Judith McCarthy, whose family experienced the heartache of losing loved ones in WW1, is keen to record the forgotten Donegal people who died during the war.
Donegal County Museum Curator Judith McCarthy has been working on updating the County Donegal Book of Honour for the last few years and describes the task as a ‘labour of love’ and one that has allowed her to build on the great work done by Paddy Harte Snr and the County Donegal Book of Honour Committee almost 16 years ago.
“I think it is really important that we remember all those who gave their lives during World War 1 – if we don’t remember them who will.
“There were many Donegal families who lost loved ones during this war and we are planning to publish a new edition of the Book of Honour in November to mark the centenary of the ending of the war and as a tribute to all those from Donegal who died. We are keen to get information that will allow us to fill in some of the gaps that we currently have so that we can have as complete a record as possible” says Judith McCarthy.
The County Donegal Book of Honour, The Great War 1914-1918 which was first published in 2002 contains the names of all those from Donegal who died during World War I. The date for submissions to the new edition, including amendments and new information, has been extended to 31 January 2018.
Judith is inspired for personal reasons as she too has family members who lost their lives during this war. “My mother’s uncle died in 1917 from injuries sustained in France during the war and last year on the 100th anniversary of his death my family and I visited his grave in Dublin.
“It was an emotional thing to do and even more so when you think that for nearly 100 years his story had been forgotten like so many others in Ireland. My father also lost an uncle in the war – he was only 19 years old and my grandmother never quite got over his loss as he was her youngest brother. I am sure this heartache was felt in many Donegal families as so many young lives were lost during the war.”
“We now have more information on the men and women who died, including those who enlisted in countries such as Canada, Australia and the USA and with more records being made available online we have discovered the names of other people from Donegal or with a strong Donegal connection that died during the war and these names will be included in the next edition of this book”.
“However, there are still gaps in the information that we have and that is why we are keen to get more information from the public. For example, we have details of individuals such as Hugh Boyle from Donegal Town who was killed in action on 15 October 1915 but we have not been able to confirm these details in relevant records so we would like to hear from anyone who may have more information”.
Further information is also needed for T. Graham, Killymard, Donegal Town; Martin Morris, Donegal Town; Francis T. Kenny, Ardara; Reginald Belvoir, Dunfanaghy, Richard Warburton; Charles Harrigan, Muff and James O’Donnell, Moville. Anyone who can provide more detail on these individuals should consult the draft Book of Honour available at www.donegalcoco.ie and entries that require further information are highlighted in blue in the draft book.
In updating the County Donegal Book of Honour: The Great War 1914-1918, the Museum is asking the public to consult the draft version of the Book which is available on www.donegalcoco.ie or by appointment in Donegal County Museum.
If any member of the public has any updated or new information or wish to amend any information already contained in the book, they can do so by filling in the details on the Book of Honour form (available at www.donegalcoco.ie) and post or email it to County Donegal Book of Honour, Donegal County Museum, High Road, Letterkenny Co Donegal; or email to email@example.com by the 31st January 2018.