|Prowse Point Military Cemetery, Belgium.|
Each of these men was Irish-born and resided in Ireland, yet fought as a member of the British Forces, a service of duty which sometimes stood in stark opposition to the Irish Nationalist sentiments within his respective family. This apparent contradiction existed within many Irish families. Over 210,000 Irishmen volunteered for service with the British forces during WW1, in addition to the 50,000 Irishmen already serving in the regular army and reserve at the outbreak of the war. Many of those Irish who were fortunate enough to return from the battlegrounds of Europe came home disillusioned, and went on to fight against the British as part of the Irish Volunteers. Many did not return at all. According to a report issued by the office of the Taoiseach (the Irish equivalent to Prime Minister), at least 35,000 Irish citizens died fighting for Britain. The National War Memorial in Ireland puts the number at 49,400. From the Dublin recruits alone, some 5,000 of the 25,000 men who enlisted lost their lives on the battlefields of Europe.