Over the course of the First World War, around 210,000 Irish men and some hundreds of Irish women served in the British Armed Forces, the vast majority in the Army.
Academic literature in recent years has tended to downplay the importance of politics and religion in Irish recruitment, with suggestions that Ireland fitted into a British recruitment pattern.
Tim Bowman will address enduring popular myths – principally that only Protestant Ulstermen responded to the call to arms. He will demonstrate that Irish recruitment was clearly shaped by religion, politics and wider economic factors, producing regional variation within Ireland and clear distinctions between recruitment patterns in Great Britain and Ireland.
He will also show how wartime recruitment rates in many parts of Ireland owed much to the patterns established pre-war.
Dr Tim Bowman is a Reader in History and Deputy Head of School at the University of Kent. He has previously held lecturing posts at The Queen’s University of Belfast, University of Durham and King’s College London. He is the author of 'The Irish Regiments in the Great War: Discipline and Morale' and 'Carson’s Army: The Ulster Volunteer Force, 1910-1922'.
Dr Bowman has also co-authored a number of books, including 'The Disparity of Sacrifice: Irish Recruitment to the British Armed Forces, 1914–1918' upon which this talk is based.