Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association/The Gunning brothers’ collection: Gallipoli and the Somme

Repository: Dublin City Archives

Identity Statement

TitleRoyal Dublin Fusiliers Association/The Gunning brothers' collection: Gallipoli and the Somme
Archive ReferenceIE DCLA/RDFA/018
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1914-2000
Extent Medium2 series, comprising of 6 files, 6 items and 4 artefacts.


Creator(s): Wendy Gunning, daughter of George Cecil Gunning.

  • Administrative History ↴

    The Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association, Ayrfield, Dublin 13, was established in 1996 to commemorate all Irish men and women who volunteered, served and died in the First World War 1914-1918. The Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association archive is managed by the Dublin City Library and Archive. George Cecil and Frank Douglas ‘Wolly’ Gunning were brothers born in Enniskillen. George Cecil was born in 1890, while Frank was born in 1894. Their father Sinclair and mother Kathleen married in 1889 and had five children; four boys and one girl. Frank attended Portora Royal School in Enniskillen. After finishing school in 1912, Frank began work as a clerk for Bank of Ireland. His older brother, George Cecil, worked as a clerk for Belfast Savings Bank. After the outbreak of the First World War, George Cecil enlisted into the ‘D’ Company, 7th Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Frank, despite not being permitted to leave by the Bank of Ireland, followed his brother and enlisted into the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The two men trained at the Curragh and in 1915 they fought in the Gallipoli campaign. When at Suvla Bay, Frank contracted dysentery and was hospitalised for a number of weeks. Frank transferred into the 6th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers where he was second lieutenant. In June 1916, Frank went to France where he fought at the battle of the Somme where he died. His body was never recovered. George Cecil, like his brother Frank, also contracted dysentery in 1915. George Cecil was brought to hospital in Alexandria in Egypt where he remained until 1917. In 1918, he was transferred to the Royal Air Force; however, by the time he training was completed, the Armistice was signed. In 1919, George Cecil returned home and continued his work at the Belfast Saving Bank. In 1930, he married Muriel McKinney and had two children, one of whom died at ten days old. George Cecil died on 17 March 1974. His daughter Wendy was given the belongings of her father and uncle after his death, which she donated to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association.
  • Archival History ↴

    Donated by Wendy Gunning, per Tom Burke M.B.E Chairman of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association in May 2000.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Wendy Gunning, daughter of George Cecil Gunning. ↴

    Collection includes a photo album with 169 B/W photographs, a diary written by the Gunning brothers during the Gallipoli campaign and a brass Princess Mary box containing the identification tags, RDFA cap badge and new testament belonging to George Cecil.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    The collection was broken into two series. The first series relates to records belonging to the Gunning brothers which were created during the First World War. The second series contains records which were created after the First World War and relate mostly to George Cecil’s daughter recalling the memory of her father and uncles’ experiences during the war. This series also includes a photograph of George Cecile at the 50th Anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign. The collection was arranged chronologically as this reflects most accurately the original order in which the records were created and provides a comprehensive context for the records.

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions Available to view by public who apply for a research card in Dublin City Library and Archive Reading Room, 138-144 Pearse street, Dublin 2.
Conditions Governing ReproductionSubject to Dublin City Library and Archive Reading Room Terms of Membership and in accrdance with copyright legislation.
Creation Dates1914-2000
Extent Medium2 series, comprising of 6 files, 6 items and 4 artefacts.
Material Language ScriptEnglish
Finding Aids Descriptive List Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

Related MaterialRoyal Dublin Fusiliers Association archive at the Dublin city Library and Archive, particulary RDFA/01 Monica Roberts collection and RDFA/017 Keogh collection postcards which are related to the First World War.

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteRachel Richardson, March 2014
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottowa: International Council on Archives, 2000.
Date of Descriptions41709