Thiepval Memorial – The Somme, France Strange today watching the Remembrance Ceremony at the Cenotaph, London that Commonwealth Countries which did not take part in World War I or II lay wreaths but the sacrifice of Irish soldiers is not represented. In World War I it is estimated of the 700,000 British military deaths 50,000 were Irish. Unlike in Britain, there was never conscription in Ireland so every Irish soldier was a volunteer.
Doomed? One of the most iconic images of the war shows soldiers of the Royal Irish Rifles waiting to join the offensive on the Somme on 1 July, 1916. There were 60,000 British casualties that day - almost 20,000 died. The battle continued until mid-November, but no other day produced such appalling losses
July 1, 1916. The First Day of the Battle of the Somme. Despite the heavy loss of life and failure to achieve the expected breakthrough, Field Marshal Haig and General Rawlinson deemed the attack a success, so much that the offensive was to continue for a further four months, only ending with the onset of winter. - prisonersofeternity.co.uk