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A small selection of what the local papers were saying in 1915
by the Offaly History Centre, Tullamore
[from the county surgeon Dr Meagher
of Tullamore]
The following graphic description of his
experiences and observations is contained
in a letter to his brother, the Rev. Thomas
Meagher, R.C.C. Killaloe, from Dr. Meagher,
lately surgeon of the King's County Infirmary,
Tullamore, and who recently gave up his
civil appointment for service with the
R.A.M.C. at the seat of the war.
"... I am precluded by the Censor from naming
my exact location. My address is 22nd Field
Ambulance, 7th Division, British Expeditionary
Force, France. Anyhow I am right in the thick
of the row. I am in charge of 36 men
stretcher bearers, and located here in a way-
side inn some seven or eight hundred yards
behind our trenches. We take over the
wounded every night picking them up at a
fixed point immediately behind our trenches.
This we do at dusk when there is only casual
sniping. At present we are bombarding the
German trenches, some 400 guns being
engaged in this work. This inn where I now
write from is right in the middle of a battery of
5 guns none more than about 500 yards
away. As you may imagine the din is abso-
lutely indescribable. Of course this fire attracts
the German attentions to us, which they send
in the shape of shells. We had a very lively time
here yesterday, almost shelling us out of house
and home. We stand just on a cross roads.
There are three fine houses at three corners
we occupy one. The house across the way
about 15 yards had two shells sent into it yes-
terday. Looking from the window of my own
billet I saw smoke arising for some time from
the house where it had been struck. As it did
not cease smoking, and thinking it a pity to
see the whole place ruined by fire, I ran across
to see the extent of the mischief. I had just
entered the yard when bang went another
shell right on the roof directly over my head.
The debris showered all around me.
March to the Trenches Picture
To his friends who were associated with him in
London, a lance-corporal writes:-
We have had the experience of a lifetime since
writing you last, and I will try to illustrate to you
what it feels like to be a soldier, &c. When our
friends of military age whom the spirit of patrio-
tism has not yet moved, are lying snugly in their
cots, we are on guard in the trench on a bitterly
cold night, straining our eyes, carefully watch-
ing the trenches opposite, with bullets whistling
all round us from the snipers ready to meet the
foe should they come, prepared to stand to
the last man in defence of the Empire we are
proud to belong. Going into the trench and
leaving it is our most trying and anxious time.
The order comes round to the billets the time of
parade; we turn out full pack and fall in outside
in platoons; the roll is called and we move off in
After about 10 minutes' march we reach the
danger zone. We are under rifle fire. We then
get into single file and have another half hours
journey to make to the trench. Picture if you
can a black night, perishing cold, and silently
through the darkness glides a long line of dark
figures, muffled up with scarf and collar, a pro-
tection post against the biting frosty air, rifle
slung over the shoulder, not a word is
exchanged, on we go, a regular muffled tread,
The Camp, Birr