Cape Town Irish Volunteer Rifles

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The Cape Town Irish Volunteer Rifles were a volunteer part-time military unit, which existed for a few years in late Victorian South Africa.

The unit was formed in Cape Town in 1885, in response to fears of a war between the United Kingdom and Russia. (The Cape Town Highlanders were formed at the same time, for the same reason). Thomas O'Reilly, a prominent Irish-born Cape politician, commanded the CTIVR.

The CTIVR was never a large unit (its greatest strength, in 1888, was only 214 all ranks), and in 1891 it was taken over by the Duke of Edinburgh's Own Volunteer Rifles.


  • Monick, S. Shamrock and Springbok (1989)