The Connaught Rangers
Following the departure of the King family in the 1780s, the Connaught Rangers were based in King House from the late 1790s until their disbandment in 1922. During that time they played a pivotal role in the many wars fought overseas under the British flag. Boys as young as 14 years, “five feet in height and growing” were recruited to serve. Recruits were fully kitted out and then began training learning drill, artillery skills and transported to foreign climes to fight and, in many cases, die. From the Peninsular Campaign against Napoleon’s forces to the trenches and battlefields of World War One, the Connaught Rangers served with distinction earning the title ‘The Devil’s Own’. See ‘Jingling Johnny’, the regimental mascot as well as the regimental drum up close, hear the Recruiting Sergeant shout for recruits and witness the real stories of the ordinary men of Connaught and their extraordinary experiences of war.
After World War I, the Connaught Rangers stationed at Jullundur, India staged a mutiny. The mutiny was provoked by the Black and Tans, a hastily recruited police force designed to deal with unrest and IRA activity. 69 mutineers were court-martialled, 14 sentenced to death but only 1 was executed: Private James Daly. Read his poignant final letter to his mother written on the eve of his execution.
The Connaught Rangers museum is a unique display of donated artefacts and family mementos belonging to the soldiers who served in this famous Irish regiment before the foundation of the Irish state. King House is also home to the Connaught Rangers Association, an organisation dedicated to remembering this proud regiment. As well as taking part in memorial ceremonies the association provides genealogical support for ancestors of men who served with the Rangers.