The Military Archives have launched a new Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection (MSPC) blog. The MSPC collection gathers together over 250,000 records relating to applications for pensions, gratuities and allowances lodged by those who participated in the events from 1916 to the official end of the Civil War in 1923. The collection contains unheard voices and brings the historical narrative down to the personal, the rank-and-file Volunteer as well as the leadership figure. It illuminates the organisations, events and individuals in their particular context. As a high value source for research, the collection is a great reference for the family historian and genealogist, but the files present and highlight wider topics than just the pension administration of the time: for instance, politics, social history, medical and welfare history, women’s history, military structure and operations are all themes that are heavily present throughout the collection.
The blog is intended to introduce the collection to a wider public, and by disseminating stories unearthed within the wider MSPC collection by the project staff to the public at large, it is hoped to increase public awareness and online access to the MSPC collection pages available via the Military Archives website. The blog (and the collection as a whole) offers new perspectives to look at the period 1916-1923 (and beyond), and forces us to constantly re-examine what is known about the revolutionary period in Ireland.