Photo: a lonely Commonwealth War Grave Commission Headstone in Tay Lane Cemetery, Celbridge, Co. Kildare
Walking through cemeteries you may have wondered why graves of servicemen dated 1919, 1920 and 1921 have a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone. This is due to a sometimes-forgotten fact, today 31 August, marks the official end of the Great War.
Although guns fell silent with the signing of the armistice on 11 November 1918, treaties had to be signed and the war had to be officially ended. For example, the Treaty of Versailles, signed on 28 June 1919, ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. Different treaties were signed with other powers. To officially end the war the British Parliament passed The Termination of the Present War (Definition) Act 1918 which allowed the government to determine the official ending of the war between the British Empire and the Central Powers. Officially the war ended between the British Empire and Germany on 10 January 1920; Austria on 16 July 1920; Bulgaria on 9 August 1920; Hungary on 26 July 1921; and Turkey on 6 August 1924. It was declared for all other purposes, the Great War to have officially ended on 31 August 1921.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was established by Royal Charter on 21 May 1917. They commemorate those who died as a result of their service up until the official end of the war on 31 August 1921. That includes those who died in service and those who died after they were discharged.
Two such examples include:
Air Mechanic 2nd Class, Charles Sheridan, Royal Air Force. Died on 16 August 1921. Buried in Tay Lane Cemetery, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, and Sapper J. Cash, Royal Engineers. Died 21 February 1919. Buried in Deans Grange Cemetery, Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown.
Annual Somme Remembrance Service – Irish War Memorial Gardens
Photos by John O’Byrne
We were honoured to attend and photograph the Special Somme Service of Remembrance and Wreath Laying at Irish War Memorial Gardens, Islandbridge.A special ecumenical service of commemoration and wreath-laying was held on Saturday 10th July in the Rose Garden at the Irish National War Memorial in Islandbridge. This annual Somme time event is arranged and led by the Royal British Legion Republic of Ireland with the co-operation and assistance of the Irish Government. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this years’ service was a special ‘scaled-back’ and socially distanced commemoration,This annual event commemorates all those who lost their lives at the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and in the two World Wars; in particular the estimated 60,000 Irish men and women who servedand died in those conflicts; it remembers too the often-unacknowledged loss felt by Irish families of those wartime generations.
The War Memorial Gardens are a 32-county memorial, and the event is a shared Ireland ceremony.
Representation of all traditions of the Island of Ireland is a central feature of this commemoration and the standards of Royal British Legion Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are on parade
throughout an ecumenical service of Remembrance. Official wreaths were laid by the Irish and Northern Ireland Governments, members of the Diplomatic Corps of the principle ‘Somme’ nations(UK, France, Germany, Canada, New Zealand and Australia), Service and veterans representatives from the UK and Ireland. A special wreath was laid this year on behalf of all those who cannot to be present at 2021 Islandbridge due to continuing Covid-19 regulations. Music was provided jointly by musicians of the Irish Defence Forces and the Royal Irish Regiment.
Jack Chambers TD, Minister of State & Government Chief Whip, representing An Taoiseach and the Government of Ireland. Paul Givan MLA, The First Minister of Northern Ireland. Michelle O’Neill, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland. Major General Seán Clancy, Deputy Chief of Staff (Support) – representing Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, Chief of Staff Defence Forces, Ireland.H.E. Mr Paul Johnston, The British Ambassador accompanied by Col. Darren Doherty, British Defence Attaché. H.E. Ms. Nancy Smyth, (Ambassador of Canada)M. Julien Bouchez, Second Counsellor representing H.E. M. Vincent Guérend (Ambassador of France)H.E. Frau Deike Potzel (Ambassador of Germany)H.E. Mr. Brad Burgess (Ambassador of New Zealand)Mr. Tim Millikan, chargé d’affaires, representing H.E. The Hon. Gary Gray AO. (Ambassador of Australia)Mr. John Morrison, Membership Council, representing Lt Gen James Bashall CB, National President of The Royal British Legion. Lt. Col. Ken Martin, President, The Royal British Legion, Republic of Ireland. Maj. Philip J. Morrison MBE BEM, President, The Royal British Legion, Northern Ireland. Mr. Brian Duffy, District Chairman, The Royal British Legion, Republic of Ireland. Mr. John Stewart, District Chairman, The Royal British Legion, Northern Ireland, Mr Alan Mulligan, District Treasurer, The Royal British Legion, Republic of Ireland. Mr. Ciaran Crone, District Parade Marshal, The Royal British Legion, Republic of Ireland. Mr Geoff Barry, District Standard Bearer, The Royal British Legion, Republic of Ireland. Mr Graham Anderson, District Standard Bearer, The Royal British Legion, Northern Ireland. Mr Norman Espie BEM, Asst. National Parade Marshal, The Royal British Legion (Book Bearer).Mr Alan Pickett, Branch Standard Bearer, Dublin Central Branch, RBL ROI (Book Bearer).Mr. Paul Stephenson, District Vice Chairman, RBL ROI (Head Steward).Irish National War Memorial Committee, Brigadier General (Retd) Paul Pakenham, Chairman. Office of Northern Ireland Veterans Commissioner, Mr. Danny Kinahan, Commissioner. Royal Naval Association – Shipmate Dr Dermot Stone, President, RNA Dublin. The Irish Guards Association Republic of Ireland – Capt. Edward Cooper, President. 28.Royal Irish Regiment Association, Republic of Ireland – Mr. Justin McQuade, President. Royal Air Force Association, Republic of Ireland – Mr. Frank Brien, Chairman. Combined Irish Regiments Association – Col. Hubert K. McAllister OBE TD DL VR, Chairman. Royal Military Police Association of Ireland – Mr Les McClarence, Secretary. French Foreign Legion Association of Ireland – Mr. Phil Casey. Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann (ONE) – Mr. Jim Fay, National President. Irish United Nations Veterans Association – Mr. Derek Judge, representing Mr Martin O’Keefe, National Chairman.
25 April marks the national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand to commemorate all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations and to mark the contribution and suffering of all those who have served. The day is observed on 25 April each year, originally to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign. It is estimated approximately 6000 Irish born men served in the Australian Imperial Force during WWI. The Dawn Service, symbolically links commemorations with the dawn landing by the ANZAC at the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey on 25 April 1915.
In accordance with Covid-19 restrictions the Australian Embassy, Ireland, and New Zealand Embassy in Ireland will be commemorating a second ANZAC Day without the ability to come together in person. As a result, the annual ANZAC Day and Dawn Service commemoration at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin will not go ahead. Instead, a wreath will be laid on behalf of Australia and New Zealand at a private ceremony at Dawn on Sunday 25 April 2021.
With the help of Dún Laoghaire Library the Australian Embassy, Ireland are running an ANZAC Day Quiz on Sunday 25 April at 19:30 pm, you can join the quiz here – https://www.crowd.live/ANZAC there will be some Australian and New Zealand goodies as prizes.
You can watch ANZAC Day Commemorative Dawn Service live on ABC Australia.
Sadly due to prevailing Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions, the traditional Choral Service of Remembrance at The National Cathedral of St. Patrick in Dublin, now in its 101st year, must be conducted without the attendance of any congregation.
The 2020 Remembrance Sunday Evensong worship, by clergy and choir only, will be broadcast by St Patrick’s Cathedral via live video stream at 3.15pm on Sunday. Wreaths will be laid during the service by The Very Reverend Dr. William Morton, Dean and Ordinary of St Patrick’s Cathedral, on behalf of the President of Ireland and the President of the Royal British Legion.
2020 is the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and this year we pay a special tribute to the men and women of the Second World War generation who served and sacrificed to defend our freedoms and ways of life.
To mark this year’s Remembrance Sunday the Royal British Legion Rep. of Ireland produced a remembrance video.
We will remember them.
In honour of Ireland’s fallen, President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, insisted on attending the service at St. Patrick’s.
Meanwhile Taoiseach Micheál Martin joined Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster at a socially-distanced Remembrance Day service in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. The Taiseach laid a wreath at the war memorial and took part in a minute’s silence to remember those who fought and died in service becoming the first Fianna Fáil leader to do so on Remembrance Sunday.
Spent a very enjoyable and engaging day in the Somme Museum discussing future projects supported by the Dep. of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, focusing on Ireland and the Great War, and exploring Irish identity, diversity and reconciliation. Thank you to the museum staff for their hospitality.
Over the past year and half we have been researching for our first project – Celbridge’s Military Story. This project has led us down history trails we never envisaged. A project by the History Squad in Scoil Na Mainistreach on Celbridge’s casualties of the Great War led us to Major William Dease – son of Sir Col. Gerald Dease – who in turn had recruited local men into the Remounts in 1914. By pure chance we came across a casualty of the Great War not on the Celbridge war dead list: Private Robert Beveridge 28th Remount Squadron who is buried in Naas, County Kildare. Robert died on 25 January 1919 in the Curragh Military Hospital. The Kildare Observer confirmed he had been given a military funeral with honours paid by the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Robert’s military records have not survived and no birth cert exists. Last year we inconclusively connected Robert to Celbridge through census records: the census listed a Robert Beverage, foster child with the Lennon family in Celbridge and later a labourer. Digging up several conundrums we came to multiple dead ends to conclusively prove the two Roberts were one of the same.
Not wanting to leave it at that we endeavoured to find out more. With the help of historians Drs Ann Mathews and Brendan O’Shea, local historians Jim Tancred and George Bagnall, Graham Hughes and Martin Whyte of St. Corban’s cemetery, and David Grant (www.cairogang.com) the story of Robert began to come together piece by piece. Through documents such as Robert’s Soldier’s Effects we were able to link the Private Beveridge buried in Naas to Celbridge and the Lennon family. As it turns out the Lennon family are still in the area and proudly remember Robert. We met the Lennon family – who still poses Robert’s medals and his photograph – and paid tribute at his grave. The History Squad had the key all along. 100 years ago, the Lennon family were the stuart’s of the Dease estate in Celbridge Abbey and Kilmacredock.
We will be bringing you Robert’s full story in the coming months.
This project is sponsored by Kildare County Council Heritage Office.
Annual Ceremony of Commemoration and Wreath-laying
Photographs by John O’Byrne and Niall Keating
The Annual Ceremony of Commemoration and Wreath-laying took place today at the Irish National War Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge. Due to Covid 19, restrictions were in place and a smaller ceremony was held in the Rose Garden.The event was arranged and led by the Royal British Legion Republic of Ireland District with the co-operation and assistance of the OPW – Office of Public Works. The ceremony corresponds with the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and commemorates those who lost their lives in the two World Wars, in particular the estimated 60,000 Irish men and women from all parts of the Ireland who served and died in those conflicts.
Representation from all parts and traditions of the Island of Ireland is a key feature.The ceremony commenced at 12.30 pm. Unfortunately, due to restrictions there was no colourful parade of standards this year. An ecumenical service of remembrance, recitals and music and the laying of official wreaths by members of the government and civic leaders from Ireland and Northern Ireland, members of the Diplomatic Corps, Service and veterans’ representatives.Music was provided by Óglaigh na hÉireann / Irish Defence Forces and the Royal Irish Regiment.
The event was attended by Minister of State at the Department of Finance with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions & Insurance, Jack Chambers TD, DCOS Support Major General Seán Clancy, British Ambassador to Ireland HE Mr. Robin Barnett CMG.German, Ambassador to Ireland HE Ambassador Deike Potzel, New Zealand Ambassador to Ireland HE Brad Burgess, French Ambassador to Ireland HE Mr Stéphane Crouzat, First Secretary Embassy of Australia Mr Rober Owen-Jones, The President The Royal British Legion, Republic of Ireland, Lt. Col. Ken Martin,The President, The Royal British Legion, Northern Ireland, Major Philip J. Morrison MBE BEM.
The service was given by the Church of Ireland Rector of Kindle Rev Peter Rutherford.
Anyone who has served in the Irish Defence Forces will be very familiar with the Glen of Imaal in the heart of Wicklow. In typical military fashion every training exercise or time on the range in this area is marked with either cold lashing rain or relentless attacks by midges; meaning you don’t exactly get a chance to take in the magnificent beauty or the historical landmarks. We took a visit to the Glen this week to research a project. The Glen of Imaal is a military training area and range since the turn of the 20th century, however, a military presence date back further. We were specifically looking for the old boundary stones and what we could find of Leitrim Barracks.
Military Boundary Stones
Military boundary stones and trenches can be found in many – but not all – former British military sites; primarily training areas and ranges that originally had no boundary wall or fence. Most are gone or have been reclaimed by nature; others, like in the Glen of Imaal, you walk past without taking notice. Their primary purpose was to delineate boundaries of a military site. The stones are marked with distinct letters and symbols which can help date them. For example: the broad arrow or crows foot denoting the Board of Ordnance have been in use since 1699. In 1805 this symbol was used on all ordnance stores in use by His Majesty’s Service. Admiralty boundary stones are adorned with the fouled anchor. Stones marked with the letters BO denotes the Boundary of the (Board of) Ordnance. The Board of Ordnance was disbanded in 1855 and became the War Department and from this date stones are marked WD. Each stone is given a number which denotes their location on a map. In the Glen of Imaal there are several stones clearly visible between Table and Lobawn mountains along a boundary trench with the markings WD and the arrow.
Another visible set of boundary stones and boundary trench can be found on the hills surrounding Kilbride Military Camp in Northwest Wicklow.
Two barracks were built in the Glen by the British military: Coolmoney Camp and Leitrim Barracks. The former is still in use by the Defence Forces, but Leitrim Barracks may not be familiar to you. Not to be confused with the county, Leitrim is a townland in the Glen of Imaal. Following the 1798 rebellion and the threat of French invasion, the authorities at the time developed a defence in depth plan for Ireland that included coastal defences and a barrack network complemented by an infrastructure that could allow for rapid deployment of units. In Wicklow a military road was sited and constructed by the War Office from 1801 to 1809. Starting at Rathfarnham the road runs to Aughavannagh, with a side route from Enniskerry to Glencree. The route from Rathfarnham to Aughavannagh covers 36 miles (58 km). Barracks were built/or sited along the way: Glencree, Liffy Head Bridge (not built), Laragh, Drumgoff in mid Glenmalure and Aughavannagh. Not on the Military Road, Leitrim Barracks in the Glen of Imaal was also built to protect the old mountain track way linking Glen of lmaal to Glendalough.
Leitrim Barracks could accommodate 200 troops. The main building caught fire in 1914 and the barracks was dismantled by the National Army Salvage Corps in 1923. Still marked on the map, the barracks today is forest with very little evidence that troops ever occupied the area. One photograph of the barracks in the National Library shows the main barracks building prior to the fire.
While in the area we paid our respects to the 16 soldiers who lost their life in an accident on 16 September 1941. The incident, known as the Glen of Imaal Disaster, occurred during a training exercise involving 27 officers and men from the army’s anti-aircraft battalion, artillery school, and corps of engineers. An antitank mine unexpectedly exploded immediately killing 15 while 1 later succumbed to wounds. Three other men were blinded in the accident.
It was an honour to attend a poignant ceremony marking
Armistice Day at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, yesterday. Minister for Culture,
Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ms Josepha Madigan TD; Councillor Gary Gannon, on
behalf of the Lord Mayor of Dublin; HE Robin Barnett, British Ambassador to
Ireland; HE Stéphane Crouzat, French Ambassador to Ireland; and the Chairman of
Glasnevin Trust, David Bunworth led proceedings at this year’s Armistice Day
Speaking ahead of this mornings commemoration the Minister
for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said: ‘This year’s Armistice Day
Commemoration in Glasnevin Cemetery provides us with a special opportunity to
remember and pay tribute to the men and women from across the island of
Ireland, who served and gave their lives during World War I. It is important
that, over a century later, we reflect on these events and how the shaped the
The event was marked by a special reading by Molly Maleady-Hanely, Great Great niece of Gunner Patrick Maleady who served during World War I with the Royal Field Artillery. Wounded, he was taken prisoner only to contract influenza near the end of the war. On his return to Great Clarence Street he died aged 20. He is buried in Glasnevin. Following a joint prayer by Reverend David Oxley and Father Séamus Madigan, dignitaries, veterans, and members of the public were invited to lay wreaths at the Cross of Sacrifice.
It was an honour for Ireland’s Military Story/The Irish Military Heritage Foundation to be invited to the annual Great War commemoration in Woodenbridge, County Wicklow.
In beautiful surroundings on the banks of the river Aughrim at Woodenbridge county Wicklow is the Woodenbridge World War One Memorial Park. The memorial was built to commemorate the 1,192 men from the county who lost their lives in the Great War. People from all over the county gathered to remember and pay tribute to their countymen, many were family descendants of Wicklow men and women who had served and or lost their lives during the war. Chief Executive – Wicklow County Council Frank Curran opened the ceremony. In attendance were members of the diplomatic corps including German Ambassador to Ireland Deike Potzel, Polish Ambassador to Ireland Anna Sochańska, and British Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett CMG.
Veterans were represented by members of the Royal British Legion (ROI), the Royal Air Force Association, the Irish Guards Association, the Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel and the Irish United Nations Veterans Association