News From The Front
Bishopstown Library, Cork
The event at the library in Bishopstown, Cork was a fantastically successful day and as a result we have been asked to do a presentation at the Bishopcourt Retirement Home, and also participate in an interview with the University College Cork's radio station to discuss our society and what we are about. This is all down to the professional and knowledgeable approach of the Society, and also by the people with the interest in the commemoration of the Irish regimes that are associated with the group. At the same time the society also did a presentation in the National Museum in Collins Barracks, Dublin, which again was another success.
During the same week we also participated in the remembrance ceremony in Ennis Cathedral, which was also an outstanding success. These events were a credit to the Irish Great War Society.
Addendum to the Bishopstown Library report
Once again I was so amazed by the amount of people that have visited our static displays, this time at the Bishopstown Library, who have had their own Great War stories to tell about family members who served, some of whom were killed in action. Our event at the Bishopstown Library generated a great deal of interest, and especially pleasing was the number of youngsters that attended, in particular one 10 year old lad who had an unbelievable amount of knowledge, which he had gleaned from reading just three books at school over and over again!
Despite the weather members of the IGWS joined in the service of remembrance in Ennis on the 11th Nov. Many other groups attended including the Royal British legion and the ONE. The service began with a talk by the organiser Mr. Peadar McNamara. Following this the guard of honour, consisting of one officer and six men, marched up the centre of the cathedral and took its place three either side of the alter. During a present arms the colours were laid up. They included the national flag the Munsters colour the legion colour and the societies own colour. Maj Graham Evans followed with the sword of who was killed in action while serving in the war, this was laid on the alter during the service.
Following this the roll of honour was read out and the guard sloped arms and marched off. Maj Evans then gave a talk on life in the trenches and the key note speaker Col Michael Shannon, president of the Irish peace institute, who spoke on the futilities of war and drew on his own military experiences.
During the Menin gate ceremony the guard once again took its place as the colours were lowered during the last post, wreaths were laid by the RBL, ONE, Cllr. Brian Meaney (Green Party) on behalf of the people of Clare and to his surprise our own Brian Kenny on behalf of the IGWS!
The Colours were then marched off and the parade dismissed. A big thank you to all who attended and to the Clare Remembrance Day Committee for the invitation, A special thanks to John also for providing us with beds after the service they were well needed.
Fort Camden, Crosshaven, Cork
A few members of IGWS were able to put on a static display in full dress at Fort Camden on Sunday 26th September in support of the Group renovating the marvelous, but derelict coastal battery fort. Although still in a sorry state, the renovators have done some excellent work so far and we were happy to attend. Our display and uniforms created a lot of interest with many people sharing their stories of fallen and surviving relatives that fought in the Great War.
The fort is in an excellent location and has great potential for future IGWS displays. The Renovation Committee have asked us to attend again and look forward to contacting us next year to work around our calender for future multi-date participation.
Les Newman (GO4)
Training weekend at the Kenny Trench
The Irish Great War Society held its end of season training weekend at the 'Kenny Trench' over the 11th and 12th September.
It was an excellent opportunity to practice our foot and rifle drill in preparation for the up and coming parade at the Ennis Cathedral Remembrance Day service in November; a lot for hard work was put into our drilling but it paid off. Of course it wasn’t all work and no play as we also got time to 'play' in the trench and worked on a couple of scenarios including one using two 'Carrier Pigeons'. Unfortunately, only one flew off with the message to 'G.H.Q for Artillery' after circling above a couple of times; the other liked our company so much that it merely hopped onto the trench wall causing much laughter amongst the troops!! However, it did perch itself on the house guttering and amused itself by watching us drill.
It was the first outing for our new Officer, 2nd Lieutenant Ian Galloway... and didn't he slip into the part well?!!
Well done 'Mr. Galloway'.
We send our thanks to young Andrew for stepping in and taking charge of the camera work for us while our usual photographers were being put through their paces with drill practice.
Special thanks must go once again to Brian and Mary Kenny for the use of their lovely home for the weekend, especially to Mary for the lovely food she provided.
Finally, we are all looking forward to next season as this one has been our busiest, most succesful and enjoyable one yet.
Thank you and well done to everyone that 'stood to' during the season.
The I.G.W.S. attended the 'Salute' in Dublin over the weekend of the 28th & 29th August where there were several other living history / re-enactor groups in attendance as well as ourselves and they put on some realistic and entertaining shows in the central arena. There was also a dynamic display of military vehicles in the gravelled area where drivers put each machine through its paces.
There was a fantastic turn-out with no less than 20 I.G.W.S. members in attendance on one or both days over the weekend where we were on centre-stage on five occasions; two on Saturday and three on Sunday. Our numbers were boosted by two new recruits, Ross and Ed. So welcome to them and we hope they will remain with us for the 'duration of war'!
There were the usual scenarios of, 'on parade'; introducing a Great War soldier's kit & equipment; gas attack drill; trench raid; bayonet drill; our portrayal of the Somme advance on 1st July and our gun drill. In addition to these we presented casualty retrieval from no-mans-land and his subsequent treatment at an aid post by out skilled nursing team where the man was 'put under' and had a bullet successfully removed from his shoulder. There was also a presentation of an ambush during the Irish War of Independence.
We are proud to say that we received some great praise for our work from members of the public and we were encouraged by the positive comments we received. We humbly thank all those that went out of their way and took the time to congratulate us.
Throughout the weekend the I.G.W.S. had two excellent static displays on show; a fully equiped aid station and a cavalry tribute, which included 'horse and cavalryman' along with many cavalry accoutrements. Some of our members also took part in the organiser's 'weapons through the ages'.
The event was also important for the I.G.W.S. as it was the venue for our Annual General Meeting... and a lively one it was too! Minutes of the meeting will be sent out to members in due course but briefly the main points were; the new appointments to the positions of the Society's Chairperson and Secretary (Graham Evans & Darren McMahon respectively); membership subscriptions (increase & due dates); annual pilgrimage (Ypres/Ieper); etc..
Les Newman (GO4)
The Cork City Gaol Military Show
The Irish Great War Society, attended The Cork City Gaol Military Show in Cork City on Saturday and Sunday 7th and 8th of August, the event was run in support of Down Syndrome Ireland and it was a fantastic response. The reaction from the public to the Irish Great War Society was a spectacular one. Also the presence of Jean Prendergast with her magnificent database on WW1 information relating to cork casualties and survivors of the Great War was a great hit. Thanks to Ollie Griffin with his Munster Fusiliers memorabilia and old comrades association colours, he was a massive contribution to the overall display, and Ross Glennon with his fantastic collation of WW1 medals and knowledge was another fantastic addition to the overall presentation.
The show was very well attended and the feedback to the Irish Great War Society’s display has been extremely positive. From my own point of view a major success and another huge step for the Irish Great War Society and its aims.
The Irish Great War Society was invited to the Ulster Military Vehicle Club’s annual event at Portstewart, N. Ireland over the weekend of 31st July / 1st August where the I.G.W.S. took the opportunity raise some money for the Army Benevolent Fund. Amid WW2 re-enactments and numerous latter-day fighting vehicles and equipment, the I.G.W.S. showed spectators what a soldier’s life was like some ninety years ago by performing our usual basic parade ground drill, bayonet drill and gun drill using the replica, firing 13 pounder. In addition to the drills, the team carried out a no-mans-land re-wire exercise and a poignant mini re-enactment of the 1st July advance at the Somme. Also on display was the I.G.W.S. own fully equipped forward aid post together with its accompanying FANY, VAD, an RAMC officer and his ‘conchy’ RAMC orderly.
Over the course of the weekend members portrayed the RAMC, Irish Guards, Connaught Rangers and Royal Field Artillery. At the end of both days the latest generation of Irish Guards, the UK’s young I.G. cadets, had the opportunity to fire the gun… several times!
One of the highlights of the weekend for us was the number of youngsters that queued up at our recruiting station where the OC ‘signed-up’ new recruits where each was presented with his/her ‘attestment paper’ and a ‘King’s shilling’.
Les Newman (GO4)
Irish Great War Society at Harthill event
Members of the Irish Great War Society travelled to Scotland from all parts of Ireland last weekend to join the Gordon Highlanders 1914-1918 re-enactment group at Harthill-Shotts, Lanarkshire for a living history event over the weekend of the 10th & 11th July.
Some members of the Irish Great War Society paraded as a Black Watch company for the event and also brought along its replica (firing)13 pounder gun complete with RA gunners.
Although the weekend was plagued by a dense mist followed by torrential rain and howling winds, both groups worked hard to capture the mood of the 'Jocks' in the trenches during the Great War. Over the course of the two days the ’Gordon Highlanders’ and the ‘Black Watch’ companies undertook joint gun-drill, gas-drill and a 'going-over-the-top' and fighting retreat exercise. The Irish Great War Society also had a fully kitted-out aid station with a Royal Army Medical Corps Officer and Medical Sgt, Two red Cross nurses and a Queens Alexander Army Nursing Corps in attendance and was a great source of interest for those members of the public that braved the weather. Although the bad weather greatly affected public attendance, those that did turn up thoroughly enjoyed the Great War display.
Les Newman (GO4)
Carrickfergus Armed Forces Day
The Irish Great War Society had the great honour to be invited to take part in the Carrickfergus Armed Forces Day on the 26 June 2010. The event started off with a flypast from the R.A.F and was followed by a parade down the centre of the town.
The Irish Great War Society was honoured to be asked to take part in the parade and to march past the Lord Mayor and Air Chief Marshal of the R.A.F. It was great way to meet Veterans and again do our bit for Charity. I must say what great men they are and with some great stories, I loved hearing them.
In the week of June 14 2010 the Irish Great War Society, made its first annual pilgrimage to the “western front” In France and Belgium. An excellent few days was had by all. Some of the places we visited were:
The Menin Gate
The courtyard where so many men were shot for cowardice in the Great War.
Being in those places where so much pain and suffering happened, where the youth of the world paid the ultimate price, was an experience had by all.
"A great sacrifice" book launch
The story of Cork's war dead.
Last night's launch went beyond all expectations it was a fantastic night for all concerned.
The book launch was held at Cork City Hall at 8pm on Tuesday 1st of June 2010. The Irish Great War Society was invited to present a display of WW1 memorabilia equipment and artifacts. Brian and Mary Kenny, John Shanahan and Eugene Power were in attendance at the event.
The whole ceremony was so professionally performed by all concerned with the combination of religious, ceremonial, and military performances. I think the highlight of the event was the slide show in the background during the solo performance near the end of the ceremony.
The display of WW1 militaria and artifacts put on by the Irish Great War Society was very well received and was complimented by the vast array of artefacts produced on the night by members of the public.
It was a pleasure to be complimented on our display by the members of the Irish Guards who were invited to the event. They were very happy and impressed to see Brian Kenny in his Irish Guard outfit and a great exchange of info and contacts took place. Looking forward to more of the same.
From the project committees view the Irish Great War Society’s display was a great success and was very favourably commented on for its presentation and knowledge.
Irish Great War Society meet with The Gordon Highlanders Living History Group.
It was an Honour for the Irish Great War Society to meet up with The Gordon Highlanders at Caerlaverock Castle, on the 29th 30th May We had a great meeting of minds. It was great meeting Tom, Sean, Rob and the lovely Lynsey!!
We feel both Groups learned a lot from each other over the course of the weekend. We all got on very well and here's to the next meeting in July!!
Trench Weekend At The Kenny's
A fantastic weekend was held at Brian Kenny's trench 10/11 of April. New recruits were exposed to camp life.
It proved to be an excellent opportunity for a photo shoot. Special thanks must go to Les and Molly our expert photographers.
It was an ideal event for the Ladies of the V.A.D and the F.A.N.Y to practice their AID station scenarios. The casualty fakes were very realistic.
Many thanks must go to Mary and Brian for inviting us all down for the weekend. A special must go to Mary for her excellent Apple pie and the gorgeous meal she provided.
As usual the group bonded so well and we are looking forward to the coming season.
The Irish Great War Society are very proud to support Leopardstown Park Hospital this coming June Bank Holiday Weekend.
Military Vehicle and Re-Enactment Show in aid of Leopardstown Park Hospital
Saturday 5th and 6th June 2010
Leopardstown Park Hospital
2010 marks the 65th year after the ending of World War II and 6th June 2010 marks the 66th anniversary of D-Day. So on that Bank Holiday weekend, Leopardstown Park Hospital which is the last place you would think of for a war to break out is going to over run with military vehicles, including tanks, jeeps, armoured personnel carriers, artillery tractors and hummers and humvees. The vehicles largely representatives of World War II but also up to and including the Gulf War will set the stage for a two day military vehicle and re-enactment show called Dad’s army.
War re-enactors dressed as Romans, Vikings, Napoleonic, American Civil War and World War I and II soldiers will also pit their strength and wits against each other in a fight for supremacy in the woods surrounding the hospital as part of this ‘living history’ weekend. In addition military vehicle exhibitors will be on hand to answer questions from hungry history lovers on every era of history represented, war memorabilia will be on sale for avid collectors and war ration type food will be on offer.
Situated a few hundred yards from the busy Sandyford roundabout in South Dublin, Leopardstown Park is steeped in history. The hospital was originally established in 1917 as a hospital and home, for the care and treatment of soldiers who were disabled or injured in the British Armed Forces and the hospital continued to operate for more than 50 years caring for ex-service personnel and disabled soldiers. An agreement was then reached between the British and Irish Governments and the hospital is now totally funded by the HSE and is under the control of the Leopardstown Park Hospital Board of Management. So today the hospital still cares for 60 ex-service personnel but its broader responsibilities focus on providing long term, respite, intermittent and convalescent care for older persons living in South Dublin.
So where better to host this exciting and informative event than the grounds of Leopardstown Park Hospital, home to our war veterans of old and many stories of heroic deeds. Although there are now more ‘civilians’ availing of the considerable services that Leopardstown provides, then war veterans, we can now proudly host this event in their honour.
This extensive exhibition of military vehicles is going to be a ‘must see’ event for members of the general public over the June Bank Holiday weekend and the excitement of the various battle scenes using (dud) ammunition will keep adults and children enthralled for hours. Members of the public are also encouraged to really get into the spirit and add to the authenticity of the event by coming along to the event in 1940’s regalia. All funds raised with go to Leopardstown Park Hospital.
Two adults and two children: €25.
One adult: €10.
Children over ten and OAP: € 5.