by ehistoryadmin on January 18, 2018



Remembrance Day in Athy

A good number of ex-servicemen assembled at the Legion Hall, Athy, and after Parade in Woodstock St. they marched four deep through the town preceded by the Legion band which discoursed rousing marches during the procession.  Lady Weldon, Mrs. Clemens, Major Clemens, (who had charge of the parade), Capt. C.B. Minch and Mr. R. Youell marched immediately in front of the ex-servicemen who wore their medals decorations and Flanders poppies.  The usual route was followed through Duke and Leinster streets, round the beautiful tree lined Crib road to St. Michael’s Church of Ireland, Offaly Street, where a section of the men attended for Service conducted by the Rev. Mr. Dunlop.  The major portion marched through Stanhope Street, and into St. Michael’s Church where they were met by the Very Rev. P. McDonhell, who conducted the officers and the men to the special seats in the Nave on the Epistle side – set apart for them.

Rev. J. Ryan, C.C., Athy, was celebrant of 11 o’clock Mass, which was offered for souls of those who fell in the war. Mass over, the men marched to Offaly St. where they were joined  by the other section and on to the Square where the Last Post was sounded.  This was followed by the two minutes silence – observed by all – solemn and intense.  Then rang out the heartening Reveille.

The men then reformed in processional order and marched back to the Legion Hall, outside of which Capt. Minch congratulated them on their smart turn out, stressed the point that they should never forget those that went away and did not return. He thanked Major Clemens for taking charge of the parade and passed a very special vote of thanks to Lady Weldon on her great kindness in being present at the parade.  Continuing, Capt. Minch said Lady Weldon always put the ex-servicemen first, and ever did her utmost to help them in every way.  Indeed, she had put aside a very important engagement in order to be present at their parade.

Major Clemens, in responding, said he was very proud to be in command of the Athy parade. He knew how very hard it was for many to carry on. He urged all who had not joined the Legion to do so now and hoped they would do all in their power to keep the Legion so that, perhaps, when they were in need, the Legion would be in a position to get them on their feet again.

Hearty cheers were given for Lady Weldon, Major Clemens and Capt. Minch, and the parade was dismissed. As a result of the addresses by Capt. Minch and Major Clemens several enrolled in the Legion club after the parade. During the morning a number of young ladies, under Lady Weldon, engaged in the role of Poppy Sellers. They evidently did good trade as the Poppies were much in evidence.

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