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
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.