THE YEAR 1922..........A SAD AND A GLORIOUS YEAR IN THE HISTORY OF IRELAND.
A GLORIOUS YEAR:....THE FOUNDING OF THE IRISH FREE STATE.
A SAD YEAR..............THE DISBANDMENT OF SIX PROUD IRISH REGIMENTS.
MANY BOOKS HAVE BEEN WRITTEN
ON THE BRAVERY OF IRISH SOLDIERS IN PAST WARS. THAT SAME CALIBER OF MAN STILL EXISTS TODAY IN THE IRISH SOLDIER, REGARDLESS OF THE UNIFORM HE WEARS. THE IRISH SOLDIER IS ONE OF IRELANDS FINEST AMBASSADORS.
A TRIBUTE FROM MARSHAL FOCH AND A GERMAN
OFFICER FROM THE GERMAN HIGH COMMAND. SUMS UP THE CHARACTERISTICS OF WHY THE IRISH SOLDIER IS HELD IN HIGH ESTEEM.
"NEVER FAILED ME"
MARSHAL FOCH'S TRIBUTE
Men of the
North and South who died side by side.
"FRANCE WILL NOT FORGET"
Special correspondent, Paris,
Friday, Nov 9th, 1928
To-day Marshal Foch responded to my request for a special Amistic Day massage to the people of Ireland throught the Irish Times with the
following tribute to the heroism of the Irish race during the World War.
"The heroic dead of Ireland have every right to the homage of the living; for they proved in some of the heaviest fighhting of the World War that the
unconquerable spirit of the Irish race----the spirit that has placed them among the world's greatest soldiers-----still lives, and is stronger than ever it was.
"I had occasion to put to the test the valour of the Irishmen serving
in France, and whether they were Irishmen from the North or the South, or from one party or another, they did not fail me.
"Some of the hardest fighting in the terrible days that followed the last offensive of the Germans fell
to the Irishmen, and some of their special regiments had to endure ordeals that justly have taxed to breaking point the capacity of the finest troops in the world.
ON THE SOMME
"Never once didn the Irish fail me in these terrible days. On the
Somme. in 1916, I saw the heroism of the North and South, and arrived on the Scene shortly after the death of that very gallant Irish gentleman, Major William Redmond. I saw Irishmen of the North and South forget their age long differences and fight side by
side, giving their lives freely for the common cause.
"In war there are times when the necessity for yielding up one's life in the most urgent duty of the moment, and there were many such moments in our long drawn out struggle.
These Irish heroes gave their lives freely, and, in honouring them on Sunday. I hope we shall not allow our grief to let us forget our pride in the glorious heroism of these men.
have left to those who come after a glorious heritage and an inspiration to duty that will long aftertheir names are forgotten.
A GERMAN TRIBUTE
"I know of no better to Irish valour than that paid after the Armistice
by one of the German High Command, whom I had known in happter days. I asked him if he could tell me when he had first noted the declining morale of his own troops, and he replied that it was after the picked troops under his command had repeated experience
of meeting the dauntless Irish troops who opposed them in the last great "push" that was destined to separate the British and French armies, and give the enemy their long sought victory.
"The Irishmen had endured such constant attacks that it was thought that they must be utterly demoralised, but always they seemed to find new energy with which to assail their assailants, and in the end the flower of the German Army
withered and faded awy as an effective force.
"When the moment came for taking the offensive all along our line, it was these same worn Irish troops that we placed
in the van, making call afer call on their devotion, but never finding them failing us. In the critical days of the German offensive, when it was necessary that their lives should be sacrificed by the thousand to slow down the rush of the enemy. in order that
our harassed forces should have time to reform, it was the Irish that we relied repeatedly to make these desparate stands, and we found them respond always.
and again, when forlorn hopes were necessary to delay the enemy's advance, it was the Irish who were ready for these, and at all times the soldiers of Ireland fought for France, and the French people will always have these to remind the dept that France owes
to Irish valour. We shall always see that the graves of these heroes from across the sea are lovingly tended, and we shall try to ensure that the generations that come after us shall never forget the heroic dead of Ireland.
THE DEAD WHO DIED FOR IRELAND
The West Wind sized the Colours as they passed
the last time
Wind from Ireland
them and held them fast
The glory of her victorious ones who
These for which feel
her beautiful and her young.
of her lost hopes and loyalties
they are hers, they are hers
from whom they sprung.
sends her messanger
the dim seas.
of their love !
From whom none shall dissever
These, flesh of
her flesh, bone of her bone.
arms stretched wide,
are hers, her children for ever.
There mid the flash of her seas, she dreams of her own.
are deep in her hidden heart,
glory, their grace.
died in their golden prime
The Wind from Ireland
of the secret place
Kiss the Colours
for the last time, the last time.
TYNAN MAY 17th 1922