News & Views - A Letter from Martin Wade

A letter in from Martin Wade

Hi Joe

Just came across your website. It awakened childhood memories of the 50’s and our landlady, Miss May Kelly and her brother Edward. They were of Catholic Anglo-Irish stock and owned some property in Kingswood, Clondalkin, Co. Dublin. Their deceased uncle, Walter Walsh had owned most of Kingswood and it’s associated 400-acre farm. We lived in the Gate Lodge of the property.


May had served as some kind of nursing sister in both world wars. She had a dachshund called Harris that had been given to her by a wounded German officer. Eddy had been an officer in the Great War, and had been wounded in an attack on the German trenches, being shot in the face and losing many teeth and having his jaw injured. He believed that he “got” the German who shot him before he collapsed.

"The dachshund is a short-legged, long-bodied dog breed belonging to the hound family. The standard size dachshund was bred to scent, chase, and flush out badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals."

"Below : The two British campaign medals commonly found as family heirlooms nicknamed Mutt and Jeff: the British War Medal and the Victory Medal."

Most of the time, Eddy was a reclusive gentleman of the old school, somewhat under the thumb of his sister. Once a month, however, when his pension arrived, he went into Dublin on a roaring bender, and would return late at night, somewhat the worse for wear. Rather than face his sister’s wrath, he would knock diffidently on our door and seated at the fireside, enthrall us with his stories.


As he aged, the drink had more effect on him and he would lose the use of his legs when he got out of the taxi. He would shout for assistance and my father would carry him up the avenue and enlist the maid’s assistance in discreetly putting him to bed.

“ Wade, Wade, upstairs is fine, but downstairs has failed”.

My father, himself a gifted storyteller who had had three uncles in France, revered him and when he went up to the “big House” on Saturday to pay the rent, he might not return for hours. Edward died sometime in the 60’s. The drinking binges were possibly the only therapy available to relieve the memories of the horrors he endured.


In recent years, memories of this gentle, compassionate old man continue to come to mind. I would love to find some reference to him in any military records. I wonder if your organisation have any leads in this direction. Air dheis De go rabh a hAnaim.


The above is a letter in from Martin Wade of Dublin and well worth inclusion in our ‘Newsletter’. In a follow up conversation, Martin told me of his interest in motor bikes and his first mode of transport was a Francis Barnett Falcon motorbike, bought in Eagles Motor Cycle shop in Inchicore. (File picture below) Ed Aug 2012.