Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lest We Forget: Island of Ireland Peace Park, Messines, Belgium

The standing stone bearing the names of every county in Ireland,
symbolically streamed together in one single line.
"In a matter of seconds a hissing and shrieking pandemonium broke loose.
The sky was splashed with light.
Rockets, green, yellow and red, darted in all directions,
and simultaneously a cyclone of bursting shells enveloped us."
— from a letter written home by J.F.B O'Sullivan, 6th Connaught Rangers.
"Spent all night trying to console, aid and remove the wounded.
It was ghastly to see them lying there in the cold
cheerless outhouses, on bare stretchers,
with no blankets to cover their freezing limbs."
— from a letter written home by Chaplain Francis Gleeson, Royal Munster Fusiliers.
"So the curtain fell over that tortured country
of unmarked graves and unburied fragments of men.
Murder and massacre, the innocent slaughtered for the guilty,
the poor man for the sake of the greed of the already rich,
the man of no authority made the victim of the man
who had gathered importance and wished to keep it."
— from a letter written home by David Starret, 9th Royal Irish Rifles.
36th Ulster Division: 32,186 killed, wounded, missing.
16th Irish Division: 28,398 killed, wounded, missing.
10th Irish Division: 9,363 killed, wounded, missing.
The Round Tower and the nine stone tablets from another perspective.

See also: 'The big guns are coughing...': Commemorating Irish lost in World War One



  1. A touching post. We have many to thank for our freedoms.

    1. Thanks very much for your comments, Colleen. We do indeed have many to whom we owe our freedoms.


  2. Beautiful images. Poignant to see the words from some of the men who were there. Catherine

    1. Thanks very much for your comments, Catherine. I feel the same way.


  3. I think people forget that Irland paid a high price as well

    1. Thanks very much for your comment, Bill. It is too true that many forget the losses of the Irish.



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