By Shiela Crehan, President, Slane and District History Society.
Chalmers Trench, known also as Terry or C.E.F. Trench, was born in Galway on 27th Nov. 1909, moved to Blessington, Co. Wicklow, and to Dublin, and was educated at Baymount Preparatory School, Dublin, and Repton School, Derbyshire, at the Universities of Frankfurt-am-Main, Cambridge and Dublin, and on the Aran Islands in Galway Bay. He was founder in 1931 of An Oige (Irish Youth Hostel Association).
After marriage to the artist Bea Orpen on the 5th July 1940 he moved to Drogheda, where he engaged in industry. Together they established the Drogheda Municipal Art Collection. He has been living in Slane since 1961 and has four children. Terry has written “Fifty Years Young”, “The story of An Oige”, “Slane”1976, “Slane Town Trail”1987, “Newgrange” and “Nearly Ninety”.
A Tribute to Terry
It was with great sadness and shock that I learned of Terry Trench’s death just before Easter. Marie Meade and myself had visited him a few weeks previously and were delighted to find him in very good formwith the usual keen interest in home and world affairs.
Terry was an honorary member of Slane History and Archaeology Society. On consulting him some twelve years ago about the formation of the society he displayed immediate interest. He attended meetings regularly while physically able, wrote articles for our first publication “The Old Frequented Ways”, conducted tours of local historic sites, delivered lectures and was invariably an immense source of knowledge and information. His publications on Slane are an invaluable record for all who are interested in the history and heritage of the area.
His linguistic skills were impressive. He had a great interest in the Irish language and loved to use it. He often enquired about the exact translation of a particular Irish word or phrase.
Terry, an erudite and widely read person loved to converse with Continentals. I heard him speak with French visitors in their own language. There are a few aspects of his personality which stood out for me:
1. His enormous interest in, and enthusiasm for all things even in later years when his health began to fail.
2. The perfection he sought and achieved in all his undertakings especially in his literary accomplishments. He insisted on accuracy. “We must get our facts correct”.
3 The assistance and guidance he willingly gave to the History Society in its embryonic years. If confronted with a question which puzzled him he would consult his extensive library. After a long search, should the answer elude him, he would exhaust every other channel until light appeared. We will all miss him in Slane. He was part of the Village for forty-four years. Everyone knew Mr.Trench – the tall scholarly gentleman with the long brown overcoat and distinctive accent who lived in Cillghrian.
On behalf of Slane History and Archaeology Society I wish to extend the sincere sympathy and earnest prayers of the members to Terry’s family. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.