Irishmen - Avenge the Lusitania. Join an Irish Regiment To-Day


Until 1922, when the southern counties seceded to form the Irish Free State, Ireland was part of the United Kingdom. When World War I broke out, many Irish nationalists seeking independence for Ireland urged their compatriots to shun the British war effort. Some went so far as to conspire with German agents in various anti-British activities, but other Irishmen rallied to the British cause. Between 1914 and 1916, approximately 180,000 Irishmen volunteered to serve in the British armed forces. This poster, published in 1915 by the Central Council for the Organisation of Recruiting in Ireland, sought to capitalize on the feelings stirred up by the sinking of the Lusitania to encourage Irish enlistments. The British-owned passenger liner was sunk by a German submarine off the southern coast of Ireland on May 7, 1915, while en route to Liverpool from New York. Rescue vessels were sent from Queenstown, but out of 1,959 people on board, only 764 survived. The graphic image shows the ship in flames and sinking, with people in the water and lifeboats in the foreground.

Last updated: October 16, 2012