1907 – A memorial arch is dedicated at St Stephens Green Dublin in honour of the Irish soldiers who died fighting for “King and country” in the Boer war.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

Five years on from the war, the Fusiliers’ Arch was unveiled in the heart of Dublin, as a testament to the actions of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in South Africa. While the war ended in a British victory, it was a bloody and costly one. In financial terms, a war that would supposedly be over by Christmas 1899 by 1902 had cost the British taxpayer in excess of £200 million, while in excess of twenty thousand British soldiers died in South Africa. One of the leading historians of the war, Thomas Pakenham, would write that “in money and lives, no British war since 1815 had been so prodigal.”

At the time of the unveiling of the Arch in August 1907, The Freeman’s Journal newspaper poured scorn on the monument, condemning its “false dedication, to the dead Fusiliers, while the living are left to starve.” The paper commented that “From first…

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