1st Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles

1st Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles

1941 to 1947

The battalion had its origins in the 83rd Regiment of Foot, which was raised in 1793 for service in the Napoleonic Wars.

By 1939, the 1st Battalion, The Royal Ulster Rifles, as it was then known, was serving in the North West frontier of India. It was recalled to the UK shortly after the outbreak of World War II and assigned to defensive duties with 31st Independent Brigade Group in 1940.

The brigade was formally redesignated and reorganised as 1st Air Landing Brigade in late 1941 and its battalions, including 1st (Airborne) Battalion RUR, were re-roled to undertake airborne assault by glider.

Later, in May 1943, it was transferred to form part of 6th Airlanding Brigade, 6th Airborne Division, in preparation for the liberation of North West Europe. The 1st Battalion landed in Normandy by glider on the evening of 6 June 1944 at LZ N, near Ranville, and was initially deployed to extend the southern sector of the bridgehead.

The battalion remained in Normandy until September when it returned to the UK, but was redeployed, along with other units of 6th Airborne Division, to halt the German offensive in the Ardennes during the winter of 1944-45.

It later took part in Operation Varsity, which established a bridgehead across the Rhine into Germany, and took part in the subsequent advance to the Baltic.

Although 6th Airlanding Brigade was disbanded on 31 August 1945, the battalion remained part of 6th Airborne Division, and served in Palestine, until January 1947, when it lost its airborne role.

Shortly after, the battalion amalgamated with 2nd Battalion RUR to form 1st Battalion, The Royal Ulster Rifles (83rd and 86th).

Following various amalgamations since 1968, the traditions of the battalion are carried forward by 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, which is presently part of 16th Air Assault Brigade.

Further reading
'The Glider Soldiers' by Alan Wood published by Spellmount 1992. ‘
The Rifles are There’ 1st and 2nd Battalions RUR in the Second World War by David Orr and David Truesdale published by Pen and Sword 2005.

Commanding Officers

Lt Col RJR Campbell 1941-43
Lt Col JH Carson 1943-45
Lt Col GP Rickcord DSO 1945

Read More

Group photos_4

  • A Coy, 1st Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles 5 June 1944

    A Coy, 1st Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles 5 June 1944

    1 Image
  • Group photograph of officers decorated by Field Marshal Montgomery, Lüneburg Heath Germany, 1945.

    Group photograph of officers decorated by Field Marshal Montgomery, Lüneburg Heath Germany, 1945.

    1 Image

Personal accounts_1

Photos_10

Newspaper extracts_1

  • Newspaper cutting of William Ashwood McBurney

    Newspaper cutting of William Ashwood McBurney

    1 Image

Letters and Cards_1

  • Letter regarding claim for Battle Honours for 1st Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles, 26 October 1956.

    Letter regarding claim for Battle Honours for 1st Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles, 26 October 1956.

    1 Item

Latest Comments

There are currently no comments for this content.

Add your comment

Donate

Make a donation to Airborne Assault ParaData to help preserve the history of The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces