Our Heroes” Database – South Dublin Libraries – Decade of Centenaries

During the Decade of Centenaries, South Dublin Libraries is marking the 100th anniversary of each notable year. Commencing with 2013, the first of a series of schools packs titled “Riots, Rifles and Rebels”, aimed at late primary and early secondary schools, was published in hard copy and online on the “Source” digital archive.

Rare photographs and paper ephemera pertaining to the Lockout were acquired through the generosity of individual donors, government agencies and religious orders. These are available to view on South Dublin Libraries digital archive.
The Great War centenary continues this theme with the launch of the “Our Heroes” database, and the next in the “Riots, Rifles and Rebels” pack for schools giving an overview of World War I in an accessible form for students. During August 2014, an exhibition of artefacts from the main combatants in the conflict tool place in the County Library in Tallaght, along with recruitment posters and many additions to the “Source” digital archive. The database takes its name from the publication from which the biographies and images were sourced.

The biographical details and photographs contained in the “Our Heroes” supplement are now available for the first time, free to search online. It also contains details of the dates of death and final place of burial or commemoration, which were not included in the original work.

Log on to: http://ourheroes.southdublinlibraries.ie/

This project is a valuable addition to Ireland’s Decade of Centenaries. Historians, researchers and students alike will find this resource a valuable tool, allowing interrogation of the original text to find not only servicemen’s names, but everything that was contained in the original biographies – school names, rugby clubs, counties and much more besides.

The information contained within this database has all-Ireland importance. It is a snapshot of a cross section of officers and enlisted personnel serving in the British Army, including those who bravely distinguished themselves in the field or were killed in action.

“Irish Life” was a newspaper which was published in Dublin in the early 20th Century. At the outbreak of the First World War, the newspaper published a supplement called “Our Heroes”, from which this database takes its name, and also publicised the principal events of the war in which Irish regiments were engaged.
The supplement contained 1,600 photographs and biographical notes of officers in Irish Regiments and of Irish officers of British regiments who fell in action, or who were mentioned for distinguished conduct from 1914 to 1918.

This project is a collaboration between South Dublin Libraries and the Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht. It was made possible by the generous co-operation of the National Library of Ireland who kindly allowed access to the original set of historic documents.

Photographs of the National Library’s original magazine pages were assembled by Patrick Hugh Lynch of the Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht. These images were processed by David Power of South Dublin Libraries.