As mentioned before, last weekend was a busy one for CHTM! with involvement in the Punky Reggae Party gig on Friday night, the Sounds of Resistance gig on the Saturday night and the latest pub crawl scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Before the pub crawl though, JayCarax had lined up a walking tour of Grangegorman Military Cemetery for us, led by Ray Bateson, author of “They Died by Pearse’s Side,” historian and specialist on those killed in the Easter Rebellion, 1916. We were joined on the tour by comrades from Story Map, the Chasing the Light photography blog, and Irish History Podcast.
Grangegorman Military Cemetary lies 2.5 miles from the GPO, but ask any Dubliner about it’s existence and who’s buried there, and you can be guaranteed you’ll get a blank face from the majority of them. Located on Blackhorse Avenue, not far from The Hole in the Wall pub, it is the resting place of British soldiers who died or were killed in action on this island. Whilst, for obvious reasons, a large portion of our interest was given to those who died on Easter Week, there are graves scattered around of those who came/ were sent here to recover from wounds received in the trenches of World War 1 and a long line of graves for those who died in the sinking of the RMS Leinster in 1918.
Military casualties (not counting police) in the Easter Rebellion were around the 120 mark, with those killed serving a variety of different battalions though most notably, large numbers from the South Staffs and the Sherwood Foresters battalion, killed in the Battle for Mount Street Bridge. Battalion badges are marked on the headstones along with the name of the person buried, their rank and the date of their death whilst a very few have personal inscriptions. Matching the battalions and dates from the gravestones with the known events in Easter week can give us an idea of where these British soldiers met their deaths. The grave above bearing the date 25th April and the soldier’s battalion, the 5th Lancers, suggests for example, he was wounded the ambush of the ammunitions convoy by Ned Daly’s garrison at the Four Courts and died the following day.