irishmedals.org
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This is the new look irishmedals.org site, the information is the same as the old one. If you click on the main heading on the left more links will appear under it relating to that heading.

 

The site contains information relating to the people who fought in the 1916 Rising, War of Independence, Civil War, Irishmen in World War 1 and other snippets of information relating to these and other conflicts.


While information for the site and corrections are gratefully received please submit your information with supporting proof.


The Pensions Application records of those who took part in the 1916 Rising War of Independence and Civil War is now on line.


Irish Military Archives


If you search the Military Archive but do not find your relative it does not mean they did not take part, some people who took part did not apply for a pension, and some had moved to other countries or may have died.


Below the image is some basic information on researching people who fought in the above conflicts. The links page also contains links to various resources which may be helpful in your research. You can use the email link at the bottom of this page to contact me with queries, please supply as much supporting information as you can, it may take a few days to get back to you but I will try to answer all queries submitted.


Weapons used in the 1916Rising


If you are researching someone who took part in the 1916 Rising, War of Independence, Civil War, Free State Army or served in the Irish Defence Forces the first thing you should do is write to the Officer in Charge at the Military Archive at the address below and request a copy of your ancestorís pension application, it can take some time to receive, the quickest time from first inquiry to receiving the copy of the pension application was 4 months the longest was 2 and a half years.

Officer in Charge,
Military Archives,
Cathal Brugha Barracks,
Rathmines,
Dublin 6.

When you receive the copy of the pension application it will provide you with a wealth of information. The information will arrive in the form of several A3 pages. Among these pages you will find one similar to the image above, although the layout of the page may differ depending on the year in which the application was made the information will be the same. The page will contain 5 columns headed Period, Service Claimed, Active Service Allowed, Equivalent for Pension purposes and Remarks.




The two images above show the variation in the design of the page. The top image shows an application made in 1936 under the 1934 pensions act. The second image shows an application which was rejected.



Initially the information you are interested in is contained in the first three columns. Column A headed Period will contain a list of dates starting with Easter Week 23/04/1916 to 30/04/1916 and finish with the dates 01/04/1923 Ė 30/09/1923. Column B headed Service Claimed will contain the service your ancestor is claiming for, if your ancestor took part in Easter Week the first box in column B will contain the number of days they are claiming they took part in the Rising. Column C is the important one Active Service Allowed. I have used a blank example in the image above because I have seen many different words or marks used to denote the period of service claimed was accepted as being true. A correct sign, the examining officerís initials and the full or abbreviated forms of Accepted or Approved. If the box is blank this means that the period of service claimed was not accepted, in other words the applicant did not prove they had taken part in the Rising.

The same applies as you go down column A, the various dates in column A match the various events for which your ancestor could claim they served ranging from interment after the Rising up to the beginning of the Free State. Your ancestor could claim service with the Anti-Treaty side in the Civil War.


If you believe your ancestor took part in the 1916 Rising but their pension application was not approved I think it is still possible to have their name added to the official list of participants if you can provide proof. The last time I submitted a name was about twelve years ago and at that time the list was maintained by the National Archive of Ireland which is in Bishops Street Dublin. From experience I have found the things that are not accepted as proof of having served during the Rising are:

  • Proof of membership of the Citizen Army or Irish Volunteers or other associated organizations (They may have been members at the time of the Rising but it does not prove they took part.)
  • Proof of detention after the Rising (Again, it proves they were detained after the Rising but does not prove they took part)
  • Statements which begin with my Grannie always told me.



The image above shows the application for a person approved for a pension for taking part in the 1916 Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil war. The portion of Entire Period was used to calculate the pension, your relative may have been involved in activities against the British which did not qualify under the pensions act.

If your ancestor was approved for service during Easter Week this will mean they also received a 1916 medal and if they were still living in 1966 a 50th anniversary medal. If your ancestor was killed in action during Easter Week or died between the end of the Rising and 1941 when the medals were issued their 1916 medal will contain their name and a number. (If you are going to contact me to tell me your ancestor died after 1941 and when you claimed his 1916 medal it was named and numbered do not bother unless you attach a clear image of the back of the medal and their death certificate). All other medals were issued un-named.



The 1934 Military Service Pensions Act was introduced so that those who had not applied under the 1924 act could apply. The main reason for the 1934 act was because the majority of those who had supported the anti-Treaty side were either refused a pension by the Free State government or did not apply. It was not until 1932 when de Valera and the new Fianna FŠil government got into power did the anti-Treaty Veterans feel they would get a fair hearing.



As part of the application form a Veteran applying for a pension was required to give an account of their actions during the period of service. The application form contained a list of periods ranging from Easter Week 1916 up to September 1923. The applicant was required to state where the operations he took part in took place, in the case of this applicant the operations took place in the South Dublin area. The name of the applicants Commanding Officer and a description of operations he took part in. This applicant took part in operations which included burning the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) station in Ballybrack, trenching roads, raiding for arms, taking mail bags and taking an outfit from a telephone repair man.



The pension application will also contain the name of the unit and battalion the applicant served with. If the applicant was claiming service during the 1916 Rising it is possible to obtain from the National Library of Ireland a copy of the page of the 1916 Roll containing his name. It is possible to obtain one of these copies if you do not know his unit name and number but as quite a few names appear more than once it is difficult to identify the correct person without unit name and battalion number. The entry on the 1916 Roll will contain the applicant's signature.



The 1916 Roll records the Name, Rank and Unit as well as the person's signature. The number in the first column does not relate to any numbering system for posthumously awarded medals as those Killed in Action are listed on a separate Roll, the number is only used to record the person's place on the Roll. This applicant served in E company 4th battalion this is recorded on the Roll as E IV.



One source of research that is available on the internet is the Irish 1911 census for Dublin. As the 1916 Rising was less than 5 years after the census was taken chances are he will be at the same address. Various information can be obtained from the census, the applicant's age and his relatives who were in the same residence on the day the census was taken. His relatives would usually be his parents and siblings, these names can be checked on the 1916 Roll or other sources to see if they were also involved in the Independence struggle.



Another way of finding information on a recipient of a Black and Tan medal is through police records. As Ireland was under British rule at the time these records are held by the British National Archive in Kew in London. The image on the left shows an order for arrest and detention under the Restoration of Order in Ireland Act. Although the information is limited it does give the area the person is from and when checked with the Census more information can be gained.