University College Galway students in World War One

University College Galway students in World War One

2014/15 Projects


This project will develop a database of biographies of UCG students who served in British forces (and if feasible US and other forces) in World War One.

The project is envisaged as a contribution to the University’s research and commemorative engagement with the ‘Decade of Centenaries’. It will draw on previously unutilised registration and matriculation data held by the University, and combine this material with military records, as well census and birth, marriage and death records. It will provide a resource for researchers, and contribute to a greater understanding of this important period in Irish and world history. Find out more.


Project Team & Links

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Lead student partner: Shane O Speallain
Lead staff partner: John Cunningham

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Student partners:
Shane O Speallain


Staff partner:
John Cunningham

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UCG Students in WW1 on Facebook



Project Updates

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So far we have established that 138 men who were past students or had been registered students of University College Galway at the outbreak of World War One had enlisted in British forces either in Britain, Ireland or as colonial troops in India and South Africa. Of these men the majority had enlisted with the Royal Army Medical Corp followed closely by the Royal Engineers. Sir Alfred Keogh a former student of Queens College had held the highest rank within the Medical Corp. As Director General of the Medical Services, Sir Keogh closely assisted by another past pupil of Queens College, Peter Freyer, was responsible for the changes in the treatment administered by the medics for battlefield trauma.
The first casualty of a total of fourteen killed in action during the Great War had been Captain Richard Crofton George Moore Kinkead R.A.M.C, son of Professor R. Kinkead, Professor of midwifery at U.C.G. Captain Kinkead who was attached to the 10th Hussars had been shot while attending the wounded just a few weeks after landing at Belgium during the first battle of Ypres. 
This project is aimed at providing a biography of each of the men who are included on the war list. The final list had been published in 1920 as part of the College’s calendar. With help from Gerard Comber of the Irish Great War Society we have obtained very useful information including addresses of regimental depots, and persons to contact including The Connaught Rangers, who have provided very useful information on eight individuals, including their theatres of war, the dates they were gazetted, and, in some cases, the situation surrounding their deaths. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has become useful in establishing where the men who died had fallen and where they are commemorated. Of the men who survived, tracing their steps throughout the war becomes more of a challenge, as the majority of them were corp. men, meaning they were attached to larger regiments. However, we hope that our placement in the military archives in Dublin will provide more information.

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Artice by
Chris Newell