Richard Bennett
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Gallipoli: Irish soldiers recognised 100 years on

Irish soldiers at Gallipoli came from all backgrounds, Catholic and Protestant, fighting for King and Empire.

The first Irishmen to land in April 1915 were professional soldiers brought back from garrison duty in the Empire. They were followed by inexperienced volunteers, enthusiastic but poorly trained and badly led.

Many men from Enniskillen joined their local regiment, the 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

In one day 90 Inniskillings were killed as they were led into a storm of machine gun and artillery fire.

By December 1915, only two officers and 114 men remained from the original battalion of 1,000 men which had landed at Gallipoli.

Richard Bennett from the Inniskillings Museum at Enniskillen Castle said after the Irish War of Independence (1919 to 1922) the involvement of Irishmen fighting for the British Army "was something that people found reluctant to talk about".

He said it is important that their sacrifice has finally been acknowledged.

  • 23 Apr 2015
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