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HRH The Duke of Kent and Irish President Michael D Higgins unveil memorial cross to Ireland's war dead

31 July 2014

HRH The Duke of Kent, President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC),  and Irish President Michael D Higgins unveiled a Cross of Sacrifice to honour Ireland's war dead at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin today.

The Cross of Sacrifice at Glasnevin is the first to be erected in the Republic of Ireland. It represents an important addition to the cemetery's existing memorials, which honour servicemen who died in the First and Second World Wars, and compliments the work the CWGC and the Trust recently completed to identify and mark more than 200 war graves within the cemetery.

Speaking at the event, His Royal Highness said:  "The Cross of Sacrifice we dedicate today, is an important step in the continuing process of recognising and remembering those Irishmen and women who died in the two world wars. It represents a lasting tribute to their sacrifice and it is my hope, in the years to come, that memorials such as these continue to inspire successive generations to remember."

Deirdre Mills, the CWGC's Director of UK Operations, said: "In the year that marks the Centenary of the First World War, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is delighted that our joint initiative to erect a Cross of Sacrifice in Glasnevin Cemetery has reached fruition. The Cross is an important feature of our work worldwide, commemorating those from both Ireland and throughout the Commonwealth who gave their lives during both World Wars. We are extremely grateful to the Irish Government,  public, and the Glasnevin Trust, all of whom have done so much to support our work of commemoration and remembrance in Ireland."

Designed for the CWGC after the First World War by renowned architect Sir Reginald Blomfield, the Cross of Sacrifice represents the faith of the majority and the human sacrifice of all Commonwealth war dead. The Cross of Sacrifice can be found in CWGC cemeteries across the globe, wherever Commonwealth servicemen were laid to rest during and after the two world wars.

Hundreds of thousands of Irishmen and women served with the British and Commonwealth armed forces during both world wars and as many as 60,000 are believed to have died.


Click here to read the full media release.