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HelenToland

BBC World War One at Home Project

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HelenToland

Hi,

I've been reading this forum and finding it extremely useful for some research I'm doing for a BBC project called World War One at Home. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/aboutthebbc/posts/Revealing-the-World-War-One-at-Home-project.)

(I hope that by posting this I'm not contravening any rules, I have read and checked the guidelines!)

Over the next few months, my colleagues and I will be travelling the length and breadth of Ireland recording stories about how the country was affected by, and connected to, the First World War. This project is unique in that we are concentrating more on ‘places’ rather than ‘people’ and the idea is that we will record, on location, stories about how various sites in Ireland have historical connections to the Great War. Through our audio recordings and collation of archive material, we are building a digital archive through which future generations can explore the war through the lens of their home country.

Some examples of the kind of locations and stories that we are looking for are:

Location: Bentra Airship Mooring Station, near Whitehead, Co. Antrim

The Bentra mooring station was built so that airships travelling from the base in Luce Bay (on the Scottish coast) could be housed safely in bad weather.

Location: Finner training Camp, Donegal

The Irish army camp at Finner, County Donegal, where thousands of soldiers trained prior to leaving for the battlefields. The camp transformed the social and economic life of this sparsely populated part of Ireland, with a bustling railway hub bringing in vast numbers of men and supplies.

Location: Herdman’s linen mill, Sion Mills, County Tyrone

By 1914 very little flax was grown in Ireland, even though it had been the mainstay of the rural economy for many years. But the war changed all that and at Herdman’s Mill in Sion Mills it was spun into a particularly crucial commodity: the tough, specialist linen for aeroplane wings.

From reading this forum I've come up with lots of other interesting locations including the training trenches at the Curragh and Phoenix Park as well as the US Naval Air stations in Cork, L'Derry and Wexford.

I wondered what other locations we should be looking at? We want a good geographical spread across Ireland and I thought that by using the extraordinary local expertise of your forum members we might uncover many more stories and locations than we could ever find through our own research.

I would be so grateful if forum members might either drop me a line or post a line or two here if any sites with good stories attached spring to mind.

Thanks in advance,

With best wishes,

Helen

Helen Toland
BBC Radio Ulster

Mail: helen.toland@bbc.co.uk

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corisande

Kynoch, established a munitions factory on the north side of Arklow. This factory employed several thousand workers during World War I, but closed shortly after it. Seventeen workers were killed in an explosion there on 21 September 1917.

Full story of the factory here on this link

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HelenToland

Thanks Corisande! That's a great tip off!

The link doesn't appear to be working for me but a quick search online has revealed lots of info,

Thanks again

Helen

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corisande

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archangel9

Hi Helen,

King House in Boyle was depot to the 4th Bn Connaught Rangers. Renmore Barracks in Galway was the 3rd Bn.'s depot. Both depots moved to Cork on mobilisation so should be worth investigating.

John

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Anneca

Hello Helen and welcome to the Forum. Places that come to mind are firstly Clandeboye and Helen's Tower - the training camp of the 36th Ulster Division, just outside Newtownards. There was also officer cadet training in Fermoy in Cork. Finner camp which you have already mentioned was the training camp for the 109th Brigade of the Ulster Division. The 16th Royal Irish Rifles were based at Brownlow House in Lurgan. There was a training camp at Ballykinler and the Ulster Division acquired it's first HQ (I think) at 29 Wellington Place in Belfast. I am sure there are more knowledgeable members who will be able to help you in your research.

Good luck, Anne

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depaor01

Welcome Helen,

Tallaght Aerodrome, Dublin. Unfortunately replaced by either Urneys Chocolates or Jacobs biscuit factory (can't remember which!) on Belgard Road, but very important in WWI and the War of Independence.

Some WRAFs at Tallaght:

http://source.southdublinlibraries.ie/handle/10599/5061

Dave.

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HelenToland

Thank you so much - these are excellent suggestions and I'll dig a little deeper into each of them.

We'll also be looking for people with particular local expertise, and maybe even family connections to each place, so I may come back to talk to you all individually in case that applies in any of these cases.

And as we unearth more locations, I might start separate threads to try flesh out germs of ideas.

Thanks again, this is very helpful!

Helen

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corisande

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rob elliott

Helen,

Ebrington Barracks Londonderry, home of the 3rd Reserve Battalion in the war, has recently been renovated and is used for various community projects and music festivals. Parade ground & surrounding buildings now look very much like they did in the war. There are a couple of good human interest stories attached to the barracks too.

Dunree fort in North Donegal, this is now a small museum.

Regarding Finner camp, I have [or should have] an interview on tape with a veteran of the 10th Inniskillings who was in training there when the Easter rising took place. He used to have the original note signed by one of the officers issuing him 5 rounds of ammunition for his rifle to take when he went down to the post office in the village to collect the mail. I also have some photographs of the 10th at Finner.

Also am aware of a very good home interest item that has been well researched but not aired anywhere. Would need to speak off forum though. Concerns Londonderry City.

Rob

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Shanes Park Camp

Helen

Shane`s Park Camp in Lord O`Neill`s estate at Randalstown was a large training camp for the 9th 10th & 11th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The 14th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (Belfast YCVs) were there too. They moved to Randalstown from Finner Camp in January 1915. As the war progressed and the number casualties rose the camp was turned into a convalescent camp. In February 1916 a Scottish Command Depot was established there for the rehabilitative training of soldiers not fit enough to return to their unit. I have quite a few newspaper cuttings from the Ballymena Weekly Telegraph which give an interesting insight into what life was like in the camp.

James

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corisande

Examples of when the war came to Ireland

Sir Roger Casement lands off a German U-Boat at Banna Strand in 1916, captured and hanged - click , click, click

Sinking of the Luisitania off Old Head of Kinsale - bodies washed ashore along the Irish Coast - click, click

Sinking of the RMS Leinster - Dublin to Holyhead ferry torpedoed and over 500 died - click, click

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tommy mcclimonds

Welcome Helen

Another site of local interest for you would be Brownlow House in Lurgan, home of the 16th (Pioneer Battalion) Royal Irish Rifles and the adjoining Lurgan Park where up until just a few years ago the outline of practice trenches from the First World War could still be clearly seen in the grass.

Regards, Tommy.

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HelenToland

Rob, your last item does sound intriguing! Looking forward to that if you can share. And to researching the other items mentioned by yourself, tommy, Jamez and all.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far, really interesting spread!

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rob elliott

Helen,

There is also Craigavon House in Belfast. Home of James Craig, the central place where many decisions were made which would alter Ireland's course.

Donated by Craig to be a hospital in the war. Had many veterans still attend well into the 60's, including I believe Eammon Holmes grandfather.

The Old Town Hall Belfast [if it is still there?] where the Ulster Division had it's admin base, originally UVF headquarters.

Rob

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nialld

Sites of interest in Co.Cork;

The major naval bases at Barehaven and Cork Harbour

(http://rescuecamden.ie/history.php) which were retained by the British until 1938.

Training camps at Kilworth and Charles' Fort,Kinsale which were subsequently used by the Irish Army.

Lots of activity at barracks in places like Ballincollig,Fermoy,Buttevant etc.

A lot of submarine activity along the coast including sightings and sinkings and with a tradition of naval service amongst coastal communities, lots of lore.Also drifting mines and cargo in both wars.

Very strong prices for agricultural products making farming a very profitable occupation,including cultivation of flax in West Cork.

Changes in attitude to army service and those serving after 1916 and rearming of Royal Irish Constabulary in 1917.

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HelenToland

Flintock, those are great ideas for Cork - we'll happily dig a little deeper into those. The Flax story is interesting - being based in Belfast, our linen industry obviously did well, would be great to tell that story from another location too!

Thanks

helen

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jdoyle

following web document has a map of Ireland a few pages in that might be of interest. One attached map has 1904 locations, some might be of interest.

http://cloudobservers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/07/Royal-Naval-Air-Stations-100.pdf

National Shell etc Factories located in Dublin (Parkgate still there, sort of), Waterford, Cork and Galway (NUI now on site).

PoWs located at Templemore, Oldcastle and Mountjoy.

A couple of books worth a look at :
A History of the RAF & USNAS in Ireland 1913-23 by Karl Hayes
A View from Above by Donal MacCarron
Danger Zone by E Keble-Chatterton - outlines the Queenstown command and the Royal Navy efforts around Ireland during WW1
The book by Karl Hayes has a reasonable map with the RFC/RAF, RNAS, USNAS stations.

post-65053-0-04913600-1385746147_thumb.j

post-65053-0-88414000-1385746163_thumb.j

post-65053-0-44810900-1385746183_thumb.j

post-65053-0-98808300-1385746215_thumb.j

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HelenToland

cheers for those jPegs Jdoyle! And the link, very useful info! Helen

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HelenToland

Hi All,

I wanted to update this to let you know that our WW1 at Home project was launched on air today on BBC Radio Ulster/Foyle. The programmes go out on radio at 11.55am and 11.50pm and there will be a special series on BBC Newline at 6.30pm on BBC1 NI next Monday to Friday as well.

Thanks for your help with this series of programmes – we’ve had a great response and some really useful info from this forum.

Here is a link to the first 12 stories that we are broadcasting. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01p33l4 We will be adding to these as time goes on and as we get further into the centenary commemorations. Do feel free to pass this information on to anybody that might be interested. And also, it's worth mentioning that we are still gathering ideas for the next tranche of stories.

Thanks again and best wishes,

Helen

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Anneca

Thank you for this Helen, I look forward to it with interest.

Anne

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Airshipped

Thanks for this link Helen, it looks like a really diverse and interesting line up.

I could suggest a few more but it may be an idea to post here at a later date regarding the feedback (positive and negative) for the original 12 stories? It's just that the forum here could be potentially blinding, as there are so many here with such high levels of detail for any particular specialism that you could end up working on 101 suggestions and then find that the general public barely raises an eyebrow or shrugs a shoulder at 80 of these. (I'm not for a minute suggesting that the public should be served up the same re-heated broth each time, but sometimes there are a few tried-and-trusted tales that will get people to tune in and then hopefully one can retain them for the more challenging and interesting aspects of wartime history).

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jdoyle

had a listen to the Guinness episode given family interest and the hours spent in the Guinness archives. Eibhlin comes across clearly but the supporting audio is a bit on the low side.

An interesting range of topics covered.

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Stephenson53

Sorry, late to the discussion.

Herdman's Mill at Sion Mills was managed by one of the family, Ambrose St. Quentin Ricardo, a distant relative of the economist, who later commanded the 9th Royal Inniskillings and rose to the rank of brigadier-general. He drowned in a tragic accident in the early 1920s. A descendant was interviewed on Radio Ulster a few months ago but you may already be aware of part of that broadcast.

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