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Saint Columb’s Cathedral

“Ireland’s Memorial Records 1914-1918” is a set of eight books containing the names of over 49.000 Irishmen, who lost their lives fighting in the Great War. St Columb's Cathedrals has a set permanently on display in the Cathedral.
After the First World War, on July 17, 1919, the “National War Memorial Fund” was erected in Ireland, to raise an appropriate Irish Memorial " to commemorate all those Irish men and women killed in the First World War". This fund soon became the “Irish National War Memorial committee.”
The books were compiled by the committee under the chairmanship of the "Earl of Ypres" John French. French called on the Irish people to recognize the sacrifice delivered by the Irish soldiers. The objective of the Committee was twofold. Right from the beginning the Committee stated that the memorial should contain all the names of the Irish soldiers from army, navy and air force that were killed. Secondly, a permanent monument should be erected for the war victims. Due to the conditions in Ireland since 1919, the Committee was unable to establish the monument. It would take years before they began this task. However there was established a subcommittee that began with the registration of the names. The final result was a set of eight books with 3177 pages containing the names of over 49600 Irishmen, alphabetically listed, who died in the war. 100 copies of Ireland’s Memorial Records (IMR) were printed in 1923 for distribution among libraries, churches and organizations in Ireland and throughout the world.
Name, rank, regiment, regimental number, and in most cases, county/place of birth, and place and date of death were recorded.
The printing, decorating and binding of the volumes was carried out by famous Irish artists. They had been printed on hand-made paper by Maunsel and Roberts, Ltd., Dublin. The volumes were cased in grey paper boards with linen spine with a printed paper label and ticket of “Galway & Co. binders” from Dublin. This way of binding was not used for all copies. Some had a more finished, hard coloured cover. Note the differences in the pictures in the appendix. The reason for these differences is not known.
The illustrations were drawn by the Irish artist Harry Clarke (1889-1931). He was the illustrator of several books, including work from Hans Christian Andersen, Edgar Allan Poe, Goethe ... Typical for Clarke’s work is his painting in black and white with ink. Clarke also designed stained glass windows for churches throughout Britain, Europe, Australia and Africa. The illustrations in the borders of the IMR are a combination of Celtic and Art Deco motifs, silhouettes of war scenes, medals and badges, religious and mythological scenes.
The different scenes are repeated in the various books and sometimes reversed. The engraving of the illustrations was done by "The Irish Photo Engraving Company" and "The Dublin Illustrating Company".
The frontispiece of Volume1 shown here bears the signatures of some of the royal visitors to the Cathedral including that of Her Majesty The Queen when she was Princess Elizabeth. She visited St. Columb's with her parents in July 1945.


A White Ensign worn by the last Canadian warship, the frigate HMCS Lauzon, to sail from Londonderry, following the end of hostilities in Europe in 1945 was presented to St. Columb's Cathedral on July 21st 1963.
Also presented to the Very Rev. L. R. Lawrenson, Dean of Derry, to be placed in the cathedral along with the ensign, was a plaque with the following inscription:
"Ensign worn by HMCS Lauzon, last Canadian ship to sail from Londonderry, 1945. Presented by the Naval Officers' Associations of Canada on behalf of RCN officers and men who visited this city during World War II and in memory of those who gave their lives in the Battle of the Atlantic.”

Union Flag, laid up in St. Columb's Cathedral, Londonderry, which pre-dates the Act of Union (Jan. 1, 1801), the legislative agreement uniting Great Britain (England and Scotland) and Ireland under the name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The flag was presented to the Londonderry Regiment by Lady Hill, wife of the Mayor, Sir George Hill circa 1798.


This drum has recently been donated to St. Columb's Cathedral by Mr Wesley Donnell whose father, Charles Donnell served in the 10th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (The Derrys) in the Great War. His uncle, Jack Donnell, also served with "The Derrys" and was Killed in Action on the 1st July 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing and on the City of Londonderry War Memorial.


The drum bears the crest of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers with the in
scription "10th (Service) Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (The Derrys).


The drum will be displayed in the Chapter House in memory of Jack Donnell who was killed and of Charles Donnell who survived the war. The other photo shows the Donnell brothers along with some other "Derrys". Back Row: L-R: Charlie Donnell, ? Harper, Jack Donnell, William Barnett.
Front Row; L-R: David Boyd, Robert Boyd (also Killed in Action 1st July 1916)


Original architect's drawings for the carved pew ends in St. Columb's Cathedral, Londonderry. Two of many important drawings in the Cathedral's Archive.