Neither Unionist nor Nationalist: The 10th (Irish) Division in the Great War 1914-1918


Stephen Sandford

August 2014

The first major history of the 10th (Irish) Division since 1918 based on extensive archival research and access to previously unavailable documentary material. Unprecedented analysis and cross referencing of the 10th Division’s regimental rolls, Commonwealth War Graves Records, census returns, obituaries and newspaper reports yields a new understanding of its composition and combat performance and sheds new light on the Gallipoli disaster and the campaign in Palestine.

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This is the first major history of the 10th (Irish) Division in more than ninety years. Unlike the 36th (Ulster) and the 16th (Irish) Divisions who have been well served by historians in recent years, the history of the 10th has been largely overlooked. This book emphatically rectifies this long oversight and in so doing brings the complicated story of the Irish divisions in World War 1 to completion. Using newly available sources, regimental medal rolls, newspaper reports, obituaries, census returns and Commonwealth War Graves records, the author subjects the 10th to a ground-breaking analysis, unearthing an unprecedented amount of evidence crucial to understanding its formation, composition and battle-history from Gallipoli to Palestine.

Fascinating and vital details concerning ethnicity, age, religion, employment and social background confound expectations and reveal that the 10th was neither as Irish nor as nationalist as previously believed. The author’s research has shed new light on the effects of regimental morale and discipline on combat performance. All told, this new divisional history- the first in twenty years of any British division in the war- can lay legitimate claim to being the definitive account of the 10th (Irish) Division and will be the benchmark against which future histories of the division are written.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Keith Jeffery

1. A Country divided

2. Filling the Ranks

3. Officers and Gentlemen

4. Preparing for Battle

5. Gallipoli and After

6. Gallipoli – The Leadership Deficit

7. Morale and Discipline

8. From the Curragh to the Judean Hills – the lessons learned

9. Just another Kitchener Division?

About the Author

Stephen Sandford is a former accountant and civil servant and has gained a MSc in Policy Analysis from the University of Ulster and a PhD in Modern History from Queen’s University Belfast. He is a member of the Western Front Association and the Gallipoli Association.