PRIVATE NOEL FINUCANE
THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT)
4TH JANUARY 1917 AGE 26
BURIED: VLAMERTINGHE MILITARY CEMETERY, BELGIUM
Noel Finucane's inscription comes from a popular love song written in 1911 by Eileen Newton and Arthur F Tate and recorded in 1916 by John McCormack.
Dusk and shadows falling,
O'er land and sea;
Somewhere a voice is calling
Calling for me!
Night and stars are gleaming,
Tender and true;
Dearest! my heart is dreaming,
Dreaming of you!
Finucane was with a working party on the night of 4 January 1917 when he was shot 'through the heart'. He had only been in France since 13 November the previous year. Nevertheless, although his military career may have been short his civilian life beforehand had been fairly exciting.
A steward on the transatlantic liners, he had been on board the Lusitania when she was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Ireland on 7 May 1915. Finucane had escaped from the liner just before she sank and was picked up by a boat . The People's Stories website has a detailed, and rather more colourful accountof this event than I've given - it's worth reading!
After the Lusitania, Finucane served on another Cunard ship, the Aquitania, which was being used as a hospital ship off Gallipoli. He enlisted on 12 December 1915, just before the Allies evacuated the peninsula.
Finucane's widowed mother chose his inscription for her youngest child. Sentimental postcards that feature the song usually show a pair of lovers - with any luck this link will show you an example. But a mother can yearn to hear her son's voice just as much as a wife or girlfriend.