Cork historians close to finalising booklet correcting 'inaccuracies' on memorial wall

Cork historians close to finalising booklet correcting 'inaccuracies' on memorial wall
Midleton’s Wall

Two east Cork historians say they are close to finalising a booklet with “accurate corrective information” on 200 names on a memorial wall commemorating soldiers lost in World War 1.

The compilation of the document follows allegations made by the men that Midleton’s Wall of Remembrance contains “107 inaccuracies”.

Military historian Eugene Power and genealogist Paul Busteed also claim that at least 120 others who deserve inclusion on the wall have been overlooked.

The memorial, close to Distillery Walk, was unveiled in 2018 by Tánaiste Simon Coveney.

The project was semi-funded by Cork County Council and managed by a Midleton World War 1 Commemoration Committee which compiled the information over three years.

Mr Power, an Irish army sergeant, says he and Mr Busteed began investigating that information noticing some inaccuracies.

They spent nine months researching each name from both a military history and genealogical perspective.

Mr Power said they “would not suggest any correction without at least three coincidental documents”.

The sergeant says one soldier is cited as being given an honour "only bestowed on naval officers”, while Mr Busteed's cousin Maurice Cosgrove is misspelled, his address inaccurate and his death at the Battle of Jutland erroneously listed as 1915.

The men also claim 36 names on the wall are not from the Midleton area, including “two from Mauritius and three from America”.

The men are long-time members of war study associations such as The Western Front Association and say they have extensive access to records in Ireland and Britain including the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cheltenham College, birth certs, baptismal records, marriage certs and census records.

They claim the memorial committee rejected their offer of assistance with the project.

“Having misinformation reproduced in a booklet available for study in the local library and heritage centre is a serious matter”, Mr Power adds, “But there is also the question of accountability.”

Memorial wall committee spokesman Tom Walsh declined to answer questions, describing the two men as “self-appointed experts.”

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