Great Aunt Sally – ‘You’ll get no more sons from me’

Name of soldier : Michael Lavelle

Descendent : Sarah Anne Byrne

Sarah Anne Byrne grew up in Phibsborough with her Mum Carmel and her late father Liam, who is still sadly missed. Every year the family go to Inishbofin Island, off the coast of Mayo, for a long holiday. The house originally belonged to her great Aunt Sally, pictured on the island in 1939.

Great Aunt Sally had a son killed at the Second Battle of Ypres in 1917, while another son, Peter, fought and in the Boer War with the Connaught Rangers and came back traumatised. When the army came looking for another family recruit for World War One, Sally apparently told them ‘you’ll get no more sons from me!’

Your own name : Sarah Anne Byrne

Your relative : Great Grandfather Michael Lavelle

Period of activity: World War One

Specific regiment: Royal Scots, 13th Battalion

AWinston Churchill served in WW1 with the Royal Scots regiment

More about the Royal Scots here :The Royal Scots Fusiliers | World War 1 | VisitScotland https://www.visitscotland.com/about/history/ww1-centenary/scottish-regiments/royal-scots-fusiliers/

Areas served in: Belgium and France. Second Battle of Ypres

Did you have much contact with him?

No, he died there on 1st of August 1917

Where is he buried?

His body was not found, but his name is on Menin Gate memorial

Do you have any mementos of Michael?

No, we just have the stories. ……………………………………………………………………………………..

Michael’s brother Peter was in the Boer War

Your other relative: Great grandfather Peter

Period of activity: Second Boer War, 1899-1902 (Image of soldiers crossing a river below)

Specific regiment: Connaught Rangers

Areas served in : South Africa

Did you have much contact with him?

No, he died in 1932, aged 52

What are your most striking memories of Peter?

Apparently, he was an excellent flute player

Where is he buried?

On Inishbofin Island

Above : As a millennial Christmas present, Queen Victoria sent all soldiers serving in the Boer War the gift of a tin of chocolate. This one still has its chocolate inside.

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