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Captain Redmond writes home about the horrors of the front
An illustration of intense hand-to-hand combat in the trenches amidst the bodies of many perished soldiers. Photo: Le Petit Journal, 9 May 1915

Captain Redmond writes home about the horrors of the front

Killaloe, 11 February 1916 - ‘The destruction, havoc, and suffering I have encountered, even in short time, is truly appalling,’ Captain William Redmond said in a letter from France.

The letter was sent by Captain Redmond to Rev. Dr Fogarty, Roman Catholic Bishop of Killaloe.

He told the bishop: ‘Our first spell in the trenches was for 12 days, and in that time we had no change of clothing – just stayed on as we were all the time.’

‘The shelling was terrific and the division suffered some losses. The day before we came out the enemy began to celebrate the Kaiser’s birthday, and we were shelled without ceasing for 24 hours.’

‘The men of our division behaved very well, and received good reports, so the General said. Our men are very attentive to their chaplains, and flock into the churches in the little French villages.’

‘I was at one place where, amidst ruins all around, a big crucifix stood alone untouched.’

Captain William Redmond in 1912. (Image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographic Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA)

Captain Redmond is currently serving in France with the 6th Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment. 

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.