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Monday 19 February 2018

Paying tribute to 'forgotten' Irish heroes of world wars

David Hogan

At an emotion-filled and gusty ceremony in Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery on Remembrance Day last Thursday, 43 'forgotten' Irish heroes of the two World Wars were finally recognised.

Headstones were erected over the previously unmarked and unrecognised graves by the Glasnevin Trust and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

There are 205 unmarked graves of servicemen and women in the Dublin cemetery.

Members of nine families of those killed attended the ceremony for their relatives. The families approached Glasnevin Trust following a public appeal last month.

The ceremony was also attended by Private Thomas McKenzie, who went to war at the age of 25 and served in the Royal Australian Regimen during the Korean War between 1952 and 1953 for a year and 44 days.

He said: "It's very nice to come and see that they've been recognised for what they've done and what they've died for."

Glasnevin Trust's historian, Shane MacThomais, went to Britain's national archives in Kew, England, where he researched the country's military records.

There, he found considerable detail about the personal and military lives of serviceman and women who fought in conflicts, including the Boer War, the Chinese Boxer Rebellion, the Zulu Wars and World Wars One and Two.

Most of the 43 graves marked at Glasnevin date back to the World War One, with the oldest burial in 1914 and the most recent in 1947.

Sunday Independent

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