When war broke out, General Kitchener’s regular British Army comprised of only six divisions. The British Expeditionary Force, sent to France in August was practically decimated at Mons. Kitchener began recruiting a new volunteer army, with a target of 100,000 men. The first volunteer army was called K1, the second, K2, and so on up to K5.
The first Irish volunteers were placed into the service battalions of the Irish Regiments which made up the 10th (Irish) Division. These were: 5th Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment (18th Foot); 6th Battalion the Royal Irish Rifles; 5th Battalion the Connaught Rangers; 6th Battalion the Leinster Regiment; 6th and 7th Battalion the Royal Dublin Fusiliers; 6th and 7th Battalion the Royal Munster Fusiliers; 5th and 6th Battalion the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; 5th and 6th Battalion the Royal Irish Fusiliers.
The British used a territorial numbering system for their army divisions: the 9th (Scottish) Division, the 10th (Irish) Division and the 11th (Northern) Division, etc.
Kitchener was very suspicious of both the Ulster Volunteers and the National Volunteers and rejected Redmond’s offer to form an Irish Army to fight along side the English, Scottish and Welsh troops. About 200,000 Irish people volunteered during 1914 – 18.
The Infantry and Cavalry Irish Regiments of the British Army in 1914
|Regiment Name:||Recruiting area:||Depot:|
|The (18th Foot) Royal Irish Regiment||Tipperary, Wexford Waterford, Kilkenny||Clonmel|
|The Royal Munster Fusiliers||Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare||Tralee|
|The Connaught Rangers||Galway, Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, Leitrim||Renmore|
|The Inniskilling Fusiliers||Omagh, Fermanagh, Donegal, Derry|
|The Royal Irish Rifles||Belfast, Down, Antrim, Tyrone||Belfast|
|The Royal Irish Fusiliers||Monaghan, Armagh, Cavan||Armagh|
|The Leinster Regiment||Offaly, Meath, Louth, Laois||Birr|
|The Royal Dublin Fusiliers||Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow, Carlow>||Naas|
|The Irish Guards||All over Ireland||Chelsea Barracks London.|
|The Tyneside Irish 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th
Battalions of Northumberland
|The London Irish Rifles||London, Chelsea<||Duke of York Barracks|
|The Kings Liverpool Regiment||Liverpool||Seaforth Barracks|
|Mainly only Irish in name The 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards
The 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers
The 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons
The 8th (King’s Royal Irish) Hussars
|The South Irish Horse||Southern Ireland||Clonmel|
|The North Irish Horse||Belfast, Down, Antrim, Tyrone, Cavan, Derry, Donegal, Armagh, Monaghan||Belfast|