THE WILD GEESE
 


 

IRISH INFANTRY REGIMENTS IN FRENCH SERVICE    1688-1792
 

After the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the deposed Stuart King, James II, fled from Britain to France with a cadre of loyal followers, many of whom were Irish Catholics. This was the genesis of the "Wild Geese," the famous corps of Irish soldiers in the service of France. Between six and eight Irish regiments remained on the French establishment until the demise of the old French Army, the last two being disbanded by order of the revolutionary government in 1792.

The Wild Geese were armed and equipped like the regular French infantry, but their coats were red and the word of command was English. Each regiment carried a Colonel's Color and a variable number of drapeaux d'ordonnance (company colors). Many of these featured the Irish harp and the motto In Hoc Signo Vinces ("In this sign conquer").

Note on the Illustrations: For each regiment, the Colonel's Color is shown on the left and the drapeau d'ordonnance is shown on the right.

Images Added September 2003

Fitzgerald's Regiment
 



 

Berwick's Regiment


 

Clare's Regiment

 

Dillon's Regiment

 

Fitzgerald's Regiment

 

Galmoy's Regiment

 

Lally's Regiment

 

Lee's Regiment

 

Rooth's Regiment



 Old Days! The wild geese are flighting,

  Head to the storm as they faced it before!

For where there are Irish there's bound to be fighting,

And when there's no fighting, it's Ireland no more!

                                                                  Ireland no more!

Rudyard Kipling, "The Irish Guards"
 



BACK to FRANCE ANCIENT Page