This cover has very little value …I paid just 40pence for it several years ago.

image This is a letter sent from Ireland to Canada during the Second World War (or The Emergency) as it was known in Ireland.

Ireland was of course neutral at the time. The pink label shows that it was opened by the Irish Censorship Office and the white label shows that it was opened in Canada.

It surprises me that there was actually an airmail service. Flying Boats perhaps or via Newfoundland.

The addressee, Horace E Cochrane….I was able to find some information about him. Born in 1883, he was the third son of the former High Sheriff of County Donegal, a largely ceremonial position. The family was based at Red Castle on the Inishowen Peninsula.

Cochrane would have been a young man at the time of troubled events in Ireland…the Easter Rising of 1916, War of Independence and the partition of Ireland, which placed County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. Donegal, an Ulster county had a significant “unionist” minority, including probably the Coachrane family, who were very much part of the “establishment” in the county.

Although there is no postmark visible, I would assume the cover is sent from County Donegal. The position of “unionist” families (ie pro- British) in the Republic was at times difficult….as indeed was the position of nationalist families caught on the wrong side of the border by partition in 1922.

We can speculate about the letter and indeed the reason Horace Cochrane was in Canada. But it is a common enough story.


About John

Dia Duit! Hello. My name is John. I am retired. I live in Ireland. I am on a five year mission to visit every city, town, village and place of historic and scenic interest in Ireland.
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