In June 2002 the New Connaught Rangers Association was set up in King House in Boyle, Co Roscommon by a number of individuals with a strong interest and family links to the old regiment. The objectives of the Association were to gather material and information on the regiment and preserve it for the generations to come. This material includes papers, diaries, publications, letters, photographs and other memorabilia associated with Connaught Rangers. The Association also has a social function organising lectures and trips to bring together people with an interest in the Regiment. The nucleus of the Association is made up of persons with a keen interest in preserving, remembering and gathering information on this great regiment before they were consigned to folklore.
The Mission Statement of the Association is:
To promote, honour, and remember, the men from Connaught, and elsewhere, who gave service in the 88th & 94th Foot and the regiment of the Connaught Rangers in Ireland, or in their areas of engagement worldwide.
The objectives of the Association:
To formulate a database of information on the men who were once veterans of the regiment of the Connaught Rangers. To advance the name “Connaught Rangers” when ever invited.
The association now has a worldwide membership of over 250 individuals and we publish a yearly newsletter and an annual magazine. We also organize a yearly remembrance ceremony and social events such as lectures and battlefield trips when possible. We also have links with other associations and organizations. We have annual membership fee (revised at AGM Nov 2005) of 15 Euros/£15 sterling/ $20. All monies and donations are spent on Association expenses and improving our display in King House Museum.
During World War 1 there were 6 separate battalions of the regiment raised for service. Two regular, two Service for the duration of the War and two Reserve Battalions. Each battalion had a day-to-day strength of about 1,000 men. In all, according to the British Army Archives 13,431 men served in the Rangers between 1914 and 1918 in the Great War. Two and half thousand of them were killed.The Association will also assist with researching individuals who served with the Regiment however our task here is hindered by the fact that most of the enlisted men’s records were destroyed in the London blitz of the Second World War. Those few that do survive are in the National Archives in Kew in London. Therefore the Association can undertake to search the War Diaries and gallantry awards for certain individuals but more in depth research can be referred to our researcher in London, This can be done through the Association or directly with the researcher himself and will involve additional cost. We must point out at this stage that unless one has the full name and army number the chances of tracing an individual who was not killed in action are nil.
Individual research is both time consuming and expensive. We do not hold individual soldiers’ records of service. We do have full and extensive casualty lists from the Boer War and the Great War. We also have a gallantry medals list and rolls of honour and can usually find some specific details about an individual who was killed or awarded a gallantry medal. We also hold the various Battalion World War One War diaries and regimental historical records. To access these you would need to know the person’s army number.
We do have the services of a researcher and can organize research of individual’s records for a small fee (35 Euros) but we cannot guarantee a positive result. However it will be much cheaper than if one does this privately. This service is available to members of the Association and therefore we would encourage those interested to join us.
We do endeavour to assist all those who contact us but due to the large amount of enquires we receive, about 5 a week we can only, due to manpower and financial constraints, only assist those who join the Association
We are a non-profit making organization with limited resources and therefore all help and donations are much appreciated.
CONNAUGHT RANGERS ASSOCIATION.
BOYLE, CO ROSCOMMON.
Reg. Charity No. 15096.