Redmond Morris, 4th Baron Killanin (b. 1947)
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Redmond Morris, 4th Baron Killanin (b. 1947)


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Track 1: Redmond Morris begins by recalling Spiddal House, the old family home in County Galway, and he explains that the land had been acquired at the end of the 17th century through a marriage with a member of the Fitzpatrick family. He also explains the reason why the house was rebuilt after the burning of the original structure by the IRA in the 1920s. His paternal grandfather, George Morris, had been a career soldier in the Rifle Brigade and was seconded to the Irish Guards in 1906. Redmond details George’s time at Camberley training college and he explains that George went to France as Lieutenant-Colonel of the 1st Battalion in August 1914. He was killed on September 1st on the retreat from Mons, leaving behind a widow and a very young son. The circumstances surrounding George’s death and the arrival of the dreadful news at his home are discussed, and the reinterment of his remains are described. Redmond says that he has visited the grave several times and that he finds the experience quite emotional. Track 2: The surviving correspondence between his grandfather and his grandmother, Dora, is described and Redmond reads several of these touching letters. He recalls visiting his grandfather’s grave with his father, Michael Morris. Photographs, military medals and other memorabilia are still held by the family and Redmond describes the window dedicated to his grandfather’s memory in Spiddal church. Track 3: The last letter from George Morris to his wife Dora, written on August 28th 1914, is read by Redmond and he also reads her last letters to him. Redmond explains that Dora received telegrams reporting her husband as missing and the body was discovered in November of that year. She continued to hope during the intervening months that he might still be discovered alive in a hospital or as a prisoner. Track 4: Redmond discusses what he has learned about his grandparents, and the cruelty of separation. He further discusses the current interest in the Great War, and explains that he has read about events on the day of his grandfather’s death, including a report of what he was doing at the time. He talks about Dora’s efforts to find her husband after September 1914, and explains that it was only when George’s his elder brother, Martin Morris, heard about a grave that the body was found. Redmond considers it extraordinary that Martin travelled into a war zone to find the grave and to identify the body. He talks about Dora’s letter to her six-month old son Michael, in which she describes his father. Dora’s re-marriage, the births of two further children and the other great sadness she endured on the death of her son in WWII are considered. Track 5: Redmond reflects on his title, and considers how matters have altered since holders of the title are no longer eligible to sit in the House of Lords in London.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The Irish Country House and the Great War


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

2.93 MB, 6.44 MB, 9.96 MB, 13.54 MB, 8.33 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



George Morris, Lieutenant-Colonel 1st Battalion, Irish Guards

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore