Campbell During Political Crisis and War

Old Campbellians' War Service

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Intro to Campbell During Political Crisis and War

To set the context for this project it is important to provide a broad overview of CCB before and during the war. We must understand the political context of Ireland before the war, how boys and Old Campbellians (OCs) were shaped by the prevailing values of middle class Edwardian society and how they responded to the outbreak of war in August 1914.

Soldiers featured in this story
  • Age at death. The average age of the Men Behind the Glass on their death was 26; the youngest was John MacLaurin aged 18; the oldest was William MacKeown at 40.
  • Rank. 81% were commissioned officers and the rest were enlisted men.
  • Theatre. 85% (n=107) of men fought and died on the Western Front in either France or Belgium. The remainder died all over the globe: two died in Africa, two died in Egypt/Palestine, five in Gallipoli, one in India, three in Mesopotamia and five in the UK (Great Britain and Ireland)
  • Country of Service. 117 of men served in British armed forces. Nine served in dominion forces (one in the Australian Imperial Force, four in the Canadian Expeditionary Force and four in South African forces); one served with the American Expeditionary Force.
  • Service branch. 114 men (89%) served in the army at the time of their death, 12 in the air force and one in the navy (those serving in the Royal Navy Air Service and Royal Flying Corps are counted as serving in the air force and those serving in the Royal Naval Division are counted as being in the army as infantry).
  • Branch. Of the 114 men who served in the army, 6 served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, one in tanks, one in logistics, two in the artillery, four in the engineers and the rest in infantry battalions. All those in the air force were involved in flying planes and the single sailor was aboard HMS Snaefell.
  • Infantry Regiment. The men who served in the infantry served in 37 different regiments and corps are represented. Sixty percent fought with Irish raised units. The single regiment in which the most men served was the Royal Irish Rifles with 26 men and these men served in 11 different battalions of this formation.
The battlefield.