DRI Members Dublin City Library and Archive have published a new collection: the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive.
The Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association (RDFA) was established in 1996 to commemorate all Irish men and women who volunteered, served and died in the First World War 1914-1918. In 2005, the RDFA decided to place its archive with Dublin City Library & Archive (DCLA), where it is available for public consultation in the DCLA Reading Room. This material has been digitised by DCLA and ingested into DRI for long-term preservation. The collection provides a fascinating insight into the lives and experiences of Irish people in the First World War.
Daily life and experiences
The Dr James C. McKenna sub-collection consists of observations entered in diary form during October to December 1915, while Dr. McKenna spent time in Salonika and served alongside French forces in Serbia. The diary gives insights into the day to day life and tasks of a soldier; food and the weather are recurring themes.
Corporal Henry Kavanagh, a former solicitor's clerk from Dublin, wrote numerous letters from the front to his family, which document his experience before he was tragically killed in Salonika in 1916.
Monica Roberts' papers include letters of thanks from soldiers at the front who received gifts via the voluntary organisation she founded, 'The Band of Helpers to the Soldiers’. These poignant letters give vivid pen-pictures of conditions at the Western Front and reveal the courage of troops in the face of appalling circumstances.
Captain Patrick Richard Tobin was part of 'D' Company, 'The Pals' 7th Battalion, and this sub-collection includes letters and a brief biography of Captain Tobin, written after his death in 1915.
The entire collection can be viewed here.