Local Studies Department
WORLD WAR I: Chapter 8 - Roll Of Honour
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” Mark Twain
The bravest of the brave went to battle, fought their fight, won or lost and paid the price. Recognition of duty done came in many forms, some of which are listed here:
- Military Medal
- Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
- Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)
- Victoria Cross
- Military Cross etc.,
Different levels of awards were restricted to certain ranks e.g. the Military Cross could only be awarded to “at least Captain, a Commissioned Officer or Warrant Officer...on recommendation ... by ... Principal Secretary of State for War.”
The Quarterly Army List-April 1915
Throughout the war, soldiers were granted different levels of awards for acts of bravery. Although little consolation on the death of a son, husband, brother or father, it became a very important part of the War. Family members could feel proud that recognition of some sort was given. The soldier could feel appreciated in some way.
The following are extracts from the Kildare Observer and Leinster Leader specifically mentioning Kildare men who were commended during and after the War:-
(Click names to see tributes)
One did not have to be born in a certain town to be mourned by that town. Sergeant Ahearn lived in Newbridge for many years before leaving for the Great War;
Individuals, not necessarily soldiers or supporting the war effort on the battlefield, were rewarded for certain conspicuous acts of bravery;
These are just some of the people from County Kildare who distinguished themselves during the war, many were not commemorated in any way. However, a trip to the War Memorial Gardens in the Phoenix Gardens Dublin is a worthwhile exercise. It is only here that the Republic of Ireland’s men are commemorated visibly today.
“Amongst those mentioned for distinguished services in connection with the Gallipoli Peninsula operations are the following- Acting Vice-Admiral John Michael de Robeck, K.C.B.; Commander Archibald Bertram Watson Higginson, R.N.” March 1916- Kildare Observer
The “London Gazette” on Wednesday night contained the Royal Warrant Instituting a new silver medal, designated the “Military Medal”, which is to be awarded to non-commissioned officers and men for individual or associated acts of bravery, on the recommendation of a commander-in-chief, in the field. The medal will bear on the obverse the Royal effigy, and on the reverse the words, “For bravery in the field,” encircled by a wreath surmounted by the Royal cipher and a crown. The medal is to be worn immediately before all war medals on the left breast, pendant from a dark-blue ribbon with white and crimson stripes. April 1916- Kildare Observer
A Committee of some friends of the late Capt. J.P. Roche, M.C., Monasterevan has been formed in the Co. Kildare for the purpose of co-operating with a number of friends in the Co. Kerry who are desirous of showing their esteem by erecting some memorial.
Nov 17, 1917- Kildare Observer
Memorials:- what is described as a Roll of Honour list containing the names of about 15 students who have joined the British army since the outbreak if the war has been hung in the porch of the Naas Technical Schools by the Principal, Mr. J.R. Halsall, and it has been the object of much interest and admiration to all who have visited the schools.