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jackTT

3rd Battalion Royal munster fusiliers

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jackTT

Does anyone have any access to the 3rd Battalion RMF. War diaries.

I am looking for any mention of an action at La Bassee canal, Givenchy on or about 25th Jan 1915.

The soldiers I am interested in are Sgt Walsh and L/Cpl Daly.

A long shot I know, however I have found a copy of a newspaper article of the time for that action and it stated that a recommendation for an award was being recommended, as a member of the family was involved , I would like to find out if anything official was ever recorded.

Thanks in advance for any help that is forthcoming.

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HERITAGE PLUS

Your man must have been drafted to another Battalion of the Regiment because the 3rd Battalion as a Reserve Battalion did not leave the UK.

Dave

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jackTT

Thanks for the reply.

Part of the newspaper article relates to Sgt Walsh, 3rd RMF.special reserve. A later article ( letter published from Daly,) has his address as 2nd Battalion. Would any possible record of 25th Jan 1915 be in there?

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HERITAGE PLUS

You can download the War Diary of the 2 RMF which covers the period in question here:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C14052742

Dve

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jackTT

Thanks Dve

What a great site, I do not know how long it would have taken me to find this route

regards

Jack

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staunton

Sgt Walsh and L/Cpl Daly could also be identified from the 1914 or 1914/15 Star Medal Rolls - as the original 2nd Munsters was largely destroyed at Etreux 27 August 1914, one would expect these 2 individuals to be from subsequent reinforcement drafts to rebuild the battalion, some regular reservists (regular soldiers who had left 1st or 2nd battalions but had reserve commitment) soon after but largely Special Reservists (part time soldiers of 3rd Kerry, 4th Cork or 5th Limerick battalions) who had an overseas commitment upon mobilisation. Do you have Forenames or at least an initial ?

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jackTT

Hi Martin

Apologies for the delay in picking up this post.

I have Eugene Daly 4364 & Sgt Walsh Michael

I have attached record of article

(Cork Weekly Examiner 1/5/1915) – TWO TRALEE HEROES AT LA BASSEE BATTLE – INTERESTING INTERVIEW – Two Tralee men – Sergeant Michael Walsh, 3rd Royal Munster Fusiliers (Special Reserve), and Lance-Corporal Daly, of the same regiment, have both been recommended for the D.C.M. for their bravery at Givenchy, on the La Bassee Canal last January. Sergeant Walsh, who was wounded on the occasion, and after his recovery was given a brief leave to see his wife and four young children, gave your representative a vivid account of the titanic struggle in which he and his fellow-townsman played such a heroic part. About nine o clock in the morning the Germans gave the Irish Guards a surprise attack. As the Germans charged the Guards, they were sighted by Captain Hawkes, commanding C Company of the Munsters. The Guards had to fall back, as the Germans were too strong for them. Lieutenant Carrigan gave orders to ‘stick to the machine guns’ (which at the time were manned by Sergeant Walsh and Corporal Daly). The brigades on our right and left had to retire owing to the strong reinforcements of the Germans, leaving us (Munsters) to face a murderous enfilade and artillery fire. There was nothing left for us but to retire, and Captain Hawkes gave the order to do so under shelter of the machine gun fire. We covered the retirement until our men had fallen back on the second line of the trenches.’

Sergeant Walsh went on to describe how he and his comrade stuck at the machine guns until reinforcements arrived, and towards evening orders were given that the trenches lost in the morning should be regained at all costs, and this was done at the point of the bayonet, under command of brave Major Ryan, since killed in action. The recaptured trenches were then held by three platoons of C Company and two machine guns, manned by the two Tralee men already named, who were subsequently recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal by General Smith-Dorrien. It was on being relieved from the trench after the day’s fighting that Sergeant Walsh received two bullet wounds in the back, from which he has now happily recovered, and has again left for the front, anxious, as he puts it, for ‘another brush with the enemy and to get back some of my own.’

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staunton

Daly arrived France with a draft 31 August 1914 sent to 2nd RMF (1914 Star Roll)

The only Sgt. M Walsh on RMF 1914 Star Roll is 3097 who arrived 8th November 1914 France - again serial number is likely to be 3RMF

He was KIA 22 August 1916 2RMF Somme.

BW & VM confirms 'Michael' but gives KIA 21 August 1916.

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museumtom
Letter From The Front. Writing from the firing line to a friend in Tralee, Sergeant Michael Walsh, 2nd battalion, R.M.F., a native of Tralee. Writes; Dear---, ---A line to thank you for the cigarettes. You have no idea how grand it is to get something from home. We are just after being relieved out of the trenches after three weeks hard fighting at La Bassee. The German’s are getting an awful slaughtering there. The last attack they made they lost 900 dead. On our right they were charged by the Coldstream Guards and Irish Guards; it was a terrible sight; we lost 3 killed and 97 wounded. We got off very light considering the heavy rifle and shell fire. We had to bring 74 wounded German’s to the hospital to get dressed; they were Bavarians and Uhlans. I am specially mentioned in despatches with L C Daly and Lieutenant Carrigan for holding our trenches for two hours with four machine guns, while the company had to retire; we stuck it under heavy shell fire; I am expecting a French military medal for it. The General told us we would get it; we are going back to the firing line on the 28th of this month for another hot time. The day the Germans charged is the Kaiser was with them, but we did not see him. All the same he did not think he was up against the Munster’s and he had good cause, for not a man of the Munster’s ever left their trenches; they stuck to it like a brick. Our regiment is specially mentioned in despatches for that gallant charge. Kindly thank Miss McConnell for the cigarettes she sent the Battalion.


Munster Fusiliers.A Letter from the Front.A Machine Gunner of the 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers. Writes;--On the morning of January 25th, the Germans commenced a lively cannonade on the right and left of our positions, as they were the weakest points in our line. Our batteries and heavy artillery soon began with deadly effect, and lasted for over three hours, smashing their trenches to a pulp. Shells were going at a rate of 100 a minute—like hailstones. At about 8.30 the same morning large masses of Germans were to be seen advancing on the right of the canal, which was about 500 yards across, and it looked very critical for the time being; however we were not to be daunted; we held our ground until the last, but the numbers told. The Battalion on our right had to fall back to their reserve trenches, leaving our Battalion, the Munsters in a terrible position, and exposed to a murderous fire. The came the most arduous task of the day; there was nothing for us but to retire. The order came to retire from our brave Captain Hawkins. The next moment we heard our machine guns opening rapid fire at the rate of 500 rounds a minute, covering our retirement, the machine guns being manned by Lieutenant Carrigan, Sergeant Walsh, M, and Lance Corporal Daly, E, both of Tralee, and specially mentioned for their plucky stand. Then the same evening the order came that the trenches should be taken at all costs, and of course the Munsters had to do the work again; but it had to be done. Just before dusk our artillery opened a terrific fire to cover our advance; then they were only 70 yards away. The first dash we made we gained our lost trenches, leaving many dead in front of us, and plenty helmets and jack-boots, very good souvenirs; but after the charge they had good reason to know the Munsters, who played a most prominent part in the gallant charge.

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