Hook Head Lighthouse

posted in: Ireland, Printmaking, Simon Bor | 0

Was this the last Irish landmark my grandfather ever saw?

When my grandfather took the boat from¬†Waterford to England in 1900, the lighthouse would have been one of his last sightings of the country of his birth.¬†Until recently, I didn’t know that he returned to Ireland once more during WW1, but he might well have made the same sea crossing to and from Waterford.

My grandfather would go on to serve in India, Ceylon, and eventually France in The Great War. He was in the Battle of the Somme before being invalided out due not to injury but to the malaria he had contracted overseas.

He settled in Devon where he married my grandmother and worked on the Dartington Estate.

After his brief visit back home, towards the end of the war, he didn’t return to Ireland. He must have been unsure how someone who had served in the British Army for twenty years would be treated in a country that had just won its independence and gone through a violent civil war. He might have wondered how his family would have treated him as he had run off with the proceeds after selling his father’s pigs at market. The main reason he never returned, however, was probably financial. A letter he wrote to his niece, shortly before his death, showed that he still had plans to return home.

I explain how my grandfather’s story is the inspiration for my MA manuscript at https://www.mawfypanthology.com/blog/what-story-to-write1.

The print of Hook Head Lighthouse is part of my Celtic Fringe series. It is a collograph made up from card shapes, fruit netting and dried seaweed and printed in much the same way as a relief image, such as a wood or lino cut, however, rather than cutting out the white areas, I’ve glued the black areas onto a plate.

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