Carson’s army

The Ulster Volunteer Force, 1910–22

Author: Timothy Bowman

The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) remains something of a forgotten army of the Irish revolutionary period. There has also been a tendency for historians of opposition to Home Rule to view the UVF as little more than a supporting cast to the Unionists stars: Sir Edward Carson and Andrew Bonar Law. In traditional Unionist accounts of the Third Home Rule crisis, militancy was a measured and controlled response by Ulster Unionists to the actions of the Liberal government. The book considers the social composition and political ideology of the UVF. The command structures of the UVF and the force's military efficiency are discussed next. Many of the early manifestations of Ulster Unionist militancy occurred outside the formal structures of the Orange Order and Unionist Clubs. The earliest forms of armed Unionism during the 1910-1914 period took a similar form and, indeed, this neo-feudalism was to survive in the UVF proper between 1913 and 1914. The command of the UVF, while theoretically a standard military hierarchy, was in reality anything but that. The military efficiency units differed significantly over time and region. Unionist propaganda was aimed at four different audiences: Ulster Unionists themselves, British public opinion, the Liberal government and Nationalist Ireland. The book then covers the related issues of finance, arms and equipment. The contribution of the UVF to the 36th (Ulster) Division is then dealt with. Finally, it considers the brief revival of the UVF in 1920 and its amalgamation into the Ulster Special Constabulary.

Abstract only
Log-in for full text

    • Full book download (PDF with hyperlinks)
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1449 466 24
Full Text Views 501 5 0
PDF Downloads 314 7 0