A Tale of Two Battles – Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift
This year marks the 100th anniversary of two of the most famous, (or infamous), battles of the colonial era; the Battle of Isandlwana in which the British suffered the worst defeat ever inflicted on a European army by a native force, and the Battle of Rorke’s drift, fought the same day and between the same protagonists, in which a small group of barely 120 men overcame seeming impossible odds to successfully hold a defensive position a mere 40 miles away.
The talk will go beyond the Boys Own stories of heroism and defeat and attempt to examine the wider events that shaped them, and in particular will examine the motivations, actions and personalities of the group that is usually overlooked in conventional narratives; the Zulus themselves.
So often portrayed as faceless extras to the drama of British defeat and victory, this talk will look at Zulu society and culture, at their incredible military organisation and skills, their attempts to avoid conflict with their neighbours, and their resolute tactics in responding to an unjustified invasion of their homeland.
This talk will look at the background to these two battles, and the wider Zulu War of which they formed a part, a war that, to quote one historian, had no conceivable justification, even by the colonial standards of the day.
The speaker will be Brian MacGabhann of the Renmore History Society.
Connacht Hotel, Galway, Thursday 21 March at 8pm.
€5 entrance – free to members
Booking is essential – book on Eventbrite Here
… Read the rest
The Gathering Storm – The Origins of The Great war
This month marks the 100th anniversary of the ending of the Great War, a conflict that cost over 10 million lives. In August 1914, the great powers of Europe enthusiastically marched off to war, each confident that victory would be theirs within a few short months. Four years later Europe lay exhausted and millions had been killed. Russia had succumbed to a communist revolution, Britain’s global position had been irrevocably weakened, Germany was economically ruined and France was finished as a world superpower. How had they gotten it so wrong? What process led each to so eagerly embrace their own destruction? How could it have happened?
This talk will examine the background and events that led to the Great War, considering the shifting political landscape, changing relations between the Great Powers, and underlying tensions and suspicions that finally erupted in August 1914.
It will also consider what warning signals may be there for today, and ask if processes similar to those that led to 1914 are beginning to appear again.
The talk will be held at 2000 hrs on Thurs 15th Nov 2018, in the lecture hall in the Military Barracks, Renmore. As always places are limited and must be reserved in advance. To reserve a place click on the following link: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/the-gathering-storm-the-origins-of-world-war-1-tickets-52304336679 and click the green ‘Register’ button.
Entrance is free for members, and €5 for non-members. If you are a member please remember to bring your membership card with you.
We look forward to your company.… Read the rest
A Time to Risk All – The Incredible Story of Mary Elms
by Clodagh Finn
Renmore History Society are pleased to announce the start of the 2018-2019 Season, and the first talk of the season honours an unsung Irish heroine of the Holocaust.
Mary Elms was a Corkwoman, humanitarian aid worker and brilliant scholar. Having served as an ambulance driver during the Spanish Civil war she went on to save hundreds of Jewish children from the Holocaust and would become the first and only Irish person to be honoured as ‘Righteous Among the Nations” by the Yad Vashem, and was made a member of the Legion D’Honneur in France. This talk, by Journalist and Author Clodagh Finn, will tell the incredible story of this brave but unrecognised Irish heroine. … Read the rest