Tuesday 4 October, 8pm
The First World War had a significant impact on the town of Navan. On 16 January 1915 the Meath Chronicle reported that “It is stated that between reservists and recruits fully one fifth of the population of Navan is serving in the British army”. Navan men fought also in the Canadian and Australian armies. They fought in all the great battles of the Western Front, like Passchendaele and the Somme; also in Gallipoli, Mesopotamia and Jutland. Some died as prisoners of war, others of their injuries back in the Infirmary in Navan. At least 120 of the approximately 1000 men who went out did not return. Their story has remained largely untold until now.
For reference see:
“Glimpses of Life in Navan during the Great War 1914-18” in Ríocht na Midhe XXVII (2016) pp. 240-68, and “Navan and its People during the Great War 1914-18” in Navan – Its People and Its Past II pp. 105-57 (part 1 of article) and in Navan – Its People and Its Past III pp.105-46 (part 2 of article).
Ethna Cantwell worked as a teacher of Geography and History in St. Patrick’s Classical School in Navan for many years. Since her retirement she has been deeply involved in the activities of the Navan and District Historical Society of which she is a founder member and secretary. For the past four years she has researched the story of Navan and its involvement in the Great War 1914-18.