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Remembered Today:

1st Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers, March 1918 (Lieutenant Gilbert


Dr.Dan
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I had originally thought my great uncle Lieutenant Gilbert Donnelly (died 21st March 1918) must have been killed at St Quentin with the 2nd Battalion since the 1st Battalion were apparently in reserve when the Germans began the Kaiserschlacht on 21st, and only entered the fighting the next day. However, according to the Panels 78 and 79 on the Pozieres Memorial, he was in 1st Battalion. Does anyone know whether the 1st were engaged on 21st? Or any other details that would be useful to me?

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The faint handwriting of the scanned diary is virtually impossible to read for the period of March 1918 ... however, there is a clear hand written "Appendix I" that lists "Officer Casualties 21st & 22nd Mar 1918". Lieut G. Donnelly is listed as one of the two killed, alongside 6 wounded and 5 missing. I can make out (just!!) and entry on 21st that says "Battalion took up the Battle position in the ..." which to me suggests they were not in reserve. Alternatively, he could have been killed on 22nd?

Either way, I now know for sure that he was in 1st Battalion and can start to paint a picture of what happened on 21st/22nd March 1918.

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Post pictures of anything you are having trouble de-cyphering as there are plenty of forum members who will probably be able to transcribe.

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OK, thanks John ... I'll see if I can do that.

Meanwhile, I think I've pieced together some info ... while this nice site concentrates on the RDF (http://www.dublin-fusiliers.com/battaliions/1-batt/campaigns/1918-kaisers.html), it mentions the 47th Brigade being at the brown line (which included the 1st RMF). Also, the War Diary of 1st RMF places them at St. Emile (current maps call it St Emilie) and I can also see mention of "holding the BROWN LINE" in there too. So, 1st RMF were in reserve but, while missing he initial shelling and gas attacks which landed at the blue/red lines (2nd RMF, 1/2 RDF), they were soon involved in the fight as the Germans storm-troopers came through the blue & red lines. So I think Gilbert Donnelly probably fell somewhere in the fields east of St. Emilie and south of Epehy on 21st. RIP.

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That RDF stuff is mine, and I did it a few years back. But I recall it was very difficult to put together the sense of what was happening. I did the maps to try to understand the movements

When you look at the events, I think you can appreciate why the poor diarist of the RMF had weak handwriting

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Gilbert Donnelly is listed as a 2nd Lt in Y company,1st Battalion RMF on the June 6th 1917 just before the attack on Whyschaete.

Source."History of the RMF" by Capt.S.McCance.

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I can see that Gilbert got the BWM and VM ... can anyone interpret what it says ath the top left next to "Campaign :-" .... something "Medal" and perhaps "6/5/21" ?

post-111550-0-51955200-1403531787_thumb.

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  • Admin

It says BW & VM Medal I.?.88

I'm not sure what the last part means but is probably just an admin code and the first part is just saying what campaign medals the card covers. There are similar ones for single card for 14 or 14-15 Stars.

Also, hiss father J Donnelly applied for his son's medals on 1.9.19 and gave an address at Glastonbury Avenue, Ashley Park, Belfast.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest MarkDDoherty

Dr Dan,

 

Lieutenant Gilbert Donnelly is also my Great Uncle. I am interested in learning more about him. If you are still active, I would appreciate you getting in touch.

 

My email address is hodkram@hotmail.co.uk

 

Mark Doherty

Belfast

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  • 1 year later...
On 19/06/2016 at 22:30, MarkDDoherty said:

Dr Dan,

 

Lieutenant Gilbert Donnelly is also my Great Uncle. I am interested in learning more about him. If you are still active, I would appreciate you getting in touch.

 

My email address is hodkram@hotmail.co.uk

 

Mark Doherty

Belfast

 

       Hi Mark-  There is another thread on GWF concerning unknown officers of RMF-  your Great Uncle and Captain W.S.Kidd. I have posted  the only useful information from his service file on that thread but put it here as well. 

 

 

 

LIEUTENANT GILBERT DONNELLY, ROYAL MUNSTER FUSILIERS      WO 339/ 47043

  File contains statement by Micahel Dooley, 7313, Sergeant RMF,  dated 13th March 1919

     (Statement was made on 28th January 1919)

 

    “I  actually saw Lieut. G.Donnelly, Royal Munster Fusiliers, dead about 400 yards in front of St.Emily on the 21st March 1918. On the Ephy and Dronsoi Front on 21st March 1918, as we were holding the 3rd Line (Brown Line) and Lieut. Donnelly who was at the time commanding my company was shot through the head and killed . I knew Lieut. Donnelly well-as a prisoner of war I was one of the party detailed to bury the dead and saw him buried close to St.Emily.

 

(Another note of no consequence from another man, says Liet Donnellly was about 5’7”, dark complexion and was known as “Charlie Chaplin”)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Just to note my interest in this topic as it relates to my work to separate Lieutenant (or Captain) Kidd from Lieutenant Donnelly:

 

 

 

That case is "on hold" temporarily, as it was reported to me that "someone" had information that would be relevant to Lieutenant Donnelly. Unfortunately it appears that this information can not be put in writing, so I have no idea what it concerns.

 

As that case stands now, it appears that it is the remains of Lieutenant Donnelly that are in Plot 2 Row H Grave 1 at the St. Emilie Valley Cemetery, Villers-Faucon.

 

Anyone that has information can contact me by PM or by email.

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  • 8 months later...

Update RE: Lieutenant Donnelly.

 

Apologies but I am a very infrequent visitor and have only now seen the recent activity on here regarding my great uncle Lieutenant Gilbert Donnelly.

Following lots of vital and very helpful information that came via a heroic member of this forum, I initially contacted CWGC in July 2014 suggesting that Lieutenant Gilbert Donnelly is buried in Plot 1 Row H Grave 15 at the St. Emilie Valley Cemetery, Villers-Faucon.. A year later I then submitted a very detailed case, once I realised that they didn't look very hard for information themselves. It was a rather prolonged and bureaucratic process (my main role being the catalyst) but the case finally was looked at by the MOD adjudicator in early 2018 ... and accepted! The rededication service will take place on the 101st anniversary of his death and a new grave stone will be installed. The news was initially embargoed by MOD and only circulated to family members.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 3 months later...
1 hour ago, Angela McK said:

What was John Donnelly’s profession? (he was my great, great Grandfather)

 

John Donnelly is in 1911 census as - click living at Glstonbury Av, Belfast

 

"Ist Ct Ast Supt Postal Telegraphs "

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Interestingly Gilbert Donnelly was actually born "Karl Gilbert Donnelly" whom I assume for obvious reasons enlisted as "Gilbert Donnelly"

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And a bit more about him

donnelly.jpg.5317b02e1a373046ad6e42ddd64020da.jpg

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