Collections – World War I

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World War 1

As World War 1 (1914-1918) spread throughout mainland Europe from July 1914, Galway had an indirect involvement through the local Connaught Rangers depot at Renmore Barracks, the many people from the area who joined the war effort and the resulting industries such as the new Galway National Shell Factory, one of five national munitions factories to open in Ireland between 1916 and 1918. It produced its first shell in February of 1917 and, with a staff of 115, continued to turn out up to 1,000 ’18-pounder’ shells a week until the end of the war. By April 1915, enlistment from the Claddagh alone had risen to more than 250.  By the time the armistice was agreed on 11 November 1918, over 750 Galway men had lost their lives in the war and still more of their countymen had been seriously wounded.

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