ALL THAT DELIRIUM OF THE BRAVE

by ehistoryadmin on May 26, 2018

To mark the 220th anniversary of the 1798 rebellion we have added All that Delirium of the Brave published in Dec. 1997, an account of the Rebellion in County Kildare.

ALL THAT DELIRIUM OF THE BRAVE – KILDARE IN 1798

THE LAST OF THE EBB, MAY 1918

by ehistoryadmin on May 25, 2018

The last of the ebb, May 1918

James Durney

1918 was probably the most dramatic and decisive year of the war. British military deaths for 1918 were 223,659, only slightly less than 1917 (226,753 deaths) the worst year of the war. About 465,000 German soldiers died in the same period.

Ten Kildare men died in the month of May one hundred years ago. The only Kildare civilian casualty of WWI, William Edward Armes, an acting Inspector of Engine Fitters, Royal Fleet Auxiliary Reliance, died from injuries sustained in an explosion on 16 May 1918. The Reliance, a cargo ship converted into a Stores Support Ship spent a large part of the war at Mudros and in the Mediterranean. On 16 May William Armes and Plumber John Charles Bright were badly injured in an explosion onboard the Reliance. Both men subsequently died from their injuries and were buried in East Mudros Military Cemetery on the Greek Island of Limnos, in the Aegean Sea. William Ermes was born at the Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, on 1 June 1881.

Three more Kildaremen died of illness that month, one in Naas, one in England and the other in a POW Camp in Germany. Private Patrick Brien, of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers died of illness, on 3 May 1918. He was discharged in late 1916 due to ill-health and had spent two years at the front, in France. Born at Rathasker Road, Naas, on 3 February 1897, he was the son of Frank Brien and Rose Ryder. He died at his residence Fair Green, Naas, and was buried at St. Corban’s Cemetery, Naas.

John Reilly, a driver in the Royal Field Artillery, died of illness, in the Military Hospital, Ripon, on 6 May 1918. Aged twenty-one he was born at Athy, the son of James and Bridget Reilly, Levitstown, Athy. He was buried at Ripon Cemetery, Yorkshire.

Private Michael Bowden, 2nd, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, died of tuberculosis (TB) in the POW Hospital, Giessen, Limburg POW Camp, Germany, on 23 May 1918. Age twenty-nine he was born at Athy in 1890, the son of Peter and Ellen Bowden, 2 Dry Dock, Athy, and the husband of Brigid Byrne, who he married on 3 June 1914. He was captured at Ligny, France, on 26 August 1914. Michael’s brother-in-law, John Byrne, also died as a POW, in Limburg Camp, on 27 September 1918.

In what the British military referred to as ‘wastage’ (men killed, wounded, missing, captured or sick outside of set-piece battles) Private Thomas O’Brien, 1st Irish Guards, died of wounds, in France, on 7 May 1918. He was born c. 1893, the son of Michael and Mary O’Brien, Athy and was buried at Doullens Communal Cemetery Extension No. 2, France. The average normal wastage, of the British Army, usually caused by shelling, sniping, flare-ups, etc., in the line was 35,000 men per month. Celbridge-born Private John Doran, Northumberland Fusiliers, was killed in action, in France, on 22 May 1918, in one of those quiet periods before a major battle.

In the Third Battle of the Aisne (27 May-6 June) a small and tired British force, sent to the Chemin des Dames area in exchange for fresh French divisions that went north, was struck and virtually destroyed as part of another German offensive, Operation Bluecher. Three Kildaremen died in this battle. Private Thomas Behan, 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers, attached to the Royal Irish Regiment, died of wounds, at Armentieres, France, on 27 May 1918, aged twenty. He was born at Eadestown, the son of John and Elizabeth Behan, Rathmore, Naas.

Private John Swift, 2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers, was killed in action, on 27 May 1918. Aged thirty-one he was born at Kilmeague, the son of John and Kate Swift. Two days later Private Edward Henry Gould died serving with the Australian Infantry Force, 46th Battalion. He was born in Naas RD, in 1896, the son of Edward Henry Christopher Marks Gould and Margaret Saisan Gould, who had prior to the war emigrated to Victoria, Australia. The 46th Battalion was raised in New South Wales and Western Australia and had entered service in France during the summer of 1916.

From the British point of view the Third Battle of the Aisne was, in the words of one officer who fought there, ‘the last of the ebb’. When the German offensive ran out of steam the stage was set for the magisterial return: the great flow of the tide the other way as the Allies went on the offensive.

Sadly, the ‘wastage’ of war continued and John Buggle, of the Mercantile Marine, died on 30 May 1918. He was a ‘greaser’ on board the SS Ausonia, a defensively-armed converted passenger steamer. The Ausonia, on a voyage from Montreal to Avonmouth with general cargo, was torpedoed without warning and sunk by gunfire from the German submarine U-62, 620 miles from Fastnet. Forty-four lives were lost, among them John Buggle. Age thirty-four he was the son of James and Margaret Buggle, Newtown, Donaghcumper, Celbridge. He was married to Ann Holly, of 5 Beatrice Street, Liverpool. John Buggle has no known grave and is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.

THE LAST SUMMER, FRANCE, 1918

May 25, 2018

THE LAST SUMMER, FRANCE, 1918

Summer in France, 1918 James Durney During the summer fighting of 1918 the newly-arrived American soldiers proved they were the equal of any troops in the field. In defence they had shown themselves determined not to yield whatever the cost and in attack they were learning the hard grim lessons the British had learned at Loos and the Somme and the French had learned in the long siege of Verdun. When a Scottish division relieved an American division in one […]
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THE TIDE TURNS, 1918

May 25, 2018

THE TIDE TURNS, 1918

The tide turns James Durney On 29 April the Georgette Offensive ground to a halt. The Germans had lost 240,000 men; British and French losses were 348,000. Still the war went on, but time was running out for the German Army. The arrival of American troops and more and more Allied tanks and aeroplanes for use in co-ordinated attacks was clear to make a difference. The German High Command made one more attempt to force a settlement. On 27 May […]
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VOTES FOR WOMEN – 100th ANNIVERSARY

April 28, 2018

VOTES FOR WOMEN – 100th ANNIVERSARY

Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Votes for Women: a panel discussion which will take place at Maynooth University from 2pm to 4pm on Thursday 3 May. All will be welcome to attend but will need to register via Eventbrite in advance. The format for the event is as follows: Introduction: Professor Marian Lyons, Chair, Maynooth University Decade of Commemorations Committee Welcome: President of Maynooth University, Professor Philip Nolan Opening Address: Senator Alice Mary Higgins (Votáil 100 Committee) Chair: Professor Linda […]
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THE CATHOLIC CHURCH KILLED CONSCRIPTION

April 28, 2018

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH KILLED CONSCRIPTION

‘The Catholic Church killed Conscription’ James Durney The fight against conscription was not confined to the one day strike and petitions and marches took place all over the country. In the spring of 1918 in response to the rumours that Britain was going to introduce conscription in Ireland, a statement was issued on behalf of the Catholic bishops of Ireland. It included the following resolutions: ‘Had the government in any reasonable time given Ireland the benefit of the principles, which […]
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JOHN REDMOND. HIS SCHOOLDAYS

April 28, 2018

JOHN REDMOND. HIS SCHOOLDAYS

John Redmond.His Schooldays Memories by John P. Gannon, of Laragh, Maynooth (O.C. 1870-1876) Munster Express 16 March 1918 John Redmond was in Second Grammar and the Lower line when I went to Clongowes in the Summer Term of 1870. I was in Third Grammar and the Third Line that Term, and I hardly came in contact with him till after the following Christmas, when I went up into his class. He was a handsome boy, with brown curling hair, walked […]
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KILDARE PROTESTS AGAINST CONSCRIPTION 1918

April 28, 2018

KILDARE PROTESTS AGAINST CONSCRIPTION 1918

Nationalist & Leinster Times 27 April 1918 Athy’s Protest against Conscription Than Tuesday’s anti-conscription and labour demonstration in Athy no greater manifestation of the man-power of the town and district was witnessed since Parnell was in the hey-day of his influence. In weighing up the insignificance of Tuesday’s demonstration the fact should be taken into consideration that it was practically spontaneous. There was no time to advertise arrangements and practically no programme had been prepared, those in charge of the event […]
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LEIXLIP 3 MAY 2018 – THE SUFFRAGE CAMPAIGN IN IRELAND – DR. LEEANN LANE

April 21, 2018

LEIXLIP 3 MAY 2018 – THE SUFFRAGE CAMPAIGN IN IRELAND – DR. LEEANN LANE

‘The suffrage campaign in Ireland in the early twentieth century’ Presented by Dr. Leeann Lane. LEIXLIP LIBRARY Thursday 3rd May, 7pm. This talk will focus on the militant suffrage campaign in Ireland from the establishment of the Irish Women’s Franchise League by Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and Margaret Cousins in 1908. It will examine the manner and the type of violence that was carried out across Ireland in pursuit of the vote, the imprisonment of Irish suffragettes, their demands for political […]
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STACKING THE COFFINS – DR. IDA MILNE BOOK LAUNCH

April 21, 2018

STACKING THE COFFINS – DR. IDA MILNE BOOK LAUNCH

Ida Milne will be speaking at the Great Flu Seminar in Naas in the autumn. Launch of Ida Milne’s new book, Stacking the coffins. Wed 6 June 2018 18:00 – 19:30 p.m. Hodges Figgis 56-58 Dawson Street Dublin ‘Long in the making, this is the definitive study of a major but largely neglected disaster that ravaged Ireland a century ago. Milne tells the story with empathy, objectivity, and flair.’ (Cormac Ó Gráda). The 1918-19 influenza pandemic disrupted Irish society and […]
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