Thursday, November 11, 2021

The Irish Great War Dead Archive

Good news today for researchers with the launch of the Irish Great War Dead Archive. This is a fantastic piece of work by military historian Tom Burnell - it has taken him 20 years to compile this database for the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland. Even though Ireland was part of the UK at the time, it is almost unbelievable that the database lists over 31,380 people who died in the First World War. Almost every part of Ireland lost young men - indeed my home town of Carnew lost 12 men, these are commemorated at the Woodenbridge War Memorial in Co Wicklow. The first Carnew man on the memorial, Owen Brestlaun (a surname I had not come across before) , is listed in the database. He was born in Carnew and was killed in action in Gallipoli on 29th June 1915. He had enlisted in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers (1st Battalion).

My Dad (Joe) at the Woodenbridge War Memorial.

Previously I had written in this blog about O'Loughlins in the First World War (Did you know - 28 O'Loughlins were killed in the First World War?). This was detail from the  Commonwealth War Graves Commission. These were from all over the world. In Tony Burnell's new database there are 12 O'Loughlin men from the Republic of Ireland killed during the war. I have no idea if I am related to any of them - some that are listed as being from North Kerry, Limerick, and Clare may well be distant relatives as this is the region in Ireland where my O'Loughlin family comes from. My grandfather PJ O'Loughlin (born 1904) was too young to fight in the war, his father (Joseph) was too old to fight - he died aged 52 in 1916.

My maternal great grandfather (James Burns/Byrne) did fight in the war, but he survived and died in 1925. I have no knowledge of any other family members who fought/died in the war.

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