Medal Society of Ireland

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Ireland’s U.N. Heroes

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The Military Medal for Gallantry is the highest military honour in the State. It may be awarded in recognition of the performance of any act of exceptional bravery or gallantry arising out of, or associated with, Military Service and involving risk to life or limb. There are three classes: with honour, with distinction, and with merit. These equate to the three former classes (pre-December 1984): 1st Class, 2nd Class, and 3rd Class. The old classification is used here for consistency.

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New Air Corps Epaulette Rank Insignia - Officers

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by R.A. Fenton

The shaded areas below represent the Silver Grey stripes.

The background is Air Corps blue, the wide stripes are 14mm wide, the narrow ones are 7mm wide and the stripes are 6mm apart.

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General Officers’ Full Dress Uniform 1935-1955

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by F. Glenn Thompson

The basic colours of this uniform were black, scarlet and gold.


Black whipcord, front 5” high and back 3.5” high. The crown was of scarlet facing cloth which overlapped the sides to the extent of ¾”; the seam was covered by a row of 3/16” gold Russia braid. On the crown was a line of black tubular cloth ½” from the edge, and, on the centre of the crown was a gold wire interlaced design. Half way down the side of the shake was a line of scarlet piping. The Army Cap Badge in gold wire, the star edged in scarlet thread; the centre portion consisting of the belt and the F.F. monogram was raised on scarlet silk. All this workmanship was on a ground of scarlet facing cloth. The chin-strap of twisted gold cord with two runners, was held in position by two small gold buttons crested with the Army Badge. Black patent leather peak 3-1/8” deep with a row of gold oak leaf embroidery around the upper and lower edges.
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Military Medal for Gallantry

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A Medal of the Irish Constabulary 1842-1922

The most important Medal awarded to the Constabulary in Ireland has to be the “Constabulary Medal” of Ireland, instituted in 1842 and awarded to deserving members of the Constabulary in Ireland. It could also be awarded to members who had achieved 5 chevrons of merit marking exceptional service. It could also be awarded for a single act of bravery. It was awarded under the authority of the Lord Lieutenant which gave it official recognition.
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Air Corps Officers’ Full Dress Uniform, 1933 – 55

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by F. Glen Thompson

The basic colours of this uniform were medium blue, scarlet and gold.


Medium blue whipcord, front 5” high and back 3½“ high. The crown was of scarlet facing cloth which overlapped the sides to the extent of 3/4”; the seam was covered by a row of 3/16” gold Russia braid. On the crown was a line of medium blue tubular cloth 1/2” from the edge, and, on the croke of the crown was gold wire interlaced design. Half way down the side of the Shako was a line of scarlet piping. The army Cap Badge in gold wire, the star edged in scarlet thread, the centre potion consisting of the belt and the F.F. monogram was raised on scarlet silk. All this workmanship was on a ground of scarlet facing cloth. The chin-strap of twisted gold cord with two runners, was held in position by two small gold buttons crested with the Army Badge. Black patent leather peak 2 1/4” deep for junior officers.

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Decorations Awarded for the Irish Rebellion 1916

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Distinguished Service Order

 Lieut.-Col. J.M. Blair
 Gordon Highlanders
 Major M.G. Crhistie
 Royal Flying Corps
 Major G.A. Harris
 Major J.F. Neilson
 10th Hussars
 Major I.H. Price
 Captain A.H. Quibell
 Notts and Derby Regt.
 Captain F. Rayner
 Notts and Derby Regt.
 Lieut.-Col. T.A. Salt
 11th Hussars
 Major H.F. Somerville
 Rifle Brigade
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Books Review

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“A MILITARY HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF DUBLIN AND ITS TRAINING CORPS, 1910-1922” by R.T. Willoughby. Published under the auspices of the Medal Society of Ireland 1988. 

This book, due for publication in September 1988, will contain otherwise unavailable archival material on the history of Trinity College and its Officer Training Corps during a very disturbed period of Irish history. Of particular interest will be a hitherto unpublished roll of soldiers stationed in Trinity during the Easter Rising of 1916. 

Roger Willoughby (MSOI No 5) has produced this little 40 page, soft back, limited edition booklet at his own expense and will make it available through MSOI from end September 1988. 

Like so many of its kind it is bound to become a collector’s item in a very short time so get your copy now while it is readily available. 
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Umbeyla 1863

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by Colin Message
"The Umbeyla expedition of 1863 claims more extended notice. A small body of troops under Chamberlain (Major General-Sir Neville) was sent to rout out a troublesome band of Hindustani fanatics from their lair on the banks of the Indus, west of the Black Mountain. The Buner tribes, lying to the north of the line of advance, between the Upper Swat and the Indus, who were expected to remain neutral, suddenly turned on the column after it had crossed the Umbeyla Pass and assaulted it so fiercely that the advance was held up for six weeks before the arrival of reinforcements. British casualties in this campaign were abnormally high, amounting to ten per cent of the whole force engaged." 

W. Sheppard, 1926
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Lieut. J.A.R. McCormick R.N.V.R.

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by James Morton

The Great War which began in August 1914 had, by January 1915, settled down to almost stationary trench warfare on the Western Front. The Allied High Command, looking for an area where fresh progress might be made, decided to strike against Turkey, Germany’s ally in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

An initial naval attack was unsuccessful and on 25 April 1915 Allied troops stormed ashore on the beaches of Gallipoli. The campaign was a disaster from the start and has been described as ‘an example of how not to conduct military operations.’ Anyone who doubts this description should read ‘The Uncensored Dardanelles’ by E. Ashmead Bartlett. 
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Captain F. Jackson

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Captain F. Jackson former officer of the 6th Royal Irish Fusiliers was washed overboard and drowned in the Bay of Biscay during a fierce storm. This gallant officer was on his way to Cario Egypt to take up an important teaching appointment. He was the son of the Rev. J Jackson D.D. Ballycastle where he was born. He joined the R.I.C. and was appointed Third Class District Inspector 15th September 1908, Second Class 3rd February 1910 and First Class 1st July 1919. When war broke out he joined 6th Battalion Princess Victoria Royal Irish Fusiliers, saw much service and was wounded at the Dardanelles. After the war he rejoined the R.I.C. and was for a number of years attached to the Depot Dublin and also in Galway. After disbandment of the R.I.C. Captain Jackson took up teaching for which he was eminently suitable.



Irish Times 11th October 1924


Pensioner’s Graveyard - Royal Hospital Kilmainham Dublin

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The Royal Hospital in Kilmainham was completed in 1684 by Sir William Robinson, official State Surveyor General for James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, as a home for retired soldiers and continued in that use for over 250 years. The ceremony of laying the first stone took place on the 29th April 1680 and was performed by the Duke of Ormond before a large assemblage of the nobility and principal officers of the army. The cost of the home for retired soldiers was roughly about £24,000, with accommodation for around 200 men. Within the boundaries of the Royal Hospital is the last resting place of many of the old soldiers, who passed away in Kilmainham. Over many years a large number of the headstones have been damaged for various reasons. Below is a list of graves with damaged or missing headstones. The dates of burials covered are from 1905 to 1930. This is first of a serial of articles on the Royal Hospital which will appear in the journal.

Name/Rank                 Regiment         Died           Age  Row
Pte. James Blackeney  18th Foot 17/05/1908  69 H7
Pte. John Blackmore  Shropshire L.I. 22/07/1915  69 R2
Pte. Andrew Broderick  59th Foot 30/01/1917  79 C1
Pte. Michael Broderick  84th Foot 30/04/1908  69 H6
Pte .Michael Brogan  49th Foot 17/05/1909  74 I7
Pte. William Bryan  102nd Foot 21/03/1911  78 K3
Pte. John Buckley 19th Foot 25/06/1905  75 A1
Col. Sgt. James Carney  R.I. Fusiliers 02/01/1916  71 N7
Pte. John Carthure  30th Foot 31/05/1908  83 H9
Pte .Thomas Casey  18th Foot 17/04/1906  72 C6
Pte. John Cashen  East Kent Regt. 25/11/1919  54 P10
Pte. John Chawner  Scots Fusiliers 07/05/1918  77 O16
Pte. Bernard Coin  8th Hussars 24/02/1906  72 B6
Pte .Joseph Coli  1st Worcester 25/08/1924  78 S4
Pte. Joseph Collopy  36th Foot 25/04/1909  74 I6
Pte. Thomas Connolly  K.O.S.B. 10/07/1908  78 H10
Pte. Vere Copelly  9th Regiment 19/02/1915  73 M15
Pte. William Corry  51st Foot 06/04/1906  78 C3
Pte. William Craven  R.A.S.C. 28/08/1926  77 S22
Pte. James Crawley  107th Foot 24/06/1912  85 H2
Pte. Denis Crimin  39th Foot 18/01/1912  74 F2
Pte. Richard Cronin  87th Foot 01/03/1915  80 M16
Pte. Michael Cummins  31st Foot 24/04/1908  83 H5
Pte Thomas Cunningham  R.H.A. 16/02/1909  70 I4
Pte. Francis Curtey  14th Foot 18/01/1907  73 E5
Pte. Christopher Daly  Bengal Artillery 14/02/1909  79 I3
Pte. Stephen Devaney  88th Foot 20/10/1907  69 G7
Sgt. Thomas Digney  Royal Artillery 11/03/1909  77 I
Owen Donnelly  Easter Rebellion 27/04/1916 U
Pte. James Dooley  17th Foot 25/01/1908  68 G10
Pte Thomas Downey  Devon Regiment 16/02/1919  63 L1
Pte. Patrick Dunne  106th Foot 30/04/1906  75 D3
Pte. James Edgill  96th Foot 01/02/1915  80 M14
Pte. Robert Ellis  4th Hussars 27/11/1917  75 O11
Pte. George Faulkner  39th Foot 23/12/1908  88 I1
Pte. James Finn  55th Foot 06/08/1911  73 K7
Pte. Patrick Fitzgerald  108th Foot 20/11/1905  66 B4
Pte. Richard Fitzwilliam  18th Foot31/10/1905 74A2
Pte William Fox  15th Foot 17/02/1910  67 I9
Pte. Robert Franklin  40th Foot 12/02/1920  82 P16
Sgt. John Frawley  Royal Artillery 21/09/1906  74 D5
Pte. Daniel Gibbens  76th Foot 27/11/1911  79 K12
Pte. Edward Gorman  88th Foot 05/05/1907  71 F6
Pte. George Grainger  30th Regiment 02/11/1910  73 J6
Pte. Michael Grehan  106th Foot 09/04/1906  84 C5
Pte. William Halley  Royal Irish Regt. 02/10/1924  49 S5
Pte. Denis Halloran  Royal Scots 11/06/1917  80 F1
Pte. John Halloran  Gloucester Regt. 16/09/1918  82 O18
Pte. John Hargetton  5th Lancers 04/01/1922  82 S1
Pte. Denis Harrington  2nd Manchester 25/09/1917  70 O8
Pte. John Hillard  York & Lancs 13/11/1917  70 O9
Cpl. George Hillier  R.G.A. 03/05/1925  69 S10
Pte. John Hobin  Dorset Regiment 27/04/1917  72 E1
Pte. David Hughes  22nd Foot 11/12/1918  72 H1
Pte. Henry Hutchin  R.G.A. 04/01/1922  81 T6
Pte. William Jackson  5th Lancers 23/04/1907  66 F5
Pte. Patrick Joyce  Durham Lancers 17/02/1917  76 D1
Pte. Simon Kearney  87th Foot 21/01/1909  76 N3
Pte. John Keilty  East Surrey Regt. 05/06/1928  77 T23
Pte. Edward Kelly  86th Foot 02/01/1917  75 B1
Pte. Thomas Leary  78th Foot 05/11/1905  80 B3
Pte. Maurice Madden  55th Foot 21/02/1911  74 C2
Pte. Thomas Manders  19th Regiment 08/05/1913  77 L9
Pte. Martin Manion  16th Foot 30/05/1911  74 K6
Pte. William Marren  Royal Artillery 08/09/1920  73 Q1
Pte. George Matthews  5th Lancers 18/12/1906  66 D8
Pte. Patrick Meaney  R.H.A. 18/09/1912  84 L4
Pte. William Mercer  R.H.A. 26/01/1908  68 J2
Pte. Edward McNally  94th Foot 17/06/1907  69 F9
Pte. Hugh McMahon  27th Foot 12/10/1906  83 D7
Pte Philip McQuillan  Canadian Rifles 12/04/1907  87 F4
Pte. James McVey  Scottish Rifles 05/05/1910  87 P3
Pte Francis McVeeney  Scottish Rifles 26/03/1925  67 S9
Pte. James Mitchell  70th Foot 13/11/1910  82 J7
Pte. Robert Moneypenny  8th Hussars 08/04/1906  81 C4
Pte John Monks  Somerset Regt. 14/09/1910  64 J4
Pte. Christopher Moore  35th Foot 14/02/1911  74 B2
Pte. William Moore  105th Foot 04/09/1906  66 D4
Pte. John Mulcare  10th Foot 12/02/1919  66 J13
Pte. Owen Mullane  49th Regiment 26/12/1906  75 E3
Pte. Peter Mullen  East Kent Regt. 16/05/1918  70 O17
Pte. Patrick Nash  19th Foot 08/04/1907  66 G3
Pte. Thomas Nealon  10th Foot 24/06/1917  77 O5
Pte. John O’Bryan  Royal Artillery 22/04/1910  81 I11
Pte. Michael O’Toole  5th Lancers 08/04/1915  72 M17
Pte. Joseph Peaton  40th Regiment 22/04/1920  78 N1
Pte. William Porter  44th Foot 30/09/1909  73 I8
Pte. James Purtell  58th Foot 30/07/1907  76 I2
Pte. Henry Rance  16th Regiment 01/01/1907  77 E4
Pte. Daniel Ring  Dorset Regiment 30/06/1919  77 P6
Pte John Ryan  76th Foot 27/03/1908  71 H4
Pte. John Scotton  Yorkshire Regt. 24/07/1925  77 S13
Pte. Bernard Sheeran  10th Foot 01/10/1906  68 D6
Pte. John Simpson  98th Foot  6/03/1907  67 E8
Nurse George Shore  R.H.K. Staff 12/12/1914  U
Pte. Thomas Skelly  62nd Foot 14/08/1917  80 O7
Pte. James Stafford  R.H.A. 06/03/1930  82 T4
Pte. Martin Slater  70th Foot 02/10/1910  77 J5
Pte. Edward Smiley  54th Foot 29/03/1907  69 F3
Pte. James Smeyton  56th Foot 05/02/1927  84 S23
Pte. William Stanley  Royal Artillery 16/05/1907  74 F7
Pte. John Stephens  57th Foot 28/01/1909  70 O3
Pte. Joseph St. John  41st Foot 16/12/1914  74 M11
Pte. Frederick Stokes  Staff Clerk 23/12/1922  87 R9
Pte. Martin Tehan  Royal Artillery 29/09/1908  61 H11
Cpl. John Tomney  R.H.A. 17/03/1926  75 S20
Pte .John Conway Tighe  55th Foot 03/04/1910  69 I10
Pte, Nicholas Tighe  2nd Bombay 29/08/1917  71 G5
Pte Joseph Tomlinson  95th Regiment 01/10/1911  74 K11
Sgt John Tuck  Oxford Light Inf 25/05/1923  78 R13
Pte. Maurice Tuite  Royal Engineers 25/05/1914  76 M4
Pte George Tumpenny  19th Regiment 10/01/1918  75 O12
Pte. Charles Webber  R.H.A. 12/04/1920  79 M1



Owen Donnelly was an out-pensioner of the hospital and was buried in the pensioners graveyard, today there is no marker on his grave. He was shot during the Easter Rebellion on the 27th April near Kilmainham. Employed at the A.O.S. Department at Islandbridge in the city. Donnelly was an old soldier having served in the army for 21 years. He leaves a family of seven children, who reside at 15 Allingham Buildings, South Summer Street.


In the 1911 Census Owen Donnelly a native of Co. Tyrone, states that he is 52 years old and is employed as a labourer in the army ordnance department. He resides at 7 Fountain Street, with his wife Elizabeth and six children.


In 1911 Francis McVeeney a widower resides at 5 Hospital Lane, Usher’s Quay in Dublin. In the census he is recorded as head of the family and he states that he is a hotel servant, but is out of employment. Also in the house is his two daughters Anne and Mary, along with her husband Gerald Stokes and two grandchildren.


Thomas Nealon was born in Limerick City and in the 1911 Census is recorded as being 71 years old. At that time he resides with his son James, his daughter-in-law Katherine and grandson Thomas at 28 Doris Street in Dublin.


The oldest tombstone in the graveyard at the Royal Hospital is that of Corporal William Proby, who died on 28th July 1700. He had been only admitted to Kilmainham seven weeks before his death.


John Tuck on the census of 1911 is recorded as an in-pensioner at the hospital, aged 66 years and a widower. He was born in Queen’s Co (Co Laois).




1911 Census, Evening Herald, The Story of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.


Major’s Will

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Major James William Henry Cusack D.L. J.P. late 87th Royal Irish Fusiliers, of Abbeyville House Malahide Dublin ,who died on 26th July 1929, left personal estate’s in England and the Irish Free State valued at 16,071-4-0. Probate of the will dated 10th June 1926 has been granted to the surviving executric his niece Miss Elizabeth Violet Cusack of the same address. The Testator left 100 to his niece Elizabeth Violet Cusack and the residue of his property to his wife. 



Irish Times 20th December 1929


Lieut.Colonel Forbes

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“The Last Full Measure”


Lieut. Colonel George Francis Reginald Forbes, Commanding 1st Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment who died 17th March 1915 of wounds received in action two days previously was the eldest son of the late Colonel the Hon. W.F. Forbes, Resident Magistrate at the Curragh; nephew of the late Earl of Granard whose ancestor raised the Royal Irish Regiment in 1864 and cousin of Lady Maurice Fitzgerald Johnstown Castle Waterford. He joined the Royal Irish Regiment in 1889,served throughout the Tirah campaign 1897-98,was Adjutant of the Bombay-Barroda Railway Volunteers 1899-1904 and Staff Captain No.12 (South Irish) Division 1905-09. He succeeded to the command of the 1st Battalion then serving in India on 12th March 1912. “No better officer or true friend has ever given his life for his country” writes an old comrade, who deeply mourns his loss.


Lieutenant Colonel George Francis Reginald Forbes  Royal Irish Regiment  Died 17th March 1917 – Aged 48 years – Mentioned in Despatches – Son of Colonel the Hon W.F. Forbes D.L. – Husband of Agnes Margaret Forbes of Fyfield Manor, Abingdon, Berks, England – Buried Bailleul Communal Cemetery (Nord)



Free Press Wexford 27th March 1915



Taken by Surprise

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The men who had stolen the lorry it is believed, got behind the fences along the side of the road when they saw the Crossley tender approaching and believing, it is assumed, that in it was a party send out to recover the lorry, opened fire. The soldiers in the tender were taken by surprise. Behind the fences were about twenty armed men, and each man fired at least one shot at the advancing tender. Lieutenant Mead and Quartermaster-Sergeant Connolly were the only men hit. The driver fortunately escaped unhurt and promptly increased the speed of the car. The escort, consisting of two men of the Lancashire Fusiliers, were seated in the body of the tender and they immediately prepared to return fire on the attackers, but before they could do so the tender turned the corner, cutting the civilians off from view. The escort however caught a momentary glance of the men and they estimate that they numbered about twenty. The tender was then driven to the military hospital, where Connolly died. A civilian who is employed in the motor department at the Royal Barracks stated last night when the tender was returned it bore many evidences of the shooting. Lieutenant Mead it is under, was a settlement officer and was going to see a farmer in the Blackchurch district in connection with the compensation to be paid him on a claim for damage to his property by the military. On inquiry at the General Headquarters of the Irish Republican Army, Dublin last night, a representative of the Irish Times was informed that the Irish Republican Army forces are co-operating with the British forces in trying to track down the perpetrators of the outrage and that no efforts will be spared on the part of the Irish Republican Army to secure their arrest.  SourceIrish Times 21st February 1922

Russia Honours Irish World War II Veteran.

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On Sunday April 25th the consul at the Russian Federation embassy in Dublin, Andrie Nikeryasov, travelled to Cork City Hall to present 93-year old John Hallahan with the 65th Anniversary Medal of the Great Patriotic War struck by a decree of Dmitry Medvedev, president of the Russian Federation. John Hallahan is one of only three remaining Irish ex-servicemen who served on WW2 Arctic convoys.

John Hallahan joined the Royal Navy in 1938 and between 1940 and 1942 served as a boiler room technician on the cruiser HMS Devonshire which protected convoys bringing vital arms, food and medical supplies to the Soviet ports of Murmansk and Archangel. These convoys had to run the gauntlet of treacherous ice floes, mine fields, in addition to the constant treat of attacks from German aircraft and submarines. After leaving the Royal Navy in 1950, John Hallahan worked at Cork's Whitegate Oil Refinery for 25 years.   

Due to Mr. Hallahan's recent ill health, Mr. Nikeryasov made the journey to Cork to present him with his medal in Cork City Hall in the presence of Lord Mayor Cllr. Dara Murphy. Children from the Cork Russian School, founded by Tania Zhinzhina, presented Mr. Hallahan with flowers and a piece of Russian soil. 

During the presentation ceremony Mr. Nikeryasov said that it was due to people such as Mr. Hallahan and fellow Irish Royal Navy veterans George Jones and Geoffrey  Metcalfe, both of whom live in Dublin, that the Soviet Union had survived  that they are owed a great debt  as it was thanks to them  and their comrades that the Soviet Union  was able to get food and medicines  from  our allies in Britain and the United States of America  which helped thousands survive  and contributed  to the victory over the Nazis. 

Former submariner Ronald Erridge, Secretary of the Royal Naval Association in Cork and County, said that the life expectancy of an Arctic convoy sailor who fell into the water was one minute and that few people could accept that without the strength of character that John has and that they were very proud of him.    

The Russian Federation will present similar medals to George Jones and Geoffrey Metcalfe in their embassy in Dublin in May and to the relatives of Norman Sparksman who died earlier this year and the family of Thomas O'Neill who died in 2008.

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 November 2011 11:37

R.S.M. Nicholas Walsh M.C., M.I.D.

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49th Battalion. Canadian Infantry - Alberta Regiment(formerly 5169 Sgt. 1st. Battalion The Royal Dublin Fusiliers) 

Kilkenny man Nicholas Walsh, a son of James Walsh, originally from Baronsland, Bennettsbridge was born on June 12th 1876. By the standards of the day he was a relatively tall well built man of five foot eleven with brown hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion. A Catholic, by trade he was a clerk. Before he emigrated to Canada he served for eight years in the Dublin Fusiliers.

At the time of his attestation into the Dublin Fusiliers on 9th August 1894, he was twenty two and a half years of age and gave his previous trade as a farm labourer Most likely his labouring days were spent on his Father’s farm near Bennettsbridge. Walsh was medically examined and passed fit for service in the Dublin Fusiliers on the 7th. August 1894. His application for enlistment was formally approved by the officer commanding the 18th. Regimental District at Clonmel on August 10th. 1894. By August 11th. Walsh found himself at the Regimental Depot in Naas where he was sworn in as a private in the RDF.  

For the next five and a half years until 8th November 1899 his service with the 1st Battalion RDF was entirely at home.  Drawing from the information given in his service papers one can conclude that he was an enlisted man with some ability as indicated by his promotion through the ranks.  By August 1895 he was promoted to the unpaid rank of lance corporal. The following February this appointment became a paid rank. In August of 1896 he earned a good conduct badge and the following October he was promoted to the rank of corporal. January 1899 saw his promotion to lance sergeant which became a paid position the following month.  The 4th of August 1899 was his final promotion in the RDF, at this stage he became a sergeant, the rank he took overseas to South Africa 

Sergeant Walsh served with the 1st Battalion of the Dublin Fusiliers throughout the Boer War from 9th  November 1899 to 12th September 1902.  He was awarded the Queens and Kings South Africa Medals. His QSA was  with five bars, Transvaal, Orange Free State, Tugela Heights, Relief of Ladysmith and Laing’s Nek. 

Walsh was discharged from service with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers on the 8th August 1906 on the termination of his engagement.  At some stage after this he emigrated to Canada where he found work as a clerk. With the outbreak of the Great War he chose to rejoin the army. Having been medically examined at Edmonton, Alberta on the 4th January 1915 by the M.O., and at the age of thirty nine and a half years, he was passed as medically fit for service overseas with the Canadian Army.  The date is important; being the date of establishment of the unit, Walsh, a man of significant previous military experience would have been identified as someone who could make an important contribution to the development of the new regiment. 

Some background data on the 49th Canadian Infantry Battalion in which Walsh served.   This unit was raised and organised in Edmonton Alberta, (Canada) and served there from January 4th 1915 until June 4th 1915 when it moved to England. The unit arrived in England on June 13th remaining until October 9th 1915 when it went to the Western Front as part of the 7th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division.  At the end of the war the Battalion returned to Canada in March 1919.  The contribution of the Canadians to the war effort in France and Flanders is significant, the 49th Battalion Battle honours were extensive – Mount Sorrel; Somme 1916; Flers-Courelette; Ancre; Arris 1917, 1918; Passchendaele; Amiens; Scarpe 1918; Hindenburg Line; Canal du Nord; Pursuit to Mons.   

We will probably never learn the full extent of Walsh’s distinguished military service with the Canadians, but piecing together the available evidence from primary source material, we can determine that he was quite a brave soldier and leader. 

Entries in the 49th Battalion War Diaries on the 28th February 1916  had two recommendations for gallantry. The first was for Major A.K. Hobbins Adjutant who was recommended for the D.S.O. for his  

“steady and consistently good work in the organisation and since the organisation of this Bn. 29th/ Dec.1914 to the present time as Adjutant.”

On the same date (28th February 1916) the War Diary recommends a second award 

“432178 Company Sergeant Major Walsh. N. ‘B’ Company recommended to G.O.C.7th. Canadian Infantry Brigade, for D.C.M., for efficient faithful and consistently good work as Company Sergeant Major since the organisation of this Bn. 29th Dec.1914 to the present time.” Despite the recommendation for a D.C.M., it was not awarded. Amongst the names recorded “for gallant and distinguished conduct” in the London Gazette of Tuesday 13th June 1916, RSM Nicholas

Walsh was mentioned in the despatch (MID) of General Sir Douglas Haig Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces in France.

As a result of further gallant actions later that year he was awarded an M.C.  A posthumous entry in the London Gazette on the 14th November 1916 states that   

“His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to confer the Military Cross on No. 432178 Sgt. Major N. Walsh (W.O. First Class) 49th. Canadian Infantry Battalion for conspicuous gallantry in action. He acted as Adjutant with courage and efficiency.  Although very seriously wounded, he continued at his duty.  He set a fine example”.

Arising from the above action, Walsh was seriously wounded and evacuated to the 2nd  Northern Special Hospital, Leeds where he died on the 24th  of September 1916

Over 30 pages of photocopied records supplied by the Library and Archives Canada[9] helps greatly in adding information to the personal and service history of this man. However, the Leeds Hospital medical records contained in the file show graphically how RSM Walsh suffered as a result of his wounds. 

He had multiple gunshot wounds to both arms, hands, thigh, feet and right leg. He received these wounds on the Somme on the 15th September. His worst wound was on his left thigh, which was described on the 23rd. of September as “very septic – swollen – smelly”. By the following day his general condition was described as “much worse” with gangrene spreading much further around his thigh with “bubbles of gas coming from front wound”. His pulse was very feeble and he spent a “poor night”. At some stage during the night a decision was taken and a guillotine amputation of the upper third of the thigh took place.        

In preparation for the operation Walsh was given “N2O” (used for anaesthesia, commonly known as laughing gas) Ethanol was also administered to him. After the amputation he was given two pints of blood and brandy. He died on the 24th  September as a result of his wounds.  His body was returned to Ireland and is buried at Bennetts Bridge Catholic Churchyard which is located five miles south of Kilkenny city.  His is the only Commonwealth grave in the cemetery. He was survived by his parents, siblings and his wife Nellie Walsh whose address was the Nore View Hotel, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny.   

Nicholas Walsh was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry in the action which ultimately caused his death as a result of the wounds he received.   

The cased and engraved M.C. was presented by General Doran to Nicholas Walsh’s widow Nellie at a ceremony in Cork on the 22nd. February 1917. 

To date I have been unable to locate any reports on this particular event. However, on May 12th 1917 General Doran officiated at a similar presentation of a D.C.M. to Battery Sergeant Major Pounden of Enniscorthy. A huge crowd had assembled with troops of the Munster Fusiliers and Royal Irish Constabulary. Without doubt the presentation of the M.C to Nellie Walsh in Cork would have been quite like the Wexford conferring.   

[1] Attestation Paper.  Canadian  Overseas Expeditionary Force.  Folio 178.
[2] Attestation Paper.  Canadian  Overseas Expeditionary Force.  Folio 178.
[3] Short Service Papers for N. Walsh, RDF.  British National Archives.
[4] Short Service Papers for N. Walsh, RDF.  British National Archives.
[5] Meek, John F., 1971.  “Over the Top !  The Canadian Infantry in the First  World War. Published private;y in Orangeville Ontario Canada.
[6]  49Bn Canadians War Diary February 1916
[7] The London Gazette, second supplement., Tuesday 13th. June 1916.
[8] The London Gazette,4 supplement.,  14th. November 1916.
[9] Library & Archives Canada., RG 150 Accession 1992-93/166, Box 10057 - 11
[10] Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. 
[11] Major General Beauchamp John Coleclough Doran, of Wexford. Commanding Southern District Irish Command 1916 -1918.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 November 2011 12:11

John Graham Devenish

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John Graham (sometimes spelt Greham) Devenish was born in Waterford ‑ where his father was a Church of Ireland Curate1 ‑ on 27 June 1879. His family had come originally from Roscommon, and although worthy people (his aunt was married to a Major General in the Indian Army), there was only one really notable antecedent. She was Olivia Marianne Devenish (1771 ‑ 1814), the daughter of John's great, great grand uncle, who married, first, Dr Jacob Fancourt. On his death, she married, as his first wife, Stamford Raffles, the legendary founder of Singapore. It was believed that before she married Raffles she was the inamorata of Thomas Moore, the great Irish poet, who addressed "many of his amatory elegies to her"2. As the wife of Raffles she was to make him very happy, and her early death in Java in 1814 was a great grief to him.

Long after Olivia, Robert Jones Sylvester Devenish married, on 5 February 1877, Rosamond Price of Waterford. They had a daughter and three sons ‑ the first of whom was John, the subject of this study.

John was educated at St Columba's College, Dublin, from 1893 and it would appear that he left there circa 1896, when he is recorded as entering Trinity College Dublin ‑ it is not clear if he ever completed a degree course. He was commissioned into the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers as a Second Lieutenant from 4th Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment (Militia), on augmentation, on 18 October 18993.

He joined the 1st Battalion at Mullingar too late to be included in the photograph of the officers, but he did sail with the Battalion from Queenstown (Cobh) on 5 November 1899. He fought with the Battalion at Colenso at few weeks later, on 15 December, where he was severely wounded. It is not known what type of injuries he suffered, but they were clearly not bad enough for him to be evacuated to England as other officer ca­sualties (like A J Hancocks and W W Meldon) were.

On 23 February 1900, Devenish took part with the rest of the Battalion in the Battle of Inniskilling Hill. Once again, he was severely wounded, being shot in both legs. Unable to walk, he spent a freezing night out on the veldt, in danger of being shot if he moved, and listening to the cries of the wounded and the dying. The next day, the Battalion's Medical Officer, Lieutenant Inkson RAMC, carried him off the battlefield. This incident rates few lines in the Battalion's various acounts of the Boer War, but it was a feat of gallantry striking enough to earn for Inkson the Victoria Cross4


"On the 24th February 1900, Lieutenant Inkson carried Second Lieutenant Devenish (who was severely wounded and unable to walk) for three or four hundred yards under a very heavy fire to a place of safety. The ground over which Lieutenant Inkson had to move was much exposed, there being no cover." 

Without wishing in any way to denigrade Inkson's actions ‑ which, after all, were carried out in full view of an enemy who had proved that he was quite prepared to kill anyone who moved ‑ it is of interest that Devenish was quite a small man. He was just five feet, eight inches tall, weighed some 108 pounds, and was of a very slight build.

It is not recorded where Devenish went to recover from his wounds ‑ these were noted, years later5 as "bullet wound (scars) on left thigh in front, and on right hip in front." He, once again, cannot have been repatriated to England as he re­turned to the Battalion on 11 April 1900 ‑ Capt Auchinleck6 recorded in his diary that "Major Brannigan" (the MO, wounded at Colenso, for whom Inkson was doing locum) "and Devenish returned this morning ‑ Devenish quite recovered from his second wound." In the same diary entry, Auchinleck refers to the departure from the Battalion of Lieutenant Inkson "to the great regret of every man in the Regiment. He got a tremendous send‑off, and we are all dreadfully sorry to lose him." It is ironic that when Inkson's VC was announced the following January, the Regiment appears to have taken no note of it7. 

Devenish took part in the Battle of Belfast on 27 August 1900 where, for once, he escaped unscathed. On 2 September he, according to Auchinleck, "had a pretty warm time" after the Battalion crossed the Crocodile River and passed Badfontein Hotel. Sadly, neither Auchinleck nor the regimental history clarifies what happened here, but it is possible that whatever he did led to him being Mentioned in Despatches a year later8.

Devenish was promoted Lieutenant9, with effect 20 Septem­ber 1900 in the place of Lieutenant James Lowry, who died of blood poisoning, on 19 September, in London (having been medical­ly evacuated from South Africa). 

He transferred to the 2nd Battalion sometime after its arrival in South Africa (in February 1902) and, by March 1903, was seconded to the Mounted Infantry. But before he left the Battalion he was recorded10 as coming third in the officers' mule race at the Mafeking Garrison Sports (including the Army, the Cape Police and the British South Africa Police) on 18 Febr­uary 1903. How long he remained with the Mounted Infantry is not known, but he was back in the 2nd Battalion in Egypt by March 1904. Around that date he was in command of A Company, handing over11 to Captain E J Buckley. He can be found in two photo­graphs in the Regimental Museum ‑ on St Patrick's Day 1904 in Egypt, and when the Battalion was inspected by the Duke of Connaught, in Cairo, in January 1905. In both, he can clearly be seen wearing his two medals for the Boer War12. Promoted Cap­tain on 7 January 190613 he finally left the Army in September 1907, and effectively disappears from Regimental sight.

His entry in Burke's14 refers merely to him as "Captain, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, served in South African War 1899‑1902, and in World War I, 1914‑1918," but, frustratingly, gives no further details (apart from his date of death). However, the St Columbas' Roll Of Honour15 provides the clue as to at least part of his movements after leaving the regiment, when it refers to his WWI service as a Sergeant, 5th New Zealand Reinforcements ‑ twice wounded. 

New Zealand Defence Force Records16  were able to fill in details of his WWI service. He joined the Expeditionary Force on 11 December 1914 at the age of 35 years, where he admits to service in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, but without giving a rank. It is intriguing to note that the recruiters do not appear to have attempted to clarify his previous regular service, or to query the scars of bullet wounds on his legs. It is very possible that Devenish wished to play down his background ‑ he refers, for example, to his father simply as R J Devenish, not as "Very Reverend." He gave his own occupation as “self employed contrac­tor” and an address at Pembroke House, Grey Street, Auckland. The doctor noted that he had a tattoed Japanese girl on his right forearm ‑ it is amusing to speculate that he may have acquired this en route to New Zealand (or, at least, after he left the Army) as it is unlikely that he would have sported such an emblem while still serving with the Regiment.

He was initially posted to G Company, 5th Reinforcements17, on 8 January 1915, as a Sergeant, and would appear to have been a Company Sergeant Major by 30 June. However, when he joined 16th Company, 2nd Bn AIR18 in the Dardanelles on 8 August (1915) he did so as a Private. Just five days later, on the 13th , he was wounded by a bullet in his left leg, and was evacuated to St David's Hospital, Malta, on the 20th.  On 5 September he was posted to the New Zealand Advanced Base at Mustapha from which, on the 15th, he embarked at Alexandria for the Dardanelles. Arriving there on the 21st, he was again admit­ted to hospital, this time at Mudros, suffering from diarrhoea, on 9 October. On the 21st, diagnosed as suffering from dysentry, he was sent to England where, on the 28th, he was admitted to the 2nd Western General Hospital in Manchester. On 14 January 1916 he was attached to the New Zealand Base Depot at Hornchurch, before joining 1st Bn AIR at Ismailia on 1 March. Five days later he was appointed Lance Corporal, and a month later (on 5 April) he rejoined the 2nd Battalion. On 8 April the Battalion embarked, from Alexandria, on the HT Ascania, for France. At Rebecq, on 23 April, he was appointed Temporary Corporal, being given substan­tive rank, at Armentieres, on 14 May. 

On 7 June 1916, Corporal Devenish was wounded for the second time ‑ by a gun shot wound in the right thigh. Admitted initially to No 13 Stationary Hospital in Boulogne he was evacuated to the 2nd Scottish General Hospital in Aberdeen on the 12 of June. On 16 August he joined the New Zealand Convalescent Camp at Horn­church, before being invalided to New Zealand, and struck off the strength of the Expeditionary Force, on 28 October 1916. I wonder if he had been able, while at Hornchurch, to travel to Ireland for the funeral of his father, who died on 16 September?

Back in New Zealand, he was discharged ‑ no longer physical­ly fit for war work on account of wounds received in action ‑ on 26 May 1917. This is hardly surprising, when one considers that he was twice wounded in both legs ‑ it is a wonder that he was able to walk at all. For his service in Gallipoli and France he was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War and Allied Victory medals ‑ all named to him as 12/2271 Corporal J G Devenish NZEF. 

After the war, Devenish ceased being a contractor, and is recorded19 as a Clerk, living at 29 Hayden Street (and, later, at 31 Upper Vincent Street), Auckland Central. The last morsel of knowledge of him is that he died, unmarried, at Epsom (a suburb of Auckland) on 1 June 1947.  His youngest brother Robert, Arch­deacon of  Lahore 1934 ‑ 1940, had two daughters. The middle brother, William, sometime Vice President of Canadian National Railways, did have a son but he died as a Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Engineers in World War II. So, John was the last of the Devenish men, and with him the line died out. 


Extract from J G Devenish's Record of Service

Invalided to New Zealand per HS Maheno, from Southampton, and struck off strength of NZEF, 28 Oct 1916 


Extract from "The War Effort of New Zealand" p.133

On Oct 28th (1916), 328 New Zealand sick and wounded were embarked (on the HS Maheno) at Southampton, and voyaged home uneventfully except for delay at Albany, due to a coal strike in New Zealand.



1.     Later (1883 ‑ 1886) Prebendary in Waterford Cathedral; Vicar of Cahir 1886 ‑ 1913 and, from 1913 to his death in 1916, Dean of Cashel.

2.     According to Lord Minto, quoted in "Raffles" by Maurice Col­lis, published Singapore 1966

3.     London Gazette 17 Oct 1899 p.6265. Officers from Militia regiments were commissioned into regular regiments going to South Africa, to bring them up to war establishment

4.     London Gazette 15 Jan 1901

5.     In Devenish's recruit form when he joined the New Zealand forces for WW1

6.     Captain Dan Auchinleck, KIA 20 Oct 1914

7.     Inkson's VC was never included in the list of VCs to the Inniskillings until I pointed out that, as he rescued an officer of the Regiment, while actually serving with the Regiment, he should be counted among our VCs. This has now been done, and ninety years after the event, Inkson's gallantry is remembered by the successors to the Inniskillings, The Royal Irish Regiment.

8.     London Gazette 10 Sep 1901 p.5942

9.     Announced in the London Gazette 12 Mar 1901 p.1766

10.   "The Donegal's Own" Journal May 1903

11.   "The Donegal's Own" Journal Mar 1904

12.   Queens' South Africa medal with clasps Cape Colony, Tugela Heights, and Relief of Ladysmith; and King's South Africa medal with clasps South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902. All are named to him as a Lieutenant.

13.   Army List 1907 p.743

14.   Burke's "The Landed Gentry of Ireland" 1958 pp.232/233

15.   For WW1, published by the Old Columban Society

16.   Letter from Dr M J McNamara dated 30 Mar 1993

17.   The 5th Reinforcements (2299 in total) left New Zealand on 3 ships on 13 June 1915. They all sailed for Suez, but they appear to have arrived a week apart. It is likely that Devenish tra­velled on the Aparima, which arived in Suez on 6 August,  two weeks after the first trooper (the Maunganui), which arrived there on 24 July

18.   This was the 2nd Battalion the Auckland Infantry Regiment  

19.   According to the 1925 and 1931 Electoral Rolls

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 September 2016 18:07

Campaign to Preserve 16 Moore Street, Dublin.

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Arising from a meeting on April 27th in Dublin  by a group of relatives  of the Easter Week 1916 Rising  and politicians from  the Irish Parliamentary Committee on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Connolly Heron, great-grandson of  Irish Citizens Army leader James Connolly, said that the campaign  to protect Dublin's  historic Moore Street area  will one of the most  important preservation campaigns  since Wood Quay in the 1970's. The comments were made following a tour around the area of the General Post Office and Moore Street  which is scheduled to be redeveloped.

In March the An Bord Pleanala ( The Planning Board)  approved planning permission  for a major development of the Carlton Cinema site  which occupies  a 2.7 hectare site  taking in most of a block of Upper O'Connell Street  and fronting onto Henry Street, Moore Street, O' Rahilly Parade, Parade and Parnell Street. This area  covers most of the route taken by the leaders of the Easter Week 1916 Rising  after they left  the General Post Office where they had been for mist of the week  and 16 Moore Street which was their final headquarters and where  the decision to surrender was taken.

Developer Joe O'Reilly, who built the south Dublin Dundrum Town Centre, has been granted planning permission granted for an 800,000 sq. ft. development comprising 98 retail units, 69 residential units, 12050 sq. ft. of restaurants and coffee houses and parking for 700 cars.

Addressing the Parliamentary Committee. John Heron Connolly, who is a member of the ' Save 16 Moore Street Committee ', said that the State needed to a proactive role in the preservation of the area, an issue which was too important to left in the hands of a private developer. Nos. 14 to 17 Moore Street is a designated National Monument and under the development plans the facade of the buildings will be preserved and an a 1916 Rising Commemorative Centre constructed in No.16.  However campaigners are proposing that the interior of the these building be preserved in its original condition as this was where the leaders of the 1916 met for the last time and have called on the Government to establish a museum in it along the lines of the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam.


William Monahan

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Irish Soldier.


William  Monahan (1887 – 1941)

William Monahan was born in New Ross, Wexford. He married Sarah Mullens and their children were Mary, Philomena, Gerard and Madeleine. William worked as a butler. Sarah died on the 4th April 1920 aged 49. His mother Mary Anne Monahan, who practiced as a midwife, having trained in Sir.Patrick Dun’s Hospital, brought up his younger children. She died on the 1st August 1937 at the age of 88.

He married again on 28th January 1926 to Rose Gallagher in Buncrana, Donegal. They had two sons, Patrick and William.


Service In The ‘Royal Dublin Fusiliers’.

Many of the service records of World War One were destroyed during the ‘blitz’ on England during the Second World War. However, the Public Records Office, at Kew, was able to provide some limited information on his army service in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The surviving records indicated that he had served in the 2nd and 8th battalions and that he had entered the field of battle in France in December 1915. The Medal Roll showed that he had been awarded the 1914-1915 Star and two other medals, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. So, he was the holder of the triple medals of World War One. He had attained the rank of Sarjeant.


Service In The National Army.

Back in Ireland he initially worked as a canteen manager/barman in Monaghan He then enlisted, for a period of six months, in the National Army on 18th July 1922. (Oglaigh na h-Eireann, Voluntary Reserve). His first posting, as a sergeant, was to the Special Infantry Corps at Portobello Barracks, Rathmines, Dublin. He was discharged on the 18th January 1923 and reattested on 20th February 1923 retaining his rank of sergeant and was posted to the 35th Infantry battalion at Sligo in the Donegal Command (Service Number 884). On the 3rd June 1924 he was promoted to Company Quartermaster Sergeant and posted to Finner Camp in Buncrana. Further promotion followed on 26th August 1924 to Acting Battalion Quartermaster Sergeant. Following a course of instruction, 14th February to 3rd May 1925, at the Curragh he was promoted to Battalion Quartermaster Sergeant and posted to West Command HQ in Custume Barracks, Athlone.

In 1927 the Defence Forces were going through a period of reduction in strength. He was not retired due to this reduction in the Establishment of Ranks but was posted to 4 Garrison Transport Company at Athlone.

On the 16th July 1927 he was discharged - “Time Expired” - having served for four years and one hundred and forty seven days.


Service In The Local Defence Force.

Following his discharge from the army, his days in uniform were not over. After the outbreak of World War Two, he joined the Local Defence Force which was formed in response to “The Emergency” in Ireland. Although, the records of the LDF in Buncrana have been lost, the local newspaper’s report of his funeral with Full Military Honours provided some information. He was a Section Leader and died on 21st April 1941 on duty and the newspaper speculated that he was the first LDF casualty in Donegal. He was awarded the Emergency Service Medal posthumously.


William  Monahan – Date Of Birth.

There is some doubt as to his actual age on discharge from the Irish Army. His Army records show a variation in the data on his age. It states that his date of birth was 30th March 1884. So, on discharge in July 1927 he would have been 43 but the Discharge Medical Board Form shows his age at discharge as 50 years, this implies that the year of birth was 1877. The Death Certificate states he died on 21st April 1941 at age 64, this would give credence to the year of birth being 1877. Without the assistance of the Irish Army Archives much of his military service would not have come to light and one is very grateful to them for that.


Sad Addendum.

In 2012 his British War Medal and Victory Medal were stolen. The inscription on the medal rims was “21367 SJT.WILLIAM MONAHAN. R D Fus.” Any information about these two medals and the lost 1914-1915 Star would be appreciated and sent to the Editor.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 08:36

Crimean and Mutiny Veteran Died in Natal

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Kildare Man

by Liam Dodd

The gallantry of our soldiers participating in the tense European conflict of today should make us hold in renewed and lasting honour the brave warriors of past campaigns, campaigns which have built up, as on a sure, concrete foundation the glorious traditions of the British Army. One of these heroes, Mr. John Joseph Flood, who fought in the Crimean War and Indian Mutiny, passed away at Durban Natal South Africa, on Sunday, December 27th, at the rare old age of 90 years. He long outlived the rigours of the Crimean winter and the no less trying experiences of campaigning under a blazing Indian sun.

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Flying Officer Joseph Harold Brabazon DFC RAFVR

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by Patrick J. Casey

Joseph Harold Brabazon died at St. Luke's Home, Mahon, Co. Cork on the 18th November, 2004. He was one of the first to join the Medal Society of Ireland when it was formed in 1986 and he kept up his membership for a number of years. He flew with the RAF's Bomber Command during the 2nd World War and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He had a remarkable story to tell.

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Important Notice

The day trip to see the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers Museum at Enniskillen will take place on Saturday, 31st March. 

The tour will include, among other things, a visit to the Fermanagh County Museum and the Historic Castle.

Those wishing to participate should give their names to Pat Casey 087-2447522 or Austin Fennessey. Please book your place as soon as possible as capacity is limited.

Bus leaves Heuston Station, Dublin at 8 a.m. and returns at around 8 p.m.

Price €30 per person