Handed down through my father’s side of the family and arriving into my possession, on the passing of my mother in 2004, this tiny tin box time capsule had brought its treasured contents safely, on their ninety seven year journey, to me.
When you think of the opportunities which would have existed, during the ninety seven year journey, for this small container and its precious cargo to go missing; to be thrown out; to be totally forgotten about, you immediately realise that, for its protectors; its content must have very precious indeed.
Upon opening the box I discovered it contained a small number of carefully folded papers which turned out to be the following:
- A copy of a Battalion Orders Sheet related to the 2nd Border Regiment stationed in Pretoria, South Africa and dated 1907.
- A handwritten letter from my Grand Uncle Michael Breen sent from Renmore Barracks in Galway to his sister (my Grandmother, Anne Breen) dated 1909.
- A handwritten letter from one: Seargent William Luson to Philip Lennon (my Grandfather) sent from Kilworth Camp in Cork, dated 1914.
- A British Army medical card bearing the name of my Grand Uncle: Private Michael Breen, No 8752, 2nd Boarders Regiment serving in France, dated 1914.
- A handwritten letter from my Grand Uncle Private Michael Breen sent from a field hospital in France, to his sister (my Grandmother, Anne Breen) dated 1915.
What a treasure trove.
I felt privileged to have become the current custodian of these precious personal links to our family forebears and to some of the people with whom they had formed friendships, during their lifetimes.
As I read the Battalion Orders Sheet for the 2nd Boarder Regiment, I wondered what life must have been like for the many individuals whose names appeared, for better or for worse, on that sheet.
For a lengthy portion of its time journey, the tin box rested (maybe in the attic?) of a house, not too far from the Phoenix Park, on Dublin City’s north side, in Cabra.
Who were the people on the Battalion Orders Sheet and what was going on in the South Africa of 1907? We will take a deeper look in another post.
Are you the archivist in your family? Have you discovered any hidden history treasures? I would love to read your story. Why not leave a comment?
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