My Grandfather George Brien, a cook who survived the War
Title in English
Keepsakes and postcards
My Grandfather George Brien was born in the 1870s. I'm not sure what regiment he was part of, but he ended up being a cook throughout the War and survived it. This may have helped save him, as it meant he was away from the front lines the entire time. He joined up during the 1913 Lockout. He had been working for a train company, but signed up to pay to feed his family.
He would have been deployed in France. One item he had was a crucifix made out of bullets. He probably did not make it himself. Another was a small Holy Water container which would have been French as it had a Fleur de Lis crest on it. He also brought a brooch made out of 2 French coins back to his wife. I have several postcards to his mother, father and wife and daughter. No locations are given in them. His handwriting is also very similar to mine. One postcard is of Edith Cavell. He had lots of Daily Mail postcards and bought lots of books of cards after the war. We think he came home after the war in 1919, as his attestation papers suggest this.
I always remember him retired in the 1940s. He received an ex-serviceman's house in Killester on the Howth Road in Dublin, Ireland. I'm not sure if he ever worked again. My best memory of him is him doing the gardening. My mother would have been 8 in 1916 during the Easter Rising, when she had to get across the city from Howth to Rathmines in Dublin.He died in the 1960s
Summary description of items
Crucifix made out of bullets ;
Holy Water container;
Wooden clogs as a keepsake (an indication of him being in or near the Benelux region) ;
Brooch made of 2 French coins ;