Joyce Smith (b. 1935)
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Joyce Smith (b. 1935)


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Track 1: Joyce Smith’s family, the Gunnings, came from Hodson Bay, Co. Roscommon, where she spent her summers in childhood, and she explains that her father, Maurice McDermot Gunning, did not serve during WWI. She talks about her uncle and her father’s first cousin, Trevor Abbott Lawder, who was Surgeon Major to the Coldstream Guards, 1st and 2nd Battalion, and his younger brother, George Lawder, who was shot in last few days of WWI and is buried in France. Her father’s first cousin, Raymond de Cadiz, is recalled. He was shot through the chest and heart but survived and later went to Canada where he became Assistant Commissioner to the Canadian Mounted Police. Raymond’s eldest brother, Frederick de Cadiz, joined the Royal Navy during WWI and was torpedoed on six occasions. Joyce explains that her great-aunt, Margarita Lawder, was travelling to India when she met Raymond de Cadiz whom she married. Four of their children were born in India while Raymond and his twin brother Frank were born in Dublin. After Margarita’s death, her sister, Edith Lawder Gunning, Joyce’s grandmother, became guardian of the children along with her husband. Their father Thomas died a few years later. Joyce remarks that her grandparents already had six children of their own. The three brothers served during the war and two of the three sisters became suffragettes, much to the horror of the family. While suffragettes, Leila and Rosalind went by the aliases Maggie and Jane Murphy. They were imprisoned in Mountjoy Jail and were force fed there. They later went to England and, for their activities, were jailed in Wandsworth and were again force fed. When war broke out they became nurses. Joyce tells an anecdote about encountering a man whose life her uncle Trevor had saved though she explains that her uncle never spoke about his wartime service, for which he had won four Croix de Guerre. Joyce remembers him well from the time when she stayed at his London home. He had been a champion boxer at TCD and married Joyce’s aunt, Muriel, who was his first cousin. Track 2: Leila Gertrude Garcias de Cadiz and Rosalind Garcias de Cadiz, and their work on the frontline in France with the Red Cross on the Voluntary Aid Detachment, are recalled. Rosalind suffered an injury to her back and was discharged. Track 3: Joyce details the history of the de Cadiz, Gunning and Lawder families, and she explains that Leila and Rosalind de Cadiz lived out their lives in Ireland with the remainder of their family scattered worldwide. The twins, Frank and Raymond de Cadiz ran away three times to join the British Army and, on the third occasion, were allowed to go. They served in the Boer War and then went their separate ways. She further mentions the eldest of the six, Frederick Galway de Cadiz, who served in the Royal Navy and was torpedoed six times. On one occasion he managed to save a ship by reversing it. Track 4: Joyce recalls Hodson Bay and her idyllic childhood days there and she remembers her father listening closely to the radio during WWII. Her uncle, Hodson Lawder Gunning, who was the eldest brother, ran the farm at Hodson Bay. Her father, Maurice, was a bank manager with the National Bank and had to support his widowed mother and the large family. After he left the bank, Joyce and their immediate family moved to Alderford in County Roscommon from where his maternal grandmother, a McDermott-Roe had come. She remembers the many happy activities for children at Hodson Bay, but the property was sold in the late 1940s as the farm land was not good. Joyce s mother was an Armstrong from County Waterford who had worked in the head office of Bank of Ireland in Dublin where she met her husband. The interrelationship with the Synge and Goldsmith families is discussed. Track 5: Joyce’s great-grandmother was a member of the McDermott-Roe family of Alderford, Co. Roscommon, and she had six children. Joyce considers that her uncle, Trevor Abbott Lawder who served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, was a very brave man to have been so decorated. The effect of the two suffragettes on the family and the probable reasons why they joined the movement is discussed and Joyce explains that her father had been advised by his family not to join up, so he continued his work in the bank but joined the Red Cross. Track 6: Rosalind and Leila de Cadiz’s autograph book is examined and Joyce reads a poem inscribed therein, written by Corporal P. M. McDermot of 6th Connaught Rangers at St George’s Hospital in 1916, one of the wounded soldiers they had nursed.

Additional information



Audio series:

The Irish Country House and the Great War


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

12.22 MB, 10.88 MB, 4.08 MB, 8.89 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:


Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore