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
There are many journeys and many stopping-places in the strange pilgrimage we call life but there is no other such journey in the world as the journey up a road on the eve of battle and no stopping-place more holy than a wayside shrine (Mrs. J. Rickard)
These pages are on the subject of the Last Absolution administered to the 2nd battalion Munster Fusiliers by the Rev. F. Gleeson on 8th May 1915 at Rue du Bois. Namely a brief history of the painting followed by directions to the location of the event.