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Irish Jesuit chaplains

  • IE IJA CHP
  • Fonds
  • 1895-2020

Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 1860-

Irish Jesuit Chaplains in the First World War

Thirty-two Jesuit chaplains of the Irish Province served in the First World War. They served on the battlefields of France, Belgium, Egypt and Mesopotamia. Four Jesuits were killed: Frs John Gwynn (12 October 1915), William Doyle (17 August 1917), Michael Bergin (12 October 1917) and John Fitzgibbon (18 September 1918). Two Jesuits died from illness: Frs Austin Hartigan (16 July 1916) and Edward Sydes (15 November 1918).

Approximately eleven Irish-born Jesuit chaplains of the English Province served in in the First World War. They included Frs Timothy Carey (Cork) and Walter Montagu (Cromore, Portstewart, County Derry) who both died on active service. Fr William Keary SJ (Woodford, Galway) initially joined the Irish Province but transferred to the English Province.

The majority of letters are from individual chaplains to the Irish Jesuit Provincial Fr Thomas V. Nolan SJ, (1914-1919). There are some postcards, photographs and medals. Some are rich in details (Fr Daniel Roche SJ, 43 items) others have but an obituary. Includes letters to the Irish Jesuit Provincial from Archbishop’s House, Westminster, England concerning the nomination of various Irish Jesuits as chaplains to the forces and their demobilisation, letters on wages and expenditures of chaplains and the appeal for chaplains. Six Jesuits served with the Australian army.

Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 1860-

Letters to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V Nolan SJ mainly from Archbishop’s House, Westminster

Letters to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V Nolan SJ mainly from Archbishop’s House, Westminster, London, England concerning the nomination of various Irish Jesuits as chaplains to the forces. Includes letters concerning Fr Joseph Wrafter’s nomination as chaplain to prisoners of war in Holland, a move contested by the Provincial who saw it in effect, as ‘putting him (Fr Wrafter) on the shelf’ (26 December 1917 – 15 January 1918, 3 items).

McClement, Fr Kerr

Letters from Fr Willie Doyle SJ to Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ

Letters to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr Willie Doyle SJ written during his time as a chaplain attached to the 8th Brigade Irish Fusiliers, 49th Brigade, and the 8th Royal Dublin Fusiliers, B.E.F., France. Missing original letter 31 December 1915, but have photocopy.

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Letters to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ following Fr Willie Doyle’s death

Letters to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ following Fr Willie Doyle’s death in action on 17 August 1917, from Fr Kerr McClement, Archbishop’s House, Westminster, Fr William Feran SJ, English Province, Farm Street, London and Fr M. O’Connell, Senior Chaplain (R.C.), H.Q., 16th Division, B.E.F..

Feran, William, 1869-1942, Jesuit priest

Letters and postcards to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr John Elliott SJ

Letters and postcards to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr John Elliott SJ, written during his time serving as a military chaplain in Catterick Camp, Yorkshire and at the Officer's Hospital, Burley on the Hill, Oakham, Rutland, England.

Postcard of Burley on the Hill, Oakham, Rutlandshire - ‘This is a gorgeous place inside + outside. It is the finest house I have ever seen. Charles and I stayed here when it belonged to the Duke of Buckingham’, (28 October 1918) where Fr Elliott convalesced from a bout of double pneumonia (‘I am only 8st 7lbs with my clothes on’).

Elliott, John J, 1857-1942, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Various memoranda sent to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ

Various memoranda sent to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ. Includes lists of Irish Jesuit chaplains and their addresses; estimates for chaplain’s uniform; memoranda concerning the appeal for military chaplains serving at home and abroad and their origins and ‘Memorial to the Irish Hierarchy re Shortage of Catholic Chaplains.’ Includes:

  • remembrance card for the 2nd Battalion of Irish Guards, attending mission in Cologne, January 1919;
  • name card (O.H.M.S) for wounded man's kit, belonging to Lieut Sheil, No 2. Squadron, R.A.F. (Frac. skull);
  • carte postale depicting Fr Frank Browne and Irish soldiers at Loudres, France, 30 October 1918;
  • carte postale depicting Fr Jerome O'Mahony's altar, 23 September 1918;

Documents relating to Fr John FitzGibbon SJ during his time serving as a chaplain

Documents relating to Fr John FitzGibbon SJ during his time serving as a chaplain attached to 23rd and 16th Field Ambulance, B.E.F., France. Includes letters to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr FitzGibbon (14 March 1916 – [April 1918], 19 items) and documents relating to Fr FitzGibbon’s death in action on 18 September 1918, including official letters from General Headquarters, British Armies in France, solicitors’ letters and official certificate of death (20 September 1918 – 25 May 1919, 16 items).

FitzGibbon, John, 1882-1918, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Documents relating to Fr Joseph Flinn’s during his time serving as a chaplain

Documents relating to Fr Joseph Flinn’s time as a chaplain attached to VI Corps Rest Station North, 10th Royal Dublin Fusiliers, the Munster Fusiliers, the 60th and 88th Brigade, R.G.A., B.E.F., France. Includes: certificate appointing Fr Flinn Chaplain to the Forces, 4th Class, Land Forces (Temporary) (22 March 1917, 1p.);
– letters to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr Flinn written from the Front (31 January 1917 – 10 October 1918, 21 items).

Flinn, Daniel Joseph, 1877-1943, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Letters to Fr Henry Gill SJ from Mary Maura Ostyn, O.S.B., Prioress of Ypres

Letters to Fr Henry Gill SJ from Mary Maura Ostyn, O.S.B., Prioress of Ypres, 11 Harwood Avenue, London, England asking Fr Gill to salvage the contents of the Benedictine abbey at Ypres. Contains details of all the convent’s treasures and where they have been hidden. Includes letter from Baron H. Kervyn de Letterrhov[e] concerning the destroyed treasures.

Ostyn, Mary Maura, 1868-1940, Benedictine sister

Second draft of unpublished manuscript by Fr Henry Gill SJ recording his time as a chaplain

Unpublished manuscript by Fr Henry Gill SJ recording his time as a chaplain, entitled ‘1914 – 1918 As seen by a Chaplain with the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles’. Completed in 1933. Includes newspaper and journal articles and fifteen pages of original photographs. Manuscript appears to be an amended version of CHP1/27.

Gill, Henry V, 1872-1945, Jesuit priest, scientist and chaplain

Photocopies of obituary of Fr John Gwynn SJ

Photocopies of obituary from the Sunday Freeman of Fr John Gwynn SJ and a photograph of him as published in a supplement given away with the Weekly Freeman. Includes photographs of Fr Gwynn’s Memorial Tablet and a transcript of the inscription and document relating to his death (obituaries and appreciation by Lord Desmond Fitzgerald).

Miscellaneous letters and notes to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ

Miscellaneous letters and notes to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ. Includes rough notes of wages and expenditure of various Jesuit chaplains (n.d., 3pp),and replies from the Senior Chaplain, Australian Imperial Force on transport to Australia for acting chaplain. Includes a note from Fr William Feran SJ, that he has commissioned him (Fr Henry Gill SJ) to discover and exterminate the influenza microbe' (18 December 1918).

Feran, William, 1869-1942, Jesuit priest

Documents relating to Fr John Gwynn’s service as a chaplain

Documents relating to Fr John Gwynn’s service as a chaplain attached to the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards, B.E.F., France. Includes:
– letters written by Fr John Gwynn volunteering to be a chaplain (23 August – 8 November 1914, 2 items);
– documentation dealing with Fr Gwynn’s appointment as a military chaplain (9 November 1914 – 16 March 1915, 9 items) including the certificate appointing him chaplain to the Forces, 4th Class, Land Forces, (Temporary) (16 March 1915, 1p.);
– certificate of safe conduct with attached photo of Fr Gwynn (4 July 1915, 1p.);
– letters and notes sent to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ (n.d., 3 items);
– official letters sent to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ following Fr Gwynn’s death in action on 12 October 1915 (11 October 1915 – 19 September 1921, 23 items);
– pamphlet 'A Great Irish Chaplain: Father John Gwynn, S.J.' by John Bithrey SJ (n.d., 20pp);

  • material on centenary of Fr Gwynn's death - the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton celebrated Mass at the Sacred Heart Church, Caterham, Surrey, England where the Irish Guards have erected a tablet in Fr Gwynn’s memory (11 October 2015).

Gwynn, John, 1866-1915, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Documents relating to Fr Austin Hartigan’s service as military chaplain

Documents relating to Fr Austin Hartigan’s service as military chaplain. Includes:
– certificate appointing Fr Hartigan chaplain to the Forces, 4th Class, Land Forces (Temporary) (12 January 1916, 1p.);
– letters written to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ by Fr Hartigan while serving in Mesopotamia with the Connaught Rangers (20 March 1916 – n.d., 5 items);
– documents relating to Fr Hartigan’s death in Amara on 16 July 1916 (from jaundice) (27 July 1916 – 15 August 1918, 12 items).

Hartigan, Jeremiah Austin, 1882-1916, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Letter and postcard to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr Joseph Hearn SJ

Letter and postcard to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr Joseph Hearn SJ, written during his time serving as chaplain attached to the Australian Expeditionary Force, Dardanelles and the 7th Infantry Battalion, II Infantry Brigade, A.I.F., Mediterranean.

Hearn, Joseph, 1854-1941, Jesuit priest

Letters to the Irish Fr Provincial from Fr James McCann SJ written during his time as chaplain

Letters to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr James McCann SJ written during his time as chaplain to the 4th Reserve Battery, R.G.A., Winchester and Sialkot C.F.A. 4th Cavalry Division, Supply Column, B.E.F., France. Also includes items relating to the ill health (The Prince of Wales', Hospital for Officers), renewal of Fr McCann’s contract as chaplain and his demobilisation. (See also CHP1/10/1 which is a letter from Fr McCann to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ 12 June [1917]).

McCann, James, 1875-1951, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Letters to the Irish Fr Provincial from Fr Stanislaus MacLoughlin SJ written while serving as a chaplain

Letters to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr Stanislaus McLoughlin SJ written while serving as a chaplain attached 12th (2nd Reserve) Battalion and the 58th T.R. Battalion, The Welsh Regiment, Rhyl and 53rd S.W.B., Rhyl.

MacLoughlin, Stanislaus, 1863-1956, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Letters and postcards from Fr Patrick Morris SJ to the Irish Fr Provincial written while serving as chaplain

Letters and postcards from Fr Patrick Morris SJ to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ written while serving as chaplain to 2/8 Battalion, L.F., Sobraon Barracks, Colchester and also in France, before being sent back to England in November 1917 with ‘clinical dysentery.’

Morris, Patrick, 1882-1966, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Letters and postcards from Fr Hugh Mulhall SJ to the Irish Fr Provincial written during his time as a chaplain

Letters and postcards from Fr Hugh Mulhall SJ to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ written during his time as a chaplain to the 3/1st East Lancashire Division, Codford, Wiltshire and 5th East Lancashire Regiment, Witley Camp, Surrey and in Park Hall Camp, Oswestry.

Mulhall, Hugh, 1871-1948, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Letters and postcards from Fr Francis X O’Brien SJ to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ written while a chaplain

Letters and postcards from Fr Francis X O’Brien SJ to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ written while a chaplain attached to the No. 5 Prisoners of War Company, B.E.F., France and the 30th General Hospital, B.E.F., France.

O’Brien, Francis X, 1881-1974, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Letters from Fr Jerome O’Mahony SJ to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ written during his time as a chaplain

Letters from Fr Jerome O’Mahony SJ to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ written during his time as a chaplain in the 5th Canadian General Hospital Salonika, Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, the 43rd General Hospital Salonika, H.M.H.S. “Egypt,” the 78th General Hospital Alexandra and P.L. of C., Haifa, Palestine, E.E.F.

O’Mahony, Jerome, 1869-1930, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Letters to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr Bernard Page SJ written during his time as a chaplain

Letters to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr Bernard Page SJ written during his time as a chaplain with the No. 2 Cavalry Field Ambulance, B.E.F., France. Includes letter of complaint to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ (12 April 1917, 6pp) re Fr Page and Fr Page’s replies (22 – 30 April 1917, 3 items).

Page, Bernard F, 1877-1948, Jesuit priest and chaplain

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