Potato Famine Reports. Victoria Cross Winner David Lord. Today in Irish History

October 18: TODAY in Irish History:

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Curated by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

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 1171: Henry II – Lord of Ireland

Henry II (1133-1189) King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, arrives in Ireland from France with an army and declares himself “Lord of Ireland”. Henry’s involvement was partly at the request of some dissident Irish chieftains and lords who feared losing their own lands. Three years previously Dermot MacMurrough “represented the malice of his neighbours, and the treachery of his pretended friends, and the rebellion of his subjects, in proper and lively expressions; he suggested that kings were then most like gods when they exercised themselves in succouring the distressed, and that the fame of King Henry’s magnificence and generosity had induced him to that address for his Majesty’s protection and assistance.”

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1845: Reports of Potato Famine 

The Illustrated London News reported on the early stages of the potato famine that was to decimate Ireland in the coming years:

“Accounts received from different parts of Ireland show that the disease in the potato crop is extending far and wide, and causing great alarm amongst the peasantry….. Mr. John Chester, of Kilscorne House, in Magshole, in the county of Louth, in a letter to the Dublin Evening Post, states that he has a field of twenty acres of potatoes, which, up to the 3rd instant, had been perfectly dry and sound, when they were attacked by the blight, and three-fourths of them are so diseased and rotten that pigs decline to eat them. This, he says, is the case all through the county of Louth.”

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1913: David Lord – Cork born VC Winner

Victoria Cross winner David Lord is born in Cork. Lord was killed at Arnhem, Holland and posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in piloting a Dakota during resupply operations.

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David Lord VC

Cork born David Lord VC. 1913-1944,

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Lord’s VC citation reads:

“Flight Lieutenant Lord was pilot and captain of a Dakota aircraft detailed to drop supplies at Arnhem on the afternoon of the 19th September, 1944. Our airborne troops had been surrounded and were being pressed into a small area defended by a large number of anti-aircraft guns. Air crews were warned that intense opposition would be met over the dropping zone. To ensure accuracy they were ordered to fly at 900 feet when dropping their containers.

While flying at 1,500 feet near Arnhem the starboard wing of Flight Lieutenant Lord’s aircraft was twice hit by anti-aircraft fire. The starboard engine was set on fire. He would have been justified in leaving the main stream of supply aircraft and continuing at the same height or even abandoning his aircraft. But on learning that his crew were uninjured and that the dropping zone would be reached in three minutes he said he would complete his mission, as the troops were in dire need of supplies.

By now the starboard engine was burning furiously. Flight Lieutenant Lord came down to 900 feet, where he was singled out for the concentrated fire of all the anti-aircraft guns. On reaching the dropping zone he kept the aircraft on a straight, and level course while supplies were dropped. At the end of the run, he was told that two containers remained.

Although he must have known that the collapse of the starboard wing could not be long delayed, Flight Lieutenant Lord circled, rejoined the stream of aircraft and made a second run to drop the remaining supplies. These manoeuvres took eight minutes in all, the aircraft being continuously under heavy anti-aircraft fire.

His task completed, Flight Lieutenant Lord ordered his crew to abandon the Dakota, making no attempt himself to leave the aircraft, which was down to 500 feet. A few seconds later, the starboard wing collapsed and the aircraft fell in flames. There was only one survivor, who was flung out while assisting other members of the crew to put on their parachutes.

By continuing his mission in a damaged and burning aircraft, descending to drop the supplies accurately, returning to the dropping zone a second time and, finally, remaining at the controls to give his crew a chance of escape, Flight Lieutenant Lord displayed supreme valour and self-sacrifice.”

Lord was killed at Arnhem, Holland and posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in piloting a Dakota during resupply operations.

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Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish

 

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This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.

Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)

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