Royal Hibernian Military School

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The Royal Hibernian Military School was founded in Dublin, Ireland, to educate orphaned children of members of the British armed forces in Ireland. In 1922 the Royal Hibernian Military School moved to Shorncliffe, in Folkestone, Kent, and in 1924 it was merged with the Duke of York's Royal Military School which last, by then, was in its current location atop 'Lone Tree Hill' above Dover Castle.

General[edit]

The foundation of the School came about in 1769 when King George III granted a Charter of Incorporation on 15 July, the School Governors holding their inaugural meeting on 6 November in Dublin Castle.[1]

The buildings housing the school were erected in 1771 in the Phoenix Park, overlooking the village of Chapelizod in the Liffey valley (in full view of Wicklow mountains). The chapel was designed by Thomas Cooley, while thirty years later Francis Johnston designed the extensions to the buildings. It first took in 90 boys and 50 girls as pupils (in the charge of an Inspector and Inspectress, assisted by the Chaplain and an assistant mistress) in March 1770. The site originally occupied 3 acres (12,000 m2) but by 1922 its boundary walls enclosed thirty three acres.

By 1808 the system and organisation of the school followed closely that of its sister school, the Duke of York's Royal Military School (then at Chelsea, London, England). By 1816, when Thomas Le Fanu (father of Sheridan Le Fanu) took over as chaplain, there were 600 children at the school.

In 1853 the school's first "stand of colours" were presented by the then Prince of Wales and, in the same year, the girls at the school left to join their own separate establishment, the Drummond School, which was founded for them at Chapelizod.

The school acted as a feeder to the British Army, where In the mid-19th century, children as young as 12 could enlist in the Army but generally enlistment began at 14. By the 1900s 50 per cent of pupils were going straight into the army. By this stage the school was not only an orphanage; for instance, the Army Non-Commissioned Officer father of Liam Mellows entered him there to get a good basic military training which he hoped would lead to an army career, instead it was used during the Easter Rising and the Irish War of Independence, both in fighting and in training the flying columns in guerrilla warfare.[2]

Relocation and merger[edit]

In 1922 the Royal Hibernian Military School moved to Shorncliffe, in Folkestone, Kent, and in 1924 it was merged with the Duke of York's Royal Military School which last, by then, was in its current location atop 'Lone Tree Hill' above Dover Castle.

To this day, the boy soldier pictured saluting in the stained glass window glinting above the 'minstrel gallery' type balcony of the Duke of York's School Chapel in Dover forever commemorates that incorporation.[3]

Dublin campus[edit]

The buildings of the Dublin campus are now part of St Mary's Hospital,[4] Phoenix Park.[5][6] A war memorial remains.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Delta Tech Systems : Welcome". Achart.ca. Retrieved 2016-08-20. This is the site of choice for histories of the Duke of York's and Hibernian military schools, opposing views on 19th Century Army education, dedicated military history, and journalism of interest. 
  2. ^ "Witness Statement : Robert Brennan" (PDF). Bureauofmilitaryhistory.ie. p. 45. Retrieved 2016-08-20. 
  3. ^ "RHibsWindow". Jao.delboys.com. Retrieved 2016-08-20. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-25. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  5. ^ "1766 - Royal Hibernian Military School, Phoenix Park, Dublin - Architecture of Dublin City - Archiseek - Irish Architecture". Archiseek. Retrieved 2016-08-20. 
  6. ^ "1771 - Royal Hibernian Military School Chapel, Phoenix Park, Dublin - Architecture of Dublin City - Archiseek - Irish Architecture". Archiseek. Retrieved 2016-08-20. 
  7. ^ "War Memorial Hibernian School Great War Memorial in Dublin 08, St. Mary's Hospital, Phoenix Park, Dublin City 08". Irishwarmemorials.ie. 2014-06-12. Retrieved 2016-08-20. 

Bibliography[edit]