Irish Militia

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by beagleboy, Aug 28, 2011.

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  1. Doing the family research stuff, and my Great Grand Father - born in Liverpool, England, however, when he joined the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) for service in WW1 he has stated on his Attestation Paper as having served in the Irish Militia (3 years).

    So my question is does anyone have details, history, and/or background etc to the Irish Militia?

    Cheers in advance.
  2. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    Like England, Wales and Scotland, Ireland, which was then part of the Union, had a history of locally raised Home Service irregular units. In England the Militia units were origininally raised by a compulsory balloting system which ceased in the 1820s and it became a truly volunteer force. The Irish Militia never had such compulsion and its membership was originally limited to Protestants although by the Napoleonic Wars the Ranks (though not Commissioned Officers) were open to all denominations.

    By the time your Great Grand Father would have enlisted it would have been formalised into the something resembling today's Territorial Army (of which it is one of the forebears) with Militiamen doing basic training at an Army depot before being released to their civilian lives and attending a two-week battle camp once a year. The Militia units were mostly Infantry battalions, although there were some Artillery and Engineers too, and they became the Militia battalions of Regular Army regiments. In the English regiments, militia units were the 3rd & 4th Battalions of a regiment, but then Irish had 3rd, 4th and 5th as Militia battalions.

    It's interesting to note that he merely stated Irish Militia instead of which Regiment, but that may have been because it was on the Enlistment papers for the AIF rather than the British Army.
  3. The reading of the question is as follows:

    Do you now belong to, or have you ever served in, His Majesty's Army, the Marines, the Militia, the Militia Reserves, the Territorial Forces, Royal Navy, or Colonial Forces? If so, state which, and if not now serving, state cause of discharge.

    Couple of more questions as to military service but they are just answered: yes/no