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Remembered Today:

Cemeteries and Memorials


tonycad
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Yes, a strapping 16 year old could be mistaken for an 18 year old, and no doubt there were 18 year olds who looked much younger. The grave of Private John Condon of the Royal Irish Regiment, in Poelkappelle Military Cemetery, gives his age as 14. and at that age 'boyhood' must still have been on his face.

There is a short piece on him on the web, and there does not appear to be any doubts about his age, unlike Private Stradwick, a 15 year old, who was subject to an earlier thread on the Forum.

Tony

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In the same cemetery, and near Private Condon's grave, there is a grave of a 47 year old soldier, from the same regiment as Codon, and who died on the same day. I wonder if the 'old' man gave the 'boy' any support.

In the article on the web, there was a chain of thought that the older man was Condon's step-father, but the trail had gone cold by the time the relationship was researched

Tony

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I thought it was Condon's age which was in doubt, and even a question as to whether or not he was buried in the grave at Poelcapelle

Seem to recollect something about this on the Forum and isn't it on a web site somewhere. Sure someone will post it before I can get round to it.

Regards

John

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Tony,

I do not wish te reopen this "case", but for me there is no doubt whatsoever : the man in John Condon's grave is certainly not John Condon (Waterford) of the Royal Irish Regiment, but Patrick Fitzsimmons (Belfast), of the Royal Irish Rifles, fallen on 16 June 1915, near Railway Wood, 2 miles away from Mouse Trap Farm, where John Condon fell on 24 May 1915 near Railway Wood. Later in 1923, when the remains were found near Railway Wood, based on the wrong interpretation of the abbreviation R.I.R. (= Rifles, not Regiment) in the boot, these remains were wrongly identified as John Condon's and reburied as his.

And there are extremely serious doubts about 14 being the correct age. And these are supported by the birth certificate (16 Oct. 1896, making him over 18 when he fell) and the census 1901 and 1911. (Though these are not in complete agreement.)

It is also my sincere conviction that the remains in the grave next to it, are not Thomas Carthy's. However it appears impossible to find out whose remains they are.

Aurel

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Aurel

Having re-read the beginning of the article on the website I mentioned, I would understand if you would prefer me to remove the post. Please let me know.

John

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Aurel, John Hartley and John S.

Most of our visits to Western Front cemeteries are pre-planned with regard to significant, interesting and informative graves, in the context of the individual's background, unit histories and local actions.

In our visit to Poelkappelle Military Cemetery we were drawn to John Condon's grave by the large number of poppy crosses. I had used the Forum Search facility before posting my message, but I could not find anything on Condon.

Sorry if I appeared to barge in with an innocence and naivety of the actual circumstances.

With regard to the background on Condon's grave, there appears to be a strong case for the MOD accepting the case put forward to correct the situation. It seems a lot stronger that the case made for the renaming of the grave for John Kipling.

Tony

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Sorry if I appeared to barge in with an innocence and naivety of the actual circumstances.

Tony

Tony

No apology necessary from my point of view. I don't consider you have barged in anywhere.

I am pretty much convinced that the 'new' Condon story is true, that he wasn't 14 and isn't buried in the grave.

However I still take my group to see the grave but now tell both sides of the story.

Regards

John

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  • 9 years later...

The Condon links has gone. Someone, somewhere, has an agenda?

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