For ‘Common Christianity’: War, Peace and the Campaign of the Irish Recruiting Council, 1918

Maartens, BJ ORCID: 0000-0003-4990-4484
(2021) For ‘Common Christianity’: War, Peace and the Campaign of the Irish Recruiting Council, 1918. The English Historical Review.

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Established towards the end of the Great War, the Irish Recruiting Council was responsible for one of the largest military recruitment campaigns ever waged on Irish soil. Tasked with raising 50,000 volunteers, it produced a kaleidoscopic array of promotion which included posters, newspaper advertisements and a fortnightly magazine entitled Irish Soldier. Its work has attracted a measure of scholarly attention, but little is known about its origins, its dealings with authorities in Westminster and Dublin Castle, and the operational difficulties it encountered when attempting to mobilise the public. Even less is known about its newspaper campaign and the reasons behind the continuation of the body in peacetime, when the need for recruits had apparently subsided. This paper addresses these shortcomings by examining the IRC in more detail than has hitherto been achieved in the historiography. In so doing, it calls for a revision of existing understandings of the Council, suggesting that it was not just a recruiting body per se, but a major propaganda agency which portrayed enlistment as a means of uniting a divided country and encouraged Irishmen to mobilise to help resolve long-standing tensions between nationalists and unionists.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 01 May 2020 10:06
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2021 02:13