PRIVATE EDMOND O'NEILL
ROYAL MUNSTER FUSILIERS
12TH SEPTEMBER 1918 AGE 26
BURIED: QUEANT COMMUNAL CEMETERY BRITISH EXTENSION, FRANCE
Yesterday's casualty died a month later than today's but it took five years for the War Graves Commission to ask Private O'Neill's parents for an inscription as opposed to one year for Private Milner's. Constructing the cemeteries took many years, combing the battlefields, exhuming bodies where necessary, reburying them, acquiring the land, designing the cemeteries - there was no standard style - communicating with the next of kin. In fact it was 1938 before the final memorial to the missing was completed. And then of course the next year was 1939.
O'Neill was a volunteer from Ballylongford Co. Kerry. He enlisted in Listowel and went to France in December 1915 serving with the 1st Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers. On September 2 1918 the battalion took part in the capture of the Drocourt-Queant line.A week later it went into the support trenches near Moeuvres and spent the 8th to the 12th, according to the war diary, undertaking 'various reconnaissances'. Having survived the attack on the Drocourt-Queant line it would appear that O'Neill was killed in one of the 'various reconnaissances'.
His elder brother, Patrick, serving with the 8th Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers, was killed in action on the Somme on 9 September 1916. His body was never recovered and his is one of the 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.