Book a tribute to WWI dead

John ODonnell of the Royal Irish Fusiliers with Mary J. ODonnell (n�e Wallace).  Photo PJ O'Donnell.  INCT 17-747-CON
John ODonnell of the Royal Irish Fusiliers with Mary J. ODonnell (n�e Wallace). Photo PJ O'Donnell. INCT 17-747-CON

Whitehead’s war dead are being remembered thanks to a new publication launched last week by a Carrickfergus councillor.

John Stewart’s ‘Carrickfergus Great War Roll of Honour’ profiles over 1300 men from the area who served during the global conflict.

Among many local contributors to the book was Whitehead man Steve Diamond, whose own research into the world wars began with a tribute painting he made in 1998. “To make the picture, which I called Homecoming, I needed some photos of the men we lost,” he said. “I met with some of their families, and the stories they told me of their lost loved ones were compelling.

“Many years later I am still looking for the war dead, and still discovering men who had been forgotten. The latest one is William Joseph Forsythe, lost in May 1942. John’s book is an impressive effort to find and publish information on those who volunteered in WWI from this area.”

Included in Roll of Honour are John and James O’Donnell, two uncles of the late Whitehead historian, PJ O’Donnell. “He gave me his uncles’ pictures, and it’s great to see them in print at long last,” Mr Diamond added. “One century on, their faces, and others from 17 years of my research are now remembered, among their comrades from the old Borough of Carrickfergus. In every way, John’s book is a new war monument.”