Easter uprising

One of the elements that influenced many people’s reaction to the war was the Easter Uprising in Ireland.

Ireland was under British control, but many Irish were nationalists - they wanted Ireland to be its own country.

On Easter Sunday 1916, a group of IRA rebels seized buildings in Dublin as a start of an uprising. The British troops there quickly defeated the rebels. Many were taken prisoner, tried, and executed.

Many Australians had strong ties to Ireland, and there was also a strong connection between the Roman Catholic religion and Ireland - many of the Church’s priests, nuns and teaching staff were Irish born.

The Archbishop of Melbourne, Daniel Mannix, was particularly strong in his condemnation of the brutal British suppression of the rebellion, and he increasingly distanced himself from support of the war - influencing many of his flock to do the same.

But it is not accurate to say that Australia became divided along religious and ethnic lines - Protestant British versus Irish Catholics - as there were important religious leaders, particularly Archbishop Kelly of Sydney, who did not support the Irish uprising.

To investigate this aspect of the Home Front experience by using evidence from the time, see Home Fronts at War, Ryebuck Media for ANZAC Day Commemoration Committee of Queensland.

(More about the book HOME FRONTS AT WAR)