THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Lough shores are setting for review of the Royal Antrim Rifles

From the News Letter, August 10, 1877

Monday, 10th August 2020, 6:00 am
Oxford Island Nature Reserve and Lough Neagh. Picture: Brian Morrison/Northern Ireland Tourist Board
Oxford Island Nature Reserve and Lough Neagh. Picture: Brian Morrison/Northern Ireland Tourist Board

The shores of Lough Neagh had witnessed the inspection and review of the Royal Antrim Militia in Massereene Park by Colonel Greer, CB, reported the News Letter on this day in 1877.

The grounds in which the day of military display was conducted, noted the paper’s correspondent, were “exceedingly” picturesque and the Royal Antrim Rifles were favoured with fine weather which helped to draw a large crowd to the park to watch.

There were a number of notable officers of the regiment where in attendance at the review, these included Colonel Leslie, Lieutenant-Colonel Butson, Major Murray, Major Chichester, Captain Vandeleur, Captain Pottinger, Captain Boyle, Lieutenants Preston, Fullerton, Leslie, Handcock and Robbins.

Proceedings began at 11 o’clock with a parade of the regiment in heavy marching order with the new recruits of the militia, “of which there were 350”, on the right, followed the militia’s reserve men and lastly the remainder of the “duty men”.

The correspondent wrote: “Colonel Greer scrutinised the men very carefully and closely as they were drawn up in their companies under their respective officers. He particularly inspected the men of the militia reserve, of whom there are above 300 men.”

The correspondent added: “Apart from the very complimentary remarks made by Colonel Greer regarding the appearance and condition of the men, it may be said that anyone, however unskilled in military matters, could see at a glance that the regiment was in admirable trim. The men seemed all healthy, active and quick at taking up the word of command, even in the most complicated part of the manoeuvring.”