During the period 1914-1918, the magazine “Irish Life” published a supplement called “Our Heroes” which contained photographs and short biographies of Irish officers and men in the British Army who were either killed in action or were mentioned in despatches for acts of bravery.
As part of the Decade of Centenaries 1913-1922, South Dublin Libraries embarked on a collaboration to digitise and put online this hitherto unavailable resource. Using photographs of pages from the original publication supplied by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, with the permission of the National Library of Ireland, South Dublin Libraries Local Studies created searchable text from the page images using Optical Character Recognition software, isolated the portraits of the men and enriched the data by including the place of burial of those who fell, which was not included in the original work.
Some highlights from the Our Heroes database
Guinness Brewery: Guinness’s has 8 mentions including Walter Edward Guinness, a member of the family who survived the war only to be assassinated in Egypt in 1944. This example shows the scope for studying those who survived, and their lives after the war.
66 mentions of Banks: Provincial Bank, Royal Bank of Ireland The Munster and Leinster Bank (these three amalgamated later to Allied Irish Bank), Canadian Bank of Commerce, National Bank (later Bank of Ireland), Ulster Bank and Northern Banking Co (still trading today).
Mentions of 500 Colleges, 140 Universities and 310 Schools: including: ueen’s University Belfast, Royal College of Physicians, Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital, Royal College of Science, Royal College of Surgeons, Royal University of Ireland, Royal Veterinary College, Old Wesley, Stephen’s Green School, Wesley College, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and University College Dublin.
Sports mentioned: Football, Hockey, Rugby, Hunting (Tipperary Hounds)
All 32 counties in Ireland are covered.
The database is available at: http://ourheroes.southdublinlibraries.ie/