A reference book detailing information on over 300 people from north Offaly who took part in World War One is to be launched next Wednesday in Edenderry.
'Edenderry and the Great War 1914-1918’ has been put together by Catherine Watson, as a reference book for genealogists and anyone interested in those with a connection to Edenderry and the surrounding area who took part in the First World War.
It contains a small section on how the war affected Edenderry, but its main pages are dedicated to listing information including birthplace, family details, occupation, date of death and burial location for more than 300 locals who took part in the war effort.
Author Catherine Watson said information for the book was gathered from a number of different sources, including interviews with descendants of soldiers, Army service records, censuses, obituary notices and births, deaths and marriage records.
“Many people probably don’t realise so many people from the area joined the British Army during the war,” she explained.
“Around 70 men with a connection to the area who died in the war are amongst those mentioned in the book. The remainder are people who survived, some natives of the area who returned to the town and others who made Edenderry their new home after the war.”
The author describes her book as a starting point for locals interested in their ancestor’s war service. She added that rather than glorifying war, its purpose is to record for posterity some of the people who took part in the noble historic event that affected millions worldwide.
“If this book creates debate and causes people to talk about and recall their relations and neighbours who were in the war and who have long since been forgotten, then this book will have achieved its purpose,” she said.
'Edenderry and The Great War 1914-1918’ will be launched after a talk by Offaly historian Michael Byrne on Wednesday, August 27 at 6.30pm in Edenderry library.
On the same evening at 6pm Edenderry Historical Society will unveil a plaque at the town hall commemorating all those from the area who took part in the war. Two days later, on Friday, August 29, at 8pm Catherine will give a talk on how World War One affected Edenderry families in Edenderry parish centre. Those attending that talk are encouraged to bring along any war memorabilia they may have.
'Edenderry and The Great War 1914-1918’ will be available for sale in local shops. Book enquiries are also welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org.