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Irish Regiments in the Great WarDiscipline and Morale$
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Timothy Bowman

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780719062841

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719062841.001.0001

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Regular regiments at war

Regular regiments at war

(p.39) 2 Regular regiments at war
Irish Regiments in the Great War

Timothy Bowman

Manchester University Press

This chapter is an assessment of the disciplinary problems facing the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), based on the court martial records. It also deals with the perceived disciplinary problems in the BEF during this period. With reference to Irish units, Sir Roger Casement's attempt to form a German–Irish Brigade in early 1915 does suggest that even the relatively apolitical regular soldier did maintain certain ideals and values which made him actively anti-German, even when other factors that would have retained his loyalty to the British Crown had vanished. Consideration is given to the morale problems faced by the BEF in this period, especially the difficulties involved in keeping the force supplied with both trained personnel and essential equipment. Finally, the chapter throws light on a number of courts martial held in Irish infantry battalions during the period from the arrival of units in France until 30 September 1915.

Keywords:   British Crown, Sir Roger Casement, German–Irish Brigade, Irish infantry battalions, Irish units, British Expeditionary Force

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