Joe Richardson – from the Great War to Great Western Square

Name of soldier : Joe Richardson

Descendent : Eileen Richardson

Eileen Richardson is a strong, sparkling woman, typical of the Cabra spirit. Her background is also typical of the area, which was expanded dramatically in the 1930s to rehouse people from the north inner city.

Eileen is originally from a tenement on Buckingham Street, of which she has fond memories. The tenements were large Georgian houses which, over generations, had been turned into informal and often crowded flats. She describes going down into ‘the area’, the stairwell communal space between flats, where the children of different families played, and where Mrs Kelly gave them cream crackers – then a luxury.

The tenements were also a key source of recruitment for soldiers, particularly the Dublin Fusiliers. The British army not only offered a secure and relatively good income, but also a camaraderie and discipline for the men, and the prospect of foreign travel and adventure.

Your own name : Eileen Richardson

Your relative : Father in law, Joe Richardson

Period of activity: World War One

Specific regiment : Royal Irish Rifles

Areas served in: Belgium and France.

Did you have much contact with him?

No, he had passed away before I met his son, Matt

What are your most striking memories of him ?

That he lived on Great Western Square (below) in Phibsborough but the family had to vacate when Joe died.

Great Western Square was built for railway workers but houses there were also given to ex servicemen. Many railway workers enlisted for World War One and there are commemorative plaques, such as in Amiens Street Station and at the old Broadstone terminus.

Where is he buried?

Grangegorman military cemetery

Do you have any mementos of him ?

The medals pictured above

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