Claremen who fought in the Great War

Clare People, Tuesday, 28th October 2008

Tom McCullough

Clare Museum will hold an exhibition marking the involvement of over 7,000 Clare men in the First World War. 90 Years On – County Clare and The Great War” will feature artefacts relating to the county’s participation in the 1914-1918 conflict. It will be launched on November 11, the 90th anniversary of the ending of the war.

Among the items being placed on display are a Bayonet and Scabbard, 1914-1918 War Service Medal, Ypres Banner, a British Army trenching tool used by a Clareman during the First World War and an Irish War Hospital Supply Depot Pin.

Museum Curator, John Rattigan explained that the majority of the 700 men from Clare killed during the fighting were serving for the American, Canadian or British armies. “Many Clare people are unaware of the considerable contribution made by their fellow countymen to sign up and fight in the army of a foreign country. It is widely accepted that a combination of unemployment, idealism and adventure probably accounted for most of the enlistment.”

350,000 Irishmen volunteered for service during WWI in addition to the 50,000 Irishmen already serving in the regular army and reserve at the outbreak of the war.

The museum is appealing to members of the public possessing relevant artefacts to consider their inclusion in the upcoming exhibition. “Artefacts of interest can include documents, uniforms, insignia, souvenirs, memorabilia and photographs. Any donated artefacts will be returned to their owner at the conclusion of the six week long exhibition”, said Mr. Rattigan. Persons wishing to donate artefacts to the upcoming exhibition should contact John Rattigan at 065-6823382 or

The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday and admission is free of charge.

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