The ‘Island of Ireland Peace Park’.
The youngest Donegal soldier/sailor to die in WWI was David Laird Allison from Convoy on the HMS “Vivid”. He was 15 years old.
There was one set of Donegal sisters killed, whose names, I am unable to find.
Brothers who died: The four Duffy brothers Bernard, Edward, John and Michael from Ballintra; John, George,William Benson, Dunfanaghy; Daniel, James and John Doherty Letterkenny; John, James, William Schooner, Ramelton.
Among the 38 sets of two brothers, Michael Herron /William John Patton Ballybofey/Cloghan; Christopher and John Laird, Ballyshannon; Nicholas and Patrick Martin Barnesmore ;Jack and Robert Coventry Castlefin; Bernard and William Devine, Carndonagh; Charles and John Wray, Carrigans/Killea; Andrew and Ezekiel Smyth Convoy; Samuel and William Watson, Convoy; Patrick and John McNamee, Drumkeen; George and Martin Morris Donegal Town; John and Simon Stewart, Donegal Town ; George and Matthew Hogg, Dunfanaghy; John and Joseph Johnstone, Dunfanaghy; James and Manus Doohan Gweedore; Andrew and Robert McCready, Inver; Gerald and John Stewart Letterkenny; David and Robert Dobson Letterkenny; Charles and Paddy Doherty, Letterkenny; David and James Barnhill, Manorcunningham; Charles and Patrick Conaghan, Manorcunningham; Daniel and Manus McFadden, Milford; John and Michael Peoples, Milford; John and Hugh Scott, Mountcharles; Edgar and Patrick McBrearty, Mountcharles; James and Mark O’Donnell, Moville; Charles and John Wray, Newtowncunningham; Benjamin and James Grahame, Pettigo; Andrew and William Logan, Raphoe.
Ramelton born Dave Gallaher first captain of the New Zealand ‘All Blacks’ rugby team killed at Passchendale, buried in Belgium.
Messiness Ridge Flanders
Some 35,000 Irishmen, never came home, they now lie in Irish cemeteries in Belgium, France, Turkey, Iraq and Africa. Located near Messiness Ridge Flanders stands the ‘Island of Ireland Peace Park’ with its 100 feet Round Tower built in 1998.
The WW1 memorial bears witness to the first time Irish Catholic and Protestant soldiers united to fight side by side against a common enemy. This project was viewed as an enormous act of reconciliation by both communities who share the island of Ireland.
It was officially opened by the President of Ireland Mary McAleese, Queen Elizabeth Great Britain, King Albert of Belgium.
The driving force behind this was the late Paddy Harte, Raphoe who at the time said it was important to ensure that the names of those from Ireland who died in that war be remembered.
He also played a huge role in the foundation of the County Donegal ‘Book of Honour’ on the 1,106 of those who lost their lives in World War One. Many thanks to the Co. Donegal ‘Book of Honour’ Committee for certain sections of above.
Black & Tans
Some British Army soldiers that did come home, joined the Irish Republican Army, one year later fighting against the same army. In 1920 the ‘Black and Tans’, ex WW1 soldiers arrived in Ireland, their so called ‘military tactics’ did not endear them to Irish citizens.
Three years later in the Civil War, sadly brother against brother now finding themselves fighting each other at the birth of this new nation.
Laurence Binyon's poem
Laurence Binyon’s 1918 poem which I believe is a memorial to all lost loved ones, encompasses all religious, military and political beliefs worldwide.
They shall not grow old,
As we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them,
Nor the years condemn,
At the going down of the sun,
And in the morning,
We will remember them
The late Paddy Harte, a driving force behind the Island of Ireland peace Park PICTURE: BRIAN MCDAID