“To all of the fallen in their silence we offer our own silence, without judgement, and with respect for their ideals, as they knew them,
and for the humanity they expressed towards each other.”
(Extract from the speech by Irish President Michael D Higgins during the dedication of the Cross of Sacrifice at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin this week.)
Dublin born author, Mr Tom Burnell, now resident here in Holycross, Thurles, Co.Tipperary, has penned yet another remarkable factual history book; launched just yesterday entitled “Irishmen In The Great War. Many of our regular readers will be familiar with Tom’s other publications including “Tipperary Casualties of the Great War.”
Tom has taken over twenty-seven Irish newspapers for the period covering the Great War (1914-1918) and has trawled through each and every publication to deliver the most amazing stories of those years, which as we now realise changed our world for ever.
While the book is not necessarily just about Co Tipperary it nevertheless does have many Tipperary people mentioned in it, most of whom survived World War1. Names like:- Miss M. J. Fitzgibbon, Corporal Michael O’Mara (Carrick-on-Suir), Sapper James O’Donnell (Carrick-on-Suir), Private W. Roberts (Clonmel), Corporal A.S. Dowling (Tipperary), Corporal Edward Jackson, (Roscrea), Private Robert Walsh (Carrick-on-Suir), Miss Mary F. Doheny, (Carrick-on-Suir), Sergeant Major Drought Jackson (Roscrea), Captain W. Gibson (Brittas Cashel), Cyril Triscott, Dr Wetterell (Tipperary) and Lance Corporal George White (Knockanvar, Cappawhite).
Contained between these hard covers are the fascinating accounts of the day-to-day lives of men in the front lines; of torpedoed ships; drunken wives, final farewell letters and requests direct from the trenches. There are also many eye-witness accounts of the slaughter as it was happening; battle reports from officers serving in Irish regiments; quirky snippets; chaplains’ sympathetic letters; P.O.W reports of conditions and war poetry.
Here are the tales of the Leinster’s, Munster’s, Connaught’s and Dublin Fusiliers serving in the Ulster Division, 10th and 16th Irish Divisions. We read of medical breakthroughs, paranormal occurrences and miraculous escapes from death.
After the Irish Rebellion of April, 1916, these type of newspaper articles and lists of casualty slowly began to dwindle as here at home Irish hearts would became politically divided.
A cracking great read compiled for the very first time into one single publication and offering a memorable primary source for true lovers of Irish History.
I already have the excellent publication by Niall Brannigan and John Kirwan. However, I expect many more died than are recorded therein. I know of two brothers not mentioned, originally from Dysart, Co. Kilkenny who fought with the Australian I.Force-John Deevy, Service NO. 3037, K.I.A. 6-8-1916, enlisted at Rockhampton, Queensland. His brother, Michael, survived the War.
Daniel Deevy (4507) 2/R Ir Regt, who died in a P.O.W. camp Kassel, Germany 30-4-1915, is recorded in the aforementioned publication. He was captured, probably at Le Pilly, and held with Munster Fusiliers, perhaps the conditions at that P.O.W camp are referred to in one of your published works.
Deevy, Daniel. Rank; Private. Regiment or Service: Royal Irish Regiment. Unit; 2nd Battalion. Service Number; 4507. Date of death; 30/04/1915. Born; Castlecomer, County Kilkenny. Enlisted; Kilkenny. Residence; Castlecomer. Died. Kilkenny People, June, 1915. Kilkenny and the War. Further Deaths Reported from France and Germany. Another Death in the German Prison. Our Castlecomer correspondent writes;–I regret very much to have again to record another death amongst the Castlecomer young men who are prisoners of war in Germany, the sad case this time being young John Nolan, eldest son of Mrs John Nolan, Love Lane, Castlecomer, and who was a Private in the Royal Irish Regiment. Mrs Nolan received the following letter from Rev. R. Warren, C. C., Chaplain;-Limburg, Lahn, 24th May, 1915. Dear Mrs Nolan, –I sincerely regret to have to announce to you the death of your son, John Nolan, which took place here after a brief illness. His death is due to consumption, which crept rapidly into the poor boy’s constitution. His death is greatly regretted amongst his poor companions, who long for the day soon to come when they may see Ireland once more. Your son received all the consolations which Our Holy Mother the Church gives to her children, before he left this world. I sympathise with you in your sad bereavement. —Very truly yours. R. Warren. This is the second death in this prison, and moreover they are the death of two men (D. Deevy and J. Nolan) whose constitutions and general physique were always of the best when in Castlecomer. Oh! The Germans will have a lot to aN. S. W. er for on the accounting day, for one can only draw the one conclusion from such events, and that is that starvation diet is very nearly the rule of the German prisons. May his soul rest in peace. Kilkenny People, May, 1915. Death of Kilkenny Soldier in Germany. News has been received in Castlecomer from Limburg that Private Daniel Deevy of the Royal irish Regiment, who was taken prisoner, has died therein, and this news will be heard with much regret by all who knew the young man, who was a blacksmith by trade, was well known around Castlecomer and was always popular. His was a sad lot, away from his home and a prisoner. May we hope that in the new land his lot is brighter and that his soul has found peace and happiness. Grave or Memorial Reference; III K 4. Cemetery: Niederzwhren Cemetery in Germany.
John Deevy Lance Corporal Australian Infantry 48th Battalion 3037 06/08/1916 50 Dysart Bridge, Castlecomer, County Kilkenny. Queensland. Killed in action. Husband of Norah Deevy, Gladstone Street, Rockhampton. Son of John Deevy. Brother of Miss May Deevy, Terminus Hotel, Rockhampton. Brother of Private M Deevy, No 3059, 47th battalion, 12th Infantry Brigade, 4th Australian Division. I B 4. Sunken Road Cemetery, Contalmaison.
John and Daniel Deevy are included in “The Kilkenny War Dead” already published but not launched yet. It will be available in all good bookshops from Nov 2. All proceeds from the book will go to building a War Memorial to the Kilkenny casualties of the Great War.
Ed O’Riordan here. Could Cleich be Cluiche? Pairc an Cluiche?