Last week was the centenary of the commencement of the Battle of the Somme. There were very many tweets on the matter. Many included CWGC headstones to those who died.
Many of the headstones are without the name of the deceased – Soldier of The Great War; an Irish Soldier of The Great War; Eight Soldiers of The Great War; A Comrade in Arms Known but to God; and, A Soldier of the Great War Known Unto God.
With so many deaths in the first day and days of the Battle of the Somme, recording the names of locations of all of the deceased fell back in priority behind fighting and staying alive.
These unknown deceased reminded me of this headstone that I spotted in Bandon – to a man who died 85 years later. A man who died anonymous to those who found and buried him.
I remember the most recent census in April. I was in Kerry that weekend for my converstional Irish break. I did think, seriously, of staying late and driving through the night so that I would not have resided in any house and so could avoid the census.
Maybe it was a sense of frustration as to over regulation, classification numbers and passwords. Maybe it was a desire to just step off the Magic Roundabout for a little while.
In 1999, it was some achievement to survive unknown to those. Just thing of all transactions that require identification – bank accounts; state payments (pension; social welfare); even employment.
That Mother’s Son was a smart man to remain unknown.
I am not sure that I would like to stay off the Magic Roundabout for too long but it would be nice to experience it, to be the man from God Knows Where.