The Great War 1914-1918

In 1914 the UK and Ireland was faced with the dreaded news that they were at war. All over Ireland men from all backgrounds answered the call and went off to fight on the Front against German aggression.

Historians estimate that around 210,000 men in Ireland contributed to the wartime forces. Every man had a different reason for joining; some were looking for adventure, some were looking for arms, some wanted to protect their country from a hostile Germany and some simply saw being a soldier as an occupation. At the outset of war, Ireland seemed to have been swept by war fever with most believing that taking up arms against Germany was the right thing to do.

battle of the somme going over the top battle of the somme

Many men from Mourne volunteered for service in the 13th (County Down) Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles which formed part of the 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and also for service in Battalions of the 16th and 18th (Irish) Divisions. Men from these divisions fought in a number of famous campaigns, including the Battle of the Somme in 1916.