Private Thomas McEvoy

1st Battalion Leinster Regiment,

Killed in Action 12th May 1915,

From Dublin

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Thomas enlisted at Mosney Camp near Drogheda, Co. Louth, September/October 1914. Following his period of training, Thomas was posted to the 1st Battalion of the Leinsters, departing for France in March 1915, as part of the 82nd brigade 27th Division. Early April found the battalion near Ypres, carrying out tours of trenches south-east of Hooge. By the end of the month the battalion were consolidating Hill 60, which was now occupied after it had been blown up by a huge mine. Taking up further positions in Sanctuary Wood on the 6th May, the Leinsters held the line there under constant attack.

May 8th saw the beginning of the Battle of Frezenberg Ridge. On the 10th the whole battalion stood to and went to the close support of the 81st Brigade for the whole of the afternoon and evening.

The Leisters at Frezenberg Ridge May 1915 Photo from http://www.birthofaregiment.com/
The 1st Leinsters at Frezenberg Ridge May 1915
Photo from http://www.birthofaregiment.com/

About 9am on the 11th a heavy bombardment was opened by the Germans and an attack was launched by them against Hill 55 north east of Sanctuary wood. Here a Highland battalion was driven back and “B” Company was sent up in support driving the enemy back. The Germans, however did not cease from their efforts and another trench fell into their hands.
The 1st Leinster Regiment was ordered to counter attack and “A” and “C” companies started a 11pm. Owing to the wooded nature of the terrain and that artillery ammunition was not sufficient for a preliminary bombardment, it was decided to recapture the trenches by surprise and at the point of the bayonet. This effort was completely successful, the Germans were completely surprised and most of the the trench was recaptured.

However with a furious enfilade fire and an accurate artillery bombardment, the position couldn’t be held and by daylight the Leinsters were forced to retire.

This action of the early morning of Wednesday 12th May was a costly episode for the 1st battalion. With 2 Officers killed and 4 wounded, 56 OR killed and up to a 100 wounded. Many of those men killed were never found, among them being Thomas McEvoy. Of the missing the battalion history states that ‘these were undoubtedly lying dead on the ground which had been so strenuously contested’.

Thomas is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial his body never being found.

Menin Gate memorial to the missing, Ypres Photo from www.spiritofremembrance.com
Menin Gate memorial to the missing, Ypres
Photo from http://www.spiritofremembrance.com
Poppies falling from the top of the Menin Gate in Ypres. Photo from https://upload.wikimedia.org
Poppies falling from the top of the Menin Gate in Ypres.
Photo from https://upload.wikimedia.org
“He volunteered, he thought it was his duty, he died that we might live”

 

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Lance Corporal Leslie Henry Francis

1st Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Died of Wounds, 22nd October 1918

Aged 20 from Cardiff.

Francis Francis_L.H

Leslie was a young man from Cardiff, Wales, serving with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. He was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans during the German Spring Offensive on the 22nd March 1918, dying whilst still in captivity, from the ‘Spanish Flu Epidemic’ on the 22nd of October 1918. He is buried in NIEDERZWEHREN CEMETERY, KASSEL.

Photo from branches.britishlegion.org.uk
Photo from branches.britishlegion.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”
G.K. Chesterton

 

Corporal Lawrence Carroll

9th Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Killed In Action, 16th August 1917

Aged 28 from Dublin

carrolll     Carroll

“When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow we gave our today.” 

John Maxwell Edmonds

Poppies Grow In Fields Ahead Of Armed Forces Day...CORBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 23: Wild poppies grow amongst a crop of rapeseed in fields on June 23, 2011 in Corbridge, United Kingdom. The vibrant poppies are the best in years according to locals after a warm Spring and have bloomed in time for Armed Forces Day on Saturday. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Poppies Grow In Fields. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

by John McCrae, May 1915

Stoker Hugh Byrne

Royal Naval Reserve, from Dublin

Killed In Action on board H.M.S. “Indefatigable.” 31st May 1916

At the Battle of Jutland

byrne

Around 4:00pm, on Wednesday afternoon, May 31st, Indefatigable was hit around the rear turret by two or three shells from the German battlecruiser Von Der Tann. She fell out of formation to starboard and started sinking towards the stern and listing to port. Her magazines exploded at 4:03 after more hits, one on the forecastle and another on the forward turret. Smoke and flames gushed from the forward part of the ship and large pieces were thrown 200 feet (61.0 m) into the air.

Of her crew of 1,019, only two survived. Hugh Byrne’s body was never recovered. He is remembered with honour on the PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL

Hugh left behind a widow, Isabella, of 27 Fishamble Street, Dublin

Portsmouth Naval Memorial Photo from www.rutlandremembers.org
Portsmouth Naval Memorial
Photo from http://www.rutlandremembers.org
HMS INDEFATIGABLE Photo from www.militarian.com
HMS INDEFATIGABLE
Photo from http://www.militarian.com

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

George S.Patton

 

 

 

 

Sergeant John ‘Jack’ Moyney VC

A little side theme of mine is collecting autographs to holders of the Victoria Cross (VC). The Victoria Cross can be best described as;

The highest military decoration awarded for valour “in the face of the enemy” to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories.

Photo taken from solarnavigator.net
The Victoria Cross Photo taken from solarnavigator.net

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The Citation for John’s action for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross reads as follows;

“On 12/13 September 1917 north of Broenbeek, Belgium, Lance-Sergeant Moyney was in command of 15 men forming two advanced posts. Surrounded by the enemy he held his post for 96 hours, having no water and very little food. On the fifth day, on the enemy advancing to dislodge him, he attacked them with bombs, while also using his Lewis gun with great effect. Finding himself surrounded, he led his men in a charge through the enemy and reached a stream, where he and a private (Thomas Woodcock) covered his party while they crossed unscathed, before crossing themselves under a shower of bullets.”

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John Moyney VC aged 22 Photo from wikimedia.org

John Moyney was born in Rathdowney, County Laois, Ireland. He was 22 years old, and a lance-sergeant in the 2nd Battalion, Irish Guards, British Army during the First World War when he was awarded the VC.

In 1920, he joined the Great Southern Railway as a porter at Roscrea. As his family grew to six children, he was plagued by money worries.

However despite everything, he maintained a close association with his old regiment. During the Second World War, his only son was among many Southern Irishmen who enlisted in the Irish Guards. He served in North Africa and was taken prisoner in Italy.

http://www.stevebennett.20m.com/vc.htm#moyney
In Later Life
Photo from stevebennett.20m.com

Jack Moyney retired as head porter at Roscrea station after forty years on the railways. He was a devout Catholic who raised thousand of pounds to help poor boys study for the priesthood.

Described in old age as a ‘fit,bright-eyed man’, he was a familiar figure in Roscrea, cycling each week to the local post office to collect his pension well into his 80s. The last surviving Irish VC winner of the First World War, he passed away on 10 November 1980. aged 85. His most valuable possessions, his hard won row of medals, were bequeathed to the Irish Guards.

Jack Moyney's Medals Photo fromwww.victoriacrossonline.co.uk/
Jack Moyney’s Medals
Photo from.victoriacrossonline.co.uk

Shortly before his death, in a typically candid interview, he recounted his harrowing experiences on the Western Front. His abiding memory was of Passchendaele – ‘an awful joint altogether’

victoriacrossonline.co.uk
At Rest

Lance Corporal Henry Textor

2nd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers

Killed in Action 10th November 1917, aged 29 from Drumcondra,  DublintextorIMG

“Lest We Forget”

Lance Corporal Christopher Doran

Lance Corporal Christopher Doran

2nd Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Wounded St Julien, Loos, April 1915

doran4Doran

“We were very surprised to seem them walking. We had never seen that before. The officers went in front. I noticed one of them walking calmly, carrying a walking stick. When we started firing we just had to load and reload. They went down in their hundreds. You didn’t have to aim. We just fired into them.”

 German soldier in his diary, after the Battle of Loos, September 1915

Loos September 1915 Photo from http://40.media.tumblr.com
Loos September 1915
Photo from http://40.media.tumblr.com