The páistí of Rang a 6 were delighted to welcome heritage expert, Aidan Dockery, to the school. Aidan has one of the best collections of Irish stamps, coins, artefacts and commemorative documents in the country. Aidan’s uncle, Joseph Dockery, was killed during the Battle of the Somme and the children were amazed to see some of his personal possessions from his time at the front. The children were moved as Aidan showed them his uncle’s letters to his family and the belt he wore, bearing the fatal bullet hole. The children were impressed with Aidan’s wonderful recitation of the poem, The Box by Laschelles Ambercrombie, which highlights the danger of war and how it hurts so many people. Aidan’s passion for History and Irish culture was so evident and the children enjoyed the day so much.

 

By the time the Battle of the Somme offensive ended in November, the British had suffered around 420,000 casualties, and the French about 200,000. German casualty numbers were estimated at about 465,000.

It is estimated that about 49,000 casualties in World War 1 were Irish.

(The Aviva stadium when full holds 51,700)