It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden and untimely death of our past President Mr. John Whittaker. John served as Presidentfor a number of years and was widely respected among the members. The funeral details are as follows.
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.
Ollie Griffin, President of the RMF Association
The tribute placed on the Memorial to mark the centenary of the Suvla Bay landing
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
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.
A new book entitled ‘Beneath a Turkish Sky’ by Philip Lecane of The Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association will be launched in Dublin on June 17th . The book will be available at all good bookshops and is sure to be a great read for all of those who have an interest in the Gallipoli landings which also featured the men of the Royal Munster Fusiliers,
It was the First World War’s largest seaborne invasion and the Irish were at the forefront. Recruited in Ireland, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers were assigned to the first wave of the invasion of Gallipoli in Turkey. Deadlocked in trench warfare on the Western Front, the British High Command hoped to knock Germany’s ally out of the war. Using letters and photographs, this book tells the story of the ‘Dubs’ officers and men called from an idyllic posting in India to be billeted on the civilian population in England. They then set off on what was presented as a great adventure to win glory and capture Constantinople. The book also gives the story of the Turkish defenders and the locality being invaded. Accompanied by the Royal Munster Fusiliers, packed aboard the SS River Clyde, the ‘Dubs’ landed from ships boats on the fiercely defended beach at Sedd-el-Bahr. The song The Foggy Dew says, “It were better to die beneath an Irish sky than at Suvla or Sedd-el-Bahr.” This History Press Ireland book tells the story of the forgotten Irishmen who died beneath a Turkish sky in what was Ireland’s D-Day.
The book launch is open to all interested parties.
Book Launch Invite
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.
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.”
All members of the RMF Association are reminded that members Annual Membership fees are due before 30th April. Pease send payment to the secretary.
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;
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.
Many of the members will know of Jean Prendergast and the great work she has done in the past within the RMF Association. Recently, Jean has published 2 ebooks which are now available on Amazon for purchase. The first is entitled Cork Voices of The Great War available here,
and the second which will be of interest to our members on the centenary of The Last Absolution is: Last Absolution The 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers 1914-1915, available here,
Both of these books come highly recommended.
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
“On Sunday, 15th March next, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony in Rugby, Warwickshire, to honour the “Incomparable” 29th Division which was stationed in the area prior to its departure for Gallipoli.
As members will be aware, the 1st Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers, formed part of the 86th Brigade of the Division.
We are putting out this request to our members in the U.K. for a member or members from there, to represent the Association at the wreath-laying.
Interested person(s) should contact the Chairman, Liam Nolan, at: