Observing the sons of Trinity getting ready for the Somme

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Where: Leinster, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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This happy group, standing on a dodgy looking platform, are reviewing Trinity College students at College Park as they prepare for war. Was that the forthcoming War of Independence of the Great War? The names here are all familiar to those with an interest in Irish history and some with less savoury reputations.
Our title is a nod to Frank McGuinness's play "Observe the sons of Ulster marching towards the Somme!

Photographer: None

Collection:NLI Ephemera Collection

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NLI Ref.: EPH A40

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


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 6374
ephemera nationallibraryofireland nationallibrarysephemeracollection minortransientdocuments everydaylife ireland trinitycollege dublinvolunteercorps trainingincollegepark generaljohnmaxwell generalfriend henryasquith henrybonhamcarter

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  • profile

    Deirge (Del)

    • 30/Nov/2022 09:24:37

    The "Bonham Carter" surname came into my light from a room with a view, tracing her grandfather led me to the Wikipedia article for Sir Maurice "Bongie" Bonham Carter (1880-1960) who was Asquith's Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The wikipedia article en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Bonham-Carter mentions Bonham Carter visiting Ireland after the Easter Rising in 1916.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 30/Nov/2022 09:28:52

    At wikipedia we learn that the Volunteer Training Corps was a "home defence" outfit for people who could not volunteer to fight in WW1. The only members who saw any fighting were some of the Dublin corps who were fired on by rebels in 1916 - five were killed.

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    • 30/Nov/2022 09:31:45

    Yes, Trove is suggesting the afternoon of 13 May 1916. trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/129480473?searchTerm=m...

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    Deirge (Del)

    • 30/Nov/2022 09:44:46

    I presume "forthcoming War of Independence of the Great War?" should read "forthcoming War of Independence or the Great War?" ? And therefore the question is are these cadets of TCD (Generally I guess from the "Protestant" persuasion) being prepared to suppress any nationalist uprising or were they being sent to the battle of the Somme?

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    Niall McAuley

    • 30/Nov/2022 12:19:01

    If this is May 1916, it is only a month after those 5 members of the Volunteer Corps were killed in the Rising, the bigwigs seem a bit too pleased with themselves for that?

  • profile


    • 30/Nov/2022 13:22:19

    The cheerleaders for war flanked by two donkeys

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    • 30/Nov/2022 17:59:52

    Five to be murdered by rebels

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    • 30/Nov/2022 21:13:01

    I'm no expert on Irish history or politics, but it seems that this photo captures a moment of Saturday afternoon levity (and British stiff-upper-lip-ness) in a very serious situation. In short, it seems Prime Minister Asquith had come to Ireland to see for himself the damage, and reign in the military, martial law, and Maxwell. "... Distracted by conscription, Asquith and the Government were slow to appreciate the developing danger, which was exacerbated when, after hasty courts martial, a number of the Irish leaders were executed. On 11 May Asquith crossed to Dublin and, after a week of investigation, decided that the island's governance system was irredeemably broken. He turned to Lloyd George for a solution. ... " From - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._H._Asquith#Ireland And - "... However, British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith and his cabinet soon became concerned with the speed and secrecy of events, and intervened in order to stop more executions. In particular, there was concern that DORA regulations for courts-martial were not being applied. These regulations called for a full court of thirteen members, a professional judge, a legal advocate, and for the proceedings to be held in public, provisions which could have prevented some of the executions. ..." From - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Maxwell_(British_Army_officer)#Easter_Rising Aside - Mr Bonham Carter married his boss Asquith's daughter Violet in December 1915, a few months earlier than the photo. I don't know why Lady Wimborne and Miss Grosvenor are there. The stage on a wobbly park bench looks dangerous ...

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    • 01/Dec/2022 01:15:02

    Aha! Lady Alice Wimborne was the wife of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland at the time, and "Miss Grosvenor" might have been her sister. See - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivor_Guest,_1st_Viscount_Wimborne#L...

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    O Mac

    • 01/Dec/2022 15:58:33

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/32162360@N00/ I see Lady Wimbourn had one sister Maud who stopped being a "Miss Grosvenor" in 1897 when she married a Maurice George Carr Glyn. Lady Wimbourn didn't have any cousins that it could be either. odd.