Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Passing of One of The Wild Geese

On February 9th 1773 James Fitzgerald, a soldier in the Irish Brigade died in France. James joined the most famous regiment of the Irish Brigade of France, Dillion’s, in 1730. He fought in that regiment in the 1730’s at the sieges of Kehl and Philipsburg and at the battle of Dettingen in 1743. He was then given command of a company in Lally’s regiment. He fought bravely with that regiment at the most famous battle of the Brigade, at Fontenoy in 1745. He was given a brevet promotion to colonel for his outstanding performance there.

In 1757 Fitzgerald was offered the opportunity to serve with Lally on his adventurous expedition to India. It may have sounded like it held a good possibility of wealth and advancement, but perhaps he had a premonition of the disaster in store for Lally in India, and after his return. In any case, he wisely turned down the opportunity and remained with the Brigade in France. He transferred to Clare’s regiment, eventually retired as the 7th Viscount Clare in command of the regiment. A fluent Irish speaker, James Fitzerald died in France, far from the island home he loved.

Read how France's Irish Brigade once saved the King's Army.

Read more about Irish soldiers in “A Military History of Ireland.”

AOH defense campaign: The Ancient Order of Hibernians has taken up the cause of clearing the name of the late captain James Kelly. Kelly and four others were charged with illegally importing arms into Ireland in 1970. but found not guilty. Though all were found not guilty, Kelly died in 2003 and his family says he lived the rest of his life under a cloud. The AOH wrote to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern: “In your past comments, you have noted that you believe Captain Kelly was operating under what he believed were proper orders and you had no reason to doubt his integrity, which would mean that the step to clear his name is very close,” Read more about it HERE.

Ancient Order of Hibernians

Coming events: Sunday the 12th in Costa Mesa, CA, hear Irish fiddler Eileen Ivers and Special Guest Burhan Oca in concert. Ivers has been called a "sensation" by Billboard magazine and "the Jimi Hendrix of the violin" by The New York Times. "She electrifies the crowd with a dazzling show of virtuoso playing" says The Irish Times. Ivers' recording credits include over 80 contemporary and traditional albums and numerous movie scores. Segerstrom Hall Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. Learn more about her concert HERE.

No comments: