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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Carlow Military

"Comrades of the Great War Society"

Monday, 30th December, 1918

The Minute Book of the "Comrades of the Great War Society" records that the first meeting of the society was called by Lieut-Colonel Browne-Clayton on Monday, 30th December, 1918.

It was held in the Deighton Memorial Hall, Burrin Street.

The meeting was attended by 67 men, many of them ex-soldiers of the British Army, wearing the Discharge Silver Badge.

Also among the attendance were a number of men wearing Khaki, home on leave or invalided out. There were also a number of civilians present who had relatives in service.

The meeting was addressed by Sapper B. W. Bagenal, 10th Field Company, Australian Engineers.

It was decided to establish a "Post" in Carlow town.

Sapper Bagenal stated: "that it was imperative that rooms or a building should be procured in order to establish a meeting and recreation place for members.

"Other desirable arrangements in the interests of members would include a Library and Reading Room with a plentiful supply of quality newspapers, a Licence to sell Beer would be sought and a canteen established where members who have stood "shoulder to shoulder" in the Great War on the Sea, Land and in the Air, would be able to spend leisure time among old comrades and friends".

Mr. W.J. Webster, late C.Q.M.S., Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, and Organising Secretary for central Ireland attended.

The following Officers and Committee were elected.

Trustees: Viscount French, Lord Beresford, Colonel John Ward, M.P. Rev. S. Ridgeway.
President: Lieut-Colonel Robert Browne-Clayton, D.S.O.
Officers: General Lewis, D.S.O. Commander Forbes.
Medical Advisor: Dr. W.H. O' Meara, M.D. Carlow Pensions Committee Medical Referee.
Captain: Sergeant-Major Trundle
Chairman: Rev. S. Ridgeway.
Chairman: Mr. B.F. Bagenal. D.L.
Hon. Treasurer: John Norris.
Secretary: John Connolly.
Committee: Ex-Sergeant Bigley, Graigue; Sergeant Rea, Sergeant Bigley, Carlow; J. Bryan, J. Connolly, M. Geoghegan, C. Burke, J. Morris, P. Geoghegan, P. Shaw, C. Connell, W. Curran, T. Walker. M. Millar, P. Nolan, J. Kelly.

Addressing the meeting Colonel Browne-Clayton said:-

"Members could travel to any town in the Empire and ask for the nearest "Comrades Club" there they would find a friend who will help them in any way he can.

Tonight we have a "Post" but when we have 100 members we will be enlarged to a Branch. Posts are already established in Rathvilly, Tullow and Bagenalstown.

We are non-political and non-sectarian; we have won the right to have a voice in the affairs of Ireland and a responsibility which will be wisely used. We must help the men who are due to be discharged and welcome them settle into new conditions which may have arisen during their long absence.

To help them settle down to everyday civilian life and work and to help them fight reaction.

We will parade on Victory Day on a date yet to be decided, men will want to look sharp and presentable on the day".

Standing on the table, General Lewis then addressed the meeting:-

As an old soldier, who followed the drum for forty years, I tell you the success of the movement will depend upon us all sticking together, we should be comrades, in sickness and in health, in bad times and good times, as we were in the trenches of which I have had experience, remember the trenches and we shall achieve victory for our cause and glory for our comrades, remember the trenches, men.".

Mr Geoghegan told the meeting that there were plans to hold a Social and Dance in the Deighton Hall in February, he said he would welcome any support from the members.

Mr. Curran said that he knew of a building in Burrin Street that could be restored and made of use for meetings. Rev. Ridgeway replied that Mr Slocock had contacted him earlier that day in relation to the vacant building referred to by Mr. Curran, and he would be asking the committee to look at it next week.

Colonel Browne-Clayton offered to pay the rent for the first twelve months if the building was suitable.

The meeting concluded with the singing of the National Anthem and three rousing cheers for the King.

Source: Michael Purcell

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2001 Ireland Genealogy Projects, IGP TM