The Irish on the Somme

The Irish on the Somme

By (author) 

List price: US$8.08

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


Excerpt: ...his holy talisman. Should he pass unscathed through the constant yet capricious menace of an engagement, he ascribes his luck to supernatural protection. As the English troops were passing through Hornu, near Mons, a young Belgian lady took a rosary from her neck and gave it to Private Eves of the West Riding Regiment, telling him to wear it as a protection against the bullets of the Germans. Eves, a non-Catholic Northumbrian, wore the rosary during the battle of Mons. "The air was thick with shells and machine-gun bullets," he says, "and how I escaped I don't know. A shell burst close to me. A piece of it struck my ammunition band and bent five cartridges out of shape; but I escaped with only a bruise on the chest. I always say this rosary had something to do with it." Many stories of the like might be told. A driver of the Royal Field Artillery says: "I think I owe all my luck to a mascot which I carry in my knapsack. It is a beautiful crucifix, given me by a Frenchwoman for helping her out of danger. It is silver, enamel 100 and marble, and she made me take it." Private David Bulmer of the Royal Engineers, an Ulster Presbyterian, returned home on furlough to his parents at Killeshandra, wearing a rosary. He declared it was the beads that saved his life on the battlefield, as he was the only man left in his company. Sapper Clifford Perry has written to a Cardiff friend: "Rosaries are very popular here. I think I can safely say that four out of every ten men one meets wear them around their necks. Strange to say, they are not all Catholics. Those who are not Catholics do not wear them as curios or ornaments either, as upon cases of inquiry they attach some religious value to them even though they cannot explain what it is. Still, no one could convince them to part with them." Often the emblems and badges worn by non-Catholic soldiers are gifts from Catholic wives and children concerned for their spiritual and temporal well-being. "An Irish mother...
show more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 3mm | 127g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236697243
  • 9781236697240