On Wednesday, 2nd October, the Chairman of the Western Front Association, Colin Wagstaff visited Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork to thank the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, and the Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne, for the work they and the United Dioceses had undertaken between 2014 and 2018 in the commemoration of the centenaries of the First World War in general, and of the centenary of the Armistice in particular.
Mr Wagstaff was accompanied by Gerry White (Chairman, Cork Branch of the Western Front Association), Gerard O’Meara (Secretary, Cork Branch of the Western Front Association), and Denis Kirby (Cork Branch of the Western Front Association, who is also chairman of the Irish Branch of the Leinster Regiment Association).
Throughout the centenary period a montage created by Bishop Colton and Dean Dunne featuring the faces of people with Cork connections (then and now) who died or were veterans of the First World War was on display in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral in a place set aside for remembrance and prayer. Many thousands came to visit it during the four-year period.
In addition, in schools of the Diocese, Bishop Colton organised special teaching materials and, to mark the centenary of the Armistice, special assemblies and classes were held when the Bishop’s gift of an olive tree to each school was received. At the heart of the Armistice 100 Service of Remembrance in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral were facsimiles of First World War telegrams onto which students of Ashton School, Bandon Grammar School, and Midleton College had transcribed the names of Cork people (between 4000 and 5000) who died in the First World War. It was the first time, liturgically, that all the names of all the Cork people of all backgrounds who died in the War were included physically in one place.