83rd Regiment to India

Event
Wednesday, 23 March, 1870

The 83rd Regiment sailed from Gibraltar to Egypt aboard the Tamar and disembarked at Alexandria on 24 March 1870. They crossed the isthmus of Suez by train, re-embarked on HM Troopship Euphrates, and sailed for Bombay on the 8 April. They disembarked on 10 April and moved by rail to arrive in Poona that same day.

The tour in India passed peaceably. In November 1872, the Regiment went to Bombay to provide the guards of honour for the arrival of the Viceroy, Lord Northbrook. After taking part in a Durbar, held to invest the Begum of Bhopal with the Star of India, the 83rd returned to Poona later that month. The Regiment also furnished a guard of honour to HRH The Prince of Wales (afterwards King Edward VII) when he visited Baroda on the 18 November 1875. The Regiment moved to Belgaum on 1 April 1878, where on 26 November 1880 official notification was given to the 83rd that it would embark on HMS Jumna on the 25 January 1881 bound for home.

They were not, however, destined to see Ireland or England as a telegram received on 3 January 1881 ordered the Regiment to Natal and the First Anglo-Boer War. On the 7 January the Regiment marched from Belgaum and arrived six days later at Vingerla. On the 14 January the families embarked on the SS Tenasserim which took them to Bombay where they were transshipped and sent home to Portsmouth. Accompanying them were those soldiers awaiting medical or end-of-service discharge. The 83rd embarked on the troopship Crocodile on 15 January and landed at Durban on 30 January. It would be 3 January 1882 before the then retitled 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Rifles would join their families in Portsmouth.