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(nzef)

Gallipoli Casualty - Repatriation?

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(nzef)

Hi All,

 

Well, it's been a long long time since I have been on the forum. I'm glad to be back!

 

I'm currently researching a number of Dublin Fusiliers men, one of whom is commemorated by the CWGC in Abbeyleix Cemetery, Co. Laois. 

 

17840 Private PHELAN, JAMES. Age 28. Died 08-11-15. All the documents I have located show that James was KIA on the Gallipoli Peninsula. If this is the case, how does he have a headstone in Ireland. 

 

I presume that repatriation was not permitted (Although I know that American casualties could and were sent home). I'll keep digging through records but if anyone has any thoughts, please let me know.

 

Cheers

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michaeldr
4 hours ago, (nzef) said:

17840 Private PHELAN, JAMES. Age 28. Died 08-11-15. All the documents I have located show that James was KIA on the Gallipoli Peninsula

 

There was a Private James Phelan of the RDF who died on Gallipoli see https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/605226/phelan,-james/

Are two soldiers with the same name being confused here?

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michaeldr
4 hours ago, (nzef) said:

17840 Private PHELAN, JAMES. Age 28. Died 08-11-15.

 The late Patrick Hogarty in his book 'A Brief History of the Blue Caps' gives this James Phelan as "Died at home"

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corisande

I cannot find a death in Ireland for him on Irish GRO site

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(nzef)
14 hours ago, michaeldr said:

 

There was a Private James Phelan of the RDF who died on Gallipoli see https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/605226/phelan,-james/

Are two soldiers with the same name being confused here?

 

I checked through all the Phelan casualties and I don't think there has been a case of mistaken identity. Different family details, address etc, not to mention service number. I'm going to reach out to the CWGC and ask if there was any chance that this was a repatriation (suspect not) or if this was a case of the family wishing the headstone to be erected locally (however unlikely this would be...especially the precedent it would set).

 

Since I posted this I have been through another 30 or so Irish casualties and I am finding something rather interesting. There are a considerable number who are recorded as dying in theatre (CWGC, Irish soldiers who died in WW1 etc) only to find records of the time saying they died in Ireland (I have a number of examples and with CWGC headstones in Ireland). It appears that assumptions were made based on the theatre the individual was last present e.g Wounded whilst in the Mediterranean - shipped to UK where they sadly died - Official records state died in Mediterranean. Soldiers possession, service papers & pension cards state reason & actual place of death.

 

Cheers

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(nzef)
12 hours ago, corisande said:

I cannot find a death in Ireland for him on Irish GRO site

I can't also. Although I also can't for a number of the RDF casualties commemorated in Ireland. I presume that families were not overly concerned about registering perhaps?

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michaeldr
21 hours ago, (nzef) said:

17840 Private PHELAN, JAMES. Age 28. Died 08-11-15.

 

What does his Medal Index Card say as regards entry into a theatre of war? 

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TullochArd

MIC shows a 17560 James Phelan RDF in Theatre "(2b) Balkans 15.5 15" and under Remarks "Died 8.11.15"

 

Reading into this (actually guessing) it could be he wounded and evacuated from 2b to UK and died at home?  Clearly the Regimental numbers don't match but that's not a first. 

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michaeldr
13 minutes ago, TullochArd said:

MIC shows a 17560 James Phelan RDF in Theatre "(2b) Balkans 15.5 15" and under Remarks "Died 8.11.15"

Reading into this (actually guessing) it could be he wounded and evacuated from 2b to UK and died at home?  Clearly the Regimental numbers don't match but that's not a first. 

 

Clearly then these are two different men, who shared the same names and who served in the same regiment. However, the one who died at home in Ireland had only landed on Gallipoli, after the first soldier was already dead

With the notable exception of one Australian, there were (as far as I am aware) no repatriations from this theatre and therefore the suggestion that he was wounded, shipped back to Ireland, and eventually died there sounds the most logical.

 

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TullochArd
Posted (edited)

Apologies - to dig myself out of this hole:

 

1.  MIC is indexed 17540 and not 17560 as I stated earlier. 

 

2.  When you look at the actual MIC it could likely read 17840 - the detail stands Theatre "(2b) Balkans 15.5 15" and under Remarks "Died 8.11.15". 

 

4.  This all ties in with https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/663049/phelan,-james/

 

Repatriation for burial?  I don't believe so.  I'd offer that he may have died in a UK Hospital, maybe outside Ireland, which may explain the absence of a death certificate on Irish GRO (connect Post #4 and #6).  Further research will no doubt clarify this. I've several examples of deceased soldiers being moved many, many miles from military hospitals to other locations for family burials.  

 

Edited by TullochArd

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(nzef)
27 minutes ago, TullochArd said:

Apologies - to dig myself out of this hole:

 

1.  MIC is indexed 17540 and not 17560 as I stated earlier. 

 

2.  When you look at the actual MIC it could likely read 17840 - the detail stands Theatre "(2b) Balkans 15.5 15" and under Remarks "Died 8.11.15". 

 

4.  This all ties in with https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/663049/phelan,-james/

 

Repatriation for burial?  I don't believe so.  I'd offer that he may have died in a UK Hospital, maybe outside Ireland, which may explain the absence of a death certificate on Irish GRO (connect Post #4 and #6).  Further research will no doubt clarify this. I've several examples of deceased soldiers being moved many, many miles from military hospitals to other locations for family burials.  

 

I'm still confused (not hard as I've been looking at service records for 7 straight hours today!). The records I have located show that 17840 James Phelan was killed in action at Gallipoli. I agree that its unlikely (impossible really) for him to have been repatriated from Gallipoli, therefore I agree that it was more likely he was actually wounded, shipped to the UK where he subsequently died and was then moved to Ireland.

 

I see your point regarding how the MIC could be read as 17540 but it seems correctly indexed as 17840 to me (in that I can find it searching for 17840. 

 

I think I'll put this in the 'fog of war' folder and move on.

 

Cheers

 

 

Quote

 

 

phelan2.JPG

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TullochArd

....... not a bad idea as we are all going "word blind" on this one. 

 

I got accessed the MIC as 17540 from  http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D4617492 which seems to be an obvious error. 

 

I read the actual MIC as 17840.

 

 

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doyle3

Can't help with the repatriation issue yet.

 

James Phelan is in the 1901 and 1911 census at Blackhills

 

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Queen_s_Co_/Abbeyleix/Blackhills/1640531/

 

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Queen_s_Co_/Abbeyleix/Blackhills/781211/

 

 

He was born Sept 1886 to James Phelan and Mary nee Mooney. The parents married Sept 1883

 

https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/marriage_returns/marriages_1883/10942/5999258.pdf

 

Ireland Roll of Honour on FindMyPast has an entry

Son of Mrs. Mary Phelan, of Blackhill, Abbeyleix. Mrs Phelan, mother, Blackhill, Abbeyleix was presented with a certificate of Honour on his behalf in July, 1917 at Abbeyleix House. She also accepted a certificate for Harry(sic) Phelan, Royal Field Artillery.

 

which leads me to

 

https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/330259/phelan,-henry/

 

A James Phelan died in Reading in Q4 1915 but the age is noted as 26.

 

 

 

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TullochArd

"A James Phelan died in Reading in Q4 1915 but the age is noted as 26."

 

....... regardless of the age it's looking like a breakthrough doyle3 .......

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doyle3

@museumtom anything in your database re James Phelan?

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(nzef)
On 04/07/2020 at 19:50, TullochArd said:

"A James Phelan died in Reading in Q4 1915 but the age is noted as 26."

 

....... regardless of the age it's looking like a breakthrough doyle3 .......

 Thumbs up :-)

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