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103 Years of the Irish Guards

The Colours of the Household Division.
A larger version of this recruiting poster
The Colours of the Household Division.

The Irish Guards were formed on 1st April 1900 by order of HRH Queen Victoria to commemorate the bravery of the Irish people who fought in the Boer war. The Irish Guards played a major part in both World Wars, winning a total of six Victoria Crosses including the last to be presented in the Second World War and have seen armed conflict in many parts of the world since 1945.

On 21st April 1900, the first recruit, James O'Brien of Limerick, was enlisted and many followed as a free transfer was offered to all Irishmen serving not only in the Guards Brigade but also from the line Regiments.

The Irish Guards are presented with shamrock on every St Patrick's day (17th March) by a member of the Royal Family. This dates back to 1901 when HRH Princess Alexandra presented the Battalion with it for the first time. Until recent years this duty has been carried out by HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother but the honor has now been passed to other members of the Royal family.

The Irish Guards, originally nicknamed "Bob's Own" after Lord Roberts, the First Colonel of the Regiment, are affectionately and widely known as "The Micks". No other Regiment of Foot Guards has such a widely accepted nickname.

The Colours of the Household Division.

The cap star is an eight-pointed star of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick. In the center is a shamrock, super-imposed on each leaf of the shamrock is a State Imperial Crown of Ireland. Behind the shamrock is the cross of St Patrick. Below are the Roman numerals "MDCCLXXXIII" which stand for 1783, the year the order was formed. Above are the Latin words "QUIS SEPARABIT" which is the Regimental motto and translates as:


Household Division Colours

The Regiment has two Regimental marches which are used if they are on parade:

Quick March

St Patrick's Day

Slow March

 Let Erin Remember

Household Division Colours

The Irish Guards are easily recognizable when in their ceremonial dress due to the following spacing of the buttons and the colours of certain items which are unique to them:~


 St Patrick's blue plume on the right

Tunic buttons

Spaced in fours

Tunic cuffs

Spaced in fours

Forage caps

Green band

Click on the images below to read more of the Irish Guards history.
The Colours of the Household Division.

The Colours of the Household Division.
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