Soldier Stories: The Irish in the Army from the Late Nineteenth Century to the First World War


  • Catherine Wynne



By drawing on soldiers’ writings and their broader cultural representations, this article enables new ways of seeing Irish soldier identity as socially and politically mobile. Using Lady Butler’s famous ’Listed for the Connaught Rangers: Recruiting in Ireland (1878) as its starting point, it explores the Irish soldier’s positioning from the late Victorian period to the First World War. Analysing narratives of William Butler, John Lucy, Francis Ledwidge and Patrick MacGill, alongside fictional and visual representations of Irish soldiers, it is demonstrated how Irish soldierly identity was responsive and shifting during this period of complex political and social change for Ireland