Archive for February, 2008

A Sinn Fein connection?

28 February, 2008

flag-of-ireland.jpg

While trawling the database for relevant Commonwealth archival records, I came across an interesting file title; ‘Officers of 56 Battalion with Sinn Fein sympathies.’

We know the 56th Battalion inherited a strong Scottish heritage from its parent battalion, the 4th, but it’s also apparent there were quite a large number of men of Irish heritage.  Indeed as Ron Austin, the author of a recent 4th Battalion history tells us, a pre-war nickname of those militia battalions forming the core of 4th Battalion was ‘The Macks and Micks.’  Of course Irish republicanism came to a head during the war, especially with the Easter Rebellion of 1916, and in Australia, the political situation of Ireland was always an ongoing sensitive issue.

This is apparently a police file held in the Melbourne branch of the National Archives, and is dated 1918.  I’ll have to request a copy and see what it reveals.  Could be interesting…

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An online nominal roll

14 February, 2008

Abbott, Frank
Abbott, Samuel
Abbott, William
Adams, Bert
Adams, Frank
Adams, James                               
Alchin, Charles…

In most good unit histories, a substantial chunk of paper at the end of the book is taken up by long lists of thousands of men who served in the unit.  Such nominal rolls are essential I believe, and not only simply record the names, but also form a part of commemorating the men and the unit as a whole.  However…

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