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Remembered Today:

Dockrell, George Shannon, O.B.E. Major. Rifle Brigade, 9th Battalion.


kkinsella

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Dockrell, George Shannon, O.B.E. Major. Rifle Brigade, 9th Battalion.

He joined the army in December 1914 and was wounded in France in August 1915, promoted to Staff Captain in 1917 and to Major in 1919. He died on 23 December 1924 at the Officers’ Hospital, Richmond, Surrey, from lingering shrapnel wounds to his back, received in action while serving in France in August 1915.

His superior Officers:

Lord Henniker wishes me to tell you how on all sides your gallant bearing was admired, and how

proud he is to have had you in his regiment. General Markham asked particularly for you, and told

the Colonel, how when wounded even, your first thought was for the men. You were, he said,

beloved by your men, and were, first and last a gentleman and, which is even better, a typical Rifle

Brigade officer.

It was said at the time that was easily the greatest swimmer that Ireland ever produced. He showed great promise as a junior at Trent College, Nottingham, where he won most of the swimming medals offered for competition. Leaving the school at 18 years, he spent the next two years in America, where he came into contact with C.M. Daniels, the world’s sprint champion, whose style he adopted.

On his return to Ireland in 1906, he entered Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated. He introduced the ‘crawl’ stroke and dominated Irish swimming for the next six years. Numbered among his many successes was winning the Irish Championship for 100 yards., five times, for 220 yards., six times, for 440 yards., five times, and for the half-mile, four times. In 1912 he was selected for the British Olympic team. However; his most noteworthy success was in 1909 in Paris when he defeated the Belgian champion, Meyboom, for the 100 metres European Championship. Meyboom was the holder of the English Championship at the time.

His surviving relatives do not know the date or place that he was wounded. The "flamethrower" attacks at Hooge took place around the end of July. "Foghat" in the contribution on 29th August 2009 gave a very good description of the action involving the 9th Bn. at the end of July, and I assume that his Bn. was still involved in the Ypres area throughout August.

It would be most helpful if an expert on the 9 Bn. KRRC could give me some idea of some dates in August on which he was most likely to have been severely wounded; before my next visit to the 'Archives at Kew where I can get sight of the War Diaries.

Regards,

Ken.

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George Shannon Dockrell, O.B.E., was the son of Sir Maurice and Lady Dockrell, of Monkstown, Co. Dublin. He was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in the 9th Rifle Brigade on 22nd December 1914, and promoted Lieutenant on 4th March 1915, and severely wounded on 31st July 1915. Promoted Captain 15th December 1918, and was demobilised in 1920 with the rank of Major.

Major Dockrell served on the staff the last two years of the war. He died on 23rd December 1924 at the Officers Hospital, Richmond, Surrey, after a long illness caused by his wounds.

The 9th Rifle Brigade's diary for this date has him wounded and suffering from shock.

Andy

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Ken

I am a bit perplexed. Twice today I have tried to find a Service Record for this Officer in the NA Catalogue,both in WO339 and WO374. I only get one hit on a DOCKRELL, a Lt H M. Andy shows that G S was demobbed in 1920 so a record should be available. Maybe I am getting one of those inexplicable periods when the file doesn't want to reveal itself. Anyone out there care to put a WO338 Index check on to see if he does have a file ?

Sotonmate

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  • 4 weeks later...

Andy,

It appears that I will never get completely au fait with the management of my account. Thank you so much for the reply to my query re; Major Maurice Dockrell, and I apologise for the delay in acknowledging your kind response. I should have mentioned in my original entry that I had searched, in vain, for his 'documents' when I was in the National Archives(Kew) during April 2010. However; you have given me the info required, especially the date on which he was wounded.

Kindest regards,

Ken.

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Ken

I am a bit perplexed. Twice today I have tried to find a Service Record for this Officer in the NA Catalogue,both in WO339 and WO374. I only get one hit on a DOCKRELL, a Lt H M. Andy shows that G S was demobbed in 1920 so a record should be available. Maybe I am getting one of those inexplicable periods when the file doesn't want to reveal itself. Anyone out there care to put a WO338 Index check on to see if he does have a file ?

Sotonmate

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Sotomate,

I already said to Andy that it appears I will never get completely au fait with the management of my account. Thank you so much for the reply to my query re; Major Maurice Dockrell, and I apologise for the delay in acknowledging your kind response. I should have mentioned in my original entry that I had searched, in vain, for his 'documents' when I was in the National Archives(Kew) during April 2010. However; you have given me the info required, especially the date on which he was wounded.

Kindest regards,

Ken.

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Ken,

A good book to read to give you a feel for the battalion would be Villiers-Stuart goes to war, the diaries of Birigadier-General Villiers-Stuart, C.B.E., D.S.O., edited by Robert Maxwell and published by The Pentland Press in 1990. He was the commanding officer of the 9th Rifle Brigade until late September 1915, being an 1/5th Gurkha Rifles officer who was on leave in the U.K. when war broke out.

Some parts are quite touching with regard to the young officers that served with him in the battalion, the 9th RB personnel adored him although he was regarded somewhat differently in other circles where he was seen as somewhat of a martinet with a low regard of all other officers, superior, contemporary and junior.

Although George is not mentioned by name in the book it is a good read, especially with regard to the raising of a new army battalion.

Andy

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Ken,

A good book to read to give you a feel for the battalion would be Villiers-Stuart goes to war, the diaries of Birigadier-General Villiers-Stuart, C.B.E., D.S.O., edited by Robert Maxwell and published by The Pentland Press in 1990. He was the commanding officer of the 9th Rifle Brigade until late September 1915, being an 1/5th Gurkha Rifles officer who was on leave in the U.K. when war broke out.

Some parts are quite touching with regard to the young officers that served with him in the battalion, the 9th RB personnel adored him although he was regarded somewhat differently in other circles where he was seen as somewhat of a martinet with a low regard of all other officers, superior, contemporary and junior.

Although George is not mentioned by name in the book it is a good read, especially with regard to the raising of a new army battalion.

Andy

Andy,

Thanks again, and I will get the book, "Villiers-Stuart goes to war," as you suggested.

Regards,

Ken.

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