HC Deb 01 April 1946 vol 421 cc128-9W
Dr. Morgan

asked the Secretary of State for War if any figures or estimates are available of the number of residents or citizens of Northern Ireland who served in His Majesty's Forces during the 1939–45 war; and if these figures can now be given.

Mr. Lawson:

No complete statistics are available of the total number of residents or citizens of Northern Ireland who served in His Majetsy's Forces during the war. La the case of the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines the figures available are based on information supplied as to the address at the time of entry into the Service and do not include those who joined the Navy before 3rd September, 1939. Those for the Army and R.A.F. are based on information supplied as to place of birth. In the case of the Army those who left the Army before the end of 1944 or jointed after that date are not included.

On these bases the figures are as follow:

Royal Navy and Royal Marines
Men entered and enlisted between 3rd September, 1939, and 31st August, 1945 4,623
Women—no figures available.
Total numbers serving at 31st December,1944:
Men 27,462
Women 2,087
Total numbers enlisted at Belfast between 1st January, 1943, and 31st August, 1945
Men 2,619
Women 491

As regards R.A.F. and W.A.A.F. enlistments before 1st January, 1943, no distinction was drawn in the records between Northern Ireland and Eire. The R.A.F. and W.A.A.F. statistics also do not include enlistments in Great Britain of men and women of Northern Ireland origin as to which no figures are available. It is estimated that the approximate strengths in the R.A.F. at the end of August, 1945, were probably much the same both for men and women coming from Northern Ireland as for those coming from Eire.

The bases on which the above information is given are not altogether satisfactory, but I regret that it is not possible to supply more accurate figures without the expenditure of a disproportionate amount of time and labour.