Sunday, 14 November 2010

A half moon and pink clouds over the beach at Holmpatrick

November sunshine at the end of the day, with a half-moon over Holmpatrick in Skerries late this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2010)

Patrick Comerford

It has been a busy week ... and a busy weekend.

After a weekend away the previous weekend, photographing Pugin churches, convents and chapels in Killarney, Co Kerry, and Adare, Co Limerick, and touring the Lakes of Killarney, I headed back into a busy week in Dublin. Although the past week was a reading weeks for students, with no lectures or tutorials, we still had faculty and committee meetings and some chapel services, there was planning for the weeks ahead, sermons, lectures and tutorial notes to finish writing, meetings to prepare for, and meetings of both the cathedral board and chapter in Christ Church Cathedral.

But in the midst of it all, I spent the best part of a day in hospital, with tests and consultations relating to my sarcoidosis.

By now, I was hoping for some remission, no matter how slight. But the X-Rays on my lungs show no change over the past three months. The bad news is the expected remission has not yet begun to show signs of kicking in; the good news is there is no change, and things are not getting worse. That I can live with.

I then faced into a busy weekend, with students in for the Foundation Course, the NSM course and the distance-learning MTh course, with lectures, tutorials, one-to-one meetings and the daily round of chapel services.

On Saturday morning, I headed off with my tutorial group to visit the Irish Islamic Cultural Centre and mosque in Clonskeagh, with coffee and baclava afterwards in the Olive café in the basement; on Sunday morning, I was preaching at the Community Eucharist.

With th residential weekend over, I headed into Christ Church Cathedral to catch a cup of coffee in the crypt after the Remembrance Sunday Eucharist. The preacher was Canon Kenneth Kearon from the Anglican Communion Office and the setting was Fauré’s Requiem. It must have been very moving.

After lunch, conscious that it’s some time since I’ve had a walk on a beach, I headed off, first to Portrane and then on to Skerries.

The sun was declining in the east, but this has been a bright, sunny winter’z weekend, with bright blue skies and a crisp bite in the air. All along the coast road from Rush to Skerries, there was a rosé tint to the few clouds catching that setting sun, half moon was already taking its place high in the blue skies, and one or two stars were glowing brightly.

I stopped off at the steps at Holmpatrick to try and capture the image for those last, lingering moments, before going for a walk on the Strand. The water was calm, the tide was in, and gentle waves were lapping against the sand. It was a true contrast with reports of stormy seas less than a week ago.

As I turned back, lights wre coming on in the houses and apartments. After buying the last edition of the Skerries News and the Sunday papers, two of us took a quick drive around the harbour and Red Island.

It was a less invigorating Sunday afternoon than many of my beach walks earlier this year. But it is hard to believe that this is the middle of November. I feel refreshed, and the beauty of the beach and my walk on the shoreline in Skerries reminds me that I may have sarcoidosis ... but sarcoidosis will never have me.

Drama, poetry and irony in the Temple

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Patrick Comerford

Sunday 14 November 2010 (The Second Sunday before Advent)

11.30 a.m.: The Community Eucharist

Isaiah 65: 17-25; Canticle 23 (the Song of Isaiah); II Thessalonians 3: 6-13; Luke 21: 5-19.

May I speak to you in the name of God, + Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Many years ago, I realised that there are three things that translate very badly, and three things that are impossible to express in print merely by changing the typeface: drama, poetry and humour, especially irony.

Our Gospel reading this morning is filled with drama, poetry, and humour, especially irony.

First for the drama:

In the Lectionary readings for Year C, we have been working our way through Saint Luke’s Gospel. After a long journey, Christ has arrived in Jerusalem, and we are preparing for the climax of this Gospel, his Passion, Death, Burial and Resurrection.

These are appropriate pre-Advent readings as we prepare for Christ’s coming among us in a short time, not so much as a cuddly child in a Christmas crib, but as Christ the King, which we mark next Sunday.

Meanwhile, this morning we find Christ in the Temple, teaching kingdom values. But these teachings are ignored by those who see him as a threat to their power and their privilege and who want to get rid of him.

Yet, instead of this being a comfortable reading, this could be a difficult and disturbing Gospel passage. If you had a choice you would probably not choose it for a Gospel reading at a Remembrance Day service this morning, trying to tell people not to be terrified when they hear about wars and insurrections (verse 9) and about nation fighting nation, kingdom fighting kingdom (verse 10).

But the lectionary is not about constantly providing us with comfortable readings; otherwise, we would end up coming to church only for the feel-good factor, and stop coming when we feel challenged and uncomfortable.

If we were to treat the Bible like this, if we were to pick and choose and so avoid the Lectionary readings we find difficult and challenging, we would end up treating our Sunday readings like some sort of Songs of Praise, picking and choosing what comforts and entertains us, but not what challenges us.

And if we do that with the Bible, we are in danger of missing out on the drama and the challenge of the full salvation story and of pursuing a god who is in our own image and likeness.

So this morning’s Gospel reading is full of drama, and drama that is challenging, drama that we need to work through.

It is a difficult challenge for a Sunday morning when we are commemorating Remembrance. But a difficult reading too, when we consider the civic and political and economic disturbances it talks about.

For the widow who has lost her savings as she saw the value of her bank shares collapse, for the pensioner who worries that the coming budget may take away his health care, for the middle class couple who see the stones of their house tumble down around them as they fail to meet their mortgage payments yet face having to pay a property tax too regardless of their ability to pay, for the student who knows her unemployed parents cannot afford next year’s fee increases, for the low-paid worker who sees his job under threat or his wages losing further value because of the misbehaviour of politicians and bankers, would this morning’s Gospel reading be a comfort or a challenge?

Would they too be fearful of, worried about dreadful portents, great signs, being betrayed, not one stone being left upon another?

Now for the poetry:

Poetry, dance and alliteration come from the soul and the heart.

Verses 8 to 19 are full of poetry and song – if you read it in a Bible translation that simply runs clause after clause, sentence after sentence, you will miss the poetry and the metre, the rhythm and the beat, in this passage.

One of the difficulties in translating poems and songs is that people have different ideas about where the rhyme and the repetition should come.

I once set out on a silly attempt to translate a great political poem by the Greek poet Yiannis Ritsos. His epic Epitaphios tells the story of a poor widow, bent Pieta-like over the body of her slain son. She weeps in a heart-breaking way over his limp, lifeless body. My son, my son, she cries, you were my Sunshine, my joy, my reason for living. Why did you die? Why were you cut off in your prime? Is this why I gave birth to you?

And then she hears his comrades continuing his struggle. Her son is alive in this mass of living, protesting bodies. And she takes new hope.

Translating this poem has proved an impossible task.

But I played a recorded, sung version once, a setting by Mikis Theodorakis movingly and emotionally sung by Maria Farantouri, while one of my sons, then only three or four, was sitting on my lap, playing snakes and ladders. I explained the basic outline of this poem. And he caught the emotion as well as the rhythm and the metre. He could grasp it in a way that no translation would have allowed me to.

And no translation can do justice to this poetic passage in Saint Luke’s Gospel. But please indulge me as I give a glimpse, just a glimpse of where you might find it.

Imagine rhyming slang. Then stone upon stone in verse 6: λίθος ἐπὶ λίθῳ (líthos epi lítho) forms a rhyming group with famines and plagues in verse 11: λιμοὶ καὶ λοιμοὶ (limoí kai loimoí). So the people who are admiring stones are being told they are bringing upon themselves – are wishing for – famines and plagues. Be wary of what you wish for.

Imagine metrical emphasis:

Do not be deceived (verse 8): μὴ πλανηθῆτε (mé planethete)

Do not follow (verse 8): μὴ πορευθῆτε (mé porefthete)

Do not be frightened (verse 9): μὴ πτοηθῆτε (mé ptoithete)

Do not prepare, or do not rehearse (verse 14): μὴ προμελετᾶν (mé promeletán)

Do not perish (verse 18): μὴ ἀπόληται (mé apólitai)

The repetitious mee-pee sound is like a bump-bump, thump-thump dramatic beating out that Theodorakis could so easily set to music.

Poetry and song are part and parcel of apocalyptic literature.

But why would Jesus bother to regale and remonstrate with those who challenge and confront him with a song of apocalyptic poetry, like some New Testament Leonard Cohen or a Sting or Simon and Garfunkel?

Well that leads me to the third difficulty, the difficulty of translating humour, especially irony:

We have just moved in the lectionary readings from last Sunday’s absurd story where the Sadducees question Jesus about the poor widow who has been forced to marry seven brothers, one after the other, in an absurd but cruel application of the Mosaic law (Luke 20: 27-38).

If you can cast your mind back to last Sunday’s Gospel, you can see how this poor widow was an object for these priests in the Temple. They had no compassion for her; she was simply a useful object to score clever debating points as they set a trap for Jesus. They cared little for her plight or her predicament.

And this is so obvious in the few verses that have been skipped over between last Sunday’s Gospel reading and this Sunday’s Gospel reading: because the missing verses (Luke 21: 1-4) hold the story of the widow with her two small coins who comes to the Temple and places all she has in the Treasury.

Who is most Christ-like?

The Sadducee who tries to show off his knowledge by trying to trap Jesus with his clever questions?

Or the widow, who, like Christ, empties herself of all she has?

Who is the true priest in the Temple that day?

The Sadducee, who exults in the beauty of the Temple, but excludes the widowed, the poor, the marginalised?

Or the widow, who places her offering, and what should be my offering, before God?

Who in their offering places humanity before God through Christ, and places God before humanity through Christ?

If that is a sharp summary of priesthood, then this woman is a perfect role model for priesthood.

But, despite Jesus drawing attention to this poor widow, those who are listening to him go back to their worldly concerns, and the beauty and wonder of human construction, rather than the beauty and wonder of God, and the reflection of that beauty and wonder in humanity … especially in humanity as it is marginalised and oppressed.

There is irony in this. If it wasn’t so sad, we might just be laughing at these sad priests in the Temple. They just don’t get the point of it all. Do you?

Hidden in this passage are two challenges for us this morning … and that’s part of the truth found in poetry too.

We are being asked to make a decisive choice for Jesus. There is a hidden Ἐγώ εἰμι (Egó eimi) saying in this passage in verse 8. Normally, we associate this self-description of Jesus with Saint John’s Gospel.

But here we are being told that there is only one true Ἐγώ εἰμι, and we are being challenged in this kairos moment to accept no other substitutes, to choose no other options, no matter how comfortable they may be, no matter how much a feel-good factor they may offer us.

Who is Jesus for me?

And who am I for Jesus?

We must make up our minds beforehand, so that there will be no need to prepare as actors rehearsing for a play (see verse 14). In accepting the challenge of being witnesses, we become martyrs (the word in verse 13 for testimony or witness, μαρτύριον (martyrion), also gives us the word martyr.

The widowed woman who gives up everything is a testimony, a witness, a martyr for Christ: we too are faced with the challenge of deciding who Christ is for us, who we are for Christ, and being examples to imitate (II Thessalonians 3: 9).

And so, may all we think, say and do be to the praise honour and glory of God, + Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Canon Patrick Comerford is Director of Spiritual Formation, the Church of Ireland Theological Institute. This sermon was preached at the Community Eucharist during a residential weekend on Sunday 14 November 2010.

The Comerford family war dead ... on Remembrance Sunday

The Helles Memorial in Gallipoli includes the names of Private Albert Comerford and Private John Comerford

Patrick Comerford

On Remembrance Sunday, there are the war dead from the Comerford, Commerford and Cumberford families, whose names are recoded on memorials and graves by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission:

Albert Comerford: United Kingdom; Private, Royal Fusiliers, 2nd Bn. Age, 29. Date of death: 5 June 1915. Service number: L/12331. Family information: brother of Mrs. R. Chaproniere, of 5, Pepin Place, Long Lane, Bermondsey, London. Memorial: Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey, Panel 37 to 41 or 328.

Arthur Comerford: United Kingdom; Private, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 1st Bn. Age, 29. Date of death: 19 September 1914. Service number: L/6701. Family information: Son of Lawrence Comerford, of 70 Britton Street, Gillingham, Kent; his brother, Charles James Comerford (see below) also fell. Memorial: La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial.

A.H. Comerford: United Kingdom; Private, Royal Sussex Regiment, 9th Bn. Date of death: 1 January 1915. Service number: L/1051. Grave/memorial reference: ZHN. 47. Buried: Brighton City Cemetery, Bear Road.

A.J. Comerford: South African. Private, South African Infantry, 4th Regt. Date of death: 18 July 1916. Service number: 2973. Grave/memorial reference: VIII. A. 129, Boulogne Eastern Cemetery.

Charles James Comerford: United Kingdom (Ireland); Sergeant, Royal Flying Corps, 57th Sqdn. Age: 26. Date of death: 18 August 1917. Service number: 1166. Family information: Born in Cork, son of Lawrence Comerford, of 70 Britton Street, Gillingham, Kent; his brother, Arthur Comerford (see above), also fell. Grave/memorial reference: XII. D. 13, Harlebeke New British Cemetery.

Christopher Comerford: United Kingdom (Ireland); Private, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), 86th Coy. Date of death: 28 February 1917. Service number: 21022. Family information: son of James and Mary Comerford, of Church View, Nenagh, Co Tipperary. Grave/memorial reference: 9.A.8., London Cemetery and Extension, Longueval.

C. Comerford: United Kingdom; Lance Corporal, 19th (Queen Alexandra’s Own Royal) Hussars. Date of death: 5 January 1919. Service number: 6327. Grave/memorial reference: I. A. 23., Cologne Southern Cemetery.

Derek Comerford: United Kingdom; Ordinary Seaman, Merchant Navy, S.S. Empire Engineer (West Hartlepool). Age: 17. Date of death: 2 February 1941. Family information: son of Peter and Mary Hannah Comerford, of North Shields. Northumberland. Grave/memorial reference: Panel 40, Tower Hill Memorial.

E. Comerford: South African; Private, South African Infantry, 4th Regt. Date of death: 13 October 1918. Service number: 1957. Grave/memorial reference: Bl. UO. 12, Cape Town (Plumstead) Cemetery.

Edward George Comerford, United Kingdom; Private, Bedfordshire Regiment, 2nd Bn. Age: 27. Date of death: 25 September 1915. Service number: 13491. Family information: son of Mr and Mrs John Comerford, of Saint George’s, Hill, Bristol; husband of Laura Annie Comerford, of 273 Hotwell Road, Hotwells, Bristol. Grave/memorial reference: Panel 41, Loos Memorial.

Ernest Edward Comerford: Australian; Lieutenant, Australian Infantry, A.I.F. 3 Rec. Trg. Bn. Age: 28. Date of death: 18 July 1945. Service number: QX.35506. Family information: Son of John Edward and Rosina Comerford, of Townsville, Queensland. Grave/memorial reference: 2W. D. 8, Sydney War Cemetery.

Frank Comerford: United Kingdom; Company Quartermaster Serjeant, Royal Army Ordnance Corps. Age: 40. Date of death: 3 April 1944. Service number: 3514928. Family information: son of William and Margaret Comerford; husband of Doris Mary Comerford, of Frankwell, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Grave/memorial reference: Sec. A 2 D. Grave 1. Beeston and Stapleford (Chilwell) Cemetery.

Frederick Patrick Comerford: United Kingdom; Private, Royal Fusiliers, 9th Bn. Date of death: 7 October 1916. Service number: L/14339. Grave/memorial reference: Pier and Face 8 C 9 A and 16 A, Thiepval Memorial.

F. Comerford: United Kingdom; Private, Lancashire Fusiliers, 11th Bn. Age: 27. Date of death: 18 July 1916. Service number: 7764. Family information: Husband of Elizabeth Macarty (formerly Comerford), of 31 New Hall Street, Whit Lane, Pendleton, Manchester. Grave/memorial reference: 34. RC. 308, Salford (Agecroft) Cemetery.

F. Comerford: United Kingdom; Private, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment. Age: ? Date of death: 3 May 1917. Service number: G/11059. Grave/memorial reference: Cagnicourt British Cemetery.

G. Comerford, United Kingdom; Private, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, ‘C’ Coy. 2nd Bn. Age: 33. Date of death: 26 March 1915. Service number: 9116. Family information: son of Richard and Elizabeth Comerford, of Small Heath, Birmingham. Grave/memorial reference: Screen Wall. B10. 214, Birmingham (Lodge Hill) Cemetery.

Gordon Patrick Comerford, United Kingdom; Leading Stoker, Royal Navy, HMS St George. Age: ? Date of death: 9 September 1915. Service number: 308587. Grave/memorial reference: 41. C. 20, Grimsby (Scartho Road) Cemetery.

The Menin Gate at Ypres includes the names of Driver Henry Martin Comerford, Corporal James Comerford, Private John Comerford and Private Michael Comerford

Henry Martin Comerford, Australian; Driver, Australian Field Artillery, 5th Bde. Age: 28. Date of death: 7 November 1917. Service number: 29927. Family information: son of John Comerford, of Mintaro, South Australia, and the late Ellen Comerford. Grave/memorial reference: Panel 7, Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

Herbert Comerford, United Kingdom; Private, 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen’s Bays). Age: ? Date of death: 1 September 1914. Service number: 780. Grave/memorial reference: 2, Baron Communal Cemetery.

James Comerford (alias, true family name Moran), United Kingdom (Ireland); Private, Royal Irish Regiment, 2nd Bn. Age: 34. Date of death: 19 October 1914. Service number: 6486. Family information: served as James Comerford, son of the late Mr and Mrs Moran, of King’s Street, Kilkenny; husband of Mrs Moran of New Building Lane, Kilkenny. Grave/memorial reference: Panel 11 and 12, Le Touret Memorial.

James Comerford, United Kingdom (Ireland); Corporal, Leinster Regiment, 1st Bn. Age: 21. Date of death: 21 April 1915. Service number: 10173. Family information: son of Nicholas and Julia Comerford, of Deir Park, Castle Comer, Co Kilkenny. Grave/memorial reference: Panel 44, Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

James Comerford (Comerton), United Kingdom (Ireland); Fireman, Mercantile Marine, SS Antinoe (London). Age: 42. Date of death: 28 May 1917, when the Antinoe was torpedoed by a German submarine about 150 miles off Bishop Rock. Family information: son of Martin and Mary (Comerford) of John Street, Wexford; husband of Julia Comerton (nee O’Connol), of Wygram Place, Wexford; born in Wexford. Memorial: Tower Hill Memorial, London.

James Comerford, United Kingdom; Private, The King’s (Liverpool Regiment), 4th Bn. Age: 25. Date of death: 27 September 1917. Service number: 51519. Family information: son of Patrick and Mary Comerford, of 46 Slade Street, Liverpool; native of Liverpool. Grave/memorial reference: XXIV. G. 7, Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

James Comerford, United Kingdom (Ireland); Private, Royal Army Service Corps, Royal Engineers, attd. ‘L’ Signal Bn. Age: 19. Date of death: 2 February 1919. Service number: M/345253. Family information: son of Mr and Mrs J Comerford, of 4 Saint Joseph’s Place, Limerick. Grave/memorial reference: VIII. A. IIA, Les Baraques Military Cemetery, Sangatte.

James Matthew Comerford, Australian; Corporal, Australian Infantry, A.I.F. 2/26 Bn. Age: 26. Date of death: 25 May 1943. Service number: QX17117. Family information: son of Edward Tobias and Ellen Cecelia Comerford, of Paddington, Queensland, Australia. Grave/memorial reference: A1. B. 19, Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Burma.

John Comerford, United Kingdom; Private, Irish Guards, 1st Bn. Age: 26. Date of death: 26 October 1914. Service number: 2802. Family information: son of Edward and Mary Comerford. Grave/memorial reference: Panel 11, Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

John Comerford, United Kingdom; Private, Manchester Regiment, ‘D’ Coy. 1st/8th Bn. Age: 20. Date of death: 14 May 1915. Service number: 1678. Family information: son of Edward and Mary Comerford, of 21 Saint Luke’s Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester. Grave/memorial reference: Panel 158 to 170, Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey.

John Comerford, Australia; Private, Australian Infantry Base Depot. Date of death: 31 August 1915. Grave/memorial reference: R.C.B. 116. (GRM/3*), Brighton General Cemetery, Victoria.

John Comerford, United Kingdom (Ireland); Private, Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry), 1st Sqdn. Age: 22. Date of death: 27 March 1918. Service number: 105293. Family information: son of Nicholas and Margaret Comerford, of Clontumpher, Esker, Co Longford. Grave/memorial reference: Panel 93 and 94, Pozieres Memorial.

John Comerford, United Kingdom; Private, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), 5th/6th Bn. Age: ? Date of death: 16 April 1918. Service number: 290899. Grave/memorial reference: Panel 5, Ploegsteert Memorial.

John Edward Comerford, Australian; Private, Australian Infantry, A.I.F., 18th Bn. Age: 32. Date of death: 27 September 1920. Service number: 1903. Grave/memorial reference: R.C. 4.523. (GRM/2*), Rookwood Necropolis, Sydney.

J. Comerford, United Kingdom (Ireland); Private, Connaught Rangers, 1st Bn. Date of death: 17 February 1917. Service number: 1/9888. Grave/memorial reference: XXVIII. A. 24, Amara War Cemetery, Iraq.

JJ Comerford, United Kingdom; Private, Cheshire Regiment, 6th Bn. Date of death: 10 May 1916. Service number: 2061. Grave/memorial reference: III. R. 4, Guards’ Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy.

Laurence Comerford, United Kingdom (Ireland); Able Seaman, Mercantile Marine, SS Coningbeg (Glasgow). Age: 39. Date of death: 18 December 1917. Family information: son of Catherine Comerford and the late Patrick and Catherine Comerford; husband of Anastasia Comerford (nee Hawkins), of 5 Presentation Row, Waterford; born in Fethard-on-Sea, Co Wexford, 1878; his brother, Patrick Comerford (see below), was a caualty in World War II. Grave/memorial reference: Tower Hill Memorial; SS Coningbeg Memorial, Adelphi Quay, Waterford.

Lilian Rose Comerford, United Kingdom; civilian casualty. Age: 62. Date of death: 30 September 1940. Family information: of Rose Cottage, The Ridge, Hastings; daughter of Francis Thomas and Charlotte Comerford. Died at Robertson Street. Reporting authority: Hastings County Borough.

Mary Agnes Comerford, United Kingdom; civilian casualty. Age: 17. Date of death: 16 December 1940. Family information: daughter of Thomas and Mary Agnes Comerford, of 26 New Allen Street, Collyhurst, Manchester; died at Ancoats Hospital, New Cross, Manchester; her brother, Michael John Comerford (see below), died in 1944, and is buried near Athens. Reporting authority: Manchester County Borough.

Michael Comerford, Australian (Ireland); Private, Australian Infantry, A.I.F., 53rd Bn. Date of death: 19 July 1916. Service number: 4755. Family information: son of Mr and Mrs John Comerford, native of Ireland. Grave/memorial reference: 7, VC Corner, Australian Cemetery and Memorial, Fromelles, France.

Michael Comerford, Australian; Private, Australian Infantry, A.I.F., 36th Bn. Date of death: 7 June 1917. Service number: 1813. Grave/memorial reference: Panel 7-17-23-25-27-29-31, Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

Michael John Comerford, United Kingdom; Gunner, Royal Artillery, 165 Field Regt. Age: 22. Date of death: 5 December 1944. Service number: 1144779. Family information: son of Thomas and Mary Agnes Comerford, of Manchester; husband of Sabina Comerford, of Manchester; his sister, Mary Agnes Comerford (see above), was a civilian casualty in 1940. Grave/memorial reference: 16. E. 12, Phaleron War Cemetery, near Athens.

Patrick Comerford, United Kingdom (Ireland); Able Seaman, Merchant Navy, SS Clune Park (Greenock). Age: 52. Date of death: 12 February 1941. Family information: husband of Catherine Comerford, of Dungulph, Fethard-on-Sea, Co Wexford. His brother, Laurence Comerford (see above), was a casualty in World War I. Grave/memorial reference: Panel 31, Tower Hill Memorial.

Patrick Comerton (Comerford), United Kingdom IIreland); Able Seaman, Merchant Navy, SS Newbury (London). Age: 49. Date of death: 15 September 1941. Family information: son of James and Mary Comerton (Comerford); husband of Mary Ellen Comerton (Comerford, of Arklow, Co Wicklow. Memorial: Panel 72, Tower Hill Memorial, London,

R. Comerford, United Kingdom; Private, Durham Light Infantry, 2nd Bn. Age: ? Date of death: 3 June 1917. Service number: 28038. Family information: son of Mr J Comerford, of 18E, Elizabeth-ville, Birtley, Co Durham. Grave/memorial reference: I.Q.48, Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe.

T. Comerford, United Kingdom; Private, Lancashire Fusiliers, 15th Bn. Age: ? Date of death: 25 December 1917. Service number: 306560. Grave/memorial reference: II. E. 16, St Julien Dressing Station Cemetery.

Thomas Michael Comerford, Australian; Private, Australian Infantry, A.I.F. 2/20 Bn. Age: 39. Date of death: 26 October 1943. Service number: NX55519. Family information: son of John and Bridget Ann Comerford. Grave/memorial reference: Aust. Sec. A. B. 1, Yokohama War Cemetery, Japan.

William Comerford, United Kingdom; Fusilier, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 1st Bn. Age: 22. Date of death: 18 January 1943. Service number: 6981836. Family information: son of Edward William Comerford and Harriet Comerford, of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Grave/memorial reference: Face 11, Rangoon Memorial, Burma.

William Henry Comerford, United Kingdom (Ireland); Cook, Mercantile Marine, SS Clangula (Curk). Age: 42. Date of death: 19 November 1917. Family information: son of Elizabeth Comerford and the late James Comerford; husband of Mary Elizabeth Comerford (nee Graham), of 17 Taft Street, Holt Road, Liverpool; born in Limerick. Grave/memorial reference: Tower Hill Memorial.

Edward William Commerford, United Kingdom; Private, Home Guard, 18th County of London Bn. Age: 39. Date of death: 4 February 1944. Family information: son of Edward and Matilda Commerford; husband of Minnie Commerford, of Dulwich. Grave/memorial reference: Sec. 86. Grave 39695, West Norwood Cemetery and Crematorium.

Gerald Francis Commerford, Australian; Private, Australian Army Medical Corps, A.I.F. 2/10 Field Ambulance. Age: 25. Date of death: 9 February 1945. Service number: NX33246. Family information: son of Denis and Margaret Sarah Commerford, of Lower Lawrence, New South Wales. Grave/memorial reference: Panel 26, Labuan Memorial, Malysia.

HJ Commerford, South African; Gunner, Cape Garrison Artillery. Age: ? Date of death: 13 October 1918. Service number: A/6655. Grave/memorial reference: Bl. UO. 13, Cape Town (Plumstead) Cemetery.

John Commerford, United Kingdom; Lance Corporal, Middlesex Regiment, 1st Bn. Age: 27. Date of death: between 1 and 2 October 1942. Service number: 6010413. Family information: son of Serjeant TJ Commerford, The Royal Fusiliers, and of Mary Commerford, of Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex, England. Grave/memorial reference: Column 14, Sat Wan Memorial, Hong Kong.

Noel Patrick Commerford, South African; Able Seaman, South African Naval Forces, HMS Cornwall. Age: ?. Date of death: 5 April 1942. Service number: 66493. Family information: son of Mrs. P Commerford, of Cape Town, Cape Province, South Africa; brother of Terence Commerford (see below), who died five months later. Grave/memorial reference: Panel 74, Column 1, Plymouth Naval Memorial.

Thomas Commerford, United Kingdom; Ordinary Seaman, Royal Navy, HMS Invincible. Age: 18. Date of death: 31 May 1916. Service number: J/23915. Family information: son of Matthew Michael Commerford (late Royal Engineers) and Lily Lavinia Commerford, of 34 Emmett Carr, Renishaw, Chesterfield. Grave/memorial reference: Panel 14, Plymouth Naval Memorial.

Terence Commerford, South African; Ordinary Seaman, South African Naval Forces, HMS Express. Age: 21. Date of death: 19 September 1942. Service number: 330258. Family information: son of Pierce and Wilhelmina Commerford of Cape Town; brother of Noel Patrick Commerford (see above), who died five months earlier. Grave/memorial reference: Block F. Grave 275, Durban (Stellawood) Cemetery.

Thomas James Commerford, United Kingdom; Serjeant, Royal Fusiliers, 6th Bn. Age: 34. Date of death: 28 September 1917. Service number: L/7271. Family information: son of John and Susan Commerford; husband of Mary (Fenton) Commerford, of 37 Heathfield Estate, Hanworth Road, Hounslow, Middlesex. Grave/memorial reference: F. C. 49, New Brentwood Cemetery.

Thomas Matthew Comerford, United Kingdom; Trooper, Royal Armoured Corps, 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars. Age: 36. Date of death: 19 August 1944. Service number: 7927353. Family information: son of Thomas James Commerford and Mary Commerford; husband of Phyllis Ettie Mary Commerford, of Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex. Grave/memorial reference: III. F. 13, Banneville-la-Campagne War Cemetery.

William Michael Comerford, Canadian; Private, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps. Age: 36. Date of death: 30 November 1944. Service number: D/142978. Family information: husband of Muriel Commerford, of Montreal. Grave/memorial reference: Sec. I. Lot 1498. Grave 5957, Montreal (Notre Dame des Neiges) Cemetery, Canada.

Hugh Brown Cumberford, United Kingdom; Radio Officer, Merchant Navy, SS Kellwyn (Swansea). Age: 19. Date of death: 27 July 1941. Family information: son of John Brown Cumberford and Agnes Cumberford, of Dalmarnock, Glasgow. Grave/memorial reference: Tower Hill Memorial.


Commonwealth War Graves Commission;
Tom Burnell and Margaret Gilbert, The Wexford War Dead (Dublin: Nonsuch, 2009).

Last updated: 14 and 15 November 2010.