Soldiers of the Short Grass: A History of the Curragh Camp

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Merrion Press, Mar 1, 2016 - History - 276 pages

This is the first complete history of the Curragh Camp, from its foundation in 1855 to the present day, under both British and Irish occupation. Dan Harvey, a military historian and an experienced senior officer, presents a compelling and fascinating narrative of the camp’s many evocative eras and episodes. This unique establishment has been key in shaping Irish history while being shaped in turn by the great national and international conflicts that it was founded to respond to: the Crimean War, the Boer War, the Great War, the Easter Rising and War of Independence are all accounted for under the banner of the British Army. The first tricolour hoisted overhead of the camp signalled no change to its level of service as the Curragh’s forces were quickly embroiled in the Irish Civil War, later oversaw the years of the modern Troubles, and forged an international role with the Irish Defence Forces.

These grand narratives are interlaced with smaller yet significant tales that personalise the institution and lend vitality to the many facets that keep service, work, and a livelihood in check on world-renowned plains once covered by ‘St. Brigid’s cloak’. Prince Edward’s royal visit and training, and the ‘Wrens’ less welcome visits to the soldiers after dark – everyday and extraordinary matters are described to give the most authoritative history, compelling and meticulously written, of a camp inextricable to Ireland for over one hundred and fifty years


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The British
Royalty Rebels and Reform
By the Turn of the Century
The War Years
The Easter Rising 1916
The War of Independence
The Irish
From a Revolutionary to a Regular Army
A State of Emergency
Calm before a Storm
A Global Outlook
The Task of Modernization
Appendix 1

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About the author (2016)

Lieutenant Colonel Dan Harvey holds two masters degrees and has served on operations at home and abroad for over thirty five years. A previously published author he has written several noteworthy titles concerning major incidents involving Irish Defence Force members on active overseas peacekeeping service.

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