Story by Dara Kelly for IrishCentral.com, August 18. 2012:
A young Irish soldier who died in battle during World War I is now being honored after lying in an unmarked grave for many years.
According to the Irish Independent, 28-year-old Edmond ‘Ned’ Brunnock emigrated to Dorchester in Massachusetts from Doon, Araglin, on the Cork-Tipperary border. In February 1918, he enlisted in the US army and was sent to the trenches in France.
On September 28, Brunnock’s unit — the 306th Division — was involved in a horrific battle with German troops at St Hubert near Boureuilles on the Franco-German border.
He sustained severe injuries as he fought to save his fellow soldiers and died of his wounds four days later on October 1, just two months short of his 29th birthday.
After initially being buried in France, his body, and the bodies of 61 other Irish soldiers who had enlisted in the US army, was disinterred and brought to Dublin in 1922.
Brunnock, who was one of 12 children, was buried alongside his father, Thomas Brunnock, at Shanrahan Cemetery in Clogheen, Co Tipperary.
However, his headstone was left unmarked for over 60 years. In the 1970s, the family did add a small plaque acknowledging his burial but did not specify that he had died bravely fighting as a US soldier.
On Saturday, the American Legion’s Fr Duffy Post lead a special ceremony in Clogheen where full military honours were accorded Private Brunnock and a special military grave marker, paid for by the US government and shipped from Washington, was unveiled.
Brunnock’s nephew Mike Brunnock told the Irish Independent: “We recognise and honour Edmond as a brave soldier who … made the ultimate sacrifice … for the cause of freedom.”