Medal Society of Ireland

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Browse Journal Articles
Browse Articles

Dublin Surgeons Death

E-mail Print PDF

Death Notice  


Death - 4th December 1935 at Roscommon County Hospital, as result of an accident. Thomas Gerard Brown of 38 Elgin Road Dublin, second eldest son of the late R.L. Brown R.M. Funeral from Saint Patrick’s Dundalk to New Cemetery.




We regret to announce the death which took place last Wednesday as the result of an accident, of Dr Gerard Brown of 38 Elgin Road Dublin. He was the second son of the late Mr R.L. Brown Resident Magistrate and educated at Clongowes Wood College and Trinity College Dublin. During the Great War Dr Brown served with the Connaught Rangers in France and was awarded the Military Cross. As a medical student he played on the St. Vincent’s Hospital Rugby team when they won the hospital’s cup. He was one of the oldest members of the Three Rock Rovers Hockey Club and also for many years a member of the Royal Dublin and Portmarnock golf clubs. A keen fisherman he was a popular member of Kells Anglers Association and a most successful dry fly fisherman.


Dr. Brown’s personality endeared him to the members of the various social clubs to which he belonged, including the Hibernian Catch Club, the Strollers, the University Club and the Royal Irish Yacht Club. He was beloved by his friends and by many in other walks of life, whom he always helped and tried to make their lot in life less difficult. His invariable courtesy, his geniality and his consideration for all with whom he came in contact, were true to the Irish type of family from which he sprang. The sincere sympathy of all who knew him will be with his widow and daughter and surviving brother, Mr Harry Brown, in their great sorrow.


Inquest - Accidentally Shot


Dr. O’Beirne Coroner for Roscommon opened an inquest at the County Hospital here today on the body of Mr. Thomas Gerard Brown L.R.C.P., of 38 Elgin Road, Dublin, who died this morning as a result of a gunshot wound accidentally received on Monday. Dr. Oliver Chance, Merrion Square, Dublin, stated that on Monday last, he was shooting with Dr. Brown at Rathconnor Bog. They crossed a drain within a few yards of each other and the witness carried the gun in his left hand with the catch at “safe”.


“When we crossed the drain we came together and exchanged a few words. My gun was pointing to the ground a few yards in front and slightly to my right, on which side Mr. Brown was standing. With the gun still in that position I took it off “safe” and it fired. Mr Brown stepped forward with his left leg at the same time and the charge entered his leg at a range of not more than two yards. He fell to the ground. I did what I could for him and remained with him until he was removed and accompanied him to the hospital”.


Dr. Brown, the witness added, was a personal friend of his and they had known each other for ten years or longer and came to Rocommon together from Dublin for the shoot. The gun must have gone off as a result of catching a button. Patrick Fahy Gortalina Ballina, who carried the game bag corroborated and added,


”I have assisted those gentlemen at the shooting for three or four years. They were always on the most friendly terms. There was a happy week or four days every time they came.”


Dr. W.G. Ridgeway Co-Surgeon stated that Dr. Brown was suffering from severe shock and gunshot wounds in the left leg. Guard McCoy, Rockfield, stated that after the accident he found Dr. Brown lying on the ground wounded. He asked him what had happened and Dr. Brown replied, “it was an accident”. The jury, without retiring returned a verdict that the cause of death was shock and heart failure, following gunshot wounds received as a result of an accident.



Irish Times 6th December 1935

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 March 2010 09:30

Ulster’s Roll of Honour - Fallen Officers 1914 - 1915

E-mail Print PDF



Rank/NameRegimentAdditional InformationDied
Lt Adair, J.T10th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, attached 1st Battalion Border Regimentson of the late Mr. Henry T Adairdied on 22nd August 1915 of wounds received at the Dardanelles
2nd Lt Ainslie, J. Elliott 12th Battalion Royal Scotsonly son of Rev. W.J. Ainslie M.A. some time minister of Spamount (Evangelical Union) Church Belfast.Killed in action in France between 25th & 27th September
Lt-Col Armstrong, Charles Arthur 2nd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliersformerly Adjutant of the Belfast University Contingent of the Officers Training CorpsKilled in action France 1st October
2nd Lt Barker, C.M.A. 6th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliersyoungest son of the late Mr. Lindsey Bucknall Barker of Dublin and a former pupil of Campbell College Belfast.Killed in action at the Dardanelles 10th-11th September 1915
2nd Lt Bohill, James 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Riflesbrother of Mrs M.J. Horner 111 Manor Street Belfast.Killed in action on western front 19th November
Maj Bond, Reginald Edwin 4th Rajputs Indian Armyson of the late Lt Col C.F. Bond 105th Madras Light Infantry and husband of Kathleen, third surviving daughter of Mr. Thomas Gallagher J.P. Belfast.Killed in action in the Persian Gulf  3rd March 1915
2nd Lt Bourke A.W. 3rd Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, attached 2nd Royal Irish Rifles,only son of Mr.C.E. Bourke Killala Cyprus Avenue Bloomfield Belfast,Killed in action 9th May 1915
2nd Lt Brown T.F. 7th Battalion Manchester Regiment,eldest son of Mr & Mrs William Brown 204 Shankill Road BelfastKilled in action at the Dardanelles 2nd June 1915
Lt Burges, William A. 1st Battalion Royal Irish Riflesson of Mrs Frederick Scroope National Bank Belfast.Killed in action at Neuve Chapelle on 10th March 1915 while leading his platoon
Hon. Captain Chichrster, the Honourable Richard C.F. Servian Armyyoungest son of Lord Templemore.Died 31st July 1915 at Nish of typhoid fever. He was acting honorary secretary to the first hospital unit of the Servian Relief Fund 
Lt Col Clark James C.B 9th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlandersbrother of Mr. George S. Clark D.L Belfast and cousin of Lady Dixon wife of Sir Thomas J. Dixon Bart.Killed in action on western front 11th May 1915
Rank/NameRegimentAdditional InformationDied
2nd Lt Coates George W.T. Royal Field Artilleryson of Mr G.D. Coates manager of Royal Avenue Branch of Northern Bank,killed in action on the western front on 10th May 1915.He was mentioned in despatches by Sir John French in June
Capt Corley,  Anthony H. 11TH Battalion Australian Infantry  
Lt Curley Francis Royal Engineersson of Mrs Alex Curley and of Mrs Curley  Mentmore Lisburn Road Belfast and nephew of Mr Francis Curley J.P. killed in action in France on 25th September
2nd Lt Forbes, John Donald 10th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliersyoungest son of Mr John Forbes 72 Eglantine Avenue Belfast.Died of wounds received in action on the western front 29th September
2nd LtFraser ,William 1st Battalion Black Watchonly son of Mr Ewen Fraser 15 Willowbank Gardens Antrim Road Belfast.Died of wounds received in action on the western front on 27th September
2nd Lt Frizelle, Edwin S  5th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliersson of Mr W.G. Frizelle Drumreagh Alliance Avenue Cliftonville Belfast.Killed in action the Dardanelles 3rd August
Rank/NameRegimentAdditional InformationDied
Lt Gordon, Geoffrey 12th Lancersfourth son of Rev. Alexander Gordon M.A. formerly minister of First Presbyterian Church Rosemary Street Belfast.Killed by a shell at Ypres Belgium on 30th April 1915
2nd Lt Grubb, Donald James 5th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliersonly son of Rev. James Grubb Donegall Square Belfast, aged 26 years.Killed in action at the Dardanelles 15th August
Lt Joy, F.C.P. 3rd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles attached 2nd Battalion,a member of a well-known Belfast family.Killed in action on the western front 16th June 1915
Capt Joy, Thomas Cyril Bruce 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment, attached 2nd Battalion Dorset Regiment,eldest son of Mr & Mrs George W Joy The Red Lodge Palace Court London and a member of an old Belfast family.Killed in Mesopotamia 11th December
Capt Lanyon, William Mortimer 5th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles attached 1st Battalion,son of the late Mr. H.O. Lanyon and grandson of the late Sir Charles Lanyon the eminent Belfast architect.Killed in action on the western front 5th April 1915
Lt Letts, Bertram Chiene M.B. Royal Army Medical Corpsonly child of Professor E.A. Letts of Queen’s University Belfast.Died 21st October 1915 from dysentery contracted at the Dardanelles
Rank/NameRegimentAdditional InformationDied
Lt Martin J.S. 5th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles attached 1st Battalion only son of Mr. R.T. Martin B.A. College Gardens Belfast.Killed in action 9th May 1915 .”leading his company against the first line of the German trenches”
Lt Col Maxwell William Leigh,Headquarters Staff Royal Naval Division,son of Mr David A Maxwell formerly of Belfast and an old pupil of Methodist College. He served in the Antwerp Expedition as Brigade Major,2nd Brigade Royal Naval Division and was mentioned in despatches. He was killed in action at the Dardanelles on 12th May 1915
Capt Kennedy Megaw, William Cecil1st Battalion Norfolk Regiment,youngest son of Mr Kennedy Megaw formerly of Belfast and of Brighton England and nephew of the late Mr. Robert Megaw J.P. The Prairie Holywood Co. Down,Captain Megaw who was mentioned in despatches by Sir John French and awarded the Military Cross, fell in action near Ypres Belgium 30th March
Lt Millar, A.J. 3rd Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers,son of Mr. James Millar 87Eglantine Avenue Belfast.Killed in action on the western front 25th April
Lt Morton, W.J.E. 5th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles attached 2nd Battalion,eldest son of Mr. W Morton 26 Fountain Street Belfast and Hollydene Holywood Co. Down.Killed in action on the western front in September
Lt Mackay, James 3rd Battalion Gordon Highlanders attached 1st Battalion,son of Mr William Mackay 63 Castlereagh Street Belfast.Killed on the western front 25th September

Rank/NameRegimentAdditional InformationDied
2nd Lt. Maccabe, R.M8th Battalion London Regiment (Post Office Rifles) son of Thomas Maccabe 40 Avoca Street Belfast, formerly a telegraphist in the General Post Office Royal Avenue Belfast.Mortally wounded on the western front 23rd April 1915
Lt McCurry, Walter Tennyson Royal Army Medical Corps attached 1st Battalion Norfolk Regiment,eldest son of Mr. Joseph McCurry manager of the Western Branch Belfast Bank Shankill Road.Killed 15th March 1915 while attending the wounded at Ypres Belgium
Lt Col Neile, John commanding 4th Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers,eldest son of the late Mr Henry Hugh McNeile D.L. of Parkmount Belfast and nephew of the first Earl Cairns, who sat as M.P. for Belfast from 1852 to 1866 and was afterwards twice Lord Chancellor of Great Britain.Killed in action at the Dardanelles 12th July 1915
Lt Neill, Robert Larmour 5th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, attached 1st Battalion,Youngest son of Mr. Sharman D.Neill 32 Donegall Place Belfast and Ardmoyle Marino.Killed in action in France 9th May 1915 aged 21 years
Rank/NameRegimentAdditional InformationDied
Capt O’Lone, Robert J. 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles,Third son of QM-Sgt John O’Lone Victoria Barracks Belfast who not withstanding his 73 years ,is serving at the depot of his old regiment the Royal Irish Rifles. Mortally wounded while on reconnoitring duty on the western front 12th November
2nd Lt Ross, Melbourne 4th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles attached 2nd Battalion,Second son of Mr. G.H. Ross, head of the firm of William Ross & Sons Ltd. William Street South Belfast.Killed in action at Hooge Flanders 25th September
Lt Somerville, Richard Newman Royal Engineers,eldest son of Mr. R.N. Somerville Osborne Park Belfast and grandson of the late Rev. J.D. Martin Tullyallen County ArmaghKilled in action France 9th October
Capt Stewart, Robert Hanna 10th Battalion Western Canada Regiment,eldest son of Mr. W.J. Stewart 39 Distillery Street Belfast.Killed in action France 22nd May 1915
Lt Wisely, Francis Royal Army Medical Corps,son of Mrs Margaret Wisely Ravenhill Road Belfast,Died at Alexandria on 16th September 1915 of wounds received at the Dardanelles

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 March 2010 10:05

Fleet Surgeon Coolican

E-mail Print PDF

The death took place on Monday at his residence , Clarinda Park East , of Dr. John P. Coolican, retired Fleet Surgeon of the Royal Navy. Dr. Coolican was a son of the late John Coolican of Ballina and son-in-law of Sir John Moyers, D.L., J.P., County Dublin. He was Staff Surgeon of the Thetis during the South African war, and in November 1899, landed with the troops for the defence of Durban. He was awarded the South African medal. He was in medical charge of the Sand Pareil at the King’s Coronation Naval Review. He retired from service at an early age owing to failing health.

Bray and South Dublin Herald - Saturday 20th January 1906.


Deserter Arrested

E-mail Print PDF

Private John Berry Royal Irish Regiment was arrested in Wexford on Saturday on the charge of having been a deserter from the army. It appears that Berry who had been on active service in France, was home on furlough some months ago and left his home in Stonebridge Lane to cross to England by the Rosslare boat. When at Rosslare he left his kit at a house stating that he would call for it again, but as he failed to turn up the owner notified the police. Since then the authorities have been on the look-out for him, but it was not until this week that he was apprehended. He was escorted back to his regiment. 



Free Press Wexford 9th February 1918 


17th Century Ship’s Pass Presented to the National Library of Ireland

E-mail Print PDF

 A 17th century ship’s pass for the vessel Mary of Cork signed by King James II and Samuel Pepys was formally presented to the National Library of Ireland on Thursday August 5th 2010 by Enda Connellan, CEO Dublin Port Company,  previously  the Dublin Port and Docks Board. In presenting the pass which was acquired by the Dublin Port and Docks Board in 1924, Mr. Connellan said that the Dublin Port Company was delighted to present this interesting and rare historical document to the National Library of Ireland as this will ensure that it will be appropriately conserved and displayed and will be more accessible to the public in its new home.

The pass is one of the few known examples of the 17th century ships’ passes in the world with other examples held by the National Archives in Kew and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.  The pass presented to the National Library of Ireland was issued to the Mary of Cork to provide it passage free from English warships or warships of states maintaining diplomatic relations with England. The Mary of Cork, under Captain Zachary Peebucket and manned by a crew of five, by sailed from Dublin in late 1687 bound for the Canary Islands which at that times were major exporters of sugar and Malvasia, a fortified white wine  which travelled well  and was extremely popular in Britain. 

It’s believed that the vessel may have been trading in these foodstuffs in exchange for products such as salted Irish beef. The pass was issued at the Court of Whitehall, London, on September 29th 1687 and signed by King James II (Lord High Admiral 1685 to 1688) and Samuel Pepys in his capacity as Secretary to the Admiralty. On April 18th 1688 the ship’s pass was returned to Ireland where Thomas Williamson entered it into the registry of the High Court of Admiralty of Ireland. 

In the near future the pass will be displayed in the National Library of Ireland’s Department of Manuscripts.

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 November 2011 11:43

The ‘Hut’.

E-mail Print PDF

Saint John Ambulance Brigade of Ireland

In O’Connell Street, on the central island between where Nelson Pillar used to stand (where stands the Spire today) and the Parnell Monument stood a small cream painted hut. This was probably the last standing First Aid Post of the Saint John Ambulance Brigade of Ireland. It vanished when O’Connell Street was modernised some years ago. 

This First Aid Post was one of two established in 1922, the other was in Foster Place. Both of these played major roles during the Civil War period. The First Aid care provided to the people of Dublin from these posts was very significant. The work of the O’Connell Street Post had to be transferred to the Metropole Hotel for a period due to the heavy fighting in that area.  

The O’Connell Street Post continued to provide a First Aid Service for many more years, being staffed daily but from the 1950s the service operated each evening and on Sunday mornings. It was used as a base during major events such as the military parades at Easter and the industrial parades on St. Patrick’s Day. 

The Brigade over the years had many First Aid Huts from Dollymount Strand, Merrion Strand at the railway station (the remnants of the long closed station disappeared with the arrival of the DART rail service), Killiney Beech, Bray Promenade and at the football pitches in the fifteen acres of the Phoenix Park. In addition posts were established in the Zoo and at the show grounds of the Royal Dublin Society. 

The story of the St. John Ambulance Brigade is a rich source of information about the social history of Ireland. Some examples will show the importance of its work, a mother and childcare scheme for new babies was provided, this included dinners and baby clothes; a blood transfusion service was set up and this predated the National Blood Transfusion Service. This year 2011, being the 70th anniversary of the bombing of the North Strand in Dublin brings to mind the major input of the Brigade in the Air Raid Precautions organisation. The City Manager requested the Brigade to be the official emergency first aid service for the city. 

The St. John Ambulance Brigade in Ireland was founded in 1903 as part of the British Order of St John. In 1945 at the request of the Government the Brigade became an Irish organisation and it continues, actively, to serve the people of Ireland to the present time. Initially, service in the Brigade was recognised by the award of the service medal of the Order of St. John. This medal on the obverse had the head of Queen Victoria. The ribbon had alternate black and white stripes Since the Brigade became an Irish organisation a revised service medal was introduced, this has a Maltese cross with shamrocks between the arms of the cross on the obverse and the new ribbon has green edges outside the black and white stripes. It is awarded in silver for fifteen year and in gold for fifty year’s service.  


“Air Raids on Ireland during the Second World War”, David J.Murnaghan, Medal Society of Ireland Journal, No.86, December 2009. 

“Air Raids on Ireland during the Second World War, An Addendum”, David J.Murnaghan. Medal Society of Ireland Journal, No.89, September 2010.

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 November 2011 12:14

Record of Irish Police Force in the Great War

E-mail Print PDF

Part 1 of 2

Royal Irish Constabulary

Enlisted 696, Killed 143,Wounded  182, Missing 4, Prisoners 23

Medals and Distinctions - 4 D.C.M.’S, 1 Military Cross, 24 Military Medal’s, 4 Medal Militaire, 44 Commissions



Dublin Metropolitan Police

Enlisted 55, Killed 10, Prisoners 1

Medals and Distinctions - 1 D.C.M., 4 Military Medals, 4 Mons Stars, 4 Commissions


R.I.C. Officers


Burke,  Major F.C.

Connaught Rangers  - Dangerously wounded 21st August 1915 at the Wells of Kabak Kuyu Suvla Bay. On recovering from his wounds was appointed Intelligence Officer at the Curragh to 59th and 65th Divisions. On being recalled to the force was selected by Brigadier General  J.A.Byrne C.B. to fill the responsible post of Adjutant at the R.I.C. Depot


Carlisle, Captain D.W.

Royal Garrison Artillery – Appeared in a casualty list as severely wounded

Davies, Major C.F.F.

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers – Wounded while serving in Salonika, awarded the decoration of the Serbian White Eagle with Swords, subsequently moved to France. Second in command 5th Connaught Rangers .

Foley, Major G.R.E.

Royal Irish Regiment – Most of whose service has been spent in the East,

Holmes, Major P.A.

Royal Irish Regiment – Having been severely gassed was sent to a hospital in England, later he was attached to the Royal Irish Rifles and soon in the firing line again, when he was severely wounded in the head and arm. Again fit and well he is serving as Intelligence Officer at the Curragh.

Jackson, Captain F.

Royal Irish Fusiliers – Badly wounded in the early stages of the war, did valuable work in training young officers, received a Staff appointment which he still holds in the War Office, attached to the Intelligence Branch.

Martin, Captain C.P.

Royal Irish Regiment – Severely wounded in action, is now convalescent and reported to soon re-join the force.

Regan, Captain J.M.

African Rifles – Twice mentioned in despatches , awarded Military Medal and is stated to have accepted permanent appointment to Captaincy in the Army.

Rigg, Major W.T.

Royal Irish Rifles – Three times wounded and awarded the Croix de Guerre for gallantry.

Rodwell, Major G D’U

Acted in the capacity of Instructor of Musketry in the first years of the war, was appointed A.P.M. to the 57th Division in France.

Viller, Captain R.P.

Liverpool Regiment – Who served in County Clare, Kerry and Cork, appeared in a recent casualty list as killed whilst gallantly leading his men.


Non-Commissioned Officers and Men


Irish Guards

Allingham Robert C.


Bell George R.

Previously wounded, now killed

Bell John

Wounded, has re-joined R.I.C.  Served in the County Down force.

Bergin Michael


Black Daniel

Gained the Military Medal and given a commission

Bowler P.J.

Discharged medically unfit and re-joined the R.I.C.

Boyle Farigle

Wounded, discharged medically unfit, re-joined the R.I.C.

Bray H

Promoted sergeant, awarded the D.C.M.

Brien John J


Brien Patrick

Awarded Military Medal, has re-joined the R.I.C.

Browne Mark W

Several times wounded, won Military Medal, has been promoted Quartermaster-Sergeant, served in County Down Force.

Buckley John

Held the rank of sergeant in R.I.C. Volunteered several times before receiving permission to serve, refused a commission, but accepted sergeant’s rank, badly wounded. Discharged medically unfit and re-joined R.I.C.

Cantwell Henry


Carey Daniel


Carr William


Carroll John

Wounded, discharged medically unfit, has re-joined R.I.C.

Chestnut William T

Wounded, re-joined R.I.C.  Served in Belfast force

Church Joseph

Discharged medically unfit

Clancy Patrick J

Wounded and gassed. One of Belfast R.I.C. volunteers from Henry Street Barracks, was a sergeant in the Guards

Clarke Patrick M

Reported missing, now reported killed

Considine Michael

Discharged medically unfit

Corcoran Thomas

Killed, joined up from Castlewellan Station. He was the last of three constables who volunteered from that station to make the supreme sacrifice, The other two were Constables Cowper and Heancy

Coulter Alexander


Cronin James

Wounded, discharged medically unfit

Dempsey John

Discharged medically unfit, re-joined R.I.C.  Formerly served in Belfast

Devaney B


Doherty Michael

Wounded, discharged medically unfit

Dolan Charles

Discharged medically unfit, re-joined R.I.C.

Dowling A.M.


Dwyer Bernard

Received Military Cross

English J

Killed, held the rank of Corporal

Fallon Thomas

Discharged medically unfit, re-joined R.I.C.

Finlay O.M.


Flower William J

Discharged medically unfit, re-joined R.I.C.

Friel Michael

Prisoner of war

Gavin Thomas

Discharged medically unfit

Glynn Martin

Wounded, has been given a commission

Greally John

Has been given a commissioned rank and gazetted to the Indian Army. Member of Belfast City force

Healy Richard

Wounded, son of the late Sergeant Healy of Kinlough Co.Leitrim

Henahan Patrick


Hewitt T

Wounded by shell 1917 and again in 1918, at present in hospital

Hickson T W

Wounded, discharged medically unfit

Hillock Edward

Wounded, won Military Medal for bravery, taken prisoner of war

Hunter William

Discharged medically unfit, re-joined R.I.C.

Hurley Michael

Wounded, given a commission

Joyce Patrick

Awarded Military Medal, was stationed in Mountpottinger Barracks

Kavanagh Michael

Discharged medically unfit

Kavanagh T.P.

Wounded, discharged medically unfit

Keeffe Patrick

Discharged medically unfit, re-joined R.I.C.

Kinsellagh Patrick

Wounded, taken prisoner

Lafferty Bernard


Lavelle John

Formerly of Cullingtree Road Barracks, accepted for service early in the war

Lavin Patrick


Lennon Patrick

Wounded, re-joined R.I.C.

Logan Daniel

Wounded, discharged medically unfit, has died of pneumonia

McAdoo Samuel


McCarthy Timothy

Wounded, received a commission

McCaughey Michael F

Gained a commissioned rank and posted to Indian Army. He belonged to the Co.Cavan force.

McKinney Michael

Discharged medically unfit, re-joined R.I.C.

McNamara Patrick

Gained a commission

MaGuire James

Won the Military Medal , discharged unfit for further military service

Masterson P.J.

Wounded, has obtained a commission

Moody Thomas


Morris John

Prisoner of war

Murphy M.J.

Killed in action, son of the late Head Constable Murphy of Downpatrick, was attached to Glenravel Street Barracks Belfast and formerly at Depot

Murphy W.J.

Discharged medically unfit, re-joined R.I.C.

Nolan Peter A

Awarded Military Medal for gallantry 15th September 1916 and the first bar in December 1916, gained the second bar for supreme gallantry during the battle of Cambrai November 1917. He was then acting as company sergeant-major and almost immediately on going over the top his Captain the Hon. H.A.V.S. Harmsworth M.C. was knocked out, Nolan’s superiors all being killed he took command and led the men on to their objective a distance of one and a quarter miles from the starting point. During this advance his escapes were miraculous, his equipment being blown off his back and his rifle smashed in his hand. We regret to record that the brave Nolan has made the supreme sacrifice but not before he had received the Distinguished Conduct Medal. His mother Mrs Nolan of Woodview Omagh, wife of Mr Martin Nolan ex-Sergeant R,I,C, In November 1918 received a bequest of £50 from the estate of Captain Harmsworth who left the legacy to Sergeant Peter Nolan.

O’Dea Timothy

Killed, awarded the Military Medal

Ormsby J.J.


Prunty Joseph P

Prisoner of war

Purdy W.R. McD.

Wounded, awarded the Military Medal

Rainey William J

Killed, one of three soldier sons, two killed, third awaiting discharge on account of wounds, sons of Mr & Mrs George Rainey Garvaghey Ballygawley Co.Tyrone

Regan John

Gained Distinguished Conduct Medal

Shine Peter

Wounded and missing, now reported killed

Spraggit J.E.


Tease J.G.

Wounded a third time and gassed, son of ex-Sergeant William Tease Kells Co.Meath, served in Mountpottinger Belfast

Waters Edward

Discharged medically unfit, re-joined R.I.C.

White Joseph

Discharged medically unfit, re-joined R.I.C.

Wren Edward

Killed, was stationed at Streamstown Co.Westmeath


Royal Irish Rifles

Hannah Henry H

Held sergeant’s rank in R.I.C.

Hilliard George

Wounded, held sergeant’s rank in R.I.C.

Howe Charles


Jones William J

Wounded, received a commission

Peters John

Sergeant became musketry instructor in the Royal Irish Rifles, and promoted sergeant in the R.I.C.  Volunteered in 1914 for active service, had served in the Boer War

Thompson R.A.J.

Wounded, formerly in the Irish Guards, but obtaining a commission and was transferred to the Royal Irish Rifles

Trotter Thomas J


Wilson J.J.



Royal Irish Regiment

Carney M.J

 Held sergeants rank in the R.I.C.

Fahy Thomas

 Discharged medically unfit, re-joined R.I.C.

Mahony Patrick

 Prisoner of war

Reilly Edward

 Prisoner of war

Taylor Patrick

 Twice wounded once severely, received a commission


Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Barr Jeremiah

 Wounded, has had service in Salonica, Palestine and France, is a brother of Constable James Barr Dungannon, served in Newtownstewart

Bergin John J


Boyle Hugh P


McKeen John C

 Was given a commission, won the Military Cross

McKenzie Martin


McQuillan James


Mullaney Hubert


Murtagh James

 Wounded, discharged medically unfit, re-joined  R.I.C.


Leinster Regiment

Conlon James J.

 Wounded, belonged to the Connaught’s, was attached to the Leinster Regiment, a native of Castlerea, served in Cavan and Co.Armagh, obtained a commission

Minnock Andrew


Moloney Thomas


O’Connell M.W.


Ryan James

 Killed, obtained a commission, was acting Captain, wounded six times. Ryan was a contributor to both home and foreign magazines being a poet of a high order of merit, born in Wexford, he joined the R.I.C. in 1906


Royal Munster Fusiliers

Brennan James

 Gained a commission

Casey William


Cremin Daniel


Fitzgerald Michael

 Gained a commission

Gallivan Michael

 Gained a commission

Good James


Loftus Patrick

 Gained a commission

Mahony Jeremiah

 Prisoner of war

Moroney Timothy



Royal Irish Fusiliers

Bannon Thomas H.


Beirne Patrick


Callaghan John


Cole Michael A

 Wounded, won Military Medal and a commission

Graham E M’I

 Commissioned, later taken prisoner

Igoe John P

 Discharged medically unfit

Newman J.R.

 Discharged medically unfit

Scanlon Michael J

 Discharged medically unfit, re-joined R.I.C.

Scott Hugh

 Prisoner of war

Short John

 Wounded, given a commission

Ward William P

 Wounded, discharged medically unfit, re-joined R.I.C.


The Harp and the Lyre.

E-mail Print PDF
An ornate badge of a harp superimposed on a lyre is a part of Irish musical heritage. The lyre is an ancient musical instrument with strings fixed in an open frame; this dictionary description could be taken to indicate that the lyre is a form of an early ‘harp’. So, a harp superimposed on a ‘harp’ needs some explanation. An explanation is not evident but what it represents today is important. This interesting badge is worn on the uniform collar of members of the Irish Defence Forces School of Music.

This School of Music consists of a central headquarters where the Army No.1 Band is stationed. Both the Southern and Western Brigades have their own bands. In addition, there are Pipe Bands. When the Pipes and Military Band combine a unique sound is produced. In 2011 at the International Military Pilgrimage to Lourdes, when the English speaking armies from around the world attended Mass at the Grotto, Irish Pipers accompanied by the Band of the Royal Corps of Signals played the piece “Highland Cathedral”. It was a glorious moment.

It is unfortunate, that in these difficult times, the number of Irish Military Bands has been reduced from four to three. The Band of the Curragh Training Camp (formerly The Curragh Command) is no longer in existence. 

Let us look back at where all this came from. Shortly after the foundation of the State, it was decided to introduce military bands into the army. Initially, assistance was sought from the French but results failed to materialise, so an approach was made to Germany. In 1923 Fritz Brase who had served as the Bandmaster of the Grenadier Guards in Berlin was invited to Ireland and appointed the first Director of the Army School of Music with the rank of Colonel. Another German, Frederick Sauerzweig was also appointed with the rank of Captain. The selection of soldiers for musical training was started and very quickly a nucleus for military bands was formed. While the main purpose was to provide martial music for troops, public concerts were soon a part of the schedule. These were popular with the public. The bandstand in the hollow in the Phoenix Park is a part of that legacy.

Soon the School of Music expanded and more Band Conductors would be required. To meet this need Cadets were recruited to be trained as Officer Bandmasters. Following the retirement of Colonel Fritz Brase and the death of his successor Colonel Sauerzweig, James M. Doyle, (one of the first class of army music cadets) was appointed Director with the rank of Lieut-Colonel. 

However, the Army School of Music played another important role in the musical culture of Ireland. Lieut-Colonel Doyle was a talented musician. He was to become the conductor of the orchestra of the Dublin Grand Opera Society (DGOS). Captain William O’Kelly, a cavalry officer, played a major role in the formation of the DGOS and for many years was active in an important organizational capacity. The orchestras of the newly formed Radio Eireann (then know as station 2RN) needed conductors. Lieut-Colonel Doyle often conducted the symphony orchestra. Other Officer Bandmasters, Arthur Duff, Michael Bowles and Dermot O’Hara played their part in the development of music in Radio Eireann. Michael Bowles was appointed musical director. Dermot O’Hara, following his army musical career was well known, for many years, as the popular Conductor of the Radio Eireann Light Orchestra.

It is only possible here to give a brief and inadequate account of the importance of the Defence Forces School of Music to the army itself but also to the Government and the people of Ireland. They always play a major part at State ceremonies and parades. For those interested in learning more about the early days of Irish military music. Colonel Doyle’s article “ Music in the Army” is most informative. It appeared in “Music in Ireland - A Symposium”, edited by Professor Aloys Fleischmann and published by Cork University Press in 1952.


The Memorials of St. Brendan’s Church, Birr

E-mail Print PDF

St. Brendan’s (Church of Ireland) church, Birr, which is situated in Oxmanstown Mall is by all accounts a fascinating church. While the exterior may look like a normal church the memorials on the walls inside are an interesting incite into Birr’s long history and association with the Leinster Regiment and the British Army.

Many of the memorials in the church where erected by the comrades, friends and relatives of the deceased, this article will examine theses memorials and the names that they commemorate. Information has been gathered about each of the names from different sources.


In Memory of

Captain Richard Trench Kirkpatrick DSO

Lieutenant Henry Edward Clonard Keating


Corporal Frederick Gale

1st Battn Leinster Regiment

Who were Killed on Service

In Africa During the Year 1898

This Tablet

Is Erected by the Officers

1st Battn Leinster Regt


Richard Trench Kirkpatrick was born on 25th September 1865 in Celbridge, Co. Kildare. His parents were Alexander Richard and Catherine Louisa (nee Trench) Kirkpatrick. 

Richard was educated in Rugby, Warwickshire. Afterwards in February 1885 he entered Sandhurst College, for training as an officer. He graduated in April of the same year. Upon leaving Sandhurst he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Leinster Regiment.

Lieutenant Kirkpatrick was promoted to Captain in September 1893. Captain Kirkpatrick became a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society in 1897 and contributed information to the interest of geographic knowledge. Awarded the Distinguished Service Order in May 1898 in recognition of services preformed in Uganda, Captain Kirkpatrick had been under fire at least nine times while in Uganda and had been present when the Soudonese troops, who had formed the escort of Major MacDonald’s expedition mutinied. 

Captain Kirkpatrick along with seven other men where murdered by natives on 25th November 1898. Captain Kirkpatrick had left the main column of Major MacDonald’s expedition to northern Uganda for survey purposes. 

Along with the Distinguished Service Order, Captain Kirkpatrick is entitled to an East and Central Africa medal with claps Lubwa’s and Uganda 1897-98.

Henry Edward Clonard Keating was the son of Edward and Mary Keating. He was born on 13th December 1872 in Colchester, Nova Scotia, Canada. 

In December 1891 Henry was admitted to Sandhurst Military. He gave his former trade as being a civil engineer. He had an exemplary record and graduated in September 1892. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, Leinster Regiment. Keating was promoted to Lieutenant in August 1894.

In August 1898 Lieutenant Keating was mention in the London Gazette for service with the Colonial Office, this presumably led him to serve with the West African Frontier Force in Nigeria. On 9th October Lieutenant Keating was leading a party of men close to Yelwa on the River Niger when they were ambushed by natives. Lieutenant Keating along with Corporal Frederick Gale and 12 native soldiers where killed. 

In response to the attack a British force returned to the scene of the ambush and burnt several native villages and shot over 100 enemy and hung 7 who were thought to be responsible for the unprovoked attack.

Lieutenant Keating was buried at a British Fort in Yelwa, he is also commemorated on a family grave in Saint James Cemetery, Toronto, Canada. 

Frederick Gale served as a Corporal in the Leinster Regiment. Not a great deal is known about him other than he was killed in the same ambush as Lieutenant Henry Keating.


“In Memory of

John Courtenay


Captain XXX Regiment

Who Died 23rd May


Erected by His Brother Officers in Affectionate Remembrance”


John Courtenay Julian was born around 1845, not much is know about his life before he joined the British army.

John’s military career began on 14th October 1868 when he purchased a commission as an Ensign. John further purchased promoted to Lieutenant on 24th December 1870. John was promoted to Captain on 30th November 1878.


Captain Julian died on 23rd May 1879. He was interned in Clonoghill Cemetery, Birr, Co. Offaly. 


“In Memory of

William Henry Kerans

Captain 3rd Leinster Regiment

Acting District Commissioner

Died at Idah. S. Nigera West Africa

29th July 1907 Aged 31 Years”


William Henry Kerans was born in Punjab, Indian on 14th May 1876. He was the son of William Robert and Anne Kerans. William Robert Kerans was a Surgeon Major in the Army Medical Department and lived in Parsonstown towards the end of his life. William enlisted in the 13th Hussars at Birr on 11th November 1894. He was 5 foot 6 inches, had blue eyes and fair hair. William only served for 3 months buying his discharge for 10 pounds on 13th February 1895. He spent his limited service at home. William rejoined the army in October 1900 gaining a commission into the 3rd battalion, Leinster Regiment as a Second Lieutenant.

Second Lieutenant Kerans served in the Boer War with the 3rd Battalion. His service entitled him to Queen’s South Africa Medal. William continued to serve in the Army as a professional soldier after the Boer War. He made the rank of Lieutenant on 11th April  1903, further more he was promoted to Instructor of Musketry on 20th February 1904. Then in April of the same year William was promoted to Captain. Captain Kerans was seconded for service under the Colonial Office in October 1904 and he served in Nigeria. Here he became appointed Acting District Commissioner. Kearns died on 29th July 1907 after a few hours of contracting blackwater fever.


“In Memory of

Adrien Patrick Woods

Lieutenant 1st Battn

The Prince of Wales Leinster Regt

who died at Birr Barracks November 11th 1907

Aged 25 years

Placed by his Brother Officers”


Adrian Patrick Woods was the second son of William E. Woods J.P. and Francis Woods (Nee Lucar) of 8 Oxmanstown Mall, Birr. He was born on 17th March 1882.

He originally joined the King’s County but was subsequently commissioned in January 1901 as a Second Lieutenant. The 3rd Battalion was stationed in the barracks at Birr. Second Lieutenant Woods served in South Africa during the Boer War and was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with 5 Clasps for his service. He was promoted to Lieutenant in July 1906. 

Lieutenant Adrian Patrick Woods died in Birr Barracks on 11 November 1907 from pneumonia. He was just 25. It was noted in his obituary that he was popular amongst the ranks and was a keen sportsman.


1st World War Memorials


“To The Glory of God


In Loving Memory Of

George J.C. Ryall

Royal Munster Fusiliers

Killed In Action In France on 21st of March 1918

Aged 23 Years

Only Son of Gerald F. Ryall, of Glenacurrach, Dromoyle.

Also of Robert Sheppard 1st Irish Guards

Killed in Battle at Festubert 18th of May 1915,

Aged 25 years.

Son of the Late B. Sheppard, of Kilcolman Parish.


Erected as a Token

Of Esteem by the Late Parishioners of Kilcolman

And Rector.”


George I.C. Ryall was the only son of Gerald Ryall. He was born in Aghacon, King’s County. George was schooled in Dublin. During the War he served as a Corporal in the Royal Munster Fusiliers. He was killed in action on the 21st March 1918. This was the 1st day of the German Spring Offensive. George is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, France.


Robert Sheppard worked as a postman before the War. He was the son of Benjamin and Hester Sheppard of Kilcolman, King’s County. Robert was born in 1883. Robert joined the Irish Guards at Birr and served in France. He was a Lance Corporal. He was killed in action on the 18th May 1915 during the Battle of Festubert.Robert has no known grave and is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, France.



“The Windows in the Adjacent Aisle,

Have Been Erected in Proud and

Thankful Memory of the Men

Of This Parish Whose Splended

Self-Sacrifice Helped to Win

The Great War 1914 – 1918”


The names on this brass memorial plaque are as follows, addition information is also included about the individuals.


W.S. Ball

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s search engine only produces one hit for “W.S. Ball”, a private in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry who was killed in action on 11th January 1917. A connection to Birr has yet to be established and there is always the possibly that this W.S. Ball is the wrong person.


Geo. Frederick Coore Mein

George was the eldest son of Major Fredrick Coore (King’s Shropshire Light Infantry) and Jane Mein (Nee Frend). They had married in Roscre, Ireland in 1877. George was born in Newport, Shropshire on 7 December 1881.  However his mother died in 1884, and Frederick remarried in 1892. The connection with Birr comes in the form of one of George’s sisters, Norah living in Birr with an uncle (a brother of Jane). 

George was educated in Chatham House, Ramsgate. Afterwards he followed in his father’s footsteps and also served in the army. He served as a private during the Boer War with the 25th Company Imperial Yeomanry. He is entitled to a Queen’s South Africa medal with the clasps Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902.

Between the interim of the Boer War and First World War George moved to Auckland, New Zealand and took up farming. During the outbreak of the First World War he joined up for Imperial service and served as a private with the Auckland regiment. Private Mein took part in the capture of Samoa, both New Zealand and Australian forces helped captured the German controlled island in August 1914. Then after returning to New Zealand, George again volunteered for active services and embarked for Gallipoli. George was killed in action on 7th August 1915 during the battle of Chunuk Bair, while advancing along Rhododendron Spur.

George has no known grave and is commemorated on the Chunuk Bair memorial in Turkey. George is entitled to a 1915 star trio and memorial plaque.


John Eades 

A native of King’s county John was born in Parsonstown on 17th May 1896. His parents were William, a carpenter and Hanna Eades. They lived at 17 in Cappaneale Street, Birr.

John enlisted sometime in mid 1915 into the 9th (Tyrone) Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The 9th battalion went overseas in October 1915. John made the rank of Lance Sergeant. 

Lance Sergeant Eades died from wounds on 6th December 1916. He rests in Bailleul Communal cemetery extension, France. John is entitled a British War medal and Victory medal.


 Robert Eades

An older brother of John Eades, Robert Eades was born on 10th October 1893 in Parsonstown. 

Robert like his father was a carpenter by trade. At some time after 1911 Robert moved to Quebec Canada. Robert joined up on the 30th November 1915. He enlisted in the 73rd Battalion Canadian Infantry. He was 5 foot 10, ad grey eyes and brown hair.

Private Eades died on 5th April 1917, just a few days before the battle of Vimy Ridge.     Robert is buried in Barlin Communal Cemetery, France.

Patrick Hemphill

The son Rev. Samuel Hemphill and Flora Margaret Delap Hemphill, Richard Patrick was born in King’s county on 17 March 1894. Richard’s father was Minister at St. Brendan’s church from 1892 – 1914. 

Patrick was educated at St. Columba's College, Rathfarnham, Dublin, Campbell College, Belfast and Trinity College, Dublin were he studied medicine. In both Campbell and Trinity College he had been a member of the Officers Training Corps. (Campbell College was the only secondary school to have an O.T.C. in Ireland).

Patrick was commissioned into the 6th Battalion, Leinster Regiment as a Second Lieutenant in December 1914. He served overseas in France and Flanders with the British Expeditionary Force from May to November 1915 entitling him to a 1914-15 Star trio. For 14 months from November 1915 Second Lieutenant Hemphill was stationed in Salonika and was in charge of a company. He was attached to the Royal Flying Corps in Egypt and promoted to Captain. On the 24th March 1917 he was killed in a flying accident at Heliopolis, Egypt. He was interred in the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. 

Lt-Col H W Weldon, late 1st Battalion, Leinster Regiment wrote: For nearly a year he was under me during 1915 when I was Adjunct, and for a short time his Company Commander,  and I can honestly say I never knew a more conscientious, capable or pluckier soldier. He was loved by his men, and had he been spared, I feel sure he would have made a great name for himself, if opportunity occurred.  I think he was  one of the nicest boys I ever met, and one I shall never forget.

Frederick Hill

Joseph Leopald Frederick Hill was born in Tipperary in 1895. Joseph served as a Sergeant in the 1st battalion, Irish Guards. He died of wounds on the 13th April 1918.He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial and also on a family headstone in Clonoghill cemetery, Birr.


“J L F Hill Fred

Serg 2nd Bat Irish Guards

Killed In Action At Borre France

April 17th 1918 Age 21 Years”


As inscribed on the family grave.

Charles W. Howes

Born in India in 1887, Charles’ parents were William Robert, a British army officer and Lucy Howes. 

Charles entered Trinity College to study medicine in October 1908. Whist in Trinity he was a member of the Officer Training Corps. After he graduated he was a teacher and taught in Co. Cavan and at Birr.

It would appear Charles’ father William moved to Birr for a period of time. Charles enlisted in the Leinster Regiment in November 1914. Charles married Mabel Gick on 25th September 1915 in St. Brendan’s church, Birr. He had been commissioned into the Durham Light Infantry as a second lieutenant in July 1915. 

Shortly after getting married Charles went overseas to France with the Durham Light Infantry. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1916.  He served for almost 3 years before being killed in action on 22nd April 1918 whilst leading his company, 'W' on an attack at Martinsart Wood on the Somme. Sadly and unknown to Charles, his wife had given birth to a baby girl a day before is death.

Major Howes was laid to rest in Bouzincourt Communal Cemetery Extension, France.


Henry T.K. Mitchell

Born around 1891, Henry Theophilus Kelly Mitchell was the son of Thomas and Fanny Mitchell of 19 Oxmanstowns Mall, Birr. Henry was commissioned in the 1st Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment as a Second Lieutenant on 27th December 1914. He entered theatre in August 1915 and was serving in Asia. He died on 11th November 1915 from a fatal riding accident. He is commemorated on the Delhi Memorial, India. 


Thomas Mitchell

An elder brother of Henry T. K. Mitchell, Thomas was born in on 8th December 1882. Thomas was admitted to Sandhurst College to train as an officer in January 1901. He completed his training in Decemember and he was noted to have exemplary conduct. He was commissioned into the Royal Sussex Regiment as a Second Lieutenant. Promoted to Captain on 2nd February 1911

He married Elizabeth Violet Harold of 15, Goldington Avenue, Bedford, England, though the date and place is yet unknown. 

Major Mitchell was sent to Mesopotamia in January 1916. In late Feburay 1916 he was promoted to the administrative position of Deputy 'Assistant Adjutant-General, then to Staff Captain in December. Then sometime later he was promoted to Major (LG reference has not been found).

He died on 12th April 1917 from wounds received in action. He now rests in Baghdad, Cemetery, Iraq. His medals, a British War Medal and Victory Medal were applied for by his widow, Elizabeth.


George Murray

The eldest son of George and Ellen Murray, George was born in Parsonstown in 1890. George enlisted in the Leister Regiment before the War and was a professional soldier. When War broke out he was sent to France in December 1914 along with his battalion. He was commissioned in the Leinster regiment in January 1915 having worked his way up the ranks. He made his way up to Captain and served with the 1st battalion, Leinster Regiment. George was mentioned in Dispatches in June 1916.

George was killed in action on the 4th July 1916. It was reported he was trying to spot a German machine gun position when he was struck with a bullet under his ear.

He was laid to rest in Ration Farm Annexe cemetery in France.


Frederick Nixon Eckersall

Frederick was the eldest son of Eckersall Nixon and Constantia Mary Anne (Nee Armstrong). He was born in Castletown, Co. Meath. Frederick’s father was a Reverent and was based in Ettagh Rectory in King’s county for a period. His wife was Florence Eleanor Nixon – Eckersall of Gloucestershire

During the War Frederick served as a Major in the Royal Garrison Artillery. He entered into France in October 1915. He was mentioned in dispatched, gazetted in May 1917. Major Nixon-Eckersall was killed in action on 10th November 1917. He was buried Ypres Reservoir cemetery, Belgium.


Philip Anderson O’Brien

Born in Belfast in 1895. Not much can be found about O’Brien. He was commissioned in the Leinster Regiment as a Second Lieutenant and presumably he spent time living or stationed in Birr. He went overseas in December 1914 with the 1st battalion and was attached to the 2nd battalion. He died from wounds on 9th March 1915 and was buried in Boulogne Eastern cemetery, France.


William Odlum

A native of Birr, William was born on 12th March 1896 and the son of John and Fanny (nee Talbot) Odlum. William lived on Newbridge Street. William served as a Private in the Irish Guards. He also had a brother, John who served in the Machine Gun Corps. William was killed in action on 9 September 1917. He is buried in Artillery Wood Cemetery, Belgium.

John Perry

Born in Parsonstown on 27th December 1881, John was the son of John and Ellen Perry. They lived at John’s Place. John immigrated to Canada sometime between the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century. He married in Canadian and they lived in St. Edmonton, Alberta. His wife was Thomasina Perry. John joined the 49th battalion, Canadian Infantry in December 1915 and served as a private. He saw service in France and was killed in action on 9th June 1917. John Perry is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial, France

Private Perry’s name is also commemorated on the family headstone in Clonoghill cemetery, Birr.

Albert Pretty

Born on 11th October 1884 in Killoughy, Tullamore. Albert was the son of John and Sarah (nee Gill) Pretty. He appears to have immigrated to the United States and lived in Seattle Washington. His brother James lived in Canada. Albert worked as a farmer’s horseman. Albert joined the Canadian Infantry in September 1918 and upon enlisting he was described as being 5 foot 8 inches and having brown eyes and hair. Private Pretty died one month later in England on 17th October 1918. He is buried in Plymouth Cemetery, England.


William E. Earl of Rosse

Born on the 14th June 1873 and son of Lawrence Parsons, 4th Earl of Rosse and Frances Cassandra Hawke. William was educated at Eton and Oxford Universities. William served as a Lieutenant with the 1st battalion, Coldstream Guards in the Boer War and was entitled to the Queen’s South Africa medal. He was promoted to Captain in 1900 and then to Major in 1906. He had married in 1905 to Frances Lois Listerkaye. William Parsons rejoined the army for service in the First World War. He served with the Irish Guards. He was seriously wounded in the head in May 1915 in France. Major Parsons died from his wounds on 10th June 1918. He died at home in Birr castle. His funeral took place on the 13th June 1918 and his remains where brought to St. Brendan’s old graveyard in Birr. He had a military funeral which was very well attended.


John Forrest Ruttledge

The son of Colonel Alfred and Mary Ormsby Ruttledge. John was born in Birr on 1st August 1894. John attended Sandhurst Military college. He entered training to become an officer on 12th February 1913. He completed his training on 17th December 1913. He was commissioned in the 2nd battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment as a Second Lieutenant. He must have been following his father’s footsteps as Alfred had been a colonel in the same regiment. John was promoted to Lieutenant in November 1914 which was around the same time he was sent to France. Lieutenant Ruttledge was mentioned in the London Gazette in March 1915 as having been awarded the Military Cross.


“For great coolness and gallantry on 19th December, 1914 near Neuve Chapelle. When his company were moving over open ground under heavy fire many casualties occurred, and Lieutenant Ruttledge remained to the last helping the wounded away to cover.” 

Lieutenant Ruttledge was promoted to Temporary Captain in April 1916. Captain Ruttledge was killed in action on the 1st day of the Battle of the Somme along with thousands of men. He is remembered with honour on the Thiepval Memorial in France.

Joseph Skerritt

Joseph was the son of Daniel and Annie Skerritt. They lived in Townspark, Birr, King’s County. Joseph served as a Sergeant in the 1st Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers. He was killed in action in Gallipoli on 29 Apr 1915. Joseph was just 26. His name is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Turkey.

Launcelot Studholme

A native of Birr, Launcelot Joseph Moore Studholme was born in 1884. He was the son of Joseph and Mary Studholme. Launcelot was commissioned in the Leinster Regiment in December 1914 and rose to the rank of Captain. He was Mentioned in Dispatches which appeared in the London Gazette in January 1917. Captain Studholme was killed in action on 9 September 1916 while on the Somme with the 7th battalion, Leinster Regiment. Captain Launcelot Studholme has no known grave is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France.

Charles Willoughby

More research is need to determine who this mans identity is.


“To The Glory Of God


In Loving Memory of

Major Frederic Eckersall Nixon-Eckersall

(Royal Garrison Artillery)

Oldest Son of the Revd. Eckersall Nixon

Born 29th Sept. 1869.

Killed in Action 10th Nov. 1917.

And Buried at Ypres”


“To The Glory of God

And in Grateful Memory of

Lancelot J.J. Studholme

Captain 7th Leinster Regiment

Only Surviving and Dearly Loved Son of

The Late Joseph Studholme & Mrs. Studholme

Ballyeighan King’s County.

Killed in Action on the Somme The 9th of

September A.D. 1916 Aged 31 Years. While

Trying to Save A Wounded Comrade


Greater Love Hath No Man Than This

That A Man Lay Down His Life For His Friends


Erected As A Tribute of Esteem By The

Parishioners and Rector of Kilcolman Who

Mourn the Loss of a True Friend & Parishioner

A Valued Member of our Synod and Counci

And a Devoted Churchwarden for many

Years During Which he was a Generous Donor

To Both Parish Churches and School”


“In Memory of

William Edward Parson

Fifth Earl of Rosse

Major Irish Guards

Born 14th June 1873

Joined Coldstream Guards

14th May 1897 Served in the

South African War

Transferred to the

Irish Guards 2nd May 1900

Died 10th June 1918 From

Wounds Received in Action

In France 18th May 1915”

2nd World War

“In Proud and Grateful Remembrance

Of Those Who Gave Their Lives in

The Second World War



The names on the memorial are as follows;


Aymer Vivian McIvor Campbell

Aymer was the son of Brevet Lt.-Col. Charles Augustus Vivian of the Indian Army and Mary Hastings Vivian (Nee Studholme, Mary was the brother of Launcelot Studholme who was killed on the Somme). Mary was a native of Birr. (Charles died during the First World War). Campbell served as a Captain in the 2nd battalion, Black Watch. He was killed in action on 21 November 1941 while fighting at Tobruk. He was 32. Aymer’s brother John was also killed during the war. John was Squadron Leader in the Royal Air Force. He died on 8 September 1941. Aymer Vivian’s name is commemorated on the Alamein memorial in Egypt


Robert Currie

Sadly this man is too hard to narrow down. Further research is required.


Charles Desmond Hackett

Squadron Leader Charles Desmond Hackett served in 27 Squadron Royal Air Force. Charles died on 4th April 1941, he is commemorated on the Singapore memorial. He was the son of Charles Bernard and Dorothy Hobart Hackett, stepson of Olive J. Hackett of Birr, Co. Offaly.


Richard Johnson

Richard Henry Johnson was the son of William and Elizabeth Johnson of Woodfield, Birr. He joined the Royal Engineers and was posted to the 17th Field Company. Lance Sergeant Johnson took part in the Normandy Landings on the 6 June 1944. His unit was responsible for laying pontoon bridges during the invasion. The 17th Field Company had the task of bridging the Caen Canal, which they did on the 8 June 1944. This is also the day that Lance Sergeant Johnson died. Lance Sergeant Johnson was laid to rest in Ranville War Cemetery in France.

Robert Leake

The identity of this man is unknown.

Robert Thomas Neville

Robert was born in Birr on 24th October 1911. He was the son of William and Emma Jane Neville. At some point during Robert’s early life he moved to Canada, an exact date is unknown as he can’t be found on passenger lists of the time. Presumably on the outbreak of War Robert enlisted into the Royal Canadian Air force. He served as a Pilot Officer in 419 Squadron. His squadron originally flew in a Handley Page Halifax heavy bomber but converted to using Lancaster Bombers. On 23 October 1944 while on a bombing mission to Essen, Germany Pilot Officer Neville’s bomber took heavy anti-aircraft fire and was shot down. The crew of seven men all lost their lives.

Robert and his comrades are buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany.


Patrick Mervyn Wilson

Patrick was the son of Dr. R. Mervyn Wilson and Mrs. N. K. Wilson of Birr. Patrick served as a sergeant in the British Columbia Regiment. Sergeant Wilson was killed on 9 August 1944. He is buried in Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, France. 


Acknowledgements and Sources


Venerable Wayne Carney, for allowing access to St. Brendan’s church and its records

Mr. Andrew Boughton

Mr. Roger Lunt, a relative of Charles Howes, for allowing use of family photographs

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Soldiers that Died in the Great War

De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour

The Geographic Journal

Irish Times

Kildare Observer



Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 08:57

Sergeant John Moyney, V.C.

E-mail Print PDF

A WW1 Victoria Cross Winner from County Laois

by James Scannell

John Moyney, V.C., is one of the many forgotten Irish Victoria Cross winners of the First World War who prior to his death on 10 November 1980 was the last surviving Irish First World War recipient of this award.

John Moyney was born at Rathdowney, Co. Laois, on 8 January 1895 into a large and poor family. Leaving school early he was employed as a labourer on local farms and on 7 April 1915 initially enlisted in the Leinster Regiment but his attestation papers were subsequently amended to the 2 Bn Irish Guards, and on competition of his training left for France on 5 October that year with No.5 Company where prior to Christmas 1915 he was promoted to the rank of Lance-Corporal. During the Battle of the Somme in 1916 he had a lucky escape from death after he was buried alive by a shell blast and was extricated by his comrades. On 18 October 1916 he was promoted to the rank of Lance-Sergeant.

Register to

The Byrne Brothers

E-mail Print PDF
by Sonny Kinsella

The story you are about to read is a true, sad and tragic one about three brothers and their friend who lived with the family and were all killed while fighting in the British Army against the Germans in the infamous "Battle of the Somme".

Register to

Book Review: Danmarks Reges Medaljer Og Haederstegn

E-mail Print PDF

(The Decorations and Medals of Denmark 1770-1990)
By Lars Sternberg.
Paperback, 384 pages, copious B/W illustrations and one page of ribbons in colour.
Odense University Press, Odense, Denmark. 

The Kingdom of Denmark has a long and distinguished medallic history. Its two great Orders of Chivalry, which are not dealt with in this book, had their origins in 1457 and 1671 respectively and are among the most distinguished in the world. Official medals have been awarded in one form or another since 1673 but it is interesting to note that only half a dozen or so could be described as war or campaign medals - in marked contrast to most other European countries.
Register to

Lt. Col. Kenneth Harry Powers

E-mail Print PDF


We have just learned that the death of Lt. Col Kenneth Harry Powers took place on the 8th July, 2005 at his home in Westpoint, Connecticut.

Col. Powers was a member of the Medal Society of Ireland for a number of years, between 1993 and 2000 and attended some of its meetings. He was a keen member of the Military History Society of Ireland a collector of memorabilia of Irish Historical Interest.
Register to

Great Northern Railway (Ireland) Casualties in WWI and WWII

E-mail Print PDF

by Roger Willoughby

Combatant casualties during the First World War occurred on a traumatically industrial scale. Subsequent commemoration of the dead by the survivors, their families, friends and work colleagues took many forms. Within work settings perhaps the most prominent monuments were those erected by the railway companies across Britain and Ireland.1

Register to

Dr. A.J. Devlin

E-mail Print PDF


by Liam Dodd

Dr. A.J. Devlin whose death has occurred at his home St. Jude's Foxrock County Dublin, was born and educated in Cork. He entered the Royal Military College in 1915. During the First World War 1914-18 Dr. Delvin served as Lieutenant in the Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadian's) and was severely wounded.
Register to

New R.N.L.I. Award for Lifeboat Crew Members and Lifeguards

E-mail Print PDF

by James Scannell

Traditionally, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (R.N.L.I.) which provides deep sea rescue up to 50 miles off land and inshore as well around the coasts of Britain and Ireland, has awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze medals and Testimonials on Vellum to those members of the organisation who have displayed outstanding heroism on rescue operations. Now a new award, the Framed Certificate for First Aid, has been created to recognise outstanding medical assistance for life threatening injuries administered in difficult circumstances.

Register to

Death of Mallow Man

E-mail Print PDF

by Liam Dodd

Died June 1st 1947 at R.A.F. Station Leuchars Fife Scotland as the result of an accident Flight Lieutenant Francis Drew Foott (late Connaught Rangers) of Kilshanning House Mallow Co. Cork and youngest son of the late John Charles Foott M.D. Tallow Co. Waterford.

Register to

A Sad Fatal Accident

E-mail Print PDF

Inquest and Verdict 

by Liam Dodd

The sad news of the death of Gunner Sam Bond R.F.A. which occurred while training with his battery in Blicksting Park Aylaham Norfolk on January 24th was received in Bunclody Co Wexford on Friday last. The accident occurred through Gunner Bond attempting to unlimber the gun. He lost his footing and before his comrades could get the team to stop the wheel of the gun limber passed over him.

Register to

Soldier's Death

E-mail Print PDF

by Liam Dodd

The death took place on the 16th February of Corporal John Cleary A.S.C. age 37 years, husband of Mrs Annie Cleary, Friar's Hill, Wicklow at the West Herts Hospital, Hemel Hampstead. A native of Dublin the deceased had seen active service in the Boer War, where he was wounded and nearly three years ago he rejoined the Army Service Corps and saw active service in France in the motor transport.
Register to

A Blind Soldier

E-mail Print PDF

by Liam Dodd

Captain Gerald Lowry F.R.G.S. an Ulsterman was the first British soldier to be blinded in the Great War. He went on active service with the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles shortly after war was declared and fought at Mons.
Register to

Victim of the Bayano

E-mail Print PDF

by Liam Dodd

Mr. John Glanville, principal light-keeper on the Tuskar Rock, has received information that his brother James, a torpedo instructor on the auxiliary cruiser Bayano, which was sunk off the Scotch coast, is amongst those drowned. The deceased Mr. Glanville is a brother-in-law of Mr. Henry Higginbotham, mate of the Blackwater lightship.
Register to

Page 5 of 53
Home Browse Journal Articles

MSOI Login

VirtueMart Shopping Cart

Your Cart is currently empty.