Crossing over the street we could make out, under the bellow of the greater bells above us, the clanging of the bells of St. George’s chapel. We had decided to go Catholic today
He was twenty-nine, came from an Ayrshire family of coal miners, and died far from his family in no-mans-land. The poor lad probably, certainly as a conscript, didn’t know why he was even over there in the first place.
Follow @UrFhasaidh Philosophers will discuss forever the grey area between predetermination and autonomy. Were we personally responsible for all that happened last night or was it all mitigated by forces and events over which we had arguably little control? Certainly up to a point, or more precisely up to an hour and a level of … Continue reading Where Did It All Go Wrong?
When the list has an Irishman’s name like Patrick Murphy the census is of very little use. Sadly this is all too often the only detail of the fallen soldier’s life recorded in the Irish Memorial Record and what we have to do is identify which one of the 3,321 Patrick Murphy’s mentioned on the 1911 census that lad is in particular.
For us the tour ended well in a perfect little bar ramparts of the city. We definitely needed it, but the thought hung over us like a pall that so many others who did that same tour never had the reward of a beer in the city.
After four gruelling years of trench warfare in the Ypres Salient nothing was left standing in Ypres. Everything that we now see was painstakingly rebuilt by the people of Ieper in the 1920s, and what an outstanding job they did.
Travelling by land and sea to what was in 1915 the trench system of the Western Front, I will be travelling in the very footsteps of the hundreds of thousands of young Irishmen who fought in the British Army during the so-called Great War.
As this is a research trip on behalf of the Irish government into the Irish soldiers’ graves from the First World War I expect to be waved off by a tearful young lady holding a white handkerchief. My parting words will be something suitable, like, “It’ll all be over by Christmas.”