This post will look at regular enlistments into the Royal Irish Fusiliers between 1881 (when the regiment was formed out of the old 87th (Royal Irish Fusiliers) and 89th (Princess Victoria's)Regiments of Foot) and 1914.
Service records for all of the numbers listed below, survive in a number of military series. The majority (in this small sample) are taken from the WO 363 (Burnt Documents) and WO 364 (Pensions) series at the National Archives in Kew. These can also be viewed on-line via Ancestry.co.uk which is currently offering a FREE 14 day trial. Some records here are also taken from the WO 97 Army Pensions series which is available to search on the Find My Past website. Find My Past also offers a FREE 14 day trial.
In fact, there are over 26,000 Royal Irish Fusiliers service andpension records (for this regiment - and its antecedents) in various War Office series held at the National Archives. Clicking on the link will take you to the results on Findmypast but you will need a subscription or Pay-Per-View credits to actually view the records. Some of these records can also be viewed on-line on Ancestry although Findmypast has by far the most comprehensive service record collection.
Use the regimental numbers and dates on which these were issued, below, to determine parameters for when your own Royal Irish Fusiliers ancestor would have joined up. Note though that these numbers are only for regular enlistments. Special Reserve and Extra Reserve battalions operated completely separate regimental number sequences.
68 joined on 30th July 1881
745 joined on 23rd January 1882
1231 joined on 27th January 1883
1544 joined on 22nd February 1884
1740 joined on 9th January 1885
1979 joined on 26th January 1886
2585 joined on 8th January 1887
2879 joined on 5th January 1888
3216 joined on 14th March 1889
3496 joined on 7th January 1890
3900 joined on 1st June 1891
4242 joined on 26th September 1892
4636 joined on 28th September 1893
4839 joined on 13th February 1894
5259 joined on 26th February 1895
5602 joined on 17th March 1896
5900 joined on 19th February 1897
6119 joined on 12th January 1898
6548 joined on 8th March 1899
6792 joined on 11th January 1900
7104 joined on 21st March 1901
7565 joined on 7th July 1902
7959 joined on 13th April 1903
8292 joined on 9th January 1904
8945 joined on 9th August 1905
9154 joined on 14th March 1906
9591 joined on 15th January 1907
10008 joined on 13th August 1908
10312 joined on 16th August 1909
10497 joined on 8th September 1910
10673 joined on 9th May 1911
10947 joined on 23rd February 1912
11235 joined on 6th March 1913
11411 joined on 14th January 1914
When Britain went to war with Germany a few months later, the Royal Irish Fusiliers continued with the same number series when the new service battalions were formed, there then being no distinction in numbering between men who were joining up for war-time service only, and men joining as career soldiers.
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