Photograph of RIC memorial in St Paul's Cathedral
Dimensions: 12 x 18 cm
Organisation: Royal Irish Constabulary
Source: Police Museum
The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) Memorial in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral in London. The memorial was dedicated to RIC officers and men who died while discharging their duty and serving during World War I. Eight hundred and fifteen members of the RIC volunteered to fight between December 1913 and July 1919 and most men joined the Irish Guards. One hundred and fifty men were killed in action or died from their wounds and a further 14 died while on duty.
During the War of Independence, there was an increase in the number of attacks against the British security forces in Ireland. The police, stationed in isolated barracks in rural areas, were more vulnerable to Irish Volunteers/Irish Republican Army (IRA) raids. Between January 1919 and December 1922, 562 members of the police forces in Ireland were killed due to political violence. This figure includes 462 members of the ‘regular RIC’ and the Black and Tans, 38 men from the Auxiliary division, 51 members of the Ulster Special Constabulary, 10 members of Dublin Metropolitan Police and 1 member of Belfast Harbour Police. Further policemen were declared missing presumed dead and 700 members were wounded. The British army suffered fewer casualties during the same period; out of the 37,000 soldiers stationed in Ireland, 150 men were killed.