World War II

Explore the different roles that Irishmen and women played as soldiers and staff in foreign armies during the Second World War.



Universal carrier and Bofors gun

Ireland remained neutral throughout the Second World War. Despite this, the British government encouraged women, both English and Irish, to help the war effort.

Women Soldiers

Many women volunteered as nurses or joined the Mechanised Transport Corps. Nora Pellew, who volunteered to drive an ambulance in France, made use of her experience acquired 20 years before doing similar work towards the end of the First World War.

Flying Units

The Second World War saw the formation of elite flying units such as the 'Airborne' troops. Some of these troops landed behind enemy lines in unpowered gliders, piloted by infantrymen who had received sufficient training in landing the plan.