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New book honours WWI heroes

Wednesday, 31st January, 2018 5:29pm

A new book will turn the spotlight on the Royal Navy’s coast of Ireland command in World War One and the role it played in the Allied victory.
‘Bayly’s War’, written by naval historian Steve Dunn, seeks to honour the efforts of the men involved in one of the great sea battles of the First World War.

Based in Queenstown (now Cobh), British and US allies, under the command of Vice Admiral Lewis Bayly, were responsible for protecting trade that passed through the western approaches.

Mr Dunn said he believes the efforts of the men involved has not been adequately recognised until now.

“Although a great deal has been written about the war, this is a narrative that few people really know about, and yet these sailors were literally in a fight for survival as German U-boats targeted trade in the cold waters of the Atlantic in an attempt to drive Britain to submission through lack of food and critical resources,” he said.

“What makes their contribution so significant is that many of the men were fishermen or reservists, with little or no Royal Navy training, and yet despite their lack of experience, they showed real courage and skill.”

The book covers details of major tragedies such as the sinking of the Lusitania in May 1915 off the Old Head of Kinsale. It also included many first-hand accounts and stories of individuals such as 19 year old Josephine Carr, a shorthand typist from Bethesda Road in Cork whose body was never recovered after the ship she was on, the SS Leinster, was torpedoed by a German submarine.

Mr Dunn’s previous book ‘Securing the Narrow Sea’ was shortlisted for the 2017 Mountbatten Maritime Award.

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