Edward Reardon was born in Bandon in 1887, son of Patrick and Elizabeth nee Sweeney, Castle Rd. Bandon .He was one of four brothers; Maurice the eldest, William and John who served in the Royal Munster Fusiliers. Private Edward Reardon enlisted on the 8th Feb.1908, aged 21. From the 16th Feb 1909 to 5th March 1914 he served in India with the Dirty Shirts [R.M.F.]. During his time there he was hospitalised suffering from malaria for 6 days in November 1910 and eczema for 12 days in July 1913. Returning to Ireland, March 1914 he became a Reserve until he was recalled for fulltime duty on August 4th. At the outbreak of WW1, Pte Reardon moved with 2nd Bn. R.M.F. to England and then to France with the B.E.F. When in France, they were a reserve battalion. near Mons. After the retreat from Mons, the 2nd Bn. R.M.F.having fought a rearguard action at Entreux, expending all ammunition, surrendered to the advancing German Army of enormous strength. It is well known from history the regular soldiers of the British Infantry were renowned for their rifle drill and rate of sustained rapid fire of 15 rounds per minute with bolt-action rifles. This ability held up the German advance until the French and British consolidated its defences to their rear. Taken prisoner on 27th Aug after only 4 days in France, he was moved to Germany and became a prisoner of war in a prison camp in Limburg.


            He was released on 1st Dec 1918 and returned to Ireland for Christmas where he received a letter from King George [Click here to see letter]. Pte Ed. Reardon served a further 2 years and was discharged on 7th Feb 1920. Edward Reardon married in 1919 and lived with his family in Bandon. Edward and 5 other ex-soldiers and their families occupied houses built for them in Haig’s Terrace, named after General Haig, until his death in 1951. One son Pat joined the Irish Regular army and another son Andrew joined the army reserve known as the L.D.F. At present he has 4 grandsons and 5 great-grandsons serving with the Irish Army Reserve force.  

The rapid-fire practice his grandfather used was also a skill practiced by the Army Reserve until 1990 when they changed the personal weapon to the 7.62mm F.N. Rifle. At present the Irish Army and Reserve are issued with the 5.56mm Styer as their personal weapon. His grandson Michael Doyle is the current chairman of the Bandon War Memorial Committee, and who is a retired Commadent of the Irish Army Reserve force and holder of 2 Individual All–Army Rifle Marksmanship badges with the bolt action .303” Lee Enfield rifle. Is it in the blood? (Click here for Printable Version)

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