Irish Voices from the Great War

‘Lord Kitchener says ” The time has come, and now I call for 300,000 recruits to form new armies”. God save the King’

-Recruitment poster 1914-


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More than 200,00 men left Ireland between 1914 – 1918 to play a part in the slaughter of the Great War. Irish Voices from the Great War takes the written memories of a cross section of those who joined up and skilfully creates a narrative of Irish involvement in some of the major engagements of the war. From the early reverses of the British Expeditionary Force in 1914, through the abortive 1915 Gallipoli campaign, the Somme offensive of 1916 and on to the successes of Messines and the failures of Passchendaele in 1917, the memoirs, diaries and letters of Irish servicemen convey the horror, heroism, tedium and even the humour of the first great global conflict and how it impacted on ordinary Irishmen.

This ground breaking and highly influential book, Irish Voices from the Great War, first published in 1995, is extensively revised and includes new material on Ireland and on the music of the wartime period. Reflecting much of the new scholarship of the last ten years, its timely re-publication to coincide with the centenary of the beginning of the Great War is a powerful testament to the forgotten stories from Ireland’s soldiers.

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Myles Dungan