The exhibition of WW1 memorabilia taking place in the Excel has lots of information and photos pertaining to Tipperary Town’s relationship with WW1.
Highlights include the display of the soldiers personal equipment and the small collection of medals photos and personal documents including the last Service Wills of a few local men, in their own handwriting, who served, and died, far from home and their families, in such horrific conditions.
Tipperary was selected and designated HQ for the newly established 49th Brigade of the16th Irish Division with responsibility for the raising and training of men to fill the ranks of the brigade, in preparation to join those already serving, holding the line, in the trenches at the front.
After the declaration of war, two Military Hutment Camps known as East and West Camps were planned and built to facilitate the massive amount of troops sent to Tipperary for training. It is estimated that approximately 4000 troops were billeted in Tipperary during the war, between the main barracks, the two hutment camps and the Union Workhouse. Additional medical facilities were added to the military hospital and additional range facilities were also constructed in Ballyglass.
In addition to being the recruiting depot for the 49th Brigade, the barracks at Tipperary was later used as a Rehabilitation Station, where soldiers who received serious wounds at the Front were sent to convalesce from their injuries before being returned to duty at the front, or being discharged from service. In March 1916, some 1,500 wounded troops arrived back in Tipperary and were accommodated in the hutment camps. Many more arrived back in the following months and years. As part of the rehabilitation process classes were organised in carpentry, boot repairing and more. This continued to the end of the war.