George Cecil and Frank Douglas ‘Wolly’ Gunning were brothers born in Enniskillen. George Cecil was born in 1890, while Frank was born in 1894. Their father Sinclair and mother Kathleen married in 1889 and had five children; four boys and one girl. Frank attended Portora Royal School in Enniskillen. After finishing school in 1912, Frank began work as a clerk for Bank of Ireland. His older brother, George Cecil, worked as a clerk for Belfast Savings Bank. After the outbreak of the First World War, George Cecil enlisted into the ‘D’ Company, 7th Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Frank, despite not being permitted to leave by the Bank of Ireland, followed his brother and enlisted into the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The two men trained at the Curragh and in 1915 they fought in the Gallipoli campaign. When at Suvla Bay, Frank contracted dysentery and was hospitalised for a number of weeks. Frank transferred into the 6th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers where he was second lieutenant. In June 1916, Frank went to France where he fought at the battle of the Somme where he died. His body was never recovered. George Cecil, like his brother Frank, also contracted dysentery in 1915. George Cecil was brought to hospital in Alexandria in Egypt where he remained until 1917. In 1918, he was transferred to the Royal Air Force; however, by the time he training was completed, the Armistice was signed. In 1919, George Cecil returned home and continued his work at the Belfast Saving Bank. In 1930, he married Muriel McKinney and had two children, one of whom died at ten days old. George Cecil died on 17 March 1974. His daughter Wendy was given the belongings of her father and uncle after his death, which she donated to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association.
Collection includes a photo album with 169 black and white photographs, a diary written by the Gunning brothers during the Gallipoli campaign and a brass Princess Mary box containing the identification tags, Royal Dublin Fusiliers cap badge and new testament belonging to George Cecil.