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Remembered Today:

Old sweat photo assist

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I received this picture recently for addition to my Ballymena database.

It shows Rfn. Thomas McMeekin (born Ballymena, enlisted Belfast) of the Royal Irish Rifles.

I will paste his GW details below, but aside from the marksman badge and his pre-war uniform/walking out stick .. what does this picture tell you? And me!! The photo clearly states it was taken in a studio at West Street, Ladysmith .. which I assume is the one in South Africa?

He was killed in the pretty horrific fighting of 9th May 1915 and he was with the 1st Royal Irish Rifles (25 Inf. Bde. 8th Div. Aubers Ridge actions) . He is comm'd on the Ploesteert Mem. and his service number was 4012.

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RIR's had at least one battalion in South Africa during the Boer War as did several other Irish regiments. IIRC, Queen Victoria sanctioned the raising of the Irish Guards in 1901 as a tribute to the bravery of the Irish Soldiers during the Boer War.

Not sure that this helps much though.

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Graham Stewart


Lovely photo. He'll be serving with the 2nd Bn, R. Irish Rifles as the 1st Bn was in India from 1899 to 1914. After Stormberg Junction, in which both they and the Northumberland Fusiliers got hammered, drafts were hurried out to fill the gaps. A second mauling saw them reinforced with a 100 men of the London Irish and a later draft of 1st Bn lads. The 2nd Bn remained in South Africa until 1903 when they returned to Dublin for a three year stint. As you have his regimental details all you need to do now is find the Battalion Muster Roll Books for the period.


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Thanks to both - I never thought I would see McMeekin. Remarkable what comes to you in dribs and drabs!

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