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depaor01

Percentage of Irish Catholics and Protestants joining up

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Airshipped

I suppose I should've been a little more precise re my observation on the American and Canadian figures: the latter population does not bear much of a relationship to the recruitment figures on account of a large number of the former enlisting in Canada. This subject has been broached before by various military historians from the broader perspective of Canadian units containing large numbers of American, British and other nationalities, most of whom had American and not Canadian next-of-kin addresses.

To take on this from the angle of Irish enlistment from North America (i.e. Canada and the USA) in the Canadian forces there are several approaches that could be taken. One of the easiest might be to simply take the most commonly-occurring Irish surnames and then examine the Canadian enlistment figures to ascertain the percentage of these who were Irish-born. Granted, it could be affected by statistical outliers, e.g. an uncommon surname from Ireland as a whole could have been a common surname in an area that was the subject of high emigration.

However, to take one example, the surname Byrne/Byrnes occurs 162 times in respect of enlistment details published. Alas not all occurrences have a corresponding attestation paper. However, excluding some duplications, re-enlistments and so forth, we find 36 unique Irish-born from among the material available. Even disregarding those for which we hadn't sight of their papers we have a figure of 36/162nds or 22% Irish-born. Interestingly, of the 36 there were at least 9 with US addresses, which reflects American neutrality in the early years of the war and the likelihood that the Canadian recruitment figures were substantially bolstered by volunteers from North America as a whole.

Service Number Surname Forename(s) County of Birth Date of Birth Hyperlink 2015819 Byrne Andrew Joseph Wicklow (Avoca) 27-Aug-1887 http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=80468 2045030 Byrne Charles Ireland (Guildford) 26-Nov-1886 http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/image.aspx?Image=277079a&URLjpg=http%3a%2f%2fdata2.archives.ca%2fcef%2fgpc002%2f277079a.gif&Ecopy=277079a 1030753 Byrne Charles Dublin 22-Jun-1876 http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=80474 270413 Byrne Christopher Dublin 10-Jan-1877 http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=80476 59127 Byrne Christopher Dublin 20-Aug-1895 http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=80477 458617 Byrne Christopher Dublin 15-Sept-1882 http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=80479 736702 Byrne Edward Wicklow (Tinahely) 04-Nov-1881 http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=80484 510818 Byrne Hugh Wicklow (Bray) 01-Aug-1877 http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=80505 4080238 Byrne James Mayo 21-Aug-1888 http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=80508 2009426 Byrne James Ireland 14-Aug-1879 http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=80509 445147 Byrne John Wexford 23-Nov-1879 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277115a.gif&id_nbr=80515 445147 Byrne John Dublin 25-Dec-1880 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277116a.gif&id_nbr=80515 841717 Byrne John Limerick 08-Dec-1894 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277111a.gif&id_nbr=80516 2779689 Byrne John Kildare 03-Oct-1867 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277117a.gif&id_nbr=80517 68058 Byrne John Kildare 03-Oct-1879 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277119a.gif&id_nbr=80517 3105686 Byrne John Wicklow 03-Feb-1882 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277114a.gif&id_nbr=80521 50478 Byrne John Hamilton Dublin (Kingstown) 09-Nov-1884 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277120a.gif&id_nbr=80523 3080869 Byrne John Joseph Kildare (Ballymore Eustace) 20-Jul-1891 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277123a.gif&id_nbr=80526 65128 Byrne John P Carlow 13-Jan-1892 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277128a.gif&id_nbr=80531 443469 Byrne Joseph Dublin 25-Dec-1890 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277132a.gif&id_nbr=80535 63095 Byrne Michael Dublin 02-Feb-1888 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277143a.gif&id_nbr=80548 219473 Byrne Michael Dublin 28-May-1875 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277142a.gif&id_nbr=80550 2007670 Byrne Michael Joseph Mayo (Ballyhaunis) 04-Feb-1884 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277144a.gif&id_nbr=80551 528292 Byrne Nicholas Wexford (New Ross) 07-Apr-1896 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277145a.gif&id_nbr=80553 3105965 Byrne Patrick Wexford (Inch) 24-Mar-1893 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277148a.gif&id_nbr=80555 248660 Byrne Patrick Roscommon 16-Jan-1892 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277147a.gif&id_nbr=80557 2014550 Byrne Peter Thomas Carlow (Rathvilly) 29-Jan-1888 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277151a.gif&id_nbr=80560 458499 Byrne Thomas M Dublin 31-May-1871 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277160a.gif&id_nbr=80573 761237 Byrne Timothy Wicklow (Arklow) 18-Dec-1882 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277164a.gif&id_nbr=80576 827044 Byrne Timothy Dublin 03-May-1898 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277165a.gif&id_nbr=80577 529511 Byrne Timothy Patrick Dublin 17-Jul-1885 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277161a.gif&id_nbr=80578 2014576 Byrne William Joseph Wicklow (Dunlavin) 02-May-1876 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277178a.gif&id_nbr=80591 3232972 Byrnes Charles Bernard Tyrone 07-Mar-1899 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277191a.gif&id_nbr=80601 1638 Byrnes Isaac Wexford Jun-1872 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277198a.gif&id_nbr=80610 1638 Byrnes Isaac Wexford Jun-1872 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277199a.gif&id_nbr=80610 1638 Byrnes Isaac Wexford Jun-1872 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277200a.gif&id_nbr=80610 141635 Byrnes Joseph Waterford 04-Dec-1893 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277204a.gif&id_nbr=80615 1057377 Byrnes Michael Limerick 01-Jan-1880 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc018/690927a.gif&id_nbr=80620 258066 Byrnes Thomas Mayo 25-Dec-1883 https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/001042-119.02-e.php?image_url=http://data2.archives.ca/cef/gpc002/277210a.gif&id_nbr=80623 3105546 Byrnes Valentine Dublin 14-Feb-1881 http://data2.collectionscanada.gc.ca/cef/1001-2000/1363-32.pdf

Quite apart from looking at the surname route for Canadian records one could approach the UK data with an examination of surnames or forenames, as you have done.

However, this can be problematic if looking at religious denomination, as the original post wished to do. For example many Protestants had Old Testament 'scriptural' names such as Abraham or David. Obviously these have a huge universal dimension, e.g. Abe in Shelbyville USA has the same forename as Ibrahim in Cairo, and so it's not easy to track down those that are Irish-born without having to combine some weighting factor on surname forename combinations. For what it's worth, the RNAS had approximately 1,000 Irish-born recruits. There are 39 with a 'biblical' name among their forenames, though this excludes New Testament names such as Bartholomew etc. Still though it's a figure of 4%, which is a substantial number in the context of looking at all the Patricks etc.

Service Number Surname Forename County of Birth File Reference, DOB F43895 Hanna Abraham Armagh ADM 188/635, 28-Jan-1899 F5164 Watson Adam Belfast, Co Antrim ADM 188/570, 06-Jun-1890 F8643 Henry Alfred Gideon Cork ADM 188/577, 29-Aug-1895 F52210 Moir Benjamin Dublin ADM 188/644, 16-Mar-1898 F10068 Thomson Benjamin Antrim ADM 188/580, 06-May-1879 F42329 Twamley Benjamin Robert Cork ADM 188/634, 02-Nov-1898 F20855 Wood Benjamin Ussher Dublin ADM 188/601, 16-Oct-1878 F590 Forde Daniel Cork (Kinsale) ADM 188/561, 24-Feb-1881 F36350 Riordan Daniel Cork ADM 188/628, 01-Apr-1891 Sheehan Daniel Joseph Cork ADM 273/6/116 F51144 Johnston David Belfast, Co Antrim ADM 188/643, 14-Jun-1899 F10010 Lawther David Down ADM 188/580, 11-Jul-1881 F31276 McKinstry David Belfast, Co Antrim ADM 188/622, 18-Mar-1899 F10052 Nummie David Armagh ADM 188/580, 15-Jun-1890 F10119 Russell David Down ADM 188/580, 23 Jun-1893 F10069 Wallace David Antrim ADM 188/580, 20-Sept-1893. Was convicted of theft on 28/10/1939 at Belfast. F25251 Williamson David Armagh ADM 188/610, 15-Sept-1897 F30449 Walsh David Christopher Cork ADM 188/620, 18-Dec-1897 F3045 Bryars David Livingstone Tyrone ADM 188/566, 11-Oct-1891 F4771 Woods David Thomas Cork ADM 188/569, 12-Nov-1892 F53589 Trapnell Edward Josiah Antrim ADM 188/645, 05-Aug-1900 F1887 Carson Ezekial Agnus Armagh ADM 188/563, 20-Jul-1886 F9920 Irvine Isaac Belfast ADM 188/579, 29-Nov-1886 F5135 McClure James Samuel Belfast, Co Down ADM 188/570, 08-Dec-1886 F11147 Sullivan Jeremiah Kerry ADM 188/582, 25-Nov-1887 F24620 Crowe Samuel Antrim ADM 188/609, 22-Oct-1885 F2883 Deane Samuel Antrim ADM 188/565, 28-Jun-1893 F10053 Nesbitt Samuel Down ADM 188/580, 17-Sept-1885 F362 Ryan Samuel Down ADM 188/560, 07-Dec-1886 F51153 Simpson Samuel Belfast, Co Antrim ADM 188/643, 01-May-1899 F4518 Wylie Samuel Derry/Londonderry ADM 188/569, 14-Mar-1893 F6279 Bellis Samuel Arcott Donegal ADM 188/572, 21-Mar-1880 F52185 Fulton Samuel Crosbie Down ADM 188/644, 13-Sept-1898 F7942 Reynolds Samuel George Tyrone ADM 188/575, 22-Jan-1893 F32079 Stanton Samuel Greer Derry/Londonderry ADM 188/624, 12-Oct-1894 F9845 Ferguson Samuel James Belfast ADM 188/579, 05-Jun-1896 F5522 McCausland Samuel Osborne Belfast, Co Antrim ADM 188/571, 01-Oct-1892 F37314 Greenfield Simeon Dublin ADM 188/629, 10-May-1898 F39943 Dougan William Nathaniel Derry/Londonderry ADM 188/631, 18-Aug-1899 F51307 Larmer Zaccheus Lindzey Dublin ADM 188/643, 01-Dec-1897

One problem is that forenames often reflect the birth of many of Victoria's children or indeed are of previous monarchs.

On the other side of the coin there aren't too many Roman Catholic forenames, e.g. it wasn't until the Ecumenical Congress of the 1930s that uncommon forenames such as Assumpta, Attracta, Concepta and Immaculata began to appear. For men a forename such as Augustine doesn't necessarily imply Catholicism, as the stem is in Augustus and thus in the same ballpark as Horace and other imperial names. I suppose RC names such as Aloysius and Stanislaus do appear among the Irish enlistment (and casualty) returns but they are of such rarity one would struggle to find 1%.

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Murrough

Great work gentlemen,but quite technical for me, a couple of questions,

The 24% enlistment figure for the home countries (excluding Ireland) does this figure include those that were conscripted?

Would Irish born men be liable to conscription after 1916, if resident on the UK mainland?

Would the total number of Irish born casualties who enlisted on the mainland give an indicator as to the total number of Irish born men who enlisted/were conscripted in The home countries?

Is there an acceptable casualty to participation formula that might be used to indicate a figure for Irish born enlistment in the UK ?

Regards,

M.

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Guest

Great work gentlemen,but quite technical for me, a couple of questions,

The 24% enlistment figure for the home countries (excluding Ireland) does this figure include those that were conscripted?

Would Irish born men be liable to conscription after 1916, if resident on the UK mainland?

Would the total number of Irish born casualties who enlisted on the mainland give an indicator as to the total number of Irish born men who enlisted/were conscripted in The home countries?

Is there an acceptable casualty to participation formula that might be used to indicate a figure for Irish born enlistment in the UK ?

Regards,

M.

1. Conscripted.. yes... In the UK roughly 50% were volunteers and 50% conscripts. The Scots had slightly higher zeal for volunteering but population limitations impacted during conscription.

2. Irish born were not liable for conscription. The munitions factories were full of conscription-exempt Irishmen if Hansard is to be believed. An area that few have done any research into.

3. No. For a number of reasons. The data is not specific enough. There is no analysis of the proportion of expatriate Irishmen who enlisted outside the Infantry. The data is more visible in the Infantry which had dedicated 'Irish' City Regiments. The Services, RFA, RGA, RE etc had (generally speaking) no dedicated Irish units (and no TF) so the non Infantry/ non cavalry are particularly hard to identify. Also it changed as the War progressed with the infantry shrinking as a per cent of total all arms. Also casualty rate varied considerably within the Infantry and across Arms.

4. Casualties. Arguably the identification of a casualty is more elusive than identifying an Irishman in England. The definitions vary but more importantly while killed and died are fairly accurately recorded, and to a lesser extent the POW are, the wounded and sick and injured have no consistently reliable reference points outside the official aggregate figures. One could drive a coach and horses through the gaps in the Battalion and Regimental data. When comparing published histories, battalion War diaries, Bde war diaries, Div (Admin) war diaries they seldom resolve with each other and seldom resolve with the SDGW and CWGC data. It is a minefield... which make Irish casualties doubly difficult to understand.

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