Tom Burnell Editor
Hardcopy and eBook Pages 252 Cost £19.99
ISBN 978 1 47382 129 0
Tom Burnell, Irish Army veteran of the ‘Troubles’ and historian had edited this book of dispatches from the front for the months of August–December 1914 as the Great War began. Twenty-Seven Newspapers were consulted in the counties Clare, Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, and Wicklow. The book begins with a story entitled “Bombarded from the Sky” and describes a night of horrors as Antwerp was bombed by a Zeppelin plane on 25 August 1914, as reported in The Tipperary Star. The Limerick Chronicle also reports in August 1914 that a 20 year old private soldier, James Ryan, was killed in a railway accident near Queenstown Co Cork. Many stories are recorded of soldiers returning home from the war and of how several men from the same family enlisted. A report titled “Artillery Duels” in the Westmeath Independent states the private Thomas Hoare, Connaught Rangers, home in Roscommon” has two brothers in the same regiment’. Also there were other Roscommon men with him in the trenches at Ypres.
In September 1914 the Tipperary Star printed an essay on Modern Warfare under the heading “Will Your Soldier Boy Return?” It states that “The trenches with their spitting rifles, and the whirring of concealed machine guns or the deeper tones of the howitzers dirge, cast death at the unseen, or almost unseen, enemy”.
A foreword by Kevin Myres concludes by stating that in this book “we get a comprehensive depiction of how Irish newspapers reported on the lives of the Irish regular soldier at the front”. This is a timely book being printed in the centenary year of the remembrance of the Great War and will be read by those interested in the subject of Irishmen who fought and died therein.
Margaret N Loftus B A, Certificate in Genealogy UCD.