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Royal Irish Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion


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I am seeking information about the Royal Irish Fusiliers, 2nd battalion. My great-great uncle, Fleming McCready 10663, fought with this regiment until his death on March 14, 1915. I am looking for potential war diary documents about his regiment up to the time of his death as well as some guidance about his war medals. According to a Mid-Ulster newspaper clipping I have, Fleming was awarded the DSO under General French, however it was not listed under his medal records. Any assistance is greatfully received.

Regards,

Kim Mc

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Hi Kim, and welcome to the board.

I'm not quite sure what you are asking here. You know you great great uncle was awarded the DSO. But it is not listed under his medal records. If you mean by that that you have found and downloaded his Medal Index Card, and this card does not mention his DSO, then you may not yet have exhausted all the records. Gallantry awards are not mentioned on MICs. For instance, there is a separate card index for Military Medals, which is where you will find the info for that. As regards the DSO, I've never had the good fortune to have to research one, but the reference books I have indicate that there is a Register of the DSO in the National Archives Kew at WO390, and a DSO & MC Citation Book at WO389, which contains advance publications of the London Gazette, and in most cases they are annotated with date and place of award. Match that up to the War Diary and Robert may well be your uncle!

The London Gazette is also on line, and you may be able to find the date of the award through that, though I understand its pretty quirky to search.

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Kim

According to the online Medal Index Cards, Fleming McCready never rose above the rank of Private. The DSO was awarded to Officers, not Other Ranks, so he wasn't awarded that particular medal.

There are no Medal Index Cards on the online service to indicate a 'Gallantry' award but I did find this in the London Gazette, it's for a MID (Mention In Despatches)...

London Gazette #29200, dated 22nd June 1915....

2ND BATTALION, ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS.

Wood, Lieutenant-Colonel P. R.

Gould, Major P.

Furnell, Captain M. J.

McCarthy-O'Leary, Captain and Adjutant H. W. D.

Egerton, Lieutenant R.

Elton, Lieutenant G. D. C.

Hodges, Lieutenant J. F.

Shannon, Quartermaster and Honorary Major J.

Baldwin, No. 6299 Private J.

Brady, No. 2765 Private E.

Carroll, No. 7991 Private J.

Devlin, No. 5543 Private J.

Hartley, No. 9036 Private W.

Lynch, No. 10426 Private J.

McKenna, No. 10901 Private J.

Macready, No. 10663 Private F. (killed).

Link to the Gazette is Here

Regards

Steve

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Just to tie it in with the newspaper report, the Despatch that Fleming McCready was 'Mentioned' in was that submitted by Field-Marshal J. D. P. French.

Here's the 'blurb' from the beginning of the Gazette...

In accordance with the last paragraph of my Despatch of the 5th April, 1915,

I have the honour to bring to notice names of those whom I recommend for

gallant and distinguished service in the field.

I have the honour to be,

Your Lordship's most obedient Servant,

J. D. P. FRENCH,

Field-Marshal, Commanding-in-Chief,

The British Army in the Field.

You can read the full details of the Despatch on the LLT mothersite, link is http://www.1914-1918.net/frenchs_seventh_despatch.htm

Steve

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Extract From The Regimental History

The German attack began at 5pm with the explosion of two mines. The enemy then quickly overran the British trench system capturing the village of St.Eloi and a hump of earth to the South that had been christened 'The Mound'. One of the mines exploded behind a trench held by C Company of the 2nd Battalion.

Large numbers of the enemy the appeared in front of C Company, which disposed of many of them before being compelled to fall back, as its flank had gone. Shortly after midnight the British recaptured the village and the trenches but 'The Mound' remained in German hands.

The 2nd Battalion, relieved late on March 16th had appreciable losses, especially in senior officers, 30 other ranks were killed with 51 being wounded and 11 missing.

The artist 'Snaffles' depicted the the Battalion delivering a bayonet Charge against a German Trench which was reproduced in the Graphic, accompanied by Kiplings Lines:

There were the lads from Galway, Louth and Meath,

Who went to their death with a joke in their teeth.

post-158-1203347695.jpg

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Thank you very much for all this information. It is greatly appreciated. I have also sent an e-mail to the Royal Irish Fusilier Museum in Armagh about photos. I am a bit puzzled why the Mid-Ulster newspaper would have mentioned Fleming as receiving the DSO. I have not come across anything that mentions him rising above the rank of Pte. Would this be a mistake by the newspaper or is there the slight chance of it being awarded to him? I am just trying to get a "feel of the situation". I would post the article, but it is too large. I will try to get it online.

Cheers,

Kim

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Kim

I believe it to be a mistake on the part of the newspaper, he wasn't an officer so wouldn't have been awarded this medal.

Steve

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kim,

It might be worth mentioning that my understanding is that posthumous awards were not made, other than for the Victoria Cross and the MID, and the MID (Mention in Despatches) could actually be for an act of very considerable gallantry including those which resulted in a recommendation for the VC from the battalion that was not finally accepted.

The confusion in the newspaper probably arises from the 'blurb' quoted above that says that the 'Mention' was given 'for ... distinguished service in the field'. This is a very different award to the Distinguished Service Order. Nevertherless, his medals (specifically the ribbon of the Allied Victory Medal) would carry the additional oak leaf insignia of the MID.

Ian

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  • 6 years later...

I wonder if anyone can help - I have been trying to find out what happened to 8006, Hugh Headley of 2nd Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers who died on 10th April 1915.

My great grandfather Felix Headley was serving with 3rd Bn in County Derry at the time and Hugh and his brother Charles were both in 2nd Bn. Charles was my late grandfather and I understand that both brothers were advancing through a wood when Hugh fell. I am not sure if Hugh was killed immediately or subsequently died of his wounds. He is buried in the Old Military Cemetery at Poperinghe. A newspaper report subsequently showed Hugh as having been a Corporal.

My grandfather never spoke about what had happened so I am keen to try and find out from the battalion war diary what happened to Hugh.

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