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25 Jun 2022

New digitised database shows Kildare people who died in World War One

New digitised database shows Irish people who died in World War One

The series begins with Private John Abbey from Baltinglass, co Wicklow and ends with Richard Zimber from New Ross, Co Wexford.

A database of more than 30,000 people who died in the first World War from what is now the Republic has gone live for the UK's Armistice Day - with some 326 people with Kildare addresses listed.

The database from Irelandsgreatwardead.ie, is a digitisation of military historian Tom Burnell’s 15-volume series 26 County Casualties of the Great War, published in 2017, which listed 29,450 people who died in the war. 

It took Mr. Burnell 15 years to compile the 15 volume series, which consists of more than three million words and 8,000 pages.

Using official and non-official sources, Burnell used cuttings from every local and national newspaper, to books and military databases to comprise the act of remembrance.

Since the series was published, which begins with Private John Abbey from Baltinglass, co Wicklow and ends with Richard Zimber from New Ross, Co Wexford, 2000 names through the In From the Cold series have been added.

Beginning the process in 2000, Mr Burnell's original motivation was to correct the Irish National War Memorial Records, published in 1922, which listed 49,000 men from Ireland who died in the war, many of them were not Irish but had served in Irish regiments.

Criteria for inclusion in the volumes is born in the 26 counties, lived in the 26 counties, buried in the 6 counties; except for those who died at sea and are not Irish, and next of kin lived in or born in the 26 counties.

Given that the six counties of Northern Ireland accounted for a third of all Irish that died, it would indicate that 45,000 people from Ireland died in or as a result of the first World War.

Tom Burnell, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, said the publication of the database “is one of the best days of my life”.

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