Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Killed in the Gretna Green train crash

Private Laurence Henry, 7th Royal Scots, remembered in Shetland's Roll of Honour.

Robert Eunson & Stewart Eunson

Remembering brothers Stewart Eunson and Robert Eunson who both died of meningitis, two months apart in 1915. Their photos and potted profiles appear in the Shetland Roll of Honour.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

7090 Cpl Michael Gleeson, 2nd Bn, Royal Irish Regiment

7090 Corporal Michael Gleeson of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment, died ninety-nine years ago today, on the 9th March 1915.

Michael Gleeson's medal index card notes that he was a Prisoner of War and that he died on 9th March 1915.  It is possible that he was captured in 1914 - most PoWs captured in 1914 have this fact recorded on their medal index card whereas many later PoWs do not.

Soldiers Died in The Great War and Ireland's Memorial Roll both note Michael's place of birth as Cowley in Oxfordshire, the former also noting that he was living in Bath, Somerset when he enlisted.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Michael Gleeson as George Arthur Gleeson, further recording that he was the son of Ellen Elizabeth Gleeson, of 14 Beecham Cliff Place, Holloway, Bath, and the late John Gleeson. His age is recorded as 32 years, meaning that he must have been born in around 1883.

I think it likely that Michael was a career soldier who joined the Royal Irish Regiment in the first half of 1901 - his army number certainly dates to this period - and that having completed his army service he signed on for a further four years as a Section D reservist.  He was certainly one of the first original members of the BEF to arrive overseas, landing in France on the 13th August 1914.

Michael is buried in the Berlin South Western cemetery, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission noting, "In 1922-23 it was decided that the graves of Commonwealth servicemen who had died all over Germany should be brought together into four permanent cemeteries. Berlin South-Western was one of those chosen and in 1924-25, graves were brought into the cemetery from 146 burial grounds in eastern Germany. There are now 1,176 First World War servicemen buried or commemorated in the Commonwealth plot at Berlin South-Western Cemetery."

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.

Naval & Military Press