An exhibition based on the First World War letters home of Lt. Col. Richard Hely Hutchinson to his family in Lissenhall, Swords, and Seafield, Donabate. With the original letters, and many additional items, including photographs, the exhibition tells the story of two sons of Dublin County Sherriff and J.P. John Hely-Hutchinson, who were both serving officers in the British Army during the Great War. While the eldest, Coote Robert Hely-Hutchinson served in England training new recruits, his younger brother Richard served at the Front between 1914 and 1918, was wounded three times, mentioned in despatches and awarded a D.S.O.
Fortunately, Richard was an avid letter-writer, and many of his original, pencil-written and uncensored letters survived among the 120 boxes of the family papers donated by the remaining descendants to Fingal Libraries in 2009. His letters to his mother, father, sister and wife Alice, provide detailed descriptions of life and conditions in the trenches of France and Flanders.
After the war, the older brother Coote took over the family estate, and was elected to Dublin County Council to represent Swords. He was very involved in with St. Ita’s Mental Hospital, Portrane, and with the Council’s Agricultural Committee.