My name is Kyle McGee and I am 16 years old, I go to school in Castleblayney College in Castleblayney, Co.Monaghan. I first found out about the project through my history teacher. As soon as I heard about the project I knew I was going to try my best to get involved. It sounded very interesting.
From a young age I had a love of history. My father served in the Irish Defence Forces for 23 years, so my interest in the military grew as I got older. Hearing the stories my father used to tell me about his numerous trips overseas always interested me. I remember reading books upon books about both WW1 and WW2. Every book I read was always as interesting as the one before it.
I tried to include as much detail as possible in my entry form. I explained all about my father serving in the Defence Forces and how I grew up with a love for history. My History teacher sent the form away.Some weeks later she broke the news to me that I had won. I was the person who was chosen to represent County Monaghan on this amazing trip. I was ecstatic. I never win anything, so it was a complete shock to get accepted.
As soon as I found out my soldier's name, I began my research straight away. As I carried out my research, I began to become amazed by the amount of information there is about WW1 soldiers on the web. I found everything from pictures of my soldier to information about the medals he earned.
To help my research, I got in contact with a historian from Castleblayney, Daphne HolmesGreer. She helped me find out a lot more information about my soldier's family. I also got to visit the grave of my soldie'rs family. She showed me baptismal records from the Presbyterian Church to help me find the names of my soldier's next of kin. Without Daphne, I never would have been able to visit Samuel's home house. She put in alot of work behind the scenes which I am very grateful for.
I would like to thank Gerry Moore for making this trip possible. I can't even begin to imagine the amount of work Gerry has put into this project and I am very grateful for all the hard work he put in to the project to give us students the amazing opportunity we have. I would also like to thank the organising committee who also put a lot of hard work in to the project to make the trip possible. Last but not least, I would like to thank my History teacher, Ms.Hanratty, for all of her amazing help. From setting up meetings with different people to help me find out more information to sending me websites where I can find information, I am thankful for the hard work she put in to help me along.