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January 2014 Release

The Military Service Pensions Collection contains more than 40 file series, relating to individual applications for pensions or awards, to membership of various organisations (mainly the Irish Republican Army, Cumann na mBan and Fianna Éireann ) as well as administration files and material, offering a vivid contextual background to the entire collection.

What is Released in January 2014?

An outline of the material selected for the 1st release of the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection is set out below. In all, over 9,600 files are released.

If you prefer to see your options and start your search, go directly to Search the Collection.

Material released can be grouped under three headings:

  • Individual Applications
  • Organisations and Membership
  • Administration


View Individual Applications

Access: ONLINE

These relate to individual applications for service pensions, claims for gratuities or awards by made by dependants, claims by veterans for wounds suffered/disablement or deterioration in health due to service in the period 1916-1923 and such related matters. All applications are made and processed under relevant legislation enacted by the Oireachtas from 1923.

While material concerning 3,200 individuals is released, the researcher must be aware that one individual has more than one file. Some have up to seven files, generated under different aspects of the legislation as enacted from 1923 to 1973. To improve access individual files thus created are consolidated under the relevant name. Therefore, in fact, around 8,400 individual files are entering the public domain under the label ‘Individual applications’. This first release is focused, but is not limited to those who were involved in the Rising in 1916.
View the complete list of individuals.

WITHIN this list, two groups should be highlighted:

  • The first one is the Connaught Rangers (Reference Code: Con.Ran.) who took part in the mutiny in Solon and Jalandhar, India on 28 June 1920.
    Researchers should also see the departmental files DOD/2/13627, DOD/3/17450.
    A full list of 258 individuals whose files (280 files) are released at this time can be seen here: View Connaught Rangers List (Download PDF). Additional files relating to those individuals will be added in the near future.
  • The second group is a cluster of sixteen people (16) who applied to the Department of Defence for a special gratuity under Section 41 of the Army Pensions Act 1937 (Reference code: Sp.G.1-16). This section of the act covers ex-gratia payments that could be made to persons who were not members of the organisations set out in the legislation but who received a wound or injury either by reason of the fact that such person was keeping arms belonging to the agreed organisations or by being accidentally shot/wounded by a member of one of the said organisations, during the period commencing on the 1st day of April 1916 and ending on the 30th day of September 1923.
    View the full list here (Download PDF)


View Organisations and Membership


a) Membership Rolls of the Irish Republican Army
Reference Code: RO
Extent: c.600 files
The series covers membership of 16 Divisions of the IRA, constituting a total of 87 Brigades, including the Scottish Brigade and a total of 390 battalions. Files contain information on the membership of brigades, battalions and companies and of Flying Columns/Active Service Units and other specialist formations at battalion and brigade Headquarters. The information was gathered from 1935, and was consolidated in terms of military structure.

b) Membership Rolls of Cumann na mBan
Reference Code: CMB
Extent: 167 files
Files are organised on a county basis, they contain the ranks of officers, names (maiden names where applicable), addresses, of the membership at District, Branch and Squad level with the strengths on 1 July 1921 and 1 July 1922. Due to their poor physical state, the files were microfilmed, and the microfilms, digitised in order to minimise the handling of the material.

c) Membership Rolls of Fianna Eireann
Extent: 41 files
The whole series is released on this occasion.

d) Brigade Activity Files
Reference Code: A
Extent: c.151 files
4 files relating to 1916 activities are released from this series. They cover Galway (A/21/4/A and A/21/4//B), Louth (A/51/3) and Wexford (A/66/2). These series were created by Brigade Committees from 1935 to illustrate specific operations undertaken or planned by IRA Brigades throughout the country. The four files being released contain details of 1916 activities and Irish Volunteer participants are investigated and reported on in detail by the Referee.


View Administration Files


There are 5 administration files series:

Applications for the award of the 1916 Medal and The Service (1917-1921) Medal form part of the collection. However, it must be noted that this series - the MD series - does not form part of the 1st release. A database of the files in the MD series will be released separately in the period leading to 2016.

Due to the poor condition of many files, some were microfilmed and the microfilms, digitised to minimise the handling of the material. A conservation programme is under way and as files are scheduled for release, a notification will be issued on the Military Archives website.