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Martin Stokes (a.k.a. Burke)

Rank: Private
Street: [Great] Water Street
Town/Village: Longford
Civil Parish: Templemichael
Catholic Parish: Templemichael
Alternative Address:
Census 1901:
Census 1911:
Regiment/Unit: Connaught Rangers, 6th Battalion/ [5th]
Regiment Number: 5204
Date of Death: 03-09-1916
Cause: Killed in action, near Guillemont (Somme), France
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, Thiepval, Somme, France

Martin Stokes (a.k.a Burke), was born in Boyle, Co. Roscommon but enlisted in Beare Island, Co. Cork. His family lived here in Longford. Pte Stokes arrived at the front on the 7 September 1915. 

In September 1916 the 6th Connaught Rangers were located in the trenches between Guillemont and Lazure Wood. On the 3 September they took part in an attack in place of the Rifle Brigade, 20th Division. They were instructed to "go over" in three waves. The first wave comprising "C" Coy. attacking from the Rim Trench and "D" through the Quarry. The second and thrid waves comprised two platoons each from "A" and"B" Coys: the third objective of the assault was to allow the 6th Royal Irish Regiment and 8th Royal Munster Fusiliers push through to an area known as the Sunken Road.

The bombardment began at 8am, however some friendly-fire resulted in the British Army shelling some of their own trenches: Rim Trench, Hun Alley and a support trench. The Regimental War Diary for the day notes 200 casualties (injured and dead) by midday alone. 

Parents Names: (1) Son of Michael Stokes/ Stokes Burke (2) Son of J. M. Burke of Water Street, Longford

CWGC link; Wounded & missing, Irish Independent 18 October 1916

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