Local Fallen Remembered

November 10, 2014 0

While major remembrance ceremonies took place worldwide on Sunday 9th. last – Remembrance Sunday, a short simple ceremony took place at Ardgillan Gates, Blackhills in remembrance of two Casey brothers from the village who died in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Thomas 28, a career soldier who joined the Irish Guards about 1910, was killed while his squad were inspecting vacated German trenches following the battle of Gincy in September 1916. His older brother John 32, joined the Royal Irish Fusiliers at a later date, and was killed 3 miles beyond Gincy in October 1916.

The brothers have no known graves but are commemorated at the Thiepval Memorial on the Somme, and which is the largest war memorial in the world with over 70,000 names inscribed on it. There is a remote possibility that they may rest in unmarked graves in the Guards cemetery outside Gincy.

Opening proceedings, Pat Casey read the citation from one of the brothers’ commemorative scrolls which ends with the phrase “Let those who come after  see to it that their names be not forgotten.” Following a short prayer service, Joe Clinton a local historian read one of Rudyard Kiplings most famous poems – IF. Kipling wrote this poem for his only son John who was also a member of the Irish Guards, and would have fought alongside Thomas Casey at the Battle of Loos where he lost his life aged 18 in September 1915.

Eric Bogle’s emotive song No Mans Land better known as The Green Fields of France was then sung by Joe Roy to much acclaim from all those present.

Maureen Roy then read Binyon’s poem For the Fallen closing with the Ode for the Fallen -“They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old …………”

Proceedings closed with the laying of a  wreath by Michael Casey (which contained some home grown poppies) followed by a minutes silence.

On display were their commemorative scrolls and Thomas Casey’s Dog Tag, now over one hundred years old, which he left behind when home on sick leave during the war.