Memories 1983 - Limerickmen remembered for their services in the Great War

THE number of Limerickmen who have fallen in battle and are laid to rest in the city is few. The only central resting place is the King’s Island Cemetary, maintained by a resident caretaker Mr Alfred Sparling.

THE number of Limerickmen who have fallen in battle and are laid to rest in the city is few. The only central resting place is the King’s Island Cemetary, maintained by a resident caretaker Mr Alfred Sparling.

And not all the 37 soldiers who lie there died in battle. the approaching winter of 1918, after the end of the Great War, brought with it the “black flu” - described locally as some kind of pneumonia.

It occurred when British Army personnel were required , most likely by a shortage of accomodation in the four city barracks, to camp under canvas in the marshes of King’s Island.

It must be remembered that, although the war had come to an brupt end, literally, with the Armistice - when the clatter of machine gun ended with the thunder of artillery at an agreed moment in time - a great deal of equipment had to be stored in Ireland, then the second of the two islands which made up the empire’s heartland.

Many soldiers had not yet demobbed and the Troubles were gathering momentum at that time.