I wanted to write to you from Belfast after I saw your name at the Irish National War Memorial Gardens in Dublin a few days ago.
Your sacrifice should have won a century of peace. But it didn’t, did it?
I’m wondering if it’s you beneath that slab in Westminster Abbey. A Soldier of the Great War, known unto God. Now that would be an irony, given the water that’s passed under the bridge. A century of pain, dividing our chilly archipelago, islands of rain and warm beer.
But this week a Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cross of Sacrifice is being unveiled by President Higgins at Glasnevin, in the shadow of Daniel O’Connell’s tomb. Think of that.
People want to know a hundred years on what the commemoration’s legacy will be. I’ll give you a legacy. For our centenary let the legacy be fraternity in and between islands that God made neighbours. That’ll do nicely.
Yours with the most profound respect and gratitude,
Dr Andrew Murrison MP
Prime Minister’s Special Representative for the Centenary Commemoration of the First World War
Parliamentary under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland