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
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
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.
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?
here for Printable Version)
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