7th May - 9th December 2015The Glazed Street, Limerick City & County Council, Civic Buildings, Merchants Quay, Limerick
Never before seen artefacts are being put on display as part of an exhibition entitled 'Stand Up and Fight, Limerick’s Military History from the Wild Geese to Gallipoli’.
The exhibition documents Limerick's ties to international military campaigns and the social and economic effects of these at home.
The launch of the exhibition coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign which claimed the lives of 800 members of the Royal Munster Fusiliers, 75 of whom were from Limerick including 8 natives of the village of Coonagh who died when their ship was torpedoed. Conservative estimates suggest that one in four, or 1,000 of Limerick's 4,000 listed men died in the First World War.
The exhibition features memorabilia and militaria from 'Limerick Museum and Archives' own collection as well as donations by private collectors and members of the public.
Items on display include flowers sent home by a Limerick soldier from the front at Ypres to his mother in Limerick, an oar from one of RMS Lusitania's lifeboats, cannonballs and musket balls from the Siege of Limerick, pikes used in the era of the United Irishmen, a bloodied apron worn by a Limerick nurse while serving in a First World War field hospital, German and Allied military militaria, and rare photographs of the American Civil War, Boer War and First World War.
Also featured are American Civil War army uniform buttons produced by the Limerick (Tait) Clothing Factory, which held military uniform supply contracts with the Confederacy as well as the British Army during the Crimean War.
The exhibition, which runs until the end of the year, reflects the life of the soldier in the trenches of The Great War.
While much of the exhibition is concerned with the participation of Limerick men and women in the First World War, it also deals with Limerick’s long military and naval tradition as well as the military culture that started in earnest in the 17th century and has lasted since. Limerick is a port town and many of the Abbey Fishermen joined the navy.
The exhibition looks at some of the careers of Limerick men who fought in the British army all over the world. Many second sons of the Anglo-Irish gentry joined the British army as it was one of the few economic options open to them. One of these was George de Lacy Evans from Moig, Askeaton, who was involved in the burning of the White House by the British in 1814. He also made a major contribution to army reform as he successfully campaigned for an end to flogging in the British army.
Supported by the Limerick Branch of the Royal British Legion, the Royal Munster Fusiliers Association and the Irish Naval Association, 'Stand Up and Fight will be launched on Thursday 7 May. The exhibition runs at The Glazed Street, Limerick City and County Council Civic Buildings, Merchants Quay, Limerick, until December (9am-5pm, Mon-Fri).