PRONI's April journal charts local lives during First World War

PRONI have published their monthly journal series charting the real life experiences of men and women from throughout the First World War. 

PRONI hold a wide range of records including letters, diaries and memoirs relating to the First World War and to contemporary events in Ireland, providing first-hand accounts of all aspects of war as well as the impact it had on life at home.

This edition of the monthly journal series features the writings and experiences of Lilian Spender and Gerald Burgoyne, amongst others. Their first hand accounts offer an insight into times of war and how they were felt across Europe.

A diary entry from Captain Burgoyne of the Royal Irish Rifles, who were based south of Ypres, reveals life on the frontlines.

'Had another man wounded in the head at 'Stand to' this evening. Bullet came through a single sandbag blocking a gap in a bad bit of parapet. All my men just reporting they are suffering from bad eyes, can't think what it can be. Have sent them back to their work, though. I went out and noticed a curious sweet smell like marigolds and certainly my eyes began to smart.

'I ‘phoned up the Head Quarters and I hear that all along the line we are noticing it. Presumably it is the fumes of the heavy explosives, Turpinite, or what not, which is being used in the bombardment, the guns of which are still at 9am thundering away to the north of us.'

PRONI will continue to publish transcripts from the personal papers and diaries of a range of people who lived throughout the period, on a monthly basis.

Click here to access the April blog.