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mjollnir

Ordnance Survey 14 Field Survey Company RE Dublin

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I'm researching the career of Colonel Walter Andrew Gale, Royal Engineers, a retired officer who was re-employed at the outbreak of the First World War to work for Ordnance Survey making maps for the Front. He had two periods in Dublin in charge of the Ordnance Survey unit at Mountjoy House in Phoenix Park, the first I believe in 1915-16 and the second in 1918-19, when he was CO of 14 Field Survey Company RE.

I'd be most interested to hear whether anyone has any information about the OS in Dublin during the First World War. In the past I've made enquiries of the OS in Southampton but to no avail, as most of their relevant historic records seem to have been destroyed. The only records in the OS files at Kew relevant to Col Gale are a list of retired officers employed by OS at their various offices in England and Ireland and their dates.

Col Gale was a friend of Lord Kitchener's, and a family anecdote goes that when the Viceroy of Ireland complained that Gale's unit was larger than his own bodyguard, Kitchener replied to the effect that 'Col Gale is indispensable, whereas the Viceroy is not.' This at least suggests that the work being carried out by the OS in Dublin was considered important to the war effort.

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Strider

The author of this web site is Colonel Gale's great, great, grandson. There is an e mail address at the bottom of the page, it might be worth a try, unless you are the aforementioned author of course.

http://www.davidgibbins.com/TigerWarrior.html

TR

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strangely no mention in Chasseauds 'Artillery's Astrologers' which looks to be the definitive account of Western Front mapmaking .. which suggests the OS work in Ireland related to Ireland and not the Western Front (which probably makes sense..)... presumably the base of the Irish Survey,as Southampton came to be for England.

14 (Survey) Company was one of only 3 RE (Survey) Companies I believe (York, Dublin, Southampton) - but the Field Survey Companies (later Bns) were different ... I think created in 1916 from Field Survey Sections. Gale was presumably with the 14th (Survey) Company [Dublin] rather than a Field Survey Company. Their records may or may not have survived Independence but relating to Ireland will presumably have stayed there - presumably inherited by the 'Ordnance Survey Ireland'? http://www.osi.ie/en/alist/history.aspx

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