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The links below World War 1 In the navigation bar on the left contain pages relating to various aspects of WW1 and the affects it had on Ireland.

The information contained on this site is drawn from various locations including Newspaper Archives, Period Publications, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Irelandís Memorial Record, The Irish Military Archive, the UK National Archive, various rolls compiled over the years of veterans of the 1916 Rising and other conflicts, cemetery records and information submitted by visitors to the website. All the information has been verified as far as practical, errors and omissions exempt. 

Collecting World War One and Pre WW1 Medals to Irish Regiments and Irish Men

World War One Death Plaques

These can provide information relating to the person Killed in Action (KIA). The first place to look for information is The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website. You will often find several persons of the same name and you should be careful when purchasing a Death Plaque as sellers will often claim the Plaque they are selling belongs to one particular person when it could belong to several.

This Plaque is named to Thomas Grace, if you look up this name on the CWGC website the results of the search will return 13 names. The information put into the search engine was SURNAME Grace INITIALS T and he died in the First World War. Death Plaques were only issued to those who died in WW1 and we do not know The Year of Death, Force or Nationality. Of the 13 names matched we can eliminate seven because in some cases second and third names are given, as these were recorded they would have appeared on the Plaque awarded to these people, in cases where only initials are given this is how their names would have appeared on their Plaques. The results of the search show that the Death Plaque was awarded to 1 of 5 different men.

If there is no other supporting evidence then there is no way of saying for certain which of these individuals received the Death Plaque. I got this Plaque from a descendant of Thomas Grace, his Great Grand Niece, so I know he was a soldier in the Irish Guards. In some cases it is possible to obtain a Plaque to what is referred to as A Unique Name, which means there is only one entry matching that name on the CWGC site.

Supporting evidence that a Plaque was awarded to a certain individual can come in many forms. The most definite and desirable is the person's medals. In this image we have a Death Plaque named to James Lunney.
This pair of medals which I got with the plaque are named to James Lunney. The medals provide the information that he was in the Rifle Brigade so when searching the CWGC site we can enter the force he served with, Army, and his Nationally, United Kingdom. As Ireland was under British rule at the time of WW1 all Irishmen serving in the British Army were recorded as United Kingdom not Irish.

This information entered into the CWGC site returns 5 matches. We know James Lunney was in the Rifle Brigade so as there is only one James Lunney recorded as a member of the Rifle Brigade we can assume we have our man. When we click on this name we go to a page with more detailed information relating to James Lunney. This page shows us his Regimental number which is 5113, this number corresponds with his Regimental number on his medals so we can confirm we have the right man. Additional information shows he was from Listowel, Co. Kerry and gives the date of his death.

Further information can be obtained by getting the Medal Index Card (MIC) for James Lunney from the UK National Archive site. On the Advanced Search on this site I entered his Surname and in the Other Key Words box I entered his Regimental number. The information returned tells me his MIC is available and can be downloaded for a fee.

His MIC informs me that he entered the Theatre of War (France) on the 1st of May 1915, the CWGC site tells me his died on the 13 of May 1915 so he only managed to survive 13 days.
Although it is nice to get the medals with the Death Plaque other items accompanying the Death Plaque can be of the same or even greater interest. I obtained this Plaque named to Michael Dempsey.

With the death plaque was the original letter sent to the parents of the soldier KIA. As with all of these types of letters I have seen it tells us that Michael Dempsey suffered little pain when he was killed. The letter also tells us he was killed by a German shell and died alongside his Captain.
The letter makes it easier to locate Michael Dempsey on the CWGC site, the address of the officer sending the letter shows he was with the 2nd Battalion The Irish Guards. The results of the CWGC search show there is only one Michael Dempsey listed as an Irish Guard. When we look at Michael Dempsey's details we see he was in the 2nd Battalion.
Medals to Irishmen in the British Navy During WW1
It is easy to find the birth place of a sailor who served in the British Navy once you have his medals. If you enter his service number into the National Archive Website you will get the link to purchasing his service record. This link will show his Name, Rank, Service Number and is place of birth, this information is shown before you purchase his service record.

Having obtained a WW1 Victory medal named to K33486 J Mc Elligott STO 2 RN. I entered his service number into the National Archive Website. The information returned showed he was born in North Dublin, Dublin. The image above, from his service record, shows his name is John and also gives his date of birth and his occupation before he joined the Navy.

His record goes on to give a description of John Mc Elligott and also gives his age, date he enlisted and the period he enlisted for. His service record goes on to give a wealth of information relating to his service and shows all the ships and shore bases he served in as well as his conduct, period served in each posting and the various promotions he received.