Turtle Bunbury

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Ievers & Crawford: From Ireland to Ceylon



The Ievers Connection

Bob Ievers was a high profile government minister in Ceylon during the late 19th century. He spoke Singhalese, wrote poetry, explored the ancient ruins of Anarahdapura and Sigiriya with HC Bell and also happened to be a very keen shot. His wife Kate Crawford descended from a Belfast merchant and miraculously survived a scuffle with a sloth bear. In 1912, their second daughter Ethel Synge Ievers married Thomas ('Tim') Leopold McClintock Bunbury, (later 3rd Baron Rathdonnell) who was ADC to the Governor from 1912 - 1914. Ethel was a distant cousin of the playwright John Millington Synge. Tim and Ethel McClintock Bunbury had one son, William Robert McClintock Bunbury, born in October 1914, who succeeded as 4th Baron Rathdonnell and was father of my own father, Thomas Benjamin McClintock Bunbury, the 5th Baron ...

The late Betty Scott once told me that Ethel Synge Ievers died of a broken heart but I never got to the bottom of why or what that meant. She had grown up in British Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), presumably basking in the glories of imperial tea and tennis parties, sunshine and servants, the second daughter of a successful civil servant who had given it his all to understand the island’s culture and language. The she married the heir to a vast estate in northeast county Carlow. His father was one of the most influential members of the Unionist movement in the southern half of the country. Ireland was in a state of turmoil when she and her new husband first went to stay with his parents at their second home in County Louth. All across the east coast guns were being landed for Protestant and Catholic militia. The soldiers at the Curragh camp were mutinying. Dublin had become the stomping ground of trade unionism, republicanism, suffragettes and anti-war movements. And the British Government had finally agreed to let the country be ruled from Dublin, albeit with Britain’s Sovereign Supremacy held intact. It can’t have been easy to fit into the Anglo-Irish world of 1914 for the young Ceylon gal who had lived her own equally bizarre isolated life before coming to Ireland. Less than a decade later she had died in her bed. She didn’t see her husband much because he was away during the war and later on special assignments in Austria and Italy. And his parents were such a formidable pair – Tom Bunbury and Kate Bruen – that she appears meek and mild in their presence, a sort of Isabella Linton if you’ve ever read 'Wuthering Heights'. But she did at the very least beget a child, William Robert McClintock Bunbury.

Robert "Bob" Wilson Ievers (1850 - 1905) - A Brief

Robert Wilson Ievers, MA, CMG (1902), was born in 1850, the third son of Limerick wine merchant Robert John Ievers (1800-1872), of Castle Ievers, Co. Limerica and his wife Elizabeth, third daughter of Major M P Browne, of Woodstock, Co. Mayo;. (1)

His eldest brother, John Henry Ievers, served with the Royal Irish Constabulary and died in Australia in 1879. Bob's sister, Frances was married on 17 June 1858, at Knockavilla Church, Co. Cork, to William Browning Gardner, Esq., solicitor, of Cork City (Cork Examiner 19/6/1858).

Bob was educated at Queen's University, Belfast, and then entered the civil service in 1872. I believe he may have originally gone out to Ceylon as part of the administration of Sir William Gregory, Governor of Ceylon, who resided at Coole Park in Galway. (2) In 1878, a year after Gregory's departure from the colony, Ievers was appointed Assistant Government Agent in Kegalla, Ceylon. Over the next two decades his official positions included Assistant Colonial Secretary (1885), Government Agent for the North Central Province (1889), Principal Assistant Colonial Secretary (1894) and Government Agent and Acting Colonial Secretary of the North Province of the island from 1896. (North Central Province was created by Gregory). He had a postal address at Jaffna and his recreations were shooting, fishing and tennis. He died on 10th February 1905, aged 55.

The Crawfords

Robert's wife Catherine (Kate) Ievers was the eldest daughter of Andrew Howard Crawford, CE, of Nenagh, who was for many long years the County Surveyor for the North Riding of County Tipperary. Born in about 1813, Andrew was the third son of a Belfast merchant, Arthur Crawford, and his wife Catherine Campbell Lundy. (3) His younger brother Archibald, born in 1815, moved to Australia in 1856 and settled in Castlemaine, Victoria, where he became an Archdeacon. Following his death in 1890, an obituary to the Archdeacon published in the Mount Alexander Mail (2 July 1890) states:

"The Archdeacon leaves three brothers to survive him. His eldest brother still holds office as County Surveyor for the North Riding of Tipperary; another brother, a South American merchant, resides at Liverpool; and the third resigned, a few years ago, the post of manager of the Union Bank in Adelaide."

A Crawford family historian, Margaret Levin, has thus deduced that "as Arthur's first son, Hugh, died in 1854 and the second son Arthur is recorded as "died unmarried" we presume that it was Andrew who was County Surveyor for the North Riding of Tipperary around 1890. He may have been around 77 at the time for Archibald was born in 1815, so Andrew may have been born about 1813". (4)

The Synge Conneciton

It was always said that Ethel Synge Ievers was a cousin of the playwright John Millington Synge and this is true, albeit in a rather distant way! Ethel's grandfather Andrew H. Crawford married Anne Synge, known as 'Nance', a daughter of the Rev. Francis Synge (1810-1870) of Slevoir [Slieveyre], Co. Tipperary. The Synges descended from Richard Synge of Salop (Shropshire), whose sons George and Edward became Bishop of Cloyne and Bishop of Cork & Ross, during the second half of the 17th century.

Bishop Edward Synge’s son, the Right Rev. Edward Synge, Archbishop of Tuam, was likewise father of two bishops, Edward, Bishop of Elphin, and Nicholas, Bishop of Killaloe, who died in 1771. The latter acquired considerable lands in the parish of Dysert, county Clare. By his marriage to Elizabeth Trench of Galbally, Bishop Nicholas Synge had several daughters and one son, the Rev. Edward Synge of Syngefield, King’s County [Offaly], who died in 1792. In 1753, the Rev. Edward married Sophia Hutchinson, daughter of the Rev. Samuel Hutchinson, Bishop of Killala. Edward and Sophia had five sons - Edward (another clergyman), Sir Samuel Synge-Hutchinson, George, Sir Robert and Francis Synge of Glanmore Castle - and a daughter Elizabeth who married John Ormsby. Francis of Glanmore’s son John was grandfather of John Millington Synge the playwright.

Meanwhile, Edward and Sophia’s third son George Synge (1757-1837) of Rathmore, King’s County, was married on 7 June 1787 to Mary MacDonnell (d. 1840), daughter of Charles MacDonnell of Kilkee, sometime MP for County Clare, as well as lieutenant-colonel of the Clare Militia Dragoons. In 1764 Charles MacDonnell purchased New Hall (aka Killone Abbey) in Co. Clare from his maternal uncle, Edward O’Brien. Mary’s oldest brother Charles commanded a regiment of Volunteers in Canada during the American War of Independence and was variously MP for Co Clare and Yarmouth. Her next brother Edward was quartermaster-general of Canada and married a daughter of Sir John Johnson, superintendent-general of Indian Affairs in British North America.

George and Mary Synge had three sons, Edward Synge of Syngefield & Carhoo, Charles Synge of Mount Callan and the Rev. Francis Synge of Slevoir, who was, I believe, Andrew Crawford’s father-in-law. The Rev. Francis Synge held at least three townlands in the parish of Terryglass, barony of Lower Ormond, Co. Tipperary, at this time. He was Rector of Loughkeen parish, as was his son, Rev. Edward Synge, who was married in 1869 to Elizabeth, daughter of Peter Smithwick, Esq., Shanbally, county Tipperary. (Kings County Chronicle, 17 February 1869). The Rev Francis died at Slevoir on 21 February 1870, aged 80. (Tipperary Vindicator, 25 February 1870).

Anne 'Nance' Crawford, wife of Andrew, died in Nenagh in July 1897. Her nephew Francis Peter Synge noted her death in his diary, as well as the fact that, soon afterwards, he met up with her daughters' families, the Ievers and the Barrys, when they holidayed together in Galway that summer. F.P.S. kept in occasional contact with Bee (Beatrice) Barry for some time afterwards, staying with the Barry family at 5 Vesey Place for a few weeks in the summer of 1919. On one occasion he also saw Ethel Bunbury there. After Jim Barry died in 1920, FPS even invested some money on Bee's behalf but thereafter the thread between these cousins seems to have been lost. This information was provided by Richard Synge, a grandson of F. P. Synge, who lives in Cambridge, UK, aged 72, in August 2018. Richard's father chanced to be a District Officer in the same part of colonial Nigeria in the 1940s/50s as Lanto and Teran's father, his cousin, instilling a lifelong fascination for Africa in Richard.

Three newspaper articles of note:

Daring Outrage. —Three armed men, undisguised, on the evening of Tuesday last, before it was quite dark, entered the house of the Rev. Francis Synge, Slevoir, and when passing through the hall, they met one of the servants, ofwhom they inquired if the steward was in the house. The servant stated that he was in his bed room. They then went up to his room, and with pistols levelled at his head, they swore him on a piece of paper to quit his place before the fair day, yesterday, or that he would get the death of Waller. Smith, the steward, nor the servant who met them, know the parties. This we have nodoubt of, as the Terrys are generally brought from a distant part of the country to do duty. (Tipperary Free Press - 11 November 1846).

On Monday, the 30th ult., Capt. George Charles Synge, 53rd Light Infantry , eldest son of the Rev. Francis Synge, of Slevoir, county Tipperary, to Georgiana Frances, youngest daughter of Colonel Synge, of Mount Callan, Ennis. (Cork Examiner - Friday 03 June 1853)

Melancholy Death of Randal M‘Donnell, Esq., from Drowning. —A most distressing accident, which resulted in the death of Randal M‘Donnell, Esq., of Slevoir, occurred on Thursday, and has occasioned very general regret amongst a large circle of friends and acquaintances, with whom the deceased gentleman had made himself highly esteemed and respected. Mr. M‘Donnell was much devoted to aquatic pursuits, and hud made several voyages to Australia and other countries, and had only recently returned from a visit to relations in America. He was the proprietor of ayacht, which was moored in the River Shannon, opposite Slevoir, in tho County Tipperary, and, as was his habit when at home, he proceeded, it appears, in a small boat, and got on board the yacht. After remaining some time, when stepping into the skiff, to return to Slevoir, it was capsized, and the unfortunate gentleman was thrown into the water. He was very lusty, and he soon disappeared. A peasant from the bank of the river witnessed the fatal occurrence, and ran to Slevoir-house and gave the alarm, when the Rev. Francis Synge and others hastened to the spot. Drags and boats were immediately procured, and after some time the body was discovered, but life was quite extinct. An inquest was held, this day, on view of the body, before T. T. Abbott, Esq., coroner, northern district of Tipperary, when, these facts having appeared in evidence, the jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death." Mr. M‘Donnell was brother-in-law to the Rev. Francis Synge, Luckeen glebe, and was nearly related to the members of other highly respectable families. His remains will be interred on Monday morning. It is stated that a brother of the deceased’s also perished some time ago by drowning. —Saunders' Newsletter. (Quoted in Newry Herald and Down, Armagh, and Louth Journal - Tuesday 09 February 1858).

Andrew and Anne Crawford had two daughters, Kate (who married Robert Ievers and is thus my great-great-grandmother) and Beatrice Georgie Elizabeth.

The Barry Connection

On 11 August 1881, Kate Ievers' younger sister Beatrice (known as Bee) was married at St Mary's Church, Nenagh, to James Wedderburn Cooper Barry of Forfar, near Dundee, Scotland. (Dublin Daily Express, 13 Aug 1881. It is notable that Peter Pan author JM Barrie also came from Forfar). James Barry was a twin - his brother went to Australia - and moved from Glasgow to Ireland to work as Manager of the Bank (now Bank of Ireland) in Nenagh. The building is now the Garda Station. It was while he was in Nenagh that he obviously met Beatrice Crawford. He was later promoted to the 'larger branch' in Cork. In later years, James and Beatrice were resident at 4 Vesey Terrace in Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire). James died in 1920. His widow Beatrice subsequently moved into live with Eileen Moore Barry's eldest sister, Winifred Murray, in Glenageary Avenue where she died. It is believed that both James and Beatrice are buried in Dean's Grange in Dublin.

Their son, Cooper Crawford Barry was the manager of the Keragala Tea Estate in Ratnapurna in Ceylon, having been brought out to Ceylon by the de Glanvilles. He married Eileen Moore, the youngest of ten children born to Thomas Tilly Moore, a surgeon from Cavan of Monaghan stock. His father was the rural dean in Cootehill and may have a claim for descendency from Dryden Moore, an illegimate son of Dean Swift. Thomas Moore made a good marriage to Harriette McIntosh, a Cavan heiress who had spent some time with relatives in Sedborough (the family owning Mt Sedborough in Co Down as the Irish seat) in Yorkshire as a ward of court. She was the receipient of funds from the Mayne family, her mother being a Mayne and a descendant of the Mayne who signed the Regicide document authorising the execution of Charles I. (He subsequently died in the Tower of London). the family were also connected to the Hones and Nathaniel Hone, the landscape painter, was Eileen's great uncle. After this lucrative marriage, Thomas Moore never worked but moved to Kingstown from Monaghan after the first of his ten progeny were born. When Thomas died, Harriette moved to Monkstown. Eileen's older siblings were Cecil Moore (a civil engineer with the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, known as the 'Major', who retired to Lough Key in Roscommon; he could speak Arabic very well and apparently worked in the Great War for the British intelligence, using his linguistic skills, and liaised with T E Lawrence, never married), Brindley Moore (a doctor in Devon), Tommy Moore (a sugar plantation manager in Demerara, never married), Winifred (married Mr Murray, no issue), Nance (de Heriz Smith), Mabel (the religious one), Irene Harriette (the famly beauty but hobbled by 'rheumatic fever' in childhood and refused to marry), Alice (Smythe), Amy (Warren) and Eileen. Another child Arthur died as a baby and they also adopted a young orphan called Alec (Alexander) Duke.

Cooper and Eileen had two girls (Sheila Barry and Moyra Barry [5] ) and a son (Trevor Barry), all three still living in August 2009 when I was contacted by Trevor's daughter Liz. At the age of 50, Cooper Barry retired back to Dublin and died at 84. Eileen was brought out to Ceylon by her sister, Nancy de Heriz Smith (nee Moore), together with her sister, Alice Smythe (nee Moore). All three sisters married into tea; there was seemingly a shortage of available Protestant men of that generation in Dublin following the Great War.

Upon his graduation from Trinity College Dublin with a civil engineer degree, Cooper and Eileen's son Trevor Barry emigrated to Kenya - the 'new' place - where he surveyed the Masai Mara, survived the Mau Mau and self published a book on his early career there. 'Faraway Bridges', which covers his marriage to Muriel Hatton (who came out from Wicklow to work as a hotel manager) and the birth of their son Michael and daughter Liz. Trevor and Muriel also had a son, the Rev. Keith Barry. Trevor was subsequently the Chief Roads Engineer in Lesotho and Swaziland.

His sisters Sheila and Moyra Barry were educated at the Hall School in Monkstown. Moyra returned to Ceylon and at the age of 19 she married Harold Oulton, 'now 96 and hale and hearty, who volunteered and fought in the second world war with the Gurkha 5th Regiment and liberated Rangoon - which he maintains was rather easy as it had been completely deserted - then received orders to return to India, walked there with his men and no supplies to be greeted with surprise by the commanding officer who had forgotten giving the order. While it nearly killed them and they returned with no boots and shredded clothes, he is still quite pleased not to have spent the rest of the war building a bridge over the River Kwai.' (Thanks to Liz Barry for that). Sheila Barry married Arthur Halstead in Ceylon - he was in tea also - and they returned to London in 1976, possibly after the tea industry was nationalised.

Ievers in Ceylon

Following a visit to Sri Lanka in May 2002, I established email contact with an old colonial hand named Joe Simpson, now living in Canada. In answer to a request for information on Robert Ievers he forwarded me some information obtained from "a SL-born friend in Australia, from his extensive library":

"Around 1873 Robert "Bob" Wilson Ievers was a young civil servant attached to the Colombo Kachcheri. J.R. Toussaint in his "Annals of the Ceylon Civil Service states that Bob was one of the best speakers of Sinhalese in the Service. He did some archaeological work on Anuradhapura and his reports are available in the National Archives. He wrote also the "Manual of the North Central Province". In his administration report of 1888 he wrote: "The claims of archaeology and the excavation of some and the preservation of other ruins, affords a pleasing and useful change from the monotony of the Kachcheri and Court routine". He carried out further excavations on the Mirisavetiya Dagoba in 1888 using money donated by a Siamese Prince and employing prison labour. Although he had the support of Governor Sir Arthur Gordon, he ran into criticism when he began tunneling into the Abhayagiri Dagoba, instead of restoring it and he was compelled to stop work at this site. He was a good friend and supporter of the archaeologist H.C.P. Bell who had similar interests and was later appointed Archaeological Commissioner in 1890. It appears that like Bell, Bob was also a keen sportsman.

Whilst Government Agent of Ceylon's North Central Province "Robert "Bob" Ievers had a gang of "Good Fellows" all pulling together, such as Alex Murray, R.B. Hellings, J.B.M. Ridout, H.F. Tomalin, F.W. Johnson and Bell. They lived in harmonious isolation. Around 1890 Bob contributed in verse to an article "The Anurdhapura Anthem" which appeared in The Times of Ceylon of 1917 in the Christmas number after Bob had passed on. Once he admitted to his friend Bell that he had scratched his own name on the Sigiriya Gallery wall, something that his friend detested!"

In about 1902 Bob was appointed Acting Colonial Secretary. However subsequently he fell ill and had to leave the island and died in 1905. Most of the above was extracted from the book "H.C.P. Bell " by B.N. Bell and H.N. Bell.(6)

I have found further references stating that Bob was one of the few Singhalese speakers in the Civil Service. He was also a member of the Cathedral Choir.

"He will be remembered for the great interest he took as Government Agent of the North Province and improving the breed of horses in the island of Delft. On his appointment as Acting Colonial Secretary he brought down a pair of these diminutive animals and was frequently seen driving them in the streets of Colombo. His favourite recreation was shooting, a pastime in which his wife joined him, much to the horror of an older generation whose ideas of propriety were much stricter than our own. His wife, Mrs. Ievers [ie: Kate Crawford] was, it is believed, the only lady in Ceylon to be mauled by a bear. This happened at Vavurniya. Ievers published a book, Mammals of the North Central Province, and contributed various articles to the Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society". (7)

At one point Ievers estimated the number of elephants in North Central Province to be 170. As government agent to Anuradhapure, he was the man who issued licenses to those wishing to shoot. "He was a good sportsman and knew what he was talking about".(8)

In regard to Mrs. Iever's mauling by a bear I found a book in the Lisnavagh library called Hunting & Shooting in Ceylon (1907) by the hunter Harry Storey. In a chapter on "Bears and Water-Hole shooting" he relays an incident concerning "a plucky sportswoman, wife of a well-known and popular sporting Government official". Though Storey does not actually name her, I am quite certain this was Kate Ievers - mother to Ethel and grandmother to Bill Rathdonnell. She was regarded as being "as keen on sport as her husband and an excellent shot but the incident I am about to relate would have shaken the nerve of many a man and no one could have shown greater courage under the circumstances than she did". Bob and Kate were on circuit at the time, inspecting some tank-repairing work the Irrigation Department had been working on. (9)

"News was brought of bears amongst some rocks near a tank about 3 miles away and the lady went off very early one morning, I think, to have a look for them, accompanied by a police orderly, one Tamil headman and one Singhalese headman, her husband being too busy to come with them. Arrived at the rocks, they took up their position on a fat slab between two big rocks commanding a view of a cave or hollow among a medley of rocks below them. and had not been there long when they saw a bear walk past their front and disappear among the boulders. They then waited for the bear to return to the cave and the lady was sitting well back on her slab of rock when suddenly, without any warning, a bear rushed up from behind, knocked her over on her face at once, and began biting at her head and neck, clawing away at her back all the time. She put up her left hand to protect her neck and the bear bit that savagely whilst, with her right hand, she shoved her gun down between her feet and pulled the trigger, shooting the bear through one foot, as was afterwards found".

"In the meantime, the two headmen were wildly firing off their guns in all directions apparently for not one shot hit the bear (luckily, perhaps, for our heroine for it is a wonder she was not shot too) until the Tamil, with the last cartridge he had, hit the animal in the head, I think, and killed it. Dreadful to relate it was then found that the police orderly, a smart young fellow, had been shot dead in the melee but how or by whom it was impossible to say; and it is a great marvel that more damage was not done as the two headmen lost their heads entirely for the time and blazed off their guns as fast as they could load them. The injured lady actually walked the 3 miles back to camp where, no doubt, her husband would be terribly upset at this time. I met them both a few weeks afterwards at a rest-house on their way to Colombo to see a doctor about the lady's left wrist, which was stiff and unusable after the mauling, and she then told me all about the incident, only regretting that her injuries would cause her to lose the season for further shooting that year!"

Ethel- The Lady Rathdonnell That Never Was

Robert and Kate Ievers had three daughters - Nena Beatrice (b. 1883), Ethel (b. 1885) and Kathleen (b. 1886). Robert died in 1905 when the girls were still in their teens. Seven years later, in 1912, 27-years-old Ethel Ievers married a 31-year-old Anglo-Irish aristocrat who was just commencing a 2-year tenure as ADC to the Governor of Ceylon. On 23rd November1914 she gave birth to their one and only child, William Robert McClintock Bunbury. Shortly after this, she moved to Ireland.

Born in 1881, Tim McClintock Bunbury hailed from one of the more affluent families in Victorian Ireland. Educated at Eton and Cambridge, he became heir to the substantial estates throughout Ireland following the death of his elder brother Billy in the Boer War in February 1900. By 1907 he had secured a position as Private Secretary to the Limerick-born Governor, Sir Henry Arthur Blake (1840 - 1918).(10) "Towards the close of the year the Duchess of St Albans, sister to Lady Blake, arrived in the island in the company of Sir Henry and Lady Blake, who were returning to the island after a three months' holiday in England. Captain H.R. Phipps, and the Hon T. McClintock-Bunbury, P.S. arrived with Their Excellencies." (11)

In November 1909, he was elected a Grand Knight of the College of Philosophical Masons in Ireland. In 1912, I believe, he was appointed ADC to the Governor of Ceylon, Sir Henry Edward McCallum (1907 - 1913). Following McCallum's resignation in 1913, Sir Robert Chalmers (1913 - 1916) was appointed Governor and it seems as though Tim must have retained his own office for he remained ADC to the Governor until 1914.(12)

Alas, Ethel McClintock Bunbury died young in 1922 and so little is known of her. Certainly my father and his three sisters have virtually no knowledge of their grandmother. I'm told Ethel had lush red hair, a trait which would pass through to two of her three granddaughters. The late John Grogan, an old Ceylon hand, once told me she was a devout Christian and much given to berating those who drank. (Her husband was nicknamed "Lord Silvermugs" on account of his penchant for drinking whiskey and soda out of a silver mug so she couldn't see!).(13) Some say Ethel died of loneliness when she and her small boy moved to Ireland at the start of the Great War. She had grown up in Ceylon, basking in the glories of imperial tea and tennis parties, sunshine and servants. Her father-in-law, Thomas Kane, 2nd Baron Rathdonnell, was one of the most influential members of the Unionist movement in the southern half of the country. Ireland was in a state of turmoil when Ethel and her new husband first went to stay with his parents at their second home, Drumcar in County Louth. All across the east coast guns were being landed for Protestant and Catholic militia. The soldiers at the Curragh camp were mutinying. Dublin had become the stomping ground of trade unionism, republicanism, suffragettes and anti-war movements. And the British Government had finally agreed to let the country be ruled from Dublin, albeit with Britain's Sovereign Supremacy held intact. If Home Rule was granted to Ireland, as planned prior to the outbreak of the Great War, then there was every chance that the 2nd Baron Rathdonnell would be appointed Minister of the new government. As President of the Royal Dublin Society, his credentials for the Ministry of Agriculture must have drawn the notice of Lloyd-George's wartime coalition.

It can't have been easy to fit into this Anglo-Irish world for the young Ceylon gal who had lived her own equally bizarre isolated life before coming to Ireland. Less than a decade later she had passed away. She can't have seen her husband much because he was away during the war, reputedly on special assignment in Austria and Italy. In 1914, for instance, Captain Tim McClintock Bunbury, was mentioned in despatches for his services in the campaign in German East Africa. Later in the war he was serving on the Italian Front for which he was awarded both the Croce di Guerra and the Order of the Crown of Italy. (14) In 1918, he was awarded the British Red Cross Society Medal for War Service. It has often been suggested that Tim was not a very healthy man; no doubt his wartime experiences did not help but he enjoyed cigarettes and whiskey. And his parents were such a formidable pair that she appears meek and mild in their presence, a sort of Isabella Linton if you've ever read Wuthering Heights. She does however appear regularly in the Drumcar - Lisnavagh guest book during the war years. I am not sure where she was when not at Lisnavagh.

After the war, Tim appears to have returned to Ireland when appointed High Sheriff of County Carlow in 1919, a year when anti-English sentiments were reaching fever pitch across Ireland. He was awarded an MBE at the close of 1919. However, he was then recruited for "special service" in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire about which little else is known. Ethel died on 4th March 1922 aged 38 and was buried in Brookwood Cemetery, Liverpool. She left an 8-year-old son William Robert McClintock Bunbury. (15) Within weeks of her death, Ireland was plunged into a brutal civil war between the Free State Army and those who felt the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty fell far short of Republican ambitions. When Tom passed away in 1937, he was buried in Liverpool alongside Ethel.

Ethel's Sisters

Ethel's elder sister Nena (Beatrice) Ievers was born in Kegalla, Sri Lanka on 18th March 1883, where Bob was assistant government agent at the time. She obtained an MD from Edinburgh University and married a Ceylonese civil servant Norman Izat. His father, Alexander Izat, CIE, MICE, was Chief Engineer of the Daund-Manmad (opened 1878) and Bhavnagar- Gondal (1880) lines and had risen to be Director of the Bengal & North Western Railway Company. Nena and Norman had three children - Mary (16) , Katherine (17) Izat and Alan (18) - who would thus have been first cousins of my grandfather. In May 2020, I was contacted by her grandson David Pilditch who recalls a visit to Lisnavagh with his late mother, Mary Izat, in the late 1950s. ‘We were on a camping holiday in a leaky tent, and I remember it rained constantly,’ says David! He thinks Nena died in 1957.

The younger sister Kathleen Crawford Ievers (Kitty) married Bertram George de Glanville of the Ceylon Civil Service. Bertram was born in 1885 and educated at Taylor's School, Crosby, and Worcester College in Oxford. (19) He joined the Ceylon Civil Service as a cadet in 1908 and worked his way up the ladder to the offices of magistrate and district judge. In 1909, he marrried Dorothea Frances Allen (1879-1910), daughter of David Bird Allen of the Bengal Civil Service. Sadly she died the following year. In 1929, the year Etel's father-in-law died, Bertram ucceeded to the Chairmanship of the Colombo Port Commission (and was till there when "The Dominions Office and Colonial Office List" was released in 1932). The CPC was established in 1913 (ie: when TLMB was there) to administer the affairs of the Port and to collect customs from passing ships.(20) They were responsible for developing the harbour, dredging the water and extending the warehouses, quays and waterways in the port. Kitty bore Bertram four sons - Ranulph (21), Geoffrey (22), Robert (23) and John) and two daughters, Joan (24) and Moira Dorothea (25). These were also first cousins of my grandfather.



1. His eldest brother, John Henry Ievers, served with the Royal Irish Constabulary and died in Australia in 1879. Born in Co. galway in 1847, he was discharged with a gratuity on 31/12/1877 due to ill-health. He emigrated to Australia and applied to join the police in Melbourne, Victoria (Public Record Office, Melbourne - Reference: VPRS 937, Unit 493, Bundle 3) but died unmarried in Australia in 1879 aged 31. (Thanks to Jim Herlihy).

The Ievers family of Mount Ievers also made a substantial impact in the Australian province of Victoria during the 19th century. Click here for more.

2. British Ceylon was a colony in which Irishmen were prominent. As engineers and planters, botanists and explorers, military attaches and civil servants. One of the most celebrated Governors was Sir William Gregory, husband to the great Lady Gregory, patron of WB Yeats and, perhaps relevant to the family, J. Millinton Synge. During his tenure (1872 - 1877), the Galway landlord initiated the restoration of thousands of defunct water tanks across the island, enabling the population to once again irrigate their parched mouths and rice paddys with monsoonal rainwater during the long dry seasons. When the island's coffee industry was hit by a devastating blight in 1875, Gregory's office encouraged the plantation of tea and rubber instead. Today the tea industry still accounts for about 15% of exports. It was also during Gregory's term that rubber trees were planted on the island, enabling planters to meet an increasing global demand that would mushroom with the evolution of the motor car. He converted the Royal Pleasure Gardens of Kandy into the world famous Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, a wonderful 60-hectare oasis of trees and shrubs. Lord Mountbatten enjoyed many a pensive stroll here while head-quartered at Kandy during the last world war.

3. Arthur Crawford's father Hugh Crawford died at Orangefield, co. Down, in 1819; his will describes him as a "Merchant of Belfast". Crawford's offices were at 130 North Street, Belfast.

4. Contact Margaret Levin at mannerim@ozramp.net.au for more.

5. Moira Barry married a man named Oulton

6. In the book "Tombstones and Monuments in Ceylon " there is reference to a Henry Rogers Ievers who died in Ceylon on 2.9.1864 and who is buried in St Peter's Church in the Fort, Colombo. He was a Lt in the Royal Artillery who died aged 32 yrs. He married in Colombo on 14th June 1860, Elizabeth Anderson. She was very tall and he was very short. He must have been of the same family as RW Ievers, CCS, CMG.

7. "Annals of the Ceylon Civil Service", JR Toussaint (1937).

8. "Hunting & Shooting in Ceylon", Harry Storey (1921).

9. "Hunting & Shooting in Ceylon", (1907), H. Storey, p. 303.

10. In "Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon" (1907), Arnold Wright says that "the establishment of the Queens House includes the Governor's Private Secretary Mr T.L.M. Bunbury….." (p. 94).,

11. Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranaike, "Remembered Yesterdays" (1929), p.120.

12. In 1916, Chalmers stepped down and the Governorship passed to Sir John Anderson (1916 - 1918).

13. I found a legible letter from Sir Charles Delme-Radcliffe, who commanded the International Mission in Italy after the Great War, to my grandfather written after the death of TL McClintock Bunbury in 1937.
From: Brig-Gen Sir Charles Delme-Radcliffe, KCMG, CB, CVO, No. 3 Waldron Apartments, 837 Burdett Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
To: The Rt. Hon Lord Rathdonnell at Lisnavagh but forwarded by Rathvilly Post Office to him c/o the Cavalry Barracks in York.

Dear William,
I hope you remember my name though you were a very little boy when I last saw you at Brissendedn [sic?] in Kent.
I am very grieved at the news about your Father which his and my old friend, Miss Alexander, gave me today. I was very fond of your Father, who served me right well during the war at the front in Italy. I was very fond of your mother too. She was a wonderful person. I knew her when she came out to join your father at Worth-Klagurfurth [sic] in Cariathia [sic] when I was commanding the International Mission after the War.
Will you let me extend to you the expression of my great grief and sympathy with you in your loss? I came out here in 1930 and shortly after got laid up with heart-attacks - I spent 9 months in one Hospital and odd times of complete disability in others, but now am getting so much better that I am in hope of complete recovery.
Hitherto, for a long time, I have been unable to write any letters - I have been meaning to write to your Father for a long time but did not feel quite equal to doing it. I got your Father's address and that of your aunt, Mrs. Bramwell, from Miss. Alexander. It is too late, alas! to communicate with your Father, so I write to you.
Some years ago, your Father reminded me that he had a lot of papers of mine, confidential papers relating to the staff work of my Mission in Italy during the War. I lost my home in England and had no place to put them, but your Father very kindly promised to take care of them until I could look for them again. Could you tell me whether you can lay your hands upon them and could send them over to me at this address? I shall be so glad to have them as I mean to [undertake] to make a compilation of my reminiscences relating to the war.
Yours very sincerely,
C Delme Radcliffe

14. When did Tim start his service in Italy? Did he speak Italian? If he was then assigned to Austria, can we assume he was concentrating on Alpine matters? Among those others serving on the Italian Front in 1918 were Ernest Hemmingway and Major Robert Gregory, the pilot son of Yeat's patron and friend, Lady Gregory. Hemmingway wrote of his experiences there in Farewell to Arms which begins with a dramatic account of the disastrous fall of Caporetto (October 1917) when the Italian army in the Julian Alps was overwhelmed by an Austro-German offensive, in which young Rommel played a leading part. Hemmingway was not actually at Caporetto but was severely wounded in the defensive actions which followed. Major Gregory was awarded the MC and appointed to the Legion d'Honneur. He was shot down and killed over Italy on 23rd January 1918. He became the subject of W.B. Yeats An Irish Airman Foresees His Death.

15. When the 3rd Baron Rathdonnell died suddenly in 1937, The Times issued the following obituary on Thursday September 30th 1937: Lord Rathdonnell died on Tuesday in his 57th year. Thomas Leopold McClintock Bunbury was educated at Charterhouse and Trinity College Cambridge and served in the War in German East Africa and on the Italian Front, being mentioned and made MBE and receiving the Italian War Cross and the Order of the Crown of Italy. After the war he was on special service in Austria. He was High Sheriff of County Carlow in 1919. In 1929 he succeeded his father as 3rd Baron in the peerage of Ireland. His wife died in 1922 and he is succeeded by his only son, the Hon. William Robert McClintock Bunbury, born in 1914. The cremation at Liverpool will be private. No flowers.

16. Mary Izat married Frank Pilditch and had a son David.

17. Katherine Izat (d. April 2005) married Michael King (d. 2003) and had two sons, Duncan (who died c. 2002-3) and Graham, and a daughter, Deborah.

18. Alan Izat (d. 2000) married Joan Kinnear (d. 1998) and had two sons Anthony and (Norman) John. I have been in contact with John Izat (NJAI@aol.com) since 2nd June 2004. He confirmed that his grandfather, hitherto "N. Izat" was in fact "Norman Izat".

19. A contemporary was RJAPG de Glanville, also born in 1885, called to the bar in the Bahamas in 1914, private secretary to His Excellence William Hart Bennett, CMG, administrator of the Bahamas (1909) and Sir W. Grey-Wilson, KCMG, Governor (1912).

20. The Port of Colombo has existed for many centuries but, due to its vulnerability to the South Western monsoons, was superseded by the Port of Galle as a landing place for passenger ships during the 19th century. In 1874 the British Government initiated work on the SouthWest breakwater. This major development led to the shift of traffic from Galle to Colombo. The evolution of Colombo as the business centre of Ceylon commenced thereafter and all imports and exports came through the Colombo harbour. The commercial and mercantile sector grew within the Fort of Colombo. The Macan Markar jewellery business, established in Galle in 1860 shifted to Colombo in the early 1870s.
"The Port of Colombo 1860- 1939", Dr K. Dharmasena (an economist). Published in 1980

21. Ranulph de Glanville married Daphne Pethides. Their first child, Susan, was born in 1943 and was followed by three sons, Derek, Michael and Christopher. The family grew up in Cyrprus where Ranulph and Daphne lived from 1946 and where they are both buried. Susan Francis (nee de Glanville) recalled her father telling how, as a child, he had often spent his school holidays at Lisnavagh with his first cousin, William, when he couldn't get home to his parents in Ceylon. Susan and her Wexford-born husband Tim Francis last visited Lisnavagh in the late 1970s. They presently live in Exeter, Devon.

22. Geoffrey de Glanville married Angela Benison. G.I. de Glanville was a UK citizen in Ceylon who received a CBE on Janurary 1 1969. Maybe that's Geoffrey?

23. (Temp). Captain Robert Bertram de Glanville, 1st Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, third son of Bertram George & Kathleen de Glanville, was born on 15th December 1918 in Kandy, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). He lived at Morgay, Junction Road, Cripps’ Corner. He enlisted in 1939 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on 3rd September 1939, the day war was declared. On 27th August 1940 he married Joan Mary Davidson. He was posted to the Middle East in September 1940 and promoted in early 1942 to the rank of Temporary Captain and Troop Commander of ‘B’ Battery. He was killed in action on 2nd June 1942 fighting against German and Italian tanks near Bir Harmat at grid reference 380420 but his body was never recovered. Listed on the El Alamein Memorial to the missing along with 11,874 others. (Ewhurst Roll of Honour)

24. Joan de Glanville married Vivian Sauvagny and had a son Philip.

25. Moire Dorothea de Glanville married E.M.C. Wait and had a daughter, Angela Jean, and son, Jonathan.

With thanks to Margaret Levin, John Izat, Liz Barry, the Rev. Keith Barry, Tim & Sue Francis and Robert Allen.