The Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection

Posted on Jul 16, 2014

Photograph above: Taken from front cover of the ‘Guide to the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection’


The Military Service Pensions Collection is the Military Archives’ latest online collection and is the single most important archival collection relating to Ireland’s revolutionary period, comprising hundreds of thousands of individual accounts of the activities of nationalists throughout the period from the 1916 Rising to the end of the Civil War in 1923.  It is a cornerstone project of the Government Decade of Centenaries 2012-2022 Commemorative programme.

The collection records the personal commitment and sacrifice by those men and women who shouldered the task of gaining independence for this country.  This release provides a window into every parish and townland in this country and the activities undertaken by ordinary people pursuing the ambition of nationhood.  The release of these records will provide Irish people at home and abroad with fascinating and copious information about their ancestors who played a part in the establishment of independent Ireland.

The first release of the Military Service Pensions Collection (MSPC) comprises approximately 452,000 images relating to over 3,000 individuals and mainly deals with 1916 personalities and survivors, but also containing crucial supporting documentation which help to understand the pensions files in context.

The first phase of the collection is available to view online at

The information and application forms are also plotted on a 1912 OSI map providing a greater awareness and visibility of the location of activity sites during Easter week 1916 (see image below), which can be viewed on the Military Archives website.


 1916 map archives

As part of the launch of the Military Service Pension Collection in January 2014, a comprehensive guide was produced in order to provide an introduction and context to this important and significant collection.  The Guide to the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection is available to view on the Military Archives website as a pdf file and a hard copy may be viewed at the libraries throughout County Kilkenny.