Yesterday, I was out in the Mid-Cork area and decided to take a slight diversion off the Carrigadrohid to Macroom road. For the first time in my life, I was in Aghinagh. I left no wiser as to how to pronounce correctly. But I did leave intrigued.
I stopped at the smallish cemetery with the ruins of an old chapel, Caum, and took a wander among the headstones. Over the wall of the graveyard, there appeared to be a cross. The stone advised that this was the grave of Sir Adrian Carton deWiart and his wife Joan.
The memorial includes the crest of the Royal Irish Guards and another Royal motif.
Last night, I read of a man who fought in three wars – Boer War; World War I; and, World War II; a man who lost an eye, and arm and part of his ear in World War I but who returned to active service; a man who bit off two of his fingers when a doctor refused to amputate; a man who, in his memoir, did not mention his Victoria Cross medal, his (first) wife or two daughters.
I just kept reading and reading. If ever there was a source required for a film or action story, it was this soldier of whom I had not heard previously. It has been contended that he ‘probably has the best Wikipedia page of any person dead or alive’.
In World War II, he was in an aeroplane that was shot down. After swimming to land, he was captured and sent to POW Camp, from which he regularly tried to escape.
And after all that, he lived to the age of 83.
More Things Learnt
"There are men who talk and there are men who are talked about, but they are talked about for what they do, not what they say. If I were you I would strive, if you can, to be one of the latter."
I had understood that a burial could only take place in an approved cemetery but that is not the case.
When I read that his wife’s name was Joan Sutherland, it set off a different bell of Gold Cup winner, Imperial Call, being trained not far from Macroom. Fergie Sutherland was Joan Sutherland’s son. He, too, had been a soldier before coming to Ireland when he heard of his mother contemplating selling Killinardrish.
With Cheltenham starting today, that was prompt enough to get this blog up immediately.