Dalton extinguished his lamp and escaped into the darkness without injury. Soon after the Volunteers had left the wood, he returned with five colleagues and four policemen. A train approached the site; it was derailed and crashed onto its side as it passed over the demolished section of the track. The engine driver and the fireman were flung from the cabin of the engine but nobody was seriously injured. When they heard that the Rising in Dublin had failed, the group split up.
Many of them later went on to take part in the War of Independence and the Civil War. At the Easter Saturday meeting they had been told not to believe misleading newspaper reports, so the company stayed together, hoping that the Rising would spread throughout the country. He returned to Dublin with my great-grand uncle and they were told by Fr Augustine that the Rising was definitely over.
Father J. Carney from Portlaoise asked them to surrender to the RIC county inspector in Portlaoise, but they refused and decided to go on the run:. While on the run I kept in touch with the other men. I remained on the run for about eleven months during which time I collected gelignite and detonators. When he came off the run, Paddy organised companies of Volunteers and, after speaking with Michael Collins, amalgamated these companies into a battalion.
Paddy was made battalion commandant of the Laois Brigade.
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Laois was to account for the largest amount subscribed in any county in Leinster with the exception of Dublin. Paddy brought the money to Dublin on his bicycle in a bag! Down, from where he was released in December Wexford, Carlow and the Phoenix Park.
In November he was successful in his appeal for a military service pension, after he had been refused in I discovered during my research that he lived in Sandbrook near Ballon, Co. My family and I lived in Ballon up to two years ago and our house would have been about two miles away from his. While he was living in Sandbrook he made his first pension application in Through John Kehoe of Tullow Museum, who contacted one of the oldest residents in the area, Mr Keppel in Rathrush, who is about 85 years old, we found out that the connection was actually to Sandbrook House.
When it was vacant, it was taken over and used as a boarding house for newly appointed Civic Guards stationed in County Carlow. Paddy was one of these men. When he reapplied for his pension in , he was living at Black Horse Avenue, Dublin. It would seem likely that he lived in Ballon when he was stationed in Carlow and in Black Horse Avenue when he worked in the Phoenix Park. Paddy died in March and is buried in Portlaoise, Co. Daisy died on 3 March Fleming eds , in Laois Laois Commemoration Committee, Login Subscribe To renew a subscription please login first.
Search for:. That field of glory. The story of Clontarf, from battleground to garden suburb Read More. Personal Histories is an initiative by History Ireland, which aims to capture the individual histories of Irish people both in Ireland and around the world. This is something the the museum is now trying to address, working with communities to develop a new, more reflective and meaningful representation of the thirty years of conflict.
The photographs that have been selected present a shared vision of the past, serving as a means to explore the experiences of ordinary people, of whatever background, during this time. The Museum of Free Derry is a particularly interesting example of a museum which is free from the constraints of official status. Situated in the Bogside, on the exact spot on which British troops opened fire and shot 28 unarmed civilians of Bloody Sunday, this community-run museum represents the events of that day in a raw and unfiltered way.
The museum effectively uses video footage, audio recordings, images and artefacts in a dark, claustrophobic room, creating for the visitor an almost immersive experience of the chaos and violence of the day. All of this gives plenty of food for thought about issues of ownership and interpretation of public memory and history, and the challenges of representing troubled pasts to public audiences. In an environment in which contested interpretations of the past feeds the divisions of the present that is a challenge indeed.
With the Executive suspended due to the political fall-out over the flawed and exploited Renewable Heating Scheme and the main parties failing to reach agreement that will restore powers, the threat of Direct Rule is very real. Funding to essential services is being held up and, ironically, an important proposal for a consultation process over how to deal with legacy issues is left to languish in the political vacuum.
The ostensible sticking point in negotiations between the two main parties appears to be legislation around the Irish language, while legacy issues also play a big part. Both parties, each of which represents the more extreme ends of the political spectrum, continue to draw on representations of the past to legitimise their stance. In Northern Ireland there is no doubt that representation of the past in public, by the public, or for the public, remains deeply problematic.
History matters. Our histories warn us, inform us, and inspire us. More than that, they help us know ourselves, and shape what we believe we know about each other. As I was getting ready to go to the first protest outside the newly-unveiled Ripper Museum in Shadwell, I started looking for a quote which could express what I was struggling to say. The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story. Yet if our single story is about the brutal, unsolved murders of five working class women, how does that shape the way people see us?
How does it shape the way we see ourselves? It is incredibly common and frequently lethal, and Ripper tourism helps to trivialise it. The story is told again and again with no reference to the wider context of violence against women — especially violence against women sex workers — and usually in an insensitive, sensational, titillating way.
It was a bizarre strategy, which they thankfully now seem to have abandoned. On the other, it reveals the extent to which a particular aspect of feminism has become depoliticised and absorbed into the mainstream. A recent survey by Girlguiding UK revealed that over half of girls aged say that the role women have played in history is not represented as much as the role of men.
Just 2. Unsurprisingly, where women do appear they tend to be those with the most privilege, with women at the intersections of oppression rendered almost invisible. The histories of women of colour, women with disabilities, lesbian and bi women, trans women, and working class women have not only been pushed to the margins but right off the page. Why does this matter? Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.
Uncovering hidden histories can also play a part in consciousness-raising. Recognising shared experiences across decades, even centuries, help to make the deep roots of inequality and structures of power visible. It means something to discover that your struggle is not only individual but shared, not accidental but systemic. Studies suggest that women and girls respond better to role models who are also women and girls, and there is something especially magic about a local hero.
Our reasons are practical — this is a big enough job as it is! One of the most pressing is lack of funds. Aside from practical challenges, there are other issues to contend with: for example, as our profile grows we are encountering more criticism and hostility. We want to create opportunities for women and girls to gain the skills and confidence to tell their own stories. Our hope is that we can build a long lasting resource for historians, schools, curators, and community groups.
We want to partner with more fantastic archives, collections, and community heritage projects and work together to get the girls to the front. Our ultimate aim is to co-create the content of the museum with groups from across east London, and to make it as accessible as possible, collecting and sharing stories in public spaces — parks, streets, schools, pubs, places of worship — as well as in our own museum space and online.
This year our main focus is putting some firm foundations in place while we continue to listen and learn about what would make the best possible museum for the women and girls we aim to serve. Yesterday evening was no exception. However, recognising this as an emotional rather than a rational response, I convinced myself that it would be better to read the full article first.
After having read the entire story I still felt angry. Without giving it too much thought, I sent the following tweet:. My mistake was to be a teacher who had been to a protest with a banner that was made by some students. Was my tweet unprofessional? Is it offensive? Only directly to Katie, a woman who herself never hesitates to cause offence. Does it suggest that I was brainwashing children and forcing them to manufacture propaganda to impose my views upon other people?
Absolutely not in the real world. The notifications poured in. The number of notifications was increasing by the minute, and all of the posts appeared to be filled with hate. It was really quite overwhelming and I genuinely started to panic. But, I reasoned, the worst case scenario would see me unemployed by Monday — something that the people tweeting at or about me were not only calling for, but also providing useful links, to direct people to where exactly they should report me: the Department for Education; OfSted; and to Justine Greening on Twitter.
The abuse continued to escalate. In addition to the abuse flung my way, the Twitter community began to flesh out the details of my indoctrination programme. It transpired that there was a lot more to the sentence I had tweeted than met the eye. I had then used these materials to get the children to make protest banners for me. That was instantly retweeted. Should a parent ever question why their child is learning about a particular topic, then a teacher can accurately state that this is what the government prescribes. Other tweets seemed to suggest that it was beyond the remit of a teacher to teach about topics that were either deemed to be political in nature, or might be considered as current affairs.
To put it bluntly, if we were to remove topics that were political in nature, then not much of the National Curriculum for History would remain. The introduction of the National Curriculum in marked a defining moment in education across England and Wales. In its current iteration, the only mandatory topic for study in the key stage three history curriculum is the Holocaust.
This means that teachers have a greater level of autonomy in selecting what content to teach their classes across the rest of the key stage. Teachers will make decisions concerning what to teach based on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, the resources they have available, the strength of their subject knowledge and passion for individual topics, what they have taught previously and the ability of their classes.
Students typically begin their study of history at secondary school, learning about the Middle Ages. The first time that they will really encounter political ideas is when they learn about the barons confrontation with King John at Runnymede in Students — with guidance from their teacher — are thus equipped to draw out the similarities and differences between political struggles in different eras. For example, one of my Year 8 classes has recently looked at the question of when Britain became a democracy, and while the enquiry is mainly based on events in the nineteenth-century, they were also encouraged, and most were able, to make comparisons with the sixteenth-century.
While students are able to recognise the similarities across periods and to understand political problems in different eras, I would suggest that those who posted tweets to say that politics should not be taught in the classroom shows a comprehensive failure in this respect. Is there, for example, a qualitative difference in the nature of the learning taking place when students design campaign propaganda for the contender to the throne of England after the passing of Edward the Confessor, to those completing the same activity to suggest who would make the best leader of the Conservative Party in ?
I would suggest not, but then I doubt that anyone has ever accused a teacher of trying to brainwash a class into electing Harald Hardrada instead of William of Normandy. We would also do well to remember that school students are perfectly capable of forming and expressing their own political viewpoints, and indeed protesting government policy.
Finally, the question of making use of current news stories in the classroom can also be justified on the following grounds: one of the most effective ways to get students engaged in a historical topic is to make the contemporary relevance of it explicit to them. Sometimes the best place to start a history lesson is in the present — with a current news story — and then ask how we got here.
When they came into class the next week and we were learning about the Suffragettes, it all made far more sense to them. I will make no apologies for adopting exactly the same approach over the coming weeks as I teach about the Civil Rights Movement and we ask why there are still protests demanding that we Stop Racism and confirming that Black Lives do Matter going on at the moment.
Is this brainwashing or political indoctrination?
Jackie Teale is a secondary level history teacher and doctoral student at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her thesis is supervised by Professor Dan Stone and focuses on the ways in which press photography has shaped public responses to genocide. In the past, kings and queens exercised their majesty through a conspicuous display of wealth and power. Magnificent courts, sumptuous homes, golden carriages, the largest jewels, the finest horses, the most splendid paintings, were not just the trappings but the foundations of regal power.
Wealth was the cause rather than a symptom of power. Historically there were intellectual dimensions to this material majesty. Kings were thought to be appointed by divine right, the keystone in a natural hierarchy celebrated in a culture of deference.
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Simply put, the king stood just beneath god in the natural order, and this exalted position was reflected by his extravagant wealth. The same question is more difficult to address with clarity today as debates about heritage and national identity get mixed up with constitutional issues. Whether the current monarchy is a greater asset for the nation as part of the tourist industry, or simply because defending it seems to save us the time of thinking of an alternative, is still a debatable point. For some, even raising the question implies sedition, subversion and immorality.
Certainly beyond those die-hard loyalists, besotted with the ineffable mystery of the crown, and firmly wedded to principles of deference reinforced by royal hierarchy, it is difficult to contrive a robust philosophical defence of the institution today. If we pose the same question in the historical sense — what were monarchs for? In the past kings and queens were warriors, symbols and enactors of military might, dispensers of justice, makers of law, and, very commonly, representatives of God on earth.
Competing with the Papacy and later the Church of England, the monarchy erected a powerful jurisdictional claim to be not only the source of morality but also the arbiter of true religion. Despite two revolutions in the seventeenth century, one, in , which saw the most radical act of anti-monarchical reform in the act of decapitating Charles I; and the other in , a more decorous affair, but nevertheless clear evidence that kings and queens were reliant upon a broader political constituency than simply God claims to divine right legitimacy have still not been discarded by ardent monarchists, even though the political constitution finally abolished the notion in It is quite clear that one cannot engage with the English past without considering the nature and power of the monarchy.
The powerful material remnants of the institution lie all across the land: castles, forests, parks and ancient and relatively modern placenames. The Royal imprimatur can also be found on everything from caviar to toilet paper. Almost silently these monuments, buildings and spaces plead a royalist cause. Many of these were based on appropriating the most effective political document of the pre-modern world — the Bible — to the case for the defence.
Arguments in favour of legitimacy included radical claims for political dominion based on conquest, the Biblical figure of Nimrod being a particular favourite. Others claimed even as late as the seventeenth century that since God had given all dominion over the world to Adam, and all kings were direct descendants of the first father, so they had supreme power.
Although kings might be morally bound to govern in the reasonable interests of the community, the subject had no claim against arbitrary behaviour. The difference between absolute authority and arbitrary power was quite subtle. This world was shattered in with as much cultural trauma as the attack upon the Twin Towers in New York.
Killing the King was understood by contemporaries as a blasphemy equivalent to the sacrifice of Christ. English republicans have struggled with this legacy ever since. The strongest claims for the monarchy appear to be those that invoke tradition, historical continuity and the sanctity of the ancient constitution. A thousand years of regal majesty, evident in the still robust and bewitching spectacle of Royal funerals of Lady Diana and the Queen Mother, seems an almost unanswerable argument. We should remember that despite invoking the sonorous authority of tradition, the past is as much a projection of present-centred aspirations, an invented tradition, as it is a persisting truth.
Put another way, celebrating the past does not necessarily mean living in it.
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Turning to the past may however give us something with which to compare current institutions. By asking historical questions — What did kings and queens do in the past, what was their function in the polity? How did subjects understand their duties and obligations to regal figures? Where did their authority to rule come from? However, the mere act of broaching these issues has commonly been dismissed as insolent and inappropriate mischief. It has never been fashionable to be a republican in England, even in the heady days of the s when the country was ruled by a Lord Protector in the name of the sovereignty of the people.
The history of English republicanism, despite the persistent charges of conspiracy levelled against successive figures such as Oliver Cromwell, Thomas Paine, the Chartists and Willie Hamilton, has not been a lineage of subversive king-killers. In fact, the history of English republicans have traditionally been more interested in making good citizens than neutering extravagant monarchs. The persisting cultural memory of , mixed in with nightmarish images of French sans-culottes, the guillotine and , as well as twentieth Russian and Spanish revolutionary traditions, has always successfully tainted republicanism with regicide.
The Calves Head men, almost certainly an invention of the fevered imaginations of loyal clergymen became a powerful way of neutering any public political discussion of the rights, prerogatives and power of the monarchy. Any such discussion would lead inevitably to regicidal action. The same logic still applies today in many quarters. That it does provides simple proof of the enduring centrality of the institution of monarchy in England.
English republican thinking, even in its most radical years, was very rarely regicidal. Admittedly the great apologist of the English Republic, John Milton, defended the execution of Charles I in robust and comprehensive arguments. Very few people realise that the trial of Charles I was as much a religious matter as a political one. Indeed, the Old Testament was as important a document in his condemnation as the writings of republicans. Bad government irrespective of institutional form, was tyrannous. In other words, one did not have to live under a monarchy to experience tyranny.
Republicanism in the British Isles since the s has very often been more concerned with making good citizens than punishing wicked kings. Indeed, for many thinkers and writers, the issue of monarchy after was a side show to the bigger business of eradicating inequality, deference and oppression. The distemper of deference, and the extravagance of the costs of supporting a monarchy, were sometime perceived as contributing to a more general political oppression, but the focus of ambition was turned and continues to turn on providing the political institutions that cultivate an active, virtuous, tolerant and just community.
The problem with monarchy was not personal, or even financial; rather, it was resisted and criticised because it was a symptom of an ancient constitution riddled with anachronistic prerogatives and privilege. His publications include The Pillars of Priestcraft Shaken.
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The First World War is not quite ancient history, but it is very much part of the past. All those who fought in the war have now died and even those with hazy childhood memories of the conflict are very few in number. Yet in the summer of , the outbreak of this seminal clash of empires was commemorated, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, across Europe and the wider world. Since then, the centenary anniversaries of many of the major milestones of the war have been marked by national governments and local communities and received extraordinary levels of popular, political and media attention.
In Britain, the well-established rituals of Remembrance Sunday and the 1 st of July have been imbued with yet greater symbolic weight and the Imperial War Museum has been completely reinvigorated, its lavishly overhauled galleries now offering a flawed but highly inventive and visceral impression of the British experience of the war. Alongside these, there have been a myriad of smaller but no less affecting community projects, which have seen schoolchildren born in the new century remember the dead in the company of senior citizens whose fathers fought in the war.
In the history of the commemoration of conflict, nothing on the scale of what we have witnessed over the past three years has ever occurred before. The very early date at which the British government announced its intention to commemorate the centenaries and the sheer amount of government money being spent on commemoration were both quite new. The very fact that the outbreak of the war was commemorated by several national governments in August was a very new departure indeed. Traditionally, of course, the start of the war has not been commemorated so this was a new, and not uncontroversial, move.
But why has the British government been so determined to demonstrate its commitment to commemorating an extraordinarily violent war that took place a hundred years ago? A key reason for the political interest in centenary commemoration is the fact that remembering the First World War remains central to British identity and popular culture. We see evidence of this every year in the weeks before Remembrance Sunday, when there is always a certain amount of discussion about commemoration in the British media.
There is nothing new in this, but the centenaries have really thrown both the positive and negative aspects of British commemorative culture into sharp relief. This all seems very distant now that we remember Gove for other things, but two years ago he was a rather controversial Secretary of State for Education seeking to promote a narrowly Anglo-centric version of British history.
His comments quickly met with robust and highly critical responses from his Labour counterpart, Tristram Hunt, and a range of other prominent commentators, including historians Richard J. Evans and Antony Beevor. A group known as the Stop the War Coalition was particularly critical of his views on the war. In very broad terms, the debate, which continues, divides those who, like Gove, regard the war as a bloody but necessary conflict in which British servicemen heroically achieved a great victory, and those for whom the war was little more than a futile exercise in mass slaughter.
Most British people probably stand somewhere between these opposing views or, importantly, have no view. Yet the image of the First World War as the ultimate example of the futility of war, which was reinforced during the 50th anniversary of the conflict in the s, remains very persistent in the UK. So, unlike in other states that experienced the conflict, notably Germany, in Britain literally no one publicly opposes the custom of remembering the war and those who died in it.
Even groups that are very critical of official, government-driven acts of commemoration, such as the Stop the War Coalition and the No Glory in War Campaign , have never, to my knowledge, gone so far as to question the wisdom or morality of commemorating dead soldiers. As an act of community remembrance, or a simple expression of solidarity with our ancestors, the commemoration of war is not necessarily political. The millions of British people who wear poppies every year in the weeks before Remembrance Sunday are not making political statements by so doing.
Nor are they retrospectively endorsing or honouring the First World War, or any war since. What they are doing — at least on the face of it — is honouring the dead. And yet the intense and generally exclusive focus on the dead is perhaps the most obviously problematic aspect of British commemorative culture. The relative youth of those who died makes their stories all the more poignant, and we are understandably moved— and disturbed — by the power of industrialised warfare to cut short so many lives.
Indeed, reflecting on the fate of the dead helps us to appreciate the catastrophe of inter-state conflict. Ministry of Labour poster aimed at disabled veterans, [IWM Q] And yet a commemorative culture that focuses exclusively on the dead arguably overlooks the vast majority of people who were affected by the war. Approximately , British and Irish servicemen died as a result of service in the First World War.
But many more, in both countries, technically survived the conflict but were physically disabled or psychologically traumatised by their experiences. As soon as the wounded began returning from the fighting fronts in , and for decades after the war, severely disabled veterans were a common sight on the streets of European cities.
Men who were psychologically traumatised were perhaps less visible but no less numerous than the physically disabled. Allied and German soldiers were remarkably resilient and cases of shell-shock, although common, were not as widespread as we might think. The pain of witnessing this mental torment — and the various, sometimes violent ways in which it manifested itself — must have weighed very heavily indeed on the families of those who returned from the front, physically intact but visibly altered by what they had seen and done.
Which brings us to those who played no direct role in the fighting but were nonetheless deeply affected by the violence that raged around them. Millions of families across Europe and the wider world suffered from profound and enduring grief when their sons, husbands, brothers and friends were killed or mortally wounded in the theatres of war. Death, even the sudden death of young people, is by no means unique to war but during the First World War the pain of bereavement was often particularly traumatic.
Many of those in mourning knew little of the circumstances in which their loved ones had died, and were denied the consolations of a funeral or a grave on which they could focus their feelings of loss. In a move that was unique to the British Empire, the grieving relatives of the dead that lay in identified graves were granted the right to pay for a customised epitaph. These personal inscriptions give us an extraordinary insight into the mentalities of those who neither fought nor died but on whom the violence of the war had a very direct and lasting impact. Indeed, the often moving personal messages from grief-stricken relatives remind us that every headstone we see today in a Commonwealth cemetery marks the grave of a dead serviceman, but it also represents a lost son or husband or brother and a family in mourning.
Mourning relatives lay flowers at a British grave, former Western Front, c. And yet the popular and official language of 21 st century commemoration rarely alludes to the plight of those who were left behind and there is little room for them in our official commemorative ceremonies. To its great credit, the Royal British Legion began incorporating disabled servicemen into its ad campaigns in when Lance-Corporal Cassidy Little, a Royal Marine who lost his leg while serving in Afghanistan, featured in the poppy appeal campaign that year.