Wexford remembers the end of the Great War

A classic image of troops in desperate conditions during the Great War, 1914-1918, hundreds of them from county Wexford.


This weekend marks the official end to World War 1, also known as the Great War that raged between 1914-1918, and Wexford will remember and salute the documented 874 Wexford people who died, although the true number is likely to be much greater.
The figures are gleaned from The Wexford War Dead by Tom Burnell and his sister, Margaret Gilbert, (pub. Nonsuch Publishing, Dublin, 2009), in which the authors assembled a record of the soldiers, officers, sailors, airmen and nursing sisters, who listed their next of kin as being from Wexford.
The men honoured in this excellent publication died in the service of the British Army, the Australian Army, the New Zealand Army, the American Army, the Indian Army, the Canadian Army, the South African Army, the Royal Navy or the British Mercantile Marine.


MARTIN DOYLE, VC, from New Ross

A significant event happening at Mary Street, New Ross, on Saturday afternoon, will be the unveiling of a plaque at the former residence of Company Sergeant Major Martin Doyle, a winner of the Victoria Cross, being honoured in his native place for the first time.
CSM Doyle earned the highest military honour in March 1918 while fighting against Germany with the Royal Munster Fusiliers at Reincourt, France.
On January 31st 1919 his VC was gazetted and he received the decoration from King George V in the quadrangle of Buckingham Palace on May 8th 1919.
After receiving his VC, Martin Doyle returned to a hero’s welcome in New Ross and married Charlotte Kennedy from New Ross. He attended two VC functions in London in the 1920’s and became an intelligence officer with the IRA.

Martin Doyle’s grave at Grangegorman, Dublin.

He joined the Irish Army in 1922 and left in 1937 to work for Guinness, retiring in 1937, and died in Dublin on November 20th 1940, aged 49 years.
Martin Doyle is buried in Grangegorman British Military Cemetery in Dublin. A headstone bearing the badge of the Munsters and the inscription;

Coy Sgt Major Martin Doyle, VC, MM,
Royal Munster Fusiliers,
died 20 November 1940.

He was also awarded a Military Medal, and posthumously decorated by the Irish government for his services to the IRA during the Irish War of Independence.

Local research reveals that over 170 men from New Ross town and the nearby areas plus over 70 in South Kilkenny perished in the Great War.
New Ross Remembers starts with a Concert of WW1 songs, poems and reading in St Michael’s Theatre on Saturday at 8 pm. Tickets are €25 available at the theatre.
This will be followed before dawn at 6 am when a lone piper Bryan McMahon of New Ross Pipe Band will play When the Battle is O’er at St Mary’s Church. 1.000 pipers round the world will play this moving tune at 6 am their local time to commemorate the signing of the peace accord.
The Armed Men takes place in New Ross Parish Church where the New Ross Singers will perform this work composed by Karl Jenkins, with orchestra and soloist, on November 11th at 8 pm.
A specially made film is shown during the singing of what is a very moving piece of music, now sung in many countries all over the world. Connie Tantrum conducts the choir and the orchestra made up of members of Music Ireland.
The soloist is young local soprano, Hayley Crosbie. Tickets are €20 and available from choir members by phoning 051 421766.

Cllr Willie Kavanagh, Chairman of Enniscorthy Municipal District, will unveil a commemorative plaque in memory of all those from Enniscorthy and district who fought and died during 1914-1918.
It takes place at the Presentation Centre, Enniscorthy, following Service in St. Mary’s Church at 11.30 am.

The annual Remembrance Service for the men and women of the Great War, and other wars, takes place in Christ Church, Gorey, on Sunday, November 11th at 10.30 am.
Afterwards a memorial will be unveiled to those remembered at the service. All are invited to attend.

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 shall remember them.
(Extract from Laurence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen.

ADDITIONAL AUDIO; The song SOLDIER SOLDIER sung by Yvonne Breathnach and Barrowside from New Ross was composed by the group and pays tribute to the men and women of World War One. It is one of three songs on a new CD recently launched on the Armistice Day label.

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