Anne Crowley Ford was brought up in the County Cork but emigrated to America as a young woman, dying in Arizona in 1968. Toward the end of her life, she wrote this unforgettable memoir of her life in Ireland and how she came to leave for a foreign land. It was edited by her son, Daniel Ford, who has spent a lifetime reading and writing about the wars of the past hundred years, from the Irish rebellion of 1916 to the counter-guerrilla operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is best known for his history of the American Volunteer Group--the 'Flying Tigers' of the Second World War--and his Vietnam novel that was filmed as Go Tell the Spartans, starring Burt Lancaster. Most recently, he has turned to the invasion of Poland in 1939 by Germany and Soviet Russia. He lives and works in New Hampshire.
When I Am Going: Growing Up in Ireland and Coming to America, 1901-1927by Daniel Ford
Annie Crowley was one of eleven children born in the farmhouse at Kilnahone, outside the village of Ballygarvan in the County Cork. There were nearly twenty-four years between the oldest and youngest of the Crowley boys and girls, Their father died a few weeks after young Billy was born, and Jack the eldest emigrated to Australia not long after. Annie was six years old at the time, and a pupil at Ballygarvan National School, where the English language and English history were drilled into Irish children.
Then came the First World War, and Mary Crowley went off to become a nurse in England. Annie was needed at home then, to take care of the house and the younger children. She loved the farm work, but soon enough she became a rebel against the English crown, in the fight for independence that began at Easter Week in 1916. The struggle ended in a bitter civil war, as diehard Republicans fought the compromising leaders willing to accept an Irish Free State with token allegiance to London. Thousands of veterans of the Irish Republican Army emigrated to America, including her sweetheart Pat Forde from Ballinhassig. Thus Annie came to America, never again to see her mother or siblings, or the farm at Kilnahone.
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