Eddie Cantwell has been busy surveying historic graveyards in West Waterford and publishing stories associated with the graveyards and graves. One of the most famous events in the War of Independence was the Burgery Ambush (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgery_ambush and http://www.waterfordcountymuseum.org/exhibit/web/Display/article/22/6/). This ambush in 1921epitomises the violence of the time when communities were riven and there was blood on the streets of Ireland.
John Murphy was a key munitions expert for the West Waterford IRA in 1921 and it was his capture which prompted the ambush outside Dungarvan. In this (http://historicgraves.ie/story/john-murphy-1876-1977) Historic Graves story Eddie fills us in on the role of John Murphy in West Waterford affairs and also shows us where the man found peace at the age of 91, in Garranbaun graveyard (http://historicgraves.ie/graveyard/garranbaun/wa-grbn).
Today, the 10th of July 2011, is a National Day of Commemoration for servicemen and women who have died in wars or in service with the United Nations. Nearly every family in Ireland will have a story that relates to family members who died in service. My own great-grandfather is commemorated in Thiepval having died in WWI and I will tell his story here some other day.
For today I will relate a personal memory from 1980. We grew up in married quarters in Collin's Barracks on the NE side of Cork city. Married quarters consisted of four large accomodation blocks which held about thirty families from throughout Ireland but I seem to remember a decidedly Tipperary bias to the families origins, there were Burkes, Lonergans and Hogans. The families came together on a weekly basis for mass in what I think is called the Garrison Chapel while the broader community (servicemen and families) came together for Passing Out ceremonies, Christmas parties and less regularly, army funerals.
In the porch of St Peters Church in Ennisnag (http://www.historicgraves.ie/graveyard/st-peters/kk-spen) is a 13th century graveslab which is inscribed Johannes Filius Galfridi (John Fitz Geoffry). The slab was situated in the eastern portion of the graveyard and was relocated to the porch some time after 1952.
The British Cemetery in very accessible in Funchal town centre and should be on every tourist's itinerary if they have any interest in history. Over ten different nationalities are represented in the two sections of the cemetery as Funchal was a key node in global trade networks.