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Desmond Townshend (b. 1934)

Desmond Townshend (b. 1934)

Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow

2014

 

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Track 1: Desmond Townshend's grandfather, Charles Loftus Townshend, carried on the family land agency business in Dublin with his brother. Charles Townshend's immediate family lived at the Castle in Castletownshend, Co. Cork for a time, and at Lansdowne Road in Dublin. Desmond recalls that his father, Edward Townshend, remembered George Bernard Shaw who once worked as a clerk in the land agency in Molesworth Street. He explains that his father and his uncle Freddie farmed together in Southern Rhodesia until the family returned to Ireland in 1938 due to his mother's ill-health when Desmond was a young boy. Edward planned to start farming in Ireland but, living temporarily in Castlecomer, initially helped his father-in-law, Richard Prior-Wandesforde, to put in a grass-drying plant on his farm in Castlecomer. On the outbreak of WWII in 1939, he joined the Royal Air Force. The family moved to England shortly after, living in rented lodgings and following him from base to base for the duration of the war. Desmond recalls his father's brothers, namely Richie, Maurice, Freddie, Walter and Hugo. Richie joined the Royal Navy from school as a Dartmouth cadet before the Great War and served through it, and also in WWII, rising to the rank of Commander. Maurice also served in WWI, having trained as an army cadet, and was commissioned in early 1918. He then saw service in the Indian Army before a period farming in Rhodesia, returning to Ireland in 1940. The youngest brother, Hugo, who worked in the British Museum in London, is also mentioned. Track 2: Desmond's mother's family, the Prior-Wandesfordes from Kirklington, Yorkshire and Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny, are discussed, and he recalls his own and his mother Doreen's memories of Castlecomer. His grandfather, Richard Henry Prior-Wandesforde, volunteered for duty in WWI, along with many of his staff, workers and his horses, and was invalided out before the very end of the war. His two sons also served in the army. The elder son, Christopher, served in the Yorkshire Regiment, was gassed in the trenches at the age of 20. He died while rescuing his men and is buried in France. His brother, Fred, was decorated for his involvement in action and survived. Desmond describes the circumstances of Christopher's death. He then explains the effect of the period of WWII on his own early life, when he and his mother had no fixed abode. He discusses his father's short involvement on the Prior-Wandesford farm where his grandfather was attempting to improve the quality of cattlefeed by drying grass, using coal from their own mine and converting the dried grass into a high protein animal feed. The land around Castlecomer and its suitability for farming is considered, as also is the colliery there. Track 3: Desmond describes Christopher Prior-Wandesforde's carefully preserved letters from the Front, which he describes as very descriptive and which are currently being prepared for publication. His maternal grandfather, Richard, also wrote home but he was not in the front line and seemed more concerned with happenings and instructions for the estate at home. Desmond discusses the Prior-Wandesforde estate in Yorkshire, which one of his uncles inherited, and he explains that his parents met through a shared interest in hunting. A photograph showing his Townshend uncles and his German grandmother, Beatrice Von Bunsen, is examined. His father, Edward, was the fourth of six sons, and Desmond explains that though Edward seems to have had a happy childhood in Ireland, he rarely re-visited Castletownshend in adulthood. The circumstances leading up to the shooting of Admiral Boyle Townshend by the IRA in 1936 are considered, as is the effect of this tragedy on the family. Desmond is emphatic that there was no local animosity towards the Townshends. The Dublin land agency business is further discussed. The Townshend involvement with the Royal Dublin Society, particularly during the period of the move from Kildare Street to Ballsbridge, is discussed, and Desmond talks about his great-grandfather Charles Uniacke Townshend's portrait, painted by William Orpen, which hangs in the RDS Council chamber in Ballsbridge. Track 4: Desmond is proud of his family history, though he does not consider that it had any great influence on his own career. He explains that he studied engineering in England and went on to found and develop a successful farm machinery manufacturing company in Ireland after a period working on farms in England. After the war, his parents bought a farm just outside Carlow town. He considers that his father's experiences in the war did affect him, as did the physical effects of malaria contracted during his years in Rhodesia. He describes his grandfather as an imposing figure who was extremely innovative and ahead of his time in many ways, and dedicated to the development of his Castlecomer estate and the colliery. Track 5: Some photographs of the Prior-Wandesforde family are examined and discussed, and Desmond also speaks about his living Prior-Wandesforde relatives. He is very interested in the Discovery Park in Castlecomer and in the restoration of many of the old buildings in what was the original farm and coachyard, and also the restoration of the demesne and lakes for use by the public. The Park has also kept a record of the family and the industrial heritage of the area. In conclusion, he recalls Castlecomer House, since sadly destroyed by fire and demolished, and his memories of the place.


Number of files: 4
File size(s): 10.70 MB, 11.50 MB, 14.85 MB, 13.46 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: The Irish Country House and the Great War
Product ID: CHGW01-01
Subject: The Townshend and Prior-Wandesforde families in time of war
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore
Length: 55:09


Grania O'Brien  (b. 1928)

Grania O'Brien (b. 1928)

Whitegate, Co. Clare

2014

 

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Track 1: Grania O'Brien's grandfather, Frederic Thesiger, Lord Chelmsford, was governor of New South Wales and later Viceroy of India from 1916 to 1921. Her father, Donough O'Brien, travelled to India as his ADC and there he met his future wife, Anne Thesiger. Her father was born in 1897 and served in the Rifle Brigade in WWI, seeing action in some of the worst battles of the war. He was slightly wounded and invalided home. Grania speaks of his reticence in talking about his war experiences. He was in the reserves and was called up in WWII and served as a billeting officer in Porthcawl and in London. He became a member of the London Rifle Brigade and Grania recalls his great interest in his regiment. However, she says his main concern was always Dromoland in Co. Clare, which he inherited in 1929. The clash with his mother, Ethel, and the difficulties this brought about are discussed. Track 2: At the outbreak of WWII, the family were living in London and Grania has a clear memory of this time. Her father, being on the reserve, was called up, and Grania, her sister Deirdre with their mother Anne moved to the country to live with relatives. She speaks about the inheritance of the title by Donough's brother Phaedrig, and later by their nephew Conor. She describes her father's personality and details his titles: Baron Inchiquin and Prince of Thomond. Her paternal grandfather's membership of the first Senate is mentioned. Grania discusses the position of the Dromoland estate in the area as a large employer during the Revolutionary period, and threats to the house's safety. She recalls her grandfather's letters with regard to cars being commandeered. Her paternal grandmother's family in England, the Fosters, are considered. Ethel Foster was an heiress and Grania believes that she suffered due to her background in ‘trade’, but she says that her grandparents were very happy together. Grania remembers life in Dromoland and explains that most of the house staff were Protestant. She firmly considers herself as Irish and is saddened not to be perceived as such. Track 3: Grania describes the tension in the house during the Troubles of the 1920s. After WWI her parents were advised to disappear due to a threat of kidnap, and they did leave for a period of a few months. Her father's divided loyalties to his regiment and also to Ireland are mentioned. She remembers that he was very proud to be considered as a candidate for the presidency of Ireland. Grania examines some letters in which her father described the white train in which the Viceroy of India travelled. The security precautions taken at the Dromoland estate in 1919 are discussed and she expresses her admiration of her grandparents for remaining in Ireland during very difficult times. Track 4: At the beginning of WWII it was believed that Germany would invade Britain via Ireland, so Grania and her older sister, Deirdre, were sent to Canada. Deirdre returned two years later to England and volunteered in the Women's Royal Naval Service. Grania returned a year later and she describes that exciting journey from America in 1943. Her parents returned to farm at Dromoland about 1942 and she describes the conditions in which they lived. She recalls the occupation of the property by the Irish Army during the war and her efforts to settle into the local community. The challenges of travelling during the war between Ireland and England are described, and Grania recalls her parents’ provision for her to lead a less privileged lifestyle and her work as a secretary in England, Spain, Japan and Peru. The heavy rates levied on Dromoland and their effect on the solvency of the farm business are described. The circumstances which prevailed following the departure of the the Irish Army from Dromoland in 1946 until the sale of the property are discussed. The work undertaken by her parents in taking in paying guests from 1948 to 1960, and in marketing the house in America, is recalled. She speaks about her father's nephew, Conor O'Brien, who inherited the title. The family connection with Guglielmo Marconi is discussed, as is her disappointment that the anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 has not been more widely commemorated.


Number of files: 4
File size(s): 11.86 MB, 24.68 MB, 19.63 MB, 8.91 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: The Irish Country House and the Great War
Product ID: CHGW01-02
Subject: The O'Brien family of Dromoland, Co. Clare
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore
Length: 71:04


Desmond Corban-Lucas  (b. 1930) (Part 1)

Desmond Corban-Lucas (b. 1930) (Part 1)

Kilworth, Co. Cork

2014

 

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Track 1: The discoveries made during archaeological excavations at Ballynacarriga in North Cork, carried out prior to motorway construction, are described initially. The Lucases arrived in Ireland during the Elizabethan plantation of Cork and settled in West and North Cork. They appear to have acted as agents for various great landowners. The Lucas pedigree in Ireland has been traced back to the 1590s and in England to the 12th century. Desmond Corban-Lucas details the history of Ballynacarriga House and its builder, the Rev. Cornelius Pyne, rector of Ballyhooley and Glanworth. The land was leased to the Rice family initially and later to Desmond's great-grandfather, John Lucas, who married Mary Corban. The Corbans were prosperous millers while the Lucas family had position and Desmond describes Laurence Corban's will which attempted to prevent John Lucas acquiring Corban property. In 1857 Mary was widowed, with two small children and owning much property and a milling business. Eventually the Land Commission bought the property in East and North Cork and in Limerick, leaving land bonds to Desmond's father. Desmond inherited the property under the terms of Laurence Corban's will. His father came into the property in 1934 but as he would not qualify for his full pension in the Indian Police in Burma until 1935, he requested of a neighbour, Grace Montgomery, that she look after the property for that interim year, which she did, making improvements to the property. Desmond describes his great-aunt Mary Lucas's efficient running of the farm. Track 2: Mary Lucas was running the farm during the Troubles of the early 1900s, and Desmond outlines her interaction with the IRA, and explains that, to his knowledge, very few houses were burnt in his area. He talks about a few properties which were destroyed by fire and gives his views on the destruction that took place. Factors such as the slowness of the work of the Land Commission, the desirability of land ownership and attitudes towards landlords are considered. Desmond discusses construction projects which provided employment in the past and the importance of creameries in North Cork. He outlines the strong relationship between Heaslips grain suppliers in Cork and the Mitchelstown creamery. Track 3: Desmond was 33 when he inherited the property from his father. He had studied engineering at Trinity College, Dublin and he and his sister, Elizabeth, ran the property after the death of their parents. He speaks about the difficulties of modernising the farm along with the paying of death duties and rates. Track 4: Farming practices during his father's lifetime are outlined, and Desmond says that there was no effective market for vegetables as most people grew their own. Fruit trees were grown in the walled garden. It was a dairying farm with some butter being made until the 1920s, at which point the milk was sent to the Mitchelstown Co-Op. His grandfather, Arthur John, inherited at the age of 9 and when he came into his inheritance at 21 he had a dance floor installed at the house. He was educated at Harrow and Cambridge, with funding coming from the profits from the old Corban mill. Desmond speaks of the financial prudence of Laurence Corban, he reflects on the family's ability to keep on good terms with their neighbours and he remarks he admires his Great-Aunt Mary's abilities as a businesswoman.


Number of files: 4
File size(s): 10.74 MB, 13.22 MB, 15.70 MB, 22.06 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: The Irish Country House and the Great War
Product ID: CHGW01-03
Subject: The lives and times of the Corban-Lucas family of North Cork
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore
Length: 67:25


Desmond Corban-Lucas  (b. 1930) (Part 2)

Desmond Corban-Lucas (b. 1930) (Part 2)

Kilworth, Co. Cork

2014

 

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Track 1: Desmond Corban-Lucas discusses the military tradition in his family, dating from the time of the local militia. His grandfather, who was born in the 1850s, was in the South Cork Militia, headquartered in Rathcormac. Desmond's father joined the Indian Police and his younger brother, Perceval Laurence, enlisted in the British Army. He had attended Sandhurst where he was named first cadet of his year. He joined the Indian Army where there was a better chance of promotion owing to the continual trouble on the Afghan frontier. Desmond describes the military training area in North Cork, around Kilworth, Moore Park and Fermoy and he explains that Ballynacarriga House was loaned to the YMCA during WWI for use as an officers’ club. The circumstances surrounding the death of his uncle in Mesopotamia with the Royal Sussex regiment are described, as are his personal effects which were sent home. The gruesome and traumatic discovery of his bloodstained uniform was described to him by his mother. Desmond speaks of the kindness of May Hanrahan who looked after his grandmother in her later years, and he speaks about the war memorial in the former Church of Ireland church (now the Village Arts Centre) in Kilworth. Track 2: For a time, Desmond's father was attached to the Burma Rifles and Desmond explains that at the beginning of the war, many unemployed men joined up, particularly he thinks, in Connacht. Using photographs of the house when it was in use by the YMCA, he talks about the property which, at the end of the war was returned to the family. By the time Desmond took over the property, all the trenches that had been dug for training purposes on the land had been filled in and the last remaining trench was removed during the construction of the motorway. He talks about the burning of Kilworth camp and Fermoy barracks and the new military hospital set ablaze by the Republicans. He explains that he was born in Burma and was brought home in 1933, and for two years he lived with his maternal grandparents in Longford. Although his father left Ireland before Independence and returned when it was a Free State, Desmond says that he never discussed politics. Finally, he describes some graffiti which was visible in the outhouses since the time when the house was used as an officers’ club during WWI.


Number of files: 2
File size(s): 11.16 MB, 15.09 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: The Irish Country House and the Great War
Product ID: CHGW01-04
Subject: The lives and times of the Corban-Lucas family of North Cork
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore
Length: 28:40


Angela Eborall  (b. 1921)

Angela Eborall (b. 1921)

Castletownshend, Co. Cork

2014

 

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Track 1: Angela Eborall (née Cotter) was born in London, the grand-daughter of a Church of Ireland rector and his wife in Ardcanny, Co. Limerick. After graduation from Trinity College, Dublin, her father, Gerald Cotter, emigrated in 1900 to Burma for employment as a geologist. Angela recalls her mother Rosalind's family, the Coughtries, their work in Hong Kong and the connection with Ruskin. She also recalls some memories from her childhood in Burma and India, and explains that it was commonplace that there could be long separation between spouses. When WWII broke out, Angela was in England to where the family had returned having been in South Africa for a period, and she remembers some details of Blanko. She also recounts an anecdote relating to Unity Mitford. During the war, Angela undertook work in the Red Cross at Stoke Mandeville for a period, and she describes the excitement of young people who were joining up and getting away from home, and she also recalls that her father joined a local regiment in India during WWI. One of her brothers joined the Royal Navy in 1936 and she explains that his ship was torpedoed off Monte Cassino, and describes his escape from the vessel and his recovery in hospital. Track 2: The connection with the Brasier Creaghs and her recent visit to Creagh Castle is described. She lists some historical figures connected to the Cotter family including Nano Nagle and Theobald Mathew and she talks about the nun's work with the poor. She further explains that her ancestor, Commander in Chief of King James II's armies in the southern counties and governor of Cork in the 17th century, was a Roman Catholic, much praised by the local Protestant community. His grandchildren were brought up as Protestant following their father's execution. Track 3: Angela tells the story of visiting Ireland in her young adulthood and of meeting her husband, Ulick O'Connor Milborne-Swinnerton-Pilkington. She describes the village of Castletownshend at that time. Angela's home there had previously been occupied by the artist and writer, Edith Somerville, whom she discusses. Track 4: Her father, Gerald de Purcell Cotter, was descended from the Purcells of Loughmoe. Her great-grandfather had three wives, one of whom was Mary Purcell with whom he had sixteen children. Angela talks about her father and his siblings who studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and she proudly mentions that her own son, Lionel, is a professor at NUIG. She reflects on the absence of a close connection with her father owing to separation during her childhood. Her Coughtrie aunts and their artistic education in Germany are remembered, and she talks about the portrait of the three sisters, painted by the Kaiser. Her father Gerald retired in the mid-1930s and was a contributor to the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, writing about the Cotter genealogy. She considers that her father felt he was Irish and would mix with Irish people when in South Africa.


Number of files: 5
File size(s): 7.60 MB, 11.54 MB, 6.12 MB, 10,50 MB, 12.06 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: The Irish Country House and the Great War
Product ID: CHGW01-05
Subject: The Cotter family and its connections
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore
Length: 52:13


Honor Lee  (b. 1935)

Honor Lee (b. 1935)

Riverview Houses, Mishells, Bandon, Co. Cork

2014

 

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Track 1: Honor Lee (née Maxwell) discusses the Maxwell family who came from Belturbet, Co. Cavan, where they were farmers. Although it was intended that her father would go into the church, he made a decision to join the Indian Army, she explains. Her mother, Mary, was a member of the Savage family of Ards. Her maternal grandfather, Henry Savage, served in the 3rd Gurkhas in India and he returned to Ireland in 1911 when he was asked to raise the Royal Irish Rifles and train them in Co. Down, though men came from all over the country. Honor mentions a book entitled 'A V.A.D. in France' by Olive Dent, illustrated by her mother Mary Savage. Both women had served as V.A.D.s together. Honor recounts an anecdote about a horse being arranged for her mother to ride sidesaddle in France. Mary was a colonial child, born in India, and she attended school in England. Honor has some of her letters in which she discusses the great heartbreak caused by the slaughter in WWI. Honor explains that her mother's grandparents, the Oldhams, lived in Suffolk and they looked after the children while their parents were in India. After the war Mary went out to India where she met her husband, William Ernest Maxwell. After Mary's parents’ retirement, the family lived in Cushendall, Co. Antrim. Honor remarks that children in this situation had to be self-reliant. She remembers her mother saying that what was so awful about the war was not alone that people were killed, but also all the wonderful horses and mules. Track 2: Honor details her mother's work during WWI, from 1916 onwards. She drove an ambulance for the St John's Ambulance, based at Rouen. Honor recalls some of the stories of this time told to her by her mother, including descriptions of the inadequacy of supplies such as antiseptics, and the unventilated horse-drawn ambulances in which the bodies of the dead were carried in tiers. She also recalls details described to her about the Battle of the Somme. Mary's father, Colonel William Henry Savage, was to lead the last group to go over the top but he never received the order and thus they survived. Honor recalls her mother's opinion that the generals were incompetent and did not realise that tactics would have to change from those used in the Boer War. After the war, Mary returned home to Ballycastle and then travelled out to India where she met her husband-to-be, William Ernest Maxwell. He served in Afghanistan with a Beluchi regiment for several years and Honor discusses the document which he wrote in 1940 about the area and its importance today. Some other family connections are discussed, including her great-grandfather, Brigade Surgeon C. F. Oldham, who went out to India as a surgeon just after the Mutiny, marking another strong family connection with India. She also recalls Sir Rollo Gillespie from Comber, Co. Down, who was banished from Ireland after a duel and went on to become a colonial administrator. Track 3: Honor spent her early childhood in India at a time when her father was Controller to Lord Linlithgow, Viceroy of India. She recalls that life was tense in India just before the family left in 1946 on the last troopship from Bombay to Liverpool, returning to a post-war England. She describes her mother's house-hunting experiences, the purchase of Riverview near Bandon, and she details the history of the house. The family farmed the land and her mother's close involvement in the farm is recalled, as is her joining of the NFA march in Dublin in the 1950s. The many retired people around the Bandon area who used to live in India and who were friendly with her mother are remembered. Her parents’ difficulties with the Troubles in the North which led to their relocation to the Republic are recalled, and Honor tells an anecdote about the local Unionists meeting with her father in the early 1940s. Track 4: Her family connection with Sir Roger Casement is mentioned by Honor as she explains that the Savages and the Casement families had intermarried. Roger Casement was highly thought of by the family until he became caught up in nationalism, she says. She recalls her visit to Messines when the Island of Ireland Peace Tower was opened and she recounts an anecdote about a chance meeting during that visit and an experience she had there. Track 5: Honor reads a letter from her mother's godfather, Major-General Sir C. H. Powell, in relation to the Red Cross mission to Russia on which he wished her to go, and another letter written by Mary to her mother is read. An amusing letter, with accompanying sketches, written by her father to Mary, which describes a boxing match and dance he had attended the previous night in Belturbet, is also read.


Number of files: 7
File size(s): 10.40 MB, 9.70 MB, 7.64 MB, 13.13 MB, 6.67 MB, 4.50 MB 8.53 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: The Irish Country House and the Great War
Product ID: CHGW01-06
Subject: A family in colonial India
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore
Length: 66:10


Helen Morgan  (b.1921 )

Helen Morgan (b.1921 )

Carrigaline, Co. Cork

2014

 

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Track 1: Helen Morgan (née Simpson) came to Ireland with her family in 1923. Her father James Simpson's maternal aunts, Myra and Caroline Lichfield, lived at Ballymaloe in Co. Cork and he was employed on salary as farm manager. He had trained as a mechanical engineer. Helen's mother, Marian Windeyer, came from Sydney, Australia. James’ paternal grandmother, Jane, was the only one of the family who had married and when he inherited in 1944 five payments of death duties had been made between 1914 and 1944. As no capital remained, he had to sell the property which was originally a Fitzgerald house, purchased by the Lichfields in the early 19th century. Helen and her two sisters were initially educated by a Quaker neighbour and she later attended boarding school in Dublin and later still Newtown Quaker school in Waterford. She emphasises her admiration of the way Quakers live their lives. In 1939, she began her work as a nurse in England and on her return, she studied medicine at University College Cork until an accident caused her to abandon that plan. Track 2: She recalls her studies at UCC and at Trinity College Dublin, and she mentions the physicist Rutherford. She has no recollection of hearing of any animosity towards the Lichfield family in earlier days, and she recounts a story about relations with the IRA at Ballymaloe. There were seventeen people employed on the mixed farm and she recalls the frustration felt by her father in relation to the restrictions on pig species and the importation of bulls. Helen remembers her great-aunts at Ballymaloe and their Victorian attitude to daily life. The childhood leisure activities are recalled which included trips to Shanagarry beach, tennis at Ballymaloe and the big dance each year in aid of the Ballycotton lifeboat. Following her marriage to Tom Morgan, a farmer, she became very involved in her new life, taking up new challenges including welding! Track 3: Helen's father's service during WWI is recalled. He served as a Territorial in the Norfolk Yeomanry and, due to his engineering qualifications, was transferred to the Royal Army Service Corps. He was placed in charge of a depot in Swindon. At home in East Cork he was treasurer of the local RNLI from 1924 until his death in 1962 and she remembers that his coffin was draped with the lifeboat flag. Track 4: James Simpson served as Captain in the RASC and was a tank engineer in 1917. Helen recalls many of his friends from this time who visited Ballymaloe. She speaks of her mother, her aunt and her grandmother who left Sydney in August 1914. War broke out during their voyage and they arrived in England and worked as Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses. Marian served in the Plymouth War Hospital where patients and staff endured a Zeppelin raid. Helen's mother continued nursing after her marriage to James Simpson in 1917. Track 5: Helen recalls that her father was able to use his skills and training to power various pieces of machinery around the farm at Ballymaloe, including bringing piped water to Ballymaloe House. She talks about the Strangmans, their Quaker neighbours who ran a school, and she says that her sister Joan and Myrtle Allen (née Hill) were great friends. Wilson Strangman bought Ballymaloe when it was sold and it was later transferred to Ivan Allen. Helen's father, James, then bought a place in Midleton and later moved to live with Helen and her husband Tom Morgan at Kilnagleary. She recalls life on the mixed farm of about 250 acres and remarks on the changes in farming practices which came about due to mechanisation. Her husband was the first chairman of the National Farmers Association in Carrigaline and was involved with farmers’ protests in the 1960s. Helen was involved with buttermaking at Ballymaloe and she describes the process in some detail. Track 6: Some stories are told about Ballymaloe House, the portrait which was returned to the house, and the castle.


Number of files: 6
File size(s): 8.56 MB, 13.79 MB, 6.29 MB, 13.75 MB, 7.17 MB, 17.62 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: The Irish Country House and the Great War
Product ID: CHGW01-07
Subject: A childhood at Ballymaloe and service in the RASC
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore
Length: 73:23


Ted Newenham  (b. 1924)

Ted Newenham (b. 1924)

Glanmire, Co. Cork

2014

 

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Track 1: Ted Newenham's father, Captain Percy Worth Newenham, served in the Munster Fusiliers during WWI and he details his father's experiences in the trenches. The medical treatment he received when wounded and his experiences in hospital are described, and Ted explains that, thankfully, his father did not suffer shell-shock and he returned to farming after the war. Ted's uncle, Billy Newenham who also served, is remembered. Their father, always known as ‘The Major’, also campaigned with the British army in his time. Track 2: Ted talks about his father's contemporaries in the services and explains that among them was Robert Gibbings, the artist, whom Ted remembers. Noelle Newenham, Ted's wife, talks about Gibbing's art works which were created in the trenches and are still in the family. She also discusses her mother's cousin, Pat Rennison, who served with the cavalry in India. Ted considers that generally his father Percy was respected in the area and he explains that the family military tradition was continued by his older brother, Worth, in the Royal Air Force who was involved in over thirty bombing raids over Germany during WWII. Track 3: During WWI, Ted's grandfather looked after the estate, with the help of a steward. Before the war, Percy had spent a few years in Canada working as a cowboy, and Ted recalls how his father would talk about this period in his life. He remembers good times when he and Percy would go game shooting in Coolmore and boating in Cork harbour during the summers. His parents married about 1916 and his grandfather died not long afterwards. His father's politics are also discussed. Track 4: Ted recalls the financial difficulties which his father had to deal with when he took over the estate. Ted began his schooling in Castlepark in Dublin, and was later schooled in Shropshire in England from 1939, finishing in 1942. He explains that at that age it was natural to sign up and his father helped him to do so. He enlisted in Belfast with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and he was quickly called up. However, his military career was shortened by illness and he returned home to a farming life. He discusses his brother's campaign as a pilot in WWII, and the differences in warfare to that experienced by their father on the front. He provides some detail on his brother's campaign, bombing in Germany during WWII, and the real futility of war is discussed.


Number of files: 3
File size(s): 7.06 MB, 9.80 MB, 12.20 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: The Irish Country House and the Great War
Product ID: CHGW01-08
Subject: The Newenham family's involvement in the Great War
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore
Length: 31:44


Rosaleen Tonson Rye

Rosaleen Tonson Rye

Ryecourt, Co. Cork

2014

 

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Track 1: Rosaleen Tonson Rye's grandfather and two granduncles fought on the Western Front during World War I. The eldest, Richard, was a professional soldier who was in the South Cork Militia, her grandfather Reginald was a Major in the Supply Corps while the youngest brother, Lieutenant-Colonel Hubert Tonson Rye DSO served in the Royal Munster Fusiliers. Reginald died of Spanish flu in 1919 before his return home. Rosaleen reads some of the weekly postcards he sent to his son John (her father) from the Front, and she discusses his three campaign medals, framed and mounted, which are no longer in her possession. Track 2: Rosaleen's granduncle Hubert was bitter about the entail under which the son of the second son inherited the family home at Ryecourt, though her father John became the best of friends with his uncle in adulthood. After public school in England, Hubert joined the army and while stationed in India he met Harriet Moore whom he married in 1909. They later lived at Killinardrish House, not far from Ryecourt. Track 3: Hubert had served in the Boer War and later in India. Rosaleen mentions his decorations and explains that in 1913 he was appointed an instructor to cadets at Sandhurst. In 1915 he was appointed to the staff of the 34th Division as a Deputy Assistant Adjutant General in France with the rank of Major. He was involved in the Battle of the Somme and was mentioned in dispatches for his devotion to duty. In 1918 he was appointed OC 2nd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers following the imprisonment by the Germans of the commanding officer. Rosaleen reads an account of the cavalry operations in 1918 and explains that Hubert was awarded a Distinguished Service Order and later a Bar for his involvement. He retired from the army in 1924 with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the North Staffordshire Regiment, settling in Devonshire, and during WWII, he served as a private in the Home Guard. After the war, he returned to Ireland and he died suddenly in November 1950. Rosaleen recalls visiting her grandmother's second husband and her own godfather, Jock Sterling, when he lived in Scotland, and how shell-shocked he was even years later, following his service in WWI. Her grandmother married for the third time in the late 1930s and she ended her days in Kinsale. Track 4: The Delmege family in Limerick were her grandmother's cousins and Rosaleen recalls her visits to Jack and Lily Delmege's home, and the fact that these visits engendered her family interest in horses. She describes the house, now demolished, various ghost stories relating to it and the background to the Delmege family. Track 5: Her Uncle Hubert is described as a ‘man's man’ and Rosaleen remembers Julia Lane, a maidservant who had worked at Ryecourt and later with Hubert and his wife and who told her the old stories about the family. She discusses Hubert's son Eudo, a military attaché in Madrid who went on to manage the Duke of Wellington's estate in Granada for some years. The fact that both the first and the last male in the Rye family were both named Eudo is remarked upon, as is the fact that every Thursday her mother would meet with other ladies in the County Club in Cork.


Number of files: 5
File size(s): 11.69 MB, 5.67 MB, 14.85 MB, 6.71 MB, 12.59 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: The Irish Country House and the Great War
Product ID: CHGW01-09
Subject: A Cork family's dedicated service
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore
Length: 52:00


Meryl Gaisford-St Lawrence  (b. 1933)

Meryl Gaisford-St Lawrence (b. 1933)

Howth Castle, Co. Dublin

2014

 

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Track 1: Meryl Gaisford-St Lawrence (née Guinness) discusses her family's home in Warwickshire near Stratford, which was destroyed by fire on VE Day. She describes the circumstances surrounding the requisition of the house during WWII and the various uses to which it had been put. She explains that her father, Richard Guinness, was a manufacturer and the inventor of the foot-flushing WC for railways, and she describes his various manufacturing ventures, including submersible pumps. His training with the Royal Naval Division during WWI is discussed, as is his part in the campaign at Gallipoli. He was injured and invalided to Sister Agnes’ hospital, and convalesced in London. She recalls that her father did not talk about his war experiences until the end of his life and explains that few of his friends survived. She describes him as a man of a diffident and humble character and says that he was happy to return to Ireland after the war. She talks about his childhood in Fitzwilliam Place in Dublin. Track 2: The history of the Guinness Mahon bank is discussed. Meryl says that her great-grandfather opened the Cornhill branch in London, which transformed the business. As she recalls, her marriage to Christopher Gaisford-St Lawrence was not the first occasion on which a Guinness had married into her husband's family. Lady Henrietta St Lawrence married Benjamin Lee Guinness of St Annes in 1881. Maryl remembers the Mahons of Galway, and her privileged and sheltered upbringing, which contrasted with the poverty of the time in Dublin, is recalled as she talks about how little she knew about the lives of others. Her father Richard Guinness's deeply religious nature is considered. She tells the story about Richard's grandmother, Maria Smyth (née Coote), who was accidentally shot by a Fenian activist. The target for the shooting was her brother-in-law, William Barlow Lyster-Smythe who was in the carriage with her, driving back from church on Easter Sunday 1882. Meryl feels that this was probably one of the reasons why the family left Ireland. Track 3: Meryl talks about her father's work following his injury during WWI. He was employed as an Admiralty Messenger, carrying the lead code books. She also mentions a curious job involving the delivery of the royal rabbits to Balmoral! She explains that Richard told her about being in Dublin around the time of the Easter Rising. Track 4: Meryl remembers that her father was not subjected to any animosity during his life in Ireland, and that he insisted on being called simply Richard Guinness. Although she was brought up in England, the family always considered themselves to be Irish. She remembers coming to Ireland in 1948 and being excited by the food and the lights in the evenings, and she recalls wartime rationing in England. The numbers of men who went to war at the outbreak of WWI are remembered, and to her mind, the effect of English schooling on recruitment has to be considered. She mentions the effects of the declaration of the Irish Republic in 1948 and the pressure from English relatives to leave the country. She considers also the effect of the introduction of Wealth Tax in the 1970s. The philanthropy of the Guinness family in Ireland and England is mentioned.


Number of files: 3
File size(s): 17.31 MB, 9.79 MB, 13.99 MB
Bitrate: 128 kbps
Download time limit: 48 hours

Audio series: The Irish Country House and the Great War
Product ID: CHGW01-10
Subject: Richard Guinness’ service in WWI
Recorded by: Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore
Length: 44:54


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