In 1922, following the creation of the Irish Free State, the five regiments of the British Army recruited in southern Ireland – the Royal Irish Regiment, the Connaught Rangers, the Leinster Regiment, the Royal Munster Fusiliers and the Royal Dublin Fusiliers – were disbanded. The enlistment books of the five disbanded Irish regiments are now available online, thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
For the first time, the records of nearly 12,000 soldiers can be searched online – by unit, place of birth, place of attestation, and year of attestation. As a result, statistical analysis becomes very easy. Researchers can see the original scans of each soldier’s entry, giving them access to a recruit’s age and trade on enlistment and the names of his next of kin (including date of marriage, where relevant, and the birth date of any children).
The entries also include his address upon discharge and his rank and character upon discharge (which could range from ‘exemplary’ to ‘very bad’: the address of 99 soldiers upon discharge is given as ‘prison’).
You can learn more and also access the records by starting at the National Army Museum’s web site at: https://goo.gl/E4Z9am.