Monday 20 November 2017

Lemass relatives fought in first war

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

TWO of Sean Lemass's relatives served with the British army at the same time he was fighting in the Easter Rising, certificates found buried in an attic reveal.

The late Taoiseach's second cousin Owen Lemass (83) found the certificates while clearing out the attic of his home in Dundrum, Co Dublin. One is signed by King George V.

The documents commemorating the World War One service of Second Lieutenant Herbert Justin Lemass and Lieutenant Edwin Stephen Lemass were yesterday donated to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive.

They show how the pair fought on the Western Front, but only one survived.

As well as the certificates, a photo of Herbert in military uniform was also donated.

Tom Burke, of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association, said the donation greatly adds to their collection.

"The fact that there is a (Royal Dublin Fusiliers) archive in Dublin City Archive is a wonderful resource of information and truth about the history of Irish men and women in the First World War," he said.

Separate items were also donated to the archive by the families of other former servicemen.

Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin Maria Parodi accepted the collection of documents.

"It is a timely reminder that in many Irish families their young men fought in the First World War and in the 1916 Rising, with patriotic intentions on both sides," she said.

Irish Independent

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