The Dichotomy Of Parental Sexual Abuse

A few months ago this friend of mine came into contact with this remarkable lady.  A very successful, confident woman who had a dark secret which troubled her in private.  She had once loved her father and I suppose in a way she still does but it is now many years since she last saw him. In her mind she is faced with the dichotomy of a loving father and and the mad sexually perverted man that would jump into bed with her at the dead of night.  A polarity that was totally confusing to her as a child.  She could not report this abuse because in a way she loved one half of this man.  So she wrote this poem as a way of coming to terms with this dichotomy.  The abuse happened 25 years ago and in her mid-thirties now she still has not managed to come to terms with the fact and she is now no nearer able to confront the issue and report the abuse.

My Monstrous Delight

You were a monster, you were my delight.

The love spell you were supposed to cast became my web.

I have you bad man running in my veins

I’ve spent my lives running from your ghost.

I danced in your house, my light painted your walls,

You were a monster, I gave you delight.

 

You were a monster, you drank my delight.

You took what you needed and numbed yourself to what you left behind.

You feasted on my purity, my magic and my light,

My love, my delight, just how much did you lack?

I dance for you, to fill for what you took, for what you could not grow.

You were a monster, you took my delight.

 

You are a monster, I am delight.

You are a fossil on my heart, I am a stone in your water

I am my own daddy’s girl, I am my own delight.

Your house smelt of damp, of pain and I burnt it to the ground.

I dance in the ashes and I take your weak hand.

You were  monstrous, I wanted delight.

 

You were a monster, you are my delight.

My light must have been monstrous for you to hold inside.

Did I taste sweet and pure, how long did that last until it turned to rust.

Late at night when you’d come to me did you think I’d want your story.

I dance for you daddy, I dance for your soul.

You may be a monster, but we are both delight.

 

How many people and how many times must similar thoughts such as these have attacked them in their quiet moments, never allowing the stain of abuse to go away.  A constant prod in the back, a constant echo in the ear.  If your God is good, why would he allow such pain.

 

Our Trip To Ypres, August 2014

I apologise for not writing sooner but the preparation for this trip took over my life but it is now over and here is my report on the sadness and the happiness of five moving days in Belgium and France for 48 lucky people.  We of the Connaught Rangers Association try to have a trip of remembrance every year, next year Gallipoli, but this experience was extra special.

CONNAUGHT RANGERS TRIP TO YPRES AUGUST 7TH TO 12TH 2014

We were awake early on 7th August and set off for Dublin at 2.30am our objective was Terminal 2 for 4.30am to meet our party, 44 people from all over Ireland, Cork, Kerry, Carlow, Dublin, Belfast, Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, Leitrim and Westmeath, with four more to meet in Belgium who had made their own way from England. A large party with a big responsibility to rein in the stragglers, but by 12.30 we were well ensconced in our hotel in Ypres. The Ariane Hotel everybody agreed was as good a hotel as was to be found; the staff, the food, the rooms were superb and the calm ambiance relaxed our bodies as stories were told and people got to know each other. The Belgian beer had many qualities but the one I noticed above any was its ability to gel strangers into long lost friends. Always on a trip such as this you will get characters but the whole 48 of us seemed to be larger than life.
We spent the evening in splendid conversation and most sensible people were in bed at a reasonable hour for the long hard day to come. However Committee men and pipers stayed to the end ensuring the regimental motto “Non Separabit” was strictly adhered to.
Up at 8.00am for a magnificent breakfast, either English/Irish or continental was catered for, some of us motored through all three not knowing if further rations would reach us during our sally into the trenches of South Ypres. Our first objective, Hill 62 at Sanctuary Wood was reached in good time, three and a half miles south of the town and it became obvious the advantage the German Army had at 1st Ypres in 1914. From here the German artillery could pepper the town with high explosive and at the same time keep control over the advancing English infantry with a view over two miles of ground.
The Connaught Rangers 2nd Battalion were in the thick of this battle in early November 1914, just across the Menin Road at Polygon Wood. After losing so many men on the retreat from Mons and at Soupir on the Aisne, as the French and the British Expeditionary Force drove the Germans back, they eventually brought themselves back to strength at Poperinghe with Special Reservists from the 3rd and 4th Battalions stationed in Cork. They were immediately thrown into action at St Julian and a week later sent down to Polygon Wood. These unfortunate unexperienced troops were blown to hell over the next few weeks when German artillery proved how good they were. So much so that the poor 2nd Battalion could fight no more and its survivors were incorporated into the 1st Battalion who were suffering a similar fate elsewhere, on 5th December.
Onto Essex Farm famed for John MacRae’s writing of the poem “In Flanders Field” and the subsequent growth of the poppy as the symbol of the war dead. Lots of Irish Guards graves here from 1915 and only a short distance from Mauser Ridge where the reformed 1st/2nd Battalion again met their fate in April 1915 during 2nd Ypres. They lost hundreds that day in a gas attack, their bodies never recovered as the gas and the oncoming Germans forbade it. The names of most of these men are on the Menin Gate.
Vancouver Corner was our next stop commemorating the brave Canadian Army who had just come into the war in this sector North West of Ypres town. They drove the Germans back suffering 2000 dead in their Division of 18,000 men from gas, bullet and shell.
Our last stop of the day was at Tyne Cot Cemetery the biggest military cemetery in the world, where 28,000 names are etched into the back wall of the cemetery and where 12,000 men are buried, unfortunately that badly hurt, the burial parties could hardly recognise the bodies. “A soldier of the British Army” or “A soldier of the Australian Army” or “A soldier of the Middlesex/ Leicester/Yorkshire Regiment” being the grim reminder on most graves. The deaths in this cemetery are from 1917 and 1918 and mainly from 3rd Ypres or the Battle of Paschendaele as it has become known. It is here on the back wall that John Robert Higgins aged 34, grandfather of the Higgins family on the trip is remembered. His leg blown off by a shell and he obviously bled to death with no chance of survival or recovery His wife and children repatriated themselves back to Belfast some months later after a daughter, a young child, was killed in an accident with a lorry in London where they were living.
Only one Connaught Ranger in this Cemetery out of the thousands of names, Lance Corporal CH Pretty 9056 6th Battalion, a stretcher bearer/ bandsman, one of the unsung heroes of this war is buried. We found his grave and stood a while as we remembered him and the three Rangers commemorated on the back wall, all 6th Battalion men from October 1917.
We were back at the Hotel for an early dinner, this night was our big night, the Connaught Rangers Association was leading the Ceremony of Remembrance at the Menin Gate. A ceremony which has been performed every night since the Menin Gate was built in 1926, except for the years of German occupation in WW2. We marched behind our pipers from the Main Square down the cobbled streets of Ypres. The pipers played the regimental marching tunes of the Connaught Rangers, St Patricks Day and Brian Boru as, although I say it myself, we cut quite a dash with the crowds of tourists and the local population, as we marched at military pace into the arms of thousands of people gathered at the monument to 60,000 dead whose bodies were never recovered but who fought at Ypres in 1914-1916. The Last Post Association managed the event smoothly with the firemen on their bugles playing the Last Post, our pipers replying with the lament “Oft in the Stilly Night” whilst the four kids of our party were signaled to lay the wreath to the Connaught Rangers. It was all over quickly it seems and we marched off to our pipers playing a slow “Raglan Road” and to the applause of thousands as Gary Egan paraded our colours. A night to remember for us all and I hope the onlookers got a lot from it as well. It was all done so respectfully, so measured, so tastefully and it echoed my thoughts from over twenty years ago when I saw the ceremony first and I said to myself then how nice it would be to take part in that Ceremony, little thinking that 20 years later I would be there and my dream fulfilled. Day 2 finished with a celebratory gush of the renowned Belgian Beer.
Day 3 was an early start to a long day in Northern France, a day following the exploits of the 1st and 6th Battalions in 1914 and 1916. Our first stop was Cabaret Rouge Cemetery where 23 Connaught Rangers are buried of the 1st Battalion, all killed either side of their disastrous trip up to Ypres for the beating they took on Mauser Ridge at 2nd Ypres in April 1915. This northern Loos sector never had a big battle but the daily attrition rate took care of thousands of men. In amongst the 23 dead are two Sligo men, 20 year old Lt. Benjamin George McDowel and Pte P Conlon, one of five brothers who joined the Connaught Rangers and died in this war. There are 7650 graves in this cemetery and our pipers played a lament and our colours were lowered as we remembered every one of those lads.
Our next stop brought us to Vimy Ridge where we explored another element of the fighting in the war, tunnelling. Where men fought men in dark tunnels many yards under the ground both sides trying to outwit the other in this grim game of subterranean chess. The Canadians took the ridge in April 1917 and it is generally considered to be the place where, just as the Australian and New Zealand nations came of age at Anzac in Gallipoli, the Canadians came of age here at Vimy in 1917. The four Canadian Divisions fought side by side overcoming the Germans who held key strategic positions on the ridge. The Canadians lost two thousand men and had 5000 wounded in the two days of battle. Every year the students of Canada come out here and also to Beaumont Hamel on the Somme and guide tourists through these horrible encounters. We had an enthusiastic and knowledgeable young French Canadian girl to show us around. The two days of fighting followed 18 months of preparation as mainly Welsh miners dug the miles of tunnels through the chalk of the ridge.
From there we went into the thick of the Battle of Loos in late September 1915 where first day advances led to wholesale slaughter as Generals French and Haig squabbled over who commanded what and although Haig eventually won that little spat, thousands of men died as mistake after mistake took place as the two men huffed and puffed. Our first stop was just outside Loos en Gohelle, south east of Mazingarbe at Dud Corner Cemetery where two men belonging to our party are commemorated. Pte John White 6250 of 6th Battalion is buried here and Brendan and Eleanor White of Dublin two of our party paid their respects and Eddie Lenihan of the 2nd Battalion Irish Guards is remembered on the stone panels of the Loos Memorial which surrounds the cemetery. Eddie was a Waterford man who came to Manchester in the 1890s, married at the turn of the century and left his wife and four children and went to war with the Guards and was blown to hell by a large German shell three days into his baptism of fire, his body parts scattered over this part of Northern France. Rudyard Kipling’s son, John, Eddie’s platoon commander is on the panel next door. Poor Jack died on his first day of war, the 26th September 1915.
On to Le Touret Memorial near Bethune where 13400 regular soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force are remembered who died in the first year of the conflict, there are 63 Connaught Rangers with no known grave and three who were lucky enough to be found in one piece, a really lovely memorial and cemetery where 900 graves are situated. On a few miles to the Royal Irish Rifles Cemetery at Laventie situated on a lonely country road outside the village. Here 12 Connaught Rangers are buried and one in particular Pte Patrick Feeney 5547 1st Battalion is buried, a veteran of the 2nd South African War 1899 to 1903, he is the grandfather of one of our party, Michael Feeny of Castlebar, who in his eulogy after the pipers lament, Michael explained how Patrick Feeney was the inspiration that made him drive forward that magnificent memorial in Castlebar, The Mayo Peace Park, dedicated to the dead of all wars and the forlorn hope that there will be no more. After his oration Michael sang the song Willy McBride, his voice hoarse with emotion and not a dry eye at the grave, one of the truly moving moments on this memorable trip.
Day four beckoned and our last day of action spoilt a little by some extremely unpleasant weather  we took in Messine Ridge, the scene of a great victory for the British in the lead up to 3rd Ypres in 1917 where 29 large mines were excavated under the ridge and blew the German line to smithereens. Only 26 of these mines erupted but enough to create havoc in the German front line, another went off a few years back, luckily killing nobody. However there are two mines extant and unfortunately now the authorities do not know their location. A constant reminder to locals and their cattle that although the war was one hundred years ago, death could be round the corner still.
In the pouring rain our pipers played another lament at the Irish Cross in Wyschaete dedicated to the Irish 16th Division of which the 6th Battalion Connaught Rangers were part. Intrepids were soaked, the wise stayed on the bus. On to Kemmel Chateau Cemetery where 38 Connaught Rangers are buried, all 6th Battalion men from late 1916 through to 1917. Two graves of interest to me at this lovely cemetery were those of a Dublin lad, Sgt Augustine John Hackett 2486 Connaught Rangers, killed in a trench raid at the age of 20 on my birthday 19th February 1917, 29 years before I first saw the light. Augustine’s family had contacted me only three days before we flew out of Dublin knowing absolutely nothing about his war. As soon as we returned I sent them photographs of his grave and the promise over the next few weeks to send them his story. They are over the moon with the prospect and with Oliver’s help we will piece together his short life. He must have been quite a lad to be Serjeant at 20 years of age. The other man at this cemetery who I had a special interest in was Lt. Joseph Patrick Dignan of Roscommon, who had attended the same school as myself, St Bede’s College in Manchester. I wrote a long article a couple of years ago about him and his three brothers who all enlisted, one of whom also died at Ronsoy on the Somme on 21st March 1918 whilst serving with the South Irish Horse. Joseph Patrick was in a cadre of 9 Connaught Rangers officers who landed in France in July 1916 and after six weeks trench training were attached to the Enniskillings who had taken a terrible pasting in the early days of the Somme in July, within a few weeks they were all dead at Guillemont and Ginchy, Joseph Patrick lasting the longest of the nine before being killed on a night patrol with the 8th Enniskillings on 16th October 1916.
Soaking wet we entered the town of Poperinghe after an interesting and educational stop at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery where there is a museum to medical care and the graves of 10784  soldiers from 30 different countries proving how true was the title World War given to this terrible four years of death. The museum explained the progress medical science made at this place known as Remy Sidings where there was a collection of Casualty Clearing Stations catering for the wounded of four years of war. On one wall was a timeline chart showing the dead of Ypres reaching a massive climax in the late, wet summer of 1917.
On our way into town we paid a visit to Poperinghe Old Military Cemetery, there are seven Connaught Rangers all having died from their wounds sustained in their action at Polygon Wood in early November 1914. Wounded, they were brought to Poperinghe, to the Casualty Clearing Stations in the town which were moved to the countryside outside of the town when the Germans managed to find their range and peppered the place with artillery fire. Although we remembered all seven two had pride of place. Sgt M J Murphy 7404 2nd Battalion of Drogheda whose family had contacted me in the few days before we travelled and Pte J T Holian 4283 2nd Battalion of Roscommon Town, both of course regular soldiers. In our party we had two Holians, mother, Margaret and son, John, from Kiltevan outside the town of Roscommon and decendants of Pte Holihan and has it turned out there graves were almost side by side. The pipers played, the colours lowered one last time and John gave a word of thanks to the Committee of the Association for bringing the two of them there, phone calls to Ireland humming with gratitude, sadness and emotion and finally a group photograph at the foot of the monumental cross in the little cemetery tightly surrounded by the houses of Poperinghians.
Poperinghe is a lovely little town deserving more than the few hours we spent there. Eight miles west of Ypres, it was a place of rest and relaxation for all the troops wearied by their exploits at the front round the salient. Edmund Blunden, the poet, in his memoir of his war years, Undertones of War, described Poperinghe as the next thing to heaven. It is also the centre of the hop industry in Belgium which we learnt to our cost that evening in the town.
After a long night of retrospection we awoke late to Day 5. No hard graft today just gentle ambulation through the pretty streets of sun kissed Ypres, a coffee here and there and for me a magnificent lunch in a brand new restaurant a few hundred yards from the hotel called Souvenir. Then a last count up, everybody reported for duty and off we went to Brussels, a last word of thanks from our driver, Marc, and into the airport. We were back in Boyle at midnight, tired, hungry and thirsty. We slept long and awoke next day reminiscing over the jokes and laughs and mainly the sadness of a memorable five days in little Belgium.

 

What Can You Believe In These Distorted Times.

Well what a quandary we are all in with a plane supposedly falling out of the sky having been hit by a sophisticated missile system fired by a punch drunk, vodka infused Ukrainian Russian and the plane dropping bodies all over the agricultural landscape of Eastern Ukraine. These bodies, so the locals tell us, had been dead for some days and in an advanced state of putrefaction, which seems odd when in fact they were supposed to be part of living and breathing humanity only hours before in the confines of Schipol Airport in Amsterdam after flight MH 17 took off with 298 people on board. Some bright spark suggests that these bodies are the recently thawed out deep frozen passengers from Malayan Airlines flight MH 370 with 239 people on board that mysteriously disappeared somewhere between the North and South Poles on 8th March this year. There has been some jiggery pokery going on with bodies on the ground suggesting there are a few Burke and Hares still knocking about, stealing bodies from the scene of the crash just so that the discrepancy in numbers of 59 souls between the two flights cannot be properly tallied.
This asks the question, that if the dropped bodies are these 239 from MH 370, where are the 298 who were supposed to be on MH 17? Obviously this asks another question which is when will the next plane crash be in order to lose this fresh 298? There is obviously an agenda here which is making people too scared to travel. Keep everybody penned-in in their own domesticity, stop that they can be better controlled. I myself have an interest here as both myself and my family are taking on quite a few plane journeys in the next few months and I would like to know whereabouts I am going to meet my Reaper.
It is only right that the governments of the world are up in arms demanding to know who was the culprit who pulled the trigger, who was the bastard who deep fried these thawed cadavers and why was the plane flying over a war zone when every other airline was on a detour round Eastern Ukraine, and was the supposed missile that did the damage meant for one of the two Ukrainian jets that had been accompanying the MH 17 flight, and was it hit by a missile at all, or was it made to crash land by remote control in a disputed area where evidence would be difficult to piece together. The scenario certainly asks more questions than there were passengers on the plane,
Well it looks as though the western finger is pointing at Putin and they are lining up, these Yankee, British, Frogs, and puffing out their chests and telling Putin that he had better come clean or else he is for it in the next game of marbles these politicos play. Meanwhile the French have delivered two warships to Russia this week to bolster Ivan’s armament capability. Two warships that France had contracted to build for its hateful enemy. A little like the two battleships that Britain built for Turkey in 1914. Churchill claimed them for the Royal Navy although the Turks had paid for them, the Germans in compensation gave the Turks two of theirs from their burgeoning fleet and Turkey joined war on the side of the Kaiser. If Churchill had been half as clever as some of the history books tell us, the hundreds of thousands of Allied and Turkish deaths at Gallipoli. Mesopotamia and Palestine in the First World War could have been avoided.
And with the sky raining bodies, what a good day to hide some really bad news, which makes one think that somewhere in this mass of dirty tricks, the Mossad has it long scrawny arm in it up to its oxter. Israel have decided to eliminate Gaza, this stone in the shoe of Zionist thinking. Whilst bodies drop from the sky in the Ukraine, Israel drops rockets on Gaza’s overcrowded streets. You do not have to be accurate in this tightly packed Palestinian enclave. Wherever you throw a bomb there you will hit somebody. As easy as throwing a grenade into a tightly packed fish tank. When the aerial bombardment stopped the Israelis, like good minded citizens sent in their waste disposal teams armed with tanks and bulldozers, to clean up the blood, move the hardcore off the streets and shoot anybody who blinks an eye. And none of this mayhem is being reported, recorded or being checked by our supposed good governance.
No other country in the world could get away with this massacre of innocents. The powers that deal in this type of global policing would normally be on to this national bullying immediately and their caper stopped but unfortunately the powers are busy having a game of tag with their mates over in the Ukraine, and anyway it is the Mossad and their Zionist leaders that control global everything including global policing. So while the kids are playing in the next street the grown-ups can get rid of a few hundred neighbours from hell in Gaza.
So what is it with all these people who rule our lives when they give us overkill on disinformation, what is their purpose. Well it can only be to control us, to scare us. To make the good guys look bad and vice versa. They know the majority of people are daft as bats and will believe in anything they are told. They know we few who question situations are small in number and a lid can be put on our activity. We really are powerless until the majority awake from their slumber. All we can do is empower our individuality and make it as difficult as possible for them to control us and please while your reading this feel for the poor Palestinians, an endangered species.

Synchronicity

The Oxford English Dictionary describes the word synchronicity as the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernable causal connection.
Well I think a whole load of synchronicity has entered the life of the Connaught Rangers Association with the centenary year of the start of the mass destruction of humanity that people called the Great War and which was downgraded to World War 1 when it was realised mankind has the ability to create Great Wars on a whim and chose to have another 20 years after the First but this time including the civilian population of the world and the way it is looking the politicians seem to be sparring for a third. These clever men never could learn a lesson.
Our story starts in the early years of the last century when two Athlone men enlisted in the Connaught Rangers and another man from Liverpool strutted the London stage. They might not have known each other but they certainly would in the years to come.
Michael Curley enlisted in 1901 at Ballinasloe aged 16, 7261 Connaught Rangers and served a relatively easy seven years in the colours rising to the rank of sergeant, serving in England, Malta, and Ireland and went into the Reserve for five years in 1909 to fulfil the terms of his engagement. He found employment in Athlone at a textile mill and was married in 1907 and had a daughter and helped found the Midlands Volunteer Force in late 1913 which became the forerunner of the Irish Volunteers which was founded a year later in response to Carson’s loyalist activities in Ulster. He had re-enlisted with the Army Reserve in 1913.
John Doyle, although born in Athlone was living in Tullamore, King’s County, now Offaly and in 1908 enlisted in 4th Battalion Connaught Rangers Special Reserve No 2864, more as a hobby and two weeks camp every year and the few shillings a week it gave him on top of his wages than as a serious thought of being a soldier. He never left Ireland in this period and was content with life in Tullamore where he married and had two children.
The third man in this trinity was Frank Harrison Saker, born in 1880, the son of a Liverpool comedian, Edward Sloman Saker and an actress from the Dublin stage, Emily Mary Kate O’Beirne. The father with entrepreneurial spirit managed the Alexandria Theatre in Liverpool at some stage but died reasonably young in 1883. The mother moved down to London bringing her son, Frank and his two brothers and sister with her and in the 1890s became a successful actress on Drury Lane. When young Frank grew to maturity he followed his mother into the thespian profession and proved equally successful and in 1904 he was commissioned into the Special Reserve of Officers and attached to 4th Battalion Connaught Rangers aged 23. In 1906 he was promoted Lieutenant and in 1908 married Ethel Frances Wright in Newcastle.
On mobilisation on 5th August 1914 these three men were called up. Michael Curley went to Aldershot and was incorporated into 2nd Battalion and the two Special Reservists Doyle and Saker went to Boyle in Roscommon and then down to Fort Camden in Crosshaven, Cork on 8th August where Saker was promoted to Captain on 9th September 1914 and left Cork for France on 24th September.
Michael Curley was in the thick of it from the start having landed in France at Boulogne on August 13th with the 2nd Battalion, in reserve at the Battle of Mons and part of the rearguard during the retreat from Mons and there on that grave day on August 26th at Le Grand Fayt where the 2nd Battalion lost 300 men, mainly as prisoners of war and at Soupir on the Aisne where they lost another 250 men when the Germans in great strength took on the remnants of the 2nd Battalion in early September and learnt to their cost that when an Irishman is on his knees, he is even stronger than when stood up. They lost a further 80 men at Vermeuil on 19th and then were pulled out of the fighting having lost over 66% of their strength and were posted up to Poperinghe for rest and recuperation and to take on drafts that were being sent from the 3rd and 4th Battalions in Cork. Frank Saker arrived early October and was put in charge of C Company and John Doyle arrived on 19th October in a draft of 191 men from the 4th Battalion.
As you can imagine C Company of about 200 men were mainly inexperienced lads from Ireland stiffened with a few experienced men like Curly and led by a Captain who had never been in action. Two days later on 21st October they were thrown into the battle known as 1st Ypres at St Julien, a village a few miles north east of Ypres near Langemark and over the next three days lost a further 71 men. They were recalled to Ypres on 24th October and sent out along the Menin Road, south west of Ypres, near to Polygon Wood at a place called Molensaarelshoek and over the next week lost another 135 men in one of the most intense set pieces of 1st Ypres with the German artillery proving their superiority. It was here on 30th October things become a little blurred with a flurry of uncorroborated witness evidence but over the years a clearer story has emerged.
Frank Saker’s inexperience had already come to the fore and that with a not very agreeable personality gave the men in his company no confidence, it appears that he was very much disliked, especially by his NCOs whom every good officer depends on. It seems that Saker either misconstrued or disobeyed his orders and whether it was inexperience or gung ho/madcap heroics is hard to work out but he led his company past his allocated objective and overshot into the German lines against the advice of his NCOs and found himself in an untenable position, virtually surrounded by the enemy. Sgt Curley was pleading with him to withdraw whilst they still had a chance but Saker refused. It is now alleged that Curley sorted things out the best he could under the circumstances and threw a grenade into the hut where  Saker was sheltering and led the men back to where they should have been. C Company lost 10 men in this action plus many POWs but over 100 men were saved by Curley’s presence of mind.  He later served with the 1st Battalion in France and Mesopotamia However this deed troubled him throughout his war, slightly unhinging his thoughts. He was eventually badly wounded not many yards away from this incident at 3rd Ypres at the Battle of Paschendaele in September 1917 when attached to the 6th Battalion.  He was carried from the battle and eventually landed up at a Casualty Clearing Station at Brandhoek , near Poperinghe where he died from his wounds and was buried at Brandhoek Cemetery.
Fast forward the story now to 2011 and from here the synchronicities start to pile up. Four of us from the Association went to see a play written by an Athlone man, Neil Richardson, entitled From The Shannon To The Somme in which Neil marvellously wrote of the deeds of Michael Curley, set to the background of a rapidly changing Ireland during the war years. A fantastic production in the Little Theatre in Athlone, the acting and direction were superb and the story so emotional and so well written. I wrote a short critique on it in our 2012 New Ranger Magazine.
In early 2013 Roscommon County Council asked us to produce something for the 2013 Irish government tourist initiative “The Gathering”. Bravely we offered to do a reprise of the play. The writer and director fully enthused and with a new cast from the Dublin stage, we produced the play over two nights in May 2013. It went down very well and on our forthcoming trip to Ypres in 2014 we vowed to visit Michael Curley’s grave at Brandhoek Cemetery near Poperinghe and pay our repects.
By now we the Trip Committee were working hard, organising this trip, a party of 50 people takes some organising, when in mid July with just three weeks to go before our departure, I received a call from King House that a man wanted to see me and see if we can trace his great grandfather. Nothing unusual in that, we help 10 or 20 people a week in this exercise and we are glad to help. This man, Marc Dellanzo, had been searching for years in tracing the whereabouts of his relative and in a last ditch effort had brought his family, I think there was eight of them, over from Scone in Perthshire in Scotland to visit King House, the home of the Connaught Rangers Association, not even knowing that this was the jumping off point for his ancestor when the war started.
I immediately found his man and told him the basics of the 2nd battalion’s activities in the first few months of the war and told him that on consulting our archivist, Oliver Fallon, I would be able to tell him more. I liked this man’s intensity and his willingness to go this extra mile and his obvious joy in ending his search and contacted Oliver later that day. He did not have much but what he had opened up the last of our synchronicities. Corporal John Doyle 2864 Connaught Rangers who we had last heard of in a draft coming over from Crosshaven in Cork to join the 2nd Battalion in time for 1st Ypres was Marc’s great grandfather and he was one of the men killed in that ill fated advance by Saker on 30th October 1914 and furthermore in that same group of casualties was another John Doyle 4736 of 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers from 25 Clarence Place, Great Brunswick Street in Dublin. The bodies of the two Doyles and Saker were never recovered and they are commemorated on the Menin Gate, where we will be leading the Last Post ceremony on August 8th 2014. To look at the great stone walls of the Menin Gate, at the inscribed names of the 197 Connaught Rangers who died defending the town of Ypres and whose bodies were never found, the drama, idiocy and killing of 30th October 1914 would never be known without the inquisitiveness of a man from Scone.
As a footnote to this story I will just repeat the line Marc Dellanzo put into our comments book at King House, “Finally found out about my great grandfather RIP 30.10.14” almost 100 years later.
Let us also remember those 10 men who died needlessly that day:-
Pte B Coyle 4101 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers from Manor Hamilton, Leitrim, Special Reserve.
Corp John Doyle 2864 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers from Athlone/Tullamore, Special Reserve.
Pte J Doyle 4736 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers from Dublin, Special Reserve
L/Sgt Michael Keane 7261 2nd Battalion from Boyle, Co Roscommon, Regular Army.
Pte J McDermott 4366 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers, Special Reserve.
Pte T Mills 4392 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers, Special Reserve.
Corp P Murray 8408 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers from Clara in Kings County/Offaly, Regular Army.
Pte M Owens 3028 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers, Special Reserve.
Pte C C Purcell 10560 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers from Kildare, Regular Army.
Captain Frank Harrison Saker 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers from Liverpool/London, Special Reserve.

And also Pte M Conroy 4557 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers from Boyle, Special Reserve who was wounded that day and taken Prisoner of War and died from his wounds in German custody on December 14th 1914

Requiescat in Pace

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