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Heroes or Traitors?Experiences of Southern Irish Soldiers Returning from the Great War 1919-1939$
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Paul Taylor

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381618

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381618.001.0001

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date: 19 January 2019

Integration into the Community

Integration into the Community

(p.220) 6 Integration into the Community
Heroes or Traitors?

Paul Taylor

Liverpool University Press

Great War volunteers, in contrast to pre War regulars, were more representative of Irish society, far greater in numbers, and not absent for such a long period, making their social assimilation back into the community easier. The ex-servicemen were no cowed segment of society and were prepared to lobby aggressively for their interests with the Irish and British Governments and through the courts, often with success and mostly supported by sympathetic news coverage. They were able to integrate and prosper; any grievances related to housing and unemployment reflected those of their social class and was not due to war service. Those who received pensions, set for a United Kingdom cost of living, and housing, free of rent after 1933, had advantages over much of the population and this may have incurred some resentment. The ex-servicemen were not subject to discrimination according to the British Legion, the British Ministry of Pensions, the Trust and politicians who were supportive of their interests. Many were employed by the Free State Government or its agencies, some held senior posts in the civil service, army and police. War service and loyalism did not define them, few were members of the British Legion, many were republican supporters.

Keywords:   Great War volunteers, social assimilation, integrate, unemployment, British Legion, British Ministry of Pensions

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