Saturday 3 November 2018

The Fallen

On All Souls' Day I visited the above installation to commemorate the soldiers killed in the Great War. 
To be frank, I didn't take in much of the information as I was distracted by the memory of someone I never knew, except in family lore, as Great Uncle Jim Joe, killed at the front on October 12th 1918 Age 30. 
Coming from a mining community he joined the Royal Engineers and would have been one of those who burrowed tunnels across the line into enemy territory. 

This reflection is for him- Sapper James Joseph Leonard, 137th Field Company, Royal Engineers.
Buried at Cambrin Military Cemetery, France.


The women thread fish wire through paper leaves that bear your names
One leaf for every soldier, it takes them sixty hours
of fine needlework to fashion this chandelier
of fallen souls, 36,000 leaves,
Fluttering from the ceiling
of St Patrick's Cathedral
Finally risen again.


  1. It would be very emotional to go to Cambrin.

  2. Hi Cathy, this was my 3 times great uncle from Coalisland. Lovely poem!Have you visited the cemetery? Brenda

    1. Hi Brenda, great to hear from you. I haven't visited the cemetery. Have you? Cathy

  3. Hi Cathy- I haven't but I'm really eager to! I just went to the Brackaville cemetery today actually to find his other family members but could only find one brother and one sister, but there had been quite a few of them. Do you know any more about the family? I'd be interested to find out since, sadly, my relatives who would have known have all died. I've just made the family tree in the last few months! Was excited to find James Joseph and read about him in the R.E. war diary.

  4. Hi Brenda, I may not have much to add but can you email me at We can perhaps put together some of the pieces. My aunt Maureen still lives in Brackaville. She's in her 90s. My greatgrandfather was Patrick. Which of the family was your grandparent? C