Last week, I learned something completely new. Upto then, I would have thought that it could not have been true. It was so ‘not a bad day’.
I had understood that such headstones were erected to those who had died in the World Wars or slightly after as a consequence of action in a World War.
“The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) honours the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First and Second World Wars, and ensures they will never be forgotten. “
“1. WHAT DATES DO YOU COVER?
The dates were a bit after the end of World War I but within the qualifying period for CWGC headstone.
The following week, we paid a visit to Polymath Books in Tralee where I spotted and immediately purchased Gone But Not Forgotten, Historic Graves of Kerry by Rónán Gearóid Ó Domhnaill. It has nuggets of information on many graveyards – some of which I knew but many of which were new, one of which was intriguing, surprising and enlightening, that being New Cemetery, Killarney.
Rónán Gearóid stated that both were killed in action – but World War I was well finished by 1921.
“The cemetery is located on the Tralee road. Take the turn for Kilcummin, and you will see it on your right. The cemetery has a number of British army graves. Some of the soldiers were killed in action such as Serjeant Frederick Edwin J Boxold and Private A George. Others died less violently. On 5 February 1919 Private Robert Ennett Kinchington (2875B) of the Australian army died of Septic Pneumonia at the International Hotel, Killarney. The deceased was from Sydney and on leave.”
Thanks to IrishMedals.ie, I learned that Private A George was one of the British Army soldiers killed at Headford Ambush on 21st March, 1921.
I was intrigued as to whether any of the I.R.A. members buried in the Republican Plot or elsewhere in the cemetery were involved in the ambush and the death of Private George but it appears not.
Tim Horgan’s tome educated that James Daly was one of four anti-treaty prisoners from different parts of the county killed at Ballymullen Gaol in Tralee on 19 January, 1923. Stephen Buckley, Dan O’Donoghue, Tim Murphy and Jeremiah O’Donoghue all died on 7th May, 1923 at Countess Bridge in Killarney, the same night as Ballyseedy; five days before Caherciveen on 12th March; and the day after Knocknagoshel. Patrick McCarthy died when a weapon accidently discharged near Brosna on 29 June, 1921.
Thanks to FindAGrave website, I learned that Frederick Edwin J Boxold was one of two British Soldiers to die at the Dishanebeg Ambush.
The InFromTheCold website, confirmed that any serving member of the British Army within the dates above is entitled to a CWGC website, regardless of where or how they died.
Who Qualifies For A Commonwealth War Grave?
Below are set out the basic criteria for a serviceman or woman to be accepted for war grave status and commemoration by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Only casualties from the two world wars can qualify for CWGC commemoration.
All personnel fall into one of the following three categories.
Category One:- Commonwealth men and women who were still in military service at the time of their death. These personnel automatically qualify for commemoration provided they died within the qualifying dates as follows:
First World War - 4th August 1914 to 31st August 1921
Second World War - 3rd September 1939 to 31st December 1947
The location of their death and the cause of death are immaterial to their qualification. They could have been killed in action, died of wounds, died of illness or by accident, died due to suicide or homicide or suffered judicial execution. CWGC treats all casualties equally and all must be commemorated under the terms of their Royal Charter.
I wonder if any have been defaced or damaged like the memorial to National Army troops at Knocknagoshel or the Royal Munster Fusiliers memorial in Tralee.
Here’s hoping for many more good days when I learn of something new.