Terence O'Reilly (rebel)

Badge for the Irish Legion
National Library of Ireland on The Commons, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

Lieutenant Jules Terence O’Reilly was born in Killincarrick in 1782. Terence joined the Irish Legion in France in 1804, he served in the Napoleonic campaigns from which he was promoted to Captain. He was awarded the Cross of the Legion of Honour for his role in the siege of Flessingue in 1809. He was promoted to chef de bataillon of the 101st regiment in 1814. He was an officer in The Army of the Loire the last force which was loyal to Napoleon. He retired in 1815 and retired to Evreux where he died in 1844. He was described as probably the most assiduous recruiter for the Irish Legion.

The legion Irlandaise was set up in 1803 by Napoleon in reaction to a possible invasion of Ireland. Its aim was to establish a core of trained Irish officers who may help recruit an army in Ireland in case of a war against the English rulers in Ireland by the French. It was part of the French Imperial Army. It later became the The Third foreign Regiment, Irish.


Dunne-Lynch, Nicholas; “A West-Cork Officer in the Service of France: Thomas Brown of Castlehaven (1786-1847)”

Hayes, Richard; Biographical Dictionary of Irishmen in France: Part XVI, Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, Vol. 34, No. 136 (Dec., 1945) pp 522 – 532.

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