Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Savage-Armstrong letters from the Easter Rising.

George-Francis Savage Armstrong is a favourite writer of mine, who I have blogged about here before and will again soon. He died in 1906; PRONI holds two letters which were sent to his widow Elizabeth Savage-Armstrong following the Easter Rising:


Letter from Raymond Savage-Armstrong, describing Dublin City after the Easter Rising in 1916.

'From Raymond describing the appearance of Dublin after the Sinn Fein rebellion (received May 7th 1916)' 'Addressed to Mrs Savage-Armstrong, Strangford House, Strangford, Co. Down'

'My dear ?,

I was not able to get on yesterday to Limerick so stayed the night here. The train which should have got in to ? St at 1pm got in at about 3pm and the train from Kingsbridge started at 3 we stopped at every station on the way down and went at Dublin Wicklow and Wexford speed. There were only two trains south from Kingsbridge yesterday but I hear all trains will be running today. I start by the 12.20. I saw ? who was very busy and had 4 nights without ?. ? was here on his way to Mesopotamia. I had not seen him for 10 years he had been at ? and had spent the week with the 3rd ? Rangers hunting rebels in Wexford who finally surrendered. Stephens Green closed to public. One hears odd shots at night still. They had not been able to keep up the 2nd Batt ? Rangers as there were so few recruits. ? Br only very slightly damaged and no visible damage along the line. Troops about ? and pickets lying about streets and patriots ? about constantly. There are a good many cyclist boys in the country I think for hunting down the rebels. Must stop now.

Ever your loving son.



A letter from Miss Julia Taylor (Dublin) to Mrs Savage-Armstrong of Strangford describing Dublin in the aftermath of the 1916 Rising:

May 14th 1916.

Dearest ?

I don't think I answered a nice long letter I had from you just before the rebellion. What a time we have had - here the roar of cannon of rebel and machine guns never ceased night or day only sometime the ? ? up and there we heard nothing else and out windless ? it was awful - the house lighted by night by fires and by day we looked ? into a church ? closed, in the night there ? to be a sea of fire - soldiers home from the Front say what was Sackville St, is now like Ypres. Bit not bricked ? today say that lazy ? a 'wait and see' policy broken ?. Such terrible loss of life and destruction of property. The soldiers were nearly dead from want of food - from Monday till Friday only a batch ? biscuits and some tea. We were better off than those in Dublin as we helped each other. The first floor ? got ?. ? in command ? I was with escort of troops and last Tuesday the military came to search the village with machine guns at tops of streets and ? cars in it too, I think 3 of them dessimated straight opposite is the ? ? the Pearses and the mother and sister are still there - where you stared on ? Bridge to beyond the pillar there is only a black, smoking stinking mass. The wall or front of a house standing like a skeleton and also down to ? House - Dr ? ? in to see ? was ? 3 or 4 days - he said. Bullets were falling like a hail shower and on Tuesday and Wed there was still a little sniping - ? and round St Bartholomews was very bad - there are some of the soldiers buried in the church grounds - there are many other things I heard but don't care to write.'