US army veterans are set to honour the memory of an Irish-born soldier who died fighting with the Americans on the Western Front in France 94 years ago.
Edmond Brunnock was born in Araglin on the Cork/Tipperary border in 1889 and, after the death of his father, emigrated to Boston in 1912 to join his brothers, who had gone there in search of work.
Six years later, he enlisted in the US army and was dispatched to France during the First World War.
He was one of a large number of soldiers from the 306th Division who died from injuries received in a fierce battle at Boureuilles on the French/German border in Feb 1918.
The 29-year-old was buried in a mass grave until 1922, when his body was disinterred along with 61 other Irish soldiers. Their flag-draped caskets were brought to Dublin. He was reburied in Shanrahan Cemetery in Clogheen,Co Tipperary, in the same plot as his father.
Until now, the soldier’s grave remained unmarked and he never received a military burial.
However, that will change this Saturday when a special US army grave marker will be erected alongside his headstone.
In a ceremony organised by the American Legion, and in the presence of his many nephews, nieces, and cousins from Ireland, the US and Canada, Mr Brunnock will receive military honours.
One of those attending will be Araglin-born Mike Brunnock, a nephew of the late soldier. He emigrated to Canada some years ago and researched his uncle’s history.
“To my generation, he was known as uncle Edmond who died in World War One. On Saturday we will recognise and honour him as a brave soldier who enlisted into the army, knowing the possible consequences of his decision and made the ultimate sacrifice by giving his life for the cause of freedom,” he said.
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