First World War exhibition opens at Cork County Hall

As many as 4,500 Corkmen died in the bitter battles in Europe during the First World War One.

First World War exhibition opens at Cork County Hall

However, in their home county, it was also a period of conflict.

On May 4, 1917, one month after the decision of the US to enter the war, the US Naval Service arrived in Cork Harbour.

And during 1917 and 1918, 10,000 US Naval personnel were based in the county.

Cork Harbour Heritage Alliance, with the support of Cork County Council’s Commemorations Committee, is running an exhibition in County Hall to reflect that turbulent period.

The First World War exhibition continues until the end of this month.

At the time the US Navy arrived, Cork and the rest of Ireland were still coming to grips with the aftermath of the 1916 Rising.

The exhibition, spread across 30 panels, captures what life was like in Cork a hundred years ago, both for the men of the USA, but also for the people of the city and county.

Many believe it was the arrival of the Americans into the war that coincided with the beginning of the end of the First World War, which came on November 11, 1918.

Called the Great War, it was, at the time, believed to be the war to end all wars.

The exhibition conveys, in excellent detail and with some interesting personal accounts, that period of time, and is set in a local, national, and international context.

Mayor of the County of Cork, Declan Hurley, said: “Cork’s history is strongly intertwined with World War One and this exhibition presents a fascinating account of this military heritage, particularly the connection with the United States of America.

“I encourage the public to pay a visit to County Hall and to enjoy this exhibition firsthand.”

Tim Lucey, Cork County Council’s chief executive, commended the council’s Commemoration Committee, chaired by councilor Frank O’Flynn, as well as the Cork Harbour Heritage Alliance, for putting the exhibition in place.

The council’s commemoration committee had, last year, played a key role in Cork remembering and celebrating the 1916 centenary.

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