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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Irish-Anzacs Project: database launch & symposium

On Friday 17 October Charles Flanagan TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the Australian ambassador to Ireland, Dr Ruth Adler, will launch the Irish Anzacs Database in University College Dublin (UCD).

The Irish Anzacs Project aims to identify all of the estimated 6,000 Irish-born enlistments in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) during the First World War and to compile an open-access database containing information on each of them.

The database will provide families with information on their Irish-born family members who served in the AIF during the war, as well as statistical information on the contribution of the Irish to the Australian war effort. The data has been extracted from the service records held by the National Archives of Australia (NAA), and includes the following details: name, town and county of birth, date and place of enlistment, declared age, occupation, marital status, next of kin location, previous military service, religion, and the unit to which initially posted.

Over time, additional information will be added from sources maintained by the Australian War Memorial such as the Roll of Honour, the Embarkation Roll, the Nominal Roll, the list of Honours and Decorations and the Red Cross's files relating to the wounded and missing and to prisoners of war, ultimately producing a comprehensive record for each soldier.

The project is a research undertaking of the Global Irish Studies Centre at University of New South Wales (UNSW), made possible by a grant from the Irish government’s Emigrant Support Program. The director of the project is Dr Jeff Kildea, Keith Cameron Chair of Australian History at University College Dublin.

The event, which will begin in Room K114, UCD, at 8:30am for 9am will occur simultaneously via video link with a launch event at the University of New South Wales.

A day-long symposium: Emergent nations: Australia and Ireland in the First World War – Gallipoli, Conscription and Commemoration, will follow the launch, starting at 10:30am. It aims to examine the two countries shared experience of WW1 and to explore the different ways in which the war contributed to the emergence of these two nations.

Speakers will include Prof. David Fitzpatrick (TCD), Prof. Keith Jeffery (QUB), and Dr Conor Mulvagh (UCD). Download the full programme for the symposium here.