ALL THE FINE YOUNG MEN

Turning back to the huge Tyne Cot CWGC memorial. My friend Noeleen Berry from Dublin went there on a similar visit to mine in April this year. She immediately thought of Mary Black’s version of the Eric Bogle song ‘All the Fine Young Men’ and this video is the result. The song starts a few seconds into the video.

ALL THE FINE YOUNG MEN

Eric Bogle / Munro
They told all the fine young men,
“Ah, when this war is over,
There will be peace,
And the peace will last forever.”
In Flanders Fields,
At Lone Pine and Bersheeba,
For king and country,
Honour and for duty,
The young men fought and cursed and wept and died.They told all the fine young men,
“Ah, when this war is over,
In your country’s grateful heart
We will cherish you forever.”
Tobruk and Alamein,
Bhuna and Kokoda,
In a world mad with war,
Like their fathers before,
The young men fought and cursed and wept and died.For many of those fine young men
All the wars are over,
They’ve found their peace,
It’s the peace that lasts forever.
When the call comes again,
They will not answer,
They’re just forgotten bones,
Lying far from their homes,
Forgotten as the cause for which they died.
Ah, Bluey, can you see now why they lied?

MONAGHAN ARMY MEMORIAL

Defence Forces memorial at the former Monaghan military barracks site

Corporal Ernie Carter was like myself a Dubliner who lived in Tydavnet. He was one of the original members of the 29th Infantry Battalion Association in Monaghan.

One of the wreaths from the 29th Infantry Battalion Association

One of his tasks as Secretary of the Association was to help organise a memorial stone at the site of the former military barracks (now the education campus) beside the Garage Theatre on the Armagh Road.

Colour party at the memorial stone

He died in June last year. The third annual commemoration took place this afternoon, with prayers led by a former army chaplain from Co. Cavan. I was asked to read out the poem for veterans ‘A Soldier’.

Michael Fisher reads the poem ‘A Soldier’. Pic. © Denis Barry

There were 79 names of the deceased listed on a framed sheet beside the memorial. They were soldiers who served in Dún Uí Neill Cavan, the Tanagh outpost in Cootehill and the barracks in Monaghan. We will remember them. REST IN PEACE.

The names of the deceased from 29th Infantry Battalion

Paying respect to deceased members of the 29th Infantry Battalion

Standing to attention during the ceremony

One of the wreaths laid by Denis Barry

Paying respect at the memorial stone

ROYAL MUNSTER FUSILIERS

Royal Munster Fusiliers Memorial Ieper

Behind St Martin’s Cathedral in Ieper there is a Celtic cross that forms a memorial for the Royal Munster Fusiliers soldiers who died in World War One.

Royal Munster Fusiliers Memorial Ieper

A tricolour flies from a flagpole alongside the monument to mark its connection with Ireland and Co. Cork in particular. The plaque contains the coat of arms for Munster (the three antique crowns of the medieval lordships).

The symbol of Munster engraved on the memorial in Ieper

It reads: “In memory of those men of Munster who died fighting for freedom. A tribute erected by the people of the province and Cork its capital city.”

A tribute from Cork and Munster

There is also a similar inscription in Irish and one in French, where two wreaths had been laid.

Inscription in French

The Irish version of the English inscription reads as follows:

Irish inscription, Royal Munster Fusiliers Memorial

ST MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL

St Martin’s Cathedral, Ieper

St Martin’s Cathedral (Flemish: Sint-Maartenskathedraal), also called St Martin’s Church (Sint-Maartenskerk), is a church and former cathedral in the city of Ypres. It was a cathedral and the seat of the former diocese of Ypres from 1561 to 1801, and is still commonly referred to as such. It is among the tallest buildings in Belgium at 102m (335ft) tall.

Corner of Square leading to the Cloth Hall, Ieper

Construction started on the church in 1230, and was finished in 1370. There had previously been a Romanesque church in the area, dating from the 10th or 11th century.

Side of Cathedral

After the 1801 Concordat between Napoléon and Pope Pius VII, Ypres was incorporated into the diocese of Ghent and Saint Martin’s lost its status as a cathedral. As with many former cathedrals (pro-Cathedrals), it is often still referred to as a cathedral by locals.

Main entrance to St Martin’s Cathedral, Ieper

It suffered heavy damage during the Great War. Subsequently (1922–1930) the ruin was cleared and the church was entirely rebuilt following the original plans, although the tower was built with a higher spire than the original.

St Martin’s Cathedral

Cornelius Jansen, the father of the theological movement Jansenism, was Bishop of Ypres from 1635 to 1638. He is buried in the cathedral. Count Robert III of Flanders, popularly known as The Lion of Flanders, is also buried there.

St Martin’s Cathedral, Ieper

Because a funeral Mass was about to start and the bell was tolling as we arrived at the church, it was not officially open for visits. But joining a short queue at the main entrance and going into the Cathedral we paid our respects to the deceased whose remains were resting in a coffin at the back of the church, then remained standing at the doors to say a few prayers whilst taking in the vast interior. This seems to be a local custom. The mourners and undertaker must have wondered who we were gatecrashing a funeral….!

ST GEORGE’S: IRISH LINKS

Campbell College plaque

Seat covers with badges of different Regiments including Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Window with Campbell College plaque alongside

Memorial window North Irish Horse

Memorial window with regimental badges

Wreath for Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Memorial window Capt Thomas O’Donel MC from Newport Co. Mayo

ST GEORGE’S, IEPER

Baptismal font at St George’s Church Ieper

St George’s is an Anglican Church within the Church of England’s Diocese in Europe. The Diocesan Bishop is the Lord Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe who shares his responsibilities with the Suffragan Bishop in Europe.

St George’s is a Pilgrimage Church for the many thousands of people who visit the World War One sites of the Ypres Salient Battlefields. There is a small resident congregation who live in Ypres and surrounding area of Belgium and Lille in northern France.

St George’s Church Ieper

Figure of a ‘Tommy’ among the pews

Here the congregation offer Christian worship and prayer in the Anglican tradition to be ‘still in the presence of the Lord’ in a place filled with the memorials of stained glass, brass and stone, to those who fought for peace and justice, who gave their lives for their country in two World Wars.

The Church welcomes tourists. pilgrims and school students from many countries, churches and world faiths. The pastors are committed to ecumenical partnerships working together with fellow Christians.

Exterior wall of St George’s Church Ieper

Memorial for British Army 1914 commander Field Marshal French

The team minister to the British Community, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and to all who enter the Church.

Memorial crosses and wreaths at St George’s Church Ieper

The Church gives Christian burial to the recovered remains of soldiers of the Great War (1914—1918), some known. others known only to God. The Church is a house of God and a place of remembrance.