June 9, 2018Midleton wall to honour WWI dead
The memory of 200 East Cork men killed in the First World War will be kept alive by a memorial wall in Midleton.
It is the culmination of three years’ work by a small group of locals who sought to identify as many as possible of the area’s war dead.
The names have been cut into the monument on 10 panels made from the same Portland stone used in the grave markers synonymous with the burial places of millions of those killed in British Army uniforms in the 1914-1918 war.
A central panel will carry a simple message telling visitors that the monument is in memory of men from the greater Midleton area who died.
The initiative started out to just find the names of men from the parish around the town itself, but it was extended beyond those 83 names to add those from neighbouring areas such as Ballycotton, Cloyne, Castlemartyr, Mogeely and Carrigtwohill.
Committee member Tom Walsh said three years of research and checking various sources was undertaken by the group, some of whom have relatives named on the wall.
We put an awful lot of work into researching the names and stories of these men, but we’re not saying it’s complete. If there are people whose names we’ve missed, we would hope to put up another panel or two at a later stage,” he said.
The memorial wall is at the Baby’s Walk park area at the distillery end of Midleton’s Main St. It will be officially unveiled at 2pm on Sunday June 10 by Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney. There will be Belgian and French diplomatic representation, as well as Irish Defence Forces and a British military attaché.
The standards of the most prominent Irish regiments which fought in the First World War will be carried by members of Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann (Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen and Women).
The monument has been commissioned and erected with financial assistance from a number of sources, including Cork County Council and others.
A war memorial already exists in Whitegate, and a First World War memorial plaque was unveiled in Midleton in 2016 to mark the centenary of the commencement of the Battle of the Somme.