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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

The Boer War

1899 – 1902

To the men & women of Carlow County who fought in this war!

Dick Walsh

This is an extract from: "Irish abroad "

The Boer War saw two separate Irish brigades fight on the side of the Dutch South Africans. The more significant unit, led by a future leader of the Easter 1916 rebellion, Major John McBride (working in South Africa as a mine assayer), grew out of a large Irish population in the Transvaal and a number of 1798 centenary committees in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Motivated by antipathy towards Britain and including a number of unreconstructed Fenians, the Irish battalions were opposed by an army which had an Irish Brigade of its own. The committed amateurs ran into the professionals on more than one occasion. At the Battle of Dundee the pro-Boers took a number of members of the Royal Irish Fusiliers prisoner. Some of the Irish Brigade even recognised and exchanged greetings with the defeated Fusiliers. Irish units also took both sides in the Spanish Civil War, but while the political and religious gulf between them was clear their motivation was identical. Young idealists, like the poet Charlie Donnelly, the socialist Frank Ryan or Communist Party member Michael O'Riordan, went to Spain to join the International Brigade and to defend the Republic against fascism. But men like Dick Walsh from Carlow and Denis Reynolds from Cavan joined General Eoin O'Duffy's Irish Brigade to fight godless communism and to preserve the Roman Catholic religion in Spain.

Read the full extract:  "Irish abroad"

Source: Terry Curran c2007

Light Brigade Hero Dies!

Daniel Dowling Rode in Famous British Charge at Balaklava.

Special to The New York Times, July 16, 1913, Wednesday.  Page 7.

"Utica, July 15.-In the County Almshouse in Rome today died a survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava on Oct. 25 1854. He was Daniel Dowling, born in Carlow, Ireland, in 1832. He enlisted in the British Army, going at once into the Crimean Peninsular, where he was in many battles. He was one of the very few who came out of the charge of the six hundred without a wound, and not until the battle of Inkerman was he wounded. After the Crimean War Dowling went to many places, fighting for England.

He saw service in Malta, Egypt, India, Australia and South America. He came to the United States with the intention of joining the Union Army. When he was on his way here the surrender of Lee was made. Dowling's only sister had gone with her husband to South America. He began a search for her and for years travelled in many countries on his quest, which never was successful. He had distant relatives in this region and came here to live, taking up farming. Age coming on, he was compelled to seek the almshouse.

The veteran had all his discharge papers, but he never received any assistance from the British Government. Among the few possessions he retained to the last were the spurs he wore in the famous charge and a copy of Tennyson's poem."

Source: Terry Curran c2010 & New York Times.archives.

“Syracuse Herald Journal,” Syracuse, New York, USA 24 Oct 1954

Light Brigade Vet Lived in Sangerfield

By George W. Walter

ONEIDA – Monday will mark the 100th anniversary of the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War, immortalized in the famous poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson. In Oneida and Madison Counties onlt a few people now remember that Daniel Dowling, formerly of Sangerfield, was the last surviving Crimean War veteran of the immortal Charge. Dowling died in Rome, July 15, 1913, at the age of 81. A niece, Miss Lucy Dowling, resides at 1131 Summit pl., in Utica, and a nephew was the late Supreme Court Justice William Dowling, also of Utica.

DAN DOWLING was born in County Carlow, Ireland, in 1832, a member of a large family. He grew up in Ireland, a handsome, red-headed, wiry man. He enlisted in the British Army when the war fever swept through the British Isles in January, 1854, just a few weeks before England joined with France and Turkey to sweep Russia from the Baltic and Crimea. Dowling became one of the cavalrymen in the Light Brigade. On Oct. 25, 1854, he was with the 700 members of the Brigade under Lord Cardigan, stationed at the western end of the valley under the heights of Chersonese, awaiting orders to plunge into the battle of Balacava. The English Heavy Brigade had already attacked. In a desperate effort to recapture Turkish guns lost in the morning fighting, Lord Raglan gave the order for the Light Brigade to try and prevent the Russians from removing the guns. The orders became hopelessly jumbled in their transmission and the Light Brigade rode directly into the Russian guns… into the Valley of Death.

The Brigade would have been annihilated if it had not been for the brilliant charge of the French 4th Chasseurs d’Afrique against the Fedoukine Hills. Only 200 of the Light Brigade survived. One of them was Dan Dowling. He fought bravely through the war.  In the battle of Inkerman he was struck by a shell fragment in the head and badly wounded. He was taken to one of the crude hospitals that was in charge of a brave English nurse named Florence Nightingale. After his wound healed he returned to duty. After the treaty of peace he saw service at other British outposts at Malta, in Egypt, India, Australia and South America. Letters from home related that two of his brothers, William and John Dowling had migrated to the United States.

Dan Dowling resigned from the army when he had only one year more to serve to obtain a life pension. A younger sister, Margaret Dowling, married young and with her husband, moved to Australia. She was never heard from again, although Dan Dowling travelled twice around the world searching for her.

Source: Sue Clement

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