Terence Crosbie (b. 1934) (Part 1)
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Terence Crosbie (b. 1934) (Part 1)


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Track 1: Terry Crosbie’s father Arthur joined the Bank of Ireland in 1901, and on the outbreak of war in 1914 he joined the Royal Artillery. Terry recalls a story told to him by his father of being involved in the rescue after the Lusitania was sunk in 1915. After the war, Arthur Crosbie returned to work, and in Clonmel he met his future wife, Mary Alison Malcomson who came from a merchant family of Melview House, Clonmel. He worked in Youghal, Tipperary and Waterford, where he retired in 1946. Terry discusses the Malcomson family history and explains that he is the last of the family born in Melview. His father was one of four brothers, all of whom served during WWI. William, a dispatch rider, was killed in action and is buried in Douglas, Cork. Oliver was gassed in France but survived and died in service with the Bank of Ireland in Cobh, Co. Cork. The youngest, Herbert, had emigrated to Canada and on the outbreak of war, joined a Canadian regiment and transferred to the Dublin Fusiliers, later returning to Canada. Their only sister, Ethel, married Joe Philpott from North Cork, who had been a regular officer in the Munster Fusiliers and was badly wounded at Gallipoli. As a boy Terry used to travel to race meetings with him and he remembers discussing aspects of the war with him. Track 2: Terry’s early life in Waterford is recalled, including the fact that neither his father nor his uncle Oliver really talked about the Great War. He feels that this reticence was probably reinforced by the fact that they had lived through the War of Independence. His mother Mary was very involved with hunting and became a Master of Fox Hounds, being well integrated with the local community in East Waterford. The bankruptcy of the Malcomson business concerns, family history and various other houses are recalled. Terry discusses the Malcomson family tree and describes the effects of the business collapse. He mentions that his grandmother organised parties of like-minded ladies to knit socks for soldiers during the war. His eldest aunt married the commander of Clonmel barracks in 1923 and Terry relates the story of the organisation of this by his grandmother through a letter to Éamon de Valera. He recalls some Malcomson relatives who were killed in action in WWI, and explains that virtually all male Malcomsons over the age of 18 were wiped out. Terry’s grandmother’s father, William Laurence Fleury, was a Major in the Queen’s Own Regiment who served mostly in Far East including India and Ceylon and also in Australia and New Zealand. After retirement, he became a Resident Magistrate in Clonmel. His daughter married Terry’s grandfather Robert Malcomson in late the 1890s and they had four children, including Terry’s mother Mary. Track 3: Terry recalls some memories of Melview House, Clonmel, and his grandmother’s activities in the community. Gallows Hill as he remembers it during his childhood is also described. John Shaughnessy, the coachman, who lived in the front gate lodge of the house is kindly remembered and the friendship between his elder brother and Trevor Cox (the author William Trevor) is mentioned. Terry’s father, Arthur, discouraged him from joining the bank after he retired in 1947 with a pension based on a salary which had been frozen since 1939. Track 4: He explains that his parents met in Clonmel when Mary Alison Malcomson went to the bank to make a lodgement and he further explains that at the time his grandmother felt her daughter was too young to marry and that there was a large age gap between the couple. She sent Mary Alison to India to her sister for a year or two but the couple corresponded, and on her return they married in 1928.

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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):

13.04 MB, 10.21 MB, 12.94 MB, 13.40 MB

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Melview House, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary and the Crosbie family's involvement in WWI

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore