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daddyshortlegs

Information on Disabled Veterans

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daddyshortlegs

Hi all

I’ve just joined what I already see as a fantastic forum. Thanks in advance to those who have obviously worked tirelessly to set it up and to you all who post and so eloquently it seems to me. Well done to you all. It’s a fitting response to al those who gave the great sacrifice in 1914-18.

The reason I joined was I was hoping to learn more about my Grand Father (and others like him) who was discharged in 1916 after he'd had his arm amputated following being wounded somewhere at the Somme ( I think) . I've his discharge papers and know he received a lifelong pension of 19 shillings and 3 d.

There was a chapter in Horne (Ed) Ireland and The Great War with some information on returnees but I'd like to find out more relating to the lot of the disabled soldier. I saw elsewhere on another topic that a Master’s student was looking for research sources on returnees following 1918. I suppose I more interested in general information on how the disabled soldiers were treated economically, socially, politically etc.

Also any information on prosthetic aids or mechanical aids they would have worn would be useful. I know he was treated in Duke of Connaught Hosp so anything on that would also be a help because I believe he had worn one for a time.

He was from the southeast of Ireland and joined in Waterford but enlisted in the Royal Irish Rifles in 1915. Was it a common occurrence to join a Northern Regiment? Finally is it possible to see War Diaries for the 7th Batt Royal Irish Rifles as I would really like to know how and where he was wounded if possible although that might be a long shot I suppose.

Thanks again and again well done on the forum :)

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archangel9

Welcome to the forum.

War diary can be downloaded from TNA for £3.30 -

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C7352872

Reference:WO 95/1975/2
Description: 7 Battalion Royal Irish Rifles
Date: 1915 Dec. - 1917 Nov.
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record
John

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Airshipped

Welcome to the Forum.

I can't make any suggestions re the medical facilities available to veterans.

However, on the subject of Irish servicemen who returned to Ireland after WW1 there's an interesting book by Jason R. Myers on "The Great War and Memory in Irish Culture".

Alas he strays a little on some of the topics re the treatment of veterans in Northern Ireland and in the Irish Free State. However, it's a very well-referenced work, that can bring one back to other source material. (It depends upon whether you're interested in getting into the detail of particular local circumstances or whether you want to stay on the surface and get a broad overview).

The 'Irish Sword', the journal of the Military History Society of Ireland, has quite a number of interesting articles on the subject over the years. However, there are a multitude of different sources out there, from articles on different Irish regiments through to memoirs and biographies. It's something of a mosaic of divergent elements, from IRA veterans to those who continued to dutifully listen to the Queen's Speech each year.

In a wider context, perhaps also read about how war veterans fared in Britain, France and Germany, i.e. it wasn't just a local case in Ireland of war veterans being disowned or treated with suspicion: veterans generally were betrayed - the housing programmes 'fit for heroes' didn't materialize, nor did the other related promises.

From my own ancestor's circumstances my great grand-aunt wouldn't accept a widow's veteran's cottage in Killester, as it was "out in the countryside", e.g. it wasn't a political matter, but one of a family not wishing to forfeit the social solidarity within a support network of inner-city Dublin families. The price point at which rents were agreed in Killester anyway ended up with bitter rent strikes and much other unrest in the 1920s too, e.g. there were many socio-economic pressures and other factors affecting veterans and their relationship with Great Britain than the wider political issues of the 1920s between these two islands. The ambivalent relationship of many veterans to the new Irish Free State was also complicated by an alienation from the UK too in terms of how their post-war treatment by the authorities was handled.

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BrendanLee

The Irish War Hospital Supply Depot in Dublin supplied some of the prosthetic aids, you can see in the second image in the link below the limbs are stacked on the shelf.

http://www.irishmedals.org/irish-war-hospitals.html

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daddyshortlegs

Hi all

Thanks so much for this it's so helpful. I'll take a look at those diaries, links and written sources. Cheers. :thumbsup:

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KGB

Some southerners were sent to northern units and vice versa.

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