Were there Irish recruits for Kitchener’s 3 year enlistment program during WW1? I understand that most Irish volunteers were Protestants from Ulster, but am wondering if they would have qualified for the 3 year service recruitment in 1914.

What division would they like serve, if they joined under these circumstances?

  • Welcome to History:Stack Exchange. Thank you for your question; please consider revising it to be more in line with our community expectations. Like many other stacks, we expect questions to provide evidence of prior research. That helps us to understand the question, and avoids our repeating work you've already done. Our help center, and other stacks provide additional resources to assist with revisions.
    – MCW
    Apr 1, 2021 at 0:04
  • 2
    Have you looked at Kitchener's Army on Wikipedia? There were 10th and 16th Irish divisions, with respective entries. Apr 1, 2021 at 0:05

1 Answer 1


Yes. While most of them were Protestants from Ulster, there were eight regiments from the 26 Catholic counties of what we would today call the Irish Republic.

The reason was economic. Members of the English working class found that the pay scale and standard of living in the Army, including in the trenches was an improvement over their civilian lives (although they risked death for this), and men from the Irish countryside were even poorer than English industrial workers.

  • My very Irish Catholic grandfather, from what became the Irish Free State, served right through WWI, and before - my mother suspected he joined as an under-age boy soldier. He was a groom, batman, and, having experience with horses, drove munition wagons up to the front line, being wounded twice. I don't think it was unusual.
    – TheHonRose
    Apr 3, 2021 at 0:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.