“We are stopping at Portadown tonight “

Postmark: Portadown, 4th Feb 1915

Dear Mother,

Just a line hoping it finds you all in good [sic] as this leaves me in the same at present.  We are stopping at Portadown tonight and going on to Moy in the morning.  We are getting a fine reception everywhere we go.  It will be Sunday week before we are in Bessbrook.  We are spending the weekend in Loughgall.  This is all at present.  I will send word when we get that length.

I remain your loving son,


150204 Portadown 02

150204 Portadown 01

Postcard shows:

“It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary (1).

Up to mighty London came an Irishman one day,

As the streets are paved with gold, sure ev’ry one was gay;

Singing songs of Piccadilly, Strand and Leicester Square,

Till Paddy got excited, then he shouted to them there:-“

A man (the “Paddy”?) leans on the entrance to a Bakerloo line underground station, while London life, red omnibuses and crowds passing along.

Co. Armagh Route March

In early February 1915 Col Fitzgerald led a large party of 220 men of 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers through County Armagh on a recruiting march. John Adams was one of the men chosen for this trip. His personal notes have enabled us to trace the possible route of the march:

Friday 5 February Lurgan to Birches 16 miles
Saturday 6 February Birches to Loughgall 9 miles
Sunday 7 February Loughgall
Monday 8 February Loughgall to Armagh 5.5 miles
Tuesday 9 February Armagh
Wednesday 10 February Armagh to Richhill (via Hamiltonsbawn) 7 miles
Thursday 11 February Richhill to Tynan 13.5 miles
Friday 12 February Tynan to Newtownhamilton 16 miles
Saturday 13 February Newtownhamilton to Bessbrook 10 miles
Sunday 14 February Bessbrook (including being at home in Lisadian)
Monday 15 February Bessbrook to Poyntzpass 9 miles
Tuesday 16 February Poyntzpass to Markethill 12.5 miles
Wednesday 17 February Markethill to Tandragee 10 miles
Thursday 18 February Tandragee to Portadown (and train to Belfast) 6 miles

We have traced the route on Google Maps below. They covered a fair distance, we estimate approximately 115 miles in 2 weeks. It was probably a foretaste of the footslogging they were to do through France through the rest of the war.

(unfortunately Google maps only allows 10 layers, so we couldn’t show the last leg from Tandragee to Portadown!).

Route March: Armagh-Richhill

[From personal notes]

Afternoon marched to Richhill via Hamiltonsbawn. Stayed in Home of Wm. McNally.

[This is what Hamiltonsbawn looked like then. Strange to think that John Adams will have marched past two houses he later lived in after he moved to Hamiltonsbawn in 1926. I wonder if he ever thought about that route march when he was marching along the main street later in life?]