Wednesday, 11 October 2006

A Cardinal on the Western Front

I was just playing around with my new scanner and thought I might include these wonderful photos from the diocesan archives. They show Francis Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, visiting the Dublin Fusiliers Brigade on the Western Front during the First World War.





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5 Comments:

Anonymous Ttony said...

Is there a date for these photos and a more precise description of whom his Eminence was visiting? The Royal Dublin Fusiliers got up to 11 battalions during WW1. It would be interesting to look up the War Diary in the NA.

4:08 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

Sadly not - no date is provided and there is just a reference to the Dublin Fusiliers Brigade.

9:36 am  
Anonymous Ttony said...

Google has discoved more!

From http://munro.humber.ca/~tumilty/austin/austin1.htm

"1st R.D.F.
B.E.F.
France

28th October 1917

Dear Mother,

Life is very pleasant here in France. I have just come back from taking a Church parade to Mass. I felt very proud to be marching at the head of 400 of the smartest men I have ever seen. The band, of course, played us there and back. Mass was celebrated in a hut, which had only half a roof and no sides to speak of. Kneeling was out of the question except for the Consecration but I can assure you it was great having Mass even under those conditions.

...

Yesterday Cardinal Bourne inspected this brigade but I was away writing and so did not see him. I believe he made a nice speech but his voice has not been trained a l'army and very few heard what he said. I am not going into the line for another two letters or so.

With love,

Austin"

There is no happy ending. Austin dies.

At some point (I'm afraid some time away) I'll have a go at the 1 RDF War Diary and see what the regiment thought of the visit. It might be worth doing a "compare and contrast" with the cardinal's papers.

(I can already see the archivist/PP scurrying away from the mad loon ... !)

9:20 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

I just became aware of Cardinal Bourne (I live in Cleveland, Ohio) listening to a recording of Father Hugh Thwaites, SJ reading Cardinal Bourne's introduction to Pope Pius XI's encyclical Mortalium Animos (January 6, 1928). I thought it was a great essay and I'd like to find a copy of it but am having difficulty. I'd be grateful for help, but don't want you to go to much trouble. Pax, Jeff Fehn

3:05 am  
Blogger Jeff said...

I just became aware of Cardinal Bourne (I live in Cleveland, Ohio) listening to a recording of Father Hugh Thwaites, SJ reading Cardinal Bourne's introduction to Pope Pius XI's encyclical Mortalium Animos (January 6, 1928). I thought it was a great essay and I'd like to find a copy of it but am having difficulty. I'd be grateful for help, but don't want you to go to much trouble. Pax, Jeff

3:06 am  

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