Keep the Home Fires Burning
We think this might be John Smyth, from Ballymacombs – just outside Portglenone – and his cousin Thompson (Tommy) Mulholland of Hill House, Eden. John Smyth fought in the Great War (WW1).
Ireland was still united, and part of the United Kingdom, at the time of the First World War.
Although a somewhat divisive and complicated issue (isn’t everything in this neck of the woods), Irish people from both nationalist and unionist traditions supported the war efforts, in much the same way as in Britain. Thus both traditions served extensively in the British services, with many being deployed in three specially formed divisions. Others served under the Imperial and United States armies.
Over 200,000 Irish people fought in the Great War, on several fronts across Europe.
A total of some 49,400 gave their lives. 30,000 of that total died while serving in the British armed forces and another 19,400 died while fighting in non-British forces.