Harry Clarke’s War: Illustrations for Ireland’s Memorial Records, 1914-1918

Image of grey cover of book
Helmers, M. Harry Clarke’s War: Illustrations for Ireland’s Memorial Records, 1914-1918. Newbridge, Ireland: Irish Academic Press, 2016.

IRH Fellow:
Marguerite Helmers, 2013-2014 System Fellow

Ireland’s Memorial Records, 1914-1918 contain the names of 49,435 enlisted men who were killed in World War I. Commissioned in 1919 by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and published in 100 eight-volume sets, the Records are notable for stunning and elaborate page decorations by celebrated Irish illustrator Harry Clarke. Drawing from published and unpublished sources, this ground-breaking study provides a fascinating insight into the work of Harry Clarke as an extraordinary war artist and examines the process that led to the Records being commissioned through to their eventual placement within the Irish National War Memorial at Islandbridge (Dublin). With Harry Clarke’s illustrations taking center stage in the story, the Records and their genesis are of vital importance to the understanding of how art and commemoration can come together in a powerful visual creation.