Over 1 million soldiers lost their lives and many of them were never recovered from the battlefield. Every year the remains of about 30 to 60 soldiers are recovered from the fields of northern France during routine farming and road widening works. In all probability, some of these men are Irish.
Over 200,000 Irish men fought in the British Army and over 3500 lost their lives at the Battle of the Somme. Nearly 2000 were from the 36th Ulster Division and 1200 from the 16th Irish Division.
In total, it is estimated that at least 35,000 Irish soldiers were killed in World War One (a figure that is likely to increase as research continues). That represents almost 20% of the total number of Irish men who joined up.
Identifying our war dead will be one of the topics at Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2016.
|Irish soldier fatalities by county in WWI|