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Brother's terrible experience in occupied France

Leinster Leader, September 1st 1945
Brother’s Terrible Experience
In Occupied France
An interesting visitor to Co. Kildare is Rev. Brother Edward Harrison, of the St. John of God Order at present on vacation in his native Monasterevan, where the other members of his family reside. Brother Harrison, who is 29, went to France in 1938, the year before the war broke out, and he has been at Lyons all during the German occupation. On the staff of an hospital carting for 800 mental defectives he has had some trying experiences. The food was very often bad and the task of looking after the needs of this large institution immense, apart from the ever present terror of air raids. On the 26th May, 1944, bombs were dropped on the hospital by the R.A.F., killing two Brothers and fifteen patients, and injuring many others. About 400 patients were in a shelter at the time. A number of the buildings were destroyed. Altogether over sixty bombs were dropped from time to time on the buildings or cultivated lands of the Brothers. Some of these did not explode. On one occasion Brother Harrison stated aircraft bombed a stationary train on a railway line running alongside the grounds of the hospital. The passengers left the train and had sought refuge in the cutting nearby. A bomb, however, unfortunately exploded near them and six were killed and others injured.
        When the Germans were retreating they destroyed 22 bridges over the Rhone; they sought shelter in the hospital for a few days. A large part of the industrial City of Lyons was destroyed in the air attacks. Brother Harrison who was delighted to be back again amongst his old friends and school mates, will return to France in three weeks’ time.

The Leinster Leader of September 1945  reports on the terrible experience of a  Brother of St. John of God Order in Occupied France. Our thanks to Roy O'Brien

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