ONE OF THE YOUNGEST MILITARY CASUALTIES OF WWI
I first photographed this memorial in March 2021 but forgot to publish the resulting images.
In 2021 I used a Sony 7RIV with a Sony PZ 28-135mm Lens and in 2022 I uses a Canon 5D MkIII with a Sigma 24-105mm Lens.
Thomas was from Callan in Co Kilkenny, the son of Edward and Hanora Woodgate of Mill Street, and until recently it was assumed that he was 18 when he signed up to the Royal Air Force in late 1918. He died on board RMS Leinster on 10 October 1918, when it was torpedoed by a German submarine close to the Kish Lighthouse while on its way to Holyhead.
Altogether, 501 lives were lost in that incident, which occurred just a month before the end of the war.
In recent years, while research was being carried out into the hundreds of people from the Kilkenny area who died during that war, it was discovered that Thomas was actually 14 when he was killed.
Thomas is buried in Grangegorman military cemetery in Dublin.
The sculpture was created by CDS Architectural Metalwork. Martin Stapleton began his career working with his father Michael in the Farm Building Business. He began his apprenticeship in 1986 and in 1989 he represented Ireland in the World Skill Olympics where he finished 3rd behind China and Korea. After this intensive training, Martin realised that there was a market for quality metalwork in the construction industry which could be manufactured and installed to an extremely high standard, which was not an “off the shelf” product but instead crafted to suit each individual project requirement. This metalwork utilized mildsteel, stainless steel, copper, brass, glass etc and maximised the fabrication techniques and procedures to produce spectacular results.