Mayo Commemoration Day : Sunday the 3rd of August 2.30pm at The Mayo Peace Park.
This is a Multi Faith Ecumenical Ceremony, which will focus on the 100th anniversary of World War One, a war which effected county Mayo in a devastating manner, with well over 1,100 local men killed and thousand’s of other’s maimed for life, many of them dying in the years after the war.
Mr Kevin Myers, the well known, author, columnist and writer, is the special guest speaker on the day. The organizers are delighted to have him with them and they want to offer him their sincere thanks for his outstanding work & dedicated contribution over so many years. Kevin Myers, led from the front, he campaigned long and hard, for the proper recognition of the Irish men and women who served and died in the World Wars, and he done this at a time when it was not understood and appreciated in Ireland. However his perseverance paid off, and the majority of the people of Ireland now fully acknowledge the great sacrifice made by so many, on their behalf.
Monday the 4th of August ; Newport Grave Re-Dedication : Distinguished World War One Pilot will be remembered in Burrishoole, Church of Ireland, Cemetery in Newport, at 2.30pm on Monday the 3rd of August 2014.
Major Thomas Falcon Hazell, DSO, M.C. DFC & BAR.
Major Thomas Falcon Hazell, DSO, M.C. DFC and Bar, was a native of Roundstone, County Galway. He was born on the 7th of August 1892, he died 4th September 1946. He was a very highly decorated fighter pilot with the Royal Flying Corps, during the First World War, in fact he was said to be the 5th most successful British Ace scoring 43 victories, the 3rd most successful Irish pilot and he was the only one of all of those to actually survive the war. He died in Ireland in 1946.
His grave was located a few months ago, in the Old Burrishoole, Church of Ireland, Graveyard, this is located just off Main Street in Newport Town, County Mayo. The years had taken a heavy toll on it the headstone was broken. It was decided to repair and upgrade the grave, in order to have it unveiled at 3pm on Monday the 4th of August the actual anniversary of the war. How fitting it is that such a distinguished & brave war hero is to remembered again after so long.It will happen on Monday next the 100th anniversary of World War One.
On the outbreak of war in August 1914, Thomas Hazell enlisted as a humble trooper in the South Irish Horse, a yeomanry regiment which had gained a dubious fame as the model for Percy French’s song, Slattery’s Mounted Foot. Tom was, no doubt, one of the stout gosoons, swinging down from the mountain, no doubt nursing his Lee Enfield by the butt as he marched along to patriotic tune. Be that as it may, life in the ranks was mercifully short; within the month Tom had been identified as a POM, “potential officer material”.
Commissioned into the 7th Inniskillings, Tom set sail for Flanders, just in time to arrive for the that unspeakably murderous encounter, the First Battle of Ypres. A series of weary blood baths followed in which Tom played his part to the full.Loos, Aubers Ridge, Festubert, and the Somme, all took their toll on the idealistic youngsters who, who like Tom, had stormed his Majesty’s recruiting offices in August 1914.By 1916, enough was enough and Tom volunteered and was accepted for flight training with The Royal Flying Corps.
Surviving a bad crash in June 1916, and after completing his training, Hazell joined No. 1 Squadron on the Western Front later that year, flying Nieuport 17 scouts. After twenty victories by August 1917, Hazell received the Military Cross. After a period as instructor at the Central Flying School, Upavon, Hazell took command of ‘A’ flight in No. 24 Squadron in June 1918, flying the SE-5a. Hazell became the 60th victory of Lt. Ernst Udet, the German badly damaging Hazell’s aircraft in a low level chase across the lines. Adding another twenty claims, he then took command of No. 203 squadron in October 1918. His final claim totals were 1 captured aircraft, 8 (and 2 shared) kite balloons, 17 (and 1 shared) aircraft destroyed, 11 (and 2 shared) ‘down out of control’.
After the war had concluded, Hazell was given a permanent commission by the Royal Air Force as well as being decorated with both a Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). During the 1920’s Hazell was a commander of a series of Squadrons in the Middle East, most notably Iraq. In 1944, at the age of 52, Hazell became the commander of “D” Company, 24th (Tettenhall) Battalion, South Staffordshire Home Guard during the later part of the Second World War.
1946. Two years later in Ireland, Thomas Falcon Hazell died at the age of 54.