Irish-American WWI veteran honored
Nearly a century after dying in the waning days of World War I, a young Irish soldier killed fighting for the US has been recognized by his adopted land.
Edmond “Ned” Brunnock, 28, emigrated from the Cork-Tipperary border to Dorchester, Mass., in the early part of the 20th century.
He enlisted in the American army in February 1918 and was sent to the trenches in France.
His unit – the 306th Division – was involved in a brutal battle with German troops at St. Hubert near Boureuilles near the Franco-German border on Sept. 28, 1918, less than six weeks before the end of the bloody four-year conflict.
Brunnock, a private, suffered severe injuries as he fought to save several comrades, and died of his wounds four days later on Oct. 1, according to the Irish Independent.
He was initially buried in France, before being disinterred along with 61 other Irish soldiers who had enlisted in the US army, and brought back to Dublin in 1922.
He was buried alongside his father at Shanrahan Cemetery in Clogheen, County Tipperary.
However, Brunnock’s grave did not have a headstone for more than 60 years.
The family did add a small plaque acknowledging his grave in the 1970s, but failed to specify that Brunnock had died fighting gallantly as a US soldier, according to the Irish Independent.
Earlier this month, a ceremony was held in Clogheen during which a special military grave marker was unveiled for Brunnock.
US veterans of World War Two, the Korean War, Vietnam and Gulf War were on hand.
The marker was paid for by the US government and shipped from Washington.
The ceremony was attended by Brunnock’s nephews, nieces and cousins from Ireland, the US and the United Kingdom.
“We recognize and honor Edmond as a brave soldier who … made the ultimate sacrifice … for the cause of freedom,” his nephew Mike Brunnock told the Irish Independent.