The Regimental March- Killaloe
Listen to the Regimental March or downloadin MP3 format (Courtesy of the SA Irish Pipes and Drums)
1914 – 1915 1939 – 1946 1964 to Present
Regimental cap badges
A battle honour is a military tradition practiced in the Commonwealth countries of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa; and is an official acknowledgement rewarded to military units for their achievements in specific wars or operations of a military campaign.
A battle honour is granted through at the prerogative of the head of state, and is granted only after lengthy historical review of a particular conflict. It is comparable to a unit citation in other national traditions.
A battle honour may be granted to infantry/cavalry regiments or battalions, but with the exception of Navy ships and Air Force squadrons, they are rarely granted to sub-units such as companies, platoons and sections in the army. Battle honours are usually presented in the form of a name of a country, a region or a city where the regiment's distinguished act took place, together with the year when it occurred.
Battle honours are listed in chronological order, either in a single list, or in multiple even numbers of columns, reading left to right, and top to bottom. On drums, the honours are listed on scrolls, usually with the cap badge central, and other unit devices present (such as a representation of a unit distinction or motto.) It is often the case that battle honours not carried on the colours (limited by space and design) will be emblazoned on drum major's baldric.
It remains a tradition that whenever military personnel meet a colour or guidon, it must be saluted. This is not only because it is an object which represents the authority of the State, but also because the colours contain a regiment's battle honours, and thus represent the regiment's history and its dead. Saluting a colour or guidon is thus a pivotal act in retaining an awareness of regimental history and traditions--key in the functioning of the regimental system. It remains common for army instructors to ensure that their recruits have memorized and are able to recite all of their regiment's battle honours. Such methods are meant to bring the new soldier into the regimental ethos and sub-cultural by means of imprinting shared history.
The Regimental Colour
No unit values any of its ossessions more than it does its Colour - the symbol of its history and tradition - the record of its fiercest battles and bloodiest moments.
The Regiment received its Colours from the State President, Mr JJ Fouche, on 23 November 1968 together with the following Battle honours:
South West African 1914-15
East Africa 1940-41
Western Desert 1941-43
In the old days the colour was carried into battle and indicated the position of the commander on the battlefield. Whilst the colour flew, the fight continued and consequently it became the rallying point and often the place where the fiercest fuighting occurred, as the men defended their Colour to the bitter end.
The veneration accorded the Colour stems from those early times and, although the Colour is no longer carried into battle, it is accorded the same respect by all who see it unfurled.
The Colour of the South African Irish Regiment comprises a field of rifle green, common to all South African Infantry units, with fringes, cords and tassles of black and silver. The black colour is complementary to the rifle green, these being the infantry colours, whilst the silver is complementary to the metal badges and buttons worn by the unit.
The centre piece of the Colour is the harp emblem which forms the unit badge surmounting the regimental motto "Faugh a Ballagh" which is loosely, but best, translated from Gaelic as "Clear the Way".
The central emblem and motto are framed by an open wreath which symbolises the Irish origin and South African entity of the Regiment and depicts, with clarity, the name of the Unit which is unique in having the words "South African" as part thereof.
Below the wreath are emblazoned the battle of Sidi Rezegh, at which the unit was decimated. Survivors were posted to other units and the South African Irish did not have the opportunity of participating in other battles of the Second World War.
The Springbok, which surmounts the pikestaff, is the South African Infanrty Corps symbol. Below it, affixed to the pikestaff, is a miniature artillery badge which commemorates the 14 years which the unit served as the 22 Field Regiment in the immediate post war period.
Thus is the first Regimental Colour which was presented to the unit, and it was purchased from contributions made by the present and past serving members, as a tribute to the past members who actively participated in gaining for the unit the Battle Honours of which we are so proud. In particular it is a small token of the great respect and appreciation we owe to those who fell, whilst members of this unit, in the service of our country.
By Lt Col. Godfrey Giles, JCD (Ret.)
HONORARY COLONELS, COMMANDING OFFICERS AND REGIMENTAL SERGEANT MAJORS OF THE REGIMENT
Col. (Mrs) Louis Botha (1914-1915)
Col. T.W. Cullinan (1945-1953)
Col. W.J. Busschau (1966-1976)
Col. C.A. Twomey, SM, JCD (1977-1978)
Col. B. Molefe (2009 - 2017)
Lt-Col. F.H. Brennan, VD (1914-1915)
Lt-Col. J.A.M. Moreland, MC (1939-1940)
Lt-Col. D.I. Somerset, MC (1940)
Lt-Col. J.F.K. Dobbs, MC (1940-1942)
Lt-Col. C. McN. Cochran, DSO, MC (1942)
Lt-Col. F.H.G. Cochran, OBE, ED (1945-1951)
Lt-Col. J. Geber, DSO (1951-1956)
Cmdt. C.A. Twomey, SM, JCD (1956-1964)
Cmdt. G. van Kerckhoven, SM, JCD (1965-1969)
Cmdt. E.M. Kristal, JCD (1970-1972)
Maj. (T/Cmdt) C.I. Steyn (1972-1975)
Cmdt. S.W.J. Kotze (1975)
Cmdt. J.C. Bosch (1975-1980)
Cmdt. J.H. Swanepoel (1980-1982)
Cmdt. S.H. Moir (1982-1986)
Cmdt. A.J. Karcz (1986-1988)
Cmdt R. Joubert (1988-1991)
Lt Col. G. Rothschild (1991-1999)
Lt Col. J.P. Jonker (1999-2005)
Lt Col. T. Pounder (2005)
Lt Col. M.A. Bennett, RD (2005-2015)
Lt Col. W.W. Kinghorn, MMM, DWD (2015 to present)
Regimental Sergeant Majors
WO1. J. Murray, DCM (1914-1915)
WO1. R. Bowker (1939-1940)
WO1. E. Owen (1940)
WO1. A.H. Brehem (1940-1941)
WO1. C.E. Whillier MM, EM (1946-1955)
WO1. A. du Preez (1955-1960)
WO1. J. Bartman (1960-1961)
WO1. R. Parks (1961-1962)
WO1. P. Halroyd (1962-1964)
WO1. F. Ferreira (1964-1966)
WO1. J.L. Fitzhenry (1967-1977)
WO1. A.L. Day (1977- 1985)
WO1. R.L. Olsen, JCD (1985 - 2007)
MWO. G.S. Moseki (2007 - Present)
Decorations and Awards to the SA Irish Regiment
World War I
Montgomery H. QM/Capt
Taylor R. McG. Capt
Woon E.W. Capt
Distinguished Conduct Medal
659 Murray J. RSM
World War II
Distinguished Service Order
87602 Cochran C. McN. Maj
87602 Cochran C. Maj
British Empire Medal
88646 Mulder A.H. L/Cpl SA Irish .
88567 Ritchie J.A. Pte SA Irish .
Distinguished Conduct Medal
11231 Thayer H.H. Pte
88805 Brand J.B. Pte
82214 Brislin J.J. Pte
87641 Burton R.V. Pte
88792 Buys L.J. Pte
87642 Callaghan D.J. Pte
87990 Kirk J.R. Cpl
16481 Lubbe J.H.B. Sgt
88344 Macaulay J.I.E. Cpl
89049 Muller F. Pte
88941 Shaw J.C. Pte
88320 West R.M. Pte
89022 Winterbach B. Pte
By Lt. D.W. Chambers