Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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An American Soldier In World War 2 - John F Mansfield

John F Mansfield's American Army Medals
An often overlooked area of Irish history is what our emigrants did when they left these shores. The museum currently has a small exhibit of medals won by a brave Waterford man fighting with the American Army in the Second World War. If you know of any expatriate that we should feature in an exhibition and have some material or information relating to them please get in touch at history@waterfordmuseum.ie

John F Mansfield 1906 - 1965

He was born at Ballinroad, Old Parish, Co Waterford on 6 February 1906 to James and Bridget Mansfield (nee Power).

John emigrated to America in 1924. Just before the Second World War he enlisted in the American army and served with the 4th Armoured Division - Third Army, from its founding in April 1942 until he ended up in Pilsin, Czechoslovakia in May 1945.

This Division was the spearhead attack from Normandy right into Germany and was known as 'Paton's Pride & Joy', having had the most days in combat of any unit of the Third Army. John was wounded twice and decorated on several occasions. Received honourable discharge on 19 October 1945 and he settled in New York where he died on 1 July 1965.

Awards Received
  • Bronze Star for valour at the Battle of the Bulge
  • Purple Heart with cluster after being wounded at Normandy and Metz
  • European-African Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon
  • Occupation of Germany Medal
  • American Defence Medal
  • Good Conduct Medal

Successful Michael Smith Talk

Committee Member Eddie Cantwell With Michael Smith

On last Wednesday November 17 Michael gave another fascinating illustrated presentation based on his new book "Great Endeavour - Irish Antarctic Explorers" to a packed audience at Lawlor's Hotel.  The very appreciative audience enjoyed his relaxed style of delivery and his encyclopedic knowledge of the subject.

We would like to thank Pat White and Aisling for Eason's who brought along copies of the book for sale, which Michael signed.  We would also like to thank the staff at Lawlor's Hotel for their assistance with the event.

The book is available to buy at Eason's, priced at £30 and on http://www.amazon.co.uk/

Padraig Nugent Getting His Book Signed by Michael

The Hayes Family Attending The Lecture

New Book On Cappoquin Fenian, Poet & Journalist, Michael Cavanagh

Best of luck to the Michael Cavanagh Society (which includes several of our friends from the Cappoquin Heritage Group) who are launching their book on Michael Cavanagh; His Life and Selected Writings at the Cappoquin Community Centre on Saturday, November 27th at 8.30.

The book comprises almost 400 pages of 19th century poetry, legends and history, mainly dealing with Waterford, from one of Cappoquin's diasporal sons. Cavanagh fled to the USA after his involvement in a Young Ireland attack on Cappoquin barracks in 1849 and spent over half a century in the States, working as a journalist in Irish-American publications and as a prominent Fenian. He was also the biographer of Thomas Francis Meagher.

The book will be on sale for a special launch price of €15 on that night only, and will be available in local shops and through the Civic Link website, www.cappoquin.net after November 27th, and through other outlets. All proceeds are going to Bunscoil Gleann Sidheain and the group hopes everyone who can will support the launch of this high quality hard-back production of the writings of Cappoquin's literary son, and support the local school into the bargain.

Australian Visitor At The Museum

Eamonn Moore Beside The Display Which Holds His Grandfather's Medal

On Friday the 12 November we had the pleasure of having a visit from Eamonn Moore from Perth Australia.  Eamon who was visiting relations in the area is grandson of Seán Graves of Helvick who took part in the 1916 Rising. Seán was sentenced to 2 years hard labour for his part in the rising, but was released after 3 months.
 The museum is lucky enough to hold the rare 1916 medal which Séan was awarded for his part in the Rising. This was  donated by the Graves family.

Museum President Níoclas Ó Griófain, Eamonn Moore & Rita Curran

Ireland's Antarctic Explorers An Illustrated Talk.

The Museum are delighted to have Michael Smith deliver a lecture on his latest publication "Great Endeavour Ireland's Antarctic Explorers". The book which covers 200 years of exploits in the frozen wastes, includes many previously untold stories and photographs of early explorers and discloses why so many Irish Heroes caught up in Ireland's fight for independence were soon forgotten.

It also gives the first comprehensive account of hardy 21st century Irish adventurers who trekked in the footsteps of the pioneers. Mike Barry from Kerry,the first Irishman to walk over land to the South Pole, also Clare O'Leary the first Irish woman to march to the Pole to name but a few.

Michael has written several books specialising on the history of Polar exploration. He is probably best known for his book Tom Crean "An Unsung Hero", which to date has sold 80,000 copies and has been published in the Irish language (children's edition).

Michael is a regular visitor to schools and libraries and has frequently participated in the annual Children's Book Festival.

This talk will be of particular interest to students and should not be missed. You can meet Michael later and buy a signed copy of his book, or it will be available to buy at the local Eason's book store.

The talk will take place in Lawlor's Hotel, Dungarvan at 8.pm on Wednesday November 17th. Entry to the talk is €5.

Michael Smith's latest Book.

Halloween Event At Museum

A very successful children's event was held in the museum on the Saturday October 23.  The theme for the event was based on "Education through fun" telling the history of Halloween in Ireland. The children listened to the stories of Jack O'Lantern and Petticoat Loose, as well as colouring and crosswords.

The day was organised by Helen Moynihan, Education Officer and assisted by Tony Hayes, Roberta Whelan, Darren Moynihan, Emma Walsh and Niamh Power.

Darren Moynihan, story telling to the children.

More photographs of the event can be seen on the museum's facebook page.

"Scientists of County Waterford" A Lecture by Donal Brady

Mr.Donal Brady will present a lecture the "Scientists of County Waterford" in Lismore Heritage Centre on Wednesday 10th November 2010 at 7.00.pm. The hour long talk is part of science week 2010 which runs from 7th-14th November.

Since the seventheenth century County Waterford men and women have been making outstanding contributions to the world of science. The remarkable and often untold story of Waterford's scientists include the only Irish recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for science, the optician who helped to build the Birr telescope and the Earl's son whose name is enshrined in chemistry textbooks across the world.

These and other achievements will be discussed by Mr.Brady in his Science Week lecture. Now retired, Donal Brady served as Waterford County Librarian for almost twenty eight years. Devoted to the preservation and collation of the historical resources of the county Mr.Brady has brought much of his study to print, most recently in "The Book of Lismore: An Introduction", published in February 2010. Donald's forthcoming publication "Scientists of CountyWaterford" will be launched at the end of this month.

Science week is a nationwide event designed to promote the relevance of science, engineering and technology in our everyday lives and to demonstrate the importance of these disciplines to the future development of Irish society and to the economy.

This event is free but spaces are limited. Places can be booked by contacting Mealla or Arlene on (058) 54975.

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