As we start into 2014, there are new records becoming available to us and to-day I would like to introduce you to two sides of the coin as it were.
On the one hand we have a complete list of all those from the island of Ireland who fought and died in the Great War. If you want to locate or search for an ancestor or County Kerry family member, there is an excellent website now In Flanders Fields where you insert the surname and you immediately get a list of all those who died bearing that name. You also get their rank, regiment, place of commemoration and date of death. I just inserted the name ‘Baily’ and I got the following, both natives of Tralee:
|BAILY, DENIS JOSEPH||ROYAL MUNSTER FUSILIERS, 9TH BATT.|
|BAILY, JOHN||TRALEE, CO. KERRY||ROYAL MUNSTER FUSILIERS, 2ND BATT.|
- Clicking on Baily, Denis Joseph we get the following information:
- Rank: LIEUTENANTService No.Mil.
- Unit ROYAL MUNSTER FUSILIERS, 9TH BATT.
- Commemoration POND FARM CEMETERY
- Date of death Wed Feb 21 1917
WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
The next database that we are all awaiting with anticipation is to be released on Friday next 17th January. These are the military pension records of those who fought in the Easter Rising and later in the War of Independence. Up to 300,000 files will be released relating to 60,000 individuals who received some form of the old IRA pension, and this will include statements from those in command of units which will detail what each did to merit such a pension. The Military Service Pensions Collection is a unique collection of records, files, maps, drawings and diagrams.
The files relate in the main to applications by individuals and/or their dependants for the award of pension and gratuities for veterans who served as members of the Irish Volunteers, the Irish Citizen Army, the Irish Republican Army, Cumann na mBan, the National Army/Defence Forces and kindred named organisations on active service or who were casualties or wounded while on duty during the period from April and May 1916 through to 30 September 1923. As Kerry units took a very active part in the War of Independence, there is no doubt that there will be huge interest in who got a pension and why they deserved one!
The files will be released and available following their launch by Minister Jimmy Deenihan at at the GPO on January 17th on Military Archives website.