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The Disparity of SacrificeIrish Recruitment to the British Armed Forces, 1914-1918$
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Timothy Bowman, William Butler, and Michael Wheatley

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621853

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621853.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 13 June 2021

For Empire, Ulster or Ireland?

For Empire, Ulster or Ireland?

Recruiting in Ulster

(p.87) 3 For Empire, Ulster or Ireland?
The Disparity of Sacrifice

Timothy Bowman

William Butler

Michael Wheatley

Liverpool University Press

On the outbreak of the First World War the War Office had hoped to organise recruiting on a traditional, non-sectarian pattern. However, in Ulster, it soon became clear that large numbers of recruits would not be obtained unless special arrangements were made with the Ulster Volunteer Force and, to a lesser extent, Irish National Volunteers. As a result, recruiting in Ulster was firmly politicised, with UVF recruiting meetings held province wide in September 1914 and formed INV recruiting occurring in Belfast, Derry and Enniskillen from November 1914. The recruiting rate amongst Belfast Regiments of the UVF was initially very high, making Belfast recruiting figures some of the highest in the United Kingdom in September 1914. However, recruiting rates in rural Ulster were comparable to those in the rest of rural Ireland. The momentum behind this political recruiting started to flag by the Spring of 1915 and from then until mid-1918 there were few examples of properly concerted recruiting activities. The conscription crisis saw Joseph Devlin, MP, who had firmly encouraged Irish National Volunteers to enlist in the British army in 1914-15, condemning British government policy.

Keywords:   Belfast, conscription, nationalist, unionist, volunteer

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