Welcome to www.longfordatwar.ie. This site was developed as part of Longford’s commemoration of the centenary of the First World War. It also aims to remember all of those from the county who served in past conflicts, including the Easter Rising of 1916.
The database which can be accessed from the site includes details of the Longford people who died in World War I either in combat or from injuries. Included are those who were born in the county and those from elsewhere who lived in it at the time of their enlistment.
We also wish to record information on those from Longford, either natives or residents, who served in World War I or in various other conflicts. In that regard, we are appealing for help from anyone who has information to submit it. Our aim is to identify as many men and women as possible so that they will be remembered.
Soldiers Who Died 100 Years Ago This Month
Robert was born 5 November 1882* in Clondra, the son of a tailor. He worked as a general labourer prior to the Great War, but it is likely that he had moved to England after 1901, and lived in Manchester. In 1912, Robert married Mary J. Kelly** from Manchester, in Salford - they had three daughters together.
Pte Farrell enlisted in Manchester, but had been attached to the Lincolnshire Regiment before joining the 20th (5th City Pals) Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. During the war, Robert likely took part in the major engagements of the Battle of the Somme, the Third Battle of Ypres and at the Hindenburg Line. Robert was likely killed in action during the failed attack on the villages of Beaurevior and Ponchaux during the Battle of the Beaurevoir Line, along with the 9th Devonshire Regiment and the 5th Australian Brigade. This was an action of the Battle of the San Quentin Canal (near Cambrai) - 94 men from the Battalion had been taken prisoner on the 4 October; he is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, which is located between the towns of Cabrai and Arras.
Joseph William was born in Co. Longford on c.16 July 1881* and was baptised on 28 July 1881 in the parish of Streete. It is believed that his father was William Prendergast, who was a sub-Constable in the RIC**. The family appears to have emigrated to the U.S. c.16 June 1886 and settled in New York. James petitioned to become a US Citizen in August 1904; he worked as a steamfitter*** likely at the dockyards. It is believed that Joseph had first enlisted with the U.S. Army on the 31 January 1905.
Joseph enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 2 January 1918 in Toronto, Canada. He gave his sister Elizabeth Watkinson, who was living on Long Island, as his next-of-kin. He was killed in action during the Battle of Cambrai 1918.
Michael was born either in Killashee, or Liverpool in 1888, but later emigrated to the U.S.A. Michael enlisted in the U.S. Army in New York, but was killed on 8 October 1918 during the second phase of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. His cousin William Casey was officially notified of his death.
Michael's brother, James Greeley also served in the U.S. Army in WW1 but died a week later while serving in France.
Patrick was born in Enaghan, Granard, however we are uncertain of the date as it appears that Patrick's military records have not survived.
Patrick intitially enlisted with the Leinster Regiment, before transferring to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, possibly in Glasgow, Scotland. He entered the war on the 9 July 1915 in Gallipoli.
Patrick's sister Maggie was his next-of-kin.
Peter was born c.1882 in Edgeworthstown. Prior to the war, Peter was a carpenter, as was his father and his brothers Philip and Edward. Peter was married to Mrs. Katie Kiernan of Church Street, Edgeworthstown, and she is named in his will as his heir, (link below). They had at least one daughter together, called Kathleen.
He enlisted for war service in Longford barracks and by 1918 was serving on the Eastern Front in Palestine, but was struck down with malaria in October 1918. Peter's Company Officer wrote to his widow:
10th Field Hospital, Palestine - Dear Mrs. Kiernan; It is with deep sympathy that I write to break to you the sad news of the death of your husband. It was only on the 6th inst. that he complained of feeling unwell. He saw Batt. M.O. [battalion medical officer] who relieved him of duty. The following day he paraded as usual and appeared to be in his usual health. The next day - the 8th inst., he had a very high temperature and the M.O. sent him to Hospital. He died of Malaria (M.T.) at the 77th C.C.S. [Casualty Clearing Station] Ludd [modern-day Lod] on the 9.10.'18. Your husband has been wheelwright to this Battalion since its foundation. He was always happy and smiling, and always had a good word for everybody, and I know we have lost a good, capable and efficient soldier. Please accept from the officers and men, their deepest sympathy in this your great trial. - John. F.L. Lamport Lt. T.O. 60th M.C. Battalion.
Patrick was born 26 March 1878 in Corglass, Co. Longford, but later moved to Darlington in England. There he married Elizabeth Martin, c.1909 and they had two sons and two daughters together. Prior to the war, it would appear that Patrick worked for the Darlington Corporation in their graveyard(s).
Patrick enlisted for war service in Darlington. He served with the 3rd West Yorkshires. This was a reserve Battalion, based initially in York and later in Whitley Bay - it was never deployed to the front. It is likely that Patrick was returning from furlough visiting family in Ireland, when the ship he was travelling on, the R.M.S. Leinster was torpedoed in the Irish Sea. Patrick's body was sadly never recovere/identified, and he is commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton.
Elizabeth came to Longford and was resident in Corglass either at or after the time of Patrick's death, according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) details and the Irish Calendar of Wills.
Henry was born 12 September 1891* in Longford, and later emigrated to Canada with his brother where he joined the Royal North West Mounted Police (RNWMP), c. July 1910.
Henry enlisted in Calgary, Alberta on 28 May 1915, initially serving with the 39th Overseas Battery. He left for England for overseas service in February, and then onto France on the 13 July 1916. He joined Lord Strathcona's Horse near the end of August 1916; he was briefly posted with the French Mortar Battery in early 1918. In 1918 Henry undertook a number of courses, likely to secure promotion through the ranks, and was made Corporal in April 1918.
Henry was mentioned in dispatches and awarded the Military Medal (M.M.) for bravery in the field on 14 September 1918. Sadly, he was killed in action four weeks later and was awarded the bar to the Military Medal, posthumously 28 December 1918. At the time of his death, Henry was a Corporal, but an Acting Serjeant from early August 1918. Henry's brother Alfred served with the British Army in WW1 while their other brothers George, William, Alexander also served with the Canadians; Alexander died of illness in 1920.
Sir William Henry
Sir William Henry Thompson K.B.E. was one of the most distinguished medical doctors of his time. Born in 1860, likely at Ballinulty House, Granard. Thompson married Isabel Redfern in in Donaghdee Co. Down on the 26 July 1894.
After schooling in the Dundalk Institution, Thompson went to Queen's College, Galway where he excelled in mathematics and medicine, graduating with 1st class honours. He taught privately and then worked as a demonstrator in anatomy in Trinity College Dublin. Post-graduate studies took him to London, Leipzig, Paris, Marburg and Heidelberg. He also went to St Petersburg, where he studied under the famous Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov. Thompson served as the first Dunville Professor of Physiology in Queen's College, Belfast, 1893-1902. From there, he went back to T.C.D. to take a professorship. He specialised in nutrition and published several papers in medical journals. He also published a translation of Pavlov's The work of the digestive glands (1904).
During the Great War, Thompson served as an advisor to the Ministry of Food. He was made a Knight Commander of the recently-founded Order of the British Empire in January 1918. His work for the ministry necessitated regular trips to London, and it was while travelling on board the R.M.S. Leinster that he died when the ship was torpedoed. He was one of 567 souls lost, six of these from Co. Longford.
William was born in Newtownforbes on the 18 August 1883; his father William was a merchant.
William Jr. married Agnes Maguire of Arden Cottage, Tullamore on the 10 October 1911; they had four children. William Jr. worked as a clerk in Dublin and later became a postal sorter initially in the General Post Office (G.P.O).
In that capacity with the Kingstown Post Office, he was on the mail boat R.M.S. Leinster when it was torpedoed in 1918, bringing mail, along with passengers, from Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) to the port of Holyhead in Wales. He was one of 567 people to perish in the disaster, twenty-one of whom were also from Dun Laoghaire Post Office. William was one of six Longford people who died in the incident. William's body was reportedly lost at sea. Tragically, it was William and Agnes's seventh wedding anniversary.
William's brother George also served in WW1, but was killed in action in 1914.
Sophia Violet Barrett was born on 21 January 1884 in Ballintava, Co. Galway, daughter of Samuel Barrett. In 1907, she inherited Lislea House, Kenagh, on the death of her brother George Henry. Her sister Elizabeth married Noble Armstrong and they lived in Lislea with Violet. At the time of her death, Violet was said to have been engaged to be married to Noble Loftus Phillips, of Glanmore, Kenagh.
During WW1 Violet served in Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) with the Carrickmines Nursing Division as a nurse.
Initially she served in Dublin but from April 1915 to April 1916 she was stationed in the East Leeds Military Hospital. From April 1916 she was deployed to field hospitals in France, initially being stationed at the No. 6 General Hospital in Rouen up to August 1918 aftrer which she was deployed to the No. 2 Stationary Hospital in Abbéville. She was mentioned in Despatches in January 1918.
She returned to Ireland on leave from France in early October 1918 and stayed with her aunt and her husband in Carrickmines House, Foxrock, before embarking on R.M.S. Leinster to return to the front. The R.M.S. Leinster was the mail boat between Dun Laoghaire (then Kingstown) and Holyhead. The mail ship was sunk by torpedo on the morning of the 10 October 1918, resulting in the loss of 501 souls, out of 777 (although some counts put the actual number of people on board as higher).
Edward was born Edward Joseph Fennon in Churchland Longford on the 12 December 1897, and was the eldest of at least seven children*. He was named after his paternal grandfather, with whom the family were living in 1901**.
Edward enlisted for war service in Mullingar, but died when R.M.S. Leinster*** was torpedoed in the Irish Sea; he appears to have enlisted only a short time before, as the Register of Soldier's Effects notes that he was a recruit; in addition, his name is recorded as Finnon. Edward's body was sadly never recovere/identified, and he is commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton.
Edward was born on the 4 November 1897* in Granard. Prior to the war, he was working as a labourer.
Edward enlisted with the Royal Air Force on the 3 September 1918, but died when R.M.S. Leinster was torpedoed in the Irish Sea. Edward's body was sadly never recovere/identified, and he is commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton.
Patrick was born in Carrickedmond, on the 18 March 1893 in Longford. By 1901, he was living with his grandparents, James and Ellen Lennon of Torboy.
He emigrated to the US in September 1910 with his brother Thomas. Prior to the war he worked as an assembler with the Underwood Typewriter Company.
Pte Cassells was drafted into the US Army on the 1 May 1918 and served in the Meuse-Argonne Woods Offensive, where he was killed-in-action, two months apart from his elder brother Thomas.
James was born September 1893 either in Liverpool or in Killashee, Co. Longford*. His family later emigrated to the U.S.A. and he enlisted in July 1918. He served overseas from 29 September to his death from pneumonia on 15 October.
James was a brother of John Greeley, 195 Harrison Street, Brooklyn, New York City. Another likely brother of theirs was Michael J. Greeley.
Terence was born in September 1897 in Longford. He enlisted in New York and had served overseas for 1 year when he died.
Michael was born c.1884 in Longford. He was married to Bridget of Moyvore, Co Westmeath. He enlisted in Longford. He was 34 years old when he died.
Michael Mearley was born in Longford on 13 February 1887. He was working as a longshoreman prior to enlistment. Michael enlisted in the U.S. army on July 25 1918.
Edward was born in May 1877 (or 1874) in Forgney Co. Longford. Served in the Washington Barracks, Washington DC.
James was born c.1887 in Drumanure and was one of approximately 9 children. His father, also called James, was a gamekeeper.
Pte Fagan enlisted in Birr, King's County (Co. Offaly) and entered the war in France in July 1915. James died close to the end of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, which lasted from 1915 to up to the Armistice of Mudros with the Ottoman Empire on 30 October 1918. Although there is no offical cause of death noted in surviving records, it is likely he died from illness as a number of British Army soldiers died as a result of dysentry and similar diseases in Egypt on this day.
Kennedy (a.k.a. Boyle),
Patrick lived at Glen, Edgeworthstown and later enlisted in Naas, Co. Kildare. He died of wounds aged 40.
Edwin was born in Longford in1892, the son of John Boyers who owned a drapery on Main Street. He and his brother Hedley entered Campbell College, Belfast in 1904. Both were medical students in Trinity College Dublin.
In 1918 Edwin was serving in Dublin, when he was called upon to assist the the survivors of the SS Leinster, but developed pneumonia as a result. He died of pneumonia in Steeven's Hospital, Dublin, which is opposite what is now Heuston Station. He was decorated with the Military Cross. The Longford Leader of the 2 November, 1918, gave a full description of his funeral, which took place at St. John's church in Longford and burial at Newtownforbes.
Edwin's brother Hedley also served as a Captain in the RAMC. Edwin was mentioned in dispatches in November 1917.
Shea (served as Rocke/Roche),
Patrick was born in Ballymahon c.1891. He enlisted in the Leinster Regiment when he was 17 years old in 1906 and served until his period of engagement ended on 31 January 1916. After this he re-enlisted in Dublin in the Tank Corps under the name Rocke (his mother's maiden name). He served in Rouen in 1915. He died in Wareham Military Hospital aged 24 (or possibly 27) years.
William was born in Killoe and enlisted in Hamilton. He was married to Mrs. Mary McCormick.
He was awarded the Military Medal (M.M.) for bravery.