), Verdun and the Somme (1916), L’Oureq (1918), and in the Resistance in Auvergne in 1944. In the Second World War, the 92 Infantry Regiment was almost decimated and re-organised during the Resistance in Auvergne in 1914.
It remained in service until its disbandment in 1956 but was reformed as a battalion on 1963. It was re-designated as a regiment size unit in 1964. In 1998, a detachment of the 92 Infantry Regiment took part in the Irish bicentennial commemorations of 1798 and was formally presented with a replica of the Colour of the Regiment of Walsh, confirming its Irish lineage.
Currently, the establishment of the 92 Infantry Regiment is 1,200 personnel, organised in four combat companies, a recce company, coupled with command, support and logistics elements. The Regiment also has a company of reservists.
The Regimental Colour of the 92 Infantry Regiment consists of the numerals “92” beneath the motto “Honor and Fatherland.
92 Inf Regt Bastille Day 2014
Photograph taken in Glasnevin, courtesy of Patrick Hugh Lynchoo