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Miss Louisa Nolan's Military Medal

A remarkable story surrounds the Military Medal awarded to Miss Louisa Nolan for the part she played as a civilian in helping British soldiers involved in the Easter Rising, 1916. Specifically it was in recognition 'for her bravery in tending wounded officers and men at Mount Street Bridge during the fighting there on Wednesday of Easter Week. Miss Nolan went calmly though a hail of bullets and carried water and other comforts to the wounded men. She is the daughter of ex-Head Constable Nolan of the Royal Irish Constabulary, who resides at Ringsend.'

At the time of her award Miss Nolan was employed at the Gaiety Theatre and after the rebellion she travelled to London where she appeared as one of the 'Ladies of the Chorus' in 'Three Cheers', a review at the Shaftsbury Theatre [The Stage 28 December 1916] in which Harry Lauder also appeared (though the show was temporarily closed owing to the death in action of Lauder's only son, Capt J. C. Lauder, of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders). The Sinn Fein Rebellion Handbook, compiled by the Weekly Irish Times, Dublin contains an entry in the 'Who's Who in this Handbook' section:

'Two of her sisters are nursing in England, one brother is in the army and another in the navy and a third was killed in August [1915] last on the Western Front. On Saturday 24th February 1917 Miss Nolan was decorated with the medal by His Majesty at Buckingham Palace.'

Miss Louisa Nolan's Military Medal inscription.
See our Collections Online page; Easter Rising