Stories / Introduction

About 200,000 Irish people served in the Allied forces in the Great War; at a minimum 35,500 of those died on the battlefields. Few households on the island would have been left untouched by the loss.


Each story has its own sadness: Private Jack Tansey sent a wildflower with each letter to his wife and was killed just a week before the end of the war; sixteen year old Frank Forde had fooled the recruiting sergeant and was killed at the Somme; Lance Sergeant William O’Reilly had eloped with his sweetheart in 1914, but his wife died a few months after giving birth to their daughter, whom he never saw.