A memorial stone was unveiled in honour of the Trinity College Dublin students, staff and alumni who lost their lives in World War I, at a special ceremony today [Saturday, September 26th]. The engraved stone was unveiled at the Hall of Honour, in Trinity’s Front Square with staff, students and members of the public in attendance. Ambassadors representing some of the countries in which members of the Trinity community died were also present.
Thousands of Trinity students, staff and alumni fought, and 471 died, in military service during the Great War. Those who died are remembered in Trinity's Hall of Honour which acts as the entrance of the 1937 Reading Room in Front Square. The new commemorative stone by sculptor Stephen Burke made of Portland stone was unveiled on the plinth in front of the building.
On the occasion of the unveiling ceremony, Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast said:
“We decided that one of the key Trinity events as part of the Decade of Commemorations would be to commission and install a memorial stone to publicly identify the Hall of Honour in Front Square. Today, sees the culmination of that work, marking once again the tremendous loss of life from within the Trinity community among those who fought and died in the World War 1. Trinity’s war experience is part of the university’s history and the inauguration of the memorial stone will give further prominence to this past.”
Some 3,000 of the Trinity community joined the armed forces. Nearly a third were students, staff or graduates of medicine but they came from all disciplines, and included figures such as Ernest Julian, an academic lawyer who was Reid Professor of Law at Trinity, Kingsmill William Jones a Dublin medical doctor and George Marsh, a porter who lived in the inner city and worked in the College. Trinity staff, students and alumni fought on every front from France to Macedonia and Palestine to Mesopotamia.
On the occasion of the ceremony, profiles of some of these figures were read by Trinity’s President of the Students’ Union, Lynn Ruane and President of the Graduate Students’ Union, Katie Crowther.
Pro-Chancellor, Professor Dermot McAleese officially unveiled the memorial stone and the ceremony included addresses by the Provost and by Professor Ivana Bacik, Reid Professor of Law and member of Seanad Éireann. The three then lay a wreath at the memorial stone. This was followed by a minute’s silence and a lament played on the Uilleann pipes.
Notes to Editor
The Commemorative Stone Plinth is of Portland stone, with the title of the Hall of Honour in both Irish and English.The slab is in Portland stone with the title of the building in Irish and English on the front side. The more detailed text on the sides of the slab — Irish text on one side, English on the opposite side.
Tionscaíodh an Halla Onóra sa bhliain 1928 in onóir na mball foirne, na mac léinn agus na gcéimithe de chuid Choláiste a fuair bás sa Chéad Chogadh Domhanda. Cuireadh críoch leis in 1937 le tógáil seomra léitheoireachta nua don leabharlann.
The Hall of Honour was inaugurated in 1928 in honour of the staff, students and alumni of the College who died in the First World War. It was completed in 1937 by the addition of a new reading room for the Library.
Architect Sir Thomas Manly Deane designed and built the Hall of Honour and Reading Room. The architect’s own son was killed in Gallipoli during the War. The Hall of Honour was officially opened by the Vice-Chancellor Lord Glenavy in the presence of Provost E.J. Gwynn and invited guests. A two-minute silent black and white archive film of the event, by British Pathé, may be seen on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-8Nl0UTjDM