When Walter Hunkin came ashore in 1907. He was 45 and had been at sea since he was 16. His new post was to look after the Kilkee Division based in County Clare Western Ireland, an area he would have known well from the sea having served in the Limerick District.
Life ashore was very different and it took him some time to settle down. He could at least have his family with him but he had a role to fulfil and yet needed to fit into the community in which he lived. As he put it himself:
‘It behoved one, as far as possible, to become one of themselves. That is to say, for peace-sake to try in all things to see their point of view, and like themselves, try to make use of the pleasant word.’
A fine Methodist Cornish approach.
The early years of the C20 were politically turbulent times in Ireland and this led to tension between his role as the representative of authority and the views of local people. In addition, during the Great War, the southern coast was alive with the possibility of any gun-running into the remote coves and inlets out of sight of the authorities.
The account includes many tales of Ireland and its people and traditions, of the perils of travelling through the County Clare countryside and of the gathering tensions around Home Rule, the Easter Rising and the war.
We have presented the text in the same order he wrote it. A pdf copy is available here.