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