Eventually I will probably divide this page along the lines of pre-Independence, post-independence and Irish Regiments of the British Army, but for now I’ll be posting anything of interest.
Click on images to enlarge.
The Reading Room, Royal Hospital, Dublin
Old soldiers wearing the same style uniforms as the Chelsea Pensioners, relax, read and, no doubt, reminisce about past exploits. Given that the card dates from c.1905/10 and judging by their elderly appearance some of them might have served as far back as the Crimean War (1853-56) or the 2nd Afghan War (1878-80). The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, now the Irish Museum of Modern Art, was established as far back as 1681 to house sick and veteran soldiers from the British Army. Unknown publisher.
The Defence of the Bridge at Athlone
A Valentine’s card depicting the heroic efforts of a small number of Jacobite soldiers to hold the bridge at Athlone against Williamite forces during the 2nd Siege of the city in June 1691.
Bridging in Moore Park, Fermoy, Co.Cork
An interest WW.I. era card showing British troops on a bridge building exercise. No publisher.
Jacob & Co. Biscuits in the Libyan Desert
I always find cards like this very poignant and wonder if the poor sods in the picture survived to see their loved ones again. No publisher indicated on this card, but it obviously dates from the WW.I. era.
The Battle of Vinegar Hill, Enniscorthy, Co.Wexford – June 21st, 1798
“Charge of the 5th Dragoon Guards on the insurgents – a recreant yeoman having deserted to them in uniform is being cut down”.
The Battle of Vinegar Hill was the turning point of the 1798 rebellion and the rebels were broken as a military threat despite being able to withdraw from the field with most of their men. The decorative scenes recorded here by artist William Sadler II (1782 – 1839) were based on accounts of the battle rather than being witnessed by the artist.
Unknown publisher. The cards still occasionally turn up for sale.
Artillery Camp, Glen of Imaal, Co.Wicklow
A simple, probably locally published, card sent from Ireland during the Great War. More details shortly.
Millmount Fort, Drogheda, Co.Louth
There’s been a fortification at Millmount in Drogheda since the earliest days of the arrival of the Normans, but the present tower dates from the early 19th century. The peaceful view above (pub.by Corcoran) dates from the early 20th century.
The fort was to be the scene of further bloodshed when, during the Irish Civil War, its anti-Treaty garrison came under artillery fire from Free State forces on the 4th July, 1922. The fort sustained serious damage but has recently (2000) been fully restored – Visitor information here.
More information here: Millmount_Fort
A colourful World War.I. card by J.Salmon Ltd.
Moore Park was a cadet camp near Fermoy Barracks, Co.Cork. An interesting first-hand account of the British military at Fermoy during WW.I. can be found here: The Military Barracks Fermoy
Curragh Camp, Co.Kildare
Left to right: the Water Tower (circa 1908) is a good place to start as many of the postcards views of the Curragh were taken from the tower. Curragh from Tower and the Post Office.
Some background history about the Curragh Camp.
Everything was provided within the camp including a cinema and a branch of Eason & Son booksellers.
Left to right: a Valentines view of the cinema circa 1917/19 and an undated photograph of the Eason & Son shop.
Marborough Barracks, Dublin
Above, an interesting pair of cards showing members of The Life Guards regiment on parade at the then Marlborough Barracks – renamed as the McKee Barracks in 1926 and still in use today. The cards were postally used in 1905. The photograph was probably taken during one of the Royal visits to Ireland – Queen Victoria (1900) or Edward VII (1903 and 1904).
The barracks has long been a cavalry centre and today is the base for the Irish Army Equitation School.
Old Irish Regiments of the British Army
Left to right: The Connaught Rangers and The Royal Munster Fusiliers from Gail & Polden Ltd ‘History & Traditions Series‘ (pub.circa 1909) – artist John McNeill. Scarce but available online and you can expect to pay in the region of £10 per card.
Famous Military Figures
Lord Frederick Roberts of Kandahar (1832-1914) – a giant in military terms – and with strong Irish connections they don’t come any bigger apart from the Duke of Wellington. Although born in India his father was from Waterford and his mother’s people came from County Tipperary.
The Past is truly a Foreign Country
No, it’s not Buckingham Palace….
A corner of a foreign field that is for ever Ireland – with apologies to Rupert Brooke. A quiet corner of St.Paul’s Cathedral in London which house the tombs of the three famous Irish military figures. No publisher shown – purchased from a dealer in Romania.