1,100 recruits a week needed from Ireland ‘to replace wastage’

1,100 recruits a week needed from Ireland ‘to replace wastage’
Detail of an Irish recruitment poster featuring a quote from a speech made by John Redmond in Waterford, August 1915Photo: Photo: National Library of Ireland, EPH F113

Dublin, 16 October 1915 – Major-General Sir Lovick Bransby Friend, the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in Ireland said yesterday that 1,100 recruits were needed from Ireland every week ‘to replace wastage’ of existing Irish soldiers. The comments were made at a private conference on recruiting in Ireland that was held under the presidency of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Wimborne, at the Viceregal Lodge yesterday.

Major-General Friend said that – excluding the many Irishmen who had enlisted in England and Scotland – the number of Irish recruits obtained since the beginning of the war now stood at 81,000.

New Department of Recruiting

The conference considered that the work of the existing Central Council for Recruiting in Ireland had run its course and that the utility of its methods was now exhausted.

It was decided to form a new Department of Recruiting in Ireland, of which Lord Wimborne would act as director.

Lord Wimborne read a letter to the conference from Lord Kitchener in which he paid tribute to the bravery and gallant exploits of the Irish troops, and hoped that the country would continue its magnificent response to the appeal for men.

Also present were the leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party John Redmond, the Lord Mayors of Cork and Dublin, the Earl of Meath, the Marquis of Londonderry and His Grace the Primate of All-Ireland.

[Editor’s note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]

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