The remarkable story of a local priest and the chalice he used while ministering in the trenches of World War One has taken another twist.
This weekend, local musician Tracey McRory - a grand niece of the priest - will perform a very special tribute to all the chaplains that served during the ‘Great War’.
This special piece, composed by Tracey, will be performed on the very battlefields where her great uncle, Fr James McRory, would have served and was wounded in October 1917.
At the outbreak of the war, Father James, from Dunree in Inishowen, enlisted as a chaplain with the Connaught Rangers. He was later wounded at the Battle of Passchendaele on the Western Front.
Before he died, Fr. James gifted a chalice that had served him throughout the years of his wartime chaplaincy to his nephew who, before his death in 2011, requested that the chalice be returned into the safe keeping of the McRory family in Dunree. It’s at this point that Tracey McRory enters the story.
The chalice was finally returned to Tracey who says: “It’s unbelievable to think that this very same chalice had been held by my grand uncle while he ministered to soldiers in the horror of the trenches.
“As I was composing a new piece of music, ‘In my Darkest Hour’, I couldn’t help but think of my own granduncle’s experience on the battlefields of Flanders and thinking of the many pleading eyes that would have looked to him for help.”
“In my Darkest Hour” will be performed tomorrow at a WWI remembrance commemoration at Passendale.