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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Mechanical Transport PoW repatriated via Amersfoort Nov 1918


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This is my first post and, as someone who is new to military research, I want to thank those who have set up and maintain this forum and the associated websites.

I am going to the National Archives at Kew on 1 December to research my paternal grandfather and I would be very grateful for advice on how to make the most of my research there.

Private Patrick O'Rourke, born 1897 in Monaghan but living in Belfast, joined the British army in, I think, 1914. He served in the Mechanical Transport division (if that is the right word to use?) but beyond that I have no enrolment number or other regiment details.

On 17 Nov. 1917 he was reported missing (in action). His truck was in fact blown up, he was injured and made a prisoner of war. He was repatriated via Amersfoort in Holland and sent a postcard home on 27 Nov. 1918. I can find no trace of him in the "Behind the wire" database.

At some point during the war he was gassed. This affected his mental and physical health and in 1943 he put an end to his life by gassing himself.

Points on which I would welcome guidance and tips:

  1. Am I right in thinking that I can use the date of his going missing / capture to find an exact reference to him in the list that the Army published weekly of those killed or reported missing?
  2. Would the fact that he was gassed entitle him to a pension and therefore perhaps a record in the injured and / or pensions lists?
  3. Is there any way I could exploit the Amersfoort lead, other than contacting the Red Cross in Geneva?
Thank you very much for any help given!

Best wishes,

Eamann O Ruairc

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