Northern Ireland at war…

EVERYTHING you wanted to know about how the Second World War affected Northern Ireland is on this new website. One for the young historian.

  • Oranges For Sale

    It’s a little disappointing that no one has posted on this story over the past two days. I’m enormously interested in this period of history for Northern Ireland, especially in the context of how the two communities interrelated during the Belfast Blitz. A short walk around Belfast city centre can still reveal the scars from German air raids (ever wondered why the Yorkgate area has no buildings which predate the 40’s?) in both catholic and prod areas. Not to mention the amount of civilian/military Northern Irish blood spilt in various battles and air raids. Also by delving into almost any material from the WWII era, it’s obvious to see a distinct ‘class’ culture in NI (i.e. most of the war time hardships were borne by the working class of both communities).

  • T.Osseur

    This war was a very long time ago-over 60 years. It must not explain very little about current politics in this part of Ireland.

  • DK

    One of the most interesting stats I heard about WW2 was that more people from the Republic of Ireland fought in the British Armed Forces than people from Northern Ireland.

  • Shuggie McSporran

    Oranges for sale

    “i.e. most of the war time hardships were borne by the working class of both communities”

    Something else to remember is that the war also brought a mini economic boom for many thousands who previously suffered the most severe economic hardship in Northern Ireland but spent wartime gainfully and profitably employed churning out material for the war effort.

    The boom in linen production for that short period transformed the fortunes of small farmers ekeing out a austere existance on marginal land in places like the Sperrins

  • Doctor Who

    “One of the most interesting stats I heard about WW2 was that more people from the Republic of Ireland fought in the British Armed Forces than people from Northern Ireland.”

    Someone down the pub tell you that one.

  • AManInAPub

    The pro-British Reform movement have a piece on the Irish role in Britain’s war

    http://www.reform.org/TheReformMovement_files/article_files/articles/war.htm

    70,000 from the south. 50,000 from the north according to their piece

  • Cahal

    “Someone down the pub tell you that one”

    I think it is widely believed that of the 100,000 irishmen who fought, about half were from the north and half were from the south.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Whether from the north or the south, they were heroes. Whether on the front-line, or on the home-front it was a generation that gave so much.

  • Doctor Who

    Given that so many from the Free State fought for the British Crown forces in World War II, is it not time to erect a permanent monument to their memory in Dublin.

    Perhaps close to the original site of Nelsons column.

  • AManInAPub

    Why are there not enough war memorials in Dublin to do you?

    http://www.irishwarmemorials.ie/html/warMemorials.php?warID=2&warName=WW II

    Or where you making a lazy assumpttion that there wouldn’t be any?

  • #

    “One of the most interesting stats I heard about WW2 was that more people from the Republic of Ireland fought in the British Armed Forces than people from Northern Ireland.”

    Someone down the pub tell you that one.
    Posted by Doctor Who on Nov 11, 2006 @ 04:24 PM

    Ah, there’s nothing like good old fashioned, lazy, ill-informed, b-i-g-o-t-r-y to get in the way of the truth. Get out and discover iscover history it doesen’t nicely fit into your little 6 County Ulster nationalist worldview.

  • AManInAPub

    And for your information the British Legion held their wreath laying service as normal at Irish National Memorial in Dublin this morning.

    So enough with the build a memorial nonsense.

  • verdun

    dr who is more interested in using remembrance weekend for his own narrow and sectarian reasons.

    Shame on you.

  • Doctor Who

    As my family suffered a hell of a lot at the hands of the Nazis, I find some of the personal comments here a lit bit distasteful.

    One wonders how many of these nationalist revisionists who have posted on this thread are currently wearing their poppies with pride.

    It wasn´t that long ago you where telling us they where offensive.

  • George

    Doctor Who,

    the figures I have are that 44,000 from the Republic enlisted in the British Army in WWII and 38,000 from Northern Ireland.

    What figures do you have?

  • PubMan

    Dr Who,

    ‘revisionists’?

    You are the revisionist.

    The only one trying to deny the sacrifice of many that fought with Britain from Ireland, more from the south than north. The only one denying the existence of memorials and commemorations in the south.

    And why would Irish people remember their dead by wearing a RBL poppy? It’s the poppy that funds the Paras of Bloody Sunday, Clegg, Wright, Fisher, countless UDR men etc with interest free loans and business start up grants.

    The war against fascism is remembered in Ireland, our citizens that died commemorated.

    Subsidising cheap drink and interest free loans to those that abused Irish citizens isn’t popular or likely.

    I’ll buy a poppy the moment I’m not funding an easy retirement for a Para, UDR man, RIR (home service) or similar. The poppy may be purely about remembering in your head, some of us know it is about funding squaddies that screwed us and now commit human rights abuses in Iraq. Pay for your own scum.

  • willowfield

    PubMan

    It’s seems to me that you are deliberately choosing to characterise the Poppy Appeal in a very narrow and negative way.

    It’s the poppy that funds the Paras of Bloody Sunday, Clegg, Wright, Fisher, countless UDR men etc with interest free loans and business start up grants.

    Have you any evidence that Clegg, Wright, Fisher or those who shot civilians on Bloody Sunday have received either interest-free loans or business start-up grants?

    Even if so, such payments would represent a tiny drop in a huge ocean of payments made by the Poppy Appeal.

    The fact that you go to such lengths to misrepresent the Poppy Appeal is rather disconcerting.

  • Doctor Who

    Pubman

    “The war against fascism is remembered in Ireland, our citizens that died commemorated.”

    It wasn´t until very recently that the govt. in south even give recognition to the dead freom there.

    While these men died tour precious southern govt. was harbouring Nazi criminals, refusing asylum to Polish Jews and of course on hearing of Hitlers death sending letters of condolence to the German ambassador.

    How dare you sully the poppy with your ignorant and ill informed diatribe, while soldiers still die fighting fascism all over the world. Presumably the millions of people that are wearing their poppies with pride today are as you say “scum”

    Time to leave the pub idiot as your obviously drunk.

  • Doctor Who

    As usual Republicans play and adapt figures.

    The figure of 40,000 Roi men enlisting is explianed by the fact that two thirds of the Irish army jouned with British regiments in 1939 when their cowardly and Fascist sympathising govt. refused to fight against Hitler.

    My figure of 38,000 enlisted men from Northern Ireland is from 1939 alone and doesn´t take into account soldiers enlisting after that date and also soldiers already enlisted.

    It is also worth noting that a few years previously 1.500 men from the irish free state went to fight in the name of fascism in the Spanish Civil war, as encouraged by the Roman Catholic church.

    The poppy remembers ther brave men who gave their lives irrespective of religion or background.

  • mark

    Dr Who,

    You are drunk and not providing a fitting tribute to anyone.

  • Doctor Who

    Mark

    Grow up.

    I take acception to scum trying to devalue what brave men.. have given in the quest to preserve freemdom.

  • mark

    Dr Who,

    I agree with fitting tributes to those that fought and died in the struggle against fascism.

    My great-grandfather was amongst the fallen and I look at his framed service medals, I’ll inherit, every week in my parents’ house with pride.

    I don’t wear a poppy because it funds elements of the British army involved in actions I find despicable.

    I appreciate the sacrifice of all that fought against National Socialist Imperialism.

    I find the idea of getting involved in British Legion run commemorations impossible while I reject the British Army’s presence in Ireland and the fact poppy money is used to support and finance those that occupy Ireland. Giving money for cheap drink, low rate finance or donations to squaddies who were/are involved in our conflict is impossible for me but I do want to be part of remembering the sacrifice of many.

    I visited my great grandfather’s plot today on my way back from a Republican commemoration in Milltown and felt appreciation to all that died in WWII.

    Most Irish people appreciate what the British army was part of in WWII. Most Irish people don’t appreciate the rest of what the British army has done.

    Difficult call. How to remember the legitimate while rejecting the illegitimate?

    And contributing to remembrance topics drunk surely isn’t the way?

  • Doctor Who

    Attending a Republican rally on the day of rememberance is an insult to the dead.

    Mark the Ira are fascists and´i´m sure you don´t need to be reminded what that group of republican bastards did on a previous remembrance day in Enniskillen.

    Shame on you.

  • willowfield

    Mark

    You seem incapable of distinguishing between the men who enlist in the armed forces and the political decisions made by politicians.

    For example, Blair’s decision to go to war in Iraq is not the fault of the soldiers who are sent there to do his fighting.

  • CX

    Mark,
    The British men who died fighting for freedom were defending the basic rights of humanity not just for the people of the United Kingdom, but for everyone on earth.

    It is wrong to tarnish these men or to forget their sacrifice by placing them in the same context as the British soldiers involved in Bloody Sunday. The sins of the few cannot and should not be allowed to erode the sacrifice of many. The many who died for Ireland and Britain.

  • mark

    Willowield, CX

    You can’t see what I’m saying? I’m happy to remember the legitimate, selfless and noble acts of soldiers in the British Army.

    I can’t buy a poppy or join RBL commemorations as they support and commemorate acts I find utterly reprehensible.

    I appreciate what many did for us during WWII, I’m not supporting the British Army and it’s illegitimate acts.

    Do you really expect Irish Nationalist to give unconditional support to your army? I thought I was doing well and pushing my limits already. I don’t think i can go much further.

    What do you want? Us all wearing poppies and going to the cenotaph?

    Tell me what you want. I do my best on this one but try and be realistic.

  • Rubicon

    Lets get the facts clear – nobody in NI was conscripted and NI’s contribution to the war effort was largely geographical.

    Fair play to those who volunteered and God bless those who lost their lives and those who survived.

    This medium that we enjoy would hardly be something a fascist would allow – despite the number of home-grown fascists (on both sides) who seem to value it.

    It is the very existence of the whataboutery here that demonstrates a wish to engage with an enemy without loss of life. Often boring, often uninformed, almost uniformly lacking in respect for difference, legitimising the taking of life for party-political purpose – neither side are the equal of those who volunteered.

    I cannot think of a greater insult to those who volunteered than a North/South sectarian head count. North or South – those who died in service were not conscripted.

    Today was about remembering those who lost their lives in defence of the freedoms you enjoy. Sadly, all you can remember is religion and identity.

    Now – tell me what these good men died for …

    Dr Who – your complaint seems to have the swastika beneath your poppy. SF are national socialists – so expect no apology from them. Your credibility however is a little thin.

  • willowfield

    MARK

    How does buying a poppy “support and commemorate acts you find utterly reprehensible”??

    I appreciate what many did for us during WWII, I’m not supporting the British Army and it’s illegitimate acts.

    Nobody says you are. I don’t support any illegitimate acts, either. Buying a poppy does not mean that suddenly I support illegitimate acts!

    Do you really expect Irish Nationalist to give unconditional support to your army?

    Who’s asking anyone, Irish nationalist or otherwise, to give “unconditional support” to the Army??

    What do you want? Us all wearing poppies and going to the cenotaph?

    It would be great if everyone could unite to remember the sacrifices together.

  • Doctor Who

    Rubicon

    “Dr Who – your complaint seems to have the swastika beneath your poppy.”

    If you are familiar with my posts over the last couple of years, you will know that my family (Polish Jews) suffered greatly at the hands of the Nazis. My garandfather had the foresight to leave Poland, initially to Dublin and then to Belfast.

    I probably have more to respect the brave men who gave their lives to overthrow the Nazis, and the notion that I have a swastika under my poppy is both offensive to me and the memory of my relatives who died horrendously under the swastika.

    My gripe with republicans on this thread is that they seek some legitamcy for the dead of the IRA in the troubles….there is no comparison between what thousands of men both Catholic and Protestant from these islands gave in the name of freedom and what a bunch of fanatics did in what can only be described as a bitter and sectarian conflict in NI in the last 35 years.

    Furthermore republicans gave their opinion on the fallen at the poppy day masacre in Enniskillen.