In 1914, Monica Roberts established ‘The Band of Helpers to the Soldiers’ in her home village of Stillorgan, Co. Dublin, Ireland. This group of friends raised money to provide comforts to soldiers fighting in the First World War, including socks, vaseline, cigarettes and chocolate. Soldiers wrote to thank Monica Roberts for the gifts and a correspondence ensued.
Archival History ↴
Donated by Mrs Mary Shackleton, daughter of Monica Roberts, per Mr. Tom Burke, M.B.E., Chairman, Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association, June 2005
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: Monica Roberts ↴
418 letters; 328 envelopes; 29 postcards; 1 concert ticket; 1 song-sheet; 1 memorial card; 1 playbill; 1 diary; 2 photographs. Many envelopes are marked by Censor. 14 postcards contain inserts embroidered in silks. Letters and postcards describe training received by soldiers, life in the trenches, songs and activities used by soldiers to boost moral, attitudes towards the German enemy and Kaiser, death and injury of their comrades, and homesickness for Ireland. Correspondents include soldiers from Royal Dublin Fusiliers, Royal Flying Corps, Belgian Army, and the British Expeditionary Forces. Soldiers are from a variety of ranks including private, chaplain, corporal, captain and sergeant major. Whilst some wrote only a single letter of thanks to Monica Roberts, others wrote over thirty throughout the course of the war. Diary is a copy of a contemporary original eye-witness account of the Easter Rising 1916, written by Monica Roberts, giving a unionist perspective.
Appraisal Destruction ↴
Collection is arranged according to sender.
Conditions of Access & Use
Available to view by public who apply for research card in Dublin City Library and Archive Reading Room, 138-144 Pearse street, Dublin 2
Conditions Governing Reproduction
By permission of donor; per Dublin City Archivist
Oct 1914-Oct 1918
Material Language Script
MS Access Database which records name of correspondent, his service number, number of letters sent, and covering dates.
Archive Web Link →
Postcards and some letters have been scanned. Exhibition on display boards has been generated.
Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive at DCLA, in particular RDFA/017 Keogh Postcard Collection.
Service records of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers are held by the National Archives, Kew, London (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk)
Digital Copies and transcriptions of letters available at: http://www.dublinheritage.ie/monicaroberts/index.php
Descriptive Control Area
Mary Clark, Andrew O'Brien
ISAD(G): General International Standards Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000.