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Remembered Today:

Most Dublin recruits did NOT join the Royal Dublin Fusiliers


Jervis

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In his book Dublin's Great Wars - Prof. Richard Grayson - make the interesting observation, that only 33% of Dublin born army recruits joined the Royal Dublin Fusiliers; the majority of Dublin born recruits joined other Irish or English regiments. Grayson also notes there were marginally more Dubs in the Belfast based 2nd Royal Irish Rifles than the 7th RDF. (~450 men)

 

Grayson's used various sources including the Army councils general annual report ending Sep 1913. 

 

I find this fact interesting as it correlates very well with my own (very extended) family tree. Of 22 Dublin born Great War soldiers only 7 served with the Dublin Fusiliers. The balance serving in other Irish, English or Canadian regiments. 

 

Unfortunately Grayson does not speculate why so many Dubs shunned the RDF. 

 

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Interesting findings that. It's after making me take a look at the breakdown of the Donegal Town war dead that I know off.

The Inniskillings would be the logical Regiment, as it was the closest, and the 11th Bn was for Donegal & Fermanagh Volunteers.

 

However out of my list of 40 there was only 10 in the Inniskillings. 4 were Royal Dublin Fusileers, 3 were Royal Scots, 3 were Irish Guards and 2 were Royal Irish Fusileers & 2 were RHA & RFA.

Lots of singles then with ASC, RE, Canadian, Cameronians, NZ, Royal Munster etc.

 

So it's only 25% here joined the 'local' regiment - based on the deaths which I know won't be proof of the overall number but may suggest at it.

I wonder was that just an Irish thing where they joined many different Regiments of if it was consistent in cities in England or Scotland for example?

 

Edited by JasonMc
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Steven Broomfield

Given that the opening post references Canadian forces, are we talking about men from Dublin who were living in Dublin and enlisted in Dublin, or only of men who originated in Dublin, irrespective of where they lived and where they enlisted? If the latter, then it probably tells more about a diaspora: someone living in, say, Birmingham, is more likely to join the local regiment than cross back to joing the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.

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Steven

 

Back to the original post - it did refer to men born in Dublin, so I think you are right to suggest diaspora.

Keith

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Sorry I have confused matters by referencing the CEF. That refers to one individual on my family tree. Please ignore. 

Grayson's analysis is based on recruits into the British Army in 1913 and detailed analysis of Great War service records. So yes- it does include Dublin born recruits in Britain. I don't have the book to hand however from memory the number recruited in Britain in 1913 was relatively small ~ 5% and not the significant factor in low recruitment to the RDF. The number of Non infantry recruits were more significant, however even within Infantry recruits the RDF enlistment was surprisingly low. 

 

 

1 hour ago, JasonMc said:

 

it's only 25% here joined the 'local' regiment - based on the deaths which I know won't be proof of the overall number but may suggest at it.

I wonder was that just an Irish thing where they joined many different Regiments of if it was consistent in cities in England or Scotland for example?

 

 

I don't know about Britain but Grayson's book pointed out that 81% of recruits born in Connaught joined the Connaught Rangers. 

Edited by Jervis
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For interest this is the annual recruitment return to Oct 1913.

 

The highlighted column is the % of those men who enlisted in a district who enlisted for service with a local regiment - interestingly Dublin is still higher than Belfast,

image.png.fb87bc0d860475cedc68751bbae5b47a.png

 

 

Craig

Edited by ss002d6252
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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

I don't know if it is relevant, to the subject in hand,  interesting or what, but I've done some data crunching on the first Anglesey Absent Voters List of Spring 1918.

Of 4183 men (and women) on the list, only 861 were in what would be deemed the local Regiment, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 20.6%.

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5 minutes ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

I don't know if it is relevant, to the subject in hand,  interesting or what, but I've done some data crunching on the first Anglesey Absent Voters List of Spring 1918.

Of 4183 men (and women) on the list, only 861 were in what would be deemed the local Regiment, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 20.6%.

Similar figures as above for Oct 13

image.png.c35f51b120ebdeca6f94cb1576360183.png

 

 

Craig

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4 hours ago, JasonMc said:

 

So it's only 25% here joined the 'local' regiment - based on the deaths which I know won't be proof of the overall number but may suggest at it.

 

 

 

From Craigs screen shot it appears 86% of local recruits went to the skins. 

 

The figures actually seem to show an urban - rural discrepancy. The cities Dublin & Belfast are at a low % of local recruitment. Cork at 50% is low too. Whereas more rural locations have much higher level of local recruitment. 

 

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17 hours ago, Jervis said:

 

From Craigs screen shot it appears 86% of local recruits went to the skins. 

 

 

In 1912-13 it may have been more local recruitment into the 1st and 2nd Batallions of the Inniskillings.

But I cannot see that it carried into the recruitment for the Great War as from what I see of all 40 of my local soldiers the majority I'm aware of didn't join the Inniskillings.

 

Glancing through the Donegal Roll of Honour book the Inniskillings are not dominantly represented in the dead from here.

 

There are approx 1154 soldiers from County Donegal listed and from that I can find

Inniskilling 405 (35%)

Royal Irish (any): 104 (9%)

Canadian 68 (6%)

Royal Dublin: 61 (5%)

RF & RH Artillery: 59 (5%)

Connaught: 30 (3%)

Munster: 24 (2%)

Navy: 19 (2%)

 

It's not very scientific as it's only a quick pass down through it - and it'd only the dead, not the survivors. And it's their regiment on death, not enlistment which could be a margain of error too.

However if the rate of enlistment to the Skins during the war was 86% then I'd have imagined this would have been closer to Inniskilling 1000 dead from Donegal and not 400+.

 

It's a very interesting point, and thanks for highlighting it. I'm going have a proper look as that was a quick run through on the Donegal numbers here to try and get a better idea of it as I had assumed it would have been much higher than 35%

 

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