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empire News

The Anglo-Zulu War, Palestine & the RIC and Agatha Christie & the Lusitania

This week has seen two significant anniversaries from the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. It’s 143 years ago today since the Battle of Rorke’s Drift took place, while yesterday marked the anniversary of the Battle of Isandlwana, where British forces suffered a legendary defeat by the Zulus. At our 2021 Festival, Robert Harris spoke about the connections between West Cork and the Anglo-Zulu War, a talk you can listen to here on our website.

Another story linking Ireland and the British empire was on the BBC NI website recently. It featured this piece about members of the RIC who were recruited to work in the Palestine Police in 1922 and afterwards.

The Ports Past & Present blog has short articles on a myriad of interesting subjects, this month including the link between Agatha Christie and the sinking of the Lusitania; and the connections between the Anglo-Irish Treaty and Holyhead.

And finally, the always excellent Wartime NI website has now added a podcast to its offer – you can sign up here. They’re launching this to mark the 80th anniversary of the arrival of American GIs in Ulster.

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empire News

Rockall, Alaska and West Cork

The Royal Irish Academy has a new series of Podcasts called ‘Shelfmarks’ exploring how people have written about and observed the natural world over the centuries. The first episode is about an expedition to Rockall funded by the RIA in 1896.

The Irish Times‘ Extraordinary Emigrants series profiled Richard Henry Geoghegan, a linguist and Esperanto enthusiast who ended up living in Alaska, and carried out pioneering work recording the Aleut language. The image of Geoghegan in around 1895 is from the article. You can read more about him here.

The Irish Sea and Atlantic Slavery is a short but fascinating article published on the Ports Past & Present blog, written by Chris Evans from the University of South Wales.

And opening at the Crawford Art Gallery on 2 October, an exhibition of their works by West Cork’s most famous writer, Edith Somerville, including the wonderful sketch below.

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empire News

The Battle of Jadotville & the Battle of Britain

The Military Archives has a new online exhibition about the Battle of Jadotville, which took place 60 years ago this month. The image above is from the Archives and shows Irish troops departing for the Congo.

And on Battle of Britain Day, remembering the Irish men who fought in the RAF, including John Hemingway, the last surviving pilot from the Battle of Britain. Hemingway is now 102 and was profiled in the Irish Times in 2019.

Moving away from the military, to medieval manuscripts, Trinity College Dublin had a fascinating piece on its Manuscripts at Trinity blog about the journey of one early medieval collection of saints’ lives to Trinity’s Library, through the English Civil War.

And finally, from a Dublin library to a Dublin museum – a nice piece by Trevor White, who runs the Little Museum of Dublin, about starting and running a museum (well worth a visit if you haven’t been already).

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2021 empire Free Event Sunday

David Reynolds: English Memory & Amnesia about Empire

Sun Aug 8

English Memory and Amnesia about Empire – Professor David Reynolds

David Reynolds is Professor of International History (Emeritus) at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Christ’s College. He was educated at Cambridge and Harvard, and held a Faculty position at Cambridge from 1984 until his retirement from university teaching in 2019. He served as Chair of History Faculty in 2013-15. He has also held visiting appointments at various foreign universities including Harvard, Sciences Po in Paris, and Nihon University in Tokyo.

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2021 empire Free Event Sunday

Cauvery Madhavan & Ida Milne – The Tainted

Sun Aug 8

The Tainted – writing fiction about Irish imperial experience – Cauvery Madhavan & Dr Ida Milne

Cauvery Madhavan was born in India and moved to Ireland thirty three years ago. She is the author of three books of fiction – Paddy Indian, The Uncoupling and The Tainted. The Tainted was awarded the  runner-up prize in SAHR Prize for Military Fiction. It was listed by The Times UK as the Top 40 Historical Fiction in May 2020 and was picked by An Post Book Awards as their Top 5 Summer Reads 2020. Cauvery has written for the The Irish Times, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, the Sunday Tribune, The Phoenix  and Travel Extra. She lives with her husband and three children in County Kildare and is working on her fourth novel.

Dr Ida Milne is Lecturer in European History at Carlow College. Originally from Ferns, Co Wexford, and currently living in Kildare, she worked in the newspaper industry and as a travel journalist, before returning to education in 2000. She was awarded the prestigious Irish Research Council Marie Sklowodska Curie Actions Elevate fellowship in 2014-18, for a project exploring the impact of infectious diseases of childhood on Irish society over the course of the 20th century. Her principle research field is the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic. During Covid-19, she has become a frequent commentator on news media in Ireland and internationally about the lessons to be drawn from the history of epidemic disease.

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2021 empire Free Event Sunday

Nigel Biggar: Ethics & remembering Empire

Sun Aug 8

Ethics and Remembering Empire – Professor Nigel Biggar

Nigel Biggar has been Regius Professor of Moral & Pastoral Theology at the University of Oxford since 2007 and is also Director of the McDonald Centre for Theology, Ethics, and Public Life. After reading Modern History at Worcester College, Oxford, Biggar proceeded to study religion, theology, and ethics in Canada and the USA. On his return to Oxford in 1985 he became Librarian and Research Fellow at Latimer House, and then for most of the 1990s he was Chaplain and Fellow of Oriel College. In 1999 he took the Chair of Theology at the University of Leeds; and in 2004 he moved to the Chair of Theology and Ethics at Trinity College Dublin.

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2021 empire Free Event Saturday

Claire Warrior: the Irish in polar exploration

Sat Aug 7

The Irish in polar exploration – Dr Claire Warrior

Dr Claire Warrior is a Senior Curator at London’s Royal Museums Greenwich, and was one of the curators of the recent Polar Worlds gallery. Her PhD, from the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, was called ‘Rekindling histories: families and British polar exploration’, and looked at the ways in which family histories and national histories are entwined, and how and who we remember.

Image – ‘HMS Erebus in the Ice, 1846’ by François Etienne Musin courtesy of Royal Museums Greenwich

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2021 Centenaries 1912-1923 empire Free Event Saturday

Donal Lowry: Everything that Touches Ireland….

Sat Aug 7

"Everything that touches Ireland finds an echo in the remotest parts of the Empire": The Dominion Dimensions of the Anglo-Irish Settlement, c. 1916-1922 ​- Dr Donal Lowry

Donal Lowry is a Senior Member of Regent’s Park College in the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He has been an editor of the Journal of Southern African Studies and has published on the history of southern Africa, the Commonwealth, and Ireland’s relationship with the British Empire.

Categories
2021 empire Free Event Saturday West Cork Histories

Patricia O’Sullivan: Irish Police in Hong Kong

Sat Aug 7

An unsinkable constable makes an arrest: the Newmarket Men who policed colonial Hong Kong – Patricia O’Sullivan

Patricia O’Sullivan started researching Hong Kong’s vibrant history in 2010, initially uncovering long-forgotten family stories for Policing Hong Kong – an Irish History, (Blacksmith Books, Hong Kong, 2017). Based in the UK, but spending upwards of three months of the year in Hong Kong (until Covid-19 arrived) she has written a number of articles on forgotten aspects of the city’s life, some of which can be found on her website, www.socialhistoryhk.comWomen, Crime and the Courts: Hong Kong 1841-1941, which explores the lives of ordinary women in Hong Kong’s early years through the stories of what happened when things went wrong, was published in 2020.

Policing Hong Kong – an Irish History

Hong Kong 1918. A tranquil place compared to war-torn Europe. But on the morning of 22nd January, a running battle through the streets of Wanchai ended in the ‘Siege of Gresson Street’. Five policemen lay dead, so shocking Hong Kong that over half the population turned out to watch their funeral procession.
One of the dead, Inspector Mortimor O’Sullivan, came from Newmarket, Co. Cork. He, along with a dozen and more from this little town, had sailed out to Hong Kong to join its Police Force between 1864 and 1950. 
Using family records and memories alongside extensive research in Hong Kong, Ireland and London, Patricia O’Sullivan tells the stories of these policemen, their families and connections in a setting about as remote from rural north Cork as it was possible to be. 
Policing Hong Kong  – an Irish History pub. Blacksmith Books 2017 ISBN 978-988-7792734 is available from bookshops worldwide, hive.co.ukbookshop.org or direct from the author info@socialhistoryhk.com

Categories
2021 empire Free Event Saturday

Lar Joye: Irish soldiers in the British Army during empire

Sat Aug 7

Irish soldiers in the British Army during Empire – Lar Joye

Lar Joye is Port Heritage Director at Dublin Port. Previously he curated the award-winning Soldiers & Chiefs the Irish soldier at home and abroad from 1550 exhibition at National Museum of Ireland, described as a museum with a museum. He played a key role in the Decade of Commemorations 2012-2107 involved in a variety of projects including the 1913 Lockout: Impact & Aftermath and Banners Unfurled exhibitions and the WWI exhibitions Recovered Voices 1914-1916 & War in the Mud, the Irish Soldier on the Western Front, 1917. He represented the National Museum on the Irish Battlefield commission and on the Moore Street and GPO projects. In 2016 he was historical adviser for An Posts 2016 commemorative stamp series. More recently he has partnered with the theatre company Anu productions on the plays Pals- the Irish at Gallipoli, Sunder and These Rooms.

He is a graduate of University College Dublin, Leicester University and the Getty Leadership Institute and is currently chairman of the Irish National Committee of the Blue Shield and a member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Museums Association and the Military Heritage of Ireland Trust.