Casualty Statistics for Royal Dublin Fusiliers

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7,165,280 British Army servicemen were deployed during World War I

5,399,563 of these men served in Frace at some point in the war - but the maximum at any one time was 2,046,901

956,703 were killed in action, plus died of wounds, disease or injury, or missing presumed dead. For every 1 man killed a further 2.4 men were wounded. Putting it differently 45% of men ever in the British Army were in the end killed or wounded. The government had an enormoud job to keep the front line battalions topped up with men.

Total British Army wounded in action, plus other casualties (e.g. accidental): if a man was wounded twice he appears here twice:
Proportion returned to duty:
Proportion returned to duty but only for lines of communication, garrison or sedentery work:
Proportion discharged as invalids:
Proportion died of wounds received:

The number of men evacuated to England from France and Flanders, who were suffering from an illness:

Other ranks

The proportion of men suffering from illnesses was very much higher in Palestine, Mesopotamia, Gallipoli and East Africa.

Of the battles fought in the Great War Gallipoli proved a particularly painful memory to those who partook in its failure. More than just the loss of human life, it had a disastrous affect on recruitment in Ireland. Gallipoli accounted for 9% of all Irish infantry deaths, as compared with 3% for the army overall.

Irish Figures

Before the outbreak of war, there were 28,000 Irish born soldiers in the regular British army, this was out of a total British Army strength of 247,000 . Another 30,000 were reservists, out of 145,000 total reservistsin the British Army. Recruits were aged between 19 and 45 years and veterans and reservists up to 45 years could join up. In September 1914, Dublin had three recruitment centres and 58,000 men were mobilized, including 12,000 members of the Special Reserve, (which had a home defence role against German invasion)

Long, Long Trail gives 134,202 men recruited from Ireland (there was no conscription in Ireland) during the Great War. 95,000 of them joined in the 19 months between Aug 1914 and Feb 1916. And about 45,000 in the 33 months beween Mar 1916 and the end of the war

There is no agreement on the total number of Irish soldiers who served in the British Army and Navy in the First World War. Professor Keith Jeffery gives a figure of 210,000. That figure is the sum of regulars in British Army at start of WW1(20000), plus reservists recalled (30000) plus volunteers during the war (135000), plus Irish who volunteered and served in non-Irish regiments. officers or the Royal Navy (Jeffrey appears to put them at 25000). To put the numbers into some sort of context, Prof Jeffery links the 210,000 recruits to the total number of young men living in Ireland at the time. According to the 1911 census there were just over 700,000 men between the ages of 15 and 35 in Ireland. The great majority of the recruits fell between those ages. We can say, therefore, that between a quarter and a third of the available young men in Ireland joined up to serve in the First World War.

There appears to be a consensus that at least 35,000 died though the figure on the National War Memorial is 49,400. It is difficult to get a precise figure for the number of Irishmen killed, as not everyone in an Irish Regiment was Irish, and equally well many Irishmen joined English or Scottish Regiments.

For the purposes of commemoration, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission stopped recording service personnel who died as a result of the Great War on 31 August 1921. According to the CWGC, the total number of men who died while serving with the Dublins at the time of their death between 4 August 1914 and 6 August 1921 is 4,973—292 officers and 4,681 men of other ranks. The last recorded death in the CWGC data is that of Pte M. Callaghan, 7th battalion, aged 39, a married man who lived at 38 Old Bride Street, Dublin. He died on 6 August 1921 and is buried at Grangegorman military cemetery.

A good statistical analysis by Professor Jeffery of QUB


Dublin Fusilier figures

Between 4 August 1914 and 11 November 1918 that is for the shorter period that is just the war years , according to both the CWGC and the SDGW series, the total number of men who died while serving as Dublin Fusiliers was 4,858—281 officers and 4,577 men of other ranks.

In the British Army as a whole, Irish-born soldiers comprised 9.1 % of its numbers in 1913. This percentage closely matches the figure for the Irish population of the United Kingdom at that time of 9.7%.

Within the Royal Dublin Fusiliers the Irish and non-Irish (mainly English) composition varied as the war progressed. If we take the 2nd Battalion as an example. The 2nd battalion was a regular battalion that served from the beginning of the war to the end.

Dublin Fusiliers came from all of the 32 counties of Ireland. The highest proportion came from Dublin city and county. Of the 1,711 Dubliners who died, 1,409 or 82% enlisted in Dublin. Of the 999 Englishmen who died while serving with the Dublins, the highest proportion came from Middlesex (London) (168) and Lancashire (159). 44% of Englismen in the 2nd Battalion had previously served in other regiments.

The total number of other ranks who died with the regiment between 4 August 1914 and 11 November 1918 and born in Dublin city or county is 1,712. That is 36%

The number of other ranks RDF deaths for whom there are age details in the CWGC data is 2,272 .

The youngest recorded Dublin Fusilier who died was Pte Joseph Berrill of the 1st battalion, from Drogheda, Co. Louth (I cannot confirm this from the census of 1911 as nothing fits, and civil births show 3 Joseph Berrill born 1895 & 1896 in Drogheda, with nothing later that would fit.). He died of wounds aged 15 in Gallipoli on 22 August 1915. The oldest recorded Dublin Fusilier who died was Private Christopher Power of the 8th battalion. A married man and a native of Athy, Co. Kildare, Pte Power was 59 when he died on 28 April 1916 from gas wounds probably received at Hulluch. I am unsure that this is true either, the 1911 census gives him and his wife Esther in Athy, and his age is 46 on the census retrun, which would put him at a more likely 51 when he died. And he does not tie up with the only likely birth in Athy in 1870.

Deserters from the Royal Dublin Fusiliers


From the 1911 Census for the Connaught Rangers, Depot, Galway
Roman Catholic 154 (89%)
Church of England 16 (9%)
Jewish 2 (1%)
Methodist 1 (1%)
Total 172

10th Battalion RDF Casualties