News From The Past Sligo War Stories
News from the past is a project to commemorate the people of Sligo who fought in WW1. This blog will be used to share these stories.
Joseph O'Beirne, Collooney
Joseph OʼBeirne was from Kilnamonagh near Collooney, Co. Sligo.
He was a devoted Roman Catholic all his life and a member of the Knights of Columbanus and a member of the Teeling Football team.
In 1910 he applied unsuccessful for a job as a rent collector with the Sligo Rural District (Image 2) and so in 1911 like so many men of the county who were unable to find employment he emigrated to America and settled down to a new life in New York.
In August 1917 he was conscripted into the US Army and joined up with the Co.D, 60th Infantry, Division 5 in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
He was one of the first to receive the draft and by all accounts made a good soldier.
In early 1918 the 60th Infantry were moved across the Atlantic to France for combat duties. By November of that year Private Joseph OʼBeirne found himself in Verdun, France. He wrote his last letter home on the 5th November 1918.
On the eve of the Armistice on the night of the 10th November he was seriously wounded by two machine gun bullets in his thigh and breast whilst attacking an enemy trench. He was brought to a military field hospital but died of his wounds on the 19th November 1918.
His letter would arrive home to his family after the news of the Armistice much to the families delight, they assumed he had survived the war. A few days later they would receive the news from Washington DC that he had in-fact been killed.
All through the war he kept with him his membership booklet from the Knights of Columbanus with the hand written inscription on the cover that it be returned to his family should he be killed.
Private Joseph OʼBeirne is buried in Suresnes American Cemetery, Suresnes, France.
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Teeling Gaelic Football Team, Collooney, Sligo, Ireland
Joseph O'Beirne, Collooney, Sligo, Ireland, WW1 Soldier
WW1 Letter Home | Sligo, Ireland
World War 1 Diary Inscritpion by Joseph O'Beirne, Sligo, Ireland
Offical WW1 (World War 1) Letter | Joseph O'Beirne