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Royal Ulster Rifles - A Pair of Regimental Cufflinks,
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Royal Ulster Rifles - A Pair of Regimental Cufflinks,

circa 1925

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Double sided silver cufflinks engraved on each face with a King’s crown and harp device overlaid with a regimental title scroll. The reverse of each face marked to the reverse with the maker’s mark SDN in conjoined circles for the Belfast jeweller Sharman D. Neill of Donegall Place.

Sharman D. Neill maintained showrooms in Belfast and London. During the First World War the firm also manufactured the ‘Neill’s Sight’ - a special sniper sight for the 36th Ulster Division. Two of Sharman Neill’s sons, one of them a director of the family firm, joined in the Royal Irish Rifles. Both were killed on the Western Front. In 1932 a visitor to the Thiepval Tower Memorial on the Somme found a small silver medallion inscribed ‘Lt J.D. Neill, 13th R.I.Rifles’ which was subsequently recognized by Sharman Neill as his son’s.

In January 1921 the R.I.R. was retitled the Royal Ulster Rifles. It was amalgamated in 1968 with the other regiments of the North Irish Brigade, the Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria’s) and the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers to create the Royal Irish Rangers. Post 1992 the Royal Irish Rangers merged with the Ulster Defence Regiment to form the Royal Irish Regiment.

Sources:
http://www.instgreatwar.com/page23.htm (accessed 15.10.15)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02063t2 (accessed 15.10.15)
 

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