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John (Jack) Dempsey


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Can anyone help locate records for my grandmother's brother, JOHN (Jack) DEMPSEY?

John Dempsey was born in Lancashire, England in 1878. He survived the war and died sometime after 1948.

Both of his parents were born in Ireland.

His mother's full sur name was Bridget FARRELL; his father's name was John DEMPSEY.

Thanks for the assistance! :)

Here's a postcard photo of John/Jack Dempsey:

photoDempseyJackfront.jpg

photoDempseyJackback.jpg

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I may have found his Pre-war army papers in the "Pensions" section on Ancestry:

post-6536-1210775984.jpg

post-6536-1210776004.jpg

Both forms date from 1895.

He was discharged THE DAY BEFORE war was declared!

There is also a Service Record for a John Dempsey born c.1877 on the Army Gymnastic Staff, August 1914 to August 1919, then the Chinese Labour Corps, that may be him. This man was living in Glasgow at the time. This latter man was married to a Susan Dempsey (formerly Lamont, married 11-11-1915). Also listed as next of kin is his Mother, Bridget HEALY, 3 Fox Crescent, Sparkhill, Birmingham.

Steve.

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Steve, thank you very much!

I have to confess that I am not very knowledgeable on British regiments, but I will be doing some reading up on them.

I believe the first John Dempsey that you found is my grandmother's brother. The names are correct for his father, mother and brother. I don't think the 2nd Dempsey you found is mine (mother's name is not correct).

On the top of the service record there are 2 set of numbers, one appears to be for the Conn Rangers (5336) and the other for the Scottish Rifles (5664). Does this mean he served in both units? 7 years + 5 years reserve?

Thank you again!

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Here's an 1881 census of your Dempsey family:

gordon

Name: John Dempsey

Age: 3

Estimated Birth Year: abt 1878

Relation: Son

Father's Name: John

Mother's Name: Bridget

Gender: Male

Where born: Widnes, Lancashire, England

Civil Parish: Widnes

County/Island: Lancashire

Country: England

Street address: 13 Viaduct Street

Registration district: Prescot

Sub registration district: Farnworth

ED, institution, or vessel: 7

Neighbors: View others on page

Household Members:

Name Age

Bridget Dempsey 34

Bridget Dempsey 6

James Dempsey 1

John Dempsey 37

John Dempsey 3

William Dempsey 9

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The Scottish Rifles entry seems to be SR = Special Reserve. I can check later, but it is usual that a man would serve his 7 years active and 5 on Reserve and then join the Special Reserve.

His first Regiment, the Connaught Rangers, is presumably due to his parents ancestry, whereas the Scottish Rifles may have been due to him living in Scotland at that point.

Steve.

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Here's some more detail from his records - he seems like a bit of a "bad boy made good".

John Dempsey

Born at Dean's ?????, Manchester.

Enlisted at Cork, 26-4-1895, age 18 years & 7 months.

Requested to join the Connaught Rangers.

A labourer.

5 ft, 5.25 inches, 125 lbs, 34 inch chest +2 inch chest expansion, fresh complexion, blue eyes, light brown hair, Roman Catholic.

Posted to Depot, Connaught Rangers, as Private, No. 5336.

Confined for trial, 8-5-1895.

Convicted of insubordination and sentenced to 14 days imprisonment, 11-5-1895.

Posted to 1st Bn., Connaught Rangers, 23-5-1895.

Released from imprisonment, 25-5-1895.

Confined for trial, 10-2-1896.

Convicted of assault and sentenced to 28 days imprisonment with hard labour, 11-2-1896.

Released, 10-3-1896.

Confined for trial, 13-4-1896.

Convicted of "misdemeanour" and sentenced to 34 days hard labour, 14-4-1896.

Released, 17-5-1896.

Confined awaiting trial, 25-5-1896.

Convicted of ?????, 1-6-1896.

Sentence commuted upon transfer to Scottish Rifles, 31-10-1896.

Transferred to 1st Bn. Scottish Rifles, No. 5664, 1-11-1896.

To India, 9-11-1896.

Passed 2nd Class Education Certificate, 16-11-1898.

Awarded 1st Class Gymnasium & Swords Certificate, 15-4-1900.

Passed Corporal exam, 20-3-1903. (could be 1902)

Promoted to Corporal with 1st Battalion, The Scottish Rifles, 24-1-1905.

Passed Sergeant exam, 30-10-1905.

Appointed unpaid Lance-Sergeant, 23-5-1906.

Re-engaged with the Scottish Rifles at Chakrata to complete 21 years service, No. SR/5664, 8-8-1906.

Returned to UK, 6-3-1907.

Appointed paid Lance-Sergeant, 19-7-1907.

To India, 19-9-1907.

To South Africa, 15-12-1909.

Promoted to Seregeant with 1st Bn. Scottish Rifles, 1-1-1910.

Passed Ordinary Course at the School of Musketry, South Africa, 30-1-1911.

Returned to UK, 12-3-1912.

Posted to 4th Battalion, Scottish Rifles, 25-5-1912.

Passed Small Arms course, 5-11-1912.

Discharged to Pension as a Sgt from the Permanent Staff of the 4th Bn., Scottish Rifles after 19 years & 100 days service, 3-8-1914.

Intended place of residence: 39 Riverford Road, Pollock Square, Glasgow.

Also appended to his file is a record of a "William Healy" that has John Dempsey's Scottish Rifles number and Regiment on it. It seems he may have enlisted under a different name and then deserted:

William Healy,

Born at St. Chads, Birmingham, Worcestershire

5 feet, 4.25 inches, 118 lbs, 33 inch chest + 2 inch expansion, fresh complexion, blue eyes, dark brown hair, Roman Catholic.

Previously served with the Worcestershire Militia.

Enlisted at Worcester, age 18 years & 2 months, 23-7-1894.

Posted to Depot Worcestershire Regiment, No. 4108, 23-7-1894.

Deserted, 3-10-1894.

Next of kin: John Healy, father, 49 Bertha Road, Birmingham.

The implication is that the Army believed that this was the same man as John Dempsey.

I think that the later John Dempsey of Glasgow may be him as well, despite the "HEALY" name of his mother. Intriguing to note that the name HEALY comes up twice in different contexts!

Steve.

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Note that he is named as a Gymnastic Instructor on the summary of his character on discharge:

post-6536-1210853544.jpg

Combined with the Glasgow connection I would be inclined to investigate the other Service Record further....

Steve.

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Further appended pages to the first record show that the "2nd" John Dempsey

(i.e. as posted above "John Dempsey born c.1877 on the Army Gymnastic Staff, August 1914 to August 1919, then the Chinese Labour Corps, that may be him. This man was living in Glasgow at the time. This latter man was married to a Susan Dempsey (formerly Lamont, married 11-11-1915). Also listed as next of kin is his Mother, Bridget HEALY, 3 Fox Crescent, Sparkhill, Birmingham")
WAS the same as the first.

Summmary of his Service:

Born 27-9-1876 at Manchester, Lancs.

A Gymnastics instructor prior to enlisting in 1914.

Previous Army service - Pensioner Scottish Rifles.

14 Windsor Street, New City Road, Glasgow.

Married. Wife: Susan Dempsey (formerly Lamont, married 11-11-1915).

Tattoos on uppera arms (right arm says "erin go bragh")

Attested, 28-8-1914. Age 37 years & 334 days.

Posted to the Northamptonshire Regiment, 28-8-1914*

"Served 5 years, 116 days with the Northamptonshire Regiment"*

Numbered 50734 in the Northamptonshire Regiment, dated 18-2-1918*

Appointed to the Army Gym Staff as a Sergeant Instructor, 28-8-1914.

Army Gym Staff Number "24".

Overstayed leave at Aldershot from midnight 15-9-1915 to 7 pm 22-9-1915, Admonished.

Appointed acting CSM Instructor, 10-4-1916.

Appointed as acting Warrant Officer Class 2, 22-6-1918.

Causing a disturbance in barracks after lights-out at Aldreshot on 29-4-1919, Reprimanded.

Posted to Class Z Reserve, 13-6-1919.

Address: "Primrose", 22 Campbell Street, Murray Hill, Glasgow.

Spent 67 days on Class Z Reserve and discharged to re-enlist in the Labour Corps.

Served in Labour Corps, No. 714095 from 19-8-1919.

Chinese Labour Corps, 8-9-1919.

France, 8-9-1919 to 20-2-1920.

124 Co. Chinese Labour Corps, 23-9-1919

153 Co. Chinese Labour Corps, 19-11-1919.

234 days in France.

Home, 20-2-1920.

To Eastern Command, Labour Corps, 21-2-1920.

Discharged under Kings Regs., Para. XXVIII, 26-2-1920.

* I believe that this service was not actually with the Northamptonshire Regiment but he was on the records of the Northamptons (from 18-2-1918, with effect from 28-8-1914) and acting as a Gymnastics Instructor at Aldershot.

As I said, I believe that this is him. The HEALY mystery is one more question, though!

Steve.

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Great stuff from D.I. Stebie :P

Neil

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You mean D.C.I. - The Genes Genie! :D

Steve.

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Steve,

I can't believe all the information you have found! I have no knowledge of a HEALY family connection. The two service records do sound like the same person.

I'll have to see about doing a little research on the HEALY name and see what I can find.

Thanks again for all your help!

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A new twist to John (Jack) Dempsey....

A family member of mine who has been doing genealogy research has "located" my grandmother's brother, John in the 1901 Census. He's living at home and his trade is "chemical labourer". He was born 22 Feb. 1878 in Widnes, Lancashire.

I'm starting to believe that maybe the army records found are not his. The records found show him in India during the 1901 census; stationed there from 1896 to 1907; back home for 6 months in 1907; India for 2 years; South Africa 1909-1911.

I wonder if there's still another service record on file for another John Dempsey ?

The photo of I have of him shows him wearing the P'03 Belt and woolen shirt. The photo is backstamped "Gorse Hill, Swindon".

Does anyone have any thoughts? I guess the name is fairly common and there could be more than one "John Dempsey".

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This must be a different John Dempsey then, as the records have him born 27-9-1876 at Manchester.

Back to the drawing board!

Steve.

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Steve,

Thanks for all your help on the other "Dempsey". He sounds like quite a character.. started out as a "bad boy" and finished up with 20 years service in India & South Africa.

I think there's probably more than one... even though I can't date my photo with 100% certainty, at least we know it's post 1903, taken in England.

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May of the Infantry Divisions raised for the New Armies spent the last few weeks of their training on Salisbury Plain prior to going overseas. Whilst it's a bit much to assume that it was then (the Army has had a bit of use out of Salisbury Plain over the years!), an awful lot of photos were taken there in the early part of the war.

Steve.

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  • 2 months later...
Steve, thank you very much!

I have to confess that I am not very knowledgeable on British regiments, but I will be doing some reading up on them.

I believe the first John Dempsey that you found is my grandmother's brother. The names are correct for his father, mother and brother. I don't think the 2nd Dempsey you found is mine (mother's name is not correct).

On the top of the service record there are 2 set of numbers, one appears to be for the Conn Rangers (5336) and the other for the Scottish Rifles (5664). Does this mean he served in both units? 7 years + 5 years reserve?

Thank you again!

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Steve, thank you very much!

I have to confess that I am not very knowledgeable on British regiments, but I will be doing some reading up on them.

I believe the first John Dempsey that you found is my grandmother's brother. The names are correct for his father, mother and brother. I don't think the 2nd Dempsey you found is mine (mother's name is not correct).

On the top of the service record there are 2 set of numbers, one appears to be for the Conn Rangers (5336) and the other for the Scottish Rifles (5664). Does this mean he served in both units? 7 years + 5 years reserve?

Thank you again!

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Steve, thank you very much!

I have to confess that I am not very knowledgeable on British regiments, but I will be doing some reading up on them.

I believe the first John Dempsey that you found is my grandmother's brother. The names are correct for his father, mother and brother. I don't think the 2nd Dempsey you found is mine (mother's name is not correct).

On the top of the service record there are 2 set of numbers, one appears to be for the Conn Rangers (5336) and the other for the Scottish Rifles (5664). Does this mean he served in both units? 7 years + 5 years reserve?

Thank you again!

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Steve, thank you very much!

I have to confess that I am not very knowledgeable on British regiments, but I will be doing some reading up on them.

I believe the first John Dempsey that you found is my grandmother's brother. The names are correct for his father, mother and brother. I don't think the 2nd Dempsey you found is mine (mother's name is not correct).

On the top of the service record there are 2 set of numbers, one appears to be for the Conn Rangers (5336) and the other for the Scottish Rifles (5664). Does this mean he served in both units? 7 years + 5 years reserve?

Thank you again!

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Digi,

if you post the pic, i might be able to find out where in Gorse hill it was taken.

The area has no militry connection as far as I'm aware

Grant

or PM it to me

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Can anyone help locate records for my grandmother's brother, JOHN (Jack) DEMPSEY?

John Dempsey was born in Lancashire, England in 1878. He survived the war and died sometime after 1948.

Both of his parents were born in Ireland.

His mother's full sur name was Bridget FARRELL; his father's name was John DEMPSEY.

Thanks for the assistance! :)

Here's a postcard photo of John/Jack Dempsey:

photoDempseyJackfront.jpg

photoDempseyJackback.jpg

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The studio was in Gorse hill

the nearest military base would have been Chiseldon (5m south of Swindon) where many units did there basic training.

do you know what his regiment was ?

Grant

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