Memorial service for Private Andy Wickham

By Esther Hayden

The 23rd annual wreath laying ceremony in memory of Pte Andy Wickham who was killed while on a peacekeeping duty with the UN in the Congo in 1961 was held recently after Mass in St Alphonsus Church, Barntown.
The 23rd annual wreath laying ceremony in memory of Pte Andy Wickham who was killed while on a peacekeeping duty with the UN in the Congo in 1961 was held recently after Mass in St Alphonsus Church, Barntown.

There was a great turnout at the 23th annual wreath laying for Private Andy Wickham who was killed in action in 1961.

Private Wickham was killed along with his commanding officer, Lieutenant Paddy O'Riordan, in the first burst of gunfire during an engagement with Katangan forces at Elizabethville in the Congo in 1961.

The men were killed during the final assault on a strategic railway tunnel at 6 a.m. on December 16 when they came under heavy fire from the gendarmerie and Katangan forces in railway carriages. Sgt. Patrick Mulcahy died on the same day from wounds suffered during the fighting on the previous Thursday. All were members of A Company, 36th Battalion.

Andy's brother Richard said Sunday's ceremony was very well attended with members of the ONE and the UN Veteran's Association in attendance alongside Andy's family and friends including his widow Eleanor and son Gary.

There was also a colour party. Andy's siblings Richard, Martin and Patricia were also present.

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