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Irish Officers in the British Forces, 1922-45

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Steven O'Connor
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Irish Officers in the British forces, 1922-45 looks at the reasons why young Irish people took the king's commission, including the family tradition, the school influence and the employment motive. It explores their subsequent experiences in the forces and the responses in independent Ireland to the continuation of this British military connection.
1. Who Became an Officer? 2. 'I was born into an Army family': Irish Officers and the Family Tradition 3. 'A great training school for the army': Irish Officers and the School Influence 4. 'We were an unwanted surplus': Irish Medical Emigration and the British Forces 5. 'We were all Paddys': The Irish Experience of the British Forces 6. 'The irreconcilable attitude is apparently confined to the purely political sphere': Responses in Independent Ireland to an Irish Military Tradition
In the last decade there has been a plethora of books about Irish soldiers in the First World War, yet the fact that recruitment to the British forces continued into the interwar period and the Second World War has received comparatively little attention. Steven O'Connor's work addresses this gap by providing a much-needed assessment of officer recruitment to the British military after Irish independence. Based on archival research, oral testimony and a database of 1,000 officers it examines the reasons why young Irish people took the king's commission. It explores their subsequent experiences and identity in the forces, and places them within the wider context of Commonwealth recruitment to the British forces. Drawing on evidence from police reports, debates in town councils and local newspapers this volume also offers the first comprehensive account of reactions in independent Ireland to British recruitment and the shared military past.

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