Bellingham’s war
memorial restored

Donal Hall Author with his wife Patrica and Heber Russell  a relation of the Bellingham, family
The faded inscriptions on the memorial at Castlebellingham have been beautifullly depicted on a special plague which was unveiled at the cross last Friday.

The faded inscriptions on the memorial at Castlebellingham have been beautifullly depicted on a special plague which was unveiled at the cross last Friday.

Members of the Tidy Towns committee Jim Byrne, Bernadette McGrory and Pat Roddy laid a wreath at the cermony which was also attended by historian Donal Hall and Hever Russell, a desendent of the Bellinghyam family.

The inscriptions on the monument have been eroded but this beautifully illustrated plague is a fasimile of the origianl writing on the granite.

The monument was erected by Sir Henry Bellingham in 1920 to commemorate local men killed in World War 1.

In an open letter to the Dundalk Democrat, Sir Henry, a convert to Catholicism, asked for names to be submitted for inclusion on the monument and only those that responded were included.

Some of the names are those of the sons of people who had emigrated from Louth.

The memorial is in the

form of a celtic cross with ornamentation from the Book of Kells. It was designed to reflect Gaelic culture and contrasts with memorials in the UK and the North which are usually cenotaphs and statues.

The Castlebellingham memorial cross was dedicated on 5 February 1920 in an impressive ceremony officiated by Cardinal Logue, Roman Catholic Primate of All-Ireland.

Two-hundred ex-servicemen under the command of General Edward Bellingham marched in military formation from Kilsaran to the memorial where a crowd of 500

had gathered for the ceremony.

The lead inscription on the monument reads:

Pray for those of the three parishes of Kilsaran, Dromiskin and Togher who died for Ireland in the Great European War of 1914-1918.

Sir Henry Bellingham died in June 1921.

His surviving son Edward became a member of the first Irish senate and died in 1956.

His daughter Augusta married John Crichton-Stuart, 4th Marquess of Bute at Castlebellingham in July 1905.

His son Roger was killed in action in 1915 age 30.