The Royal Munster Fusiliers

In collaboration with Cork Public Museum, the students of University College
Cork Museum Studies programme are launching a new featured exhibition, The Royal
Munster Fusiliers: A Forgotten Regiment?
to celebrate the centenary of the regiment’s
disbandment in July 1922.

The Royal Munster Fusiliers was an Irish infantry regiment in the British army
that formed in 1881, though their roots can be traced back to India in the 17th
century. The regiment’s headquarters was in Tralee and recruits came primarily
from counties Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Clare. Irishmen enlisted in the Royal Munster
Fusiliers throughout its history for a variety of personal and political reasons and served
across four continents. The soldiers were tasked with protecting the British Empire’s
interests domestically and in its colonies, particularly the Indian subcontinent. The
regiment also served in the Second Boer War (1899-1902) and, perhaps most
notably, in the Great War (1914-1918) during which they suffered heavy losses at
Etreux, Galipoli, Aubers Ridge and the Somme, amongst others. This exhibition tells
their history.

The students have been hard at work in the last few months researching the
history of the Royal Munster Fusilier regiment. They have been working alongside with
museum staff and Gerry White, Island of Ireland Trustee at The Western Front
Association. Dan Breen, the curator at Cork Public Museum, has been guiding the
students through the process of setting up an exhibition. He says: “In the museum’s
75-year history, we have never held an exhibition on an Irish Regiment before.
The Decade of Centenaries Programme has allowed us to focus on events that were
often overlooked in the past, such as the Great War or the Irish Regiments in the
British Army. The Royal Munster Fusiliers had a long historical connection with the city
and county of Cork and we are delighted to bring their story to the public. We hope that
this exhibition will kickstart our efforts to make Cork Public Museum an important
repository for the study and research of those men who served and died with the
regiment and that their stories, experiences and sacrifices will no longer be forgotten.”

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