Pte Andy Wickham
Pte Andy Wickham (25) husband to Eleanor, father of six and a native of Barntown, was member of A Company of the 36th Infantry Battalion of the Irish Defence Forces who were assigned to a UN Peace keeping mission in the Congo in 1961. During the famous Battle of the Tunnel, Andy Wickham was killed along with his commanding officer, Lieutenant Paddy O’Riordan, in the first burst of gunfire during an engagement with Katangan forces at Elizabethville. The men were killed during the final assault on a strategic railway tunnel at 6 a.m. on December 16 when they came under heavy fire from the gendarmerie and Katangan forces in railway carriages.
To understand the significance and the sacrifice of the famous ‘Battle of the Tunnel’ please click on the link below :
A memorial service for Private Andy Wickham takes place each year in St Alphonsus Church, Barntown where a memorial stone is situated on the grounds.
The above commemoration was kindly donated by Andy’s wife Eleanor