Sunday, 10 November 2013

Philip Camillus Wynne – Killed in Action in World War I.

Kevin Wynne had a first cousin who served in World War I, so as tomorrow is Remembrance Day:

Philip Camillus Wynne was the youngest of ten children, born to John Wynne and Margarita Armstrong. He was born on 21 May 1895, in Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland. Philip sometimes went by the name of Camillus. His mother died of tuberculosis in October 1900, when he was only five years old and he was raised by his father and elder sisters. In 1911, Philip lived at 4 Annaville Terrace, Dundalk Town, with his sister Frances Stowell. 

Copyright © 2013, Dara McGivern, http://blackravengenealogy.blogspot.ie/
Poppy field
During World War I, Philip Camillus enlisted as a rifleman for the British Army at Dundalk, Co. Louth. He served in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles, under regiment number 15706.  He fought in the Western European Theatre, in northern France and Flanders. He was killed in action in Flanders, on 16 June 1915, aged twenty years. He lost his life during the Battle of Bellewaarde, which proved to be one of the bloodiest battles of the war. More than 1,000 men died that day, fighting on a battlefield measuring only half a square mile. For more information about this battle, see Bellewaarde 1915 where Phillip’s name is remembered.

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WWI medals (Ancestry)
After his death, Philip was awarded the following medals:  the 1914-15 Star, also known as 'Pip'; the British War Medal, 1914-18, also known as 'Squeak' and the Allied Victory Medal also known as 'Wilfred'. 

Were Phillip’s medals treasured by his family? A baby brother lost, I’m sure they were. Although, perhaps quietly. The political climate in Ireland changed so much during the war years. Yes, War Gardens at Islandbridge were built and dedicated to the memory of the Irishmen killed, but over the years veterans were not celebrated here, like in Britain. Despite any noble or nationalistic intentions, by the end of the war, participation in the British Army was seen as almost shameful by many, running contrary to the quest for Irish independence. In recent years, this stigma has diminished considerably. I wonder where Phillip’s medals are now.  

Philip is remembered, with honour, at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium, his name being listed at panel 40.  The memorial commemorates more than 54,000 ‘Commonwealth’ soldiers, who were missing in action and have no known grave.

He is also remembered, under the name Cameltus Wynne, in Ireland's Memorial Records 1914-1918, an 8 volume set, originally published in Dublin in 1923. This work commemorates over 49,000 'Irishmen' who were fatally injured in the Great European War.  Harry Clarke, better known for his work in stained glass, designed the decorative page borders.  More recent editions are available in the main reading room of the National Library of Ireland, in Kildare St., Dublin.

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Ireland's Memorial Records 1914-1918, xiii, p. 389 

Sources available on request.

More about Philip Camillus Wynne here and here

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© 2013 Black Raven Genealogy

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