CWGC: War Grave for Bo'ness soldier who died aged 18 to be dedicated

A young soldier who was accidently killed during training in 1917 will be remembered at a special ceremony this weekend.

Private Michael Muldoon’s grave in Bo’ness Cemetery has now been marked with a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) headstone and this Saturday there will be a dedication service.

Taking place during CWGC War Graves Week, the service begins at noon and will be attended by Michael’s relatives, the Lord Lieutenant of Stirling and Falkirk Mr Alan Simpson, Patricia Keppie of CWGC and will be led at the graveside by Father Andrew Forrest of St Mary’s RC Church.

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Private Muldoon, was serving with the Royal Scots Fusiliers, 9th Battalion, and was stationed at Kinghorn, Fife when he died at Whinnyhall Shooting Range, Burntisland, on November 14, 1917, after being accidentally shot during shooting practice. He was only 18 years old.

Private Michael Muldoon has finally been recognised by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and will have a headstone dedicated in Bo'ness Cemetery

Michael’s name appears on the Bo’ness War Memorial but, although he is buried in Bo’ness Cemetery his grave was was until very recently not commemorated by the CWGC, even though he fitted their category 1 criteria for commemoration.

His story was told in the book Without Fear - World War 1 Stories of the Men on the Bo’ness War Memorial, and the co-authors Robert Jardine, Richard Hannah and Alan Gow highlighted this to CWGC.

With the help of Michael’s relatives in Bo’ness and other online groups further information was provided, and as a result CWGC recently installed a granite CWGC headstone.

Richard Hannah said: “Private Michael Muldoon’s new CWGC headstone looks magnificent. We are absolutely delighted that our persistence and patience has paid off and that the service of a brave son of Bo’ness has been recognised after nearly 105 years.”

Private Muldoon’s headstone increases the number of CWGC maintained graves for both wars in Bo’ness Cemetery up to 37 in total.

The Without Fear Project was set up by Bo’ness Town Trust Association in 2017 involving the three local amateur researchers who have a special interest in World War One in the area.

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The community project received funding from the Heritage Fund ‘First World War: then and now’ grant programme, and fulfilled its aim of shining a light on the Bo’ness men who made the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War.