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Last Letters Home Revealing the Pension File Correspondence of Union Irish Soldiers & their Families

The next meeting of the ACWRT (UK) will take plave om Saturday 26th September 2015 at The Civil Service Club, Great Scotland Yard, London from 13:30 to 16:30. The speaker will be Damian Shiels.

The Widow's and Dependents Pension Files held in the National Archives, Washington D.C. represent one of the greatest resources for 19th century Irish emigrant life in America. Perhaps the most poignant element often contained within them are letters home from soldiers and sailors written during the Civil War. Sometimes running to dozens of pages, these letters were included in widow's and dependents pension applications in order to prove association with, or financial support from, a serviceman. Each letter has one thing in common– in every instance the individual died as a result of the war, be it as a result of action, disease or accident. Recent research into the files has revealed hundreds of these letters, the vast bulk of which have never been previously studied or published. This lecture will examine a number of them, with a particular focus on Irish troops from New York and Pennsylvania, examining themes such as what these man thought of the war, of their homes and of their prospects of survival.


£2.50 has been added to the normal cost for this meeting to cover the travel expenses for the speaker.

Booking Form and Raffle

You can download the meeting form by clicking here and the raffle can be accessed here

The Venue

The Civil Service Club is situated in Great Scotland Yard, near Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross railway station, Charing Cross Underground Station (Northern and Bakerloo lines), Embankment Underground Station (Circle and District, Northern and Bakerloo lines).

The Club is within easy walking distance from Government Offices on Whitehall and a short journey by bus or underground from the Government Offices along Victoria Street, Lambeth Bridge and near to Victoria Station.

According to the Transport for London web site the following buses that run along the Strand, and will be suitable for people going to the club: 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 87, 91, 139, & 176


We are looking for raffle prizes, linked to the ACW to be donated. Please could members donating prizes insert a slip of paper identifying their donation so that these can be acknowledged at the meeting.


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