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The Flying Perys

A wooden propeller was presented to Limerick Civic Trust in 2018 at St Marys Cathedral by Sylvia, Countess of Limerick, CBE, and her son, Edmund, 7th Earl of Limerick, at the centenary commemoration of the death of Edmund Claude de Vere Pery, Viscount Glentworth (1894-1918). Edmund was the only son of William Pery, 4th Earl of Limerick, and May Irwin, Countess of Limerick, and he was raised at Dromore Castle, Pallaskenry, Co. Limerick and educated at Eton.

Initially Edmund served in World War I as a soldier and gained the rank of Lieutenant in the Warwickshire Yeomanry and then the rank of Captain in the 32nd Squadron, RAF. He served in Egypt and France, and was shot down and killed in action on the 18th May 1918, aged 24, over the Western Front in France. 

His sister Lady Victoria Pery (1893- 1918) was a pioneering and distinguished aviatrix in her own right, who took to the skies in 1912. She made a number of flights with the German born aviator Gustav Hamel (1889-1914) with whom she completed several loop the loops at the Hendon aerodrome. Hamel was prominent in the early history of aviation in Britain and learned to fly at the Louis Blériot flying school in 1910, and was to complete twenty-one crossings of the English Channel before disappearing over the channel on the 23rd May 1914.  

Lady Victoria married a wealthy New York financier, James Cox Brady, and they had two children before she passed away in New York in 1918 of Spanish Flu aged 25.  Both Edmund and Victoria are commemorated on the rood screen erected in their honour in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick.

The wooden propellor is now an exhibit in our museum, here at 2 Pery Square, Limerick.

Thanks to staff member Niall for researching and writing this piece.

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