Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 November 2014

Soldiers' records available online

Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamonn Gilmore at the launch of the digital records of Ireland's World War One Memorial at Google's EMEA HQ in Dublin.

Records of 49,000 Irish soldiers who died during the First World War have gone digital in a new online archive.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, who launched the collection with Northern Ireland's First and Deputy First Ministers, said it would serve both as an information portal and a commemoration.

"While the digitisation and online access to this record will be a rich resource for genealogy, most significant is its value in facilitating the simple and important act of remembering the individuals, Irish men and women, who lost their lives in the First World War," Mr Gilmore said.

The archive - Ireland's Memorial Records - includes the names of the soldiers from the Republic and Northern Ireland who fought and died in the war.

People can search their details, which also include their place of birth, rank, regiment, service number, date of death and place of burial.

The details have been updated and corrected from records that were first published in 1923.

Google, the In Flanders Fields Museum in Belgium and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade worked together in setting up the archive, which is now live.

First Minister Peter Robinson said he hopes it will keep alive the history and stories of those who did not return from the war.

"This work will allow the stories of the fallen to be recorded for the benefit of future generations and will allow us to express our thanks and acknowledge the sacrifice of men who died helping to preserve our freedom," he said.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness added that the fact that 49,000 of the 200,000 Irishmen who fought in the war were killed was evidence of the human impact it had.

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