Tour of the Western Front – 2016

As in previous years, Mike McLoughlin of Limerick will be running a guided tour of locations of the Western Front. As usual, places will be limited and those wishing to join Mike’s tour can contact him for all of the details at the following address

Mike McLoughlin

Dunmanus

Old Cratloe Road

Limerick

IRELAND

 

2016 WWI Historical Tour to Flanders

Guided tour of war memorials and battlefields by a professional historian

Dates: May 8th to 12th incl.

Duration: Five days (4 nights)

Accommodation: Four nights at Messines Peace Village

Food: Breakfast each morning, packed lunch each day and three evening meals

Flights: Aer Lingus Cork/ Paris (CDG)/Cork

Bus transfers: Paris Airport/Messines/Paris Airport plus daily excursions

Cost: 610.00€pp. Deposit 200€ required by Feb 2nd

Some of the proposed sites for tour

· Kemmel Information Centre – Battle of Messines 1917 & Bayernwald German trenches

· Walking tour of Messines: Peace Park, Messines Historical Museum (Old Town Hall), St. Nicolas Church and New Zealand Memorial and cemetery

· Museum of the Battle of Fromelles & Australian Memorial Park

· Weather permitting walking tour of the Ypres Salient (specific walk to be confirmed)

· Tyne Cot British Military Cemetery

· Passchendaele Memorial Museum

· German Cemeteries: Langemarck and Vladslo

· Francis Ledwidge Memorial at Bosinghe

· Menin Gate, Ypres for Last Post ceremony

· In Flanders Museum, Ypres

 

 

If interested a copy of the tour application form can be got from

Mike McLoughlin

Ph. (M) 087 7594 940

Email: mikejmcloughlin@eircom.net

 

 

News Update.

Hello all,

As there are many items of news, i will cover them all here in one update.

 

1.Journal 2015.

By now, most if not all of you will have received your copy of the 2015 Bengal Tiger Journal. Hopefully there is something in there to interest everyone. The main item is the final section of the insignia worn by RMF Officers by RMF Assocaiation member John Mulcahy. John has been a regular contributor to the journal and has a vast knowledge of RMF insignia. Please feel free to contact the secretary if any of you would like to include any RMF related articles for inclusion in the 2016 journal. It is hoped to have it on your doorsteps by the end of March 2016.

2. Christmas Cards.

This year the Association has designed and printed a limited amount of Christmas Cards. These are a postcard type card with the Last Absolution of the Munsters at Rue de Bois on the front. These will be made available to all RMF members and friends and will be sold on a first come basis. The price of the postcard will be €2.00 each plus p+p, 3 postcards €5.00 plus p+p or 10 postcards for €15.00 plus p+p.Please contact the secretary for details of postal rates.

 

3. Remembrance Ceremonies.

As usual, there will be Remembrance Ceremonies held at various locations throughout Ireland on the Sunday closest to November 11th. The RMF Association will parade it’s OCA Colours at the Cork Ceremony at the memorial on South Mall and the Association also has had an invite to parade it’s Colours at the Remembrance Ceremony in Limerick City. Please do try and attend these ceremonies .

4. Tralee Memorial.

For those who haven’t already heard or haven’t seen it, Kerry County Council has erected a beautiful memorial in Tralee in the vicinity of The Munster Bar in memory of all of Munster Fusiliers who fought in the Great War of 1914-1918.

 

5. Great War Memorial in the medieval city of Kilkenny, Ireland.

The following letter was received by the secretary from the Kilkenny War Memorial.

Plans for a Great War Memorial in Kilkenny were officially unveiled in June 2014 at a special dinner held in Kilkenny Castle. It was attended by former President of Ireland Mary McAleese, who was celebrating her birthday. During her time as President, Mrs. McAleese made a very important contribution in smoothing the path towards State recognition of nearly 50,000 Irishmen and women who fell in the Great War. Her visit to Gallipoli in March 2010 was the first recognition, by the State, of Irishmen who fought and died in Turkey.A group of local men and women formed the Kilkenny Great War Memorial Committee in 2011. The committee, chaired by Donal Croghan, has worked extraordinarily hard to find a suitable site in the city and begin the task of raising €100,000 at a time of great economic difficulties in the country. Its efforts were rewarded with the announcement that the memorial will be erected in the grounds of St. Mary’s Church, St. Mary’s Lane, off High Street in the centre of the city. The church and graveyard are of huge national heritage significance and are protected under heritage legislation. The last parish service was celebrated in the church in 1951 and the church was deconsecrated some time later. Kilkenny Borough Council purchased the church and graveyard from the Church of Ireland in 2009 and there is no more fitting place in Kilkenny to commemorate those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the forces of many countries in the interest of European and World peace. The development of St. Mary’s Church by the Irish Heritage Council and Kilkenny Borough Council and the inclusion of a Great War Memorial will contribute to the broader interests of tourists to the history of the city and county. In early November 1914 the committee organised a parade re-enacting the march taken by Kilkenny soldiers en route to service in the Great War. It began at the Parade, Kilkenny Castle and proceeded via the Military Barracks to the local McDonagh Railway Station. The parade was lead, as it was in 1915, by St. Patricks Brass and Reed Band. The event featured re-enactors dressed in khaki uniforms of the Great War, military vehicles, a colour party from the Irish Army and the Mayor of Kilkenny. This stunning Great War Commemoration was supported by a large crowd of marchers, causing traffic disruption in the city. The official fund-raising event, The Kilkenny Great War Memorial Exhibition, opened at the Parade on Saturday 8th August 2015 and continued until Sunday 9th August. The committee displayed 2,259 small white crosses on the Parade Lawn outside Kilkenny Castle. Each cross was dedicated to the memory of a person from Kilkenny, who served and survived the Great War. A further 870 small black crosses were displayed to represent those who fell in the war, making it a total of 3129 crosses. Committee member John Joe Cullen said, ‘The men and women who are represented on these crosses are our flesh and blood. They lived and loved like us, having brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers. Their families had to endure their loss, and our history dictated that they could not be mourned in public for fear of reprisals.’Wreaths were laid by dignitaries, including Kilkenny County Council Cathaoirleach, Mary Hilda Kavanagh. Ms Kavanagh said, ‘Many of those who did return home came back to their families with serious injuries, sometimes physical, sometimes psychological, sometimes both. Many found it difficult to talk about their experiences and in some respects, their stories did not fit the narrative of the new Ireland emerging in the aftermath of the Great War. This must have added to their pain and trauma and to the hurt of those who had been bereaved on the killing fields of Europe, North Africa and Asia.’ The Kilkenny Great War Memorial Committee is faced with the gigantic task of raising €100,000 to cover all the costs associated with the erection of the memorial. I am appealing to all institutions, associations, commercial companies and the general public to contribute generously to this most important project. A great deal of water has passed under St. John’s Bridge since 1918, so please let us not prolong any longer the shame of neglecting our Kilkenny Great War dead.

Bank details:

Bank of Ireland, Parliament Street, Kilkenny. Sort Code: 90-60-64, A/C No: 22546979, IBAN: IE29BOFII 9060 64 225469 79. To donate via PayPal see website: www.kilkennygreatwarmemorial.com

This article was written by Ken Kinsella, a member of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association and author of the book, ‘Out of the Dark 2014-2018’, a military, family and social history of officers and men from South County Dublin, who fell in the Great War.

6. Evening of Remembrance – Cork Branch Western Front Association.

The Annual Evening of Remembrance which is hosted by our friends at the Cork Branch of The Western Front Association will take place this year on November 6th at St Finbarre’s Cathedral in Cork City at 8pm. The show will feature stories, poems and Music connected to the Great War and will feature The Cork Barrack Street Band, Soprano Niamh O’Sullivan, Pipers from Youghal Pipe Band and singers from Regina Mundi Girls College. Tickets can be purchased at Liam Russell’s Book Shop in Cork or at the Door on the evening. Price of tickets is €10.

7. Centenary commemorations, Cheltenham College

The following invite was sent to the association from Cheltenham College Archivist, Gabrielle Sedita.

As part of the World War One centenary commemorations, Cheltenham College is organizing an exhibition during Remembrance Week, which will be open free of charge to members of the public. It will be feature a growing wall of former pupils lost to the war. Amongst the 3,540 Old Cheltonians who served in World War One, almost 700 died. One of those who died was Captain J. Campbell Dick of the 2nd Munsters who was KIA at Aubers Ridge.

8. The members of the RMF Association would also like to ask our members to remember our past President, Mr John Whittaker at this time of Remembrance.

 

Charles Fort WW1 Exhibition

On Thursday 3rd September members of the RMF Association and the Great War Society attended Charles Fort World Heritage Site for a presentation by Karen Healy on the WW1 exhibition in the Fort. Karen has done a lot of research into the men of Kinsale and it’s locality who served in the Fort and especially those of the Royal Munster Fusiliers and the Connaught Rangers who left and never returned from the Western Front

Gallipoli Remembrance – Limerick

Flowers were placed at the war memorial in Limerick by Ger Canning of Limerick to remember 2076 L/Cpl Michael Canning 7th RMF and 204 Pte Thomas Noonan of ‘B’ Comapny 13th Bn A.I.F. Both men died at Gallipoli on 9th of August 1915.

‘We will remember them’

Memorial to the Irish Infantry Regiments

                                                Memorial to the Irish Infantry Regiments

                                     National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire, England

 

As part of the above memorial, it is proposed to set out a paved map of Ireland, surrounded by a grove of trees.

The paved map will be marked with the Regimental Depot of each of the Irish Infantry Regiments [ Tralee, in the case of the Munsters] . The depot locations will be illustrated by a stone plaque engraved with the Regiment’s badge or crest.

The project will cost in the region of £St 80,000 to realise and it is hoped that it can be completed by the summer of 2016.

To date, almost £St16,000 has been raised but an appeal is now being made to all the Regimental Associations and their members for contributions to the completion of this project.

The Royal Munster Fusiliers Association Committee has agreed to make a donation to the project and any member who wishes to make an individual donation should send it to our Treasurer,

Mr. Joe McNulty

1 College View Drive,

Shannon Banks,

Corbally,

Limerick.

 

 

Suvla 100 Anniversary

To mark the 100th Anniversary of the landing of the 6th & 7th Munsters at Suvla Bay on the 6th & 7th of August 1915 the President of the RMF association Mr Ollie Griffin laid a floral tribute at the War Memorial in Cork. Ollie’s father had been one of the Munsters who took part in the beach landing 100 years ago.

 

Also to mark the centenary, Ronan McGreevy of the Irish Times has been in contact to say he has edited a version of Twas Better to Die – The Irish Times and Gallipoli 1915-2015. This is now available on ebook and Kindle at 

http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/100-years-ago-today-an-irish-division-lands-at-suvla-bay-1.2308074

Ronan has published many items in the Irish Times relating to the Munsters and was also present at Rue de Bois for the centenary in May of this year.

‘Long Way to Tipperary’

The following website may be of interest to members of the RMFA. The Project is based on the Armstrong Papers and follows the lives of a single family throughout the Great War to illustrate the social, physical and emotional impact  of the conflict at an individual level. It is based on the diaries etc. of the Armstrong Family of Moyaliffe, Castle, Co. Tipperary.

This project has been created by the Special Collections Dept. of the Glucksman Library, University of Limerick.

http://longwaytotipperary.ul.ie/

Gallipoli Association Centenary Ceremony at Rugby UK

On the 15th March 1915, King George V reviewed the “Incomparable” 29th Division, to which the 1st Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers belonged at Rugby, prior to its departure to Gallipoli.On the centenary of this event, the Association was represented at the commemoration by Caite Healy and Nora Smyth, who are photographed below.
Caite’s grandfather James, and his two brothers, Thomas and Richard, landed in Gallipoli in 1915. Two of the three brothers survived while Richard was killed at Gully Ravine in June, 1915.Nora had two of her grand-uncles in the First World War, Edward Gleeson who served with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and Francis who served with the Munsters.
It is our intention to involve as many of our overseas members as possible in such commemorations and we will include on our website notification of such events for which representatives will be sought.”

Plassey Day – 2015

The Battle of Plassey, fought by men of the East India Company under Robert Clive on 23rd June 1757, was afterwards long remembered by The Old Comrades Association. The East India Company would after many changes eventually become The Royal Munster Fusiliers. The first Annual General Meeting of The RMF OCA was held at The Pillar Hall Victoria Station, London on the 23rd June 1914 as it coincided with the anniversary of the Battle of Plassey. AGM ‘s were held on the Saturday closest to Plassey Day for the many years that the OCA was in existence.

This year the RMF Association will again remember the tradition of ‘Plassey Day’ by holding a small tour and a meal afterwards on the Saturday closest to June 23rd; June 20th. The plan is to hire a bus. At the moment there are 14 seats available but if the response is big enough this can be increased. We would go to see the grave of Lt. Gen Sir Adrian Carton De Wiart VC in Aghina, Co, Cork. Afterwards visit the site of the Old Soldiers burial plot in St. Finbarre’s Cemetery where there are some Munsters buried. A visit to Cork Public Museum, Fitzgerald’s Park and then to Cork City for a meal – venue as yet undecided. The cost of the tour will depend on the response to places.

Anyone who is interested should contact the Secretary, Colette Collins at;

secretaryrmfa92@gmail.com

Closing date for those looking to attend will be May 31st.

Due to there being minimal interest in this venture it has been decided to cancel the proposed day out.

 

Centenary Ceremonies at Rue de Bois – May 8th & 9th 2015

The picture by Fortunino Matania of The Last Absolution of The Munsters at Rue de Bois is familiar to all who know of The Royal Munster Fusiliers. This year marks the centenary of the occasion which is depicted in the painting. On the evening of the 8th of May 1915, the troops of The Munsters lined up near to where they would go into battle on the following day. Their chaplain, Fr. Francis Gleeson gave a General Absolution to all who stood there.

This year The RMFA will hold 2 ceremonies to mark both the occasion of The Last Absolution and The Battle of Aubers Ridge. For those who plan to travel to France for these ceremonies,the following is the most up-to-date information available.

At 1445hrs on the 8th of May, The Association from The Royal Sussex Regiment (who fought along side the RMF at Aubers Ridge) and members of their local RBL Branch will hold a ceremony at The Cinder Track. They will have a short history lesson on the battle of Aubers Ridge prior to the service. They have extended a general invite to all members of The RMFA to this ceremony….

On the same evening at 2000hrs we will hold our own ceremony to commemorate the centenary of The Last Absolution. We hope that as many people will attend as possible.

On the following morning at 0530hrs the RMFA will hold a short ceremony at the site of The Battle of Aubers Ridge. This will coincide with the time 100 years ago when the men of The 2nd RMF went over the top with other units of The 1st Division. There will be a short service, The Last Post will be sounded, a minutes silence will be observed at 0530hrs and this will be followed by Reveille.

Later on that morning their will be another ceremony at The Le Touret Memorial which is close by at 12 Noon. This will be hosted by the people of Wadhurst UK who lost 25 men at Aubers. They will have their local Brass Band with them so this should make for a memorable occasion

If there are any changes to the itineraries they will be posted here. Please contact The Secretary RMFA for any other info