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Twice a Hero


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At the urging of my children, all born and raised in England, I ventured into the genealogy of our Irish family. Eventually I came to the maternal line, the Adamsons of Moate, Co. Westmeath. I remembered little of the stories told to me by my grandmother, her sister Lucy and my great grandmother about my grand uncle George who had fought in The Great War and the Irish War of Independence. Other than that, and the obvious pride the family had in his achievements, I never got to know much more about him. I regretted not having listened attentively to accounts of their thoughts, and subsequent feelings. By now, 2008, the story of Uncle George seemed to be beyond reach, for he had faded into the wallpaper of life. My enquiries in the area eventually led me to his burial place in the disused and Godforsaken Dunegan Cemetery in Mount Temple, just outside Moate. Unable to find any trace of his grave in the wilderness I was confronted with, I resolved to find out about this man, my own kith and kin, this obscure ancestor of mine and, if possible, write his story before it was lost forever to my children, family and history. According to the great Russian writer Tolstoy, a drama does not tell us the whole of a person's life - what it does is place it in particular situations. Then, from the way the person deals with the situations, his character is revealed to us more fully. The following account is of a heroic young Irishman, a gallant soldier, patriot and rebel, why he fought, where, when, and how. The conditions he fought under and the men who lived and died beside him. It covers the seven hundred years struggle for a free and independent Ireland, two forgotten theatres of war in Salonika and Palestine, The Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War.

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