Sunday Reader: Irish Brewery was a Safe Haven for WWI Troops

A view across the cask yard, St. James's Gate Brewery c. 1906-13. Guinness was one of the city's 'outstanding employers'.

A view across the cask yard, St. James’s Gate Brewery c. 1906-13. Guinness was one of the city’s ‘outstanding employers’.

More than 800 Guinness employees fought in the Great War with an estimated 103 dying in combat.

This week, the world-renowned brewery launched the Diageo Guinness World War 1 Archive Exhibition in the Little Museum of Dublin.  The exhibition charts the lives of several of these men.

The Guinness Brewery c. 1916.

The Guinness Brewery c. 1916.

Many of the Guinness employees joined the 19th Royal Hussars before the war and served until 1919. The men, however, were not allowed to wear the uniform when they returned. They were treated as outcasts. In spite of this, the brewery at St. James Gate was one of the few places that welcomed them. It was a safe haven for them.

Guinness archivist Deirdre McParland with archive founder and UK broadcaster Gay Byrne, whose uncle Richard worked at the brewery and served in WWI.

Guinness made special provisions for employees who joined the armed forces.

A War Gifts Committee was established to dispatch parcels to men in action and the brewery provided financial support to the families of soldiers.

Crash

Advertisements