1st Inniskillings land in France

Sat, 03/18/1916

The 1st Battalion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers arrived at Marseilles on 18 March 1916 and disembarked. The Battalion was part of 87 Brigade in the 29th Division. The Battalion strength was 29 officers and 745 other ranks. It moved immediately to the front and relieved the South Wales Borderers on 6 April until relieved in turn the following week. From the trenches, where the Battalion was brought up to full strength by a draft from Ireland, it moved to billets at Acheux.

On 25 April there was a parade for the survivors of the Gallipoli campaign where the Inniskillings had landed in April 1915. The numbers on parade reflected the casualties of that campaign - two officers and 202 other ranks. The inspecting officer was The Commander VIII Corps, Lieutenant General Sir Aylmer Hunter Weston, who had been the Commander 29th Division in Gallipoli. The 1st Inniskillings suffered 267 killed, 1001 wounded and 79 missing during the fighting on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Shortly after the inspection, the Battalion learned that it was to be deployed, in preparation for the Somme offensive, to a position facing the German fortress position at Beaumont Hamel.