Ireland during World War 1: the facts & figures
World War I, 1914-1918, witnessed mobilisation and destruction on a scale the world had never witnessed before.
The celebrations that greeted the beginning of the war quickly faded as the horror of trench warfare, and the advancements in the weapons industry, became apparent. With approximately 65 million men mobilised during the war period, by all sides, more than 55pc were classified as dead, wounded, prisoner or missing. The scale of destruction and death was unprecedented.
Of the dead, these figures, compiled by Eneclann, record the names of more than 49,000 Irishmen who died in every theatre of the war.
Not all of them gave their home addresses as Ireland, but all fought with Irish regiments or considered themselves to be Irish or their country of birth to be Ireland.
Many came from English counties, others from places such as Canada and as far away as India. More than 30,000 declared Ireland to be their place of birth.
For the county-by-county breakdown, it should be noted that not all the records had a specific county given. For 741 individuals, simply "Ireland" was recorded.
Of the total where a county was actually listed, 11,300 were from the six counties of the North while 18,946 came from the remaining 26 counties.County-by-County Breakdown
KING'S CO (OFFALY) 435
QUEEN'S CO (LAOIS) 368
Total 30,987Of the remaining 19,071 deaths recorded, no place of birth was recorded for 7,405. The remaining 11,255 deaths were born in a wide variety of countries, throughout Britain, continental Europe and the rest of the world.
BRITISH GUYANA 1
CHANNEL ISLANDS 165
EAST INDIES 3
ISLE OF MAN 17
NEW ZEALAND 3
SOUTH AFRICA 12
STRAITS SETTLEMENT 1
WEST INDIES 1
TOTAL 11,255What age were those who died?
Only 3,209 entries record the age of the soldier at death. The majority were in their 20s, although there are recorded details about victims who were as young as 15 and as old as 82. The following table gives a breakdown, but it should be noted that the small number of records with this information makes the following information less statistically useful.
Age No. %
<18 31 1.0
18-20 523 16.3
21-25 1,087 33.9
26-30 744 23.2
31-40 684 21.3
41-50 121 3.8
>50 19 0.6
Total 3,209 What army rank were
the irish soldiers?
The soldiers who died were overwhelmingly from the lowest ranks. The following table lists the most common ranks recorded in these records. More than 5,000 are recorded with a different rank (or combination of ranks) or no rank was given. The breakdown is as follows:
2nd Lieutenant 1,145
See our dedicated World War 1 section here.
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