Local Casualties of the Great War

This Sunday in the UK is Remembrance Sunday, and in a timely coincidence a genealogy site has released searchable records for Ireland’s casualties. I’m sure I’ll have missed some records, but I did find a number of locally-born men who lost their lives in France and Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq):

John Crowley (Murragh)- 15 Nov 1914 - Flanders & France - Royal Garrison Artillery, Killed in Action

Patrick McCarthy (Ballineen) - 18 May 1915 - Flanders & France - Royal Engineers, 55th Field Company, Died of Wounds. Part of the 7th Division, the 55th Field Company was engaged in warfare at Ypres (19 Oct - 22 Nov 1914), Langemarck (21-24 Oct 1914), Gheluvelt (29-31 Oct 1914), Neuve Chapelle (10-13 Mar 1915), Ypres (22 Apr - 25 May 1915). It seems that during this second battle at Ypres that Patrick McCarthy was killed. The second battle of Ypres is infamous for the first use of poison gas on a large scale by the Germans.

Jeremiah Daly (Ballineen) -28 Jun 1916 - Irish Guards, 1st Batt, Killed in Action

Cornelius Spillane (Ballineen) - 27 Jul 1916, Flanders & France - Royal Munster Fusiliers 8th Batt, Killed in Action. In July 1916, 8RMF was taking part in several raids along the Loos sector (northern France near the border with Belgium) with its brigade, suffering significant losses, often the battalion's best soldiers.

John Driscoll (Ballineen) - 22 Aug 1916 - Mesopotamia - Connaught Rangers 1st Batt. On 26 Sept 1914 the 1st battalion of the Connaught Rangers arrived at the Port of Marseilles having embarked at Karachi in India in August. It saw action on the Western Front at the 1st Battle of Messines ( Oct 1914), Battle of Festuber (Nov 1914), Battle of Neuve Chapelle (March 1915), 2nd Battle of Ypres (April 1915), and the Battle of Loos (Sept 1915). On 11 Dec, 1915 the 1st Battalion returned to Marseilles and left for Mesopotamia. On 10 January 1916 it disembarked at Basra and proceeded up the Tigris to Kut. The attempt to relieve the Turkish-besieged British force at Kut failed with heavy losses during early 1916, and on 28th April 1916 the garrison at Kut surrendered. During the summer of 1916 the Connaught Rangers in the lines at Kut were decimated by cholera. It is not clear if this was the cause of John Driscoll’s death.

George Taylor (Ballineen) - 9 Sep 1916 - Flanders & France - Royal Munster Fusiliers 8th Batt, Killed In Action. 8RMF was transfered from Loos (see Cornelius Spillane above) to the Battle of the Somme on 30th August 1916, to the front at Guillemont and Ginchy. It was part of the assault which took Guillemont on 3rd September along with the Connaught Rangers. Later, after the initial attack on Ginchy failed, 8RMF was left open to a counter-attack, then withdrawn to recover from its losses. It returned on the 7th September with 200 men for the next attack on Ginchy. On 9th September it took heavy casualties – among them George Taylor,when it encountered stiff resistance from enemy defences unaffected by the allied bombardment whose shelling kept falling short into no-man’s land. The other battalions of the 16th (Irish) Division were left to capture Ginchy.

James Brien (Murragh) - 26 Sep 1916 - Flanders & France - Irish Guards 1st Batt, Died of Wounds

Robert Harman (Ballineen) - 10 Nov 1917 - Flanders & France - Royal Munster Fusiliers 2nd Batt, Killed in Action. 2RMF was one of two battalions which led the 1st Division’s attack at the Second Battle of Passchendaele on the 10th November 1917 – the last day of the battle. Weighed down with equipment they waded waist deep through the winter mud and water, initially taking all objectives within 45 minutes. Seeing the progress by the Canadians on the right they pressed on. The artillery support requested to break up the enemy landed on the battalion’s extended positions. The South Welch Borders advance had left a gap the Germans made use of to cut off most of the 2RMF. Three hours later saw only 7 officers and 240 other ranks present. 12 and 393 having become casualties. Robert Harman was one of the casualties.

Daniel Horgan (Ballineen) - 5 Mar 1918 - Flanders & France – 2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers, Killed in Action

Michael Galvin (Newcestown)– 8 Oct 1918 - Flanders & France - Royal Irish Regiment, 2nd Batt, Killed in Action

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a nanamacha

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