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First headstones of Irish soldiers killed in World Wars unveiled

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  • First headstones of Irish soldiers killed in World Wars unveiled

    The Irish Times - Thursday, November 12, 2009
    Tim O'Brien

    IRISH SOLDIERS who served in the first and second World Wars, who are buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, were for the first time commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, yesterday.

    In what was described as a “special day for the cemetery”, the war graves commission unveiled the first of 90 headstones it plans to erect on the graves of servicemen and women who were buried in “paupers’ graves” in the cemetery.

    Another 120 servicemen and women have been identified by the Glasnevin Trust, which runs the cemetery, as having been buried in family plots or individual “purchased” graves. Their families will be offered suitable memorials.

    All 210 soldiers were killed in either the first or second World Wars, or died later from injuries. The war graves commission said its headstones will be erected before Christmas, but if it took a lifetime to commemorate all those who died, it would be done.

    The first headstone unveiled yesterday was that of Martin Carr of the Connaught Rangers, who died on July 4th, 1916, in a Dublin workhouse from lung damage received in the trenches. Another was Michael Leo Connolly of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who died from injuries inflicted during the first World War. The others commemorated yesterday were Thomas Goff of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who died in November 1918, and Michael Kavanagh of the Royal Artillery who died in July 1942.

    Glasnevin Trust historian Shane MacThomais said all headstones would be individually placed over the appropriate grave and would contain details of the serviceman or woman and their regiments.

    John Green, chairman of Glasnevin Trust, said the occasion was “ a special day for the cemetery”. Until now, the grave selected for the ceremony had been denoted only by plot reference number UG481/2. The soldiers killed in the wars were part of a group in Ireland “whose situation has never been resolved here”. But, he said, the soldiers were “all volunteers who didn’t expect to die. We don’t judge and we don’t care. We just wish to remember,” he added.

    War graves commissioner and British Labour MP Alan Meale said the ceremony had a particular poignance as he himself was the great-great grandson of an Irish emigrant who had joined the British armed forces. He paid tribute to the Glasnevin Trust and said he was extremely pleased to be erecting headstones in an “iconic cemetery” founded on principles of ensuring issues of race, religion, creed, or culture should not affect an individual’s burial.

    Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works Dr Martin Mansergh said the sacrifice of those who died “should not be left out of the nation’s consciousness”. It would be an injustice, he said, not to appreciate that one-quarter of a million Irish men and women went to serve in the wars and that 40,000 of them died: “In their final resting place they are entitled to our respect.”
    The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.
    (George Bernard Shaw, Playwright, 1856 - 1950)

  • #2
    It's not quite accurate (edit;of Mr O'Brien) to say that this is the first time that these lads have been commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Due to the difficulties in erecting individual headstones over unsecured graves, the CWGC erected a screen wall memorial in 1937.

    Remembering the War Dead by Fergus D'Arcy is a book worth reading on the work of the CWGC in Ireland.
    Groundhog
    Chief of the Diet Tribe
    Last edited by Groundhog; 12 November 2009, 22:29.
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    Originally posted by hedgehog
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    • #3
      I do not stand over the accuracy of anything printed in a newspaper. We both know that these are not the first to have headstones. The article title is misleading. Bloody rag!!
      The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.
      (George Bernard Shaw, Playwright, 1856 - 1950)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by WES View Post
        I do not stand over the accuracy of anything printed in a newspaper.
        Just making conversation.
        sigpic
        Say NO to violence against Women

        Originally posted by hedgehog
        My favourite moment was when the
        Originally posted by hedgehog
        red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

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        • #5
          First headstones of Irish soldiers killed in World Wars unveiled

          Thanks for sharing.Fantastic post. Bookmarked this site and emailed it to a few friends, your post was that great, keep it up.i will come back soon.

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          • #6
            I heard a similar tale of a Sgt Maunsell, of the RIC based in Inchigeela, who was shot and bled to death at the front door of a local Hotel(The hotel was on TV last night, unrelated). The current owner, and local Historian, only recently found the Burial Place of Sgt Maunsell in St Finbarrs Cemetery, Cork. After his death the family moved back to england, and the location of his grave was forgotton. The surviving relatives were very pleased to finally know of their relatives resting place, whose death caused the family to uproot and seek a new life elsewhere.
            I am unsure whether his death would be included under the CWGC, as it occurred in August 1920, and he was a Police Constable at the time.

            Interestingly, Sgt Maunsell enumerator of that premises in the 1911 census.


            Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
              I am unsure whether his death would be included under the CWGC, as it occurred in August 1920, and he was a Police Constable at the time.

              Interestingly, Sgt Maunsell enumerator of that premises in the 1911 census.
              No but Sgt Daniel Maunsell, who died 21 August 1920 aged 49, is listed on the National Police Officers Roll of Honour Trust database.

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              • #8
                Thanks for that. Another piece in the puzzle


                Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It really moves me to see the forgotten honoured, even if they died in less than glorious circumstances.May they all rest in peace.
                  regards
                  GttC

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
                    I heard a similar tale of a Sgt Maunsell, of the RIC based in Inchigeela, who was shot and bled to death at the front door of a local Hotel(The hotel was on TV last night, unrelated). The current owner, and local Historian, only recently found the Burial Place of Sgt Maunsell in St Finbarrs Cemetery, Cork. After his death the family moved back to england, and the location of his grave was forgotton. The surviving relatives were very pleased to finally know of their relatives resting place, whose death caused the family to uproot and seek a new life elsewhere.
                    I am unsure whether his death would be included under the CWGC, as it occurred in August 1920, and he was a Police Constable at the time.

                    Interestingly, Sgt Maunsell enumerator of that premises in the 1911 census.
                    Strangely the locals in Inchigeela made sure that one of the Auxiliaries, Cecil Guthrie, killed at Kilmichael and buried in a bog was reinterred in the local graveyard after hostilities ceased. One of the oddities of the War of Independence is that British Army Casualties are listed by the CWGC but RIC casualties are not.

                    Meanwhile;

                    Mystery of lost soldier is solved, 94 years on
                    CHRIS WATT

                    Published on 19 Feb 2010
                    For nearly a century he lay in an unmarked grave, his name on the Somme war memorial but his whereabouts unknown.
                    Now, 94 years after he was killed by a sniper’s bullet, relatives of Scottish soldier Dennis Doyle have discovered his final resting place: their local graveyard in Lanarkshire.
                    Private Doyle’s three nephews had long assumed their uncle’s body was lost somewhere in Belgium. But years of detective work by a local historian have tracked him down to a plot in his home town.
                    They were yesterday able to lay flowers on their uncle’s grave for the first time – and the spot, in Cambusnethan Cemetery, Wishaw, has been marked with a headstone from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
                    Pat Doyle, 77, eldest of the three brothers, described the discovery as “marvellous”. He said he had been walking past the grave for years without realising whose remains it contained.
                    Mr Doyle’s parents, the brother and sister-in-law of the fallen soldier, are buried just yards away in another part of the graveyard.
                    The three brothers grew up knowing their uncle had been killed at Mons, but their father’s reluctance to talk about the war, and the widespread confusion after the Armistice, conspired to hide his final resting place.
                    Thanks to a quest by historian Joe O’Raw, however, they now have the full facts about their uncle’s death.
                    Mr O’Raw was researching a book when he stumbled upon the name of Dennis Doyle, shot dead in 1916 while serving with the East Lancashire Regiment, the force he joined after travelling to Manchester for work.
                    The Commonwealth War Graves Commission had recorded Private Doyle’s name on Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, a monument in honour of soldiers in France, but Mr O’Raw used local newspaper cuttings to establish that he had in fact made it back home for a funeral in Lanarkshire.
                    Mr Doyle was shot in the head after just eight months on the continent, but his comrades were able to pull him to safety and get him on a ship home. Sadly, he died en route and a mix-up on his arrival meant that no military funeral was ever held.
                    Mr O’Raw joined the nephews in thanking the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, saying he was “immensely grateful” for their work in “ensuring that a brave man is properly and fittingly remembered”.
                    Bernard Doyle, 67, the ­youngest of the three brothers, said yesterday he hoped his uncle “would be looking down on us and be happy that we’ve all turned out”.
                    Mr Doyle said the short life of his relative, who died aged 30 with no wife or children, had been a mystery.
                    “My father was the youngest in the family and he was in the war too, aged about 18,” he said. “He gave us the basics about Dennis being killed during the war, shot by a sniper, but other than that there was not an awful lot. He said he was a good, cheery, happy sort of person, and he liked getting around and about.”
                    Richard Doyle, 74, said the news that his uncle was buried in Wishaw had come “completely out of the blue” because his family had rarely discussed the war years.
                    “In those days your parents never spoke about families and all that,” he said. “It’s not like today, when people are inclined to be a little bit nosier. They kept themselves to themselves.”
                    The First World War claimed around one million British lives, including almost 900,000 soldiers, and many more were seriously wounded. The scale of the bloodshed shocked a generation and marked a turnaround in the way wars were fought. Many families preferred to forget about the horrors inflicted during trench warfare rather than bring them home.
                    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/h...s-on-1.1007945
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                    Say NO to violence against Women

                    Originally posted by hedgehog
                    My favourite moment was when the
                    Originally posted by hedgehog
                    red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

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