‘Ireland and the First World War’ free lecture series at Newry Museum

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Monday, January 5th, 2015
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As part of its Heritage Lottery funded First World War Project Newry and Mourne Museum is holding a six week lecture series on Wednesday evenings from Wednesday 14th January to Wednesday 18th February inclusive, beginning at 7:30 pm each evening.

Group of soldiers in Bessbrook, 1915 (Courtesy of Brendan McAllister). On the left hand side in the front row is John McAllister, grandfather of QRadio presenter Kevin McAllister. John is listed in the Newry Roll of Honour and served with the Post Office Rifles during the First World War

The lectures will present both national and local perspectives and an excellent line-up of speakers has been arranged. On Wednesday 14th January Professor Keith Jeffery from Queen’s University, Belfast, will consider recruitment in a lecture entitled “Joining Up for What? Irish Recruitment in the First World War”. The second lecture on Wednesday 21st January will be on “Irish Soldiers in the Battles of the First World War”, when the speaker will be historian and author, Philip Orr. Among his published books are The Road to the Somme and Field of Bones: The Gallipoli Campaign. Dr Robert Whan (Queen’s University, Belfast) will give the next two talks. On Wednesday 28th January he will speak about “The Medical Front” covering the role of Irish doctors and nurses, medical advances during the war, how wounded soldiers were treated, and the influenza of 1918. Then on Wednesday 4th February he will speak about “The Home Front: Newry and Mourne in the Great War”. The penultimate talk will be by Kilkeel author Matt Maginnis on Wednesday 11th February, when he will speak about “Mourne Men and U-Boats”. Historian and broadcaster, Dr Miles Dungan, who presents The History Show on RTÉ Radio, will be the final speaker on Wednesday 18th February. His lecture is entitled “A sort of homecoming: Irish soldiers and the aftermath of the Great War”. The final lecture will be preceded by an opportunity to view the Museum’s new travelling exhibition on “Newry and Mourne in the First World War” and members of the public are also encouraged to bring along and speak about any artefacts they have relating to ancestors in the war. The lectures will take place at Newry and Mourne Museum, Bagenal’s Castle, Castle Street, Newry, where parking spaces are available. Light refreshments will be provided. All the lectures are free but as seating is limited booking is essential. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. To reserve a place at one, or more, of the lectures please telephone 028 3031 3173 / 028 3031 3182 or email robert.whan@newryandmourne.gov.uk.

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