Located in Limerick’s historic English Town, the military cemetery was formally opened and consecrated on the 11th of August 1856, by the then Bishop of Limerick, Ardfert and Aghadoe, the Rt Rev’d Henry Griffin. Later it was referred as ‘The Royal Military Cemetery' but now is known simply as ‘King’s Island Military Cemetery’.
Within the boundaries of the 0.6 hectare site are a lodge, associated gardens and over 150 burial plots including 39 Commonwealth War Graves (post 1914) - 16 men of The Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 5 Scottish Horse, 4 of The Royal Army Medical Corps, 3 (Royal) Army Service Corps, 3 Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry and 2 Royal Field Artillery and single burial each from the Tank Corps, the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, the Australian Engineers, the Highland Light Infantry, the Labour Corps and the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment.
In Ireland the responsible authority was found to be the Office of Public Works (OPW) rather than the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGS) and the the re-establishment of the Limerick branch of the Royal British Legion in 1989 the members once again established the tradition of holding an Annual Poppy Cross Ceremony in King’s Island Cemetery on the first Sunday of November as one vital part of our overall annual Remembrance observances.
Members and friends gather and place a poppy cross at the foot of each stone. When the parade is called to attention, the Rev. Jane Galbraith offers a prayer of Remembrance. A minute’s silence is then observed. The Branch Chairman then recites the Prayer for the Fallen and the ‘Last Post’ is sounded as our standard is dipped in salute.
This ceremony is followed by a Service of Remembrance and wreath laying at the ancient St. Mary’s Cathedral nearby. During the remaining period of Remembrancetide every war grave in Limerick City (91 in total)is visited by a branch member who will leave a poppy cross in Remembrance.