A ‘Protestant English officer’

Captain Rev Father Edward McGrath

16 June 1921. The Catholic Press reports that co-founder of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor, Rev. Father Edward McGrath msc, has been appointed parish priest at St. Alban’s in London. The article notes that Father McGrath is still fondly remembered by his many friends in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, where he worked so devotedly and fruitfully in the years after his ordination. It also refers to his distinguished service as an army chaplain during the war, including the fact that he had been recommended for the Victoria Cross for venturing into no-man’s land to rescue a ‘Protestant English officer’. This seemingly-innocuous phrase reflects the barely-disguised anger felt by Irish Catholics about the brutal suppression of the Ireland’s Easter Rising five years previously.


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