Changing the guard in Mullingar

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To anybody familiar with British Army barracks, this scene, apart from the soldiers, could be from many towns in this country! The billets, the clock over the archway, the church near the entrance gate, are all standard fare. In this case, we are treated to troops standing at ease preparing for the changing of the guard in the barracks, and with ghostly figures, probably NCOs, moving in the background.

Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Circa 1865 - 1914

NLI Ref: L_ROY_08097

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

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Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 8413
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio glassnegative nationallibraryofireland militarybarracks mullingar cowestmeath changingtheguard soldiers standingatease rifles webbing foragecaps swaggersticks ceremony barracks britisharmy army westmeath leinster clock ireland wellington columb lawrencephotographcollection

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  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 09/Jun/2020 08:21:03

    Noon or soon after. And winter?

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 09/Jun/2020 08:24:08

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia Unlikely, then again you've probably never experienced and Irish summer? I imagine that in winter they would have been wearing greatcoats?

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 09/Jun/2020 08:28:12

    The NLI is always amazing! Mr French revisited when the trees were bigger, had leaves, and there was a King Edward VII letterbox on the corner. And it was 11:00. catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000332062 Spot the differences!

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    Niall McAuley

    • 09/Jun/2020 08:51:25

    Connaught Rangers, 1st Battallion, I think, so after 1881

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 09/Jun/2020 08:54:01

    Sometimes Flickr is freezingly amazing! At 10:19 on 2 March 2018 via https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/40552606272/

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 09/Jun/2020 09:08:04

    When did ordinary British soldiers like this stop wearing red coats?

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    Foxglove

    • 09/Jun/2020 09:27:32

    the word "khaki" is a hindi word ( like pyjamas and bungalow) and the British started wearing it from the mid 1800s in India.

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    cargeofg

    • 09/Jun/2020 09:31:01

    bit.ly/2AWDfcj OSI link. My home town. Coulomb Barracks closed in 2012 and Irish Army transferred to Athlone. The grocery shop where my father was manager in Mullingar ran a delivery service around the town for our customers. We used to deliver into the barracks to Col Kane. This would be late 60s early 70s. His house was on the back row not far( maybe next one to the right) from where [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] has the highlight box for the letter box. When delivering you would stop at checkpoint barrier a soldier on duty (with sub machine gun) would come out and you stated that you were delivering to Col Kane. Barrier raised and you drove in and delivered your goods. Beyond the grass area in the photo was tarmac then and there would be 25 pounder field guns lined up there. There was a firing range to rear of barracks and was still in use through the 60s 70s and 80s for small arms only.

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 09/Jun/2020 10:11:07

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley They were Khaki already by the South African War. Most armies dropped the colourful outfits around the time of the American Civil War or a bit later. Quick firing artillery, repeating rifles and smokeless powder changed the calculus of cover vs intimidation pretty drastically.

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 09/Jun/2020 12:53:38

    The French infantry and cavalry started WW1 in colourful (and conspicuous) blue coats and red trousers. By early 1915 they had changed to a more muted blue-grey uniform.

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 09/Jun/2020 13:48:34

    A selfless act of heroism at Mullingar barracks. Derry Journal - Wednesday 22 May 1918: Derry Journal - Wednesday 22 May 1918

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    John Spooner

    • 09/Jun/2020 14:19:47

    Lieutenant Hugh Ferguson MacDonald, born 1893, buried at Craigton Cemetary, Glasgow.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 09/Jun/2020 17:22:26

    The lads in L_CAB_08372 linked by the beachcomber above are Royal Scots like Lt. Ferguson

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    suckindeesel

    • 09/Jun/2020 20:01:37

    Were the Connaught Rangers gone by 1918 if the Royal Scots were then in residence. The Rangers did see action during 1916. I'm sure the regimental records would list their stay in Mullingar.

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    suckindeesel

    • 09/Jun/2020 21:09:29

    Where a tired and emotional Minister for Defence, Paddy Donegan, gave his infamous "thundering disgrace" speech to the troops in 1976. He described President Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh's refusal to sign the Emergency Powers Act, 1976 as a "thundering disgrace" (in some accounts what he said was 'thundering bxxxxx and a fxxxxxx disgrace') en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paddy_Donegan

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 09/Jun/2020 21:12:27

    There must somewhere be a list of which regiment was at Mullingar when. I became very confused! For example, Lord Roberts (whom we have met before) addressed the 'Inniskilling Fusiliers' here in October 1899 before they went off to the Boer War in South Africa. For some reason news in a regional Australian newspaper - via Trove - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/12771443 Also puzzled by the other later photos with the Royal Scots soldiers in their tartan trews; the Edward VII letterbox (1901-1910) is looking very neglected, ie not new. But the photos should not be later than 1914 ...

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 10/Jun/2020 01:12:01

    "The Curious Case of Mullingar Chapel" - at right built 1855. See - irishgarrisontowns.com/the-curious-case-of-mullingar-chapel/ And "... Although now closed as an active installation, Columb Barracks has the longest lease in the world, at 7 million years! Which when you consider the Barracks was built originally to reinforce the British rule in Ireland, is quite ironic." From - www.greatwarforum.org/topic/249741-mullingar-kilworth/?do... Can anyone confirm this?!

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 10/Jun/2020 01:14:36

    Yes! "... On departing Columb Barracks, Lieut Col Ray Yorke delivered the 10-million-year lease to town council chairman Cllr Peter Burke. “The lease was taken out between the war department and Lord Greville . . . " - www.irishtimes.com/news/mullingar-based-regiment-leaves-b...

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 10/Jun/2020 07:59:20

    Standards are slipping around here. Nobody provided a map location. I mean, what's a poor Mary to do, rummage around Google Maps looking for oneself?

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 10/Jun/2020 08:52:32

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Funny you should say that, but it's location is blanked out on both the current OSI and Google Maps. Apparently, the British weren't concerned about French spies when they published their OS maps. Modern OSI: bit.ly/3fdYvcn 1911 25": bit.ly/2UuESVC Co-Ords: 53.5267917, -7.3541861

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    suckindeesel

    • 10/Jun/2020 09:01:18

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia the Royal Scots were suffering casualties in Ireland until Jan 1922

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    suckindeesel

    • 10/Jun/2020 14:26:38

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] The 3rd (Reserve) Battalion seem to have spent the war in 'reserve', ending up in Mullingar from late 1917 to the end of the war. www.forces-war-records.co.uk/units/310/royal-scots So there's a date for your highland warrior photo.

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 10/Jun/2020 21:42:27

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Except these French / Lawrence photos have a 1914 latest date ...

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 11/Jun/2020 06:16:47

    The later shot is latest 1914. I think the tree is at least 10 years older, and the post box, earliest possible 1901, is very worn. I think this is latest 1905 or so.

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    suckindeesel

    • 11/Jun/2020 08:53:13

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] The Royal Scots were there in 1918 as in tha newspaper report of www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner Of course, regiments may have changed like the proverbial.

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    cargeofg

    • 11/Jun/2020 16:44:35

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Hmpff Standards are slipping OSI link first note on my comment. Number eight on the day. It's getting bad when the Teachers miss the entries in our home work!!

  • profile

    Dr. Ilia

    • 22/Jun/2020 08:00:06

    Wow. Fabulous shot