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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Lieutenant Ralph Reginald Auchinleck Darling

high wood

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I have been lucky enough to obtain some more identified photographs for my archive. Todays include some pictures of Lt Ralph Reginald Auchinleck Darling of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The photographs inlude some taken on his wedding day, some in Egypt and the one below. I have done some quick research on the London Gazette website and have found some entries. e.g. Temporary Lt R.R.A. Darling from R Innis Fus, to be Lieut 25th August 1917. 2nd Lt R.A.A. Darling is seconded for service with the Army Signals Service, 8th December 1918.

Could somebody be so kind as to upload his medal index card for me?

Thank you.


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Many thanks for uploading the MIC it is much appreciated and it does make interesting reading. A 5th battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers officer and a Gallipoli veteran to boot. In the wedding photographs Ralph is wearing his 1914/15 trio. Another photograph, taken in Egypt along side a Royal Engineers officer, is dated 1st December 1918. The address on the back of the MIC is interesting as he and his wife later inherited a large house, Crevenagh, in Omagh, County Tyrone.

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High Wood,

more great photos you lucky devil! Thanks for sharing them with us.

Regards and best wishes,


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I travel far and wide to collect these photographs and have spent a small fortune putting together my archive. I originally started with the intention of saving as many photographs of the men who fought in the Great War as I could. So many photographs, letters and other treasured memories used to end up in the dustbin and I believe that they are all worth saving for posterity, as I am sure all Forum members do.

I regard myself as the temporary custodian of these items and ideally I would love to own a small museum in which to display them. If I had better computer skills I would consider putting them on a website by regiment. Many of the images were put on the late lamented Silent Cities website, but alas it is no more.

But here is the really good part, as my intention is to honour the memory of the men who fought for our freedom, I want the images to be widely available. I actively encourage authors and researchers to use my photographs in their books and studies and I am more than happy for them to be used on peoples' websites. All I ask in return is that the source of the photograph is credited.

I am extremely grateful for all the help that I have received from GWF members in positively identifying the soldiers in the photographs. I used to regularly visit the National Archives to undertake my own research but now because of a changed working pattern I rarely get the chance to go there.


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Are these any relation;

DARLING, CLAUDE HENRY WHISH. Rank: Second Lieutenant, and


These two men are from the 'Wexford War Dead'



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thank you for your input but I am not sure if there is a connection. I have found the following on Rootsweb:

"Crevenagh House - now a listed building - was finished around 1830 by Daniel AUCHINLECK who was an agent for and relation of the Earl of BELMORE. After Daniel was killed in action at the Somme in October 1914, the property passed into the ownership of his widow Mado. On her death in 1949, it was subsequently passed onto MadoÕs nephew, Colonel Ralph Auchinleck Darling and his wife, Moira Moriarty, a native of Omagh."


Initials: D G H

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Captain

Regiment/Service: Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Unit Text: 2nd Bn.

Age: 37

Date of Death: 21/10/1914

Additional information: Son of the late Maj. Thomas Auchinleck, of Crevenagh, Omagh, Co. Tyrone; husband of Madoline Auchinleck. Served in the South African Campaign.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: VIII. Q. 6.




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  • 5 years later...

Apologies to revive an old thread, but I am Ralph's great grandson and having stumbled across them I thought I should add some detail to these wonderful photos. Huge thanks to Simon for posting them.

Having volunteered for a public schools battalion at the start of the war, Ralph was commissioned into the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers on 22/9/1914, just over three weeks after his seventeenth birthday, and posted to the 5th Battalion. He was wounded in the attack on Kidney Hill at Suvla on 15/8/1915 and evacuated to Alexandria. He rejoined his battalion two months later at Salonica, from where the 10th Division was moving up to support the retreating Serbs at Monastir. During the 1915/16 campaign against the Bulgarians he was made battalion signal officer and later brigade signal officer, and found he had an aptitude for signals work. In spring 1917 he took the advice of his C.O., later General Sir Colville Wemyss, to return to Britain to gain formal signals training and a regular commission. On completion of the training he requested a Mediterranean posting in the hope of rejoining the 10th Division, but in January 1918 was sent instead to the 7th Indian Divisional Signals in Egypt. He did subsequently meet up with his regiment again in Palestine and his unit was encamped with them at the Pyramids over Christmas 1918.

Simon, I wonder whether the two others in the photo at the Pyramids are Inniskillings rather than Royal Engineers, as the badges are similar from a distance (though I am by no means an expert.) I wonder if the Captain on the left of the picture below might be in the centre of the sphinx photo, although unfortunately I don't know who he is.


Ralph and Moira were married at Cappagh church Omagh, where her father was Rector, on 3/9/1919. They subsequently travelled to Egypt aboard the Kaiser's yacht Meteor, which had presumably been put into service transporting British officers, and spent the first years of their marriage living in tents in Egypt and Palestine.

Unfortunately Ralph's army career was later curtailed by recurring bouts of septicaemia, resulting ironically not from the leg wound he received at Galipoli but from an infected tooth. He was made Chief Instructor and C.O. of an operator training battalion at the Signal Training Centre at Catterick during WWII, but had to relinquish his command due to ill health in 1943 and was only cured after he was treated with the new wonder-drug penicillin. While it's very sad that he didn't get the chance to achieve his full potential, he used his convalescence to write a fascinating memoir, which means we know far more about his service in WW1 and afterwards than would otherwise be the case. My cousin and I are currently working to get it into print.

Tom, as far as I know the Wexford Darlings you mention are no relation. Our Darling line comes from Northumberland via Suffolk (hence the address on the medal index card.) Ralph's Irish ancestry is via his mother, who was an Auchinleck (and was second cousin of The Auk, who was a regular visitor to Crevenagh.) Her brother Captain Dan Auchinleck was killed at the Battle of Messines (1st Ypres), not at the Somme as suggested on Rootsweb. He had been declared unfit to join the B.E.F. as, like many Boer War veterans, he had never shaken off the dysentery he had contracted in South Africa. Determined to do his bit however, he pestered the Army Board to change its mind and was shipped to France to join his battalion (2nd Inniskillings) in September 1914. He was shot and killed while rallying his troops at Ploegsteert Wood following a heavy German dawn attack on 21/10/1914. Dan and Mado had no surviving children, so Ralph became their heir.

Best wishes,


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thank you for reviving thread and adding the fine detail to the background of the photographs. I think that you may be right about the Captain in your photograph and about the possibility that they may be Inniskilling Fusiliers.

If you would like higher resolution copies of the photographs please send me a PM and I will photograph them for you.


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  • 4 years later...

Just breathing some life back into this thread - presumably the Lt.Col R R A Darling who was CO of 3rd (Tyrone) Battalion of the Ulster Home Guard in February 1942 is Ralph in another role - although this might conflict with Matt's comment about Catterick above?

Any clarification woudl be appreciated!


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