“WW1 is now in its second year, so much for the war to be over by Christmas", winter is upon the men in the trenches.
The trench system which stretched from the North Sea Coast in Belgium to the Swiss/ French border totaled some 25,000 miles by the end of the war.
The trenches became the dreaded place to be during their tour of duty which could last anywhere between 70 and 100 days. Stalemate existed on the western front and Winston Churchill looked to open a new front in the East to help Russia. The Dardanelles or Gallipolli Campaign took place in February 1915.
One of the first engagements was made by Commander Sackville Carden of the Royal Navy who was Commander of the British Fleet. Sir Sackville Carden was born in Barnane/ Templemore in 1857, the third son of Andrew Carden.
Unfortunately the naval bombardment assault was a failure and it was decided that an assault by ground forces would be more successful. The first ground forces landed at Anzac Cove on 25th April 1915.
It is well documented that the ground force assault campaign was an even bigger failure and that the only notable "success" in the entire campaign was the evacuation of the troops with little or no casualties. The last British troops were evacuated on January 8th 1916.
Which brings me to the Templemore connection during that period. Sir Sackville Carden was born in Barnane Templemore and served in the Royal Navy from 1870 to 1917.
He retired with the rank of Admiral and died in 1930. There were many casualties in the campaign and it is estimated that over 100,000 on both sides were killed and the town of Templemore did not escape in this regard.
Sgt Patrick Danagher Conn. Rangers killed on 23/8/1915 aged 28 years.
Pte Edward Morrissey Royal Dublin Fus. killed on10/8/1915 aged 20years. (This man is the Gran-uncle of Aidan Fogarty Monumental works).
Pte John Maher Royal Munster Fus. killed on 26/5/1915 aged 26 years.
Pte John Quinn Conn. Rangers killed on 22/8/1915 aged 44 years.
Pte Stephen Cooby Royal Irish Fus. killed on 11/9/1915.
The majority of the men on the Allied side who survived this campaign were transferred to mainland Europe to get ready for an even bigger battle. The rolling hills and valleys of the Somme was waiting for them.
Which brings me to Ms. Hanora Margaret Mahony. This lady was born in Templemore in 1887 she went to England to train as a nurse and when the war broke out she and many other nurses like her volunteered their services.
During the Gallipoli campaign she spent many hours looking after the young soldiers who were wounded in hospitals in Lemnos and Salonika.
After the war she continued with her nursing career and retired back to Templemore where she died on 30th August 1971 aged 84years. Fr. Francis Gleeson also a native of Templemore had volunteered his services in 1914 as Chaplain to the War Office.
He saw service on the Western Front with the Munster Fusiliers during his tour of duty.
His contract ended in October 1915 and while very sorry to leave his beloved Munsters he was in poor health as a result of his experiences on the front and came back to his parish in Dublin.
This was not the end of Fr. Gleesons involvement in the war, having regained his health he rejoined the 2nd Munsters in 1917.