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And so we remember them

Fr John Fahey was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, in 1883. Shortly after his ordination at age 24 he was sent out to the Australian mission. Described as “an outdoor priest, teak-tough, a fine sportsman and a good shot” he signed up with the AIF as soon as the ‘war to end all wars’ broke out, was assigned to the 11th battalion and deployed to Gallipoli.

One hundred years ago this evening he was ordered to remain on board when the men disembarked the next day.

Convinced that his higher duty was to be at their side, he disregarded that command and was the first chaplain ashore at Anzac Cove, passing unscathed through a hail of bullets while men all around him fell dead. He was soon popular among the men, who knew he would endure any risk for their sake – exhorting the living, consoling the wounded, anointing the dying and burying the dead.

There was an air of the miraculous about him, for he was twice shot through his overcoat without breaking his skin, had a book shot out of his hands on one occasion and the jam tin he was eating out of on another, and was buried alive but dug up when his trench was bombarded.     [Full Story]


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