Ulster Nationalists and the Great War

Published in Issue 1 (Spring 1999), Letters, Letters, Volume 7

Sir,—I am researching the subject of Ulster and the Great War. I am particularly interested in the part played by nationalists from all over the north who joined the 16th Irish Division and other Irish and non-Irish units. While there is a wealth of material relating to the wartime role of northern unionists and, more recently, a rediscovery of the participation of southern nationalists, the subject of northern nationalists and the First World War remains under-researched and misunderstood. Though understandably the subject of northern nationalist involvement in the war remains a sensitive one, it does seem timely to re-assess this subject some eighty years on, particularly in the wake of the recent joint memorial to the 16th Irish and 36th Ulster Divisions at Messines and the spirit of reappraisal and reconciliation associated with that historic event.
I am very keen to uncover material relating to northern nationalists during the Great War, both at the front and at home, to understand better their experience of that time. If any readers have, or know of, any material which might be of assistance to my research, such as old letters and diaries, reminiscences, or even stories passed down through the family, I would be very grateful if they could get in touch with me.—Yours etc.,

ERIC MERCER
6 Cherryvalley Park
Knock
Belfast BT5 6PL

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