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The Royal Hibernian Military School (1765-1924)
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The Queen in Dublin

Review in Phoenix Park
Dublin April 2

Editorial note:
Considering the paucity of extant records bearing on the history of the Royal Hibernian Military School, so many valuable papers having been destroyed during the London Blitz of 1940, information from any source is welcome to researchers and scholars interested in the school's history. The following report of Queen Victoria's visit to Dublin in 1900, the year before her death and the end of her long reign, appeared in The Times, 23 April 1900. Considering the detail included in the report, it is speculated that the 'special correspondent' attended the visit in an official capacity; that the report would today come under the heading of an 'official press release'.

The memory of yesterday is that of a series of moving pictures of extraordinary brilliancy and splendour; and the work of describing them is begun with the familiar fooling that those who are far away will consider that colour has been laid on with a reckless brush, while those who were present will feel that the account is colourless and spiritless. Still, one must try to begin with an account of Dublin as it was in the morning, and to reach the end of the day somehow.

Scene the first, for me, was in College-green at about 12 o'clock. College-green is a street ending in the spacious front of Trinity College, Dublin, above which the Royal Standard and the flag of the college streamed on a brisk breeze under a blazing sun. For, be it remembered, into all this attempt to paint a picture in words must be read at every sentence a gorgeous sun worth of July at its best, which added splendour to every spectacle and burned many faces to a ruddy colour before the day was out. Imagine, then, College-green and its continuation under a summer sky, crowds of people on foot and in cars, and electric tramcars dashing to an fro at a pace which seemed to render the streets of Dublin in general and College-green in particular as dangerous as a busy shunt yard. Into the middle of it all, with bands playing, swung rather than marched the Naval Brigade. What they were precisely shall be told later. For the moment it was enough to look on and to feel an indescribable thrill of exhilaration to which all who were present confessed. The bronzed fellows, with the grand physique, their intelligent facts, their rolling march, were the finest point of the real strength of the kingdom. They had begun to disembark from the fleet, now reinforced by the cruiser Diamond, at 10 o'clock. There was no air of spurious smartness about them, but a grand look of workmanlike capacity and of heartiness, and they dragged their guns and carried their tripod Maxims as if they had been playthings. The red and blue mariners who followed were every whit as fine and serviceable.

So to the Fifteen Acres, which is really a plot of nearly 40 acres, in the afternoon; and the gathering of the assemblage of spectators was in itself a great sight. Every car in Dublin and even the country cars, as they are called, had been ordered long before, and those who had not made arrangements were compelled either to walk of to invade tramcars, as they are called, had been ordered long before, and those who had not made arrangements were compelled either to walk or to invade tramcars, which were crammed to suffocation. All the way from O'Connell Bridge to the review ground there was an unbroken stream of cars and carriages and people all going in the same direction, and the sight was rendered all the prettier by the fact that many cars were occupied by naval or military officers in full dress with ladies by their sides, or by military officers in like state.

Then in the Phoenix Park itself there was a magnificent spectacle, which must have been enjoyed to great advantage, as a spectacle, from the Chief Secretary's lodge. Away in the front stretch a wide expanse of turf, churned by hoofs and wheels without number. In the background were the mountains, with a few wreaths of hot vapour clinging round them here and there. The next object to catch the eye was the Royal Hibernian School, nestling in a clump of trees with its two chapels just behind the review ground. Then, even on the far side, there were hosts of people behind the troops which had arrived already, and the stream of military and sailors kept on pouring in, the sun flashing on helmets and bayonets and on the shields of Maxims. As for the spectators on the near side, their name was legion, and much the same thing may be said of the vehicles, from four-in-hands to jaunting-cars. The whole scene was one of indescribable gaiety and animation. Then, even before the Queen came there was excitement, for a group of ladies and others of the Viceregal party on horseback and the Duchess of Connaught, also on horseback, rode along the long line of troops making an informal inspection – a proceeding which I have never before seen. At five minutes past 4 came the first moment of grand excitement. There was a murmur growing to a roar from the direction of Dublin, then one saw the cuirasses of the Life Guards flash, and in a moment the Queen was there. In that shouting multitude of about 200,000 persons, none seemed to have eyes for any persons but the Queen, who was looking very bright, with silver shamrock on her bonnet and parasol, and her two daughters, Princess Christian and Princess Henry of Battenberg, who sat facing her in the carriage. "God Save the Queen" was played, the air was rent with cheers, and from that moment it seemed hardly worth while to be possessed of a hat. For the inspection began at once, and as the brilliant cavalcade swept slowly past the troops band after band took up the National Anthem. The names are reserved for the moment, because a few moments later the bearers of them all came into one picture.

Queen Victoria either presumed preparing for, or recovering from, her grand Dublin review in 1900  

Imagine a roping-in enclosure, with the Royal Standard floating from a flagstaff. In front of it is the Queen's carriage. Behind that, on the right, are Vice-Admiral Sir Harry Rawson and his staff, and behind them again are the Battenberg children, on the right of Sir Harry Rawson, in a carriage with Sir James Reid and two ladies, Then, behind their group are servants. On the left are Colonel the Hon. W. Carington and Captain Ponsonby, and equerries, behind them Lord Denbigh and two ladies, and behind the whole are the escort in line. Then, on either side of the Royal enclosure, are two enclosures devoted to the Lord Lieutenant, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in Ireland, but the parties are mixed, for on the right hand are the Lord Lieutenant and the Duchess of Connaught and Lady Cadogan on horseback and many naval officers off duty but in full uniform. The rest of the party includes Lady Lurgan, the Hon. Edward Cadogan and the Hon. A. Cadogan, and Sir Matthew White Ridley, M. P., Lord Erne, Lord and Lady Chelsea and their children, Lord and Lady Plunket, Mr. Herbert Featherstonehaugh, and Captain Van De Weyer. Then began the march-past of 6,400 sailors and soldiers, of whom 1,800 were blue-jackets and Marines. At the head came the Headquarters Staff, and at the front of all the Duke of Connaught. With him were the Assistant Military Secretary, Captain M. McNeill, the aides-de-camp, Commander M. E. Browning, R. N., Captain the Hon. J. G. Beresford, and Captain E. F. Clayton, the D.A.G., Colonel R. L. H. Curtois, the A.A.G., Colonel E. J. Courtenay, the D.A.A.G.'s Lieutenant-Colonel C. A. Fadfield and Major G. A. Porter, and the Chief Engineer in Ireland, Colonel C. F. C. Beresford. Next came the naval brigade, under Commander R. O. Foote, C.M.G., R.N., who had for aide-de-camp, Midshipman Blaydon, R. R., and for brigade major Lieutenant A. W. Craid, R.N. His command contained a battalion of bluejackets, with a Maxim battery carried on poles, and the following field batteries:-Nos. 1, 2, and 3. each four 12 pr. q.f.guns; No. 4 m.i. guns; 1st battalion bluejackets, 1st Maxim battalion bluejackets, 2nd battalion Royal Marines, and 2nd Maxim battery Royal Marines.

That is the dry and hard fact, but the welcome given by the people was the very opposite, being warm and even meting. To see those brawny fellows roll past with their great hands swinging with their guns, and to see the Marines follow, almost if not quite as stalwart, and to look at the dapper midshipmen with their ducks and their white gloves, was sheer delight; and none enjoyed the sight more than the Queen and the Duke of Connaught, who with his Staff had now taken his stand near the Queen, the majority of his Staff being dismounted. The airs to which they marched were "A Life on the Ocean Wave" and "They all love Jack" – and they all did.

Next came the cavalry bridge in column of squadrons, with Colonel H. M. Owen, 1st King's Dragoon Guards, for brigadier, and Lieutenant R. Dick-Cunyugham for aide-de-camp and Major Sir W. Jenner for brigade major. It consisted of the 1st King's Dragoon Guards, the 3rd Dragoon Guards, and the 21st Lancers, and it was headed by the massed bands of the regiments. The less said of the quality of the horses the better. Cavalry regiments at home are not well mounted just now, and I have never seen so many wretched troop horses as there are in Dublin at present. All were well received, but the 21st Lancers, with their French grey plastrons, met with a perfect hurricane of applause. It was due, not to the appearance of the regiment, which bears the proud title of the Empress of India's Own – although there was never a prettier military spectacle than the sight of the great plastrons and the Lancers with their red and white pennons blowing directly towards the Queen as they passed – but to the medial which each man wore, for the heroes of Omdurman were being reviewed for the first time by the Queen. Next came the division of Infantry, consisting of two brigades, headed by the Divisional Staff Commander, Major-General M. W. E. Gosset, C.B., with his aide-de-camp, Captain R. P. Butler, Colonel L. A. Clutterbuck and Colonel E. M. Baker, A. A. G.'s, Major J. G. Adamson and Captain E. J. Buckley, D.A.A.G.'s. , Lieutenant-Colonel J.C. Campbell, Commanding R.E., Major St. Clair, Staff officer, R.E. and Captain the Hon. A. W. Foljambe, garrison adjutant. The first brigade consisted of the 2nd Liverpool, the 5th Liverpool, and the 3rd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, stalwart fellows, and it was commanded by Colonel A. S. Woods, with Lieutenant Falkiner as aide-de-camp and Captain Chichester as brigade major, both the last-named being of the Connaught Rangers. The formation was column of companies. Next came Colonel A. M. Paterson's brigade, consisting of the 3rd and 4th Liverpool, the 4th Rifle Brigade, and the 3rd Essex. Last came Colonel Hall's command, the little boys of the Royal Hibernian Military School, and none had a better reception than they did. They were smart, well fitted out, excellently drilled, and, except the rifles, who went past to the old air "I am 95," none marched past so well. The boys were rewarded by being permitted to witness the rest of the proceedings from the very best point of view – that is to say, immediately in front of the Lord Lieutenant.

The remainder of the military movements may be passed over very shortly. All the sailors and troops marched past again en masse of quarter column, and returned a third time in quarter column of brigade. The field batteries went by at the double, and the cavalry at the trot, and the cheering grew more and more in volume each time bluejackets or the 21st were in view.

At last came the advance in review order – a beautiful spectacle. The background was, as before, the mountains and the Hibernian School. The troops were drawn p on the far side, the Staff were grouped together in the centre, and a herd of intrepid deer, 100 of them at least, were feeding between the Queen and her soldiers. A collie dog was hunting them, but they reeked little of him, nor when the splendid line of troops began to move towards the Queen did the deer budge. Rather did they mass themselves in front of the bluejackets, who at another time and place would probably have annexed some of them. So, just before the Royal salute, there was a pretty unrehearsed effect, and the deer marched past at the gallop, while all laughed for joy and the Queen smiled. The scene which followed was one never to be forgotten. At the Duke Connaught's command the sailors and soldiers cheered again, but the spectators only saw them, saw lances waved and helmets raised and straw hats lifted to and fro in unison. Nobody heard the cheers, for fully 200,000 people were round that Campus Martius, and they were all shouting, and the din was at once awful and delightful. Then, with more playing of "God save the Queen," and between lanes and avenues of people and cars and carriages by the hundred, and amid a tumultuous expression of personal loyalty, the Queen returned, making a triumphant progress all the way to the Lodge, and the scene just before she entered the grounds was very fine. Afterwards the stream of vehicles into Dublin became a torrent in which the overloaded cars touched one another, and those who were not in luck's way suffered much delay and were unable to keep dinner appointments. Personally, on a care with five others beside the driver, I had the double good fortune of being well driven and of hearing a really good thing said, for we faced the park gate, where were stalwart policemen=:- "Them is pillars of law and order; if I ran into one of them I would be accused of laying down the law."


So much has been written of the review that what remains to be recorded may be condensed into a very few sentences. Last night the dinner was private, but Mme Ella Russel had the honour of singing before the Queen, accompanied by Mr. Hardy, an organist of Bray, who received a present of a scarf pin. This morning, at the private service in the temporary chapel, the service was conducted by the Rev. Henry Taylor, and the sermon was preached by the Very Rev. Hercules Dickinson, Dean of the Chapel Royal. Besides the members of the Royal Family staying at the Lodge, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught were present.

This afternoon there was the usual drive. An unusually large crowd was assembled round the entrance to the Viceregal Lodge when, at about half-past four, the Queen started. The first place of call was St. Vincent's College, the authorities of which had received notice some time in the morning of the intended Royal visit. The pupils, to the number of 200, were drawn up in the roadway, and as the Queen came near cheered heartily. When the carriage stopped Lord Denbigh present to her Majesty the president of the college, Father Geoghegan, to whom the Queen, having put one or two questions concerning the college, said:- "I am very much pleased to see you, and to see such a number of fine, healthy-looking boys." Lord Denbigh then informed her Majesty that it was at this college that Lord Russell of Killowen receive his early education, and then the drive was continue to Luttrellstown, which is the seat of Lord Annaly. The Queen drove right into the park and, without alighting from her carriage, took tea, prepared by her Indian attendants, who had been sent on half an hour in advance. Her Majesty stayed in the grounds for some little time and then drove back direct to the Viceregal Lodge.

To-night's dinner party at the Lodge includes the Home Secretary and Major Sir W. Jenner. The Irish Secretary and Lady Betty Balfour were also invited, but were unable to attend owing to indisposition. The further item of information to be added is that before the review yesterday the Queen made a special inspection of 400 children from Bagenalstown, who had been brought to the Lodge under the care of the Hon. Georgian Vesey.

(From our correspondent.)

Belfast, April 22

Owing to the action of the Omagh Urban District Council in refusing to present an address to the Queen on the occasion of her visit to Ireland, a public meeting has been held for the purpose of taking steps to draw up and present an address to her Majesty, Mr. T. C. Dickie (Sessional Crown Solicitor) presided, and there was a large attendance, including Colonel H. Buchanan, C.B. (clerk of the peace), Colonel H. Irvine (sub-sheriff), Colonel M. Brown, Surgeon-Major Flood, and Captain L. E. Buchanan. The chairman said that the meeting was intended to remove the slur which had been cast upon Omagh by reason of an exclusive majority of the urban council having refused to joined in a loyal address to their beloved Queen. Why the did so he could not tell. Omagh was not a village, as had been stated, but was one of the most important towns in Ireland. Canon Scott proposed that an address be presented to the Queen before her departure from Ireland, and this was carried.

The town clerk of Chester yesterday morning received a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Arthur Bigge intimating that the Queen has consented to receive the mayor and corporation at the station on Friday next on her journey from Ireland to Windsor. The news has given unbounded satisfaction in the city.

At Windsor preparations are being made for the return of the Queen and Court, who arrive at the Castle at half-past 5 o'clock on Friday afternoon from Dublin. Princess Henry of Battenburg's children precede the Royal party from Ireland, and are expected to reach Windsor on Friday morning.

Table of Contents - Royal Hibernian Military School
1769 Petition
1806 Pay and Allowances
1806 Weekly Governor's Report
1806 Time Table
1819 Charter
1819 Diet
1819 Staff Duties
1819 General Regulations
1844 Return of Religions
1849 S.S. Pemberton Orphans
1856 School Inspector Gleig
1857 China
1873 Religion
1900 Review at Phoenix Park
1918 Lost Boys
1919 Roll of Honour
1919 Recollections
1919 Lives of the Hibernians
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
1922 Last cricket match
1924 A soldier's orphan's story
1924 Last roll call
1924 Laying up the colours
1924 The final era
1937 A military misfit NEW
1969 The bicentenary reunion
1994 Capt. Harry Bloomer MBE
2001 IGS No.25 History
2004 Newsletter
2005 The last known Hibernian
2007 Sources of Hibernian documents

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World War I letters and Reports
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