7th Battalion Leinster Regiment,
Killed in Action, 31st August 1916,
From Monasterevan, Co Kildare,
Private Martin Byrne, Son of Mrs Sarah Byrne, of Drogheda Row, Monasterevan, Kildare and of the 7th Battalion Leinster Regiment, 16th Irish Division, 47th Brigade, was killed in action on the 31st August 1916 at the battle of the Somme, he was just 19 years of age.
According to the War Diary of the 7th Leinsters, on August 31st the Battalion was “marching through the eastern outskirts of Montauban, when the Hun took it into his head to start a hymn of hate in the shape of an intense bombardment of tear shell mixed with high explosive.”
Martin was one of the casualties of this two hour bombardment. His body was never found and he has no known grave and is remembered with honour at the Thiepval Memorial to the missing.
A hand written letter by Martin’s mother , accompanied this group when I acquired them. It is reproduced below;
“So Long As Love Abides They laid him where he fell in Battle, far away from me,
Where I cannot plant his grave with flowers of memory That last sweet solace is denied,an exile there he lies,
Underneath the alien stars and unfamiliar skies Yet the part of him I loved, the spirit and the mind Is clothed in immortality and cannot be confined,
To the faithful death is life and no dark gulf divides, He will dwell within my heart so as love abides.”