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Heroes and Villians

– Irish People of the Second World World War. – 

Some details of people from Ireland or with Irish ancestry who became heroes or otherwise during the war. For a far more detailed and scholarly analysis of this subject, one should refer to the excellent books by Richard Doherty, "Irish Men and Women in the Second World War" (Dublin, 1999) and "Irish Volunteers in the Second World War" (Dublin, 2002). Below are just a tiny sample of those individuals who won recognition for their actions in World War Two.


Mary Fleming, G.M. and Aileen Turner G.M.
  • Mary Fleming was a 24 year old staff nurse from Cappawhite, Co. Tipperary.  In 1941 she was working in Grove Park Hospital in London. One night during the Blitz the hospital was hit by German bombs and it was on this night that Mary and a colleague carried out a daring act which earned both Mary and her colleague the George Medal.

    Mary, along with Senior Assistant Nurse, Aileen Turner, also Irish climbed into a first floor window and crawling along the floor of an upstairs ward, reached the stranded patients.   They then lead them back to safety through scalding steam from burst hot water pipes only moments before the floor of the ward crashed to the ground.

    Mary's citation read that she received the George Medal for:

    "for her quickness, coolness and courage in rescuing seventeen patients from almost certain death after the Grove Park Hospital was shattered by a German bomb"
Lt. Marcus Irvine-Andrew, V.C.
  • Marcus Irvine-Andrews was born in New Ross, Co. Wexford. In 1940 he found himself and the remnants of his company defending a 100 yard sector of the Veurne Canal in the defense of the Dunkirk evacuation.  In this role Irvine-Andrews and his force held off repeated attacks by elements of the German 20th Motorized Division.  Having defended this important position on one of the last defense line's he managed to bring the eight survivors of his unit back to the evacuation beaches to allow them to escape on HMS Shikari, the last RN destroyer to leave the beaches.  For his exploits in the campaign Marcus was awarded the Victoria Cross medal.

    More detailed information can be found on this link  On the Victoria Cross reference web site.