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Remembered Today:

'UVF Batt' Royal Irish Fusiliers


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Hello all

A relative of mine is interested in researching his g-grandfather, and before searching for his papers etc. at the PRO/NA, any information regarding the following would be much appreciated so as to be able to locate his papers (if any) with greater certainty.

Robert Heron (possibly Herron)

Came from Summerisland, Co Armagh and fought with the Ulster Volunteer Force Battalion of the Ulster Rifles. He would have been in his mid- to late-30s during WW1 and reputedly his son, Billy, also fought in the War.

He was apparently awarded a gallantry medal for rescuing a wounded man named Telford from No Man's Land. (I would assume an MiD or MM for such an act, hence no mention on the LG, but could also be incorrect.) He was also a POW, and the family believe he was captured on The Somme.

He died in Portadown in the '70s.

Anyhow, somewhat vague but any information would be gratefully received. (Methinks Des could be the man! ;) )

Cheers all


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Richard - Royal Ulster Rifles only form in 1922.

If he was from Portadown, Co. Armagh and a member of pre-war UVF he is more likely to be a Royal Irish Fusilier.

The 9th btn. Royal Irish Fusiliers was formed from the UVF men in that general area. They suffered v. heavy casualties on July 1 on the north bank of the Ancre beside 'my boys' in 12th RIR.

Portadown and Armagh are very much R.Ir. Fus. territory.

Importantly, the RIr.Fus. continue in existence under that name until 1968 when they combine with Royal Ulster Rifles and Inniskilling Fusiliers to form Royal Irish Rangers (I believe the Ranger was added to commemorate the Connaughts).

All the btns in the Ulster Div upon its formation were based around UVF units although they were by no means all populated by UVF men. Hope this helps.

Another interesting point - 9th RIr. Fus. were late known as North Irish Horse btn because of the cavalry men who were dismounted and sent to fight in their ranks.

If you browse the net using keywords 'Brew Royal Irish Fusiliers' I believe you will come across a very interesting family history website which has a lot of diary info on R.Ir.Fus.

Also check out a website called 'webmattersfrance' - couple your search up with 9th R.Ir. Fus.

Best of luck and come back to me if this rings any bells with your mate.


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Thanks for the response, Des, come up trumps once again. :)

I will pass on these details to my cousin and see whether it rings any bells. (I'll change the title to the thread to take this into account.)

Any idea what was the paper local to Summerisland during this period and whether editions are available? If, as believed, he won the MM or similar, or that his son was also in the Army, I assume this would make it quite newsworthy for a provincial paper.

I'll also see what I can find out in cyberspace and keep you posted.

Thanks again,


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Funnily enough - I was looking at my 1st July wounded list and I have two Telfords!!

For newspapers? Get him to check the reference library in Portadown or Armagh. I know the present day weeklies there but I don't know if they are descendant papers of the 14-18 rags.

You can contact SEELB South Eastern Education and Library Board via website. Wee browse should get you there. Navigate from there to 'local studies' should be a happy days situation.

In my experience, medals are always highlighted in the weeklies. Having said that I have a few cases of guys jumping the gun and writing home to tell their folks they've got medals - but they don't. I believe these guys thought a recommendation meant a certain award! Thus they may end up with MIDs or Gallantry Certificates etc.

Cheers Des

Just ask if you need more.

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Thanks again, Des.

He is an ULSTERMAN (his emphasis :lol: ) currently living in UK, but I'll pass on the details since he has family still in the area who should be able to scan the library documents.


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