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Guest

Hello - having recently delved into the life of of Erskine Childers I am interested in expanding my understanding of a few areas of Irish history. I understand that the Mods are sensitive when Irish matters stray beyond 1914-1918 so I will tread carefully. I would be grateful for any recommendations on the definitive* books on the following areas (all have tangible relevance to the Great War):

I will add suggestions to the OP in blue

1 Irish Emigration after the famines. This has relevance to the Great War as recruiting and population was a sensitive issue. SMEBE and the GARBA 1913-19 both reiterate that the Irish male population of service age had largely emigrated. I am trying to understand how much the Irish population had been depleted in absolute and relative terms... and how this directly impacted the recruiting areas for the Irish Regiments, particularly the Connaught Rangers (area of highest emigration I believe), Leinsters, Royal Munster Fusiliers, Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the Royal Irish Regt. Infantrymen recruited after 1902 would still have been called up as Reservists, so recruiting (if impacted by lower population densities) may have been impacted. For certain the southern Irish Regiments all had the lowest numbers of Reservists as a direct consequence of recruiting challenges. I am trying to tie this back to emigration.

 

The Great Hunger by Cecil Woodham-Smith

 

2. Irish Immigration in England Scotland and Wales. (this might be the same book as 1. above). The Great War relevance is that I am trying to gauge the size of Irish immigrant communities in England Scotland and Wales. (hereafter ES&W I have done some very detailed work based on the decennial Census between 1851 and 1911 tracking the 'Irish Born' and attempting to model the size of Irish Born populations in ES&W. Of greater complexity I am also trying to model the size of the ES&W born descendants of Irish Immigrants going. My research so far has identified 1861 as the 'peak year' of Irish born in ES&W (3%) and my logic is that this generations' sons and grandsons if born in ES&W would have been eligible for Conscription in 1916.

 

I am also interested in getting accurate data on the concentration of Irish communities. Over one in five males in Liverpool was Irish-Born at one stage in history (1861) and it follows that tens of thousands of their descendants will have served. I have hard data for every County and major metropolis in the UK for 1851 and each decade to 1911. Some areas of Scotland and the North East of England had Irish immigrant communities in excess of 15% of the population and I am trying to get a finer layer of understanding beyond the Census, preferably supported with data.

 

The Irish in Britain 1915-1939 Edited by Roger Swift and Sheridan Gilley Edit: This is an outstanding piece of research.

Irish Migrants in Britain 1815-1914 by Roger Swift - Edit: This is an outstanding piece of research.

Immigration and Integration: The Irish in Wales, 1798-1922 by Paul O'Leary

 

3. Irish Politics in the immediate pre-war period. I need to understand the stand-off by both communities against the British Govt in Aug - Sep 1914 and the reasons for holding out in order to create Irish or Ulster formations and the impact it had on recruiting. Most histories of the Kitchener battalions skate over this. I have again done some very detailed analysis on the build up of the 10th Irish Div (weekly data by battalion) Ditto the 16th Irish and 36th Ulster Divs. These also included large swings where blocs of recruits were shifted from one battalion to another and I am trying to understand this better.

 

Fatal Path - The British Government and the Irish Revolution 1910-1922 by Ronan Fanning

 

4. The Curragh Incident.

 

Mutiny at the Curragh by A P Ryan Pub 1956

The Curragh Incident by Sir James Fergusson

The Army and the Curragh Incident 1914 by I F W Beckett (Army Records Society)

A Question of Duty: The Curragh Incident 1914 by Paul O'Brien

 

5. The Easter Rising.

 

The Easter Rising by Michael Foy and Brian Barton

 

6. Great War period Servicemen who subsequently served in the IRA and/or the Free State's Army. My assumption is that after the Irish Regiments in the British Army disbanded, many may have enlisted in the Irish Armies. If anyone has written on this aspect I would be interested.

 

Allegiencies Compromised by Michael Whelan


By way of reference I already have Ireland's Unknown Soldiers (Denman), Orange Green and Khaki (Johnstone) and Irish Regiments in the Great War (Bowman*) Field of Bones (Orr), as well as all the standard Divisional histories and Regimental Histories. I suspect there will be a few articles in the likes of the JSAHR or similar Journals on some of the above. If anyone knows of any scholarly material that relates to any of the above I would be very grateful (unpublished PhDs etc).

Thanks in advance. MG

Edited. Childers for Chambers.

* the most thoroughly researched, (preferably by academics)
* Bowman's introduction to his book lists a host of potentially interesting books and articles, so any recommendations from this would be particularly useful (and how to source the unpublished ones)

Edited by Guest

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BKirwan

Dear Martin G,

I cannot help with most of your questions but with regards to number 3 above I would recommend Ronan Fanning's "Fatal Path- The British Government and Irish Revolution 1910-1922" (2013). This book deals with the British government public and private attitude to the "Irish Question". The book covers the period you are interested in. Without an understanding of the composition of the various British cabinets one cannot follow the twists and turns in British policy and therefore the public and political response to them by Nationalist and Unionists alike. Recruitment was a barraging chip for both in trying to gain favourable compromises from the British cabinet. In July 1914 Ireland was the No.1 political issue in British politics, in August 1914 is was that no longer. Fanning is a professor of Modern History in UCD.

Another aspect which you may need to be aware is the possible effect of the 1913 Lock out on the recruitment of the 10th Division and particularly the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. It ended in January 1914 so be August many strikers were desperate.

Lastly speaking as the greatgrandson of Irish man who served in the Royal Navy form 1889 till 1919 don’t underestimate the motives of people just wanting to make a better life for themselves and escaping a poverty trap. The army (or navy) was a roof over your head, 3 square meals and a chance to make something of yourself and see the world.

Good luck with your research,

Brian

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Guest
On 10/23/2015 at 12:22, BKirwan said:

Dear Martin G,

I cannot help with most of your questions but with regards to number 3 above I would recommend Ronan Fanning's "Fatal Path- The British Government and Irish Revolution 1910-1922" (2013). This book deals with the British government public and private attitude to the "Irish Question". The book covers the period you are interested in. Without an understanding of the composition of the various British cabinets one cannot follow the twists and turns in British policy and therefore the public and political response to them by Nationalist and Unionists alike. Recruitment was a barraging chip for both in trying to gain favourable compromises from the British cabinet. In July 1914 Ireland was the No.1 political issue in British politics, in August 1914 is was that no longer. Fanning is a professor of Modern History in UCD.

Another aspect which you may need to be aware is the possible effect of the 1913 Lock out on the recruitment of the 10th Division and particularly the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. It ended in January 1914 so be August many strikers were desperate.

Lastly speaking as the greatgrandson of Irish man who served in the Royal Navy form 1889 till 1919 don’t underestimate the motives of people just wanting to make a better life for themselves and escaping a poverty trap. The army (or navy) was a roof over your head, 3 square meals and a chance to make something of yourself and see the world.

Good luck with your research,

Brian

Brian Thank you for the recommendation. I will pursue this line.

Ref recruiting: The rural English county regiments also struggled to recruit as well but all regiments had access to around 20 cities to tap into the large population densities. I suspect there were complex dynamics that inter-played but my starting points are;

1. Ireland, and southern Ireland in particular had seen massive emigration since the 1840s and this had a direct impact on Irish regiment's ability to recruit in their designated home districts

2. Expatriate Irishmen (pre war) would have employment in the England, Scotland etc and would be less inclined to join

3. The combination of 1. and 2. were the main drivers behind historically weak recruiting for Irish regiments. The evidence is in the long and steady decline in the proportion of Irish-born recruits in the British Army in the decades prior to the war.

Many years ago the NAM had an exhibition on the Battle of Waterloo and I always recall being surprised that one of the Black Watch battalions was over 90% Irish born. A hundred years later the proportion of Irish-born in the regular battalions of the Black Watch was in the very low single per cent.

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BKirwan

Martin

Yes your last remark re Waterloo doesn't surprise me; I remember reading somewhere that in 1830's between 30-40% of all British Army manpower was Irish. Just like the Scots there would be a disproportionate representation for economic reasons.

As you rightly point out the Great Famine and massive emigration to the US in particular then kicks in and that would account for structural depletion of able bodied men available for service. Remember the population of Ireland in 1800 was about 8 million, today it’s somewhat more than half of that; north and south added together.

Brian

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Guest

Martin

Yes your last remark re Waterloo doesn't surprise me; I remember reading somewhere that in 1830's between 30-40% of all British Army manpower was Irish. Just like the Scots there would be a disproportionate representation for economic reasons.

As you rightly point out the Great Famine and massive emigration to the US in particular then kicks in and that would account for structural depletion of able bodied men available for service. Remember the population of Ireland in 1800 was about 8 million, today it’s somewhat more than half of that; north and south added together.

Brian

Interesting. Do you mean 1841? My understanding was that prior to 1841 Census (8.1 million) there was no reliable data. I am not doubting the source but curious to know more as it might suggest mass emigration prior to the famines and therefor a much larger Irish diaspora - great grandparents of men who fought in the Great War... My understanding has always been 1841 was the peak and the peak Irish-born population in ES&W was 1861 (3%), thereafter declining as subsequent generations were born in ES&W.

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BKirwan

Martin

Just checked, the first census was 1821 and repeated every ten years but apparently these earlier counts were lost during the Four Courts fire during the civil war. Apparently there is some data form these available for particular areas see

http://www.findmypast.ie/articles/world-records/full-list-of-the-irish-family-history-records/census-land-and-substitutes/ireland-census-1821-1851

So yes you are right the 1841 seems to be the earliest complete surving record. It is worth noting that there were regional famines recorded for 1800,1817,1822,1831,1835,1842 and then of course the big one in the mid 1840's. This suggest to me that emigration was well underway prior to the Great Famine. See an article in Irish Times about these earlier trends;

http://www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/magazine/emigration/pre-fam.htm#general

Regards

Brian

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depaor01

"Allegiences compromised" by Michael Whelan deals with ex British servicemen who returned and joined the various Irish "Regular" and "Irregular" armies.

Dave

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Michael Pegum

Hello - having recently delved into the life of of Erskine Chambers I am interested in expanding my understanding of a few areas of Irish history.

Who was Erskine Chambers?

Michael

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MickLeeds

Erskine Childers I think. (typo)

Mick.

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Aneurin

A well-researched book on the Irish in Wales is Paul O'Leary's:

"Immigration and Integration: The Irish in Wales, 1798-1922" by Paul O'Leary, published by the University of Wales Press,(2002).

He reveals that in 1851, 54% of the Irish-born in Wales lived in Merthyr, Swansea, Newport and Cardiff.

At that time, 18.1% of the population of Cardiff were Irish-born while the percentage for Newport was 10.7%.

Gwyn

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archangel9

5. The Easter Rising.

Been a number of years since I read it but seem to remember this book being particularly good -

The Easter Rising

Michael Foy and Brian Barton

http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/the-easter-rising/

John

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Airshipped

The age profile of the global Irish-born population was quite high by the advent of WWI. I gather that Australian research has shown that, far from expectations of low enlistment (e.g. look up any Australian forum re the role of Irish clergy in the anti-conscription movement), the actual numbers signing up were comparable on a like for like basis if adjusting for the older demographic profile of the Irish-born population.

Of course the fact that a population is aging doesn't mean that the Irish community in these countries isn't growing; it's just that their children aren't Irish-born. Many had strong identification with Ireland and Irishness, others hadn't. It's an argument that goes around in circles if trying to quantify the 'Irishness' of the 18th Bn of the London Regiment or the Liverpool battalions etc.

Location 1901 Census 1911 Census 1921 Census

Australia 184,085 139,434 105,033

Canada 101,629 92,874 96,264

Great Britain England & Wales 426,565 375,325 364,747

Scotland 205,064 174,715 159,020

Ireland 6 counties 1,235,952 1,250,531 1,256,561

26 counties 3,221,823 3,139,688 2,971,992

New Zealand 43,524 40,958 34,419

USA 1,615,459 1,352,251 1,037,234

Total: 7,034,101 6,565,776 6,025,270

[Edit: can't get a table of data to appear properly, so please use imagination by reference to decade by decade figures as following on the same line].

I'm not including India or South Africa in the foregoing, as some of the armed services are included in the England and Wales census returns in 1911.

The original poster mentioned the Irish regiments. Do bear in mind that, with all the restructuring of the Victorian era, some of these had less local ties than would be imagined. Having said that many battalions carried the name of the previous units, e.g. within the Connaught Rangers you've the 'Galway Militia', or the 5th Leinsters are the 'Royal Meaths'. However, many locals would not have positively identified with several of these units.

Consider all the pro- and anti-Boer sentiment of the early 1900s. Although the Dublin Fusiliers obtained its 'Royal' prefix from these wars there were still some considerable protests over the erection of Fusiliers' Arch on St Stephen's Green. (Some nationalists labelled it "traitor's gate"). Many reservists being called up were Boer War veterans, i.e. on paper there were reservists but it was biting the same cherry, drawing on the same well etc.

In many rural areas the demographic profile was not conducive to enlistment in the armed services. I think in a few memoirs you'll find various 'Home Rule' MPs lamenting that their supporters are farmers' sons, and quite unwilling/unable to join the colours. (These are still the days of pre-mechanisation, so the labour-intensive nature of Irish agriculture tends to work against many of the Irish regiments, no matter how big their notional demographic catchment area).

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Derek Black

An article in the Dundee Evening Telegraph for the 10th of December 1918 says:

"To-day it is stated that more than 8000 men of Irish birth left Dundee to join the Army from August, 1914, to the signing of the armistice, and that at least 1500 gave their lives.

These figures are of noteworthy interest, and should be considered in connection with Major Cappon's estimate that at least 30,500 Dundee men joined the colours, and that the number of those who made the supreme sacrifice is not under 4000."

The population of Dundee in 1911 was 165,044.The Roll of Honour later produced for the city includes over 4000 names.

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Guest
On 10/26/2015 at 20:20, Airshipped said:

The original poster mentioned the Irish regiments. Do bear in mind that, with all the restructuring of the Victorian era, some of these had less local ties than would be imagined. Having said that many battalions carried the name of the previous units, e.g. within the Connaught Rangers you've the 'Galway Militia', or the 5th Leinsters are the 'Royal Meaths'. However, many locals would not have positively identified with several of these units.

Consider all the pro- and anti-Boer sentiment of the early 1900s. Although the Dublin Fusiliers obtained its 'Royal' prefix from these wars there were still some considerable protests over the erection of Fusiliers' Arch on St Stephen's Green. (Some nationalists labelled it "traitor's gate"). Many reservists being called up were Boer War veterans, i.e. on paper there were reservists but it was biting the same cherry, drawing on the same well etc.

In many rural areas the demographic profile was not conducive to enlistment in the armed services. I think in a few memoirs you'll find various 'Home Rule' MPs lamenting that their supporters are farmers' sons, and quite unwilling/unable to join the colours. (These are still the days of pre-mechanisation, so the labour-intensive nature of Irish agriculture tends to work against many of the Irish regiments, no matter how big their notional demographic catchment area).

Thank you for your thoughts.

 

My personal view is that the 1861 Census is more relevant as this was the peak year of Irish immigration in England at 3.00%. Every subsequent year showed fewer Irish-born living in England. As you point out, their offspring being largely English-born would gradually disappear from the 'Irish-born' stats. Assuming this 'peak' population grew in line with the rest of the country, it implies that roughly speaking 3% of the English population had Irish roots. Some would have been born in Ireland, but an increasing number would have been born in England as the communities settled in England and assimilated. By 1911 only 1.04% of England's population had been born in Ireland although the distribution of the Irish communities were very heavily skewed to London and the Industrial North. Using the peak 3.00% as the starting point and the fact that by 1911 just 1% were Irish-born, one might therefore reasonably assume that two in every three people with Irish heritage living in England were born in England. By extension it might also imply that two in every hundred English-born conscripts were of Irish descent.

 

The 1881 Reforms allocated specific recruiting districts to each of the Irish infantry regiments. These were geographically defined by the War Office. Across the whole of the UK the largest metropolitan areas were open to all Regiments for recruiting. The General Annual Reports for the British Army show a list of major cities and towns that could be tapped for recruits. The Irish regiments with recruiting districts in rural southern Ireland could recruit in Dublin and Belfast and indeed London and Liverpool and Glasgow.

 

All line infantry regiments started a new numbering system in 1881 beginning with No.1. It is therefore possible to track the number of men enlisted over any given period. This is important, particularly in the 12-16 years prior to 1914 as it is a very good gauge for the pool of potential Reservists in each Regiment. It is slightly more complex as 'wastage' within the Reserves varied considerably. Not only did Irish regiments have low recruiting, there is some evidence that wastage during the Reserve period was higher than average. The reasons are not well understood. Despite this access to the large urban areas, the Irish Regiments typically had some of the lowest number of available Army Reservists on the eve of the War.The stats are irrefutable but the reasons behind are potentially quite complex. The knock-on effect was that Irish Battalions tended to run out of fully trained and effective Reserves quite quickly. Given lower recruiting rates, they were also replenishing their reserves at slower rates. The longer term consequences can be seen in the painful merging of the 1st and 2nd Bn Connaught Rangers and the slow and inevitable amalgamation and disbandment of Irish Service battalions as the war progressed. While this was not unique to Irish battalions, the effect, ultimately due to the lack of conscription, was more pronounced among the Irish units.

 

The proportion of line infantry Army Reservists with Boer War experience was around 30%. The terms of service were 12 years with varying splits for Colour and Reserve service. A man serving during the Boer War would have completed his 12 years (including his Reserve obligation) by 1914, unless he had signed on for 20 years or (in the Reserve) had extended to Section D. The GARBA has data on both. The proportion of Infantrymen serving in 1914 who had done more than 12 years is extremely small. The proportion of Reservists in Section D in Irish regiments varied from 24% (R I Rifles) to 35% (R Dublin Fus). While most Irish Regiments had two or more Special Reserve and Extra Reserve Battalions - typically more than most English Regiments - these were chronically undermanned and were drained fairly quickly.

 

Your point on rural areas not being suitable for recruitment is interesting. There are stats on the number of men born within the Recruiting Districts of the Regiments they joined. Some of the rural English regiments managed some of the highest ratios of locally recruited men in the whole of the Army. The Census data provides incredibly detailed breakdowns of occupations by County. The traditional view is that rural poverty was a driver of recruiting rather than an inhibitor, particularly within the Reserve battalions. Direct comparisons between rural Ireland and rural England might be fraught with error. From what I have read so far, the levels of poverty in Ireland were on a completely different level. Irish recruiting into the British Army had been in an inexorable decline from the 1820s and was decelerating rather rapidly in the pre-war years. It is certainly a complex subject.

 

 

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Guest

An article in the Dundee Evening Telegraph for the 10th of December 1918 says:

"To-day it is stated that more than 8000 men of Irish birth left Dundee to join the Army from August, 1914, to the signing of the armistice, and that at least 1500 gave their lives.

These figures are of noteworthy interest, and should be considered in connection with Major Cappon's estimate that at least 30,500 Dundee men joined the colours, and that the number of those who made the supreme sacrifice is not under 4000."

The population of Dundee in 1911 was 165,044.The Roll of Honour later produced for the city includes over 4000 names.

Derek Thank you for this snippet.

Using these stats, it suggests that 26.2% of Dundee's recruits were Irish by birth. The 1911 Census for Scotland shows the following ratios for Irish-born as a per cent of populations:

Scotland.........3.67%

Glasgow.........6.78%

Dundee...........2.06%

The 1911 Census shows the population of Dundee as 165,004 of which 3,398 were Irish born (2.06%). For the male population we should roughly halve this number and for the men of enlistment age halve it again i.e around 850 Dundee men would have been Irish-born (and incidentally exempt conscription). The numbers simply dont add up. Clearly Dundee would have had a huge catchment area, however the outlying districts had much lower densities of Irish-born. For 26% of Dundee's recruits to have been born in Ireland suggests that the Irish-born residents of Dundee were thirteen times more likely to join up than the non-Irish born (calc: 26%/2% =13) Given Scotland had conscription which forced all eligible fit Scots-born men to enlist, this is a statistical impossibility in my view. Journalistic hyperbole seems to be driving this.

If the author means 'of Irish descent' and included Scots-born men whose parents or grandparents were born in Ireland, the stats still don't stand up. The peak Irish immigration was again in 1861 where the Irish born stood at:

Scotland..........6.7%

Glasgow.........15.7%

Dundee..........15.6%

Allowing for similar levels in growth of the Irish community within Scotland, this would imply that around 15-16% of Dundee's population had Irish heritage. Still some way short of 26%.

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Airshipped

The Dundee issue, and the related point of 3% declining to 1%, aren't wholly irreconcilable. The 3% lost an element on an annual basis to death or further onward migration. It was continuously re-populated by an additional inward migratory flow from Ireland, as it's own population growth in terms of offspring was contributing to the Scottish-born population, not the Irish community there.

For example of the 207,000 Irish-born in Scotland in 1871 and the 159,000 there in 1921 does not mean that the 207k declined by 46k. Rather, it could well have declined by 107k of the 207k, with the 159k in 1921 being mostly recent migration. Without cross-checking the 'death' component of births, deaths and marriages we're comparing apples and oranges.

https://books.google.ie/books?id=q6PwHF6FUYUC&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=irish+born+population+scotland+1921&source=bl&ots=W2Tm7r6P_C&sig=By5NXwyc8iiqvtBS5W8m7VP-irQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NQljVfC2IofD7ga6-oCgAQ&ved=0CDYQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=irish%20born%20population%20scotland%201921&f=false

Some drill-down material on the profile of the Irish-born population of Scotland in 1911:

http://www.visionofireland.org/census/SRC_P/3/S1911OCC

Further, the seasonal migratory flows of "tattie howkers" make it a much more fluid situation, unlike, for example the Irish population of the USA, which pretty much only went in one direction.

Fascinating subject, best of luck with the research.

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Guest

The Dundee issue, and the related point of 3% declining to 1%, aren't wholly irreconcilable. The 3% lost an element on an annual basis to death or further onward migration. It was continuously re-populated by an additional inward migratory flow from Ireland, as it's own population growth in terms of offspring was contributing to the Scottish-born population, not the Irish community there.

For example of the 207,000 Irish-born in Scotland in 1871 and the 159,000 there in 1921 does not mean that the 207k declined by 46k. Rather, it could well have declined by 107k of the 207k, with the 159k in 1921 being mostly recent migration. Without cross-checking the 'death' component of births, deaths and marriages we're comparing apples and oranges.

https://books.google.ie/books?id=q6PwHF6FUYUC&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=irish+born+population+scotland+1921&source=bl&ots=W2Tm7r6P_C&sig=By5NXwyc8iiqvtBS5W8m7VP-irQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NQljVfC2IofD7ga6-oCgAQ&ved=0CDYQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=irish%20born%20population%20scotland%201921&f=false

Some drill-down material on the profile of the Irish-born population of Scotland in 1911:

http://www.visionofireland.org/census/SRC_P/3/S1911OCC

Further, the seasonal migratory flows of "tattie howkers" make it a much more fluid situation, unlike, for example the Irish population of the USA, which pretty much only went in one direction.

Fascinating subject, best of luck with the research.

I think we are on the same page.

The migration figures are available in each Decennial Census. On a net basis (immigration less emigration and death) the Irish-Born was shrinking, but my assumption is the that 'losses' were more than offset by the subsequent English-born descendants of Irishmen and women who were, culturally speaking, 'Irish'.

The 'lost 2%' (as % of England population) would simply have been replaced with at least the same number (plus average population growth) but they simply would be English-born rather than Irish-born... and probably consider themselves as Irish. Between 1861 and 1891 (last Decennial Census for men born who would be old enough to serve in the Great War) is only 30 years and would accommodate at least one and possibly two generations after the cohort of 1861 and peak Irish-born.

The flip side is that net numbers of Irish-born had peaked and unless the subsequent generation were increasing at a significantly higher rate than the rest of the English population, it is statistically unlikely that the 'Irish' community could have been much more than 3% of the population (Irish born and English born descendants of Irish-born combined). This is the limit factor for the Irish community living in England. To illustrate the point; Between 1861 and 1911 the population of England grew by 79%. For the Irish community to grow from 3% of the English population to, say,4% of the Irish population in England it would have had to grow by 139% i.e much faster than the rest of England. This is unlikely in my view and I think illustrates why the Irish community in England was limited in size. Despite this, as discussed earlier there were very concentrated pockets of Irishmen and women in England which provided certain areas with strong Irish communities.

One wonders why the King's Liverpool Regt didn't raise a few Brigades of Liverpool Irish.

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Derek Black

An interesting subject gents, if only there was more hard data to work with.

I think you're right regarding the numbers in Dundee Martin, a tad overblown. Although it was for a long time, and to some extent still is, a popular place for the Irish to settle.

Derek.

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Guest

An interesting subject gents, if only there was more hard data to work with.

I think you're right regarding the numbers in Dundee Martin, a tad overblown. Although it was for a long time, and to some extent still is, a popular place for the Irish to settle.

Derek.

I would be interested to see any rolls of honour for the Great War from Dundee's largest Catholic churches. It would be interesting to see where they all served. MG

Dundee Men in Irish Units. On the 131,000 SNWM roll there are 72,320 who are recorded as born in Scotland Of these 2,950 men are recorded as born in Dundee. Only 21 served in Irish Regiments or less than 1% of the men born in Dundee who died in the Great War.

Of the 132,000 names, some 1,149 served in Irish Regiments or 1.6% of the total. Just under half served with north Irish Regiments with strong Unionist/Protestant sympathies.

If 12% died this would imply roughly 24,600 men born in Dundee served. 11% would push the numbers towards 27,000. I assume if Dundee's catchment area was to include neighbouring counties we could easily reach the 30,500 quoted in the press article.

A cross check of the Irish SDGW data shows only four men born in Dundee died while serving in Irish infantry Regiments. Assuming around 12% of all who served died, this would imply less than 40 Dundee born men all told probably served in Irish infantry regiments. Even if twas 100% out, the numbers are still minuscule. If Dundee's Irish population was keen on enlisting, they don't appear to have been very keen on joining Irish regiments. One assumes they mostly joined Scottish units - particularly as they were in fact Scots-born of Irish descent and conscripted..

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Derek Black

It's worth noting some areas of the city; Lochee and Broughty Ferry, are sometimes given without mention of their being in Dundee in SNWM/CWGC entries.

The AVL for the city may be of use?

http://www.fdca.org.uk/Burgh_Records.html

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Guest

It's worth noting some areas of the city; Lochee and Broughty Ferry, are sometimes given without mention of their being in Dundee in SNWM/CWGC entries.

The AVL for the city may be of use?

http://www.fdca.org.uk/Burgh_Records.html

Thanks Derek. Local knowledge is very useful.

Broughty Ferry and Lochee generate another five men (all Lochee) who enlisted and served and died in an Irish Battalion. I have cast the net further to the neighbouring counties as well.... but no matter how hard one tries, there is nowhere near enough supporting data. The Scots were reasonably good at maintaining Scottish cultural identity in its own formations. England had by far the largest surpluses and it made sense to use English surpluses to fill gaps in the Irish ranks.

Of related interest is the fact that Scotland throughout history had (proportionally) far more expatriate Irishmen than England (although in absolute terms it clearly had far fewer) I have "Irish Migrants in Britain 1815-1914" winging it way to me which I hope will help map out the demographics. The high concentrations of Irish migrant communities in places such as Dundee or unexpected places such as Whitehaven (England - I had to look it up) is really quite remarkable.

Separately there are a number of PhD theses that focus on certain areas (Durham, Northumberland as one example) which have provided valuable detail on these communities. The main challenge is to pin the second and third generations down (born outside Ireland). If Dundee was 15.6% Irish in 1861 and 2% Irish born in 1911, I suspect at least 13-14% of Dundee's population in 1911 were still of Irish descent. The extent to which the second and third generations identified themselves as Irish or Scots or both is a real challenge. I am extremely confident that there were not 8,000 Irish born from Dundee who served, but equally I think there would have been somewhere in the region of 15-16% of Dundee men who had tangible Irish heritage.

If we were generous and accepted that 30,500 Dundee men served it implies around 4,758 may well have had Irish heritage of which around 610 would have been born in Ireland. With 12% fatal casualties one might expect to see 70 odd Scottish soldiers who had been born in Ireland. The data is generating only 26 from those 72,320 whose birthplace is known. If we scale this up and assume the same proportions in all 131,000 we get close to 50, so still a bit short. Either 30,500 is too high, or the proportions/assumptions for the Irish community are too high or both. I am aware we are getting dangerously close to sample sizes that are not statistically robust.

MG

Why there was never a Glasgow Irish battalion is worth pondering. Or a Glasgow Irish Brigade.

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historyphil

Hello,

Regarding 'Irish Questions' and what books to read. Check out the Irish National Library online they have a brief booklist of recommended seminal texts on Irish History on their Rising webpages. All authors mentioned above by posters have merit in their own right.

My personal suggestion for starters would be; Ireland since the Famine, 2nd Edition by F.S.L. Lyons, The Easter Rising, Charles Townshend (he's also published on Irish and Imperial Policing, 1914/18 Mesopotamia and later Mandate). Modern Ireland by Roy Foster has many informative thumbnail discriptions of central players up to Partition. A.T.Q. Stewart comes from the northern tradition and is well worth a read.. All try to provided balanced value free opinions - you read the info' and makes your own choice. [edit Tyneside Irish Brigade one of the PAL's series published by Pen & Sword in a must regarding pre-war Irishness and employment]

Beware Irish History draws you in, as in order the understand such and such activites you have to read about the previous 20 years. I used to teach an Introduction to Irish History course ironically entitled 'Ireland the Turbulant Decade 1798 - 1924' and normally ended up at the Horslips (celtic rock) via the Welshman Strongbow and the Plantations.

Best of Philip

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BKirwan

" I used to teach an Introduction to Irish History course ironically entitled 'Ireland the Turbulant Decade 1798 - 1924' and normally ended up at the Horslips (celtic rock) via the Welshman Strongbow and the Plantations."

LOL ! And oh so very true.

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Michael Pegum

Hello - having recently delved into the life of of Erskine Childers I am interested in expanding my understanding of a few areas of Irish history. I understand that the Mods are sensitive when Irish matters stray beyond 1914-1918 so I will tread carefully. I would be grateful for any recommendations on the definitive* books on the following areas (all have tangible relevance to the Great War):

5. The Easter Rising.

The Easter Rising by Michael Foy and Brian Barton

I don't want to discourage you, but the latest estimate is that, by the end of this year, the number of books about 1916 will exceed 1000!.

Michael

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