Private Patrick Bagge

Royal Irish Regiment,

From Kilrush, Co. Waterford,

Aged 18

Patrick Bagge was born in the Parish of Kilrush, Co. Waterford, and enlisted at Dungarvan on 23 September 1874, claiming previous service in the Waterford Artillery Militia. He was posted to India in September 1876 where he served until September 1884, apart from a spell in Afghanistan from May 1880 to March 1881, for which he received the Afghanistan medal.

He served on the Nile Expedition in 1884-85, returning home in June of the latter year, and continued there until his discharge on 23 September 1895. He had been appointed Bandsman in May 1881, and Musician in October 1884, at which time he re-engaged to complete 21 years service.

He was awarded the Long Service Good Conduct (L.S. & G.C.) medal on 8 January 1893.

A Bandsman(Trumpet), of The Royal Irish Regiment, helmet dressed for St Patrick’s Day. Circa 1880
Photo: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/362680576232721686/

Patrick married Beatrice Jane Matthews on the 8th of January 1890 in Plymouth. Together they would have 5 children. Patrick would go to become landlord of The Saltram Arms public house, again in Plymouth. Patrick Died in 1906 aged 50.

Incidentally Patrick & Beatrice’s son Stanley was Killed in Action during the Great War. He died on the 28th April 1917, whilst serving with the 8th Bn.
Somerset Light Infantry. He has no known grave & is commemorated on the Arras Memorial to the Missing.

 

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Private James Caswell & Private Edward Charles Caswell

The medals of two brothers, James & Edward Caswell of the Wiltshire Regiment (pictured above)

Edward Charles Caswell served with the 5th Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment, in the Balkans from 14 November 1915, taking part in the final stages of the Gallipoli campaign. In February 1916 the battalion moved to Mesopotamia to join the force being assembled for the relief of the besieged garrison at Kut. They were in action in the battle of Kut al Amara, capture of the Hai Salient, capture of Dahra Bend and the passage of the Diyala, in the pursuit of the enemy towards Baghdad. Units of the Division were the first troops to enter Baghdad when it fell on 11 March 1917. The Division then joined ‘Marshall’s Column’ and pushed north across Iraq, fighting at Delli Abbas, Duqma, Nahr Kalis, crossing the Adhaim on 18 April and fighting at Shatt al Adhaim. Later in the year they were in action in the 2nd and 3rd battles of Jabal Hamrin and fought at Tuz Khurmatli the following April.

James Caswell served with the 3rd Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment, in France from 20 July 1915. He died of illness in Ireland on 26 March 1919,whilst on garrison duty, with the 1st Battalion, during the Irish war of Independence, and is buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery.

James Caswell’s grave in Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin.

Greaser Thomas Phillips

Merchant Navy,

Lost at Sea (Drowned), 26th January 1918,

From  Dublin, Aged 33

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas Phillips was born in Dublin in 1885, son of the late Thomas and Catherine Phillips and Husband of Christine Phillips of 30 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin. Serving as a Greaser aboard the Cargo Ship SS Cork on a journey to Liverpool with a general cargo, she was torpedoed by the German Submarine U-103 on 26th January 1918, nine miles North East off Lynas Point, Anglesey, Wales.

1916 illustration by Willy Stöwer of a German submarine destroying an English fishing steamer. The SS Cork was a victim of Germany’s naval blockade. Photo:http://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/index.php/articles/12-dead-as-ss-cork-torpedoed

On this occasion, two torpedoes were fired and both struck the port side of the vessel over the water line. The first entered the engine-room and the second, immediately after, struck near the foremast. Within five minutes, the ship had sunk.

Two lifeboats, containing 30 survivors, were launched. They were located and picked up a couple of hours later by a passing steamer and, after being transferred to another ship, were brought to the nearest port.

12 crew were lost including Thomas Phillips from a ship’s company of 42.

Thomas is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial, in London. It commemorates the men of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who have no grave but the sea.

Tower Hill Memorial, London Photo: https://www.cwgc.org/find/find-cemeteries-and-memorials/90002/tower-hill-memorial

 

Nurse Eva Adelaide Dawson

 

 

 

 

 

Eva Adelaide Dawson was born in Carlow in 1864. August 1914 saw Eva serving as Lady Superintendant with the Voluntary Aid Detatchment (V.A.D) in Dublin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The V.A.D. was a detachment of nursing and ambulance members that were trained and readily available to provide field or hospital services. Hundreds of men and women across Ireland joined the detachment with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Eva being one of these trained nurses.

 

THE BRITISH ARMY ON THE WESTERN FRONT, 1914-1918 (Q 2405) Voluntary Aid Detachment, Order of St John (VAD) nurses and convalescents in a ward in Dublin

 

During the First World War it was common to see ships pulling into Dublin with hundreds of wounded soldiers returning from war but many of them too were not even from Ireland but were sent to Ireland as hospitals across England were trying to cope with the overcrowding and sometimes it was purely just ships heading directly to Ireland with mail and food supplies. These injured soldiers were cared for by waiting members of the St. John Ambulance and with assistance from the Royal Irish Automobile Club and the corporation ambulance. A lot of the men returned home after they recovered to Great Britain while some settled in Ireland.

From Eva’s Red Cross service card, she describes her duties as Lecturing on Home Nursing, Meeting Hospital ships & taking charge of Hospital trains to Cork & working for the wounded.

Voluntary Aid Detachment Recruitment poster seeking women for Great Britain & Ireland’s Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD)
Photo: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/80/4f/53/804f537f87061d5d3e1e2e3b153f6600–ww-posters-red-cross.jpg

In addition, she states, with the Commandant of No 2 V.A.D, she started the Irish Counties Hospital Supply Depot in Nassau St. Here volunteer women made dressings and bandages, such as papier mâché surgical applications and sphagnum moss dressings.

Irish War Hospital Supply Depot Photo: http://www.scarletfinders.co.uk/178.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eva died In Birmingham in October 1925, where she had been living with her late husband William…

 

Private Matthew Gibney

2nd Battalion Irish Guards,

From Drogheda, Co. Meath,

Slightly Wounded in France, 1st April 1916,

Aged 20

Matthew Gibney was born to Michael & Jane Gibney of Nunswalk in Drogheda on the 7th May 1896. A coachman by trade he enlisted into the 2nd Battalion Irish Guards, in Drogheda, on the 9th January 1915. Following a period of training he landed with his battalion at Le Havre and came under orders of 2nd Guards Brigade, Guards Division.

In September that year, the battalion, as well as the 1st Irish Guards, took part in the Battle of Loos, which lasted from 25 September until early October.

Loos 25th September 1915 Photo: http://www.s234171324.websitehome.co.uk/saunders/images/loos25a.jpg

On September 25th, 1915, some 75,000 British soldiers rose from their trenches under the cover of a gas cloud the British swore they would never use.

They attacked the German lines centred on Loos-en-Gohelle, an unremarkable place, framed, then as now, by two huge slag heaps which dominate the flat terrain for miles around.

The third day involved the Guards Division. The 1st and 2nd battalions of the Irish Guards suffered grievous losses. The battle continued for another fruitless three weeks, but was effectively over after three days.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) lists some 10,240 British deaths from September 25th, 1915, including 8,500 who fell on the battlefield of Loos. The six British divisions in action that day suffered more casualties per unit than during the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Loos Battlefield today
Photo: http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/battles/battles-of-the-western-front-in-france-and-flanders/the-battle-of-loos/

The 2nd Battalion, Irish Guards spent much of the remainder of 1915 in the trenches. Matthew suffered his only injury of the war, when slightly wounded in the right hand & right leg whilst in trenches near Ypres, on the 31st March 1916. “The last day of March brought them for one breathless half-hour the heaviest shelling they had yet undergone; but it ended, as so many such outbursts did, in nothing but a few slight wounds”.

The 1st Battalion, Irish Guards spent much of the remainder of 1915 in the trenches, but, on 1st July 1916. the Battle of the Somme began, it was, and still is, the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army. The 1st Irish Guards took part in an action at Flers-Courcelette, where they suffered severe casualties in the attack in the face of withering fire from the German machine-guns. The battalion also took part in the action at Morval They were involved in the capture of the northern part of a village, during the action and were relieved the following day by the 2nd Irish Guards.

In 1917 the Irish Guards took part in the Battle of Pilckem which began on the 31 July during the Third Battle of Ypres. The Irish Guards also took part in the Battle of Cambrai in that year, the first large use of the tank in battle took place during the engagement. In 1918 the regiment fought in a number of engagements during the Second Battle of the Somme, including at Arras and Albert. The regiment then went on to take part in a number of battles during the British offensives against the Hindenburg Line. On 11 November 1918 the Armistice was signed.

The sacrifice by the Irish Guards during the First World War, however, was immense. Over 2,300 officers and men had been killed and well over 5,000 wounded. The regiment was awarded 406 medals, including four VCs, during the Great War.

After three and a half years service on the Western Front, Matthew had survived and come through virtually unscathed. Before he was demobbed in March 1919, Matthew was the servant/batman to Major Terence Edmund Gascoigne Nugent MC , Irish Guards.

Major T.E.G Nugent, in later life..Photo: http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portraitLarge/mw134409/Terence-Edmund-Gascoigne-Nugent-1st-Baron-Nugent

On his return from the war Matthew found time to marry Mary Josephine Bartley on the 25th June 1919. He was 23, and lived in Drogheda for the rest of his life.

 

Private Christopher Byrne

1st Battalion Irish Guards,

Wounded in Action, France 1915,

From Drumcondra, Dublin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christopher from Dublin, enlisted, pre war, with the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards on the 16th of October 1912.

Following the outbreak of the Great War, 1st Battalion, The Irish Guards was deployed to France almost immediately, and they remained on the Western Front for the duration of the war. Christopher, in fact, was one of the first to go, his battalion landing at Le Havre on the 13th of August 1914 as part of the 4th (Guards) Brigade, 2nd Division.

The 1st Battalion was involved in fighting for the duration of ‘First Ypres’, at Langemark, Gheluvelt and Nonne Boschen. The 1st Battalion suffered huge casualties between November 1–8 holding the line against near defeat by German forces, while defending Klein Zillebeck.

In May 1915, the 1st Irish Guards took part in the Battle of Festubert, though did not see much action. Two further battalions were formed for the regiment in July. In September that year, the battalion, as well as the 2nd Irish Guards, who had reached France in August, took part in the Battle of Loos, which lasted from 25 September until early October.It was here I believe where Christopher was wounded in action. Both battalions spent the rest of 1915 in the trenches and did not fight in any major engagements.

This relative quiet period for the regiment was broken on 1 July 1916 when the Battle of the Somme began. The 1st Irish Guards took part in an action at Flers-Courcelette where they suffered severe casualties in the attack in the face of withering fire from the German machine-guns. The battalion also took part in the action at Morval, before they were relieved the by the 2nd Irish Guards.

The Irish Guards going up a communication trench. Elverdinghe, 30 July 1917.
Photo: http://media.iwm.org.uk/iwm/mediaLib//355/media-355114/large.jpg

In 1917 the Irish Guards took part in the Battle of Pilckem which began on the 31 July during the Third Battle of Ypres. The Irish Guards also took part in the Battle of Cambrai in that year, the first large use of the tank in battle took place during the engagement.] In 1918 the regiment fought in a number of engagements during the Second Battle of the Somme, including at Arras and Albert. The regiment then went on to take part in a number of battles during the British offensives against the Hindenburg Line. On 11 November 1918 the Armistice with Germany was signed. 

The sacrifice by the Irish Guards during the First World War, however, was immense. Over 2,300 officers and men had been killed and well over 5,000 wounded. The regiment was awarded 406 medals, including four VCs, during the Great War.

Christopher was discharged & returned to Dublin in February 1919, having served almost 5 years, surviving the savagary & bloodshed of the war in Europe.

Sergeant Augustine Hackett

6th Battalion Connaught Rangers,

Killed in Action, 19th February 1917,

From Dublin aged 21

Augustine Hackett landed in France with the 6th Battalion Connaught Rangers on the 17th December 1915, attached to the 47th Brigade in 16th (Irish) Division, for service on the Western Front.

The Battalion was involved in action during operations in Guillemont & Guinchy. In just over a week’s fighting here in September 1916, the 6th Battalion lost 23 officers and 407 other ranks. Augustine coming through this attack unscathed. It was during this battle that he was awarded a Divisional Parchment Certificate for gallantry in action.

February 1917 saw the 6th Connaughts involved in fighting during the Battle of Messines (near the Petit Boise and Maedelstede Farm mines), carrying out numerous trench raids aimed at forcing temporary entry into the enemy’s line in order to kill defenders, destroy fortifications and weapons, gain intelligence by the capture of maps and documents, and return with prisoners.

Augustine was part of large trench raid, near Kemmel, on the 19th February,  when 9 Officers & 190 men went forward under cover of a dense fog The war diary mentions the men ‘cheerfully tucking green miniature Irish flags into their caps or buttonholes’, before moving out at 7.15am.

The Germans however, put up stiff resistance, and at no point did the Rangers succeed in getting past the German wire.

The battalion lost 3 Officers & 8 men killed 2 Officers & 17 men wounded. Augustine tragically, was one of those men killed. The Commanding Officer, Rowland Fielding, mentions his death.

“The first wave of the left party, started off well under 2Lt. Cummins, a very gallant young officer whom I had put in command in place of the original commander. Then Sergeant Hackett, was almost immediately killed”.

The Germans offered a chivalrous local armistice, allowing Augustine & his comrades bodies to be recovered.

He is remembered with honour at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery

 

HE WENT TO WAR
FOR THE SAKE OF PEACE
HE DIED WITHOUT HATE
THAT LOVE MIGHT LIVE