Hello, my name is Manus McDyer and I am a student at St Columba’s Comprehensive School in Glenties. I first heard of the My Adopted Soldier project from our history teacher Mr Moore, and as history is one of my favourite subjects I immediately thought that this would be a fascinating and interesting project to get involved in. Together with a few classmates we began compiling a database of all the soldiers from Ireland who are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. We have been working our way through the names of thousands and thousands of soldiers and putting together a list of all the fallen Irish (both Northern and Southern Ireland). The student selected from our school to “adopt” a soldier from Co Donegal is Finnian Ward. Finnian has carried out some great research on his soldier and he will visit his soldier’s grave in the Somme.
I have a keen interest in WW1 and I’m so looking forward to the trip to the Somme. I feel very honoured to be part of the group of students to remember the Irish soldiers of World War I, who until recently were the forgotten fallen by many Irish men and women. Thankfully now we recognise their sacrifice and commemorate their loss.