The reception of the Colours of the disbanded Irish regiments by King George V, Windsor Castle, 1922
Following the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922 the five British infantry regiments that recruited there were disbanded. On 12 June 1922 their Colours were laid up at St George's Hall, Windsor Castle, to be kept forever in the care of the King and his descendants. According to 'The Times', the King inspected the representatives of the regiments and then addressed them:
'We are here today in circumstances which cannot fail to strike a note of sadness in our hearts. No regiment parts with their Colours without feelings of sorrow. A knight in days gone by bore on his shield his coat-of-arms, tokens of valour and worth. Only to death did he surrender them. Your Colours are the records of valorous deeds in war and of the glorious traditions thereby created. You are called upon to part with them today for reasons beyond your control and resistance. By you and your predecessors these Colours have been reverenced and guarded as a sacred trust - which trust you now confide in me.
'As your King I am proud to accept this trust. But I fully realise with what grief you relinquish these dearly-prized emblems; and I pledge my word that within these ancient and historic walls your Colours will be treasured, honoured, and protected as hallowed memorials of the glorious deeds of brave and loyal regiments.'
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National Army Museum, London
National Army Museum, Study collection
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