Desmond Corban-Lucas (b. 1930) (Part 2)
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Desmond Corban-Lucas (b. 1930) (Part 2)


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Track 1: Desmond Corban-Lucas discusses the military tradition in his family, dating from the time of the local militia. His grandfather, who was born in the 1850s, was in the South Cork Militia, headquartered in Rathcormac. Desmond’s father joined the Indian Police and his younger brother, Perceval Laurence, enlisted in the British Army. He had attended Sandhurst where he was named first cadet of his year. He joined the Indian Army where there was a better chance of promotion owing to the continual trouble on the Afghan frontier. Desmond describes the military training area in North Cork, around Kilworth, Moore Park and Fermoy and he explains that Ballynacarriga House was loaned to the YMCA during WWI for use as an officers’ club. The circumstances surrounding the death of his uncle in Mesopotamia with the Royal Sussex regiment are described, as are his personal effects which were sent home. The gruesome and traumatic discovery of his bloodstained uniform was described to him by his mother. Desmond speaks of the kindness of May Hanrahan who looked after his grandmother in her later years, and he speaks about the war memorial in the former Church of Ireland church (now the Village Arts Centre) in Kilworth. Track 2: For a time, Desmond’s father was attached to the Burma Rifles and Desmond explains that at the beginning of the war, many unemployed men joined up, particularly he thinks, in Connacht. Using photographs of the house when it was in use by the YMCA, he talks about the property which, at the end of the war was returned to the family. By the time Desmond took over the property, all the trenches that had been dug for training purposes on the land had been filled in and the last remaining trench was removed during the construction of the motorway. He talks about the burning of Kilworth camp and Fermoy barracks and the new military hospital set ablaze by the Republicans. He explains that he was born in Burma and was brought home in 1933, and for two years he lived with his maternal grandparents in Longford. Although his father left Ireland before Independence and returned when it was a Free State, Desmond says that he never discussed politics. Finally, he describes some graffiti which was visible in the outhouses since the time when the house was used as an officers’ club during WWI.

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Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The Irish Country House and the Great War


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

11.16 MB, 15.09 MB

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The lives and times of the Corban-Lucas family of North Cork

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore