Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Irish soldiers of the King

A topic which was recently featured on BBC News 24 also surfaced in the Daily Telegraph last week. This is the way in which Irishmen, serving in the southern armed forces who enlisted under the Crown to fight in the Second World War were discriminated against after 1945 by the republican government, were liable to indictment for desertion, and were all denied employment or benefits.


Image: royalirishregiment.co.uk

The article, by Kevin Myers, can be read here, and shows how the attitude of the southern Irish government has been transformed in the wake of the Queen's visit to Dublin last May.

Not only does it draw attention to the impact of the visit, but it is a reminder of treatment that seems shoddy and shocking, given the dual nationality which has been maintained since 1921-2.

1 comment:

Shane said...

I have to disagree. Soldiers who disobey their legitimate superiors, violate an oath and desert the army to which they've enlisted ought to be punished. These men knew what they were doing and should be prepared to take the consequences. Desertion is a serious crime to which no state would turn a blind eye. In WW1, deserters were reguarly shot.