Guaranteed original certificate issued to a member of the Irish Volunteer Aid Division (VAD) Irish Red Cross Society for service by volunteers who undertook work in direct support of the Irish defence forces during the Second World War or what is known in Ireland as the “Emergency”
This genuine certificate was given along with the Emergency medal (Volunteer Aid Division, version) On offer here is an authentic and previously un-issued certificate dating back to 1946 when these medals and certificates were presented to those who served for the appropriate length of time WITHIN THE Irish Defence Forces or civil support organisations.
The certificate which is printed in vivid and still fresh, unfaded colours, measures about twelve inches by thirteen inches and is printed on cream good quality parchment type paper. The attractively coloured boundary motifs on each of the corners are the emblems of the four Provinces of Ireland, Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connaught. The borders are designed with typically Irish Celtic interlacing designs similar to those found in the Book of Kells and other similar early Irish illuminated manuscripts. The central motif is the “Irish Brian Boru Harp” . This harp design is traditionally associated with Celtic Ireland and the Gaelic revival, similar style harps were worn as part of the emblems of the Irish Volunteers and which continues to this day as part of the insignia associated with our national identity. The writing is all in Gaelic script and translates into English as follows:-
THIS CERTIFIES THAT (Blank space for filling in name) GAVE HONOURABLE SERVICE IN THE Volunteer Aid division Irish Red Cross DURING THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY 1939-1946.
Signed by ., Oscar Traynor.
Some historical notes on Oscar Traynor (1886-1963) He was born in Dublin 1886 into a Nationalist family. His father, was a book-seller with a shop on Essex Quay. In his earlier days Oscars father was a Fenian and was closely associated with Charles Stuart Parnell, Traynor’s dad being one of the men who lowered Parnell’s coffin into his grave. In 1914 Traynor joined F Company of Second Battalion of the Dublin Brigade.
Oscar Traynor was very involved in the fighting in Dublin in 1916. His company assembled at Fairview. By the Tuesday afternoon of Easter Week, they were ordered to break through to the GPO. Traynor was in charge of 22 men who were deployed at a block of buildings from Princes Street to Manfield’s Corner at Abbey Street. Having fought from Tuesday of Easter week, Traynor was with the group that evacuated the GPO to Moore Lane and there surrendered. Shipped to England, and interned at Knutsford, he was later transferred to Frongoch and released on Christmas Eve, 1916.
On his release from prison he once again became involved in the struggle for Independence and he rose to a senior rank in the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Involved in many daring events during the struggle for independence, he is probably best remembered at this time for the 1921 attack on the Custom House in Dublin.
During the civil war he took the Republican side (irregulars) where he was equally noted for a number of events such as his involvement in the Four Courts conflict. He was eventually imprisoned by the Free State side and was subsequently released in 1924.
Traynor continued his involvement in politics and became a TD entering government with Fianna Fail in 1932. In September 1939 he became the Minister of Defence and was key in organising a massive expansion of the army and he is recognised as providing a well trained force. After the second world war he was responsible for demobilisation of the same forces that he had established. In 1947 he established the Bureau of Military History. It is from this organisation that Irish historians derive much of their historical evidence for the Irish War of Independence. On his retirement from the Irish Cabinet in 1961 he was succeeded by Charles J. Haughey. Oscar Traynor had a life long interest in soccer and in 1948 he became president of the Football Association of Ireland. He died in 1963 in Dublin.