Term of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Master of Arts in History (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)


Department of History

Committee Chair

Brian K. Feltman

Committee Member 1

Howard Keeley

Committee Member 2

Emerson McMullen


The purpose of this thesis is to examine the level at which the Sherwood Foresters are commemorated for their service during the Easter Rising of 1916. The Sherwood Foresters, known officially as the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment, were created in 1881 in England after combining the 45th (Nottinghamshire) and 95th (Derbyshire) Regiments of Foot and had previously served as part of the guard to the royal family. Four battalions were sent to Dublin to quell the rebellion, yet their efforts go largely unnoticed in the annals of the history of World War I. These men are not considered war heroes, as their deaths occurred on the colonial front rather than the Western front in 1916. These ordinary men were sent, largely unprepared, into combat against a small number of Irish rebels in the Battle for Mount Street Bridge. The Foresters suffered heavy losses in Dublin, and they remained in Ireland for the executions of rebel leaders in the weeks following the insurrection. After research was conducted in various archives and state facilities in both Ireland and England, eyewitness testimonies, newspaper articles, published books, photographs and other sources were compiled to create not only a first-hand narrative of the Foresters’ time in Ireland, but also to demonstrate how the Foresters were remembered by their contemporaries, both in during the battle and the days after, and how they are commemorated in the present day. In the end, the local hometowns of Nottingham and Derby commemorate their heroes in a variety of ways, while in Ireland the Foresters are largely forgotten. However, the level of recognition for the Sherwood Foresters and their efforts in Dublin in 1916 is growing, particularly through publications and multimedia, such as historical documentaries. As the hundredth anniversary of the Easter Rising approaches, recognition for all those involved is a critical issue, and the level to which the Foresters will be remembered is still in question.