Almost 20,000 Irish soldiers fought in the Canadian army during World War I new figures show. According to an unpublished document from Canada’s Department of National Defense, 19,327 Irish served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

However, the Irish Times reports that number may be underestimated as many Irish who enlisted in the army came from across US border and would have been regarded as American. Canada went out of its way to recruit Irish soldiers and a number of Irish battalions were raised during the war.

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