Monday, July 24, 2006

Short background article

Battle of Tullamore

The 22nd of July 2006 marks the 200th anniversary of an unusual historical event - a battle through the streets of Tullamore between German troops and Irish Militia units.

The German troops were members of the King's German Legion (KGL). The Irish Militia units came from Monaghan, Derry & Limerick. (***CHE CK for other**) The KGL came from Hanover. At this time the King of England (George III) was also the Elector of Hanover.

In 1803 Napoleon invaded Hanover and the Hanoverian army was forced to either disband or flee the country, many of these troops fled to England where they formed the King's German Legion. The people of England, in constant fear of invasion from France, did not like foreign troops on English soil. In April 1806 most of the KGL were sent to Ireland where they would replace English regiments. By early June 1806 there were over 9,000 KGL troops here.

The KGL troops cut a dash on the streets of Irish towns and villages, and were popular with the ladies. This might be a factor in the circumstances that led to the incident in Tullamore.

On the evening of the 22nd of July units of the Londonderry, Monaghan, Sligo and Limerick (county) were staying near Tullamore en route to another posting. A minor squabble between a drummer boy of the Monaghan company and a German soldier. This quickly escalated into a number of skirmishes between Irish militia units and German infantary and cavalry. The battle raged for some time until finally the 1st Dragoons were ordered out of barracks. Ittook some time for order to be restored.

In the end three officers and twenty-two men from the KGL were wounded (one later died from his injuries), compared to nine militia men.

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