- 1921-1924 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
1 bound volume
Name of creator
Born in Glencullen House, Co Dublin on 30 May 1898, to Daniel O'Connell Fitz-Simon and his wife Alice Maud Bunbury MacFarlane, Christopher Fitz-Simon spent his early life at 'Moreen', in Sandyford, Co. Dublin. He was educated at Earlsfort House, Dublin and St. Edmund's, England. He completed his military training at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, England.
His military career began when he was commissioned in December 1917 for the Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment, Birr, Co Offaly, subsequently serving during World War 1, where he was wounded at Flanders in May 1918 and awarded the Military Cross. He returned to the Leinster depot at Birr until August 1920, and subsequently served on a peacekeeping mission to Silesia (Poland) in 1921. On the disbandment of the Leinsters in 1922, he joined the King's Own Royal Regiment in December of that year and saw subsequent service in India, Sudan, England, Egypt, and Palestine. He commanded the 2nd Battalion King's Own as temporary Lieutenant-Colonel, WW2 North Africa campaign against Italy in 1940/1941. He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1942, and subsequently served in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland commanding the 1st battalion East Surrey Regiment. In 1942, he was hospitalised and invalided from the army in 1943.
In 1945, he was appointed land agent to the Tottenham estate at Mount Callan, Co. Clare and moved to a similar post in Annaghmakerrig, Co. Monaghan, in 1948. He retired to Glencullen House, Co. Dublin in 1953 and died in June 1984.
Col. Fitz-Simon married Gladys Killen, in October 1931; she pre-deceased him. Their sons are Dr Christopher O'Connell Fitz-Simon b.1934, now in Dublin, and Nicholas O'Connell Fitz-Simon, b.1936, now in Victoria, Australia.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Photograph album created by Lt. Col. M. O'Carroll Fitz-Simon, M.C. , who began his military career in Prince of Wales' Leinster Regiment, which was headquartered at Birr. The photographs document a peace-keeping mission the Leinsters undertook in Silesia (now part of Poland) from their departure at Dover on 31 May 1921, through Germany and to their destination of Oppeln (Opole in Poland today). Following the disbandment of the regiment in June 1922, Fitz-Simon joined the King's Own Regiment, Lancaster and the remaining photographs in the album depict scenes from missions in India and Burma. There is also a small number of photographs of people and houses in the Birr area including Whigsborough House, and the burnt out remains of Birr Barracks (following its destruction in the Civil War in July 1922).
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
The photographs were evidently developed and curated in an album by Fitz-Simon at a later date from when they were created. While the prints have been placed in the album in broadly chronological order, beginning with the Silesia campaign in 1921, there are several instances where the dates are out of sequence. In the finding aid, each page is described separately with the name of the campaign, if known, and transcripts of the captions under each photograph appear in quotation marks. Untitled photographs are listed as such, or if an approximation of its content is made by the archivist, the description will appear in square brackets. Each photograph has been numbered sequentially from 1-355.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Original album available to view by appointment only. Please email [email protected] for more information.
Conditions governing reproduction
Reproduction permitted for research and private study only as per the Copyright and Related Rights Act (2000). No reproduction in print, online, or broadcast, without prior permission. High resolution images available by request.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
The captions in the album have been transcribed as they appear, and are placed in quotation marks. Some captions use overtly colonial language, and a note on this terminology accompanies such captions.
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Leinster Regiment display at Birr Library: regimental drum and unframed regimental group photographs also donated by Dr Fitz-Simon.
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Name access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Dates of creation revision deletion
May 2022, Lisa Shortall