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Irishmen in the Great War (Kindle)

WWI 1914

By Tom Burnell
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 61.1 MB (.mobi)
Pages: 252
ISBN: 9781473840034
eBook Released: 13th August 2014

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Twenty-seven Irish newspapers for the period covering the Great War have been trawled through to deliver the amazing stories of those years which changed the world for ever. These are the accounts of local men at the front; of torpedoed ships; drunken wives; final letters and requests from the trenches. Also eye-witness accounts of the slaughter as it was happening; battle reports from officers serving in Irish regiments; quirky snippets; chaplains' sympathetic letters; P.o.W reports of conditions and war poetry. Here are the tales of the Leinster's, Munster's, Connaught's and Dublin Fusiliers serving in the Ulster Division, 10th and 16th Irish Divisions. We read of medical breakthroughs, paranormal occurrences and miraculous escapes from death. After the Irish Rebellion of April, 1916, these type of articles and casualty lists dwindled to very few as Irish hearts became divided.

As featured on Tipp FM and in the Tipperary Star and Dungarvan Observer.

As featured in.

Stand To! Western Front Assc No.106

The author has brilliantly selected over one hundred and fifty news stories published in twenty-six Irish newspapers by month during 1915.

The Bulletin of the Military Historical Society No.264

This is another essential addition to the growing corpus of Irish WW1 literature. Tom Burnell's zeal, expertise and commitment to the subject is unsurpassed. For many years now he has laboured in the unfashionable vineyard of the identification of the war dead of numerous Irish counties. This significant departure from his onerous, crucial and self-appointed task offers a poignant and timely insight into the reporting of the progress, or lack of it, of the Great War in Ireland. We gain access to the experiences of many ordinary soldiers who probably left little or no other record of how they grappled with the extraordinary and destructive forces they were compelled to deal with. What is celebrated here is the mundanity as well as the enormity of the experience of war. We can read a poem in Welsh on one page, be informed that the war in the trenches is characterized by an absence of smoke and become acquainted with the activities of the ‘bogus war hero’ Sam Rutherford who traded on his ‘service’ to impress young women. This in addition to reading about the horrors of Gallipoli – the book is devoted to the newspapers of 1915.

Tom Burnell has been described as ‘a national treasure’. This is a book to be treasured, compiled and written by a thorough researcher who is steeped in his subject.

Myles Dungan, Broadcaster & Historian

It is only in recent years that this part of Ireland's history has emerged into the light of day, and this well-researched book will play its part in that.

Destructive Music

As seen in the Irish Times.

Irish Times

A timely publication...full of those little anecdotes which are so difficult to gather but which, when discovered, are like gold-dust to the modern day researcher.

Tipperary Libraries

...a valuable interpretation of first and second-hand accounts of Irish experiences during the war. Importantly, in this centenary decade, it makes the First World War that little bit more readily accessible to casual readers of history.

Westmeath Examiner

Tom Burnell’s “Irishmen in the Great War- Reports from the Front 1914” is a timely publication and is full of those little anecdotes which are so difficult to gather but which when discovered, are like gold-dust to the modern Day researcher.
Tom has saved us the laborious task of trawling through contemporary newspapers by selecting articles of interest , many of these narratives written by soldiers serving at the Front. All the letter writers have been indexed and Tom has also researched his subjects; noting, for instance, that Lance Corporal Downing survived the war whereas Private William Power of the Leinster Regiment did not. This is extremely useful for today’s researcher and my only complaint is that it would have been more useful still to also index the regiments. Doing so would have made the book more accessible to those with an interest in the regiments as well as the men. At the end of the day though, the absence of a regimental index is not such a hardship – it simply means that the regimental enthusiast has to read the book from cover to cover; hardly an onerous task.

Despite the upsets at Mons and the tragedy of Ypres , these articles are full of the patriotic fervour that characterised Britain in 1914 (and beyond) and the book is also well illustrated with photos rarely seen before. The pages are interspersed with contemporary advertisements that would have been published at the time and there is also a brief summary of the twenty-seven newspapers that these articles have been pulled from, each reproducing the newspaper’s masthead and giving a brief summary of the content.

For me though, the value of this book is in the detail contained within some of the articles. The Cork Examiner notes for instance that it has “received the regimental numbers of C Company, 2ndBattalion Munster Fusiliers… now prisoners of war and quite safe and well.” It then reproduces all the numbers. Gold-dust, nothing less.

Amazon Customer Review

Tom has saved us the laborious task of trawling through contemporary newspapers by selecting articles of interest, many of these narratives written by soldiers serving at the Front.... Despite the upsets at Mons and the tragedy of Ypres, these articles are full of the patriotic fervour that characterised Britain in 1914 (and beyond) and the book is also well illustrated with photos rarely seen before.

For me though, the value of this book is in the detail contained within some of the articles. The Cork Examiner notes for instance that it has “received the regimental numbers of C Company, 2nd Battalion Munster Fusiliers… now prisoners of war and quite safe and well.” It then reproduces all the numbers. Gold-dust, nothing less.

Paul Nixon

As seen in the Dungarvan Observer.

Dungarvan Observer
 Tom Burnell

About Tom Burnell

Tom Burnell lives in Holycross, County Tipperary. He has published ten books, nine of these on the Great War. He is a lexicographer, historian, author, Irish Defence Forces veteran of ‘The Troubles’, and ex-research curator of St Mary’s Famine and War Museum, Thurles, County Tipperary. Fascinated by the forgotten Irish participants of the Great War he set about chronicling each county Roll of Honour and has completed seventeen of the Irish Republic’s twenty-six counties. He has spent the past seven years compiling forgotten articles from all the regional newspapers.

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