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Thursday 19 September 2019

Irish soldier in Great War to be honoured 60 years on

Ralph Riegel

THE UNITED States is to honour a young Irish soldier who died in one of World War One's most vicious battles but who lay in an unmarked grave for over 60 years.

Edmond 'Ned' Brunnock (28) -- a native of Doon, Araglin, on the Cork-Tipperary border -- emigrated to Dorchester in Massachusetts. He enlisted in the US army in February 1918 and was shipped to the trenches in France.

His unit -- the 306th Division -- was involved in a brutal battle with German troops at St Hubert near Boureuilles on the Franco-German border on September 28, less than two months before the armistice.

Edmond suffered severe injuries as he fought to save several comrades -- and died of his wounds four days later on October 1.

He was just two months short of his 29th birthday.

After being buried in France, Edmond's body -- along with 61 other Irish soldiers who had enlisted in the US army -- was disinterred and brought back to Dublin in 1922.

Incredibly

He was buried alongside his father, Thomas Brunnock, at Shanrahan Cemetery in Clogheen, Co Tipperary.

But incredibly, Edmond -- who was one of 12 children -- did not have his name inscribed on the headstone for over 60 years.

The family added a small plaque acknowledging the burial in the 1970s -- but did not specify that Edmond had died gallantly fighting as a US soldier.

Today the American Legion's Fr Duffy Post will lead a special ceremony in Clogheen where full military honours will be accorded Private Brunnock and a special military grave marker will be unveiled.

US veterans of World War Two, the Korean War, Vietnam and Gulf War are expected to attend.

The marker -- paid for by the US Government -- was shipped from Washington. The ceremony will be attended by Private Brunnock's nephews, nieces and cousins from Ireland, the US and UK.

"We recognise and honour Edmond as a brave soldier who ... made the ultimate sacrifice ... for the cause of freedom," his nephew Mike Brunnock told the Irish Independent.

Irish Independent

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