A few years ago a farmer in Ballinakill on the Limerick Road was repairing an outhouse which was originally an old cottage when he came upon this letter in a tin box hidden behind a stone in the wall.It was written by Martin Dooley who lived on the Limerick road where Spooners house is today to Minchin ( Minnie ) Plunkett of Ballinakill.
This is a transcript of the letter above received in 1917 from Pte Martin Dooley to Minnie – no corrections have been applied!:
B. E. F France
My Dear Minnie,
Just a few lines hoping to find you In good form as this leaves me at presented tank god i am in the Pink And hopes to be home for X.A.M.S. to see you and all the kids tell all of them That i send my best love to them I have a good time out her this time and has all the lads from home with me Jerry Ryan is with me and all from Roscrea Joe Whitford from Dunkerrin Is with me all so the said he was Wounded when i was at home but i see hem out her it is all right out here Now the weather is fine and warm so we are all happy out here now I am in the line now but i will be out for a rest soon
I have no more to say at this time But i hope you have a good time With the girls give my love to your Best girl and take cair off that one off mine tell i get back tell all The Ballinakillers i was asking for Them I will send you some songs soon i had not time when i was at Home to right the Song you asked me For but I will let you have some soon Roll on old times the will come again Please god and we will have a good Night in Dunkerrin I am quite happy out here and it is not one bit loney as i say It is a long way to tippary and we are not Down hearted yet This will find me all right 10028 Pte M Dooley 6th Royal Irish Regt D. Comy 15 Platoon B. E. F. France
I remain as over your old friend Martin with best love to all
The Letter is very nostalgic – it probably is a reasonably true reflection of those who served. Letters home would most likely have “put on a brave face”. The statement that “all is right” on the Western Front would probably be a true reflection of what actually happened – which one of us