The Disbandment of the Southern Irish Regiments – 1922


  • Timothy Bowman



The disbandment of the Southern Irish Regiments of the British army occurred in July 1922 due to the creation of the Irish Free State and the effects of the so-called ‘Geddes Axe’ on the British army. Special arrangements meant that officers and men who wished to continue their service in the British army were able to transfer to other regiments and there were very few compulsory redundancies. This saw limited public concern about these regiments. The preservation of those regiments associated with Northern Ireland was, however, the subject of extensive lobbying and James Craig, the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, showed considerable ability in negotiations which ensured the survival of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and Royal Irish Fusiliers.