Overall approximately 152,000 Irishmen and a few thousand Irish women enlisted in the British armed forces during the First World War, joining 58,000 Irish men who were already serving or were army reservists. This was an impressive number but compared poorly with rates in Great Britain. For many years there was a perception that it was only ‘Loyal’ Ulster which provided recruits. However, it is clear, from the important works of Patrick Callan and David Fitzpatrick, that recruitment was nationwide. The support of John Redmond, leader of the Irish Party, was essential in mobilising Catholic, Nationalist support for the British war effort.
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