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Introduction -Swords History

A History Of Swords As Told By Richard Coleman
In a loud voice and roar ''Silence'' and order, finger on
the lips which always produced a great calm among the infants.
We made all sorts of little models with wire and peas and platting
of paper mats with coloured stripes of paper and stitching in
our school concerts, drawing for prizes and the distractions of
prizes for Christmas.
In all it was a happy time, however when we came to second class
we were transferred to the 'boys school and the male teachers with
their canes and punishment made school a prison and penitentiary
compared to the happy kindergarten infant school
About this time 1898-1900 the Boer war was raging, we were all for
the Boers. The policemen's children and the Protestant children
were all for the British, the sweet shops used to sell little
coloured badges of the British and Boer leaders for half penny
The R.I.C. kids wore badges of the Lord Kitcherner, General Buller
and Lord Roberts with strips of red white and blue ribbon.
We Boer fans wore badges of general Kruger De Wet and general
There used to be pictures showing the relief of Lady Smyth and
also of the British being entangled in barbed wire crossing
the River Modder, some of the local militia of the British army were sent out and gave vivid accounts of the starvation when
their food train was captured and they had to eat the cavalry horses.
There were great accounts of the Boer's ''Long Tom Gub''
apparently it was the only large field pieec they had.
A brother of one of the local farmers, John Duff, left the U.S.A
with a party of Irishmen to join McBride's Irish Brigade who
fought with the Boers. He never could come back to Ireland while
the British were in power.
Queen Victoria was on the throne, and Pope Leo 13th was Pope
the united Irish league was the policital party and meetings
were held occasionally with the Green Flag and Harp flying
but we never had an election in our town, as the member J.J.Clancy always got in unopposed
We had an old Irish song-
Hurrah for the Red White Blue and Green
Stick your bayonet in the Queen
If she roars, call for the Boers
Hurrah for the Red White Blue and Green

These were the Boer colours. There was another event around 1897. It must have been the Queen's jubilee. All the Protestant houses, the R.I.C. Barracks, and the Post Office, displayed British Flags, and illuminated their windows at night with a candle in each pane of glass. It was a gay sight for us children and we knew nothing of the Queen. Colonel Foster (who was a Catholic), had his four storey mansion fully illuminated with thousands of candles, and opened the gates of his grounds for the local people to see the illuminations. It looked a fine sight set among the trees and shrubs, but his lawns and flowers were badly trampled.
I remember looking into the R.I.C. Barracks, and seeing all the Police half drunk and three bayonets tied with green ribbon hanging from the ceiling and the British flags around the walls.
Children visiting Dublin at this time were given bags of sweets on arrival at the Railway Station at Amiens Street. Later, the old lady visited Dublin and drove around in an open carriage, dressed in black (I did not see her but heard this description of her bowing from left to right, and they said she was not a woman at all but a dressed up mechanical doll, bowing to left and right).
I remember talk of the Gold Rush to Klondyke to seek for gold, in the U.S.A., which tempted many to emigrate.

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