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Remembered Today:

 Michael Feery: Croke Park, Bloody Sunday


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I am sharing the story of ex. Solider Michael Feery and trying to piece together some information on him. Feery was a spectator at the match when he became an innocent victim of the shootings at Croke Park on 21/11/1920. 

 

Feery’s body was unclaimed for a number of days. He was approx 46 years old at the time of death and appears to have been down on his luck and in Ill health. 

 

Capt. FG Power RAMC: I have seen the body of the unidentified man. I believe he is about 40 years of age. He has light blue eyes. His height is about 5ft 6ins of slight build. His body is badly nourished. Dark brown hair turning grey. Sandy moustache falling over his mouth. Lean features and has a number of teeth missing in front of his mouth in the upper jaw...he has a cardigan jacket, I believe of Army pattern. Dart grey coat somewhat faded. Navy blue trousers and a soiled grey cap and a pair of what appeared to be army boots worn at the heels. In one of the pockets a leather tobacco pouch was found”

 

I suspect he was a career soldier serving pre-war. His (second) wife claimed he was in the Royal Irish Rifles(?). I could not find any record of this. There are service records for a Irish man of the same name in KORLR (5048) who served from 1897 to 1909. However this man was born in Birr and Feery in later enlistments claimed to be born in Dublin. But I can find no Dublin birth certificate for him. He is on the 1911 census

 

 He did enlist in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers (12906) in Sep 1914 Pretending to be 34 years, when he was closer to 40. He was discharged as unfit for service after 6 months. 

 

He enlisted again (1917) in Liverpool in the RE. Lasting only 2 months before being discharged as unfit. (Chronic Bronchitis). He was awarded a SWB. 

 

Undeterred, he appears to have joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry (14530) at some point and apparently served in France (?) until 1919. There is a WFA pension record that I cannot view. 

 

He was unemployed from discharge until his death. 

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voltaire60

Well,someone,somewhere must have claimed him in the days following Captain Power's description.  Is there a coroner's report extant on this-either archival original or as reported in the Press?  

    Given that this poor man ended up dead at Croke Park, then your words "appears to have been down on his luck " certainly come across as a bit of an understatement!

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9 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

Well,someone,somewhere must have claimed him in the days following Captain Power's description.  Is there a coroner's report extant on this-either archival original or as reported in the Press?  

    Given that this poor man ended up dead at Croke Park, then your words "appears to have been down on his luck " certainly come across as a bit of an understatement!


An understatement indeed!!

I was of course talking referring to his life viz. malnourishment and clothing. 

His wife claimed his body after 4 days

and yes there are many details on FMP and others on the inquiry. He died of bullet wound to the abdomen. He was trying climb a wall to get out of the stadium during the panic when shot. He also impaled himself on a spike. He did manage to get out of the stadium but collapsed on the pavement. 

 

I am more interested in establishing his earlier life in the Army.  

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voltaire60
1 minute ago, Jervis said:

I am more interested in establishing his earlier life in the Army.  

 

     Exactly so- Just a thought that the inquest might have thrown some light on his earlier military career.  An aspect of his fate that is of wider interest is the older one of the disintegration of a "soldierly" man after discharge-with all the breakdowns that occur both then and now.  Also, 2 other small points:

1)  There may be a little bit of comment,by way of social history, in his  enlisting in Liverpool- a comment,perhaps, on Irish migration and enlistment through poverty. A man coming into 1917 mainland UK,clearly exempt from military service, should have had no difficulty of walking into a war job.

2)  I would be very surprised indeed if he was not an habitual old soldier whose service record went a lot further back than his being "34" and a first-time volunteer.  That dreaded word "alias" is beginning to hove into view. My oldest local casualty here snuffed it of natural causes in Calgary,Alberta in 1918 while serving with the Canadian navy (bit of a puzzler that was,given Calgary's lack of reputation as a major seaport). He was 63 and had been re-enlisting over and over again since first enlistment in 1880- he was challenged on one occasion because he had the words "South Lancashire" as a tattoo on his arm!!  But,again the pattern is a common one- multiple enlistment, lying about age and-with my man as well- an inability to trace one enlistment in detail,suggesting strongly the use of an alias.  I think you are quite right to bash away at any enlistment  from when he was c.18-c.1892?  Not credible that he had not served before given the way he went about it.

     Looks like he was in poor health for quite a while-so one must speculate where he was in between stints of enlistments. Given he was at Croke Park in 1920, is there any mileage in seeing if he is in Dublin Poor Law records???  (If indeed any are extant-I must plead ignorance on this)

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He and his wives had a long and impressive series of encounters with the Dublin police. 

 

It looks like he married Anne Carr (also recorded as Annie Hutchinson), in March 1899, as Michael Joseoh Feery. Their address was 68 Montgomery Street. His parents were names as James Feery and Mary Gorman/O'Gorman (both deceased).  There's a Latin church record of a marriage between Jacobus Croker Feery of 7 East Arran St m. Maria Gorman of 7 East Arran St on 22 January 1866.  It looks like Michael had a brother called James Feery who married Anne Tully in 1896.

 

 

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This is the actual evidence of his wife at the Inquest

 

His RM record on TNA has not been digitised but the index says ADM 157/3430/29 : Michael Feery, born: St Thomas, Dublin, Leinster; Age at attestation: 47; Attested: London; Joined in: 1918; Discharge reason: Demobilised; Discharge year: 1919.

 

His pension card shows widow, Bridget, was refused a pension in Feb 1921

 

feery.jpg.465b5f59211d946a42b3e9837a52999f.jpg

 

His service record gives wife's maiden name as Campbell and date of marriage as 1914

 

feery2.jpg.0b0c90900e422a597e48c97994df0f57.jpg

 

As far as I can see you have his whole career and service records during WW1 - I assume his wife was mistaken in saying R Irish Rifles, and it was RDF

 

So am I correct in saying that it just his pre-1914 life that you are trying to establish

 

 

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The poor little fellow was born nameless and is either of the below. His parents did not seem too decisive on giving their children names!

 

feery3.jpg.d09fb8b8cc4e214cec970fdcb677812e.jpg

 

or

 

feery4.jpg.f304335755531d4cdd7c12849b817a26.jpg

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And his first marriage was the one IPT gives. So far all this is watertight with the parents cross-referencing. I cannot get them in 1901 nor 1911 census

 

feery5.jpg.a69f0701d316b20eae2438bbcbb276cd.jpg

 

The church record gives

  Husband Wife
Name MICHAEL JOSEPH FEERY ANNE CARR
Address 68 MONTGOMERY ST 68 MONTGOMERY
Occupation N/R N/R
Father JAMES FEERY CHARLES CARR
Mother MARY O GORMAN CATH MURPHY
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10 hours ago, IPT said:

He and his wives had a long and impressive series of encounters with the Dublin police. 

 

As IPT says he was in trouble a lot. You need to check through the list in the Mountjoy entries. He looks to be the second of the un-named births for April 1872 and was born in the Britain St Hospital (my knowledge of Dublin is not good enough to know if that is the same as the Rotunda Maternity Hospital)

 

Then draw up a list of all the possible gaol entries and workhouse entries and eliminate any that do not fit. The entries also gave various aliases that he had used, which you also need to check

 

You might then get enough information on his home addresses in order to put likely addresses into the 1901 and 1911 census to see if the name was incorrectly transcribed in the censuses.

 

And also have you checked in "The Bloodied Field", I cannot find my copy to look myself

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6 minutes ago, museumtom said:

Feery Tullamore lad.

 

Tom

 

I don't think it is the same chap. I can get a birth cert for Tullamore man, and it is wrong parents

 

feery6.jpg.8ab61429d841f5cb68ac39275741c6c4.jpg

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Thank you Corisande.

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Thanks all for the detailed replies, much appreciated. Sounds like Feery “was down on his luck” from day one! 
 

15 hours ago, IPT said:

He and his wives had a long and impressive series of encounters with the Dublin police. 

 

It looks like he married Anne Carr (also recorded as Annie Hutchinson), in March 1899, as Michael Joseoh Feery. Their address was 68 Montgomery Street. 

 

 


I’ll look into his court records when I get a chance, but that address was in the centre of Dublins notorious red light district - “Monto” - so not overly surprising! 

 

6 hours ago, corisande said:

 

So am I correct in saying that it just his pre-1914 life that you are trying to establish

 

 


Thanks for the information. Yes I was interested in establishing if he was pre-war soldier and who/where he served with, was he Boer war veteran etc. 
 

I also trying to establish if he actually did manage to get to France with RMLI.

Similar to Mike’s post, he comes across as pretty desperate to re-join the army despite ill health - perhaps the result of desperation or institutionalisation. 

Edited by Jervis
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5 hours ago, corisande said:

 

You might then get enough information on his home addresses in order to put likely addresses into the 1901 and 1911 census to see if the name was incorrectly transcribed in the censuses.

 


I did find him in 1911 census, link is in the OP

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There doesn't appear to have been too much time for previous military service given his time in and out of prison and later the North Dublin Union workhouse.  Ditto his brother.

 

Mrs Elston from his 1914 attestation paper?

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Dublin/Trinity_Ward/Denzille_Street/81103/

 

There is an irony with his grandfather's middle name being Croker and Croke Park being referred to as Croker.

 

He's not too good on his date of marriage. Claimed to be 46 on enlisting in the RE. No prior service mentioned.

 

RM roll record added.

 

 

 

FeeryLiverpool.png

MFeeryRM.png

Edited by doyle3
added RM roll
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1 hour ago, Jervis said:

I’ll look into his court records when I get a chance, but that address was in the centre of Dublins notorious red light district - “Monto” - so not overly surprising! 

 

 

 

Here's a sample. There are many more, and also a few for his wives.

 

doyle3 makes a good point. 

 

Michael Feery/Feely/Doyle/George Davis

12/10/1897 - Being a convict on licence, failure to inform police of residence - 1 month hard labour

28/1/1898 - Larceny from person, watch and chain - 6 months hard labour

28/7/1899 - Kept porter for sale without licence - 14 days hard labour

30/9/1899 - Assault - 1 month hard labour

 

1901 Mountjoy Prison Register - Anne Carr (Feery), aged 29, Abbott Street

1901 Mountjoy Prison Register - George Davis (Feery, Feely), aged 29, born Britain Street

1902 Mountjoy Prison Register - Michael Feeley, born Britain St. c1874 (Aliases Feery, Davis, Doyle, Maguinness)

1902 Mountjoy Prison Register- Michael Doyle, (Davis, Feeley, Feery, Maguinness), aged 28, born Britain Street

1903 Mountjoy Prison Register - Michael Doyle (Maguinness, Feery, Feely, Seely, Davis)

1905 Mountjoy Prison - Michael Feery (Feely, Seery, John Maguinness, George Davies), 53 Tyrone Street, wife Anne - Threatening behaviour

1905 -Mountjoy Prison - Michael Feery (Doyle, Feely, Seary/George Davis, John Maguinness), aged 33, wife Anne - Loitering

1906 - Mountjoy Prison - Michael Feery, aged 33, wife Anne - Shebeening

1912 Mountjoy Prison Register - Michael Feary (Feery), aged 43, born Rotunda Hospital

1913 Mountjoy Prison Register - Michael Feery (Doyle), aged 40, wife Bridget - Illegal possession of a pair of spectacles

1914 Mountjoy Prison Registers - Michael Feery (Feary/Doyle), aged 41, Marlborough Street, Bray

1916 Mountjoy Prison Register - Michael Doyle (Feery), aged 43, born Rotunda Hospital

 

I expect that he's in Mountjoy Prison on the 1901 census, under the initials JF, JC, JD, JM or GD.

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the RM roll at least shows he was awarded the B(WM) and the V(M.) Nothing to say they were in for service in France but it does show he set foot in a theatre of war, though unlikely to have been in a firing line.

 

I would agree with the 1901 census probably being initialed rather than spelt out.

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Yes. Looks like he did have not

much opportunity for soldiering with the day job. 

I heard of a shebeen, but never saw an offence of “shebeening” before
 

 

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RaySearching

Shebeening: The act or practice of keeping a shebeen.

 

Looks like the couple were engaged in selling illicit alcohol 

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38 minutes ago, doyle3 said:

 

Hard lives.

 


Sounds like they lived the full Monto experience. 

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..and another one in 1909. I may be jumping to conclusions, but he does not seem like a very nice man

 

feery7.jpg.0c63efda13783c5c241cecd76e335ed0.jpg

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22 minutes ago, corisande said:

..and another one in 1909. I may be jumping to conclusions, but he does not seem like a very nice man

 

feery7.jpg.0c63efda13783c5c241cecd76e335ed0.jpg

 

Does that article not refer to a Feery in Tullamore rather than Dublin?

 

 

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I only posted a selection of his activities.  There are a number of joint enterprises with other local entrepreneurs, involving loitering, street robberies, assaulting policemen etc.  A sort of peaky bloinder, if you will.

 

You can see how being fed, clothed, sheltered and paid by the army might seem appealing, compared to his other options.

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5 minutes ago, doyle3 said:

 

Does that article not refer to a Feery in Tullamore rather than Dublin?

 

 


I though the same. I don’t think there was an upper Barrack st in Dublin. 

5 minutes ago, IPT said:

I only posted a selection of his activities.  There are a number of joint enterprises with other local entrepreneurs, involving loitering, street robberies, assaulting policemen etc.  A sort of peaky bloinder, if you will.

 

You can see how being fed, clothed, sheltered and paid by the army might seem appealing, compared to his other options.


ironically his service records say: 

“Character: Good” !

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