1942 Fermanagh Herald.

January 17th 1942. PAIR OF TOUGHS AND BULLIES. £10 ON EACH OF TWO DEFENDANTS Ballinamallard Assault on Policemen. “ From your behaviour in Court I regard you as . toughs and bullies declared Major T. W. Dickie, R.M., when, at Irvinestown Petty Sessions on Friday, he addressed two men convicted of assaulting two policemen in Ballinamallard. One of the men, Arthur Smiley, of Coa, was summoned for assaulting “ B ” Special Graham, while in the execution of his duty, and the second man, Edward Wilson, also of Coa, was summoned for assaulting Const. James Glassey, R.U.C. D. I. Walshe prosecuted, and Mr. Aidan Herbert, solicitor, defended.

Constable Glassey swore that when on duty in Ballinamallard on 13th December he saw and heard a number of strangers shouting and singing as they left a public-house. They appeared to be rowdy, and witness stopped them, and demanded their identity cards. As witness was taking out his notebook and pencil, one of the men, Wilson, struck him a violent blow in the face, knocking him down. Defendant jumped on top of him and, putting his two hands round witness’s head, tried to batter it off the kerbstone. Special Const. Graham came to his assistance and, while attempting to release him, Smiley caught him (Graham.) by the two legs and “threw him up the street.” D, I. — A rugby tackle. (Laughter). Witness — Yes, and he kicked him at the same time. A large crowd gathered and the two men cleared off.

Cross-examined, witness agreed the night was dark—it was about 9-20 p.m. He did not see another row on the street. “Isn’t Ballinamallard street only twenty or thirty yards long?” suggested Mr. Herbert. D.I.—It is more than that. R.M.—It is a quarter of a mile at least.  Continuing, witness said he saw Wilson later, struck in a hedge outside the town. ”When he was pulled out and asked what he was doing there,- defendant replied: “ I hit nobody. ”

Special Const, Graham gave corroborative evidence as to the alleged attack by Wilson on Const. Glassey. He .went to the latter’s assistance, and while trying to separate them Smiley tossed him on his back and kicked him as well. Witness identified the men with the aid of a torch. Witness did not see any other row on the street that night. Sergt. J. V. Lewis gave evidence that following a report of the incident he went out the road and found Smiley’s car. A person standing beside it was asked where the’ other gentlemen were, and he replied that he did not know. Witness then heard a “fissling” in the hedge, and on going over found Wilson pulling himself out of the thorns; his face was covered with blood, and his clothes were torn. The first words defendant said were: “I hit nobody, skipper.” (Laughter).

RECOGNISANCES ESTREATED AT ENNISKILLEN. At the second December Court in Enniskillen, four .men were fined for coming into the Six Counties without proper documents of identity. Only two of the men surrendered to their bail. The two who returned to their homes in the Twenty-Six Counties did not appear before Major T. W. Dickie, R.M. They were fined 40/- each, and. the two fines were paid by Francis Macken, publican, Belmore Street, who had bailed the men. At Enniskillen Petty. Sessions on Monday, Mr. Macken appeared on an application by the police to estreat the recognisances entered into. Head Constable Thornton made the application, and Mr. J. O. H. Long, R.M., said bailing a man was a most serious matter, and he granted the application, estreating the recognisances in the  sum of 20/- in each of the two cases.

RAILWAYS AND ARIGNA COAL. Arigna coal, mixed; with Welsh, steam coal, is being used by Great Southern Railways Co. on a large section of the Western circuit, with the measure of success anticipated, states an Irish Independent representative. An expert explained that Arigna coal did not really suit railway engines because it was too dirty. It left a big residue of ash, and also burned the fire bars quickly and the fire box as well and abnormal renewals would be called for. It produced a fire which was really too hot for engines, but in existing circumstances, the railways would be glad to get it. The company was prepared to take increasing quantities of the coal.

“MY WIFE IS A CATHOLIC” ENGLISHMAN WHO WAS REFUSED TOWN CLERKSHIP OF BELFAST. ALLEGATIONS IN AN INTERVIEW. “I WAS ASKED MY RELIGION” Mr. W. L. Allen, town Clerk, Barrow- on-Furness, was appointed by the “Big Six’ of the corporation as Town Clerk of Belfast. He was selected as the most, competent amongst a large batch of applicants. Mr. Dawson Bates, Minister for Home Affairs, refused to sanction the appointment. Now it is alleged that the Minister’s refusal was prompted by questions of religion. This was stated by Mr. Allen in an interview with pressmen on Saturday last. I would like to make it perfectly clear,” said Mr. Allen, “that it seems to me amazing that such an issue could be seriously raised either as a recommendation or an objection to the appointment to such an important position as town clerk of a city of the importance of Belfast.

Sir Dawson Bates, Minister of Home Affairs on Saturday informed the “Big Six” Committee of Belfast Corporation that, .as requested by the Corporation, he had interviewed Mr, Allen and that nothing had emerged from the interview to alter his decision not to endorse Mr. Alley’s appointment. The “Big Six,” it is stated, have decided not to press further for the appointment, and Mr. John F. McKinstry, Acting Town Clerk who is due to retire next May, will again be asked to continue in office for an indefinite period.

Mr. ALLEN’S INTERVIEW. Mr. Allen, in an interview, said “I came over here at the direct, request of the Minister of Home Affairs. I had an interview with him, lasting 40 minutes, and it would have been a simple matter for him to have told me his decision. The first time I was over here, the first intimation I had of the appointment being refused was through the Press. This time the same thing has occurred. ‘’Since arriving on the second visit I have reason to believe that the religious question has been raised, and raised as a very serious issue. “It is incredible to me that such an issue could be raised as either, an objection or recommendation to an appointment such as Town Clark of a city as important as Belfast. One wonders what are the views of the thousands of Irishmen who fight for freedom.

“The position is that I and my family and ancestors for 250 years have been Church of England Protestants. The girl, who became my wife two years ago, after I had been widowed six years, is an English girl of Irish descent and a Catholic.

January 17th 1942. GREAT DERRYGONNELLY CEILIDHE. FR. McCAFFREY’S POWERFUL APPEAL FOR GAELIC CAUSE.A stirring appeal for support of the native games, dances and language and all things Gaelic, was made by Rev. D. McCaffrey, C.C., when on Sunday night he presented the Junior Football League Cup to the victors in the 1941 competition, Derrygonnelly Harps G.F.C., at a ceilidhe mhor organised by the club in St, Patrick’s Hall, Derrygonnelly. There was an attendance of over 400 at the ceilidhe, which was the first organised in the district for many years. The extraordinary success of the event ensures that for the future ceilidhthe will be a prominent feature of Derrygonnelly social events. Enniskillen and Cavanacross between them, alone sent nearly a hundred patrons, while travelling accommodation prevented nearly fifty more from attending also.

It was a great Irish night. Mr. Jim Sheridan, popular M.C., from Cavanacross, had a comparatively easy task in dealing with a fine programme and an orderly and happy crowd. The St. Molaise Ceilidhe Band, Enniskillen, added further lustre to its name by providing splendid music under the direction of Rev. Bro. Bede, its conductor. An excellent supper was supplied by a hard-working ladies’ committee, and contributors to a most enjoyable selection of songs, dances, etc., were: Misses Maisie Lunny, P.E.T., Eileen Early, Kathleen and May Burns, Margaret McGlone and  — Duffy, Monea; Messrs. Sean O’Boyle, J. Sheridan and J. Quinn.

Although Irish dancing has not been done in the district for some years, the performance of the dances was excellent, the Enniskillen and Cavanacross Gaels leading their Derrygonnelly friends through the various movements. Happy faces were everywhere, and as the popular chairman of the club (Mr. J. J. Maguire) remarked aptly: “at no other event could there be seen so many happy Irish faces.” Those present in addition to others mentioned were Father Duffy, Derrygonnelly; Misses Vera Tummon, P.E.T.; May, McCaffrey, teaching staff, . Convent of Mercy, Messrs. Seamus O’Ceallaigh, Secretary, Co. Board; G. McGee, M.P. S.I.  Parties were present from Belleek and Irvinestown, as well as other places mentioned.

Mr. Maguire, presiding, expressed regret at the unavoidable absence of Very Rev. T. Maguire, P.P., who was to have presented the cup. Father Maguire was the best Gael in Fermanagh, and they were sorry not to have him with them, especially as he was a native of the parish. They had a good substitute in their own beloved curate, Father McCaffrey. (Applause). He thanked all the patrons, and said it was a revelation to them in Derrygonnelly to see the pulling power of a ceilidhe. It was a lesson they were not likely to forget for the future. (Applause). He hoped 1942 would be an even more successful year for their club than 1941, and that they would retain the cup they had and add further trophies to their collection He hoped, too, that ceilidhthe would form their social entertainments for the future. (Applause). The only game they had lost during the year was to Derrylin in the Junior Championship final. Victory in that would have meant that they had won the two junior cups, but they very heartily congratulated Derrylin on their victory and wished them all success in the future. He thanked, everyone connected with the success of the night: the ladies, for their catering and the excellent band from Enniskillen.

FERMANAGH TEACHER SUED. PUPIL LOST EYE AT PLAY. CLAIM FOR DAMAGES. HEARING IN HIGH COURT. A claim brought by a 13 year-old pupil against the principal teacher of a Border school came before the Lord Chief Justice in the Belfast King’s Bench Division last week. The plaintiff, Patrick Anthony Leonard, a minor by his father, John Patrick Leonard, of Creenagho, Belcoo, claimed damages far ,the loss of his right eye alleging negligence on the part of James Ferguson, a public elementary teacher, of Belcoo, in not exercising proper supervision. The boy when playing on the road during the midday break was struck by a stone.

Mr. C. L. Sheil (instructed by Mr. Jas. Cooper) was for the plaintiff; Mr. J. D. Chambers, K.C., and Mr, J. Agnew (instructed by Messrs. Maguire & Herbert) being for the defendant.

Mr. Sheil said the accident took place during the lunch hour on March 23, 1939. The school was the last building on the border dividing Fermanagh from Cavan. The school was staffed by the defendant and two women teachers. On the day in question there were about 70 pupils at the school. Those who lived in Belcoo village or nearby got home for their lunch and about 30 children brought their lunch with them.

Mont of the playground or field had been used for instruction in horticulture by the master, and as part of it not tilled was wet the children played on the public road to the knowledge of the principal teacher.

Counsel added that one of the complaints was that the children were so allowed to play on the public road without any person being in charge of them. The children were playing football, and it is alleged that one of them lifted a handful of road material and threw it at the plaintiff,; who was struck on the right eye. The boy was attended by Dr. Hamilton and sent to Hospital. He was later taken to Belfast where the eye was removed. He submitted that the defendant should have foreseen the danger of letting the boys play on the road because of the traffic and the presence of loose road material. Under the Education Act there was cast on the defendant the statutory duty of exercising care over the children and supervision during the luncheon hour. Defendant, counsel asserted, had interviewed some of the boys, dictated to the children, and they wrote down statements. One boy would say that he was sent for by the master, who asked him to say that he (the defendant) was in fact on the road at the time of the accident.  Plaintiff gave evidence, and in reply to Mr Chambers agreed that he sometimes played on the roads at his home but not with the sanction of his parents. Sometimes the master told them not to go on the roads. Answering his Lordship, the plaintiff , said the master had told them not to be out on the road on certain days.

James McGurl, aged 16 years, said the boys used to play on the road. They were forbidden to be on the road on fair days but not on other days. The following day the master spoke to him and …………….

“IMPARTIALITY ” SERIOUSLY QUERIED. To the Editor Fermanagh Herald. ”Sir, Some of your readers who are unacquainted with the Impartial Reporters peculiar principles of impartiality, may have been misled by one of its “impartial” statements, published last week; will you, therefore allow me a few words on the subject. An article in that journal commenting on Regional Education Committee matters, concluded thus “Strange, when Mr. Hanna was appointed Principal, Captain Wray voted against him, favouring a candidate in the same line but with qualifications inferior to those of Mr. Hanna. Under the sharp pangs of remorse for having failed to favour the “Impartial Reporter’s” “highly qualified. candidate, I can just barely recall, as feeble consolation that my iniquity  on that occasion was shared by several other Corrupt nit-wits of the Committee, a few citizens with rank and title to their names – spiritual and temporal. The “Impartial Reporters” ‘‘highly qualified” candidate was, of course, championed by our well- known stalwarts of public rectitude.

The poor mutt, with the ‘‘inferior qualifications” for whom I voted had only a lot of silly stuff as certificates, one of which was from a comic naval dockyard named Chatham and, incidentally, he was only the son of a common British Naval Officer —’how ridiculously absurd to associate our Technical School, or sully its academic air, with such unqualified and inferior persons and places. Needless to add, that fellow with the “inferior qualifications” was not a Presbyterian, he was only just a Protestant, the poor devil could hardly have been more unqualified, I suppose, according to the “Impartial Reporter” unless he were a b…….. Papist.

I am Sir etc. J. P. Wray 27-1-1942.

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1842 January & February.

  1. January.

CHRISTENING OF THE PRINCE OF WALES. Even the very restricted particulars of this great and joyous event which we give in our, first page will be read with an intensity of interest by those who have not had an opportunity of seeing more enlarged accounts. The ceremony must have been truly imposing and the feelings of joy to the nation on the occasion is the circumstance of Her Majesty’s selection of the King of Prussia as sponsor to the young Prince. It is delighting to find the worth and rank that surrounded her most gracious Majesty and Prince Albert in the altered style of her Majesty’s government, where the heart and  affections in the security of her Majesty’s person and throne, are so closely identified with the present prevailing principles.

Primitive WESLEYAN METHODIST Tea Party. Friday evening last there was a tea meeting of the members and friends of this society held in the Preaching-house, Main-street. The attendance on this occasion exceeded in number and respectability, we believe those of any former instance. About half past five o’clock the parties at the several tables in the body of the House commenced tea and so throng was every spot that a large number had to move up to the gallery and wait till those below could afford them room. Though there were upwards of 300 present the utmost, order prevailed throughout. A short Hymn was sung at the commencement and another at the conclusion of the tea. On the motion of Mr. Joseph McCormack, senior Preacher of the Enniskillen circuit, Mr. Beatty of the Maguiresbridge circuit was called to the Chair, when the assembly was severally addressed by Mr. J. Heatley of the Cavan circuit, Mr. A. Dawson of the Ballyshannon circuit and Mr. Fitzgerald, Merchant Clones, brother to Mr. Wm. Fitzgerald of this town.

20-1-1842. ARRIVAL OF SIR ARTHUR AND LADY BROOKE AT COLEBROOKE. Friday last the extensive district of country from Maguiresbridge to Colebrooke was a scene of great rejoicing on the arrival of the worthy baronet and his lovely Bride. For many days previous arrangements were in preparation on a scale suitable to pay a just respect to so benevolent and extensive a proprietor. Sir Arthur and Lady Brooke arrived at Virginia hotel on Thursday evening and on Friday an open carriage and four went from Colebrooke to meet them beyond Lisnaskea. Being expected to reach Maguiresbridge about one o’clock, a platform was erected on the commons there, on which the young but very good, band of that town were stationed to play on, while the open space was crowded with the people of the surrounding neighbourhood. About twelve a well mounted cavalcade of the Colebrooke tenantry moved forward from Brookeborough increasing at every step towards the busy scene and crowds of men, women, and children thronged the entire way although the day was rather impropitious from the constant thick fog. About two the bugles stationed on the hills between Maguiresbridge and Brookeborough announced the advance of the cavalcade; passing through the Bridge they were received with deafening shouts and cheers which were most gratefully acknowledged by Sir Arthur and Lady. From thence they proceeded, headed by considerable party of horsemen while several hundreds followed in an orderly line three deep in the rear the bugles continually playing. At Gola, the residence of Major Sterne a magnificent arch was erected.

20-1-1842. The people of Ballyshannon have great reason to thank Colonel Conolly for his kind attention in presenting the memorial of the merchants of this town to the Lords of the Treasury and impressing on their lordships the claims of this place to enjoy the privileges of warehousing of foreign grain, teas, sugars, wines, spirits, tobacco, and other goods paying a high duty.  By referring to the annexed reply to the Memorial our readers will find but these very important privileges have been granted.  We therefore hope soon to see the aforementioned goods freely imported into Ballyshannon by some of the enterprising merchants of this place and Enniskillen.

Constabulary of Donegal.  At a meeting of the magistracy of the county of Donegal held at Lifford on Saturday they decided against the reduction of the constabulary force of the county by a majority of four.  This and the neighbouring markets were plentifully supplied on Wednesday last with the largest and richest fresh herrings we have seen for several years caught at Portnew in Boylagh Bay.

A poor woman named Molly Ginn who has for some years, at intervals, been deranged was founded dead yesterday morning on the public road at Milltown Ballyshannon. It is supposed that in a fit of insanity she wandered from her lodgings and the night being dark and extremely severe, she was unable to make her way back and accordingly foundered.

The town was visited by a terrific storm on the nights of Tuesday and Wednesday last; yet we have not heard of any injury sustained by the inhabitants; on the whole it has been the severest winter for the last 7 years. We trust the spring will set in more favourably.

Miraculous Escape. As William Wilson, Esq., was travelling in his gig from Derry to Carndonagh on professional business, on descending a steep hill within four miles of Carn, he was met by a carman who, driving the wrong side of the road, was the cause of precipitating Mr. Wilson, horse and gig into a dangerous ravine at least 15 feet deep. Although the gig and harness were smashed to pieces Mr. Wilson escaped unhurt.

Last week as Mr. T. Whitford, son of Mr. Whitford, attorney, of St. Columb,(Cornwall) was amusing himself on a shooting excursion about a mile from that town, on getting over a hedge, the gun accidentally went off and he was killed on the spot, his brain having been blown to atoms.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE STATESMAN.  Attention has been directed by a friend to an extract from the Fermanagh Reporter inserted in your paper of the 31st of December last which was calculated to mislead the public mind and to make it appear that I read our burial service over a Roman Catholic who died within the pale of the church and that it was on that condition he was admitted into our burial ground.  Such is not the case.

The facts are simply these: on the 23rd of December last an inquest was held on the body of a poor man named Thomas Campbell found dead in the snow about 2 miles from Ballyjamesduff.  The verdict of the jury was that he died of extreme cold.  When brought to the chapel yard to be buried he was refused a grave until the dues of the priests should be paid by those who carried the body; this they were unable and unwilling to do.  Although very poor they had already contributed towards getting a coffin and had left their work to carry the unfortunate stranger to his grave and were therefore indignant that this demand should be so cruelly insisted on.  The body lay on the public road at the chapel gate until evening.  Application was then made to me to allow it to be buried in our church yard and under the circumstances I felt that I could not refuse but as he had (in common with all Roman Catholics) had excommunicated himself and I could not, consistent with our rubric read the burial service over him.  He was buried by torchlight in silence.  When the internment was over I availed myself of the opportunity to address a word in season to the Roman Catholics who were present.  They listened with great attention and afterwards expressed their gratitude for our compliance with their request and the greatest abhorrence of the inhuman treatment they had received from those of their own creed. Two days after this took place two Roman Catholics partly influenced by that occurrence conformed to our church making a total of 12 who have come out from Babylon in this parish during the last year.

Yours etc. etc.

Samuel H Lewis, Perpetual Curate of Ballyjamesduff.

MUNIFICENCE OF HER MAJESTY. We learn that the Queen has been pleased to the forces employed at the capture of the outworks of Canton out of the sum received under the convention, a donation equal to one year’s amount of the Indian allowance known by the name of “Batta.” (Ed. During the British Raj, Batta or Bhatta was a military term, meaning a special allowance made to officers, soldiers, or other public servants in the field.) The shares of Colonels will be £900 each; Lieutenant Colonels £720; of Majors £540; of Captains £216; of Lieutenants £ 144, etc. the officers of the navy sharing according to their relative rank with those of the army. Those who were not present at the operations against Canton, but who were engaged in other operations of the war, such as the taking of Chusan, are to receive six months Batta. (This was part of First Opium War, 1839–42), fought between the United Kingdom and the Qing Empire over diplomatic relations, trade, and the administration of justice for foreign nationals in China. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the demand for Chinese goods (particularly silk, porcelain, and tea) in the European market created a trade imbalance because the market for Western goods in China was virtually non-existent; China was largely self-sufficient and Europeans were not allowed access to China’s interior. European silver flowed into China when the Canton System, instituted in the mid-17th century, confined the sea trade to Canton and to the Chinese merchants of the Thirteen Factories. The British East India Company had a matching monopoly of British trade. The British East India Company began to auction opium grown on its plantations in India to independent foreign traders in exchange for silver. The opium was then transported to the Chinese coast and sold to local middlemen who retailed the drug inside China. This reverse flow of silver and the increasing numbers of opium addicts alarmed Chinese officials. In 1839, the Daoguang Emperor, rejecting proposals to legalise and tax opium, appointed viceroy Lin Zexu to solve the problem by abolishing the trade. Lin confiscated around 20,000 chests of opium (approximately 1210 tons or 2.66 million pounds) without offering compensation, blockaded trade, and confined foreign merchants to their quarters. The British government, although not officially denying China’s right to control imports of the drug, objected to this unexpected seizure and used its naval and gunnery power to inflict a quick and decisive defeat, a tactic later referred to as gunboat diplomacy.)

3-2-1842. ACCIDENT.—On Thursday last a young lad about eighteen, named Stinson, from Monea, was conveyed to the county Infirmary in an almost lifeless state, from an injury received on the head while sitting at his father’s fireside, by the falling of a brick from the top of the chimney. We hear the skull is much fractured.

ROBBERY. Friday night Mr. Dogherty, shoe maker, Darling-street, while attending the Methodist Tea meeting, had his house entered through a back window and £9 10s taken from his box. It was rather singular that his watch, which was going and likely to have been heard, was left though hanging almost immediately over the box.

FIRE. Same night one of those infamous cabins in one of our back streets (Abbey-street,) was burned to the ground, some say through the design of some wags.

The carpenter, named Irvine, mentioned in our last, who fell from an office at Rossfad, while in the act of finishing some roofing, died of the injuries received in the fall on Thursday last, in the county infirmary. Dr. Nixon made a post mortem examination on the head, which it appears was fractured in almost every bone. The poor man’s relations have gratefully expressed themselves towards Dr. Nixon for his unremitting attention, both day and night, during his sufferings.

POOR-LAW RETURNING OFFICER. Mr Paul Dane, Clerk of the Enniskillen Poor Law Union, has been appointed returning officer for the election of guardians which is to take place on the 26th of next month.

November 1843.

THURSDAY, NOV. 2nd 1843. THE DUBLIN EVENING MAIL. THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER—AND THE DISTURBED STATE OF THE COUNTY FERMANAGH. We were not a little amused seeing the following in the “Impartial” representing the state of this county as bordering on absolute insurrection. “Scarcely, a night passes that multitudes of rustics assemble in martial form blowing horns to the great annoyance of the Protestant inhabitants.. Indeed to such an extent is the spirit of intimidation that some of the most respectable families have determined on abandoning their country dwellings and settling for protection in Enniskillen.”

Where our friend Polly ‘Partial got such information on the state of the County can best be supposed by placing him in conversation with some old woman of enfeebled nerves and constitution, whom the rumours of army pouring into Ireland, the issue of a Government proclamation against O’Connell, the impending state trials &c., are naturally enough calculated to make tremble, and fancy the frame work of society in Ireland about to fall into an universal dissolution. A community of feeling easily creates a similarity of effects, and hence we have this agitated production on the awfully alarming state of Fermanagh. For curiosity sake we should like to hear the names of some of these “most respectable families’ of the county in whom the martial blood of their ancestors, as Enniskilleners and Fermanaghmen, has become so degenerated as to tremble at such an imaginary state of things here; and instead of our reality as ‘the most peaceable County in Ireland, making us decidedly one of the worst at the present moment.

This would all have been allowed to go for the usual worth generally bestowed on the authenticity of the Impartial on local matters, and serve the purpose of laugh and ridicule. But when, we find the Dublin Evening Mail taking up this very piece of childish bugabooism, and making serious use of it we feel bound, from respect to such a respectable portion of the Irish press, to set our cotemporary right.

If there were the slightest foundation for any such rumours as the above, they must have been noticed by the police in their daily reports. Nothing of the kind, we venture to assert, has found its way out through this channel, the only one to be depended on.—And so far from such an impression existing in any respectable mind in the county, we have heard gentlemen from nearly every direction laugh at the credulity of our nervous old friend. It was indeed said that some nights back horns were heard in the neighbourhood of Belview, about two miles from this town. But to suppose it was anything like Repeal work would be very ludicrous. To account in some measure for the publication of this absurdity we have only to direct attention to same number of the Impartial and— FALSEHOOD No. 2. —we find it stated that a large quantity of ammunition, several small pieces of cannon, scaling ladders, and stores, were escorted into this garrison yesterday (Wednesday) by, a party of the 60th Rifles.” It is true, as stated by us last Thursday, that a large, supply of ammunition for the use of the garrison and district arrived, here from Dublin. But where are “several small pieces of cannon, scaling ladders &c.,” to be found. We must only go to the old store-house, the Impartial’s imagination.

No 3. The Impartial further states that “The division of Police force now-quartered in Barrack-lane is to be removed to Darling-street, in order to give accommodation to the military. The Police have occupied for some years, the building formerly used as the military hospital ; but as to their being about to be removed from it for the use of the military, the contrary is the fact—they are to continue to occupy it for a Barrack. So much for the authority of the Impartial on local matters.

We might go. still further in contradicting statements from this respectable local print’s last issue, as for instance, that a brigade of artillery is forthwith to be stationed in this garrison. . This may ultimately be the fact, and would no doubt be desirable, but there is not a conjecture in any creditable quarter that this addition is at present to be made to the garrison. By chance the certainty on which much of the local news of the place is hazarded—this statement of our contemporary may turn out true; however there is now no authority in life for giving it as a piece of information.

These corrections of misstatements given to the public is surely enough in one week—52 weeks at the same rate would form a handsome collection .of information in a newspaper for one year.

We often enjoy our smiles at the shifts to which the Impartial’s and a certain class of its supporters are driven in the vain attempt to counteract the growing influence of the Erne Packet. “LOCAL News! forsooth is the word—“ Local news“ In this respect the Reporter has the most. To wit, we say, last Thursday, and many a Thursday.

One of the principal objects had in view by us in these remarks was setting our Dublin cotemporary right; it requires but little reasoning to do this—their eye is a keen one, and can easily see where argument lies. But we have made an enlarged use of the occasion to give a hint in quarters where we know it will be stingingly felt. There is much of this nature before us which we are reserving for matured opportunities. We promise we shall raise blushes yet. If the Reporter had written a dissertation on the sectarian jealousies and gross bigotry to be found in Fermanagh, he might justly blast but alarms to the peace of society when Repeal thunders at a far distance from us, thank Providence.

 

MELANCHOLY ACCIDENT. A SOLDIER OF THE 53D DROWNED. On Tuesday evening four soldiers of the 53d went a short distance down the lake and on their return near Derrygore point by some accident the boat upset and a fine young man of the name of Leeks was drowned. Two of the other three very narrowly escaped, and without for very great exertions on the part, of a young lad, a civilian, who happened to be on the shore, must have shared the fate of their comrade: the two men are still lying very ill. The body of Leeks was got yesterday about twelve o’clock, and an inquest was held in the afternoon. We understand the officers and men are raising a handsome subscription to reward the country lad for his brave conduct.

 

A PLUNDERER’S STIPEND. Mr. O’Connell having toiled assiduously, and with his wonted energy, another year in his vocation of public plunderer, now comes forward, on the principle that the labourer is worthy of his hire, to demand his well-earned wages. He has accordingly notified to the people of Ireland that they must pay him or take the consequence, on or before Sunday, the 19th of November next. Yea, pay him for swindling them—pay him for gulling them—pay him for deceiving, deluding, and robbing them. This is but perfectly just. Is it for nothing that the Liberator should have devoted his time and talents in levying from the poorest people in Europe the enormous sum of forty-five thousand pounds sterling (for such, we assure our readers, it amounts to in round numbers) since the commencement of the present year, to say nothing of the past? Surety not. Shame, then, on Ireland, if she does not come forward to acknowledge and remunerate so magnificent a service as this. What has become of the £45,000 is certainly no affair of ours; enough to know O’Connell has done with it just what and how he pleased. For this, too, as it must have caused him some exertion, it is surely but right that he should be liberally compensated. By all means, then, let Ireland remember the 19th of next November—Erne Packet.

 

November 1918.

November 7th 1918. V.C. FOR FERMANAGH HEROISM OF COL. WEST IN FACE OF CERTAIN DEATH.

The King has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Victoria Cross to the under- mentioned officer:—Captain (A. Lieutenant-Col.) Richard Annesley West, D.S.O., M.C., late North Irish Horse (Cav. S.R.) and Tank Corps, For most conspicuous bravery, leadership and self-sacrifice.

During an attack, the infantry having lost their bearings in the dense fog, this officer at once collected and re-organised any men he could find and led them to their objective in face of heavy machine-gun fire. Throughout the whole action he displayed the most utter disregard of danger, and the capture of the objective was in a great part due to his initiative and gallantry.

On a subsequent occasion, it was intended that a battalion of light tanks under the command of this officer should exploit the initial infantry and heavy tank attack. He therefore went forward in order to keep in touch with the progress of the battle, and arrived at the front line when the enemy were in process of delivering a local counter-attack. The infantry battalion had suffered heavy officer casualties, and its flanks were exposed. Realising that there was a danger of the battalion giving way he at once rode out in front of them under extremely heavy machine-gun and rifle fire and rallied the men. In spite of the fact that enemy were close upon him he took charge of the situation and detailed non-commissioned officers to replace officer casualties. He then rode up and down in front of them in face of certain death encouraging the men and calling to them ’Stick it men; show them fight; and for God’s sake put up a good fight. He fell riddled by machine-gun bullets.

The magnificent bravery of this very gallant officer at the critical moment inspired the infantry to redoubled efforts, and the hostile attack was defeated.  The deceased officer was a native of Fermanagh, being the fourth and younger son of the late Mr. A. G. West, of Whitepark. He was born in 1878, and fought in the Boer War .with Kitchener’s Scouts, afterwards taking a commission in the North Irish Horse. The West family has long been connected with Fermanagh and Tyrone, but Mr. E. E. West,  its present head, now lives, in Dublin.

Lieut-Colonel Herbert N. Young, D.S.O., Royal Inniskillings (temporarily commanding a battalion of the Sherwood Foresters), killed in action on 25th October was one of the best-known officers of the Inniskillings, with whom he had soldiered for 15 years.

THE MILK SCARCITY.

If the members of the Enniskillen Urban Council who raised the question of the scarcity of the milk supply were genuine in their anxiety for the poor, they have done nothing in the matter till it now is too late to do anything. A year ago an attempt was made to get milk from Fermanagh for Dublin’s poor, and this attempt the Impartial Reporter frustrated, pointing out at the time that any spare milk was badly needed by our own poor in Enniskillen. We then advocated the founding of a municipal milk depot, as had been done in other places, but the Urban Council took no action. The Council was asked to make preparations for the founding of a communal food kitchen to cook food for the very poor. This suggestion was also scouted by the very men who are now crying out about the coal shortage. It is the usual grumble without action. Everyone knew that coal would not get more plentiful, and it was common knowledge that milk would be much scarcer. To talk of obtaining a milk supply now is beating the air. The Chairman of the Urban Council should surely know that creameries have no milk to spare for sale in a stock-rearing county like Fermanagh, except perhaps from the Belleek district. The farmers require all the skim-milk they can get; the creameries dare not cut them short, and thus lose some of their best customers. Milk is scarce to all, rich and poor, alike, and if the poor are in a bad way for milk this winter they know who had it in their power to save them, from such a catastrophe but did nothing till too late, and then, as usual, only talked.

A MEMORIAL SERVICE. Enniskillen Presbyterian Church. It was a moving service — but just one of those things which Rev. Mr. Jenkins knows how to do well, at the proper time, and in the fitting way. Three soldiers of the Enniskillen Presbyterian Congregation have passed away quite recently—Lieut. John Darling, M.C., 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, from wounds received in action ; Company Sergt. Major Wilson, of the 1st Royal Inniskillings, died in action; and Private Herbert Caldwell, from ill-health and starvation, when wounded as a prisoner-of-war in Germany. The congregation at Enniskillen, which has given most of its manhood to the army, per cent., has also had the greatest number of casualties.

November 21st 1918.

Lance-Corporal Seaman, of the Inniskilling Fusiliers has been awarded the Victoria Cross. The official record states that he is awarded the coveted distinction. For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. When the right flank of his company was held np by a nest of enemy machine guns he, with great courage and initiative, rushed forward under heavy fire with his Lewis gun and engaged the position single-handed, capturing two machine guns and 12 prisoners and killing one officer and two men. Later in the day he again rushed another enemy machine-gun position, capturing the gun under heavy fire. He was killed immediately after. His courage and dash were beyond all praise, and it was entirely due to the very gallant conduct of Lance-Corporal Seaman that his company was enabled to push forward to its objective, and capture many prisoners.

BAR TO M.C.

The Commander-In-Chief of the B.E.F. has made an award of a Bar to the Military Cross to Second Lieutenant T. J. Adams, M.C., Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, for conspicuous gallantry in action last month. Second Lieutenant Adams is a son of Mr. Thomas Adams, Tullywinney, Ballygawley.

DERRYGONNELLY MAN WINS D.C.M.

The Distinguished Conduct Medal has been awarded to Sergeant J. Foy, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Derrygonnelly, County Fermanagh)

For conspicuous gallantry in command of his platoon during an attack. When an enemy machine gun attempted to check his advance he came round its flank and with another man charged it and captured the gun and four prisoners. He set a splendid example of courage and determination to his men.

The Cork Eagle records the death in hospital of Cadet Frank Semple of the Royal Air Force, son of Mr. John Semple, Bandon, and formerly of the General Manager’s office, Great Northern Railway, Enniskillen. The “funeral at Cavereham Cemetery was a military one, and the coffin was covered with wreaths. Mr. Semple’s eldest son, Herbert, a brilliant scholar, also gave up a career of bright promise to serve his country and fell in her cause.

PRIVATE JAMES MCTEGGART. Mrs. Quinn, Henry-street, Enniskillen, has been informed that her brother, James McTeggart was killed in action on the 7th November. He had seen much active service with the Inniskillings at the Dardanelles in the retreat from Servia, and in Palestine, before coming to France. His captain in a letter of sympathy says—‘His pals and I miss him very much as he had done good service for the battalion. He was struck by a bullet in the head and death was instantaneous. He is nearly the last of the good old boys who came out with the battalion.’

Private Wm. Manly, 9th Inniskillings, from Tullyavey, died in action on the 29th September, leaving a wife and seven children. His brother, who also had worked at Riversdale, had also served In the army, having served in the 27th Inniskillings in the Boer war. Trory parish yielded 37 of the Protestant men to the army at the call.

Private Bernard Drum, of the Royal Inniskillings has been at home on leave, after having been six months in hospital from wounds received in France, and has gone to Oswestry to join the reserve battalion of the regiment.

Clones and the Epidemic. SHORTAGE OF MEDICAL MEN.

Clones has been terribly in the grip of the Spanish influenza, and suffered all the more because that Dr. Henry, who has a wide circle of patients and the Union hospitals under his charge, became a patient himself.

The town found itself with only one doctor available to minister to the whole district, Dr. Tierney, and lamentable cases on every side. But Clones rose to the occasion. Its chief men met, as they generally do, as neighbours and friends, not as politicians, and subscribed money to meet the emergency; the ladies of the town provided meals for the poor; and by good luck one young doctor was found to take up medical duty in the district, and Mr. Knight obtained the friendly advice of Dr. Kidd of Enniskillen as to procedure; and Dr. Kidd advised among other things, that the assistance of men of the Army Medical Corps at  Enniskillen headquarters be requested, to enable nursing and care to be attended to.

Since then, the so-called influenza has got a bad grip of the Clones district, it has also brought its people together to meet the danger and combat it; and we trust their praiseworthy effort will meet with the success which it deserves.

The Recent boxing tournament in Enniskillen for the benefit of Inniskilling prisoners of war resulted in a net profit of £57, which has been sent to the Secretary of the fund at Omagh.

Sale of Fruit to Householders.—Instances having been brought to the knowledge of the Food Control Committee for Ireland, that apples are being sold to householders and others at prices in excess of those set out in the Apples and Perry Pears (Sales) Order, the attention of consumers is directed to the advertisement which appears in this issue.

The Cattle Feeding Staffs supply to Ireland is to be increased.

The German Army committed continual robberies in its retreat, including herds of cattle, carts, chickens, clothing, and vehicles.

The rumour is Revived that the ex-Czar is alive, and that he may be replaced on the Russian throne.

The Galway Board of Guardians have felt hurt that out of 156 circulars sent out, asking that medical practitioners who have been interned for political offences should be released to relieve the scarcity of medical practitioners, only five applies should have been returned, and of these one (Belfast) was against the resolution. Dungannon burned it.

A BIG FIRE AT THE GRAAN MONASTERY. HUNDREDS OF POUNDS DAMAGE.

A destructive fire, entailing the loss of several hundred pounds worth of property, broke out at the Gabriel Retreat, The Graan, about two miles from, Enniskillen, in the early hours of Sunday morning. Residing at the Retreat are four or five priests and about twelve students or novitiates of the Passionists Order of the Roman Catholic Church.

Shortly before one o’clock on Sunday morning one of the resident brothers observed a light in the office-houses near the main dwelling, and upon investigating the matter found the building was on fire. He immediately raised an alarm, but by this time the whole building where the cattle were stalled was a mass of flames. There being no efficient fire extinguishing apparatus about the place, efforts were made to quell the outbreak by means buckets of water drawn from water barrels near by, but these were quite ineffectual.

Word of the fire having been sent to Mr. Christopher Bracken, whose residence is close at hand, both that gentleman and his eldest son were soon on the scene, and worked very hard in assisting the inmates in their fight against the flames. Despite all exertions, however, eight valuable cows, worth from £40 to £50 each and also two calves were burned to death, while the byres, calf-house, and piggeries were razed to the ground. Fortunately the fire did not spread to the large barns attached, in which much corn, hay, and other inflammable material were stored, else the loss would have been considerably heavier. As it was, a valuable staircase, a huge quantity of glass, and other articles intended for use in the new building at present in course of construction, and which were stored temporarily in one of the office-houses, were all burned.

End of WW1. Impartial Reporter November 7th 1918.

End of WW1. Impartial Reporter November 7th 1918.

The Sinn Fein in Convention are as insane as their members individually. They have asked by resolution for the complete evacuation of Ireland of the British military forces, the release of all ‘Political’ prisoners, and the absolute independence of Ireland. Imagine any body of sane men being so idiotic as to gravely prefer such a request expecting it to be granted. How truly they have been termed ‘dreamers.’ How thoroughly impractical! If it could be possible that such a request could be granted we would have Bolshevism in Ireland, massacre and robbery. Men who cannot control themselves cannot control anyone else; and Ireland under them would be a veritable hell—far worse than Dublin under the bloody gang of Easter week. Happily, Ireland will never, under any circumstances, be under men who have turned the whole world against a disgraceful set of scheming fanatics.

DISPATCHES.BY AEROPLANES.
We mention as an historical fact, so that readers of the Impartial Reporter generations hence, when perusing its files, may want to know when mails went locally first by aeroplane, that military dispatches have been sent by military aeroplane to Enniskillen, and been received in the Enniskillen fairgreen by an orderly in a spot appointed
for the purpose. In Ballinamallard, at Mr. Archdale’s function for the Red Cross, on Thursday, two aeroplanes circled about and dropped recruiting literature.

THE INNISKILLINGS.
The Inniskillings have been again engaged in action and have suffered many casualties. We deeply regret the death of Colonel H. N. Young, D.S.O., a very brave soldier, in Italy. He recently received a bar to the D.S.O. His command of the 7th Inniskillings produced a model battalion, ‘the Fighting Seventh;’ and one of the smartest in the Army.

THE INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC.
The epidemic of influenza has prostrated people from town and country, and has caused a few deaths. On the whole it has been less fatal in this district than in others. Our Royal School was badly crippled, owing to the number of cases, but Major Bruce, Army Medical Corps, very kindly sent nine of his Army nurses to Portora, and the very sight of the men in uniform cheered the boys, as they ministered to them. A household of 112 people was not an easy one to grapple with. Yet School was kept going all the time for those who were free from the disease. All the other schools in the town had to be closed, as in other places, but the worst of the plague is now over. (My Granny died in it)

KESH.
A social meeting of the Kesh C.A.S. was recently, held. In the absence of the chairman, Mr. Phillips, Mr. Hall of Lack presided, and Shareholders, with members of their families, were strongly represented. Messrs. Lowry and M‘Gee of I.A.O.S. gave addresses on co-operation, and urged the members to subscribe more capital to meet the developments and increasing trade of the society, Two hundred pounds .have already been deposited in the society; and as a result of the meeting £300 more have been promised. It was decided to canvass the district. The co-operators who sympathised with this society in its struggles will be gratified to hear the loss of £800 caused by the fire has now been reduced to £400, and the management feels that if the members supply them with sufficient capital to save all discounts and buy in larger quantities that this latter sum can be very soon wiped out.

Owing to pressure on our space we are unable to publish an article received from. Mr. H. E. Watkin, Enniskillen, on “The Art of Dancing Well.” Mr. Watkin deals at considerable length with the “Waltz. He says that “during the present year attempts were made to introduce Rag Time in Enniskillen, but the good sense of the public gave it an inglorious quietus.’’

A severe wind and rain storm passed over Enniskillen and district on Thursday night, when some damage was done to house property. A portion of the roof on premises at the rere of Messrs. Plunkett’s establishment in High Street was blown off.

The news of the conclusion of the war was announced in Enniskillen by the
ringing of joybells, the booming of guns and the blowing of factory horns. Flags were displayed from a number of houses, and the Union Jack and Irish and American flags were flown from the Townhall.

Capt. Rev. Father J. Nolan, son of Mr. J. Nolan, Aghabog, Co. Monaghan, has arrived home from Germany. He was an army chaplain for two years, and last May was reported missing. Subsequently his relatives were informed he was taken prisoner. Father Nolan was formerly a curate at Arney, parish of Cleenish, and later Dromore, Co. Tyrone.

‘Mr. H. Walker, R.M., at Enniskillen Petty Sessions on Monday, said it had been suggested that the Court should be adjourned in view of the very joyful tidings received that morning but as there were only two small cases they had decided to dispose of them. A man charged with drunkenness was allowed off “owing to the day being one of rejoicing.”

More 1916 Gazing Into Eternity.

MunitionsFermanagh Herald January 1st 1916. The wages earned on munitions by many women and girls without any previous knowledge or experience are surprisingly large, says the Daily News.  It would be very interesting to know what is the biggest average weekly earnings of a female “hand” who can be legitimately classed as an amateur.  The managing director of a munitions factory told the writer recently that he had several girls who, without any training before they came to him, were each receiving nearly £4 a week after a month at his works.  “They beat heaps of men hollow,” he added “naturally there are men who don’t like it.  But that’s their lookout.  The labourer is worthy of his or her higher in war time or in peace.”

January 6th 1916.  HOW OUR MEN SAVED THE DAY.  THE RETREAT FROM SERBIA.  THE ROYAL INNISKILLINGS.  In a vivid and thrilling story of the heroism of the Irish troops in the retreat from Serbia, ‘F’ in the Weekly dispatch says:-  Nothing finer can be imagined than the heroic stand of the depleted 10th division who rallied under the attacks of overwhelming forces to the cry of – ‘Stick it, jolly boys; give ‘em hell, Connaughts.’  A few thousand Irishman and a few hundred Englishmen turned what might have been a disaster into a successful retreat just as surely as the artillery of the Second Corps at daybreak on August 26, 1914, ‘the most critical date of all,’ turned what might have been an annihilating attack into a successful retirement.  In the first trenches were the Connaughts, the Munsters, the Dublin Fusiliers, the Hampshires and the Inniskillings, the latter – to a large extent Ulsterman – holding the extreme right wing.  Dawn had scarcely broken when the enemy made his expected attack.  The conditions wholly favoured him for a fairly dense fog prevailed and under its cover the Bulgars were able to get within 300 yards of parts of our line without being observed. I.R.

The Inniskillings were the first to be attacked; about 5.00 a.m. their outposts were driven in, and then a great mass of the enemy swooped down on the trenches, but were driven back by the fire of our Maxim guns and by the steady magazine fire which came from the trenches.  Scarcely had the attack on the extreme right of the line had time to develop the main body of Bulgarians were seen running down a defile leading to the centre of our front.  As they reached the end of the defile and the spread out as from a bottleneck and with wild cheers flung themselves on our line.  But before they had got so far our guns smashed and battered the procession of men leaping out of the narrow gorge.  It was impossible to miss them.  British artillery have never had such a target since the first battle of Ypres, when the guns literally mowed down the half trained German soldiers who attacked on the Yser.

The brave Irish regiments were pouring led into them as fast as they could load their rifles.  The poured into the oncoming masses as much as 175 rounds at point blank range.  This will give an idea of the slaughter that went on this December morning as the dawn slowly beat the mist away.  Mingling with the roar of the artillery and the clatter-clatter of the machine guns and the sharp snap of the rifles were the hoarse cries of the half-maddened volunteers whose officers ever drove them on to the death that came quick and hot from the British trenches.  Men of splendid physique they were who faced the hail of lead, cheering in a sort of wild enthusiasm of battle with bugles and trumpets blowing defiant challenges, as in their knightly days of the tourney.  They did not know many of them whether they were attacking French, British or Turks, but unquestioning, unthinking he came on with the fearlessness of life deserving of a better cause, leaping into a trenches and falling dead with a bullet in their throat of bayonet wound in their breast, or with head blown off by one of our shells.

But it was, for all our grim resistance, a hopeless kind of struggle.  Sooner or later that unceasing stream of men issuing out of the narrow defile must sweep us back.  Always the enemy returned to the charge, undeterred by heavy losses, undismayed by our deadly gun and magazine fire.  The line held and to their cheers we gave back answer and to their cries we gave answer with our own cries and if sometimes the line faltered the shouts of officers and men: “Stick it, jolly boys, give them hell, Connaughts brought new life and new strength.  They outnumbered the 10th division in the proportion of at least 8 to 1 and they were obstinately bent on its destruction at whatever cost to themselves.  Their artillery far exceeded ours in weight of metal but in effectiveness there was not a comparison.  Almost all of our shells told when many of theirs did no more than splinter rocks yards away.  The division never lost its cohesion and it gave ground only at the rate of 2 miles a day, which is a proof, if any were needed, of the splendid rearguard action that this so much outnumbered force fought.

In the two days battle the 10th Division inflicted on the enemy at least four times their own number of casualties and what is possibly equally important they taught him the temper and moral of British infantry.  The 10th division saved the situation by a display of courage and dogged heroism that cannot be too highly praised. It is hard to explain how the 10th division encompassed as it was, won through, and perhaps the most satisfactory thing to do is to fall back on the explanation of the Connaught Ranger whose only grumble is that he was kept 12 hours fighting without food; “They beat us with numbers.  We couldn’t hope to hold up against the crowd they sent against us, a daft, clumsy gang of men.  We gave them hell but their numbers beat us.”

January 6th 1916.  THE DARDANELLES.  THE WITHDRAWAL.  THE TURKS OUTWITTED IN A BRILLIANT OPERATION.  The withdrawal in the Dardanelles was the most difficult and dangerous work that has yet been undertaken in this campaign.  It was completed in the small hours of the 28th Inst…  The entire reserve of ammunition and nearly all the stores were removed from the beaches under the eyes and guns of a powerful Turkish army which had never realized that the operation had begun until some hours after the last officers of the naval beach parties had shipped us to their packet boats and steamed away.  Lord Kitchener in November brought the fact home to most of us that the whole position here was under review by the highest authorities.  That the withdrawal could be done without a loss at all entered into no one’s calculation.

The problem was to withdraw divisions and  their gear occupying a front of roughly 20,000 yards in length, which was hardly anywhere more than 500 yards, and at some places not more than 50 yards from the enemies trenches, and embark them from beaches which were nowhere beyond field gun range of the enemy positions, and in places actually not more than 50 yards from the enemies trenches and embark them from beaches which were nowhere beyond field gun range of the enemy positions and in places actually within rifle range of them..  The Turks occupied higher ground and nearly all of the Suvla Bay area was visible to them.  The suffering of the men from cold, wet and exposure had been so severe that thousands had to be sent away to recover and frostbite became for a while as bad as it had been last year in Flanders.  The sufferings of the Turks were at least as bad. I.R.

Fermanagh Herald January 15th 1916.  THE TURKISH VERSION.  A Constantinople telegram of today states that during the night, as the result of a violent battle the British completely evacuated Sedd-El-Bahr, with great losses.  Not a single soldier remained behind.  The Gallipoli Peninsula is now clear of the enemy.  All Constantinople is bedecked with flags to celebrate this victory.  Everywhere demonstrations of joy are evident.  In the mosques and churches thanksgiving services are being held.  During the evening the city was illuminated.

Fermanagh Herald January 15th 1916.  THE OPERATIONS.  The Dardanelles operations began on February 19, 1915 when a general attack by the Allied squadrons was delivered.  The combined land and sea operation as did not begin until April, 25th, following the failure of the naval operations to force their Dardanelles.  The memorable landing of troops took place in the early morning when the Irish regiments suffered such terrible losses on what was known as “V” beach.

January 20th 1916.  ON A DEAD MAN’S LAP. AIRMAN’S EXPLOIT AT A HEIGHT OF 10,000 FEET.  This story is related in the Daily News in a letter just received from a young officer attached to the Royal Flying Corps now a prisoner in Germany.  Poor B! I was so sorry he was killed, he writes.  He was such a nice boy and only 19.  I had a fight with two German aeroplanes and then a shell burst very close to us and I heard a large piece whizzing past my head.  Then the aeroplane started to come down headfirst spinning all the time.  We must have dropped to about 5,000 feet in about 20 seconds.  I looked around at once and saw  poor B with a terrible wound in his head quite dead.  I then realized that the only chance of saving my life was to step over into his seat and sit on his lap where I could reach the controls.  I managed to get the machine out of that terrible death plunge, switched off the engine and made a good landing on terra firma.  We were 10,000 feet up when B was killed and luckily it was this tremendous height that gave me time to think and act.  I met one of the pilots of the German machines which attacked me.  He could speak English quite well and we shook hands after a most thrilling fight.  I brought down his aeroplane with my machine gun and he had to land close to where I landed.  There was a bullet through his radiator and petrol tank but neither he nor his observer was touched. Fermanagh Times.

January 27th 1916.  INNISKILLING PRISONERS INTERNED IN GERMANY RENDER THANKS FOR THE GIFTS.  Our donations towards the prisoners of war have been greatly increased by the generous donations of Irvinestown per Mrs. D’Arcy Irvine of Castle Irvine and we are sending it out to those for whom it is intended.  It is 48 lbs of sugar, 10 lbs of tea, 10 tins of Oxo, 12 packets of cocoa, 2 lbs of candles and 16 tins of sardines.  I understand that some tins of condensed milk are on their way also, for all of which we are deeply indebted to our loyal friends in Irvinestown. Impartial Reporter.

January 27th 1916.   OUTLOOK FOR FARMERS – ARE THEY MAKING BIG PROFITS?  Never since the war began has the industrial community in Ireland reached a graver crisis.  Foodstuffs are rising rapidly, Meal is almost at a prohibitive price, and unless the farmers bestir themselves ruin may affect many of them before the war be out.  We do not wish to be alarmist, but facts must be faced as they are found.  About last October the present crisis really began.  There was a serious shortage of shipping to Ireland, and the consequence was that freight rose, with the result that the condition of affairs has steadily being getting worse, and if it continue much longer business will be paralysed and the price of all articles of food be at famine rates.

Farmers, no doubt, have made large sums of money through the war.  Cattle have been sold at enhanced prices; milk and butter produced at almost the same cost as before the war, have maintained a steady advance of about 50 per cent; and pork reached the record figure of 82s per cwt in Enniskillen market on Tuesday and on yesterday at Irvinestown 83s per cwt.  Against all this, feeding stuffs, through the present shortage of shipping and not through traders inflated profits, as some allege have advanced enormously.  Meal, the staple fattening food for pigs and fowl, which a short time ago could have been purchased for 13s a cwt, is now at 28s.  This price has frightened small farmers, and many have disposed of their pigs and ceased keeping them as they feared a loss.  Prices are alarming, but more a

Oscar Wilde’sEnniskillen.

wilde_plaque.jpg

The second Oscar Wild Festival in the current season will be held in Enniskillen this year following a successful debut last year.

Oscar’s Wilde’s Enniskillen. Fermanagh in mid Victorian Times 1864-71 is a book published in 2002 as part of a former Wilde Festival in Enniskillen held in that year is intended to convey some idea of what Enniskillen was like in mid-Victorian times – the county town of Fermanagh that Oscar Wilde would have walked through.  Perhaps on his way to and from the railway station while boarding at the prestigious, Enniskillen Royal Free School; locally known as Portora, or on excursions from the school to Sunday Church or to Enniskillen Fair Days. It intends to evoke the sights, smells, sounds of a small Irish Victorian town in the middle of Queen Victoria’s long reign. This town and county and its people provided the backdrop to Oscar Wilde’s growing up. John B. Cunningham Esq.

One of the most important voices in Oscar Wilde’s Fermanagh, at this time, was William Trimble editor of the Impartial Reporter newspaper. The paper had been first printed in 1825, and the paper is still published in the 21st century making it the third-oldest newspaper in Ireland after two other Ulster publications, the Belfast News Letter (which is the oldest daily newspaper in the world) and the Derry Journal. This book was researched from the issues of the Impartial Reporter 1864-1871. It originally began life written in the modern idiom with relatively few quotations from the pen of William Copeland Trimble but through time his voice took over. Oscar Wilde grew up reading and listening to the cadences of writers and speakers of the time. Victorian thoughts and descriptions seemed eventually to be better expressed in the words of the time and William Trimble was the master voice of Enniskillen and County Fermanagh and all matters pertaining in Oscar’s formative years. The words are largely those of William Trimble; the choice is mine.

Oscar Wilde attended Enniskillen Royal School from 1864 to 1871. This was a prestigious educational institution to which boys came from all over Ireland, the sons of gentry, military, religious and judicial figures. These boys were destined to follow in their fathers’ footsteps. Because of the distance from their homes the boys resided in the school as boarders. Local boys, chiefly from Enniskillen, made up the rest of the school. In all there were 175 boys in the school when Oscar Wilde attended there. With the arrival of the railway to Enniskillen in 1859 local boys could come from a wider area of Fermanagh. They came and went by train in the morning and afternoon. These were chiefly the sons of the merchant class of local shopkeepers, doctors, officers of the local military garrison etc. and they came and went each day. Some of them, like the boarders paid for their education but a certain number were educated free. There was certainly an amount of class distinction between the locals and the boarders and between those who paid and those who did not. Sometimes this manifested itself in fights between individual boys or in mass snowballing contests as one old boy describes in his memoirs. Oscar and his brother came to this educational establishment at the beginning of the school year of 1864/5, sons of the famous Sir William Wilde. They were Dublin boys, rusticated to a country school – boys used to the big city, now meeting a school full of strangers in a small Irish town.

What Enniskillen made of these city boys with a famous father we do not know but Oscar claims that he did not like his time there very much. However, whether or not he did, everyone’s schooldays have an influence on their later life, for good or ill, for better or for worse. We are influenced by our teachers, the ambience and ethos of the school, the happenings of the world around us as we grow up and the conversations and opinions of the boys and girls of our own age. Like successive layers of varnish, later memories become overlaid with subsequent events, but never entirely obliterate those underneath. We remember some teachers with affection and others with loathing and similarly our classmates. We remember the school bullies, the boyfriends and girlfriends of our teenage years, the escapades we got away with and the disasters when our wrong doings were discovered and the punishments which followed.

In compiling the Enniskillen of Oscar Wilde’s time the local newspaper the Impartial Reporter has been an invaluable source of reference which chronicled the events of the time in Enniskillen and County Fermanagh but also news from all around the world, the royal courts of Europe, happenings in Africa and America etc. The local newspaper, as we know it today, is a very insular, inward looking newspaper compared to those of the past. Television, radio and the national papers have taken over the task of telling us of the doings of the wider world but local, national and international items jostled together on the pages of the Impartial with local news often coming out worst in the struggle for space. Regular local items included in the paper were the meetings of Enniskillen Town Commissioners, the Poor Law Guardians of Enniskillen Workhouse, the Enniskillen Petty Sessions Courts, and the Fermanagh Quarter Sessions Courts. The weather, the fairs of Enniskillen and the coming and going of the local gentry also feature prominently. Schools and Church news were also covered but overall local items, other than advertisements, seldom represented more than ten to twenty per cent of the total amount in the paper. Items copied from the columns of other Irish papers were frequently covered, with acknowledgement, especially if it were sensational material such as a murder, discovery of weapons, descriptions of hangings or sensational trials involving people in high places.

So would boys at school in Portora read the local newspaper? Perhaps yes, and perhaps no, but regardless of individual boys reading the paper themselves, the conversation of the masters and the gossip and talk of the other boys would have supplied the deficiency. Boys were present from all over Ireland and indeed further afield, and interested in stories from their own area. These boys, especially the boarders, were being educated for places in the military, judicial and religious establishment, not alone in Ireland but throughout the British Empire and all knowledge of the society in which they were destined to make a living was almost as equally important as what they were imbibing from their masters at Portora.

The period represented by Oscar Wilde’s attendance at Portora lies about halfway through the long reign of Queen Victoria. What would Oscar Wilde and his brother have seen, smelt, heard, and experienced as they walked through its streets on their way from the railway station on the east end of the town to their school on the west end of Enniskillen – on the days they walked to church – on the days they were let out to experience the fair of Enniskillen? Did any of this influence his life or works? It is hard to answer that but “perhaps” is probably the best we can get. Boys arriving by train from Dublin or other parts of Ireland invariably had large trunks of clothing etc. and these were left at the station to be collected later by someone from the school and the boys then walked to the school. New boys were invariably accompanied by someone older who was already attending the school. Belmore Street and the eastern approach to Enniskillen from the railway station was not the town’s most inviting aspect. The street was smelly, unpaved and dirty. Until the level of the street was raised it was a swampy area which frequently flooded. Old people recalled catching fish where Dunne’s Stores and the Railway Hotel are currently situated. There was no pavement and horse and cow dung lay where it fell until one of the town scavengers swept it up. These scavengers, (their official title) were employed at an annual fee to keep the streets tidy but rubbish etc often piled up when they took a few days off on hire to a local merchant to move goods or furniture with their horse and cart. Many in town kept a few cows to provide milk for their family and work people. In the warmer weather they were driven too and fro morning and evening to be milked, and to grazing off the island of Enniskillen. They deposited their manure on the streets adding to that of the numerous horses and donkeys. In busy cities, street sweepers would sweep a path across the street for gentlemen and their ladies; in return for a fee of course. In dry weather this was tolerable to a degree but in wet weather the mud and manure could be many inches deep. Broken and unmade sewers produced a heavy stench especially in warm weather and the tannery in Belmore Street with its supply of high smelling animal hides added to the miasma. Fermanagh County Jail was one of the first grim sights of Enniskillen as one came from the train. The gallows over the main door was a grim reminder in an age when hundreds were hung each year in the British Isles. The tumult of a fair day can only be imagined today. Street singers, impromptu auctions, lowing cattle, bleating sheep and squealing pigs, horse and donkey carts trundling along interspersed with the carriages of the better off all added to the exciting, noisy atmosphere. Most houses were thatched, other than the houses of the wealthy, and the merchant’s premises and turf smoke filled the air. Boat loads of turf constantly arrived at Enniskillen as this was the principal fuel of the time.

Crossing the East Bridge where the bulk of the flow of the River Erne was then directed, provided views of boats going to and fro and bulky Erne cots (large flat bottomed boats) unloaded their cargoes of sand, turf, brick, timber etc at various quays and small beaches around the island. Sewage discharged directly into the river, and dead animals, and unused animal parts from the butchers all ended in the Erne. So too, unfortunately did the corpses of numerous unwanted little children. These sad little deaths were so commonplace as to be little noticed and an aspect of mid Victorian society seldom mentioned. Enniskillen had been a garrison town for centuries with around 50 resident prostitutes practicing what is reputedly the World’s oldest profession. Someone once added that lawyers were the second oldest profession but not nearly as honourable as the first.

At the Diamond in Enniskillen, and indeed at other places, street sellers called out their wares, such as apples and sweets, and auctions frequently gathered a crowd. Off duty soldiers and their lady friends thronged the streets especially towards the West end of the town and quarrels and drunken rows were extremely common. The Wilde boys would have passed Cassidy’s Tobacco factory along Church Street and the town brewery as they crossed the West Bridge. By now they could see Portora on the hill and depending on the time of day a stream of local Enniskillen boys on their way to or from the school many of them furthest away on ponies. Looking over the bridge boys would see boats and cots from Lower Lough Erne and sometimes the steamer “Devenish” on her way to or from a pleasant trip to Belleek or Castle Caldwell, a round trip of about 50 miles.