866 Wexford Great War dead listed on new website about to go live
A public history research project website detailing 866 people from County Wexford who died in World War I will go live this Sunday.
The website www.wexfordgreatwardead.ie, has been developed based on work undertaken by Hazel Percival and Susan Kelly of Wexford County Council in conjunction with local historians.
County Librarian Eileen Morrissey said: 'This Sunday, November 11, marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. To commemorate this anniversary and to pay tribute to those men and women from County Wexford who lost their lives in this war, Wexford County Council Public Library Service has developed a public history research project.'
Ms Morrissey said the aim of the project is to engage with the public online and to deliver a comprehensive list of persons from County Wexford who died in the Great War, while the long term objective is to tell the unique stories and to commemorate the loss of the over 800 Wexford men and women who lost their lives as a result of the war.
The criteria set for inclusion in this list of Wexford Great War dead, are persons who were: born in Wexford, lived in Wexford and were casualty (Wexford) of the Great War 1914-1918, persons who were injured in the war and died later from wounds or illnesses relating to their time of service are included.
Ms Morrissey said: 'This research provides the basic data to invite people to participate in an Online Public History Project for County Wexford. We now encourage the wider public to add to this record by telling Wexford Libraries the life story as they know it, of their family member, or neighbour who died as a result of the war. People can leave a comment on the website or email Wexford County Council Public Library Service at firstname.lastname@example.org.'
The starting point of this project was to collect names from all published and online sources available. A team of library staff worked with Jimmy Taylor, military historian to research and verify the Wexford casualties.
'We are indebted to the many research hours put into this project by Jimmy Taylor, author of 'The Royal Irish Rifles in the Great War'.'
The team consulted with other local and national historians in the development of the website. Dr Joseph Quinn, PhD, military historian provided expert assistance to the development of the project. Historian Tom Burnell provided advice and permission to extract the Wexford names from his recently published 15 volume series, 26 County Casualties of the Great War.
'This comprehensive publication was invaluable to the work of the project team. We also thank Patrick Lynch and Hugh McShane for providing County Wexford names from their research.'
Records used include Ireland's Memorial Records, published in eight volumes in 1923, It recorded that 18,946 died from the twenty-six counties of Ireland.
However over the years, with the release of other records online, historians realised that while Ireland's Memorial Records was valuable, it was not complete. It did not record Royal Airforce, US, Canadian and other Commonwealth casualties nor Mercantile Marine casualties.
The researchers also used www.findmypast.ie, Ireland's Memorial Records 1914-1918, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. ancestry.co.uk UK, Royal Navy War Graves and the National Archives Soldiers' Wills website.
'These latter two sites were invaluable as they enabled us to verify place of birth and age in many instances. Records were also consulted and cross checked against the online databases newly released pension records and additional sources to increment that research,' Ms Morrissey said.