The Annual General Meeting of the Royal Munster Fusiliers Association will take place at the Hibernian Hotel in Mallow, Co. Cork on Saturday 13th of May 2017. The meeting will take place @ 12 noon and all members and non members are invited to attend. This will be the 25th AGM of the RMF Association. Membership fees (€20) can be paid to the Secretary on the day.
It is hoped at this point that all members have received their copy of the Association journal for 2016. Feedback from some of our members have been very positive and it seems that the journal has been a success as in previous years. As next year will be the 25th Anniversary of the setting up of the RMF Association it is hoped that an extended version of the journal will be produced. Members who wish to submit articles for this edition can send articles of no more than 1200 words to email@example.com All articles will be considered and will be subject to editing by the editing panel. This year the RMF Association has produced a number of items for sale to both members and non members. A polo shirt with the Association crest is now available for €25 plus p+p. A new Association lapel pin has also been designed and is now available at €5 per pin. To purchase a pin. please send a postal order for €5 to the Secretary along with a stamped addressed envelope. Polos can be ordered by contacting the secretary.
On Tuesday 27th of September, the Royal Munster Fusiliers Association and Cork Public Museum received a large collection of artefacts from Col Mike Dudding OBE who resides in London. The collection belonged to his uncle, Company Sergeant Major and later Captain John Jordeson who served with the 2nd Battalion from 1900 until his retirement in 1922 at the time of the disestablishment of the Regiment. The collection consists of various items of silverware from the Sergeant’s Mess including some which dates back to the 104th Regiment of Foot. Parts of his uniform including his Sam Brown belt, and bearskin hackle. Various notes and diaries covering the entire war period from 1914 – 1918 describing all of the actions in which he took part including the Great Raid in which he was awarded the MC and Capt Batten Poolle earned his VC. Many photos taken in and around the trenches and various towns in which the RMF were engaged which have remained unseen until now. And also some notes relating to the Old Comrades Association to which Capt. Jordeson was Hon. Secretary from 1936 until his death in 1941. This collection will form a major part of a permanent museum which will open in Cork Public Museum in 2017. Anyone wishing to donate items relating to the Royal Munster Fusiliers museum can contact either the secretary of the Association or contact Cork Public Museum at Fitzgerald Park.
At the small gathering in the museum Col Dudding was honoured with Honorary Life Membership of the RMF Association. The award was presented to him by Ollie Griffin, President of the RMFA.
The Annual Journal for 2016 is ready to go and is at present with our printer. Journals will only be sent out to paid up members of the association. Members may check with the Secretary to check if they are up to date.
To commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Jutland which took place from 31st May to 1st June 1916 the Cork Branch of the Western Front Association will hold a one day exhibition in memory of all those from Queenstown and the surrounding areas (Cobh, Whitegate, Aghada, Monkstown, Passage West and other coastal towns) who perished.
They would particularly like to meet descendants of those who were lost and who might like to share their stories.
The exhibition will take place at the Cobh Maritime Building on Saturday 28th May
2016 from 12 noon to 4pm.
The exhibition is free and all are welcome
On Sat. 4th June, the RMFA and representatives of Kerry County Council will officially dedicate the memorial which was erected by Tralee Town Council near Ballymullen Barracks. The memorial is in memory of those from Tralee town who died in the First World War while serving with the RMF and other military units, including those of Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Two panels are being erected at the memorial containing the names of those who were killed.
This will be an open event and all are invited to attend the ceremony which will take place at 3.00pm.
On the 8th May on the 101st anniversary of the Last Absolution of the Munsters at Rue de Bois, the OPW and the Royal Munster Fusiliers Association unveiled at Charles Fort Kinsale, a new memorial plinth to the memory of the Munsters who had served there. Members of the association along with staff of Charles Fort, the OPW, The Great War Society, representatives from the disbanded Irish Regimental Associations and invited guests were present at the unveiling. The monument was unveiled by Ollie Griffin, President of the RMFA.
The Annual General Meeting of the Royal Munster Fusiliers Association will take place at the Hibernian Hotel in Mallow, Co. Cork on Saturday May 14th at 11am. All members are welcome to attend. New members will also be welcome. Those who wish to submit items for inclusion on the agenda must submit those topics to the Secretary 2 weeks in advance of the meeting.
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.
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.