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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Mortimer Foley - 4th Connaught Rangers


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Recently my father told me about a neighbour of his, when he was a child in the late 1930's and 1940's. My father grew up in a small town in the west of Ireland. He remembers this neighbour, once or twice a year, marching alone down the towns main street, wearing some medals. He also remembered the neighbour sometimes screaming and shouting during the middle of the night and being told the man was "shell shocked in the war". The man was called "Murty" Foley.

I looked up ancestry to see if i could find a MIC for Murty and found 2 MIC's for "Mortimer Foley" Pte 4298 4th Conn Rangers, Pte 7443 Conn Rangers and 21465 Royal Irish Regiment. The address given on the reverse of both cards is "Main Street, Ballaghadderreen, Co. Roscommon" so there is no doubt that this is the man my father remembers.

Since this find I have tried to find out more about Murty's military career but drawn a blank as there are neither Service records or Pension records for Murty on ancestry.

His 1914 MIC says he landed in France on 7/10/1914 and that he was in the 4th Conn Rangers but from The Long, Long Trail the 4th didn't leave Ireland until 1917 and it appears as if the 4th never saw action. He qualified for 14 Star with clasp and roses.

So I am a bit confused and wondering if the forum could point me in the ight direction? Short of visiting Kew (which will be early next year at the soonest) is there any other avenue open to investigate Murty's military career? Also how would I determine which regiment he saw service with if not the 4th? I would be very grateful for any help and advice from the forum and would especially love to hear from any Connaught Rangers experts who might be able to provide me with more information or guidance about Murty Foley and the regiment in general as I believe my great grandfather also fought with the Connaught.

Thanks all.

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The 3rd & 4th Special Reserve battalions of the Connaught Rangers carried out the roles of draft finding and coastal defence. They performed a valuable service during the war in providing trained drafts for overseas service. The 3rd Battalion was at Kinsale and the 4th Battalion at Cork up until 1917.

On the 7th Oct 1914 2nd Lieutenant A Montgomery with a draft 114 Other Ranks from the 3rd & 4th Battalions left to join the 2nd Battalion in France. So he was most likely to have been with this draft.

Regards mark

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The 1st and 2nd battalions of the CR amalgamated in December 1914 due to high casualties.One of the Mics states that Foley was discharged on the 11/10/1915.Maybe he was discharged due to wounds and/or shellshock.




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Thanks Mark, the draft explanation makes sense and so puts Mortimer in the 2nd Conn Rangers in France 1914. Which is a good place to continue from with the search. Is there a published or on line history of the Connaught Rangers?

Cheers Murrough, I saw the discharge on one of the MIC's alright - 11/10/1915. But when there was no record on either card of a SWB I was assuming that Mortimer might have been discharged at the end of his service rather than because of wounds and/or shellshock. I thought this theory was backed up by the 2nd MIC which has Mortimer with a different number and in the Conn Rangers and then in R. Irish Regiment. What do you think? I was thinking he might have re-enlisted in the Conn Rangers after his discharge and then at some stage transferred to the R. Irish Reg.

Thanks again for your help gents.

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14 Aug 1914 the 2nd Battalion, The Connaught Rangers arrived at Boulogne in France from Aldershot

Aug 1914 The retreat from Mons.

Sept 1914 Battle of Coup De Soupir Farm.

Sept 1914 Battle of the Aisne.

Oct/Nov 1914 First Battle of Ypres

On 2 De 1914 at Le Touret in France, due to heavy casualties, the battalion was amalgamated with the 1st Battalion Connaught Rangers

The 1st Battalion took part in the following

March 1915 Battle of Neuve Chapelle

April 1915 Second Battle of Ypres

Sept 1915 Battle of Loos.

11 Dec 1915 the 1st Battalion The Connaught Rangers left from Marseilles for Mesopotamia

This link is a very good History of the Connaught Rangers, but quite expensive

Regards Mark


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Thankyou Mark. That set of books is on my XMas wish list now!!

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