Mollie Rowe, orphan daughter of Albert Rowe outside the Royal Drummond Orphanage in Bray, County WIcklow

Mollie Rowe, orphaned child of Albert and Frances Rowe, standing outside The Royal Drummond Institute for Female Ophans of Soldiers, Bray, in the 1920s. Her father Albert, a British soldier with the Royal Field Artillery, died in 1925 from TB and complications from his injuries sustained in the Trenches in the First World War. Her mother Mary found it difficult to cope and died of a heart attack in her 40’s three years later leaving 4 children. The eldest Jackie joined the Merchant Navy and moved to live in Belfast, Frances was sent into service as a maid working in Goodlet Hamill’s house (no longer standing) in Castletown, Dundalk, Bertie was institutionalised for life in an aslyum in Ardee. Mollie was sent to the Royal Drummond Orphanage where she life to be quite tough.

Located on Convent Hill, Bray, County Wicklow, The Royal Drummond Institute for Girls was opened in 1892. In 1917 it became a home for blind soldiers and in 1918 it was The Duke of Connaught’s Hospital for fitting artificial limbs. It then became an orphanage for the daughters of dead soldiers. It was bought by the Loreto order in 1944 and became a national school. Molly, a very jolly positive woman, later married John Sullivan and settled in Devon & Dorset in England. She regularly returned to visit her sister Frances in Dundalk.