This Sunday will mark 100 years since the day three Cashel men were killed in action fighting at the French front in World War One.
As the 100th anniversary of the Great War is commemorated, Cllr Tom Wood asks, “who were those Cashel men and boys numbered among more than nine million servicemen who died on the battlefields between July 1914 and November 1918 and were mourned by grieving parents, brothers, sisters, spouses, relatives and friends in their hometown under the Rock?”
In his record, which he says may not be complete, Cllr Wood has discovered that a number of Cashel men lost their lives in the very early stages of the war while John Carey, Thomas Donovan and Michael Lukeman died on the same day in the retreat from Mons.
Next Sunday, October 19, is exactly 100 years to the day when the three soldiers, all of the 2nd Royal Irish Regiment, died. The following is an official account of how the three most likely perished.
The 2nd Royal Irish Regiment helped French cavalry take Fromelles. On October 19, after an advance at Le Pilly they were counterattacked by a three battalion force and encircled. Heavy shell fire was dropped on them all day and all attempts to get messengers through failed. In the evening the Germans attacked the few now surviving. When the C.O., Major Daniell, fell his last words were to fix bayonets and fight to the end, ammunition having all been used. Very few of this battalion were seen again. A German officer afterwards said that hardly an unwounded man of the 2nd Royal Irish survived, whilst several hundred, all dead, were found in the main trench.
John ‘Carey’ is a misspelling of John Carrie, of the Green, grandfather of Peggy, Billy, Lena, Mary, Noreen, Ger, Albert, Joanne and Dan Carrie.
Michael Lukeman was an uncle of Michael (Dutch) Lukeman, who’s father Timmy survived the battle and witnessed his brother’s death on that terrible day.
Among the men from Cashel who died in WW1 were:
Private Stephen Ryan, 2nd. Bn. Royal Irish Regiment killed in action on August 23, 1914, age 33. Son of Timothy and Mary Ryan of Cashel and husband of Mary Ryan, the Green. Buried in St. Symphorien Military Cemetery, Belgium. Died in retreat from Mons.
Private J. Devan, 2nd. Bn. Scots Guards. Died October 4, 1914, age 35. Son of Michael and Catherine Devan, husband of Mary Devan (nee Byrne), of William Street, Cashel. Buried in Lyndhurst Cemetary, Hampshire.
Private John Carey, 2nd Bn. Royal Irish Regiment. Killed in action October 19, 1914 in the retreat from Mons. Age 53. Son of the late Michael and Mary Carey, husband of Lizzie Carey, The Green, Cashel. No known grave. Name on the Le Touret Memorial, France.
Thomas Donovan,”E” Coy. 2nd. Bn. Royal Irish Regiment. Killed in action October 19, 1914 in the retreat from Mons. Age 19. Son of Mary and Thomas Donovan, Golden. No known grave. Name on the Le Touret Memorial, France.
Private Michael Lukeman, 2nd. Bn. Royal Irish Regiment. Killed in action October 19, 1914 in the retreat from Mons. Age 28. Son of Michael and Mary Lukeman, Moor Lane, Cashel. No known grave. Name on the Le Touret Memorial.
Private Thomas Byrne, 2nd. Bn. Royal Irish Regiment. Killed in action May 14, 1915. Age 26. Son of David and Catherine Byrne, Ladyswell Street, Cashel. No known grave. Name on Menin Gate Memorial.
Private Michael Kennedy, 2nd. Bn. Royal Irish Regiment. Killed in action May 24, 1915. Age 39. Son of Michael and Bridget Kennedy, Ladyswell Street, Cashel. Husband of Mary Anne Kennedy, Cashel Road, Killenaule. He fell in action at Aubers Ridge. No known grave. Name on Menin Gate Memorial.
Private H. Barago, 6th Batallion, Royal Irish Regiment. Killed in action December 18, 1916. Son of Mrs. L. Barago, William Street, Cashel. Buried in Pond Farm Cemetery, France.
Private John Donohue, 2nd Bn. Leinster Regiment. Died January 11, 1917. Age 56. Son of John and Catherine Donohue, Camas Road, Cashel. Served in the South African Campaign and on North West Frontier of India. No known grave. Name on the Loos Memorial.
Private Michael Coman, 2nd Bn. Irish Guards. Killed in action June 25, 1917. Age 25. Son of John and Mary Coman, Windmil Cottages, Cashel. Buried in Duhallow Ads. Cemetery, Belgium.
Private Martin Forrester, 6th. Bn. Royal Irish Regiment. Died of wounds August 20, 1917. Age 22. Son of Ellen Forrester (nee Holden) and the late Patrick Forrester, Golden. Buried in Boulogne Cemetery.
Private James Ryan, “A”Coy. 2nd. Bn. Royal Irish Regiment. Died September 13, 1917. Age 27. Son of James Ryan of Golden. Husband of Ann Ryan, William Street, Cashel. Buried in Harlebeke New British Cemetery, France.
Lieut. Col. Alfred Murphy, Distinguished Service Order, 2nd. Bn. Leinster Regiment. Killed in action November 6, 1917. Age 27. Son of Lt. Col. E.W. Murphy and Mary Ellen Murphy, Ballinamona, Cashel. Buried in Roisel Communal Cemetery.
Private P. Coleman. 7th. Bn. Royal Irish Regiment. Killed in action December 12, 1917. Son of Mr. P. Coleman Friar Street, Cashel. Buried in Templeux Guerard British Cemetery.
Private T. Braham. 1st Batallion, Leinster Regiment. Died December 27, 1917, age 24. Son of Bridget Braham (nee Carthy) Boherclough Street, and Thomas Braham. Buried in Jerusalem War Cemetery, Israel.
Private James Keogh. 2nd. Bn. Royal Munster Fusiliers. Killed in action March 21, 1918. Age 18. Son of Thomas and Mary Keogh, Carron, Cashel. No known grave. Name on the Pozieres Memorial, France.
Private Timothy Cullagh. 19th Bn. Durham Light Infantry. Died July 15, 1918. Age 20. Son of Denis and Catherine Cullagh, Ballyfowloo, Cashel. No known grave. Name on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.
Lance Sergeant John Edward Moclair. Distinguished Conduct Medal. 8th. Bn. Royal Irish Regiment. Killed in action September 5, 1918. Age 26. Son of Patrick and Margaret Moclair (nee Carew), Ballinree House, Cashel. Buried in Le Grand Beaumart British Cemetery, Steenwerck, France.
Private C. Moore. 1st. Bn. Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Died September 7, 1918. Age 21. Son of William and Margaret Moore, Friar Street. Buried in Outtersteene Communal Cemetery, Bailleul, France.
Private W. Lyons. 2nd. Bn. Leinster Regiment. Transferred to Labour Corps. Died October 20, 1918. Age 27. Son of Thomas and Mary Lyons, Kilshenane, Cashel. Buried in Duhallow Ads. Cemetery.
Private John Thomas Hannigan. 3rd. Base Regiment, Army Depot Service Corps. Died December 24, 1918. Age 43. Son of Michael and Elizabeth Hannigan of Cashel. Buried in Janval Cemetery, France.
We were unable to fit all the names of the Cashel men who died in WW1. Contact our Cashel Correspondent Michael McDonnell for more information.