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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Pte James Tyrrell Royal Dublin Fuseliers

Piet Visser

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Dear all,

After watching a movie entitled "The long engagement" my mother told me my great grandfather also fought in france.

This has sparked my intrest into finding out what I could about this man.

As my mother moved to Holland some 40 years ago contact with the Irish side of the family has become limited.

Through my grandfather's sister I have recieved some information about the medal she has.

The number on the medal is 11448 and the date on it is August 1914.

It belonged to James Tyrrell who served in the Royal Dublin Fuseliers.

He was born in Dublin around 1892 and died there around 1974/75.

My mother recalls he fought at the Somme and could not speak of what he had seen there.

He allways answered:"child, you don't need to Know".

I have downloaded a total of twelve medal cards for James tyrrell however only two served in the RDF and neither have the regimental number mentioned on the medal.

I feel lost in the amount of information availlable and need some instructions on how to proceed.

I hope to visit the Somme area this November and any information which could position him there would be very welcome

Regards, Piet Visser

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Hi, Piet,

The medal you have is the 1914 Star, Your great grandfather would have enlisted before the war I had two relatives who enlisted around 1910 one had the number 11484 and the other had the number 11416. He was with the 2nd Battalion and went to France with the first contingent of Dubs on the 23/08/1914. He also looked for aid from the Dublin Fusilier Old Comrades Association

Hope this helps

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Hello and welcome.

This is his MIC I think


He was known as John.Common for John, Jack and James to interchange in Ireland.



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Would it be possible for his birth year to be as late as 1895 (?) (Possibly April onwards)

The only real census hit in 1911 in Dublin is this one - maybe the names mean something to you (or not)? - of course if he has enlisted by now, which seems to be the case, he won't be here - so please disregard.

'Residents of a house 54.4 in Beresford Street, West Side (Arran Quay, Dublin)

Surname Forename Age Sex

Tyrell Nicholas 52 Male

Tyrell Christopher 21 Male

Tyrell Bridget 19 Female

Tyrell Anne 15 Female

Tyrell James 14 Male' (Nationalarchives.ie)

He would appear to have been a member of the 2nd Battalion RDF

'2nd Battalion

August 1914 : in Gravesend, part of 10th Brigade, 4th Division. 15 November 1916 : transferred to 48th Brigade, 16th (Irish) Division. 14 April 1918 : amalgamated with 1st Bn. 2nd Bn reduced to cadre strength. 1 June 1918 : transferred to 94th Brigade, 31st Division. 6 June 1918 : reconstituted by absorbing troops from the 7th Bn. 16 June 1918 : transferred as Army Troops to Lines of Communication. 15 July 1918 : transferred to 149th Brigade, 50th Division' (1914-1918.net)

the 4th Division arrived in France at the time of The Battle of Mons and went on to fight at the Somme in 1916.

Good luck


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Thank you very much for such speedy and informative replies!!

I have asked my mother if his birthyear might be later than we thought, it seems he would have been born 1894.

She remembers I was two years old when he died at the age of eighty :blush:

And indeed she recalls her aunts calling him John (though it states James on his gravestone).

It appears he enlisted around the time he was 16 which raises more questions.

I will contact the Dublin Fusiliers old comrades association to see what they can tell me.

I hope the information received will allow me to find out his whereabouts using the diaries kept by the regiments he served in.

I have just finished reading the book: "1916" by Martin Gilbert and it is becoming ever clearer why he could not speak of what he had seen.

Thanks again, Piet Visser

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Hi Piet,If the John Tyrrell of 54.4 Beresford Street is your Great Grandfather, then the address was at the time a Tenement, these where large houses with a large number of Families living in them. After a number of Tenements collapsed killing a lot dwellers there was a public out cry and so began the condemning and demolishing of the Tenements. Tenements in Beresford Street where replaced by houses from 1915-30, so there is nothing left of 54.4 today. There where still Tenements in Dublin in the 1950's.


A women taking water from a pump in one of the run down Courts of Beresford Street c.1912


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Tickells Court Beresford Street c.1913


Please see this link for more Photos. http://multitext.ucc.ie/viewgallery/937


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Thank you Irishmen 1916.

This information helps build a picture of the period he lived in and possibly his motives for joining.

It turns out my great grandfather was also awarded a badge.

I presume it is a silver war badge, it bears the number B224945 in it.

What does this number correspond to?

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I don't believe that Silver War Badge belonged to James Tyrell, I have no record of him getting one and it also doesn't seem to be mentioned on his MIC and he also appears to have been serving after the war.


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Piet - I've corresponded with forum pal "Jamie 1978" regarding men called Tyrrell in the war - might be worth sending him a private message in case he can help. I believe he has an interest in men of that surname.


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Connor Dod, I have not seen the badge myself, so I presumed it is a silver war badge.

Though I have no idea what other badge it might be.

MagicRat, thank you for your advise, I have sent a PM to your friend Jamie 1978.

I find it hard to believe he joined up in 1910 and lived to serve beyond the end of the war.

After reading about the RDF on several sites it appears he would have to be the luckiest man to serve in the 2nd battalion.

regards, Piet Visser

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  • 1 month later...

Dear all,

Its been a while since I last posted but a lot of new information has been uncovered.

Chris Baker has done an excellent job researching John Tyrrell's service records, the report arrived yesterday.

Contrary to what everyone thought John was his real name (not James).

John joined the special reserves in 1912 and transferred to the regular army in 1913.

He saw action at most major battlefields in Flanders and France and lived through it all, being dicharged in 1919.

Even in death his luck remains as his records survive and did not become a part of the burnt (and lost) documents.

The amount of information from these is impressive as it also showed an absence (and subsequent fine) on the two days following my grandads birth.

I visited the Ypres area twice in November including Mouse trap farm.

Standing in almost the same spot where my family history could very well have ended was a moving experience.

In the documents a brother James is named serving with the Royal Irish Rifles.

It turns out my mother and all in the same generation had no knowledge of his existance, and only one of his two living daughters recalls him (by name only). :o

She recalls him being mentioned as missing in action and thus nobody spoke of him.

So not only am I searching to complete my file on John Tyrrell but a second search for what became of James Tyrrell (confusion rears its head now doesn't it) <_<

I suspect the badge he has might belong to his missing brother.

It feels like the learning curve is steepening :lol:

Is there a way to search by surname and find out if his brother was killed and has a grave or even if he is mentioned in another way?

Regards, Piet Visser

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Hi Piet

Here's a link to his MIC at the National Archives:


Here's a link to the CWGC site for his details:


His name is also listed on page 156 of James Taylor's excellent book "The 1st Royal Irish Rifles in the Great War". There is also an account of the attack in which he was killed on pages 47 and 48.

I will have a look on Ancestry for you as well when I get a chance later tonight to see what is there.

Regards, Tommy.

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Hi Piet

I might have picked out the wrong J Tyrrell in the above post. There are 9 hits coming up on Ancestry of Tyrrell's who served in Royal Irish Rifles, two are as above post so that leaves 7. There is one James Tyrell who has a SWB mentioned on the MIC, could that be your man, see MIC below.

Regards, Tommy.

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If you have any Tyrrell relations who have Arklow/Dublin/Wicklow connections then I may have some information for you especially if there were sailors.



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Dear Tommy Mcclimonds, I am not sure if this is or is not the man in question.

All I know of him is from the records of my greatgrandfather John Tyrrell.

On one of the forms which came with the report from fourteeneighteen a brother James is named.

It also states him serving with the Royal Irish Rifles.

I also found the adres from which John enlisted as 8 church park in Rathmines.

His fathers name is stated as John, his mothers name is not readable on the copies.

The forms from which the copies where made have survived, but some show smoke and fire damage.

MuseumTom, I have a lot of family in and around Dublin, all through my mothers side as she is irish (my father was dutch).

None of them have or had any maritime employment that I am aware of.

I am currently working a nightshift (which is not too busy) and will try to post more information tomorrow.

Regards, Piet Visser

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Dear all,

As news of my search and its results spreads throughout the family it appears to cause a stirr.

Folks that have not spoken each other for some while have started phoning each other again :D

And information is coming from more than one source now.

It now appears James survived the war like my greatgrandfather John.

James passed away in a Dublin hospital although the date is still a mistery to me.

MuseumTom, The information you offered will be quite welcome, as I received word of a third brother by the name of Christy (christofer) who apparently was torpedoed and died during the war.

When I started down this road I could not have imagined how much it would get under my skin or how fast it would become adictive!

Not only Am I gaining a deeper insight into what went on in that part of history but I am also gaining a much better knowledge of my Irish side.

I think this would not have taken off like it did without the help I found here, for that I thank you all ^_^

Regards, Piet Visser

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