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The Man who made Belleek. John C. Bloomfield

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The Story of Belleek.

John Caldwell Bloomfield was born on the 5th of February 1823, a son of Major John Colpoys Bloomfield of Redwood, County Tipperary who had married Francis Arabella Caldwell, an heiress to Castle Caldwell, Belleek on the 11th of June, 1817.  When he grew up and inherited the Castle Caldwell estate after a spell in the army where he had been stationed in China, he was very keen, perhaps recklessly keen, to improve his estate and the condition of those who lived on it.  He operated the age old eel fishery at Drumanillar, a steamer on Lough Erne, ‘The Countess of Milan’ which sailed between Enniskillen and Belleek from 1855 to 1859 plus various cottage industries, mines, factories, a cement works, a brick works, a boot and shoe factory and ultimately his creation, Belleek Pottery.  Almost all these ventures were financial failures and put the entire estate into an economic decline from which it never recovered and bankruptcy ensued.

Bloomfield failed also in the political arena.  He stood for election in the North Fermanagh Elections of 1885 but was defeated by the Nationalist candidate, William Redmond, brother of the future leader of the Irish M P’s at Westminster.

Belleek Pottery downstreamOne of John Caldwell Bloomfield’s few ultimate successes was the founding of Belleek Pottery in the 1850s. On the company literature its foundation is dated to 1857 but as the foundation stone of the building was not laid until October 1858 this can only have been an outright guess. This enterprise which flourishes today is a tribute to this man who was chiefly responsible for setting it up.  A Mr. David McBirney of Dublin was responsible for supplying the considerable finance necessary to begin the project (about £60,000) and Mr. Robert Williams Armstrong was its first manager. He was an architect and, combined with being a genius in pottery production, presided over the numerous wonderful early designs, many of which are still produced in the factory. Not least in the factors in its survival are the people of the area who deserve great credit and were responsible for keeping the projects going despite some great difficulties. However none of these factors can take away the reality that without John Bloomfield’s raw material from his estate, the site given to the factory with its enormous water power of the Erne necessary to drive the machinery and above all his enthusiasm, drive and determination there would most likely be nothing to make the name Belleek famous today all over the world. Local tradition has it that Bloomfield was something of an amateur chemist and that while in the British army had learned about kaolin, a rare clay used in making hard paste porcelain.  He found a similar china clay on his estate and also with it feldspar another of the ingredients necessary for setting up a pottery.

One often repeated story says that Bloomfield had noted a particularly tainted brilliance in the whitewash used by a farmer on the Castle Caldwell estate.  It was found in a pit of ‘naturally burnt lime’ and Bloomfield had the place examined and the clay was found present and was admirably adapted for the manufacture of porcelain.  Potters from Stoke-on-Trent were brought in to teach the local people their pottery skills and rows of houses were built for some of these workers, namely Rathmore Terrace, Belleek and Saint Patrick’s Terrace, Belleek where these are remembered as the ‘English Row’ and ‘Irish Row’ respectively, relating to their inhabitants in the early days of the Pottery.

The Pottery itself was built on Rose Island one of the three islands then in the River Erne at Belleek.  This enabled water power to be used in the pottery making and a large water wheel was constructed for this purpose.  Incorporated in the new Pottery building on Rose Isle was a castle built by an earlier generation of the Caldwells in the mid-18th century for the Dowager Lady Caldwell and known as Belleek Lodge. The local raw materials both clay and feldspar were obtained from the Larkhill area about 6 miles from Belleek and transported by horse and cart to Belleek. Later, with the arrival of the Great Northern Railway branch line from Bundoran Junction to Bundoran, these materials were conveyed to Castle Caldwell railway station and brought by a train to Belleek.  Flintstone was brought from Rossnowlagh and then burned and crushed in the pottery. Special clay for making saggers – containers in which the pottery was fired – was brought from the brickfields area on the shore of the Erne not far from Belleek.

Local hard black turf and imported coal were used in the firing of the pottery in large outdoor kilns and in almost every respect this was a most self-reliant industry.  For the workers the hours were very long, beginning at 6.00 in the morning during the summer months and eight o’clock in the wintertime plus a full day’s work on Saturday.  A five year apprenticeship had to be served with slow graduations of pay. Many of the workers when fully qualified went to work in potteries in England, Scotland and even America where ‘American Belleek’ was for a time manufactured. From the beginning, the pottery set out to serve a market for high quality, expensive ware but also to supply the more readily entered market for common ware from plates and mugs to bedpans and baths.

John Caldwell Bloomfield wrote a long article on his struggle to bring reality to his dream of a Pottery in Belleek. It was published in the journal of the Society of Arts in 1883.  In his article he concentrated on the example of Belleek pottery as a headline that could be copied for rural industry in other parts of Ireland.  Rather amazingly he was inspired in this venture when he attended the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 organised by Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert.  The unwritten theory of the time was that Ireland was an agricultural country (read primitive and unskilled) and would provide food for the burgeoning population of industrial England.  England on the other hand had ‘intelligent artisans’ who could and would make things and the Irish supply them with food.  John Caldwell Bloomfield rebelled at this unflattering presentation of the Irish people and it drove him on his quest for rural industry in Ireland.  He writes;-

Lady Coralie Kinehan, John Maguire, Belleek Pottery Manager, John Cunningham, author and sitting Sir Tobin Kinahan.

Lady Coralie Kinehan, John Maguire, Manager Belleek Pottery, John B. Cunningham (author) and Sir Robin Kinehan with portrait of John Caldwell Bloomfield, principal founder of Belleek Pottery on the occasion of the launch of “The Story of Belleek 1992.

‘It is near a quarter of a century since on a hill in Fermanagh I first found kaolin and feldspar and then and there registered a vow that, if I lived, I would have a china manufacture in the village of Belleek, one of the poorest hamlets in Ireland filled with ragged children whose maximum art lay in the making of mud pies in the streets.  And I call attention to the fact that the shirtless brats then apprenticed and commencing manufacturing life by turning a jigger, are now artisans in broadcloth and receiving wages up to £3 10 shillings per week – the maximum earned by a splendid young man in the sanitary ware department taken out of the Ballyshannon workhouse.  Well, here is some food for reflection.  An amateur mineralogist just dropping upon a raw material on a mountainside, possessed of an obstinate and determined spirit – brought about by searching for and meeting kindred spirits – lives to exhibit these lasting exemplifications of what the Irish Celt could be brought to and tell the story of hundreds of youths being lifted from the gutter to be able to hold their place in a gathering of first class artisans in china manufacture.  Whatever may become of ‘Belleek’ in the future, it has taken its John Caldwell Bloomfield2place as a special ware.  I don’t, for one moment bring these matters forward as precedents for Imperial Aid in this direction, as the results to myself were worse than nil; and when The Times sneers at the paucity of imitators in such projects as ‘Belleek’, I can only answer that you will find indeed few Irishmen as patriotic as to subscribe £4,700 and give 3 miles of land to secure transit for a contemplated manufacture having previously given the site and 200 horsepower for £3 per annum.  No, my experience, if terribly earned, enables me to see that, while it conclusively proves the adaptability of the Celt to become a manufacturing artisan under the most trying circumstances of isolation from technical training, at the same time a large and sudden expenditure on forced manufacturers would but end in calamitous failure touching the circumstances of the only class which requires immediate attention and assistance.’

Of course there were other factors at work in Ireland at this time all contributing to the decline of landlords and their estates. John Caldwell Bloomfield certainly had a gift for getting into financially unrewarding corners and usually with the highest motives of benefits to his tenants and himself.

The estate was eventually made bankrupt and the contents of Castle Caldwell, gathered over hundreds of years, sold off in a three day auction and John Caldwell Bloomfield died in poverty in Enniskillen. It was a sad end for a patriotic entrepreneur and still more galling is the fact that no statue in a public position has ever been erected in his honour. A sad state of affairs for the man who MADE Belleek.

Poison Gas and Poor Finnegan of Enniskillen and the Inniskillings.

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Poison Gas, The Inniskillings and Poor Finnegan in World War I

by John B. Cunningham

The headline in the Fermanagh Herald of May 13th read INNISKILLINGS GASSED. ULSTER JOURNALIST’S DEATH. SERGEANT P.P. FINNEGAN.  Finnegan was well known in Enniskillen and a popular journalist as testified below by his colleagues. The following is a copy of a letter from Lieutenant E. Gallagher, 7th Inniskillings to his brother Mr Henry T. Gallagher, Crown Solicitor, Strabane.


John Singer Sargent was commissioned as a war artist in 1918.


Dear Harry, – Just on my way somewhere; we are in a hospital train, and it’s like our own officers mess, so many of the old hands are here, gassed.  As for the Irish, they easily carried the day, men and officers.  I was gassed in the second attack (gas) after having a good half hour bowling over Bosches and looking forward to another good time.  My platoon sergeant, poor Finnegan – was with me and he did buck us up; he kept shouting on the Bosches ‘Come on Fritz; we have some lovely presents for you,’ and they got them.  Then when the Bosche saw he had failed he sent us more gas and it was terrible seeing poor fellows dropping on all sides.  Then I felt my own time coming; words could not describe it.  I had my helmet on, but it must have had some defect.  However, I began to feel the gas: first it made me gasp; and then it turned me blue; my chest weighed a ton and my head was ready to crack and I coughed until I thought I would cough my insides up.  I thought I would try and find the dressing station.  On my way I came across poor Finnegan and he was as bad; we got on about 100 yards when we both collapsed.  We just clung to one another and Finnegan said ‘Sir, we have no chance.’  I agreed as I was exhausted.  Finnegan shouted out: ‘By God, Sir isn’t it terrible to die like this! If we had only got a sporting chance; but no one could beat this.’  After half lying, half standing, clinging to one another for about 10 minutes and going through terrible agony, I said to Finnegan, come on let us make one last effort, and we did.  I helped poor Finnegan along.  At last he said, ‘Go on sir, I am done.’  However we plodded along creeping and walking in a trench with two feet of mud.  I found myself at the dressing station about done up. I sent out a party for Finnegan, but he could not be found.  He was found that night dead.  A plucky soldier – he had no fear.

Our boys did well.  Harry, if you could have seen them it would have delighted you.  There was no pause, every man went at it, and after the first attack they actually fought as to which company had the best ‘bag’ outside their parapet and to hear them bragging ‘that fellows helmet beside your big shell hole is on our side of the wire.  It was glorious and I was just thinking how pleased the people at home will be when this will be told in full.  Then in a day’s time I got a paper and what do I see?  This terrible rebel rising in Ireland.  Poor old Ireland!  Betrayed again!  I am getting along as well as can be expected.  It takes time to get the gas out of one’s system.  However a few weeks will make me fairly up to the knocker. Best love to all in Dunwiley. Harry. May be home sooner than I expected.  I.R.

gas1Poison gas was probably the most feared of all weapons in World War One. It was indiscriminate and could be used on the trenches even when no attack was going on. Whereas the machine gun killed more soldiers overall during the war, a death that was frequently instant or not drawn out and soldiers could find some shelter in bomb/shell craters from gunfire, a poison gas attack meant soldiers having to put on crude gas masks and if these were unsuccessful, an attack could leave a victim in agony for days and weeks before he finally succumbed to his injuries. It is generally assumed that gas was first used by the Germans in World War One. This is not accurate. The first recorded gas attack was by the French. In August 1914, the French used tear gas grenades containing xylyl bromide on the Germans. This was more an irritant rather than a gas that would kill. It was used by the French to stop the seemingly unstoppable German army advancing throughout Belgium and north-eastern France. In one sense, it was an act of desperation as opposed to a premeditated act that all but went against the ‘rules’ of war. However, while the French were the first to use a gas against an enemy, the Germans had been giving a great deal of thought to the use of poison gas as a way of inflicting a major defeat on an enemy. In October 1914, the Germans attacked Neuve Chapelle. Here they fired gas shells at the French that contained a chemical that caused violent sneezing fits. Once again, the gas was not designed to kill but rather to incapacitate an enemy so that they were incapable of defending their positions.

This took place against a background of a war in the west that was still mobile. Once trench warfare had literally dug in all sides involved in the conflict looked for any way possible to bring movement back into their campaigns. One of the more obvious was to develop a weapon that was so appalling that it would destroy not only an enemy frontline but also the will to maintain troops on that frontline. Poison gas might even provoke a mass mutiny along a frontline thus causing it to collapse. In other words, poison gas was the answer for the war’s lack of mobility. Poison gas (chlorine) was used for the first time at the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915. At around 17.00 hours on the 22nd April, French sentries in Ypres noticed a yellow-green cloud moving towards them – a gas delivered from pressurised cylinders dug into the German front line between Steenstraat and Langemarck. They thought that it was a smokescreen to disguise the forward movement of German troops. As such, all troops in the area were ordered to the firing line of their trench – right in the path of the chlorine. Its impact was immediate and devastating. The French and their Algerian comrades fled in terror. Their understandable reaction created an opportunity for the Germans to advance unhindered into the strategically important Ypres salient. But even the Germans were unprepared and surprised by the impact of the gas and they failed to follow up the success of the chlorine attack. What did occur at Ypres was a deliberate use of a poison gas and now, other nations with the ability to manufacture poison gas could use it and blame it on the Germans as they had been the first to use it in this fashion.


British soldiers – victims of a poison gas attack

The first nation to respond to the Ypres gas attack was Britain in September 1915. The newly formed Special Gas Companies attacked German lines at Loos. In the Ypres attack, the Germans had delivered their chlorine by using pressurised cylinders. For the attack at Loos, the British also used gas cylinders. When the wind was in a favourable direction, chlorine gas was released from the British front line so that it could drift over to the German front line. This was then to be followed by an infantry attack. However, along parts of the British front line, the wind changed direction and the chlorine was blown back onto the British causing over 2,000 casualties with seven fatalities. The Special Gas Companies were not allowed to call their new weapon gas – it was referred to as an “accessory”. However, the risk of the wind blowing gas back onto you also affected the Germans and French in some of their gas attacks during late 1915.

gas3 Two German soldiers and their mule.

The development in the use of poison gases led to both phosgene and mustard gas being used. Phosgene was especially potent as its impact was frequently felt only 48 hours after it had been inhaled and by then it had already bedded itself in the respiratory organs of the body and little could be done to eradicate it. Also it was much less apparent that someone had inhaled phosgene as it did not cause as much violent coughing. By the time that phosgene had got into a person’s bodily system, it was too late. Mustard gas was first used by the Germans against the Russians at Riga in September 1917. This gas caused both internal and external blisters on the victim within hours of being exposed to it. Such damage to the lungs and other internal organs were very painful and occasionally fatal. Many who did survive were blinded by the gas.

By the time the war ended, the main user of poison gas was Germany, followed by France and then Britain. Though poison gas was a terrifying weapon, its actual impact, rather like the tank, is open to debate. The number of fatalities was relatively few – even if the terror impact did not diminish for the duration of the war.

The British army (including the British Empire) had 188,000 gas casualties but only 8,100 fatalities amongst them. It is believed that the nation that suffered the most fatalities was Russia (over 50,000 men) while France had 8,000 fatalities. In total there were about 1,250,000 gas casualties in the war but only 91,000 fatalities (less than 10%) with over 50% of these fatalities being Russian. However, these figures do not take into account the number of men who died from poison gas related injuries years after the end of the war; nor do they take into account the number of men who survived but were so badly incapacitated by poison gas that they could hold down no job once they had been released by the army.

Armies quickly produced gas masks that gave protection as long as sufficient warning was given of a gas attack. Soldiers also used make-shift gas masks if they were caught in the open without a gas mask during a gas attack – cloth soaked in their own urine and placed over the mouth was said to give protection against a chlorine attack. By the end of the war, relatively sophisticated gas masks were available to soldiers in the trenches on the Western Front.

“Poison Gas and World War One”. HistoryLearningSite.co.uk. 2014. Web.

The Fermanagh Herald paid tribute to their former reporter as follows: – Sergeant Finnegan was, prior to joining the Inniskillings, a member of the reporting staff of the Fermanagh Herald and was well known all over the North West.  He was an able and reliable journalist and was held on the highest esteem by his colleagues and by everyone who came in contact with him in the discharge of his duties.  He was a prominent member of the National Volunteers and as Lieutenant Gallagher says was a plucky and fearless soldier.  He was the typical Celt, genial, kindly, and good natured, and a sparkling wit, his gifts as a raconteur and his mellow brogue gave him a warm reception in social circles.  He was a splendid Gaelic scholar, and was able to report the most fluent Gaelic speakers, an accomplishment which few Pressmen possess.  His remains now rest in France – far from Kilkenny and the banks of the silvery Nore where his childhood days were spent.  That his soul may rest in peace is the earnest prayer of his former colleagues.  We tender our sincere sympathy to his relatives in their bereavement.


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As I reach into my 71st year I recall lots of stories of emigration. I saw the pain of those leaving and the pain etched on the faces of those who stayed behind. Somebody had to stay to look after the elderly and safeguard the homebase in case things don’t work out. ‘When I make enough money I’ll be back’ but the reality was they never or hardly ever came back. The first two verses of the song ‘Goodbye Johnny Dear,’ tells the start of the emigrants story. It was written by Johnny Patterson (1840–1889) who was an Irish singer, song writer and circus entertainer who also wrote the song The Garden Where the Praties Grow. Such was his fame that he was offered a contract in America in 1876 where in the United States he became one of most famous and highest paid entertainers at the time. He composed many more songs including The Hat my Father Wore, Bridget Donoghue, Shake Hands with your Uncle Dan, and The Stone outside Dan Murphy’s Door as well as Goodbye Johnny Dear. You won’t miss the scarcely subliminal message of line three in the chorus!

‘It’s twenty years ago today I grasped my mother’s hand
She kissed and blessed her only son going to a foreign land
She held me to her loving breast she knew I had to go
And I could hear her gentle voice the words were soft and low.

Chorus. Goodbye Johnny dear when you’re far away
Don’t forget your dear old mother far across the sea
Write a letter now and then and send her all you can
And don’t forget where e’er you roam that you’re an Irishman.

The last verse tells of the almost inevitable ending.

One day a letter came to me it came from Ireland
The postmark showed it came from home but it was not my mother’s hand
It was Fr John who wrote to me to say she had passed away
And then as if from Heaven above I could hear that sweet voice say.

Goodbye Johnny dear when you’re far away etc., etc.’

My cousins had a very large family and quite a few emigrated to New York where their mother had relations; some becoming bar owners and one a diamond cutter. At intervals through the year a carefully composed letter to America told of an unexpected fatality among their few cows or an expensive repair to their small tractor and the giving hands across the Atlantic always responded whatever their own circumstances. We had relatives in Philadelphia and had neither a cow nor a tractor to beg for but these good people sent us every Christmas for many years after WW2 ‘An American Parcel.’ It was welcomed with awe not only for its possible contents but also on account of its strangeness. We were delighted to get it but canary yellow long trousers could not be worn by any of us boys at elementary school without being the laughingstock of the whole school. The candies were great but our real introduction to America was the ‘funnies’ – comic book inserts in newspapers of the time. We revelled in these and wrote and thanked our benefactors. Many ears later my mother was brought to visit them by her brother Fr. John Eves, then a chaplain in the US Navy. My mother was very fond of them but deeply unimpressed by the terrace of houses they lived in and the smoke blackened city and remarked cryptically back home that perhaps we should have been sending them presents. She wasn’t being unkind or ungrateful; she just preferred green fields and Irish fresh air even if we didn’t have any money.

Fr. John Eves.fatherjohn

When I was about seven or eight a travelling cinema show used to come to Ederney Townhall once a week. With a struggle three pennies were procured and we sat row on row on hard benches watching the Indians line up on the horizon to get their photos taken and then screaming unintelligible Indian epithets launching themselves on the poor little wagon train. We vigorously took part shouting ‘look out he’s behind you’ and there was no embarrassing, mawkish stuff involving girls and kisses. This was another form of early introduction to America.

The school leaving age was 14 years and children frequently left months before their due dates and as the only local work was backbreaking farming you had to have emigration in your head. If you had an emigrant relative you could be sent to them and often a convoy of young people came together on the eve of departure. The gathering known as an ‘Emigrant Wake” was a parallel social function to the traditional Irish Wake held over a deceased relative. People gathered in a house and danced, sang, drank and cried the night away and the doleful convoy made it way to the train or away on their long walk to an emigrant port. In the nearby townland of Ballygee the large Ballygee Oak was hugged by those leaving – hoping and wishing to return – a touching little ceremony still remembered. Boys and girls promised to remain true to each other and send for their beloved as soon as possible and many a pair from different religious backgrounds who would face parental wrath and ostricision from their families if they tried to marry at home quietly set their own agenda on an emigrant shore far from the squinting windows of home.


Especially in England many Irish labourers succumbed to the temptation to go to the pub night after night. It became nearly a tradition to take Friday off work to get into the swing of the weekend and frequently it extended into Monday also. My daughter, Sonya worked in a charity hostel while living there and saw at first hand the elderly men who had promised much and having failed to make or save enough money didn’t want to return home without being able to impress the neighbours. My son Brian also worked in England and did occasional stints as a bouncer for pubs or nightclubs. He never had to hit anybody but as a well inebriated Irishman looked for admission he started asking him about home, what county or parish he came from, were you home recently, how is your football team going? The conversation developed and Brian could collect a small group all talking about Ireland who wandered off after a bit thinking of home and mother.


As the song Cottage By The Sea tells it –


I said goodbye to Mayo and lifted my old case,

I couldn’t bear to see the tears roll down my mother’s face,

My father gave me money, the last few bob he had.

Rolled up in a note that read, ”Your Ever Loving Dad”

Well the summer passed so quickly and I never made it home,

I’m too old now for working, and I’m living all alone.

But when I’ve had too much to drink, through the tears I see.

The ten aces and the fishing boat and our cottage by the sea.


I haven’t been to Church since I left Ireland,

I work on Sunday’s I’m ashamed to say

I’m living out of take aways and tin cans.

And yes I got your letter yesterday. (Shaun Cuddy)


Of those who were successful many made their mark and a social statement about how well they had done by donating a new stained glass window to the local church or erecting a grand and imposing memorial over the grave of their parents. It frequently said something like “To the beloved memory of Brian and Mae Cunningham. Erected by their son John of Philadelphia.

Of those who did return home after most of a life abroad could seldom contain themselves from talking about where they had been and (very frequently) comparing life in Ireland very unfavourably to wherever they had been. All those who returned from America were thereafter known as “Yankee” as in ‘Yankee’ Jimmy Gallagher. Those returning from England or Scotland were in the latter case referred to as “Jock” or Scottie while “Doncaster” Mick Magee had spent his working life in that English city. On night in his caeli (visit) to a neighbour’s house in the days before television “Yankee” Tommy was regaling the company with stories of New York and dragging a portion of the ashes from the open hearth fire used the tongs to sketch in a large part of the areas he knew. The family dog too eventually decided to take a friendly interest in what was going on and with one sweep of his tail wiped out Lower Manhattan, the Bronx and most of Staten Island and was still wondering what he did wrong as he was cast out into the darkness.

Fr. John in Long Beach, California.beach

My aforementioned uncle Fr. John Eves went to Maynooth College in Ireland to become a priest in the years 1936-1941. The reason I am called John was that my mother entertained the idea that I too would become a priest – she had the vocation but I didn’t. However Fr. John was dogged with serious illness there and more than once it was thought that he would not survive. On several occasions he was given the last rights of the Church, once in the Shiel Hospital, Ballyshannon, Co., Donegal. On another occasion he was believed to be only fifteen minutes from death. He had most of his stomach removed and such was the fragility of his condition that when he was eventually ordained as a priest of Clogher Diocese on 22 June 1941, by Archbishop John Charles Mc Quaid, he was given a very unusual privilege. He was given permission to serve anywhere in the world which was suitable to his health. It was a very rare privilege.

Life at sea promised better health and he joined the Royal Navy as chaplain on the Queen Mary, then the largest and fastest passenger ship afloat. On her final peace time voyage, 30 August 1939, carrying her largest number of passengers: 2,552, she carried among others Mr and Mrs Bob Hope and $44 million in gold bullion from the US to Britain. In 1940 she sailed to Sydney Australia to be fitted out as a troop ship. On 5 May 1940 she made her first voyage as a troop transport and sailed in convoy with the Aquitania, Mauretania (II), Empress Of Britain, Empress Of Canada, and Empress Of Japan, from Sydney, Australia, to Gourock, Scotland, with 5,500 troops. On a voyage of 11-16 May 1942 she was the first ship to carry more than 10,000 persons. She had 9,880 troops and 875 crew. She made another first between 2-7 August 1942 by carrying a complete American Armoured division, 15,125 troops and 863 crew. The speed of the Queen Mary at about thirty-five m.p.h. meant that she could outdistance any German U-Boat or surface raider. She carried a total of 765,429 military personnel between 1940 and 1946 and sailed a total of 569,429 miles (916,407 km). She carried wounded troops returning to the United States and transported Winston Churchill three times to conferences and finally carried 12,886 G.I. brides and children back to the states. Fr. John had a lifelong affection for the Queen Mary and frequently visited her when she ended her days of regular service in 1967 after 1001 voyages across the Atlantic. By great coincidence she had ended up beside him as a floating hotel and conference centre in Long Beach, California where he spent most of the latter days of his life. He always said he was grateful to the people of Long Beach for buying the ship for him and mooring it in the bay so he could look at it every day. He later went on to serve in the US Navy and also in the Canadian Navy – a unique naval career.

Fr. John recalled his first sick call in New York when a man came for him in the middle of the night in a thunderstorm. They had to cross the rail tracks on their way and in the dark he tripped over the body of a man. It was a salutary opening to his ministry in the Big Apple. He had a Parish Priest of German ancestry and arrived down one morning to see him reading his letters from Ireland probably hoping for some war news which he might pass on. A row ensued which ended him flattening his Parish Priest gathering his belongings and moving on — not the sort of thing most priests could do but then he had a roving commission. He was a priest of Clogher Diocese in Ireland but he could go anywhere. Bishops were invariably scarce of priests and he could easily find another parish. This was not to be the first clergyman that Fr. John was to ‘clock’ and many a fellow curate was glad of the assistance of their big friend in negotiations with intolerant and tyrannical parish priests. The late Fr. Havlin, Parish Priest of Ederney, testified to Fr. John’s assistance on one occasion. He officiated at Fr. John’s funeral Mass in Ederney and stepped forward at the end to say a few words about his friend but only got as far as saying, ‘He was a big man …… and we were left to imagine the rest’.

Fr John had a host of friends in the United States and Canada — from Professor John Du Prey of the University of Quebec to Bob Hope and Bing Crosby who used to appear at his Charity Concerts which he ran in Los Angeles. He had a lifelong interest in US politics and visited every state in the Union and met every Governor of the time. But through all his travels Fr. John maintained contact with Fermanagh and particularly his native Ederney. His sister, Mae, my mother, sent him bundles of the local papers the Fermanagh Herald and the Impartial Reporter every few weeks and he absorbed every word of news from home, but it did not stop there. He was an amazing letter writer and to everyone back home he sent notes of condolence on the death of their loved ones, congratulations on births and weddings and provided a temporary haven for anyone from clerical friends to simply anyone who knew him and who wanted to spend time in California. He would often write ten or twenty letters at a sitting and by letter he kept in touch with hundreds all over the world but especially in Ederney and Fermanagh.

He never confined himself to just one side of the house and he had as many Protestant friends as Catholic ones. On several occasions in his life he tried a spell back in Ireland working in Clogher Diocese, three of them being in Maguiresbridge, Aghabog and Trillick. In the end his health always dictated that he return to a warmer, drier climate. In Maguiresbridge he visited every house in the Parish regardless of creed, chatted and had a cup of tea and when he was leaving the local Protestant community had a collection for him and made him a present of a wallet of notes as a token of their appreciation.

He was a fine figure of a man over six feet tall with white hair which he acquired through illness in his twenties. He was always dressed immaculately often in his Navy Chaplain’s uniform and to be truthful he was a bit vain about his appearance. He was never happier than posing for a photograph. Mount Rushmore with its four American Presidents; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt carved on a mountainside were a mere detail compared to Fr John in the foreground. But he was a fine, imposing cut of a man.

The Cunningham family c1955. The author is the oldest child.cunninghamfamily

To us children and I suppose many others in Ireland his visits carried an aura which brought us in contact with faraway places with strange sounding names but here was a man who had been there and could talk about these places or show photographs of them. In some ways he brought the glamour of Hollywood into our lives. He was a bit like the America in the black and white films we used to see on hard seats in the upper room in Ederney Townhall. Once my mother was bringing him to Carrickmacross to meet the Cunningham in-laws there and we stopped to get petrol in Clones but he got out to make the purchase. My mother was accustomed, through necessity, like most other people, to buy petrol in amounts like 5 shillings. As the attendant came forward Fr. John uttered the immortal words, ‘Fill her up’ and I’m sure Clones and the world stood still. ‘Fill her up’ —  what – words nobody had ever heard outside of a cinema before. Here was total unconcern of the financial consequences of filling the car with petrol where most people bought fuel in shillings or just a single gallon. This was John Wayne talk.

He had an extraordinary memory for names and faces and could meet, greet and name people he had met twenty or thirty years before. I think the secret was his technique on meeting a new acquaintance. He had a long handshake where he held a person’s hand and repeated their name several times while looking into their face to imprint their name and features in his mind. I was once with him in Shannon Airport when he spotted an old US Navy friend. He had been the captain of a ship Fr. John had served on but was now an admiral. He was in civvies at Shannon and they had not met in twenty years but Fr. John met him, called him by name and they had a pleasant chat.

Fr. John died on 20 October 1999 in Long Beach, California, aged eighty-three. His family and friends brought him back to Ederney and buried him beside the new chapel in the village.  He was once more at home in Ederney — an emigrant from an Irish village which his heart had never really left.

John B. Cunningham 22-04-2015.

Email – adam4eves@aol.com

Blog Cunninghamsway @wordpress.com

Web and Bookshop – erneheritagetours.com

Kesh children 1917

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April 26th 1917.  THE SHOCKING DEPRAVITY OF KESH CHILDREN WHO WERE DRUNK AND ALSO COMMITTED BURGLARIES.  A series of charges were heard at Kesh Petty Sessions in which Herbert Irvine, aged nine and Thomas Thomson aged eight were charged with breaking and entering three houses and with thefts therefrom of bottles, revolvers, fishing tackle and bottles of whisky.  It appeared from the evidence that the two boys entered the closed up licensed premises lately occupied in Kesh by Mr. Walmsley and took away a quantity of bottles and sold them.  Later they entered the store of Mr. Eves and took from it two bottles of whisky which they shared with other young lads and got drunk with the results that in the case of Irvine said Head Constable McLean his mother had to carry him up to bed he was so drunk.  On a later date the boys entered the house of John Graham, Letterkeen and stole two revolvers, a watch and some fishing tackle, and hid some of the stolen goods in fields and some in an egg box in Mr. McGirrs store.  The Chairman, Mr. Walker, R.M. said there must be some extraordinary strain in the neighbourhood which produces such depravity


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January 18th 1917.  TUBERCULOSIS SCHEME IN COUNTY FERMANAGH.  ROSSCLARE CRITICISED AND IRVINESTOWN PIG HEADED SAYS LORD BELMORE.  In a report it was stated that complaints had been received as to the feeding of the patients at Rossclare A subcommittee having gone there to investigate the matter on the spot found no ground for the complaint nor did any patient make a complaint verbally.  It was also reported that the Enniskillen Guardians had given permission to the Tuberculosis Officer to use Derrygonnelly and Blacklion Dispensaries for Tuberculosis Dispensaries but that the Irvinestown Guardians refused the use of Kesh Dispensary for a similar purpose.  Mr. Phillips was asked by the Chairman (Mr. J. McHugh why the Irvinestown Guardians refused to give the Kesh Dispensary.  He replied – ‘We refuse to give it on the grounds that we will not allow people suffering from an infectious disease mixed up with other patients.  Besides we look upon the whole Tuberculosis Scheme as a fraud.  We have had two patients turned out of Rossclare Sanatorium and sent home and they are now in the Irvinestown Infirmary.  There were two or three others who died who had been turned out of the Sanatorium and sent home to their families.’  The Chairman said that the Medical Officer agreed to give the use of the Dispensary.  Mr. Phillips – ‘I don’t care we will not allow it.’  Lord Belmore – ‘The Medical Officer should know better than a lot of auctioneers.’  Mr. Phillips – ‘There is danger.  Why are these people turned out of Rossclare and sent to the Irvinestown infirmary to die there?  They keep them in Rossclare till they are ready to die and then turn them out.’


January 25th 1917.  £10 PER ACRE FINE IF LAND IS NOT TILLED.  Strong arguments were put forward in favour of breaking up grazing ranches and amongst those who most strenuously urge this course was Mr. P. J. Meehan MP who has a great deal of support.


January 25th 1917.  THINGS IN GENERAL AND NOTHING IN PARTICULAR.  A party of Inniskillings who helped to extinguish a serious fire in Enniskillen in the early hours of Monday morning last when marching back to barracks sang Keep the Home Fires Burning.  The fire occurred in the millinery establishment belonging to Mrs. Betty in East Bridge Street.  About seven years ago a fire occurred in the same premises when occupied by Mrs. Robert Ross whose husband lost his life by drowning while taking part in a yachting regatta  at Rossclare.  Mrs. Ross and her children on the occasion of the previous fire narrowly escaped with their lives and jumped from the top storey into a blanket held by neighbours on the pathway below.  To make certain that such should not have to be the case again, the Urban Council purchased a fire escape and it is the law of all fire brigades, that the escape is sent first to the scene of the fire and the engine follows.  In Enniskillen the reverse is the case.  When the firemen are collected together –which takes a close on an hour-the brigade bring their hose.  But the escape!  No one ever thought of it.  It is an ornament and an emblem of civic unpreparedness.  It is now really an antique, suffering from decay and old age and a source of amusement for children to run up and down.


Sugar tickets, I read, will shortly be instituted by the Food Controller.  The laying past of sugar goes on apace.  One farmer last week brought home two hundredweight of sugar and two others in Maguiresbridge district secured 1 hundredweight each.  Fancy the police  having to raid houses for sugar hoarding and their finds being in the homes of policemen and magistrates!  It would be an amusing situation.


Mr. George H Jeffers writing from the Primrose Club, Park Place, Saint James’s, London W.  Says my compliments to W.E.T (William Egbert Trimble, editor of the Impartial Reporter) assuring him that large sums have been spent on the police Barracks externally as well as internally.  Every third year the exterior is either painted or distempered.  I am afraid his friends in the motor car must have been an estate of exaltation when they pulled up at the No 1 Barracks in Enniskillen in the belief that it was a hotel, being doubtless eager for a drink.


January 25th 1917.  SEVERAL MEN WHO HAVE RETURNED FROM THE FRONT within the last few weeks have come to personally render thanks to the ladies and gentlemen who have provided for their comfort in the field through the agency of the Comforts Fund. They all say the same thing – that we cannot comprehend how much our little has done, and how greatly it is appreciated and cheers them up.  The socks for their warmth, the musical instruments for their relaxation, the cigarettes for their consolation are all spoken of in the highest terms and when I asked the men which of all the things that you’d like to get out there the answer is invariably the same – Woodbines.  The soldier smokes in the trench where there is nothing else to console him; he smokes when off duty, and to keep hunger away sometimes.  Indeed, I never was able to attribute to such a trifling cause such a wonderful medical value as our soldiers give to what we send out in tens of thousands to our boys.


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January 11th 1917.  Impartial Reporter. THE DEPARTURE OF MR. WILLIAM DICKIE FROM Enniskillen to his new home, I think, in Clones, removed from the town the last member of the religious sect known as Plymouth Brethren.  There are few members in our midst of the Society of Friends.  There is only one now in Enniskillen.  Friends are popularly called Quakers and the derivation of the name is of interest.  A great leader in the Friends community was a man called Fox, who, when he spoke suffered from tremors and became so excited that he shook in all parts.  His followers thought this was the correct thing and followed his example.  Hence the name Quakers.  It reminds me of the Alexandra limp.  When Queen Alexandra, many years ago, met with an accident to her foot she walked with a limp, and leaders in society during the time of the Queen Mother’s indisposition all limped in imitation of her Majesty!


(Ed. In the past, Quakers were known for their use of thou as an ordinary pronoun, refusal to participate in war, plain dress, refusal to swear oaths, opposition to slavery, and teetotalism—the opposition to alcohol. Some Quakers have founded banks and financial institutions including Barclays, Lloyds, and Friends Provident; manufacturing companies including Clarks, Cadbury, Rowntree, and Fry’s; and philanthropic efforts, including abolition of slavery, prison reform, and social justice projects.

In 1650, George Fox was brought before the magistrates Gervase Bennet and Nathaniel Barton, on a charge of religious blasphemy. According to George Fox’s autobiography, Bennet “was the first person that called us Quakers, because I bade them tremble at the word of the Lord”. It is thought that George Fox was referring to Isaiah 66:2 or Ezra 9:4. Thus, the name Quaker began as a way of ridiculing George Fox’s admonition, but became widely accepted and is used by some Quakers. Quakers also described themselves using terms such as true Christianity, Saints, Children of the Light, and Friends of the Truth, reflecting terms used in the New Testament by members of the early Christian church.)

May 1915

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Fermanagh Herald May 1st. 1915.  THE DRINK TRAFFIC AND LISNASKEA GUARDIANS.   CLOSING OF THE PUBLIC HOUSES.  A copy of a resolution passed by the Ballymena Board of Guardians “viewing with great apprehension the grave position in which the nation was placed,” “and that the drink traffic was in every direction working havoc and asking the legislature to carry through a measure for the complete suppression of the traffic during the war,” was read. The chairman objected to the adoption of the report as it was only a move to kill one of the few industries in Ireland.  Mr. Kirkpatrick said it was awful the amount of money people who were receiving the bounty, were spending on drink.  Mr. Kirkpatrick said it would do no harm to adopt the resolution and the Chairman disagreed.  The Chairman said it would do a lot of harm to other people.  The government would do nothing to the “weak beer” in England but they were trying to kill the little whisky industry in Ireland.  Mr. Kirkpatrick said that they would all have to drink coffee after a while.  The Chairman said there would be no need to consume such a beverage as they could make that whiskey in the mountains. (laughter.)


Fermanagh Times May 6th, 1915.  SOME PERTINENT QUESTIONS.  How is the two million pound scheme for lighting Ireland with electricity generated at Belleek progressing?

How much extra land has been put under tillage in Fermanagh this year as result of the war?

How did Judge Johnston, then deciding a motor accident case at the Quarter Sessions after saying he could not see how the defendant was guilty of any negligence, then fine him £5 and costs for negligence?

What foundation is there for the remark made by Mr. James McGovern, J.P. at the Enniskillen Urban Council on Monday that that body had always taken precautions to employ old men on their working staff so as to leave the younger men free to join the army?

Will the action of the magistrates in Clones and Enniskillen in greatly increasing the fines inflicted for offenses of drunkenness, during the period of the war, have any effect in decreasing the number of cases in our local courts?

Is Clones not well off for public lighting having both a gas company and an electric light company?  The cost of lighting Clones for the season ended the 8th of April by electricity was £89 as compared with £126 paid for gas during the corresponding period of the previous year?  How can the gas company tender now at £75.00 with the price of coal and everything else enormously increased. They must have made a tidy profit when getting £126  for the same amount of gas manufactured under more favourable conditions?


Fermanagh Times May 6th, 1915.  LEAVING ENNISKILLEN.  The Dragoons departed at about 8.30 in the morning and proceeded at a leisurely pace to Lisnaskea, where a halt was called for a time.  The second stage of the journey was then commenced, and at 1.30 o’clock Clones was reached.  The Cyclists did not leave Enniskillen until after one or clock and they took a short breather at Lisnaskea and arrived at Clones at 4.00

The weather was ideal for the journey, being dry and bright, yet not too warm, but the cyclist suffered somewhat from the dust, with which they were liberally covered before they had gone far, the men in the rear ranks naturally receiving the lion’s share of this commodity which settled on their machines, their uniforms and accoutrements and paid particular attention to their eyes, ears and hair, so that when he reached by their journey’s end they looked like men who had come through a hard and arduous campaign, and there was a universal demand for water, and still more water, with which most of the evidence of their ride was soon eradicated.

The horsemen had not suffered nearly so much from the dust as they were, of course, higher from the ground and where possible used the grass margins along the side of the road on which to ride and which is to be found practically the whole way from Enniskillen to Clones. An advance guard had preceded them on the previous night to the latter place so that upon their arrival everything was found in complete readiness.  Clones contains perhaps the best stabling accommodation to be found in a town of that size anywhere in Ulster, and not the least difficulty was experienced in procuring ample room for the hundred Dragoon horses, the great majority of which were comfortably housed in the stables belonging to Mr. Joseph Clarke, Mr. John Nixon, Mr. John Robinson, and of Messrs. Levinson & Company.  The men of the cavalry regiment were comfortably billeted in the Townhall and the Orange Hall while the cyclists were equally well catered for in St. Joseph’s Temperance Hall and at the Pringle Memorial Hall.  The officers had rooms in Robinson’s Hotel and the Aberdeen Arms Hotel.


The people of Clones cannot be accused of making any exaggerated display of enthusiasm for military ardour on the occasion, in fact they cannot be accused of showing any interest in what was, after all, an historic event, the visit of two regiments on their way to finally complete their training before going out to fight against a ruthless and merciless foe.


Fermanagh Times May 6th, 1915.  THE MARCH TO BERLIN AND THE FORMER PRO-GERMANS WHO ARE STOPPING IT.  Our readers (says the Daily Mail) will remember that during the many long years in which the Daily Mail aided by other newspapers was endeavouring to prove to the British public that the German Empire was preparing for war with Great Britain this newspaper was steadily abused by certain pro-German newspapers.  These organs were chiefly Mr. Cadbury’s Daily News, which vociferously played the German game by urging the British Government not to make war preparations; the Daily Chronicle, in which Mr. Frank Lloyd even within a few months of the beginning of the war, dwelt upon the peaceful outlook for Europe and the Westminster Gazette wherein Sir Alfred Mond and Sir John Brunner, up to the very declaration of war bleated pro-Germanism.

The same politicians and the same newspapers that did not know the war was coming are still endeavouring to make the public believe that the Germans are on the eve of collapse for want of corn, copper, or cash.

Our readers know that against a continuous tirade of ridicule and ignorance from one of these newspapers, we predicted that the aeroplane would be an essential factor in the coming war.  We believe that this government which did not see the war coming does not now understand the terrific nature of the struggle before it.

Just as for years we advocated a large Navy, the provision of a large Army, the development of aeroplanes and waterplanes, so today we urge that preparations for the war on a far greater scale than are now under contemplation be immediately put in hand that the crowd of young “shirkers” all over the country who are standing back from enlistment when married men are in khaki be “fetched” and, above all that more troops, guns and shells be immediately sent to Sir John French.


Fermanagh Times May 6th, 1915.  THE ENEMIES BARBAROUS TACTICS and continued use of poisonous gases.  A new German gone bombards Dunkirk and there is severe fighting on the British front while a deadly struggle is going on in Poland.


Fermanagh Times May 6th, 1915.  THE GOVERNMENT’S DRINK PROPOSALS.  A DRASTIC SCHEME AND HEAVY TAXATION.  Mr. Lloyd George introduced on Thursday his proposals for dealing with the liquor question. In his speech he said that the Government had been blamed for having attached too much importance to the drink question in relation to the output of munitions.  It was said that they had treated it as if it were the total cause of any delay which had taken place.  That was exactly the reverse of the fact.  In the present war, munitions and materials were of more importance than men.  The small minority of workmen who shirked their duty could throw the whole lot out of gear.  The loss of time was mostly attributable to excessive drinking.  The slackness of activity in many of the shipyards was causing anxiety to those in command of the High Seas Fleet.

With regard to private yards, reports from the Clyde, Tyne, and Barrow, showed that about the end of March the amount of work put in by the men was much less than could be reasonably expected.  While the country was at war the men were doing less than in peace times.  The problem was to get these men to do a normal week’s work.

During a week in one yard turning out submarines, only 60 fitters out of 103 worked a full day on Monday; on Tuesday only 90, on Wednesday only 86, on Thursday 77, on Friday 91 and on Saturday 103.  This represents a loss of 30 per cent on the peace basis.  In every case the principal cause was excessive drinking.

In addition to extra taxation the government was to have are complete and thorough control of the liquor traffic in areas producing war materials.  They would have power to close any public house, and power to suppress the sale of spirits were heavy beer is in such areas.  He did not claim that the measures were heroic, but he hoped that they would be sufficient.

Mr. Redmond promptly entered a caveat against the increased taxation upon whiskey and heavy beers, which, he said, would destroy a great Irish Industry and was in no way justified by the facts of the case, since in Ireland there had been no such increase in drinkingas was alleged to have occurred in Great Britain.


Fermanagh Times May 6th, 1915.  OPPOSITION IN IRELAND.  DUBLIN.  A mass meeting of the citizens of Dublin together with some representatives from the country, was held on Sunday in the Phoenix Park to protest against the proposals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to impose increased taxation on whisky, beer, and wines, so far as Ireland is concerned.  There were three platforms.  The resolution was passed protesting against the imposition of any further taxation on this country, and calling upon the Irish members of Parliament to prevent the extension to Ireland of proposals, which, it was contended, would have the effect of extinguishing at least two important industries, in regard to which Ireland stands preeminent.


Fermanagh Times May 6th, 1915.  BELLEEK.  BOY DROWNED.  On Friday afternoon, at Clyhore, convenient to Belleek a distressing occurrence took place, as a result of which a little boy belonging to Mr. Robert J.  Donaldson, general merchant, fell into the River Erne and was carried away and drowned.  It appears that the little victim who would be about six years old, was at school on the date of the fatality.  Shortly after returning home he was on the bank of the river, which just passes his father’s premises on the Donegal side, when he was seen to drop in by some people.  At this place the current on approaching the falls becomes particularly strong, and to the horror of the onlookers he was swept away before anything could be done to save him.  Widespread sympathy is felt for the parents.


Fermanagh Times May 6th, 1915.  GUINNESS’S POSITION.  A good idea of the way in which the taxes affect the liquor industry is afforded in the case of Messrs. Guinness and Co., the whole of whose output comes under the surtax of 36 shillings per barrel.  In 1914 Messrs. McGuinness paid in duty £1,400,000.  In 1915 if the output of the brewery remains the same and the existing taxation remains in force the duty payable would be three times greater or £4,200,000.


Impartial Reporter. May 6 1915.  THE DUTY ON WHISKY IS DOUBLED IN THE CHANCELLOR’S PROPOSALS, AND QUADRUPLED ON ORDINARY WINES.  PUBLIC HOUSES ARE TO BE CONTROLLED IN WAR AREAS.  POINTS OF THE SPEECH.  We must strain every possible nerve to increase our present output of ammunition.  Lost time becomes more frequent with increases of pay.  There is excessive drinking among a section of workmen who receiving very high wages.  The loss of time is not so great in the armament works as in the shipyards.  There has been no perceptible improvement during the last few weeks.  Men drink heavily stupefying beer and raw spirits.  The congestion of transport at the docks is due to the fact that men can earn enough in three days to keep them in drink for a week.  One of the reports referred to slacking on the Clyde on Mondays, and the investigator attributed this to the pernicious habit in Scotland of taking home bottles of whisky on Saturday night to drink on Sunday.  Another cause suggested was the absence of provision around the yards for food for the workers.  If the men got food with alcohol less harm would be done.


Impartial Reporter. May 6 1915.  FLEET IMPERILLED BY THE DRINK.  ADMIRAL JELLICOE SPEAKS OUT.  I am very uneasy about the labour situation on the Clyde and Tyne. You may think and I am exceeding my sphere of action in doing so, but the efficiency of this Fleet is so affected by it that I felt it my duty to wire.  Today an officer in a responsible position arrived.  His account of things on the Clyde was most disquieting.  He said that the men refused altogether to work on Saturday afternoon; that they took Wednesday afternoon off every week if not the whole of Wednesday – and worked on Sunday because they got double pay for it.  He also said that they only worked in a half-hearted manner.  My destroyer dockings and refits are delayed in every case by these labour difficulties, and they take twice as long as they need to do.  I feel that you ought to know the facts and so put them before you now.


Fermanagh Herald May 8th. 1915.  JOTTINGS.  A son of Mr. Henry K. Leslie, Rockcarrow, Co., Monaghan, agent for Lord Enniskillen has been killed in action at the Dardanelles.  Mr. Stanis Irwin, brother of Major Irwin, Killadeas, has also fallen.

Amongst the officer is killed at the Dardanelles will be found the name of Major Edward Featherstonehaugh, of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.  He was a brother of Mr. Godfrey Featherstonehaugh, MP for North Fermanagh, and a distinguished graduate of Dublin University.  Major Featherstonehaugh had been all through the South African war, and had been mentioned in dispatches on many occasions for his distinguished bravery in the field.

A farmer named James Callan, Carrickmacross, was found drowned in the river at Derryalone, on Sunday evening.  Deceased, who was 67 years of age, was well known in Monaghan and adjoining counties in the cattle trade, and very regrettably to relate the deceased son was accidentally killed by falling out of a cart in Carrickmacross street a short time ago.

At the monthly meeting of the directors of the Monaghan Gas Company –Mr. Harry Roger’s, JP presiding – it was decided in view of the contract prices for coal being about double those of former years, to increase the price of gas by 5d per 1000 cubic feet.

The Tempo sports and horse races will be held on Thursday, the 13th of May.  An excellent programme has been arranged and good sport should be witnessed.  The proceeds will be devoted to the Tempo Temperance Brass Band.


Fermanagh Herald May 8th. 1915.  LLOYD GEORGE’S SURTAX, INTRODUCED FOR THE OSTENSIBLE PURPOSE OF COMBATING THE DRINK EVIL, which, it is alleged, is adversely affecting the output of the essentials of war, but which in reality will sound of the death knell of important Irish Industries, was heard of with bewilderment in Enniskillen.  Several of the most prominent citizens of the town, interviewed, give it as their opinion that the Chancellor’s  proposition would never be enforced, owing to the hostility of the Irish Party who would never consent to the imposition of such taxes.  A large shareholder in Guinness has stated that the new taxes (if insisted upon,) would mean ruin to the thousands of middle-class people, who by their thrift, had saved a few hundred pounds for the evening of their lives, and had invested their earnings in some brewery or distillery.  The Chancellor’s remedy proposes a double duty on spirits which means 14 shillings and nine pence a gallon extra, quadruple duty on wines, sextuple duty on sparkling wines, and a graduated tax on beer according to specific gravity rising to 36 shillings per barrel on heavy beer.


Fermanagh Herald May 8th. 1915.  A REGIMENT OF DONKEYS PREPARE THE WAY FOR THE ALLIED TROOPS.  The special correspondent of the Daily News, Mr. Hugh Martin writes that he learned from an official source that the landing of troops at the Dardanelles had been successfully accomplished.  Landings had been effected in at least four places – one on the Asiatic side and three on the European side.

According to a story which I have every reason to believe one of these landings was made as the result of a clever and the comic ruse.  Covered by vigorous fire from our ships, nearly 1,000 donkeys with dummy baggage and mountain guns were put ashore at a certain spot.  The Germans and Turks at once diverted a strong force in this direction.  Meanwhile, the real landing force easily accomplished its purpose some distance up the coast.  The regiment of donkeys, which were decrepit animals purchased in the islands for a mere song, were annihilated. Among the prisoners are not a few Turks with revolver bullet wounds inflicted by German officers in driving them on to the attack or in desperate endeavour to prevent a retreat.


Fermanagh Herald May 8th. 1915.  A BOY DROWNED NEAR BELLEEK.  On Friday afternoon at Clyhore, convenient to Belleek, a distressing occurrence took place, as result of which a little boy belonging to Mr. Robert J. Donaldson, general merchant, fell into the River Erne and was carried away and drowned.  From particulars to hand it appears that the little victim, who would be about five or six years old, was at school on the date of the fatality.  Shortly after returning home he was on the bank of the river, which just passes his father’s premises on the Donegal side, when he was seen to drop in by some people.  At this place the current on approaching the falls becomes particularly strong, and to the horror of the onlookers he was swept away before anything could be done to save him.  At the time of writing the body has not been found.  Widespread sympathy is felt for the boy’s parents.


Fermanagh Times May 13th, 1915.  BELLEEK.  THE SAD DROWNING CASE.  In connection with the melancholy drowning of the young son, Bertram, aged four years, of Mr and Mrs J.  Donaldson, of Belleek reported in our last issue a correspondent writes: – The child had returned from school, and had his dinner, went out to play, and in a very short time met his death by accidentally falling into the river Erne at his own home. He was carried down the stream through the salmon ladder into the main river.  Mrs. McBride saw him falling in.  She was some distance from the shore on the opposite side; she raise the alarm, called her husband who ran to the river, and was within an arm’s length of him as he passed over the first fall of the ladder but to his sorrow was not near enough to lay hold of him.  Very soon, in answer to the alarm, many people were at the river.  Sergeant Ballentine waded out to the centre of the river where the ford is below the bridge to save him, but he sank before he came that far.  He and some of the Constables with many others deserve much praise for their endeavours to find the body.  Although two boats in a very short time were carried to points where it was considered likely the body might be found and grapples and poles with books were used from Friday evening until Sunday evening; the body was not found until 2.39 p.m. on Sunday, when Mr. John Slevin and Mr. Edward Keenaghan succeeded in bringing the body to the surface at a place near 25 feet deep and which had been searched and re-searched from the time of the accident.  It was a great satisfaction to the parents that no marks of violence were found on the body.  He appeared as if asleep.

The boy was a favourite with all who knew him being of a winsome and gaining disposition.  On Monday the 3rd inst. he was laid to rest in God’s acre.  The Rev. F.  J.  Johnston who officiated, give a touching address to an audience young and old and committed his body to its last resting place.  The very representative and respectable funeral testified to the sincerity of the sympathy extended to the sorrowing family in their great grief.  The remains were carried from the home to the grave by Messrs. A. L. Roddy (his Sunday School) teacher, Thomas J. Johnston, Robert L. Montgomery and George Cassidy, members of the Belleek Methodist Sunday School of which deceased was a member assisted by others.  The Sunday School children walked in procession after the remains, the girls dressed in white and black.  At the grave the children sang the hymn – “When He cometh, when He cometh to make up his jewels, all His jewels, precious jewels.”  The chief mourners were – Mr. R.W. Donaldson, (father) the Misses Violet and Edie Donaldson (sisters), Jack Donaldson (brother), Mr. W Hood, (grandfather), Mr. A. W. Donaldson and Mr. R. H. Hood (uncles).  Wreathes were from Father and Mother, Miss Knox, Mrs. Johnston, Mrs. Beacom, Mrs. Elliott, Mrs. McBride, Miss McCabe, Miss Quinn and Mrs. Slater; also a basket of flowers from Mrs. Naylor, the Glebe.


Fermanagh Times May 13th, 1915.



Bob Hunt was not a martial man,

For peace at home he’d plot and plan,

And yet his better half, they say,

Would trounce him with her tongue all day.

She nagged him ninety to the minute,

And Mrs Caudle wasn’t in it.


No pleasure pleased the lady long,

Each single thing he did was wrong;

And, as a schoolboy dreads the cane

So Roberta feared a jaw from Jane;

And never went recruit more willing

To shoulder arms and take the Shilling.


Today, serene and cheerful, Hunt

Enjoys a rest cure at the front.

Where Maxims bark and shrapnel screams

His round, unruffled visage beams,

Through crash and clatter, thud and din,

He observes “This ain’t a patch on Jinny!

Jessie Pope



(Ed. Douglas William Jerrold (London 3 January 1803 – 8 June 1857 London) was an English dramatist and writer. Jerrold wrote for numerous periodicals, and gradually became a contributor to the Monthly Magazine, Blackwood’s, the New Monthly, and the Athenaeum. To Punch, the publication which of all others is associated with his name, he contributed from its second number in 1841 until within a few days of his death. Punch was a humorous and liberal publication. Punch was also the forum in which he published in the 1840s his comic series Mrs Caudle’s Curtain Lectures, which was later published in book form.

He contributed many articles for Punch under different pseudonyms. On 13 July 1850 he wrote as ‘Mrs Amelia Mouser’ about the forthcoming Great Exhibition of 1851, coining the phrase the palace of very crystal. From that day forward, the Crystal Palace, at that time still a proposal from his friend Joseph Paxton, gained the name from which it would henceforth be known.)


Fermanagh Times May 13th, 1915.  ROMANTIC FERMANAGH MARRIAGE.  ENNISKILLEN PROMINENT IN LOVE AND THE NOVEL.  HYMNS AMID ARCTIC ICE.  From the Toronto World a story of the most romantic lies behind the wedding of Miss Gail Porter, of Enniskillen, which interesting event is fixed for the 21st of June next at Fort Yukon, just north of the Arctic Circle.  How she came to make acquainted with Mr. Jack Carruthers, her husband to be, reads more like fiction than fact, and surely the crowning feature of the romance is that she is travelling approximately 9,000 miles over seas, land and snow-capped mountain passes, accepting with a smile the dangers of the Yukon rapids, to say nothing of mine and submarine infested waters, in order that she may be married in the  country where her lover had struggled against adversity and bitter disappointment before he struck the vein of gold which had long eluded him but in the end rewarded his perseverance with wealth sufficient to make him independent.


Carrothers, who is also a native of Enniskillen, left the thriving island town when little more than a boy to seek adventures in the land of the Maple Leaf, and incidentally to grasp what fruits Dame Fortune had to offer.  He was caught up in the famous gold rush of ‘98 and, with thousands of others, made the tedious journey over the snow blocked Chilcoot Pass, he and his companions all intent on getting a soon as possible to the scene of the harvest.


Success did not crown Carruthers’ early efforts to strike gold in paying quantities.  However, he did not become disheartened because the goddess of luck failed to select him for elevation to sudden riches, but persevering in his never ending search for gold his search took him all over the Yukon country, and when he finally struck ore in quantity Carrothers was content even though many others had made far richer discoveries.  His search of years rewarded, the spell which the rugged Yukon country had woven around him, claiming him for her own, was broken.  He longed for the outside, and came out when able to dispose of his holdings to advantage.


Last year he went to Europe and visited his old home in Enniskillen.  Later on he drifted over the Continent, and just for the sake of comparison was one of the excursion party to North Cape in Norway, to witness the midnight sun rise there.  On board the ship he became acquainted with Miss Porter, who became deeply interested in the narratives of his experiences in the Yukon country.  The acquaintance begun so casually quickly ripened into a strong friendship and great was Carruthers’ astonishment to learn when it came time to say goodbye that she was from Enniskillen, his old home.  Without mentioning that he had already been back on a visit, he announced his intention of going there direct, as it chanced to be his birthplace.  Carrothers’ visit was prolonged until he had won the heart and hand of Miss Porter and her promise to wed him in the following year.

While planning their forthcoming wedding Miss Porter, half jestingly, expressed the wish that they might be married at Cape North in Norway, in the field of daisies, buttercups and yellow violets, which annually grow in the lee of the monument of King Oscar standing on the summit, while the Midnight Sun shone, clearly disapproving that romance has long since gone to seed.


This met with the instant approval of Carruthers, and it was agreed that they should be married there this year.  Then along came the European upheaval and the failure of a speedy termination of the war to loom in sight caused Carruthers’, who had returned to his home and business interests on this side of the Atlantic, many a sleepless night until he hit upon the plan of having his fiancée come to Canada and journey north inside the Arctic Circle to Fort Yukon that they might still be married in the land of the Midnight Sun.


When he broached the subject by letter he feared that she would be a little diffident at the 9,000 mile trip which would be necessary for her to make, and he was overjoyed one morning to receive a one word cable “Yes” from her.  All arrangements for the wedding at Fort Yukon were completed and Miss Porter who is accompanied by her mother, will arrive in Victoria, B. C., about June the first and the party will set sail for Skaguay on either the 12th or the 14th of the month.  From that point they will travel by rail over the White Pass and Yukon route to Whitehorse. On our honeymoon trip we intend to visit all the famous old gold camps –Nome, Fairbanks, Dawson City, and others.  My wife is bound to be agreeably surprised to learn that, despite her fears to the contrary, Yukon and Alaska are not lands of ice and snow the year round, that they have a delightful summer climate, and so far from being barren they are lands of flowers. It is interesting to note that Mr. Carruthers’ has made arrangements for a cinematograph operator being present during the journey into the wilds, and also at the unique ceremony.  In this way a lasting record will be made of what should certainly prove an adequate climax to a love story so full of romance.



Fermanagh Times May 13th, 1915.  ITALY’S 2,000,000 MEN PERFECTLY EQUIPPED AND READY.  In view of the indications that Italy may decide shortly to enter the war special interest attaches to the strength of her armaments.  During the past six months a sum of £44,000,000 has been spent by her on special preparations.  The weakness in stores, munitions, uniforms, and equipment, of which are staff complained last year has now been removed.  Her land forces are admirably supplied with all requirements, and have at last obtained a full equipment of artillery.


Fermanagh Times May 13th, 1915.  THE EFFECT OF DRINK ON MUNITIONS.  At Birmingham two men were summoned for neglecting work through drink. Thomas Walker was ordered to pay £7 and costs and William Brown £3 and costs.  They were engaged on urgent Government work, but one absented himself for three days and the other for 2.  Walker was found in a public house by the police but he refused to leave.  It was explained that in consequence of the defendants absenting themselves there had been a loss of five tonnes in the production of munitions.


Fermanagh Times May 13th, 1915.  RUSSIA AND AT THE DARDANELLES.  A writer in the World says that although Mr. Churchill initiated the idea of forcing the Dardanelles as far as this country was concerned, the scheme was primarily of Russian inception, and our Eastern ally lays the utmost stress on its importance both from the view of subduing the Turkish Army, which has been giving the Russians a certain amount of trouble, of influencing Mohammedan opinion all over the world, and of affording the most convenient passage for supplies to Russia.  It is said that Russia practically insisted on our cooperation, and that the French authorities also heartily concurred in the scheme.


Fermanagh Times May 13th, 1915.  THE SINKING OF THE LUSITANIA.  The news of this dastardly outrage has been received with loathing and execration by civilised men.  In Holland, in Italy, in Norway there is outspoken condemnation of its cowardly authors.  In the United States intense indignation has been caused by this barbarous murder of American citizens.  The whole German nation, men and women, have shown that they approve of the deed.  In the United States the German–Americans have not been ashamed to hold a “joy day”.  There had been discussion on board as to whether the Germans would attempt to make good their threats and advertisements in the American newspapers, in which they declared their determination to destroy the fastest liner on the Atlantic.  The belief was that if they tried they would fail owing to the magnificent pace of the big ship. Perfect confidence prevailed on board.  The portholes were open.  The speed was not high and it is variously estimated at between 16 and 19 knots, whereas the Lusitania at a pinch could be driven at 26 or 26 ½ knots.  Everything went well until the second lunch was being served about 2.00.  The band was playing “Tipperary” and had played it so well that the tune had been encored.  These were the last strains of music that more than one thousand heard.

Women, with their children, clung to the rails of the ship as it began manifestly to sink.  The end came not later than 2.26.  This point is fixed by the fact that the watches of those in the water stopped at that time.  The vessel was now inclined steeply to starboard.  Gradually the bows sank and the stern rose and stood right out of the water.  Many people leapt from the stern rail to which they were clinging and dropped 70 feet down towards the screws.  One of the most appalling sights was the fall of the gigantic funnels which broke off with tremendous crash as the ship went down and killed several people on whom they fell.  A strange story is told by at least two distinct survivors.  When the end came they were borne by a swirl of water into one of these huge funnels and carried some way down it, where their mouth’s filled with cinders and shoot.  Then came a violent rush in the opposite direction.  One woman was shot out of the funnel into a boat; one man was shot out of it into the water and managed to reach some wreckage.  From all the waters rose at once a loud, long wail of the drowning children, and then slowly died away.  Those in the water whose vitality was strong enough found their life belts admirable.  These saved hundreds of lives.  People wearing them floated for two or three hours and not a few were picked up unconscious but yet floating and were revived by the men in the fleet of steam tugs and trawlers which hurried to the spot.  Every available boat had put out from Queenstown, Kinsale, other harbours along the coast but was an hour before the first of them could reach the scene.  The scenes when the survivors landed at Queenstown in the dusk were heartrending.  The great majority of the survivors travelled on to London.


Fermanagh Times May 13th, 1915.  THE OPINION OF NEWSPAPERS.  “Modern history affords no such example of a great nation running amok and calling it a military necessity.” –New York World.

“In defiance not alone of every principle of international law but also of every dictate of humanity, men, women and children have been exposed to death.  For this murder are there is no justification”.  – New York Tribune.

“The civilised world stands aghast.  If ever wholesale murder was premeditated, this slaughter on the high seas was.”  – New York Herald.

“The sinking of the Lusitania, with its heavy freightage of peaceful passengers was not an act of war.  It was a deed of wholesale murder.”  – The American.

France “No one could have believed that Germany would push or infamy so far.”  – Figaro.

Italy “There is a limit dividing the soldier and a scoundrel.  Germany crossed it yesterday.  –Idea Nazionale.

Holland.  “It is devilish.  This places Germany for always outside the zone of civilisation.  –Amsterdam Telegraph.


(Ed. From the BBC. “The Lusitania controversy. Some 124 American citizens were killed when the ship sank after being hit by a single torpedo as it neared the end of its journey from New York to Liverpool. The death toll helped convince many in the United States that their country should intervene in the war on the side of Britain and France. The debate over cargo has remained controversial. Germany insisted the ship was carrying war materials and could therefore be seen as a legitimate target. That claim was denied by Britain, which said there was no record of explosives in the cargo. But the rumours have persisted.”)


Fermanagh Times May 13th, 1915.  RECENT NEWS. Mr. Thomas Evans, Imperial Hotel, Ballyshannon, has been granted a commission in the York and Lancaster Regiment.  Mr. Evans has spent 30 years with the colours, to which he now returns.  For 20 of these he was sergeant-major of the old Donegal Militia, with headquarters at Lifford.

The number of the emigrants who left Ireland last month was 824, compared with 5144 in the month of April 1914.  During the first four months of the present year emigrants numbered 1000 913 and in the same period last year the total number was 8801, were 5888 more than the present year.  We regret to learn that Mr. Winters, lately the popular manager of the Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran is amongst those who have lost their lives by the sinking of the Lusitania.


Fermanagh Times May 13th, 1915.  CAPTAIN F. K. LESLIE KILLED.  The news that Captain Frank K. Leslie has been killed in action was received with profound sorrow all over his native county of Monaghan and also in Fermanagh.  The late captain was only 28 years of age, and after being educated at Harrow and Sandhurst he joined the he Royal Fusiliers some nine or 10 years ago.  He spent the greater part of his military life in India.  It was from there he came to his regiment about two months ago, and being stationed for a few weeks in England he paid a short visit home before proceeding to the front.  Up to the time of writing the exact engagement in which the deceased officer lost his life has not been made known, but the probabilities are that it was in the course of operations at the Dardanelles.  He made many friends in Enniskillen by reason of the fact that on several occasions he visited Mr. J.J. Lunham for shooting outings during the season here as well as in Monaghan.  The greatest sympathy is felt with the bereaved parents at the loss they have sustained by the untimely death of their only son.


Fermanagh Times May 13th, 1915.  TOUCHING SCENES HAVE OCCURRED MORE than once in the process of identification of the dead brought to Queenstown.  A lady, looking among the corpses at the morgue had almost given up the questing of her daughter.  The very last person she glanced at happened to be the daughter that she was seeking.  With hysterical screams she flung herself upon the lifeless body, and it was with difficulty that she was lifted up and removed outside in a state of collapse.


Fermanagh Times May 13th, 1915.  THE WAR ON THE WESTERN FRONT IS A WAR OF SHELLS and numbers, and shells and numbers will win.  The Germans do not believe it, but everyone knows that our islands are full of splendid men, some ready to go, others nearly prepared.  The eventual result says the Daily Mail if our government looks far enough ahead and puts into operation compulsory service, it is a certainty.  But for the moment Germany’s star is in the ascendant and every man and woman among us should realise the fact and in the realization resolve to bend every effort to vanquish the monster which has been preparing to destroyers us for well-nigh half a century.


Impartial Reporter. May 13 1915.  EFFECTS OF THE GAS.  A BRITISH OFFICERS DESCRIPTION.  “Of all the devilish crimes of which the Germans have been guilty since the war started this one is far away the most devilish and to try to excuse it on the grounds that it inflicts a quick and painful death, far different from the tornado of shells we let loose at Neuve Chapelle, is blatant lying. We have a lot of men who have been gassed in our hospitals.  Their moans are awful and they sit up swaying about fighting and gasping for breath.  Their faces and bodies are a muddy purple black, their eyes glazed and foam comes from their mouths.  Their lungs are turned to liquid, and the doctors say they have the appearance of men for the point of death from drowning.  Nurses and doctors fight night and day to give relief.  The way the damnable stuff is worked apparently is by burying in their trenches cylinders of something containing the gas.  From the cylinder a tube runs up to and through the face of the trench with a nozzle at the end, and when the wind is favourable for the purpose the gases is pumped out and driven over to our lines.  Will this convince people at home of what Germans are capable?  If one could only exterminator the whole breed the world would be all the better for it.


Impartial Reporter. May 13 1915.  A DESPATCH FROM THE DARDANELLES.  LANDING OF TROOPS.  By the evening of 26 April, after two days desperate fighting against the enemy forces occupying positions which, in addition to great natural strength, had been carefully prepared beforehand to resist attack, our troops succeeded in establishing themselves firmly on the south eastern end of the Gallipoli Peninsula.  The landing began at dawn on Sunday morning.  The landing force consisted of the Australian and New Zealand contingents.  The operations were divided into two phases –the landing of a covering force, timed to begin at 5.30, and the main landing to begin immediately the coverers were ashore.  The whole operations comprised six landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula, and a seventh by the French on the Asiatic side.  In most cases moreover, foreseeing the possibility that the beaches would be used as landing places, the Turks had protected them with barbed wire, of which they were absolutely prodigal, hidden machine guns, and a strong force of infantry in entrenchments, supported by a formidable number of batteries of 6 inch howitzers and smaller guns

A bombardment by the warships, beginning a few minutes after 5.00 preceded the landing.  Several battleships were pounding a terrific fire into the shore and especially on the fort and town of Sedd-el-Bahr.  The air was shaken with the roar of guns.  On the right three French battleships, with a great transport behind, were similarly hammering at the Asiatic shore. The landing at De Tots Battery was affected with commendable smartness, and comparatively few casualties.  Most of the boats reach the shore soon after 7.00.


Impartial Reporter. May 13 1915.  Rhymes from the front by two Maguiresbridge lads.  Privates A. McFarland and G. Traynor, with the help of Lance Corporal Dempsey, of Belfast claim to have composed the following lines.


This is from our Irish lads, fighting out in France.

Sitting in the trenches, waiting for their chance;

So here he is athinking his thoughts are far away,

With the beloved sweetheart he hopes to see somebody.


By my side poor Jack lies moaning,

He was hit right through the head,

When I looked into his pale face

I knew not he was dead.


‘Cheer up old Jack’, I murmured:

We’ll soon have you all right:

But he heeded not our speaking,

We buried him that night.


When will the war be over?

To you I cannot say,

But to gain a crowning victory

More men must come this way.


So leave the hunker-sliders

And show our Irish blood,

And fight for King and country

For now your help we need.


Come over now and help us,

And when you are old and grey,

You’ll speak of Tommy’s message,

And how you joined the fray.


Remember all our Irish lads,

That Britain rules the waves,

And if you don’t cross to us

Ye may be German slaves.


Impartial Reporter. May 13 1915.  THE SALUTE.  CAPTAIN JOHN O’DONEL, D.L.  was quite angry with several of the young men at the recruiting meeting at Manorhamilton on Saturday for not saluting the Sovereign and our country of which His Majesty is the head, by uncovering at the playing of the National Anthem.  Our impression is that they were not as culpable as might be supposed –that they were never taught to remove their hats, and by their salute pay tribute to our national greatness and our King.  They have been taught to uncover at religious exercises, but not at this duty, next in order; and the sooner they are taught the better.  Our schools are greatly at fault in this regard.  Our National Schools should all inculcate loyalty and the outward courtesies and duties due to the symbols of our National Life; and there is room for education in County Leitrim.  Every child should be taught to salute the flag.  The first lesson was administered pretty forcibly by Captain O’Donel on Saturday, and we hope it will be remembered.


Impartial Reporter. May 13 1915.  THE LATE COLONEL A.  F. F.  BLOOMFIELD, CASTLE CALDWELL.  A soldier whose lot did not throw him into the famous events of his time, but who did good service in those less known but all important events by which the peace of the Empire is maintained, has recently passed away in the late Colonel Alleyne Fitzherbert Fenton Bloomfield.  He entered the army in the early fifties of the last century and first saw service in the second Burmese War, when he accompanied the Karteban Column to Tonghoo, and was present at the attack and capture of Congab.  For these services he received the medal.  And during the Mutiny he served with the Colcondah Sebundies, in command of a detachment, and assistant to suppress the disturbances in the Codavery District.  While many others were winning their spurs at Delhi and Lucknow this unrecorded service fell to his share, but had it not been for men of his stamp who handled a difficult situation with tact and judgment the British Empire of India might have been much more desperately imperilled than it was.  For his services he received the thanks of the Madras Government, as he did later when still in command of a detachment of the Colcondah Sebundies he suppressed the disturbances in that Zemindary in 1858.

Colonel Bloomfield commanded the Civil Force sent to quell disturbances in the Rumpah country in 1862 and, being slightly wounded, for the third time receive the thanks of the Madras Government.  Later he held civil appointments.  He became Lieutenant-Colonel in 1876, and Colonel two years later.  He was one of those servants of the Indian empire of whom the word hears but little, but upon whom the whole of that magnificent Empire really rests.  Colonel Bloomfield was the youngest son of the late Major John, Colpoys Bloomfield of Castle Caldwell, County Fermanagh, and was born on the 18th of June 1832 and died on the 21st of April, 1915 at 31, Walpole Street, London.


Fermanagh Herald May 15th. 1915.  THE LUSITANIA IS TORPEDOED BY A GERMAN SUBMARINE AND THE GREAT A VESSEL SINKS IN LESS THAN 20 MINUTES.  THERE WERE 1,908 ON BOARD AND NEARLY 1,150 VICTIMS.  The magnificent Cunard liner the Lusitania was torpedoed about 2.30 on Friday afternoon off the Old Head of Kinsale by a German submarine and sank in about 20 minutes.  The weather was fine, but she took a heavy list soon after being struck, and those who went to the port side were at a disadvantage.  Their Saloon Passengers were at lunch and lost more in proportion.  They included Mr. Vanderbilt, the millionaire; Mr. Hugh Lane, the famous Dublin Art expert; Mr. Charles Froham, the Theatrical Manager; and many other prominent people. As soon as the news came to Queenstown vessel set out for the scene of the disaster and they landed survivors at that port last night. Reports show that 764 persons were saved.  The German Press partly exults in the crime and partly excuses it on the grounds that the Lusitania was armed, but this is denied by the Admiralty and the Cunard Company.  Interest will now centre on the attitude of the United States.

A reward of $5000 has been offered for the recovery of Mr. A. Vanderbilt’s body.  Enquiries have been made from London at Queenstown tonight relative to the Rev. Father Basil Maturin, S J, the celebrated preacher.  Until then nothing seemed to be known of Father Maturin being a passenger on the Lusitania.  The enquiries, however, were definite and it is feared that Fr. Maturin has been amongst the victims.


Fermanagh Herald May 15th. 1915.  SHELLS AS THICK AS HAIL.  A DULLAGHAN MAN’S EXPERIENCE.  In a letter to a friend, Patrick O’Brian who is a native of Dullaghan, Dromore, Co., Tyrone and who is at present serving with the 2nd Middlesex Regiment at the front says that he enjoyed the quantity of cigarettes and tobacco which he had received.  They were a treat as it was very hard to get either cigarettes or tobacco out there.  Describing his experiences, he says that the worst he ever had was at the battle of Neuve Chapelle, and he would never forget the morning of the battle as long as he lived.  It could be imagined that it must have been pretty bad when a chum healing from the slums of London asked him if he thought it was the end of the world.  The shells were flying around as thick as a shower of hail.


Fermanagh Herald May 15th. 1915.  MAJOR G.  C.  BROOKE KILLED.  News has been received that Major George Cecil Brooke, 1st Battalion Border Regiment has been killed in action, having been shot in the Dardanelles on the 30th ult.  Deceased was the only son of the late Brigadier –General H.  E.  Brooke, of Ashbrook, Brookeborough, Fermanagh, and of Mrs. Brooke, now of Hampton Court Palace, and grandson of the late Major-General W R Christopher.  His father, who was also killed in action, using his life during a sortie from Kandahar in 1880, was grandson of Sir Henry Brooke, first baronet, of Colebrooke, Fermanagh and 11th Earl of Huntingdon.  Major Brooke, who was 43 years of age was educated at Wellington, received was commissioned in 1890, was promoted major in 1911 and he had twice seen service in India.


Fermanagh Herald May 15th. 1915.  INNISKILLING OFFICERS’ LOSSES.  CASUALTIES IN THE DARDANELLES.  Thursday nights a list of casualties sustained by the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in the Dardanelles contained the names of seven officers of the 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who have been wounded, in addition to that of Lieutenant W. M. M. Gilliland, who, as already reported, has been killed. The officers in this morning’s casualty list are: – Captain M. F. Hammond –Smith, Captain W. Pike, Captain C. Ridings, Lieutenant R. B. Shulrich, Lieutenant M. J. F. O’Reilly, Lieutenant E. W. H. Raymoud, and Second –Lieutenant C. H. Godsland.


Fermanagh Herald May 15th. 1915.  A VERDICT FOR THE DEFENDANT WAS RETURNED AT CLONES HORSE CASE.  It was the result of the suit of Mr. B. Levinson, horse dealer, Clones, against Colonel Ferrer, Inspector of Remounts, for damages laid at £5,000 for alleged slander, the words complained of having reference to the purchase of horses during mobilisation week.

The action said Mr. Powell K.C. for the defendant, was an indictment of the War Office by a disappointed man who posed as a horse dealer who had failed to force himself forward as a Government dealer in army remounts.  It was a crafty impudent action.  Counsel said that in everything said or done by Coronal Ferrer he acted as a gentleman, and the jury could not find that the words he used were spoken with malice against one whom he regarded with contempt.  Levinson was but a horse dealer in name, for the truth was that he could not tell the difference between an artillery horse and a zebra. (laughter).  But he was active in the plot to make a “corner” in army remounts.  It was well for him that he was dealing with chivalrous people who controlled the War Office, and not with his former clients, the Germans, who, in like circumstances, would probably hang him from the nearest lamppost.

Bunting, “a disgruntled horse dealer,” said council tried to bolster up this nefarious business, and they found Levinson buying up Caldwell, his partner, as part of the stock-in-trade, with a view to becoming an agent for the purchase of army horses, and to make exorbitant profits.  Colonel Ferrer, in what he did, was but doing his duty.  The jury would not assist the Russian Pole in accomplishing the purposes of his unholy creed.

Mr. Horner, KC, M.P. for the plaintiff said that it was unworthy to scoff at his German-born client, who had served in the Russian army and who had presented a hospital with 20 beds for British wounded soldiers, with two doctors, medicines, and nurses, and 40 acres of land.  The purpose of those opposing his client was to confine of the purchase of remounts to “three pet dealers” at war rates and give no others a look in.  Defendant’s purpose, apparently, was to enrich his three pals – the horse triumvirate – at the expense of others.


Fermanagh Times May 20th, 1915.  WAR NOTES AND INCIDENTS.  *At present, by not organising or taking forethought and by trusting to bad news to stimulate recruiting, the authorities are draining some of the best men from the ammunition factories, are filling the ranks with an undue proportion of married men, and are passing over hundreds of thousands of young “possibles” who declare they will not go on till they are “fetched”.  Such a model would be impossible in a nation really aroused and resolutely bent on welding utmost power into a single thunderbolt.

*Think of it – think of bombarding a city at a range of 23 miles and every shot a hit.  That’s what the Germans did at Dunkirk.

*A system of fines has been inaugurated by the Clyde trade unions whose members are engaged upon munition work.  Fines varying from £1 to £3 will be levied upon men who do not work full hours, and repetitions of the offence will be followed by still sterner action.  The unions are determined to weed out slackers, shirkers, and drinkers.

*Mr. G. N. Barnes, the well-known Labour M.P. and. Mr. W.H. Beveridge, the director and C. F. Rey, general manager of the Labour Exchanges Department in London, have left for Canada to engage suitable men for employment in this country in the production of munitions of war.

*During the six months I have been here I have seen many thousands of wounded, but never have I seen a more hideous sight than the sufferings of the Canadians who were “gassed” at Ypres.  To see all those brave fellows lying gasping in the sunshine outside the hospital, struggling with heaving chest to get their breath, was a heartrending spectacle and which aroused feelings of the deepest resentment against those responsible for such an outrage.  In these words did a medical officer of a casualty clearing station express his opinion of the latest method of warfare adapted adopted by the Germans.

*It is believed we are doing better in the way of munitions, and perhaps in enlistments, but with so much striking here and there, so much carping and cavilling; the Government even yet seems not quite the masters of the situation.  We can offer no opinion as to the truth or otherwise of Coronal Reppington’s complaint of the lack of ammunition at Ypres, but from what has happened its truth is too probable.

*Intense public indignation and discussed prevail over the strike of tramway men in the employment of the London County Council.  It is felt that, however serious the grievances, this interference in present circumstances with the carrying on of work in the metropolis is grossly unpatriotic and an encouragement to the enemy, who has openly proclaimed his belief that British labour would prove treacherous to British interests.

*If the rush of events did not cause people to forget so quickly they would remember Admiral Sir Percy Scot’s remarkable warnings about submarines, which were treated by the usual “experts” with the same contempt that our politicians expressed for Lord Robert’s urgent appeals.

*Why not mobilize the single young men of the country and thus stop the expense of the enlistment of married men when the young shirkers can be seen swaggering about our great cities any Sunday in their hundreds of thousands.


Fermanagh Times May 20th, 1915.  THE RESUMED INQUEST.  The inquest was resumed at Queenstown on Saturday on the victims of the Lusitania tragedy, the jury being sworn in respect of the death of Mrs. F.  King, Illinois.  District Inspector Armstrong deposed that 220 bodies had been brought into Queenstown, that 1,145 fire lives had been lost, and 773 saved.  The majority of the passengers were British subjects.  Coroner Rice said there was not in the whole history of warfare so appalling an instance of the effects of launching an attack without warning upon an unarmed ship which carried no contraband of war.  It was an atrocious, nefarious, and diabolical outrage, an insult alike to religion and humanity.  The jury found that Mrs. King was wilfully and unlawfully drowned by the crew of a German submarine, conveyed the deepest sympathy with the relatives and fellow countryman of the victims of this most atrocious murder, and professed abhorrence of the cowardly, unnatural, and unchristian conduct of the perpetrators of the abominable attack on non-combatants, men, women and children.


Fermanagh Times May 20th, 1915.  THE COMMANDER OF THE 1ST INNISKILLINGS KILLED.  In the casualty list is the name of Lieutenant-Colonel F.G. Jones, commanding the 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers who has died of wounds received in the Dardanelles, where the 1st Battalion of the Inniskillings form part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.  Lieutenant-Colonel Francis George Jones had a long and distinguished military career.  The deceased officer served in the South African war, and acted as adjutant of the 1st Battalion of the Inniskillings from the 16th of December, 1899 to the 24th of February, 1900.  He took part in the relief of Ladysmith, including the action of Colenso, and was also present at the actions of Spion Kop, Vaal Kranz, and Tugela Heights.


Fermanagh Times May 20th, 1915.  DEATH OF A FERMANAGH MAN IN CANADA.  The mail to hand from Canada brings the sad news of the death of Mr. William Hunter, son of the late Mr. Robert Hunter, of Tempo, at the comparatively early age of 55.  A Winnipeg correspondent writes: – An old Fermanagh man has just passed away here in the person of Mr. William Hunter, born in Tempo, Co., Fermanagh, the son of the founder of the well-known firm of Provision Merchants, F. Hunter & Co., of Enniskillen and Manchester, England.  Mr. Hunter arrived in Winnipeg seven years ago, being subsequently joined by his wife and son.  During their residence in Winnipeg Mr. and Mrs. Hunter made many new friendships of long standing with those of their own country, who are also pioneers in this important outpost of the British Empire.  Before coming to Canada Mr. Hunter had been for some years in Australia and also in South Africa where he was engaged in various activities and in the latter country was a member of the South African Field Force, and was in charge of the Search Light Apparatus at the De Beers Consolidated Mines during the memorable siege of Kimberley.


Fermanagh Times May 20th, 1915.  ANOTHER WINTER CAMPAIGN.  MORE HIGH EXPLOSIVE WANTED.  THE FRENCH SUCCESSES COMPARED WITH THE BRITISH.  Judging by a statement made by the London correspondent of the Manchester Guardian the British War Office are under the impression that the war is not likely to be over before the autumn, and that another winter campaign must be forced.  The military authorities have, he says, made up their minds to another winter campaign and the public must make up their minds to it too.  To shorten the duration of the war the troops require more high explosives, more howitzers and more men.  So writes the Times military correspondent in France.  He shows that the want of high explosives especially is a fatal bar to their success.  After such statements any men in England who, in the main munition areas, refuse to respond to the demands made upon them are acting criminally.  Because the French have sufficient high explosives they are able to level the parapets of the enemy to the ground and to penetrate with great effect into their lines.  It is computed that the Germans opposing the French have lost at least 20,000 men, when the British on the immediate left and before Ypres have caused the enemy a loss of 10,000.


Impartial Reporter. May 20 1915.  HOSPITAL ACCOMMODATION.  The demand, by reason of the greater number of our wounded soldiers, on all our hospitals are so great that a soldier invalided from the front and four convalescents were transferred from Belfast on Thursday to Enniskillen military hospital at the Redoubt, where there are some beds to spare.  We venture the thought that all the accommodation which the county can provide for wounded soldiers may become necessary, and it would be well to prepare for the possible – nay probable – eventualities.  Enniskillen Town hall would offer unusual facilities for a hospital, the major and minor halls being suitably placed, and provided with water supply and lavatory accommodation, while other rooms available would afford accommodation to nurses and for a surgery.  The kitchen also is provided with a range for cooking and there is a lift to the top floor.  Ballinamallard provided a small hospital of five beds.  We hope that it may be availed off for convalescents and being on the line of railway it would be easily accessible though very slightly outside the limits of distance from a ‘large’ town.  It would suit convalescents well so as to free beds for serious cases.  It seems almost certain that there will be another winter campaign, and that the casualties in both the Navy and the Army will be heavy.  We must grit our teeth and face the realities of the situation.


Impartial Reporter. May 20 1915.  THE GREAT SENSATION OF THE HOUR – A COALITION GOVERNMENT.  We have had in high places the very men who ought to have known everything, and who had prepared for the crisis; but instead of augmenting, they were reducing the Navy and Army and helping the enemies of the kingdom and weakening our own defences.  Only a fortnight ago a ship was done to death within sight of our own shores, and Mr. Churchill disavows all responsibility for it.  Of course he does.  All incompetents do the same.  No destroyer waited near the Fastnet in British waters for the Lusitania, and she was done to death with 1,500 souls on board and not a gunboat to aid her.  Lord Charles Beresford had again and again demanded fast cruisers and more fast cruisers for such purposes, and the Churchill’s and McKenna’s and other incompetently men of the Treasury Bench merely smiled at the patriot sailor who knew the needs of the sea and the muddling of those in high office.  And the man they regarded as a crank was right, and they were wrong.  The assumption by Mr. Churchill of the right to force his own idea of strategy on the  Admiralty without or against the approval of the First Sea Lord, such as was his first rash attack on the Dardanelles without the support of the army and led to the resignation of Lord Fisher.


Impartial Reporter. May 20 1915.  Private W.  A.  Lipsett.  From information received by relatives and friends from his comrades in the 10th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force, it is feared that private W. A. Lipsett, a son of the late Mr. Robert Lipsett, of Ballyshannon County Donegal, lost his life in leading a hand grenade charge against the German trenches during the fighting at Saint Julien.  Private Lipsett was a member of the Irish Bar, and left this country for Canada two or three years ago.  He came over with the first Canadian Expeditionary Force and went to the front with them.  His brother Lieutenant L. R. Lipsett, Army Service Corps, is also a member of the Irish Bar.  Both are cousins of Lieutenant Colonel Lipsett who was mentioned in the Canadian “Eye witness’s” account of the gallant stand made by the Colonial troops at Saint Julien.


Impartial Reporter. May 20 1915.  Death of  Brigadier General Cole.  Brigadier General Arthur Willoughby George Lowry Cole, C.B., D.S.O, whose death from wounds is reported from Headquarters in France, was a distinguished member of the Fermanagh family of which the Earl of Enniskillen is the head.  He was the eldest son of the late Colonel Arthur Lowry Cole, C.B., and Elizabeth Francis, daughter of the late Rear-Admiral Villiers Francis Hatton and grandson of the late General the Hon.  Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole G.C.B., M.P.


Impartial Reporter. May 20 1915.  WAR NEWS.  A winter campaign.  It is daily becoming more evident that we shall have to face a winter campaign.  The progress of the war, while very slow, is exceedingly heavy in casualties: decisive battles have not taken place, while on the other hand men are fighting day and night, and dying for us at home.  We must make up our minds for it – a winter campaign, and the absolute necessity for conscription to draw out the loafers and fill the ranks of an augmented army.

3000 butchers have ceased doing business in and around Liverpool owing to the greatly increased price of meat.  There is no demand

3000 Aliens have already been interned in England in the new camps, many of the Germans being voluntary surrenders.


Impartial Reporter. May 20 1915.  SCARING THE TURKS WHO HAVE A DREAD OF THE BAYONET.  SUCCESS IN THE DARDANELLES ASSURED.  Cairo, Monday.  An observer who has just returned from the Dardanelles describe the position of the Allies as all that could be desired from the point of view of strength and health.  The Turkish forces he said could not move the British from their present positions especially at Saribar, which was of great strategic importance. The British were biding their time.  A formidable task lay ahead, but success was assured.  The trenches are sometimes only 30 yards apart, and Turkish attacks were constantly repulsed.  The enemy would never face the British bayonet while the British were only held up by machine gun fire.  The observer added that the British had behaved splendidly, showing valour worthy of their highest traditions.  They had done all that was expected of them.


Impartial Reporter. May 20 1915.  THE INNISKILLINGS.  COLONEL JONES OF THE 27TH HAS DIED OF HIS WOUNDS.  We deeply regret to learn from the War Office returns that Lieutenant-Colonel Francis G.  Jones, commanding the first battalion Royal Inniskilling fusiliers has died of wounds received in action at the Dardanelles.  He was 51 years of age, and the eldest son of the late Rev. Edward George Jones of Cecilstown Lodge, Mallow County Cork.  Colonel Jones commanded the details of the Inniskillings at Enniskillen during the Boer War and subsequently served in the war and had 30 year’s service in the old battalion.


Impartial Reporter. May 20 1915.  EARL KITCHENER WANTS 300,000 MORE RECRUITS to form new armies.  So he said in a general statement in the House of Lords on Tuesday on the military situation.  ‘I have said that I would let the country know when more men should be wanted for the war.  The time has come and I now call for 300,000 recruits to form new armies.  Those who are engaged in the production of war material of any kind should not leave their work.  It is to men who are not performing this duty I appeal, and I am convinced that the manhood of England still available will loyally respond by coming forward to take their share in this great struggle for a great cause.  (Cheers.)


Fermanagh Herald May 22nd. 1915.  3000 BUTCHERS CLOSE DOWN.  CRISIS IN THE MEAT TRADE.  The war has hastened what appears to be a crisis in the meat trade.  The higher the price of meat goes the more difficult it becomes for a trader to keep his head above water.  And so we find on one hand the people clamouring against the extortionate prices charged by prosperous butchers, and on the other hand these butchers, by the thousand closing their shops, because it is better to be idle that to trade at a loss. Meat which was formerly 10½ to 11 pence per pound is now selling at one 1s 1d and 1s 2d and before the butcher can sell at a profit he would have to charge 1s 3d. Among the causes are: – Ireland is being drained of cattle and immature stocks are being killed, which will have a serious effect on the breeding for years to come. The same applies to sheep.  So many lambs are being slaughtered that stocks will be limited for a long time.  Enormous quantities of meat are being sent to the soldiers at the front, many of whom are eating twice as much meat as formerly.  The chilled meat trade is crippled by high sea freight rates for more ships are engaged in other duty, and it is asserted that what chilled meat is being sold in Liverpool is brought from London.  Finally owing to foot-and-mouth disease there is an embargo forbidding the importation of cattle from Canada and the Argentine.


Fermanagh Herald May 22nd. 1915.  FLIES ARE GERMANY’S ALLIES.  Flies are disease carriers.  There will be more disease in the Europe than ever this year owing to the war.  Flies, once more, are disease carriers.  Therefore kill them at any time, but more than ever this year; and kill them at any stage.  The only good fly is a dead one said Dr. R King Brown at the Institute of Hygiene, London.


Fermanagh Herald May 22nd. 1915.  THE HARDEST THREE DAYS THE SINCE OF THE MARNE.  How we took “the hypnotic hill.”  The hardest three days since the Marne is an officer’s comment on the fighting which began on Sunday and ended on Tuesday with the storming of hill 165 at Notre Dame de Lorette.

“Early on Sunday, he said, the brigade was shown the hill and told it must be taken at all costs.  The men of my regiment shouted for joy.  The hill had hypnotised them for weeks and weeks with its tiers of trenches up the slopes.  Our artillery, concealed in mounds to the west, thundered forth, preparing the way for us.  We could see the shrapnel bursting over the Germans and shells ploughing up their trenches, blowing into the air bodies which danced like figures on wires.  At 7.00 we started along the sunken roads and under cover of copses.  The first German trench was on the fringe of a little wood.  In spite of mitrailleuses we dashed forward with fixed bayonets and rushed the trench before the Germans could recover from their stupor.  We were now at the beginning of the slope.  The second trench was carried after a fierce struggle.  We rushed on over heaps of the bodies of the enemy.  A perfect hail from the crest made us waver, but we kept on, taking every scrap of cover and protected by our light artillery, which rained shells on the crest and swept away the barbed wire.

We were now galled by fire from a little wood on the left, and the advance was rendered difficult by bayonets planted point upwards in the ground, which impaled those who fell.  At 11 o’clock the German reserves appeared on the top in compact masses, and although our artillery made great gaps in them we had to retire with only 100 yards gained.  The next day the battle had to be fought all over again.  At last, on the third morning, thanks to a double turning movement, we carried the height.  German corpses were strewed on the ground in many places a yard high.  The enemy lost far more heavily than we, and my men as their share of the bag captured 300.


Fermanagh Herald May 22nd. 1915.  JOTTINGS.  The remainder of the Inniskilling Dragoons and Cycling Corps left Enniskillen on Saturday for Magilligan Camp.

Private James Lynch, a native of Enniskillen, has been killed in action.  He was shot in the breast and died eight hours afterwards.

On last Thursday evening five wounded soldiers arrived in Enniskillen and were brought in motor car as to the military hospital.  They received their wounds at the fight for Hill 60.

Dr. Knox, at the last meeting of the Lisnaskea Guardians, reported that three cases of typhoid fever had been admitted to the fever hospital, and that he had to requisition the services of a night nurse.

We desire to draw the attention of parents to the very attractive scheme of scholarships which are being offered by the Sisters of Mercy, Enniskillen.


Fermanagh Herald May 22nd. 1915.  THE COMMANDER OF THE FIRST INNISKILLINGS, LIEUTENANT-COLONEL F.  G.  JONES IS KILLED.  He has died of wounds received in the Dardanelles where the 1st Battalion of the Inniskillings form part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.  Lieutenant-Colonel Francis George Jones had a long and distinguished military career.  He served in Burma in 1892/3 and in the North West Frontier of India 1897/8 and also served in their South African WAR.  He took part in the relief of Ladysmith, including the action at Colenso, and was also present at the actions at Spion Kop, Vaal Kranz and Tugela Heights.


Fermanagh Herald May 22nd. 1915.  AGAINST LADY CONDUCTORS.  Tramway employees of the British Electric Traction Co., in South Staffordshire area, comprising a network of services, decided at a meeting on Saturday to demand an increase of half a penny an hour in wages, and the abolition of lady conductors now being trained.  Failing satisfaction, the men have decided to cease work on Saturday next.


Fermanagh Herald May 22nd. 1915.  ITALY DECLARES WAR.  Rome, Sunday. It is officially announced that Italy has declared war against Austria.  Its army and navy are mobilised and 1,200,000 troops are ready to fight.  The Italian Ambassador at Vienna has been recalled. A state of war between Italy and Austria will begin tomorrow, May 24th.  Continued animation prevails in the city.  The soldiers are everywhere acclaimed with enthusiasm.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  THREE TRAINS CRASH INTO EACH OTHER.  THE MOST APPALLING DEATH-ROLL EVER RECORDED IN BRITISH RAILWAY DISASTERS.  MANY SOLDIERS AMONG THE VICTIMS.  The most disastrous accident ever recorded in this country occurred on the Caledonian Railway close to Carlisle early on Saturday morning.  The three trains involved in the disaster where: – a fast train travelling from Carlisle south with a battalion of the Royal Scots carrying about 500 men; a local train which left Carlisle for the north at 6.10 a.m. and the London to Glasgow Express which left Euston at midnight.  The local train was standing on the slip line to allow the fast Carlisle train to pass when it was dashed into by the troop train.  Then, into the wreckage and scenes of death already wrought by the collision of the two first trains – the express from Carlisle.  Words fail to describe what followed.  The following can be taken as the figures up to the present: – bodies recovered or died in hospital 170, number of injured about 300.  All these did not come by their deaths or injuries through the collision.  Fire broke out in the troop train through gas ignition and this horror also claimed its victims.  The scene of the tragedy is Quinton Hill two miles distant from Gretna Green, with its romantic memories of fugitive marriages.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  HEROISM REWARDED.  BOA ISLAND TRAGEDY RECALLED.  In the courthouse, Enniskillen, yesterday (Wednesday) Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Cullen, Ardshankill, Boa Island, Kesh, were presented with two handsomely framed certificates and a cheque for £5 from the Carnegie Hero Fund for their heroism in saving the lives of William Snow and Thomas McCabe on the 24th of December last.  It will be remembered by our readers that the boat in which Snow, McCabe and a man named Gibson were crossing to Boa Island capsized.  Cullen and his wife hearing their cries for help rowed 400 yards to the rescue and succeeded, with great difficulty and risk to themselves, in saving the first two named but Gibson was drowned.  The presentation was publicly made by Mr. J.  E.  Collum, His Majesty’s Lieutenant, Fermanagh, who congratulated them on their heroic act.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  LOCAL NEWS.  *Leading short manufacturers in Derry have been receiving contracts from the War Office for 300,000 army shirts.

*A woman named Annie White, about 40 years of age, who was sentenced to one months imprisonment at Omagh Petty Sessions for insubordination at the Workhouse, was being conveyed in the train to Derry Jail and when about ½ mile from the city she suddenly thrust her hand out of the window, opened the door, jumped out and was killed.

*By order of Colonel Fagan in command of the Lough Swilly defences, the hours during which men in uniform may be served in licenced houses in Enniskillen are from 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. This order supersedes the old order which permitted the men to be served between 5.00 p.m. and 10 pm.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  FERMANAGH, ACCORDING TO THE MILITARY AUTHORITIES themselves, has already done fairly well in supplying recruits for the new armies, and there can be no doubt that has done splendidly in proportion to its population, compared with very many other counties in Ireland.  Its resources, however, in this direction have been by no means exhausted, or even very seriously affected, and consequently there is ample scope for the operations of the district committee is formed yesterday Wednesday to stimulate recruiting in different parts of the county.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  MOTORING SEASON IN FERMANAGH.  NEW LIGHTWEIGHT MOTOR CYCLE.  With the advent of good weather and drier roads motor cyclists are making their appearance on our Fermanagh roads in increasingly large numbers and all sorts and conditions of machines are daily to be seen passing through Enniskillen and other towns in the county.  The motor cycle as a means of rapid, economical and healthy travelling has beyond doubt come to stay and the largest motor firms in Great Britain are catering more and more for the swiftly growing demand which has of late years arisen for these machines.  This season there is an exceptionally keen demand for reliable light weight motor bicycles which can be purchased at a moderate figure, and in order to satisfy this demand in the County Fermanagh and the adjacent districts Mr. Josiah Maguire, Darling Street, Enniskillen, has just placed on the market two machines of this description which merit more than passing notice on the part of those thinking of embarking upon a new purchase. One of these is a two-stroke” which has been appropriately named the “Erne” and which is certain to become very popular as soon as its merits and reliability have become properly known.  A representative of the Fermanagh Times has inspected the machine during the week and the following description of its principal parts would give our motoring readers some idea of it. Price – single speed model 25 guineas; two speed counter shaft model £33; two speed countershaft gear and free engine clutch £35.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  THE GOVERNMENT AND RACE MEETINGS.  A REQUEST FOR GENERAL SUSPENSION IN GREAT BRITAIN.  NEWMARKET EXCEPTED.  The following letter has been sent by Mr. Runciman to the Jockey Club on the subject of race meetings.

Dear Captain Greer, – the Government have ascertained and appreciate the motives actuating the Stewards of the Jockey Club in continuing to give their sanction to those of the race meetings which have taken place since the outbreak of the war and we have been fully conscious of your desire to protect the interests of those persons who are dependent upon horse racing and horse breeding for their livelihood.

The general feeling on both sides of the House of Commons is, however, so strongly against the meetings being continued that the government have felt the present moment opportune for further consideration of the subject.  I have to inform you that owing to the circumstances of the war, and in particular the necessity for keeping the whole of our British railway system free from congestion at any time for the rapid and unimpeded transit of troops and of munitions, and the special conditions of the munition areas, think it necessary to ask the Stewards of the Jockey Club to suspend all race meetings in Great Britain after this week for the duration of the war.  The only exception to this general suspension should be at Newmarket, the particular circumstances and industries of which, dependent as they are entirely on racing, combine to make this exception expedient.  Yours very truly, Walter Runciman.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  STEWARDS COMPLY WITH THE REQUEST.  Speaking at a dinner given by the British Industries Fair in London on Thursday night Mr. Runciman said the seriousness of the national task before the country could not be exaggerated.  Referring to his letter to the Senior Stewards of the Jockey Club, he said that the Stewards at once complied with the request, and from the end of this week, with the exception of Newmarket, they would not sanction any race meeting until peace was declared.  This was a striking instance of the sacrifices the people at home were prepared to make, while the younger generation were doing their work at the front.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  IRISH RACING.  As Mr. Runciman’s letter particularly mentions Great Britain racing in Ireland is apparently excepted from the request of the Government and the decision of the Stewards.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  PLAIN SPEAKING ABOUT THE WAR.  EXTRAORDINARY ALLEGATIONS.  THE SCANDAL OF THE SHELLS.  LORD KITCHENER’S GRAVE ERROR.  (From the Daily Mail.)  The new government may have to bear the brunt of much darker days than any we have yet faced.  It is possible that the men whose names will be put before the nation in the next few days may be responsible to the country at the time of an actual attempted invasion – the first invasion on any scale of importance since 1066.  For we do not believe for one moment that the Germans are keeping their vast fleet of warships and transports rotting in idleness.  We believe that when the hour suits them – perhaps in some last moment of desperation – their fleet will strike with the intention of terrifying the people of these are islands into a peace on their own terms.  That is why it is so vitally urgent that the two most important factors in our national life at the present time – the organisation of the Navy and the organisation of the Army – should be placed in the best available hands and at once.


It is now an open secret that the Navy has suffered seriously during the past nine months by the quarrel between Lord Fisher and Mr. Churchill – the quarrel between the professional expert of lifelong experience and the politician.  At the time of writing we are not yet assured that the control of the Navy is where it should be – in the untrammelled hands of Lord Fisher.


Then comes the great question of the Army.  In the dark days when Lord Haldane – who, we can definitely say, is going – showed signs of renewed tinkering with the Army, The Daily Mail suggested that Lord Kitchener should take charge of the raising of the new troops.  Lord Kitchener at once saw the size of that part of his job, and that part of the work was done as well as anyone could do it.  We have never liked, and the public have never liked, the use of Lord Kitchener’s name – instead of the King’s – in connection with these armies and the public has greatly disliked some of the publishing methods employed by Lord Kitchener, but it has pardoned them in the urgent need of the moment, and the soldiers are there – how many nobody knows; German estimates place them at two million, though they say that these men are largely unprovided with arms.  Whether the Germans are right or wrong we do not know.  But what we do know is that Lord Kitchener has starved the Army in France of high-Explosive shells.


The German aeroplanes which hover over our positions all day long know how we stand at the front in regard to numbers of men, and the work of the German spies at the ports of departure in England and those of arrival in France adds to their information. A Liberal newspaper which is in very close touch with the Government yesterday (Thursday) spoke of the quarrel between Lord Kitchener and Sir John French.  There should be no such quarrel.  It has never been pretended that Lord Kitchener is a soldier in the sense that Sir John French is a soldier.  Lord Kitchener is a gatherer of men – and a very fine gatherer too.  But his record in the South African War as a fighting general – apart from his excellent organising work as Chief of the Staff – was not brilliant.  The opinion which Lord Roberts expressed as to his handling of troops at Paardeberg is well known, and we have never met a soldier who held any other opinion.  Nothing in Lord Kitchener’s experience suggest that he has the qualifications required for conducting a European campaign in the field, and we can only hope that no such misfortune will befall this nation as that he should be permitted to interfere with the actual strategy of this gigantic war.


The admitted fact that Lord Kitchener ordered the wrong kind of shell –the same kind of shell which he used largely against the Boers in 1900 – has alarmed the whole army in France and also the armies of our Allies.  He persisted in sending shrapnel, a useless weapon in trench warfare.  It is now admitted that he was warned repeatedly that the kind of shell required was a violently explosive bomb which would dynamite its way through the German trenches, and entanglements and enable our brave men to advance safely.  The kind of shell our poor soldiers have had has caused the deaths of thousands of them.  Incidentally it has brought about a national crisis and the formation of what we hope he’s going to be a National Government.

We are not a military nation, and therefore do not understand the difference between soldiers and soldiers.  Sir John Collins is a great soldier, one of the greatest soldiers in the world.  It is to him we owe the superb arrangements for the feeding of our troops.  Sir William Robertson, Sir John French’s Chief of Staff, is a great soldier.  To him is due the fine Staff work of the British Army in France.  Lord Kitchener is a great soldier.  We owe to Sir John French the leadership which has enabled a handful of men from the British Islands, their Dominions, and India to hold back the mightiest army in the world, the remorseless horde which has been preparing for this particular struggle for 44 years.  Not being a military nation we do not know how to discriminate between various types of soldiers.  It by any mischance Lord Kitchener went to France to conduct the campaign we should probably have a costly object lesson in the difference between African and European warfare.  It is to be hoped that Lord Kitchener – with proper and necessary assistance – will remain at the War Office, though when compulsory service comes his sphere of usefulness will, of course, be greatly diminished.

That compulsion is coming and coming soon, is proved by the extremities to which Lord Kitchener is reduced.  The advertisement he published yesterday urging the enlistment of men of 40, married men – which we greatly regret having printed and which The Daily Mail will decline to print again – is proof of it.  Men of 40 should not be used until the recruiting powers of the country are exhausted.  The expenditure that is coming upon this nation in the near future in the matter of the dependants of married men who have been advertised into the Army is one nobody thinks off in this moment of extravagance.  The expense, however, is a small part of it.  There are the breakup of homes, the breakup of businesses which follow the enlistment of married men, the sorrow and grief of wives and children that should be considered.  It is no testimony to Lord Kitchener’s organising ability that this gross unfairness should continue.  Rather it is an indication that his life in India and Egypt has made him unacquainted with British conditions.  We invite him on Sunday to take a stroll down Oxford Street to the City and return by the Strand.  He would meet some thousands of capable young “slackers” who are staying at home and, as one of our correspondents said yesterday, stealing the businesses of married men who have gone to the front.  In the midst of all the confusion of cabinet making the vital question of the Navy, the shortage of high explosive shells, and the sending of men to France are being forgotten.  True, it may only be a matter of a few days, but, as someone has remarked recently, things happen at such a pace in 1915 that the events which would fill six months of an ordinary year are crowded into a single week.  Our little Army cannot wait.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  THE POLITICAL CRISIS.  FOUR MAIN REASONS.  One – the quarrel between Mr. Churchill and Lord Fisher at the Admiralty; a conflict which began with the undertaking of the Dardanelles expedition.  Mr. Churchill carried the War Council on this, and it was undertaken before the Cabinet were informed.  The Cabinet were committed to it by the movement of ships before they had any formal notification.  Lord Fisher, for his part, considered that the enterprise should not have been begun unless it was supported by land forces, but he also was committed to it.  Mr. Churchill was counting on the support of Greek forces on land, a calculation which was not justified by the event.  It is now hoped that Lord Fisher will withdraw his resignation, and the possibility of Mr. Churchill being placed at the India Office is being discussed.


Two – the Cabinet have not been kept informed by Lord Kitchener as to supplies of high-explosive shells sent out to our troops at the front.  It is the fact that huge supplies of shells  have been, and are being sent out but the proportion of shrapnel is greater than the proportion of high-explosives shell, and the Army Command require that the proportion of high-explosives shells should be greater.  The fact that the Cabinet have been to some extent kept in the dark of late on this matter accounts for some apparent discrepancies in recent ministerial statements.


Three – the opposition leaders were in possession of facts as to the high-explosive shells and threatened a debate in the House of Commons, in which their statements should be proved.  Such a debate would have gravely undermined the authority of the Government and coupled with the resignation of Lord Fisher with a consequent disappearing either of the First Sea Lord or Mr. Churchill, would, in all human probability, have led to the disastrous downfall of the King’s Government in the midst of the national peril of this war, with consequences most lamentable.


Four – there have been on both sides, some leading statesmen in favour of a Coalition Ministry for the prosecution of the war.  They are few, but influential.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  FIVE BROTHERS KILLED IN ACTION.  Five brothers named Furey, all belonging to the Connaught Rangers, have been killed in action.  There are three other brothers in the army, one of them, Private W.  Furey of the3rd Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers, stationed at Derry has received notification of the death of the fifth brother, a native of Loughrea.  Their mother, a widow, has received a letter of sympathy from Lord Kitchener and expresses appreciation of the patriotism of her family.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  RECRUITING IN FERMANAGH.  DISTRICT COMMITTEES FORMED.  Mr. E.M. Archdale said he thought the fairest means of getting men was conscription.  If it was enforced it would not take the good men and leave the “shirkers” at home all fit men would have to go. He hoped sincerely from the bottom of his heart that the Coalition Government would have the pluck to bring in conscription. The chairman of Fermanagh County Council, Mr. J. McHugh was unanimously elected Chairman of the Fermanagh Committee.  Mr. McHugh, who thereupon took the chair, returned thanks for the honour and said that although he had no family of his own he had two nephews, one engaged repelling the Turks and one on a British cruiser.  (Hear, hear).  He would only be too happy to see everyone rallying around the flag to ward off the Kaiser. (Hear, hear). Among the list of committee members in different areas are – Belleek and Garrison – Messrs. F.  Leonard, P.  Ferguson, E. Elliott, J. J. Acheson, G.  Maye, J.  Tierney, P. Scott, J. P.; J. Timoney, J. P.; Thomas Daly, James Cleary and H. Wilson.


Kesh and Pettigo.  Messrs. W. J. May, J. R. Crozier, J. P.; A. Gibson, R. Phillips, J. P.; Adam Ogle, J. McElroy, John McHugh, James Aiken, Irvine Ingram, W. P. D. Irvine, James Murphy and Dr. Patton.

These committees were given power to add to their number and it was decided that the clergymen of the different denominations should be ex-officio members of the local committees.  Major Johnston mentioned that he got very little assistance in most of the districts he had visited on recruiting missions with the exception of Belleek, Pettigo and Newtownbutler.  He remarked that Fr. O’Doherty had sent him in a number of men and Mr. Michael McCusker (Derrygonnelly) had brought him five recruits that morning.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  AIR CRAFT AND BIG BOMBS.  The French aviators have shown great activity all along the front and have succeeded in several bomb throwing adventurers.  They have thrown 203 projectiles of which 83 were large bombs of 10 kilos each and 14 shells of 155 calibre weighing 43 kilos each.  The efficiency of the explosives was verified at several points notably at the German Aviation Depot S. E. Roisel, where a shed and a machine took fire, and the German Reserve Park for Aircraft at Grand Priel, N.  W. of St. Quentin where a part of a roof was broken down and a petrol depot hit.  During the preceding night four shells were thrown on the Railway Station at Douai and a fire was seen to break out in the neighbourhood of the goods shed.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  THINGS PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW.  *What do shopkeepers in Enniskillen think of the system of street sweeping by our Corporation workmen, which fills their premises and covers their goods with a thick cloud of dust of the most objectionable kind?  At least one shop in East Bridge Street had to close its doors altogether one morning unto the street sweeping in its vicinity had concluded.  Who is responsible for this unsatisfactory and insanitary method of working?

*If the discussion on recruiting, which took place at Lisnaskea District Council does not throw some light upon the influences which are quietly at work in some parts of Fermanagh – as elsewhere – to prevent young men of joining the army at the present time?

Is it not a matter of concern to know that the number of people admitted into Omagh Lunatic Asylum from County Fermanagh is increasing although our population is seriously that decreasing and is that institution not unhealthily overcrowded at the present time?

*How many yards up or down the streets of Enniskillen can a soldier now walk without having to salute to an officer?  And in a small place like this where the same officers and men meet perhaps 20 times in the course of a day there should not be some temporary modification of this ceremony.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  LOCAL MILITARY NEWS.  Lieutenant Knight and his party who continue to have very satisfactory results in the recruiting campaign throughout the county, travelled to Ederney on Friday.  The people of the village give them a most hospitable reception.  Refreshments were supplied and an open air meeting was held, over which Mr. J. R. Crozier, J. P., presided and delivered a rousing speech.  Brief addresses were also made by Mr. Adam Ogle, Sergeant O’Reilly, R.I.C, Kesh; ex-Sergeant William Herrerin (late the 3rd Battalion Inniskillings), and Lieutenant Knight.

Afterwards the party marched to Lack where they were again well received.  Later in the day they were enthusiastically welcomed by the people of Irvinestown.  Tea was supplied to them in Mr. Edward Johnson’s Commercial Hotel where, as usual “the thing was well done”.  The principal movers in regard to the reception were we are informed Dr. Aiken and Messrs.  Oliver Emery, John Armstrong, W. McNeill and Edward Johnson.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  THE BATTLE OF YPRES.  TWENTY DAYS FIGHTING.  Our losses may have been heavy says a correspondent and the sacrifices great but the main thing is that the Germans failed in their attempt to break our line, though their troops were superior in numbers and their guns more numerous than ours.  The battle really began on April 20th, when the Germans began heavy shelling of Ypres, which continued for two days, with occasional infantry attacks.  The Rifle Brigade opened a withering fire upon the advancing columns of the Germans with machine guns they had brought with them.  On May 3rd of the occupation of the new line was ordered, and the troops were gradually withdrawn from the trenches, picked shots successfully holding back the enemy.  The

R.A.M. C.  Territorials cheerfully faced the danger of the shell-swept area, and as soon as dark had fallen went boldly out of cover, and succeeded in collecting nearly all the casualties.  Dispatch riders constantly carried important orders through a road over which a curtain of shell was maintained.  If one man was killed than another took his place and the dispatch reached its destination.  Special praise is given to the 8th Territorial Battalion Durham Light Infantry in its splendid feat in relieving the Canadians.

Private Lynn (Lancashire Fusiliers) without stopping to put on his respirator turned his machine gun on the advancing gas, and also on the German trenches beyond it.  Even when the gas reached him he would not stop, but kept up a fierce fire compelling the enemy to retire and he had to be literally dragged away from his gun.  He was removed by ambulance, and died the same day.

The Captain of the 2nd Monmouths, who was wounded in two places in the head, refused to leave his men, and carried on till he became unconscious.  When he was picked up he was found to be suffering from two other wounds in the body.  In the attack on St. Julien on April 25th one portion of the trenches where Captain Railston (1st Rifle Brigade) was in command was almost blotted out by the enemy’s fire, and men were falling on all sides.  A retirement was suggested, but Captain Railston retorted, “Retire, be damned”, and carried on so successfully in a ruined trench, that though he was buried twice and wounded by a shell he bluffed the Germans during the whole day.  Only three men besides himself were left, and yet by running up and down the trench and firing several rounds rapidly when any German advance was attempted these four heroes kept the enemy back till two companies of the regiment arrived in support.

Sergeant Cooke, Dublin Fusiliers, had perched himself on the top of a farm, from which he could look down upon the German trenches.  In one of them he saw an officer and 10 men crawling along the back of the trench, and with the extraordinary coolness he picked off the men one by one.  Then hurrying down from his point of vantage he ran into the other end of the trench and levelling his rifle at the astonished lieutenant shouted “Hands up”.  A few minutes later Cook walked back to his own lines triumphantly escorting his prisoner.

Major Crichton was shot down and his leg shattered, but he refused to be removed, staying with his men, the 10th Hussars.  He sat there on the ground waving his arms and cheering them on, ever exhorting them to renewed efforts.


Fermanagh Times May 27th, 1915.  INNISKILLINGS HEAVY LOSSES.  The 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskillings Fusiliers have apparently been engaged in heavy fighting in France or Belgium.  For some days passed the relatives of a large number of men of the Inniskillings have been receiving notification of casualties from the War Office and Tuesday mornings casualty list contains the names of no fewer than nine officers of, or attached to, the 2nd Battalion, whilst a tenth has been privately notified.  Three of the officers mentioned have been killed and seven wounded.


Impartial Reporter. May 27 1915.  AS SEEN IN A HOSPITAL HOW OUR MEN SUFFER.  Mr. Alex Powell, an American, writing of what he saw in the hospital at Bailleul, so close to the firing line that the window panes rattled with the concussion of the musket fire, says in the course of a long and interesting article – The surgeon in charge took me to the ward which contained the more serious cases.  In a cot beside the door was stretched a young Canadian.  His face might have been stepped upon by a giant in spiked shoes.  ‘Look,’ said the surgeon, and lifted the woollen blanket.  That man’s body looked like a field which had been gone over with a disc harrow.  His feet, his legs, his abdomen, his chest, his face were furrowed with gaping angry wounds.  ‘He was shot through the hand,’ explained the surgeon.  ‘He made his way back to the dressing station in the reserve trenches, but just as he had reached it a shell exploded at his feet.’

I patted him on the shoulder, and told him that I too knew the land of the great forests and the rolling prairies, and that before long he was going back to it.  And though he couldn’t speak he turned that poor, torn face of his and smiled at me.  He must have been suffering the tortures of the damned, but he smiled at me, – I tell you – he smiled at me.


Impartial Reporter. May 27 1915.  FEELING AGAINST  MR. CHURCHILL. A strong feeling of hostility has developed in the Liberal Party against the inclusion of Mr. Churchill in the new Ministry.  It is felt by the greater number of Liberals that Mr. Churchill, by his rashness and impatience, has been one of the chief factors in jeopardising the Liberal Government’s fortunes, and that although the party are indebted to him in the past for great services, he is in no different position in this respect from other able Ministers who are now, from patriotic motives, relinquishing their offices to make room for Unionists.


Impartial Reporter. May 27 1915.  THE TURKS ARE ADEPT AT SNIPING.  THEY KILL OFF OUR OFFICERS.  A deplorable feature of our casualty lists continues to be the high percent of officers killed and wounded.  Colonial officers suffered in the charge of May 8 as heavily as British officers on other occasions in the Dardanelles. There can be no doubt that the German officers have carefully coached their men to recognise and pick off our officers.  The Turks, indeed show special aptitude for the art of sniping.  After every advance days are passed before solitary snipers could be cleared out of the occupied area.  They hide themselves in burrows with a week’s provisions and 1,000 rounds of ammunition.


Fermanagh Herald May 29nd. 1915.  THE NORTHCLIFFE PRESS AND LORD KITCHENER.  A SCENE ON THE STOCK EXCHANGE.  A remarkable scene occurred on Friday in the Stock Exchange of a demonstration in favour of Lord Kitchener on account of an article attacking him which appeared in in the “Daily Mail.” A meeting of members was held at 2.30, when Mr. Charles Clarke, one of the most popular men on the Exchange, made a short speech eulogising the Secretary for War and a resolution was passed expressing the entire confidence of the members in Lord Kitchener and strong indignation at the venomous attacks which had been made upon him.  A telegram embodying the terms of the resolution was sent to the Prime Minister.  Loud cheers for Lord Kitchener were then given by the large crowd assembled, and the incident ended with the burning of their “Daily Mail.”


Fermanagh Herald May 29nd. 1915.  A SCURRILOUS AND MENDACIOUS ATTACK.  The Daily Chronicle says: – If this country were Russia, Germany or Austria the attack on Lord Kitchener which was made yesterday in the Times and Daily Mail would have had a swift sequel.  Lord Northcliffe would have been taken out into a courtyard and shot within 48 hours.  That is not a conjecture but a statement of fact.  If it were France or Italy he would probably have been lynched within a shorter interval, and his premises at Carmelite Street and Printing House Square would certainly have been gutted.  What is to be done in face of such a danger as these anti-patriotic journals present?  If the new Coalition Government ignores it, as it has been officially ignored hitherto it will go the way of its predecessor.


Fermanagh Herald May 29nd. 1915.  Gunfire and rainfall.  Dr. H. R. Hill, Director of the British Rainfall Organisation, at a meeting of the Royal Meteorological Society discredited the theory that the heavy rainfall of last winter was due to the firing at the seat of war.  In the same way he said, the heavy winter of 1903 had been explained by the general adoption of wireless telegraphy.  The fact that 1873 was equally if not wetter without the aid of Hertzian waves and that no year since 1903 had been nearly so wet in spite of the enormous increase of radio telegraphy, showed the fallacy of the inference.


Fermanagh Herald May 29nd. 1915.  THE CENSORSHIP.  FIVE TONS OF MAILS ARE EXAMINED EACH WEEK.  From 30,000 to 50,000 telegrams pass through the hands of the censors in the United Kingdom every 24 hours.  The censors are mainly retired naval and military officers.  All mails which have to be censored are necessarily subjected to some delay, but harmless letters whether private or commercial are not stopped, even when coming from an enemy country or addressed to an enemy person.  No letter however, addressed to an enemy country can be transmitted unless its envelope is left open and is enclosed in a cover addressed to a neutral country.  Letters in which any kind of code or secret writing is used are liable to be stopped even if the message appears to be harmless and totally unconnected with the war.  In the private branch more than a ton of mail matter is censored every week exclusive of parcels.


Fermanagh Herald May 29nd. 1915.  JOTTINGS.  There Enniskillen Guardians have decided to procure the new ferry boat and to have one of the existing two repaired and the other one sold.  Mr. Gilligan and Mr. Liddy were unanimously appointed to look after the matter.

At a meeting of the County Fermanagh Grand Orange Lodge, held on Thursday evening, it was resolved that owing to the war and the death of a large number of officers and men the longing to the Order, not to hold the usual demonstration in the county on the 12th of July.

Among those wounded in the war who have written home to their relatives are: – Private Patrick Reilly, 14 Dame Street, Enniskillen Private F. Fitzpatrick writing to his sister at number 11 Strand Street Enniskillen. Major C.  C.  Mason, of the Australian infantry wounded at the Dardanelles is a nephew of Mr. JC Mason, J.P. of the Moy, Enniskillen.  Private Patrick Durnian of Monmurry, Brookeborough, who volunteered from Glasgow has been wounded in action and the relatives of Private John Baxter another Brookeborough man in the Inniskillings, have had similar news concerning him.

His mother at Maguiresbridge has been notified that Private George Stewart, of the Canadian contingent has been wounded in action.  Before emigrating eight years ago, he was in the employment of the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway at Enniskillen and as war was declared became one of the first to volunteer from Montreal when the war broke out, sailing with the first contingent.

DEATHS. Killed in action at Ypres, on the 22nd of April, William A. Lipsett, barrister-at-law aged 29, of the Grenade company 10th Battalion, 1st Canadian Division.  Youngest son of the late Robert Lipsett and Mrs. Lipsett, Ballyshannon.  He fell gallantly leading a hand grenade charge on the night of April 22.

The legendary voyage of Maeldun.

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Muldoon of “The Kingdom of Lurg,” County Fermanagh – as well known in a different way as St. Columbanus in Europe.


Muldoon is an Irish family name and to be exact a notable Fermanagh name. It is represented throughout the world where descendants of emigrants of people bearing that name have settled; e.g. USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other countries. It is an Anglicization of the Irish Ó Maoldúin, “descended from Maoldúin,” which in turn was a legendary first name. This name means king or chieftain of the fort. According to the Annals of Loch Cé, they were said to be of royal birth and styled themselves as the Kings of Lurg, in Co. Fermanagh. The Barony of Lurg is in north-west Fermanagh around Ederney and Lack and with their headquarters near Lack in the townland of Seemuldoon meaning the seat of the Muldoons. The family logo is Pro Fide Et Patria, Latin for “For Faith And Country.”


John O’Donovan the famous Irish antiquarian who compiled a series of Letters from Fermanagh while engaged with the Ordnance Survey in 1834 writes – Tuath Luirg, sometimes called Fir and Feara Luirg. It is now called the barony of Lurg, situated in the northwest of Fermanagh. This was the patrimonial inheritance of Maoldúin, who was also tributary to Maguire. The following curious passage occurs in the Annals under the year 1369 respecting this place: – “Maoldúin (Donnell) Lord of Tuath Luirg, was slain by the sons of Niall O’Donnell, who carried the spoils of his territory with them to Badhbha,(Boa Island) one of the islands of Lough Erne. To avenge the death of his oglach, Maoldúin, Philip Maguire, Lord of the seven Tuaths (i.e. Lord of the seven territories into which his principality of Fermanagh was divided) sailed with a large fleet to the island upon which the sons of O’Donnell were, anda naval engagement took place on that part (division) of the Lough (near the island) called Fionnloch, (Between Boa Island and the Pettigo side of the island) in which Niall Oge O’Donnell was slain.” The Muldoons are numerous in the Co. yet.


Donovan goes on – Lurg meaning a mark, trail or track is recorded as a Kingdom in the Annals in the year 1039. The clan O Maoldúin, anglicised Muldoon held the territory. Tuath-Luirg, one of Maguire’s seven Tuathas or Lordships is now called “The Lurg” and the inhabitants of the baronies of Fermanagh look upon them as people in themselves, differing from the rest in customs and manners and in a great degree in dialect. “The men of Lurg” is as common an expression now as Feara Luirg was six hundred years ago.  Muldoons, no longer chiefs, nor higher than the rank of farmers, but they are said to be very decent respectable men, fond of justice and able to fight. A dozen of the warlike “men of Lurg” would beat a funeral of the men of any other barony in the county. They are tall and stout with large heads and round faces.

From Muldoon the son of Tuathal, who was son of Daimhin, &c. &c., are descended the O’Dourish’s, O’Roddaghans, O’Kevins, O’Fedegans, O’Murregans, O’Dunaghans.


pic1The tale of Mael Duin is the earliest known Celtic travel myth. It formed the basis of many others, including “The Voyage of St. Brendan,” one of the most popular stories of medieval Europe. Mael Duin was the son of a nun and a famous warrior named Ailill Edge-of-Battle. Before the birth of Mael Duin, Ailillwas killed in combat and when Mael Duin grew to manhood, he vowed to avenge the death of his father. A druid told him that the land where the killers lived could be reached only by sea, and that Mael Duin must take with him no more than seventeen men; however, as Mael Duin set sail, his three foster brothers jumped into the waves lapping around the boat and begged to be allowed to accompany him. To save them from a watery grave, Mael Duin pulled them from the water and dragged them on board.


After one day and half a night of constant rowing, the company came to two small islands…the home of those who had slaughtered Ailill. Mael Duin made ready to land, but a sudden tempest blew the boat far out to sea. “This is all your fault,” Mael Duin berated his foster brothers. “Because of your actions, I have been forced to disobey the druid’s instructions!” The storm continued and, eventually, Mael Duin and his band strayed among the magic islands of the Otherworld. One was inhabited by giant ants; another by giant horses and a third by a beast that alternately revolved within its skin or had the skin revolve around its body. From the high cliffs of one island, Mael Duin seized a twig that bore three magic apples, each of which fed the entire crew for forty days. On yet another, they gathered fruit in orchards tended by red, fiery pigs whose underground sites provided heat for the whole island. When all the fruit had gone, they found another island on which stood a white tower with rooms full of food and treasures being well-guarded by a cat. Beneath its watchful gaze, they ate their fill, but as they were leaving, one of Mael Duin’s foster brothers snatched a necklace from the wall. At once, the cat leapt right through him, reducing his body to cinders.


pic2On the next island, there lived two flocks of sheep…one white and one black. They were divided by a wall and watched over by a giant who would occasionally pick up a sheep and put it on the other side of the wall, whereupon it would change colour. After this, came an island full of people with dusky skins who were weeping piteously. When the second of Mael Duin’s foster brothers landed on this island, his skin too darkened and he began to weep. Despite all efforts to rescue him, the crew was obliged to leave him there and continue without him.


Now with just one excess passenger aboard, Mael Duin sailed on. They encountered a bronze-doored fortress, accessible only by a glass bridge; an island which had started as a sod of Irish soil, but which each year grew a foot in breadth and sprouted a new tree; the Isle of Prophecy, whose inhabitants shouted, “It is they!” and pelted them with nuts; a gigantic silver column, from the top of which a giant trawled a silver net; and, finally, the Isle of Women, where Mael Duin and his men found wives and were promised eternal youth. Mael Duin married the queen of this island. After three months, the crew grew homesick and demanded to leave. As they sailed away, the queen threw Mael Duin a length of twine which stuck to his hand and allowed her to draw them back. Three months later, they tried again, but the same thing happened. At the third attempt, realizing that their leader secretly desired to stay, a crewman severed Mael Duin’s hand as he caught the rope and the ship finally made its escape.

pic3Onward they voyaged, past more strange islands, until they came to the Isle of the Laughing Folk, where everyone lived in perpetual joy. The men drew lots to determine who should be the first to land. Mael Duin’s third foster brother won. He set foot on the island and immediately began laughing and singing along with the rest of the inhabitants. He could not be persuaded to leave, so there he remained as the ship sailed away. With no illicit crew members on board, Mael Duin could now return home. A falcon led him south-eastward, back to Ireland, where the ship landed on the isle of Ailill’s murderers. Mael Duin confronted the men he sought, but they greeted him like a hero after his long journey into the Otherworld. With no heart left for vengeance, Mael Duin pardoned his former enemies and proceeded to give an account of his most extraordinary adventures

The text exists in an 11th century redaction, by a certain Aed (Hugh) the Fair, described as the “chief sage of Ireland,” but it may be gathered from internal evidence that the tale itself dates back to the 8th century. It belongs to the group of Irish romance, the Navigations (Imrama), the common type of which was possibly imitated from the classical tales of the wanderings of Jason, Ulysses, and Aeneas. Tennyson’s Voyage of Maeldune, suggested by the Irish romance, borrows its framework.

Some 1916. Tanks, escaped lunatics, colossal cattle prices and the opening of the Enniskillen Royal school.

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August 31st 1916.  BALLYCONNELL a special court was held in in the R.I.C barracks before Mr. J. A. Bennison, J.P. when the police had in custody a servant boy named James McKiernan on a charge of being an absentee under the Military Service Act.  It appears the boy had been working in Glasgow and had signed the registration papers and had failed to return.  After formal evidence he was conveyed to Armagh jail pending the arrival of a military escort from Scotland.

In the Ballyconnell fair on Monday Mr. F.  J.  Clancy, Ballyconnell, sold to Mr. Charlie Moan, Lisnaskea, a six year old springing cow for the fabulous prize of £40.  This is the highest price ever known to be paid in Ballyconnell for a beast of its class. Other classes of cattle sold from £33 to £35, young calves from £4 to £6 10 and young pigs from five to £6  two and sixpence per pair.


August 31st 1916.  IRISH HARVESTERS WARNED OFF.  A good many Irish labourers have, according to the Glasgow Herald offered themselves to Lothian farmers but without exception their services have been declined.  The farm servants decline to work alongside men who are attempting to fill the places of farm hands now serving in the army.


September 7th 1916.  NOTES.  Second Lieutenant J. J. Flower, B. A., T.C.D., Lancashire Fusiliers, seriously wounded again on August 26th and now in hospital is a son of Rev. Ed Flowers, Ballagh Rectory, Belleek Corporal Bernard McManus of the 1st Royal Inniskillings was killed by gas poisoning on the 8th of August.  He was a good son to his mother, Mrs. McManus Strand Street Enniskillen.  Miss McManus was a daughter of Mrs. McGurn who kept a stall at the angle of the old Townhall 50 years ago.

The increase of two shillings and six pence a week to old age pensioners if extended to all of them would amount to between six and seven million pounds; and this huge sum could be made up by stopping the expenditure on strong drink for one fortnight only or handing over that sum usually spent during that time in drink to the Treasury.


September 7th 1916.  LOUGH DERG. There were 11,000 pilgrims to Lough Derg, County Donegal this year.  This number meant an average of 44,000 shillings to the Railway Company; 11,000 shillings to the car drivers, 11,000 shillings to the owner of the ferry who pays £50 a year to Colonel Sir John Leslie Bart., for the privilege; and how many thousands to the Prior of Lough Derg for board and keep only the Prior knows.


September 7th 1916.  ENNISKILLEN ROYAL SCHOOLS.  Enniskillen Royal School will open on the 22nd Inst., with an increased number of pupils and full teaching staff.  The number of boys have kept steadily increasing.  The Royal School for Girls will open on the 21st Inst., in Darling Street with more pupils than had been originally contemplated so eager are parents to take advantage of a higher class education.  The teaching staff is of a high order and the premises have been placed in the best of order for both boarding and day pupils.


September 14th 1916.  ESCAPED LUNATICS JOIN THE ARMY AND WERE THE BETTER FOR IT.  On Monday at a meeting of the he Cork Lunatic Asylum Committee, the  Acting Resident Medical Superintendent reporting the escape of two lunatics from the asylum said it was a much more difficult matter these war times to recover escaped patients than in peacetime as they often joined the army and the next the officials heard of them was that they were seen in uniform.  Since the last meeting of the Committee a former patient who escaped some months ago turned up at the asylum in Cork having served six months in France and he was better mentally after six months in the trenches and when he escaped from the institution.


September 21st 1916.  SPLENDID ALLIES SUCCESS. THE NEW ARMED MOTOR IS SPREADING TERROR AMONG THE GERMANS.  THE NEW BRITISH ARMED MOTOR CAR MADE ITS NEW APPEARANCE ON SATURDAY. The unexpected appearance of the new British armed car seemed to have been not only effective from a military point of view but also to have created a panic among the enemy.  A French officer who acts as a link between the British and French armies told Reuters correspondent with huge glee of the consternation which spread among the Germans when these sinister flat footed monsters advanced spouting flames from every side and careless alike of rifle and machine gun fire right up to and over barbed wire entanglements crushing everything before them seeking out machine guns and silencing them making the advance of German reinforcements through their communication trenches impossible by enfilading fire and holding up terrified bands of Germans eager to flee. On the Somme front at the precise moment when the bombardment stopped the Germans had the surprise of seeing advance in front of the waves of assaulting troops enormous steel monsters from which spurted a continuous fire of great violence.  One would have described them as gigantic infernal machines.  Their front which was shaped like a ram smashed down every obstacle.  The heavy automobiles bounded across overturned and uneven ground breaking through barbed wire and jumping trenches. In the German ranks there was really a mad terror.  The soldiers of the German Emperor fell back in haste abandoning their arms ammunition and equipment.


September 21st 1916.  A BAVARIAN COLONELS JOY RIDE.  One car had a strange adventure with a Bavarian regimental commander.  In its journey through the village the car suddenly came upon a dug-out.  In the language of a man who was there, ‘she just sat down on the dug-out, and a colonel, came out to see what was the matter.  When he saw the machine he promptly put up his hands.  Here was a dilemma.  There were no infantry nearby who could take over the prisoner.  The commander of the car solved the problem by opening a manhole and hauling his captive inside.  He was a tight fit in the hatch and he put him on the floor.  Thereafter for some hours this officer of the Crown Prince Rupprecht’s army had the novel experience of journeying about watching his captors kill Bavarians in large numbers and hearing the rat-tat-tat of German bullets flick harmlessly against the heavy metal skin of his travelling cage.  A climax of his incredible experience came at the finish of the day’s fight when he was decanted at the roadside behind the British lines and was received with cheers.  I must mention the complaints of some German machine gunners regarding the armoured car that captured them in the Martinpuich.  They said that such fighting was bloody butchery, unsportsmanlike, like killing sheep, etc. etc.  One of them added bitterly, we fired at them but only saw blue sparks.  What could we do but give ourselves up.


September 21st 1916.  LIFE ON A GERMAN SUBMARINE.  A German who has been on a German submarine during several expeditions to British waters has given the Stavanger Aftenblad an interesting account of his experiences.  The vessel was a large modern one with the crew of 28 men all strongly built men in their prime.  Our expeditions generally lasted two months.  The oil and benzene we got from German trawlers.  As we had wireless installation on board we were able to keep it in communication with Germany and where to go at certain points where we would meet the trawlers.  Sometimes we were under the sea for 15 hours at a time but then the air became suffocating.  It is very fatiguing to submerge.  We used to get quite deaf and had to shout to one another.  It affected our nerves dreadfully and two brave strong fellows about 30 years old went mad.  I myself had to go to hospital for some months.  At the beginning of the war the English captured many of our submarines.  I have been told about 30 or 40 but we soon found means of protecting ourselves against the nets.


September 21st 1916.  ENNISKILLEN ROYAL SCHOOL FOR GIRLS.  GOOD STAFF OF TEACHERS AND THE BEST OF NEW EQUIPMENT.  A great local event occurred unostentatiously in Enniskillen on yesterday when the Enniskillen Royal School for girls opened its doors in Darling Street for the reception of pupils and for the first time ladies in college cap and gown conducted school classes here.  The Fermanagh Protestant Board of Education has long been impressed with the necessity of supplying a higher class school for girls on the same lines as the Royal School at Portora for boys but it had not the funds at its command and had to first repair and keep in good order the fine pile at Portora and build it up securely before diverting any of its funds to the Royal School for girls.  On yesterday the first headmistress of Enniskillen Royal School for girls had her first pupils on her roll.  Miss Muriel F. Eccles is a lady of no ordinary attainment for not only is she a graduate of the University of Dublin and a Moderator of Trinity, a rare distinction, but she holds the diploma of teaching from Trinity College showing that she possesses the gift of imparting knowledge as well as of requiring it.  The vice principal is Miss May Bradshaw, B. A. who took her course in honours and Miss Read, B. A. who is strong in pure mathematics and in science assists and a number of other assistants will be determined by the number of pupils; for an increased number is promised for next term so that it is just possible that all the people who may like to come there may not find sufficient accommodation and the Board may be obliged to limit the number.  It will be a case of those coming first receiving first attention.


There can be no question about the ability and competence of the teaching staff.  As to the equipment of the school it is of the best.  The senior girls are provided with separate desks and separate chairs; each desk being a lock up desk – the material being pitch pine varnished.  This arrangement provides for individuality, prevents crowding, and gives the teachers according to the new system better opportunities of going among the different pupils and gauging their work.  In another room provided with dual desks the middle grade girls are provided for; and in another room below tables and tiny chairs of different heights show the provision made for the Kindergarten. A blackboard dado runs round the school for the little ones so that they will not have to hold their heads high up for observation at the blackboard.  A room with hand basins is set apart for cloaks, hats and boots while a lovely playground is in the rear affording a nice ground for the children.  The borders apartments are well furnished, well lit and very comfortable; and everything that could be devised for the comfort and wellbeing of all concerned has been provided by the Board.  Clay for modelling will interest the little ones and up to date maps and accessories are provided for the seniors.  The Board expect the school to pay its way.  It is for the people of Enniskillen and Fermanagh mainly to say whether they wish to retain this most valuable institution in their midst instead of sending their girls to other places for their education; for unless the school be well supported the Board may withdraw its grant and close the premises, and concentrate all their energies on the Boys School which is steadily growing from term to term.  The fees are low commensurate with the quality of the education, the like of which will not be surpassed in schools demanding much higher fees.


More Impartial Reporter 1915.

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Impartial Reporter.  June 10 1915.  A BREEZY LETTER. SIDELIGHTS ON THE CAMPAIGN.  The following breezy letter from the Dardanelles has been received by a gentleman in Dublin whose brother is a naval officer.

The Army is safely landed and are steadily battering its way to Constantinople.  By Jove if you had seen those Australians shining up the hills, (cliffs in places) with the bayonet alone, and ripping up the Turks, (those who stayed), it would have done your heart good. The enemy are most stubborn and are well led.  We have a few prisoners on board, and the officers among them are well dressed and hard looking.

The men are mostly scaly-wags and very badly fitted out.  Their foot gear is poor being, either rope-soled boots or Turkish slippers.  Their rifles are of the very latest German pattern, except in the case of Greeks and Arabs pressed in to fight and they have only old Lee Enfields taking German ammunition.  Von Sanders is in command of their whole army on the peninsula and he is a good hand and very ruthless.

He has issued an order that no prisoners are to be taken.  The worst enemy we have got to fight against are the snipers, whose name is legion, and his bravery is magnificent.  Many of them have been found dug in holes with ammunition and provisions for six weeks!  One man had painted himself green all over, and had branches of trees round him and it took a long time to catch him.  His end was swift.


Impartial Reporter.  June 10 1915.  ROLL OF HONOUR.  CROOKE.  Killed in action, May 5, 1915, at Gallipoli Peninsula, Dardanelles, Sergeant W.

  1. Crooke, 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, and dearly loved son of H. Crooke, Glenwhinney, Derrygonnelly.


Impartial Reporter.  June 10 1915.  WORK FOR PRISONERS.  The War Office’s decision to make use of prisoners of war for working on the land has been welcomed with general approval throughout the country.

Farmers are already suffering badly from lack of labour, and have been seriously wondering how their various crops are to be harvested at all if the rural exodus to the trenches continues. The German military authorities have from the first pursued the wise policy of getting all the work they can out of their prisoners and it is stated on good authority that the vast majority of the prisoners themselves infinitely prefer the healthy life of a labourer in the land to lounging about in the concentration camps.  He also fully appreciates the advantages of being enabled to earn a little money to purchase the small luxuries which their canteen offers.  Doubtless our German prisoners will view the matter in the same light.  Whatever his many vices, the Teuton is not constitutionally a loafer and he outvies the proverbial Scott in his appreciation of the bawbees.  There will no doubt be many efforts to escape made by the prisoners in the early stages of the experiment.

There should however be little anxiety as to the ultimate result of such attempts.  It is difficult enough for loyal British citizens to leave the country at the present time, and for an alien enemy the task is practically an impossibility.


Impartial Reporter.  June 10 1915.  THE GERMANS RAN BEFORE INNISKILLING BAYONETS.  A CHURCHILL MAN’S AWFUL EXPERIENCE.  FOUR DAYS WOUNDED ON THE BATTLEFIELD.  Sergeant James Hassard, one of two sons of Mr. Hugh Hassard, Whiterock, Churchhill, County Fermanagh, serving in France in a letter home to his parents gives an account of a night encounter with the Huns and how after he was wounded lay helpless on the battlefield for over four days till found by Indian stretcher bearers.  Sergeant Hassard is in of the 2nd Inniskillings, and says that on Saturday, May 15, the Battalion got the order to take the first line of German trenches at all costs.  The attack was made by night and they moved off at 10.30 p.m.  We moved out in the open in front of our own trenches and took up the position in three lines.  I was in the front line and at 10.30 p.m. we got the order: ‘fixed bayonets.’  ‘Advance’ an order which every man seemed eager for.  We had about 350 yards to go till we reached the Huns’ trenches. No doubt, they did let us have it with machine gun and rifle and also shell fire.  All of a sudden as we were about 20 yards from the trench it stopped then we rushed, but all the Germans were gone.  So we got the position quite easily.  Then the Germans started and shelled us for all they were worth.  It must have been a about 11.45 p.m. that I got hit.  I was struck by the nose of a shell and I thought it was the Kaiser that hit me with a sledgehammer.

On that spot I fell and there I lay till early on Thursday morning when four Indians carried me to the dressing station, and O, what a relief it was!  It had rained nearly all the time but I was in no way downhearted as I knew God would send somebody to take me to safety.