Gallipoli Campaign Remembered in Ireland

I have been doing a fair bit of research on Ireland and the First World War as part of my biography on Martin O’Meara VC, Australia’s only Irish-born Victoria Cross recipient of the First World War. Ireland was, of course, an integral part of the British Empire during the war, just as Australia was.

Ireland’s experiences during the war are largely overshadowed the ongoing struggle for home rule and later independence, and particularly by the Easter Uprising of 1916 which saw the British Army putting down an insurrection by Irishmen in Dublin … at the same time that Irishmen were fighting alongside English, Welsh, Scottish, Australia, New Zealand, Canadian (and later American) troops on the Western Front in Belgium and France.

Thousands of Irishmen also served at Gallipoli, in a campaign that Australians (and New Zealanders) have traditionally claimed as their own.

RTE, the Irish national broadcaster, has created an interesting site that explores the contribution of the Irish at Gallipoli.




Martin O’Meara VC Remembered by President of Collie Shire

It was good to see that Martin O’Meara VC has been remembered again, this time by Wayne Sanford, the President of Collie Shire here in Western Australia. Martin O’Meara enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Collie in August 1915. O’Meara was originally from a small farm near Lorrha in Tipperary, Ireland. He left Lorrha sometime between 1901 and 1911 and worked in various places in Ireland, making his way to South Australia in 1912, and then to Western Australia in 1914. Although he worked in the Pinjarra area during 1914, he is most commonly associated with Collie.

Councilor Sanford visited Lorrha last week and was able to lay a wreath at O’Meara’s memorial plaque in the village, as well as visiting some local places of significance in O’Meara’s life. He was also formally welcomed by the Tipperary County Council.

My own biography of Martin O’Meara is slowly taking shape and hopefully I’ll have it ready by the end of 2015. I’m really enjoying working on the book and have managed to discover some things about him that challenge the ‘story’ of him that has been around since the 1920s.