The book is structured around a collection of letters written by a nineteen year old Irish officer in the 6th Royal Irish Regiment, 2nd Lieutenant Michael Wall from Carrick Hill, near Malahide in north Co. Dublin. Michael was educated by the Christian Brothers in Dublin and destined to study science at UCD before being seduced by the allusion of adventure through war. By contextualising and expanding the content of Wall’s letters and setting them within the entrenched battle zone of the Wijtschate -Messines Ridge, Burke offers a unique insight into the trench life this young Irish man experienced, his disillusionment with war and his desire to get home. Burke also presents an account of the origin, preparations and successful execution of the battle to take Wijtschate on 7 June 1917 in which the 16th (Irish) and 36th (Ulster) Divisions played a pivotal role. In conclusion Burke offers an insight into the contentious subject of remembrance of the First World War in Ireland in the late 1920s.
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Beneath a Turkish Sky. The Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the Assault on Gallipoli
By Philip Lecane. 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 ordered to spearhead 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 book tells the story of the forgotten Irishmen who died beneath a Turkish sky in what was Ireland’s D-Day.
This is available in good book shops, cost €20. The price online is €18, post free. The address to order online is http://www.thehistorypress.ie/New-Books/Beneath-a-Turkish-Sky__p-94-666.aspx
By the late Patrick Hogarty, Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association. 304 pages. Some copies still available directly from the Hogarty family at 92 Maryfield Crescent, Artane, Dublin 5. Price €20 including P+P (Ireland and UK) Telephone (353-1-) 847 6945
By the late Patrick Hogarty, Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association. 256 pages. Sold out. No plans to reprint at present.
By Tom Burke, MBE, Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association.
The 2nd Battalion was rushed forward on 23 April 1915 to stem the German breakthrough after the first gas attack of the War. The Dublins then went into the line at Mousetrap Farm. On 24 May, they were subjected to a major gas attack. Out of a strength of 668, 647 were casualties. This book covers the period from 25 April to 25 May when 127 were killed and 1,094 were missing. The reality behind the figures is conveyed through a number of personal stories.
“Tom Burke cannot just be commended by us for his work of remembrance; the very souls and remnants of those men must sing to him in whatever heaven they may have reached” Sebastian Barry, in his note on the cover.
45 pages. The price is €10. Available from the Association via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Tom Burke, MBE, Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association.
At 3.10 a.m. on 7 June 1917, soldiers from Ireland re-took the German occupied Flemish village of Wijtschate which was known Whitesheet. This was the last time that Loyalist Ulsterman and Irish Nationalists fought side by side in large numbers against a common enemy. The 16th (Irish) and the 36th (Ulster) Divisions were took their objectives in one of the most successful large-scale operations of the Great War.
The book is a tour guide to this important battlefield and to the billet areas where the two Irish Divisions prepared for the attack and then fought together. It describes the battle in detail, based on the actual experiences of individual soldiers. It contains many coloured illustrations and detailed maps and is an invaluable aid for those visiting the area. Each stop along various walking and cycling routes recommended by Tom, has a unique tale to tell.
292 pages. Colour
The price is €20 plus postage. It is available at the National Museum bookshop at Collins Barracks Dublin, Schull books in Ballydehob in Co Cork or from the Association via email email@example.com
By Sean Connolly, Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association.
Marking the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War, this new publication relates the experience of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers during the German Offensive in March 1918. The Irish participation in this battle is less well known than in the Battles of the Somme, Messines and Passchendaele. The major German attack, launched in the Somme region on 21 March 1918, almost succeeded. It was the last opportunity for Germany to win the war before the arrival of the American forces in France. Known as the Kaiserschlacht – the Kaiser’s Battle, its outcome was decisive.
This book complements the material drawn from official records and maps with many individual stories rediscovered through the work of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association. Over 320 Dublin Fusiliers were killed during the battle. Some of the last of “The Pals from Suvla Bay” died in the battle.
128 pages. Colour.
The price is €12 plus postage. Available from the Association via email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Philip Lecane, Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association.
This tells the long forgotten story of the sinking by German submarine UB-123 of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company mail steamer “Leinster” in the Irish Sea on 10 October 1918. Containing photographs and many eyewitness accounts, the book has a comprehensive passenger and crew list for the “Leinster.” The ship carried military personnel from most of the First World War Allied countries, as well as nurses, civilian passengers and postal workers. The drama of the sinking and its aftermath is told from the viewpoints of those on board the Leinster, submarine UB-123 and rescue ships inDublin Bay.
For further information, contact the author at email@example.com.