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M_J_Robinson_Dur

History MA Dissertation: The experiences of Irish Veterans in Ireland

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M_J_Robinson_Dur

Wow! Thanks again everyone. All the advice above is fantastic! I have emailed the British Legion and the RDFA but I am yet to receive a response but hopefully they will be able to help me. Sherpamick, you are right in stating that I need to try and get in touch with the children of veterans, and I am currently in the process of trying to get newspapers to put my request in their backpages. This no guarentee for success because, as you say yourself, many veterans did not talk about their experiences and when they did it was sometimes only to fellow soldiers in private groups (as highlighted in Neil Richardson's book).

This morning I re-read my notes on Tom Johnstone's book Orange, Green and Khaki: The Story of the Irish Regiments in the Great War, 1914-1918 and I noticed the quote: 'Most Irish ex-soldiers retired into historical oblivion' after they had demobilised. Hopefully, thanks to the advice thus far, I can try and re-dress this balance.

I would be more than happy to email you my work once i'm finished (if anyone is interested that is).

Thanks once again and if anyone has more input/suggestions please keep them coming. This forum is quickly becoming my greatest aid for my dissertation.

Michael.

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kildaremark

I note your disseration will be on "post-war experiences of southern Irishmen"

One of the first books to hit on this topic was Henry Harris "Irish Regiments in the First World War" published in 1966 and worth having a look at especially as it was published at the same time as the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Rising in Dublin.

Ireland of course was at war for the next few years after the war with the war of Independence from 1919-21 and Civil War from 1922-23. There are countless examples of former British soldiers fighting against the British Army after demob but probably not statistically a high percentage. On the other had when Civil War broke out in 1922, the vast majority of soldiers in the new Free State Army were ex-British Army. After the war there was a near mutiny in 1924 when many ex-IRA in the new Free State Army were demobbed while ex-British soldiers were retained in the new army.

Harris' work gives some account of the new administration of the state and the influence of the ex-British.

In my own personal opinion, there were many many who suffered discrimination or disadvantage having served in the British army but I think a proper analysis is far more likely to reveal that it was insignificant in comparison to the numbers that participated. It was the organs of the old state that were being excised not the individuals once the Civil War was over. Thus there are few war memorials to British soldiers which is used as evidence that ex-British soldiers were discriminated against but you wont find memorials either to all the Irishmen who died or served in the Civil War but there are plenty erected around Ireland to men who fought against the State that still exists today. It is also worth noting that the 'victors' in the Civil War remained in power until the early 1930s when the civil war 'losers' Fianna Fail came into Government which caused some concern in many parts of the State and also worth looking at.

Good luck with it!

Mark

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abwabwabw

A group of men who at times appeared to have suffered after WW1 on their return were Irish Catholic Chaplains. Although Irish Diocese were reticent in many cases of encouraging clergy to join up Limerick wouldn't allow any too the Irish Orders Jesuits etc. were much more generous in their response and the Irish Jesuits in paricular had an amazing record many who were decorated and some who gave their lives. If you go to Ficker and look up Irish Jesuits there is interesting information. Out of the 25 Irish Jesuit chaplains I have traced 5 awarded MC's 2 DSO's would be interested in reading your dissertation when complete Good Luck. Alex

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Jammydodgers

This sounds like a facinating topic OP & I just wanted to wish you luck in your endeavous, I am a complete newbie to all of this so can't offer any practical advice

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yelob

What would be interesting perhaps would be to enquire first is why so many Southern Irishmen went and fought in the first place,who didn't have to.My own GF is an example in point,why did he leave a stable and by all accounts above average waged job to join the British Army in 1915?Particularly when he had at that time a wife and 4 children and there was no conscription.

From what I gather both the railway and Guinness (2 of the biggest employers at the time) made it easier by ensuring that the man's job would be there for him when he returned.I always wondered about this and the reason for it,why would an employer be willing to let go in some cases skilled employees with the possibility of having to replace them in the event of their death.

An interesting statistic would be how many went half heartedly under peer pressure or other intimidation,versus the other commonly voiced reasons such as Home Rule,adventure etc.How widespread here at the time was the horror of what awaited them known etc Answers to those questions (if possible) might throw some light on the survivors and their post war return

experiences.

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Wesley Wright

I have noticed that in Northern Ireland, the Presbyterian church honour boards often included "those who dared to die, survived:". Did some of the other churches (e.g. CoI) in the South do the same?

David

Very late--Presbyterian WW1 Records covers all od Ireland.

Wesley

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janglo

Hi Michael,

Apologies for hi-jacking your thread but I am unable to PM you. I was fascinated by your thesis proposal and hope all went well for you, I am looking for some advice as I am doing an undergrad thesis (10,000). I am researching the provision of housing for Irish WW1 veterans. Nearly 3000 houses were built for returning service men under the Irish (Provision for Sailors and Soldiers) Land Act of 1919. There has been a lot written about the Irish Sailors and Soldiers Land Trust which managed the housing schemes. My project is concerned with the Killester Garden Suburb where 289 houses were provided. I am trying to focus on the human side of the story and how these men felt living in these colonies of ex servicemen. I would love to know what you discovered about the treatment of Irish veterans in Ireland. Any advice from yourself or any other forum users would be much appreciated.

Many thanks

Jan

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janglo

Hi Michael,

Unfortunately I cannot access the message that you send me. I have just registered and apparently have to make 5 posts before I can read messages. I will find a couple of topics to post on and get back to you. Many thanks

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M_J_Robinson_Dur

Hello Janglo,

My e-mail is michael3.robinson@northumbria.ac.uk.

If it is easier to communicate that way then hopefully I can give you some useful tips.

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drdave

What a very interesting topic. I have been looking into this as I look back at my family tree.

Have you read Peter Hart's The IRA and its enemies- Violence and community in Cork 1916-23?

It has a very detailed analysis of motives and reasons for taking sides in the conflict, and the effects of religion, class and community. Many ex soldiers organised themselves for protection.

I have been looking for 2 reasons- a narrative in my family that Wilson Little was a Black and Tan. I think this is unlikely as he was married, from Leeds and too old. Most were young and single, from London. Can anyone help me out on that one?

Secondly, my wifes GGF was Dr Denis Quinlan of Castletownroche GP 1880-1926. I think he would have had to tread a very tricky path between ADRIC and the IRA. There are many references to abuse and intimidation of GPs by both sides.

He died in 1926 and his 2 sons moved to the UK. Jerome and Henry were gazetted in 1927. Jerome later became an orthopaedic surgeon in the RAMC in India and Henry become Henry St Lawrence Quinlan CB, Major General and head of the RADC.

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jimregan

I HAVE AN ANCESTOR WHO WAS PROVIDED WITH A HOUSE IN kILFINANE CO. LIMERICK AS PART OF THE IRISH SAILORS AND SOLDIERS LAND TRUST SCHEME . I WOULD BE VERY INTERESTED LEARNING MORE ABOUT THIS PROGRAM AND HOW IT OPERATED IN KILFINNANE. ANY SUGGESTIONS? JIM REGAN

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janglo

Hi Jim,

I've attached an article which might be of interest to you. I completed my thesis on Houses for Heroes scheme but I focused on the KIllester scheme. If you want a copy just let me know and I can email it to you. In the meantime you can have a look at this one

Ooops, just realised it is too big to upload. You can contact me at sully@esatclear.ie and I can send it directly.

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