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British Army Chaplain


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I would be most grateful if any member could give an American some details about the career of The Reverend John Patrick Moloney, OBE, MC. This chaplain’s medals have been in my collection for many years.

I know the following about him already: He served with the Cavalry Division from August 1914 to May 1915. He was then attached to the 2nd Battalion, The Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians), from June 1915 to September 1916.

He was then attached to the 8th Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment from July 1916. He was wounded twice: once in September 1915 and again in 1917.

He became the senior chaplain and Vicar General with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in both Egypt and Mesopotamia from 5 May to 31 October 1918.

He was mentioned in despatches on 31 May 1915 and 7 February 1919 and was awarded the Military Cross (London Gazette for 23 June 1915). He also received an OBE (London Gazette for 3 June 1919). From 1924 to 1931, he was the British Army’s senior Roman Catholic Chaplain.

His other medals were a 1914 Star and bar, British War Medal, Vicory Medal with MID and a General Service Medal with bar Iraq.

Anyone who can add any details to this man’s life can depend on an acknowledgement and thanks from me.

B. Cory Kilvert Jr.

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NWM

There are a few references to Moloney in the book ‘The Cross on the Sword – Catholic Chaplains in the Forces’ by Johnstone and Hagerty, but little beyond what you already have.

There should be a letter in the Archives of the Archdiocese of Westminster referring to his conditions [housing, clothing ?] as C. E. Pereira writing on 4th Jan 1913 includes

“Father Moloney’s case has already been mentioned in a previous letter, and his circumstances are unsuitable and uncomfortable.”

He was one of the original 17 RC priests serving with the RAChD at the outbreak of war,

‘Chaplain 4th Class, Aldershot and 27th Div’ and he was one of the first to go to F & F with the BEF. He was wounded at Loos in 1915

From p.147

“Fr J. P. Moloney OBE, MC, who had been commissioned a temporary chaplain before the war, was still a ‘temporary commissioned officer’. Upon his recovery from wounds received at Loos, he was appointed Senior Chaplain (RC), Mesopotamia. In relation to the size of the force, he had the extraordinary high number of 57 chaplains who served under him during the campaign. This can only be accounted for by the high casualty rate from disease.”

Regards

Michael D.R.

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  • 6 months later...
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NWM

There are a few references to Moloney in the book ‘The Cross on the Sword – Catholic Chaplains in the Forces’ by Johnstone and Hagerty, but little beyond what you already have.

There should be a letter in the Archives of the Archdiocese of Westminster referring to his conditions [housing, clothing ?] as C. E. Pereira writing on 4th Jan 1913 includes

“Father Moloney’s case has already been mentioned in a previous letter, and his circumstances are unsuitable and uncomfortable.”

He was one of the original 17 RC priests serving with the RAChD at the outbreak of war,

‘Chaplain 4th Class, Aldershot and 27th Div’ and he was one of the first to go to F & F with the BEF. He was wounded at Loos in 1915

From p.147

“Fr J. P. Moloney OBE, MC, who had been commissioned a temporary chaplain before the war, was still a ‘temporary commissioned officer’. Upon his recovery from wounds received at Loos, he was appointed Senior Chaplain (RC), Mesopotamia. In relation to the size of the force, he had the extraordinary high number of 57 chaplains who served under him during the campaign. This can only be accounted for by the high casualty rate from disease.”

Regards

Michael D.R.

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NWM

There are a few references to Moloney in the book ‘The Cross on the Sword – Catholic Chaplains in the Forces’ by Johnstone and Hagerty, but little beyond what you already have.

There should be a letter in the Archives of the Archdiocese of Westminster referring to his conditions [housing, clothing ?] as C. E. Pereira writing on 4th Jan 1913 includes

“Father Moloney’s case has already been mentioned in a previous letter, and his circumstances are unsuitable and uncomfortable.”

He was one of the original 17 RC priests serving with the RAChD at the outbreak of war,

‘Chaplain 4th Class, Aldershot and 27th Div’ and he was one of the first to go to F & F with the BEF. He was wounded at Loos in 1915

From p.147

“Fr J. P. Moloney OBE, MC, who had been commissioned a temporary chaplain before the war, was still a ‘temporary commissioned officer’. Upon his recovery from wounds received at Loos, he was appointed Senior Chaplain (RC), Mesopotamia. In relation to the size of the force, he had the extraordinary high number of 57 chaplains who served under him during the campaign. This can only be accounted for by the high casualty rate from disease.”

Regards

Michael D.R.

Thank you for your help, and please accept my apology for waiting so long to do so. I sometimes find it difficult to navigate through the WFA web site. I realize that it's much stronger than it was a long time ago, but I find it hard to handle.

B. Cory Kilvert Jr.

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:)

From the Handbook to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire 1921

Molony, Rev. John Patrick, O.B.E., M.C., Born 6th October 1875, Son of Michael Molony, Civil Service. Educated St Edward's College, Liverpool, and St Joseph's College, Upholland. Senior Chaplain and Vicar-General, Mesoptamian Expetionary Force. War Work: August 1914, to May 1915, with 2nd Cavalry Divison, France. June 1915, to September 1915, with 2nd Battalion, The Leinster Regiment, 6th Divison; September 1915, wounded; February 1916 went to Salonica, on Hospital Ship, 'Massilia'; July, 1916 on Somme with 8th Battalion, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment; rejoined 2nd Battalion, The Leinster Regiment, September 1916; wounded at Messines, 1917; May 5th to present time in Mespotamia. Awarded Military Cross, 1915. Address: 2 Elmhurst Road, Bruce Grove, London N17.

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:)

Thank you so much for your input on The Rev. Molony. It was mighty good of you to take the time to send me this information.

Best wishes,

B. Cory Kilvert Jr.

From the Handbook to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire 1921

Molony, Rev. John Patrick, O.B.E., M.C., Born 6th October 1875, Son of Michael Molony, Civil Service. Educated St Edward's College, Liverpool, and St Joseph's College, Upholland.  Senior Chaplain and Vicar-General, Mesoptamian Expetionary Force.  War Work: August 1914, to May 1915, with 2nd Cavalry Divison, France.  June 1915, to September 1915, with 2nd Battalion, The Leinster Regiment, 6th Divison; September 1915, wounded; February 1916 went to Salonica, on Hospital Ship, 'Massilia'; July, 1916 on Somme with 8th Battalion, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment; rejoined 2nd Battalion, The Leinster Regiment, September 1916; wounded at Messines, 1917; May 5th to present time in Mespotamia.  Awarded Military Cross, 1915.  Address: 2 Elmhurst Road, Bruce Grove, London N17.

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hank you so much for your input on The Rev. Molony. It was mighty good of you to take the time to send me this information.

Best wishes,

B. Cory Kilvert Jr.

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:) Here is some further detail which you may not have:

Molony, Rev. John Patrick,

4th Class 1/10/1910. Temp. 3rd Class 6.1.1917 to 24.3.1920 3rd Class 6.1.1917 – 24.3.1920, 2nd Class 1.1.1921. 1st Class 15.4.1924

1914-21 France and Belgium 18.8.1914 to 6.10.1915. Greek Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, European Turkey and the Islands of the Aegean Sea -/2/1916 to -/3/1916. Eastern Expeditionary Force and Mesopotamia 5.5.1918 to 31.10.18. Persia from - Despatches, L.G. 22.6.1915 and 5.6.1919. 1914 Star, B.W.M. V.M. OBE. M.C.

:)

thank you so much for your input on The Rev. Molony. It was mighty good of you to take the time to send me this information.

Best wishes,

B. Cory Kilvert Jr.

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