Never Retire

The 6Th Royal Irish Rifles At Gallipoli

Gavin Hughes, David Truesdale

Publication date:
September 2019
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
8pp of plates, 4 maps
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781911512295

Dimensions : 234 X 156 mm
Not Yet Published. Available for PreOrder.


• The story of those Irish who fought in a 'cross- community' formation at Gallipoli
• Examines the backgorund of the men who fought in the battalion to provide a social as well as military history

Never Retire is the powerful story of the men who joined the 6th Royal Irish Rifles in August 1914 to fight against Germany and, instead, found themselves fighting the armies of the Ottoman Empire at Gallipoli almost exactly a year. They were part of Ireland's first 'New Army', serving in 29 Brigade of the 10th (Irish) Division, which contained volunteers from every class, creed and cultural background; men with considerable soldiering experience - and none. Yet, unlike the 16th (Irish) or 36th (Ulster) Divisions, this diversity added to the Division's reputation of being a largely ‘non-political' and 'cross-community' formation. As the other Divisions fought on the Western Front, the Tenth's deeds were largely forgotten. Yet, it was an unique Irish Division and the 6th Royal Irish Rifles were unique within it. It was the only service battalion present in the 10th (Irish) from its parent Regiment and the only Royal Irish Rifles battalion to fight alongside the ANZACS at Gallipoli. The 6th Rifles also held the dubious honour of having one of the highest Gallipoli casualty rates of the Division.

Using new evidence and carefully researched original sources, Never Retire examines the backgrounds of the men of the 6th Rifles and follows their lives as they enlist, undergo training and then depart for the Dardanelles. It reconstructs the events leading up to early August 1915, when the 6th Rifles landed at Anzac Cove and then fought in the desperate battle to take Sari Bair ridge. It recounts their experiences of life and death during their brief time on the peninsula and chronicles how a battalion, 23 officers and 743 men strong, was left with around 270 men all ranks by the end of the month.

This is the first book to critically examine the wartime experience of an early 10th (Irish) Division battalion, in not only painstaking detail but also great sympathy. This is the story of just one harrowing year of the Great War and how nearly a thousand men fought, died, or survived their experience. This is the Gallipoli story of the 6th Royal Irish Rifles - a ‘lost' battalion in a ‘lost' Division; the story of the men who vowed they would "Never Retire".