Friday, 22 April 2016

Comóradh 1916 - A Pupil's Story

My great-grandfather, George Ward, was a member of the Irish Volunteers 1st Battalion Dublin Brigade in 1916. During Easter week he served in the Four Courts garrison under Commandant Ned Daly. He kept a diary during the week which tells of the events and fighting that he was involved in.  For most of the week he was part of a group of volunteers who occupied Jameson’s Distillery. On the sixth day they came under pressure from the British forces who had surrounded them. They retreated to Church Street and my great-grandfather George was part of a group who provided important cover fire for the volunteers.  He also wrote about his hunger and exhaustion when the garrison surrendered.  His British captors gave them tins of bully beef and biscuits. George’s commandant, Ned Daly, was one of the executed leaders.  George himself was sent to Frongoch prison camp in Wales.  He was released and sent back to Dublin on 16 July 1916. He was pleased to survive and glad to return home to his wife, Mary Frances Ward and their child.  My grandfather, Michael, was born eight years later.  My family and I are very proud of the part played by my great-grandfather, George Ward, in the 1916 Rising.
Mark Smyth

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