Letter from Francis M. Shaw (1881-1924) to the Father Provincial Thomas V Nolan (1867-1941) regarding the Catalogue of the Province recently received by Shaw.

Francis, or Frank, Shaw SJ was born in Ennis, county Clare. He was ordained on 31 July 1916 at Milltown Park, Dublin. Fr Shaw joined the war early in 1916, working in the 16th General Field Hospital at Le Tréporte. In 1917, possibly due to his nationalistic views, Fr Shaw was dispatched to India, and later to Mesopotamia.

Fr. Thomas V. Nolan was the Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus (1912-1922) and was a member of the Distribution Committee which looked after the welfare and distribution of the Belgian refugees who arrived in Ireland as a consequence of the First World War.


  • World War 1: 1914-1918
  • Faith


Institution: Irish Jesuit Archives
Collection: IJA/CHPI/54/23, IJA/CHPI/54/23

Citation & Contributors

Francis Shaw. "Letter from Fr Francis M. Shaw to Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan, 11 March 1918". Letters of 1916. Schreibman, Susan, Ed. Maynooth University: 2016. Website.

The following people contributed to this letter:

  • Marianna Syl
  • NealeRo
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From: Francis Shaw
To: Fr Thomas V Nolan
Date Sent: 11 March 1918

Subject: Letter from Fr Francis M. Shaw to Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan, 11 March 1918
Dear Reverend Father Provincial, P.C.

I received by yesterday's mail, a letter from you, the catalogue of the Province, two post cards with notice of death of Father Vendon and Father Rothwell. R.I.P.; and a note from Fr Stanley. Thanks very much for the catalogue. I feel more a member of the Province since it came, and am very glad to know of the whereabouts of everybody. I hope father McCann will come along. Ft Walton I have not met yet. My parish is about half an hour smart walk from end to end, and is made up of about twenty different units. My census so far has given me 106 Catholics, and is not yet completed. There is a Benedictine, father Campbell, in a Hospital Unit here, who comes from Erdington, and knows your brother Dom Patrick Nolan D.S.D. Ft Frank Browne's eldest brother is a Doctor in the same hospital. Frank himself wrote to me by last mail. His brother seemed to think he was in Italy, but his letter, dated 7 January, came from France. He is a marvel.

I find my tent, which I share with C. of E. chaplain, is larger than I expected. I put up a screen across my table, and have mass over before he gets his nose out of the sleeping bag. However I told him not to let me interfere with him in any way. I have proved in my own experience during the war that God looks after people who are not much good at looking after themselves.When I came to the tent there was not a stick in it except the supporting bamboo poles. Before the week was out a Catholic soldier on a railway-job had provided me with a lovely reading table, which makes a splendid altar, and some large pieces of rush-matting for my mud-floor; while an Indian sub-assistant surgeon turned up soon after with some wooden cases for book shelves - and all this on their own.

My present address, as I think I told your Reverence, is no.16. Casualty clearing station. Mesopotamian Expeditionary Froce. All our letters go home through Bombay, but some of yours out come direct. Anything addresssed to Archbishop's House,Woodenhouse Rd. Fort. Bombay, will of course still reach me; but 16 C.C.S. may be a week or two quicker.

Lastly, my younger sister wrote to me last October for some money, the letter only reaching me today. I should feel very grateful if your Reverence could send her on a little to Miss K. Shaw, o/e Mrs. Chandler, 66 Leith Mansions, Elgin Avenue, Maiden Vale, London, W.,

Your Reverence's sincerely in Christ
Francis M. Shaw S.J.