Rifleman Samuel Flanagan

1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles

Wounded in Action, 13th March 1915, At Neuve Chapelle

From Dublin, aged 21

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Samuel Flanagan a painter from the North Gloucester Place in Dublin, enlisted for the 1st Battalion the Royal Irish Rifles on the 15th January 1912 aged 18. A pre-war regular soldier, Samuel was garrisonedĀ  in Aden, with theĀ 1st Battalion, at the out break of the Great War in August 1914. They embarked for Britain on the 27th of September 1914 and arrived at Liverpool on the 22nd of October they joined 25th Brigade, 8th Divison at Hursley Park, Winchester. They proceeded to on the 6th November 1914 landing at Le Havre a much needed reinforcement to the BEF and remained on the Western Front throughout the war.

The battalion’s first major action was the Battle of Neuve Chapelle between 10 and 13 March 1915. After an initial artillery bombardment, the battalion advanced to the previously captured German front lines and helped to secure the village of Neuve-Chapelle. It then had to weather heavy German counter-attacks which failed to dislodge the members of the battalion but caused very heavy casualties, amounting to 18 officers and 440 other ranks, including its Colonel.

Bitter fighting as british troops enter German trenches at Neuve Chapelle Photo: http://www.royalulsterrifles.com
Bitter fighting as British troops enter German trenches at Neuve Chapelle
Photo: http://www.royalulsterrifles.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In his first action Samuel was wounded. Shrapnel to his right arm put him out of the fray. He was immediately taken to the 10th General Hospital in Rouen, where he was described in his service papers as ‘Dangerously Ill’ and that his relatives were to be informed immediately.

Samuel went on to recover from his wounds, but for him the war was over. He was finally discharged on the 14th November 1915, having lost the use of his right arm.

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After the war Samuel went to work for the Post Office in Pearse Street, Dublin 2. He married his wife Catherine with whom they had three children. By the 1930s the family were living in Churchtown, Dublin 12

Private William Carruth

8th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers,(D Company)

Wounded in Action, 28th July 1916,

From Dublin, aged 31

img_00012William originally from Co.Tyrone was a carpenter, living in tenements in Digges Street, Dublin City, with his wife Ellinor and 3 children, when he enlisted with the 8th Battalion the Royal Dublin Fusiliers on the 15th of March 1915. As part of the 48th Brigade, 16th (Irish) Division, they trained at Buttevant, then moved to Ballyhooley in June 1915. In September they crossed to England for final training at Blackdown.

They proceeded to France in December 1915, landing at Le Havre, the division concentrated in the Bethune area. By 1916 they were in action on the Somme near the Hulluch sector.

On the 28th July William was wounded by shellfire in trenches. In total 1 man was killed and 6 others wounded by this blast.

Little more is known of his subsequent involvement in the War. What we do know that after recovering from his wounds, William took little or no part in the rest of the war. Finally being discharged on the 5th July 1917, almost a year to the day that he was wounded in France.

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We next pick up William on June 1st 1925, where a report in the Irish Times states that William and three other members of his family were knocked down by a car whilst motor cycling in the Phoenix Park. William was living at 10 Usher Street at this time.

Eleanor his wife died in May 1958, William being mentioned on her Death Cert as a carpenter.

Again we see a mention of a now 82 year old William, still living in Usher Street, attending the christening of his triplet great grandsons on the 1st of August 1967 at the Church of the Assumption, Walkinstown, as reported in the Irish Independent. Further research has revealed that one of these boys, Michael, went on to win Ireland’s welterweight gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona!

Michael Carruth, great grandson of Pte William Carruth Photo: www.irishnews.com
Michael Carruth, great grandson of Pte William Carruth
Photo: http://www.irishnews.com