Commander-in-Chief, Ireland

Commander-in-Chief, Ireland was title of the commander of the British forces in Ireland before 1922. Until the Act of Union in 1800, the position involved command of the distinct Irish Army of the Kingdom of Ireland.


In the 18th and 19th centuries the British forces in Ireland were commanded by the Commander-in-Chief, Ireland. In January 1876 a ‘Mobilization Scheme for the forces in Great Britain and Ireland’ was published, with the ‘Active Army’ divided into eight army corps based on the District Commands. 4th Corps was to be formed within Irish Command, based in Dublin. This scheme disappeared in 1881, when the districts were retitled ‘District Commands.[1]

The 1901 Army Estimates introduced by St John Brodrick allowed for six army corps based on six regional commands. As outlined in a paper published in 1903, III Corps was to be formed in a reconstituted Irish Command, with HQ at Dublin.[2] Field Marshal The Duke of Connaught was appointed acting General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOCinC) of III Corps in October 1901.[3] The title was withdrawn in 1904.[4]

Army Order No 324, issued on 21 August 1914, authorised the formation of a 'New Army' of six Divisions, manned by volunteers who had responded to Earl Kitchener's appeal (hence the First New Army was known as 'K1'). Each division was to be under the administration of one of the Home Commands, and Irish Command formed what became the 10th (Irish) Division.[5] It was followed by 16th (Irish) Division of K2 in September 1914.[6]

In the Republic of Ireland, the role nominally is held by the President of Ireland today as the supreme commander of the Defence Forces. In Northern Ireland from 1922 to 2009, the senior British military appointment was General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland.[7]

Commanders-in-Chief, Ireland, 1700–1922

Holders of the post have included:[7][8]


  1. Army List 1876–1881.
  2. Col John K. Dunlop, The Development of the British Army 1899–1914, London: Methuen, 1938.
  3. "No. 27360". The London Gazette. 1 October 1901. p. 6400.
  4. "No. 27676". The London Gazette. 13 May 1904. p. 3083.
  5. "10th Division". The long, long trail. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  6. "16th Division". The long, long trail. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  7. "Army Commands" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  8. List of Commander-in-Chief Ireland Archived April 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  9. Paula Watson and David Wilkinson, ERLE, Thomas (c.1650–1720), of Charborough, Dorset in The History of Parliament Online. Accessed 19 February 2013.
  10. Chichester, FM, Ferguson, Kenneth (ed) (2004). Ingoldsby, Richard (1664/5–1712) (Online ed.). Oxford DNB. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/14412.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  11. "No. 27154". The London Gazette. 16 January 1900. p. 289.
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