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Killester Garden Village (Paperback)

The Lives of Great War Veterans and Their Families

P&S History > Humanities > Biography & Memoirs WWI

Imprint: Liffey Press
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781739789282
Published: 30th June 2024

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One hundred years ago this year, the largest Irish WWI ex-servicemen housing estate on the island of Ireland was completed, the Killester Garden Village. Comprising 247 bungalows, it was the flagship estate for returning Irishmen from what some dubbed ‘the war to end all wars’.

 

So who were those men who lived in Killester Garden Village? In their mid-twenties, more than likely poor, living in tenements or urban dwellings, unskilled or working as casual labourers, they enlisted in the British forces at the outbreak of WWI. Then, having survived the terror of that war, they came home to a hostile Ireland that had politically changed in their absence.

 

In fact, the Irish men and women who served in the British forces during WWI came home to a different country. During their absence in the battlefields of France, Flanders and Gallipoli, a terrible beauty had been born. And during the ensuing War of Independence, Irish ex-servicemen had to keep their heads down. Of the 196 civilians killed by the IRA between 1919 and 1921 for alleged spying activities for the British forces, between 100 and 120 were ex-servicemen.

 

Possibly even worse, as the Irish ex-service men and women died off years later, so too did their place in the narrative of modern Irish history. They were largely forgotten.

 

But now, in this brilliantly researched book, profiles of 300 of these brave Irish men and women bring them back to life so that their stories can finally be told.

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