Those who died in the Great War (1914-1918) are commemorated each year on 11 November. Huge numbers of Irishmen enlisted to fight in the British Army, the Royal Navy or the forces of other countries in the British Empire. They joined and fought for a variety of reasons. Those who died in that terrible conflict deserve to be remembered in their home place, especially at this time of year.
Saturday, 1 July 1916, when the Battle of the Somme commenced, was a particularly black moment. Over 19,000 British soldiers lost their lives on that single day. Among them were five men from the Baltinglass area – Thomas Devine, Patrick Greene, Andrew Jones, Patrick Kane and Edward Tutty. Hundreds of Baltinglass lads faced the dangers of that war over its five-year course. It’s impossible to determine how many there were in all. It’s easier to count the ones who never returned.
The following were 45 lads from the Baltinglass area who lost their future by taking part in the Great War. Five of them are commemorated on a plaque in St. Mary’s church in Baltinglass: all are now commemorated on the Co. Wicklow War Dead memorial at Woodenbridge, thanks to the initiative of Billy Timmins, former TD, and the committee he formed with a view to creating a permanent memorial to this lost generation.
Charles Ferris of Lathaleere (Irish Guards – Western Front)
Patrick Sullivan (Scots Guards – Western Front)
Patrick Doyle (Royal Dublin Fusiliers – Western Front)
James Glynn of the Sruhaun Road aged 24 (Royal Dublin Fusiliers – Western Front)
George Herbert Morris aged 22 (Gloucestershire Regiment – Western Front)
James Dunne aged 23 (Leinster Regiment – Western Front)
Michael Brien aged 23 (Irish Guards – Western Front)
Patrick J. Kehoe of Weavers’ Square aged 35 (East Yorkshire Regiment – Western Front)
Matthew Whyte of Tuckmill (Connaught Rangers – Gallipoli)
John Abbey of Weavers’ Square aged 24 (Irish Guards – Western Front)
James Hennessy of Chapel Hill aged 24 (Irish Guards – Western Front)
John Nolan (Connaught Rangers – commemorated in Alexandria, Egypt)
Laurence Sutton of Belan Street aged 22 (Leinster Regiment – Western Front)
Richard Jones of Mill Street aged 29 (Royal Horse Artillery – Mesopotamia)
Joseph Bayle of Main Street aged 27 (Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers – Western Front)
John Joseph Behan aged 27 (Royal Irish Rifles – Western Front)
Patrick Doyle of Belan Street aged 18 (Royal Dublin Fusiliers – Western Front)
Henry O’Neill aged 23 (Royal West Surrey Regiment – Western Front)
Thomas Devine from Stratford aged 45 (Royal Dublin Fusiliers – Western Front)
Patrick Greene (Royal Dublin Fusiliers – Western Front)
Andrew Jones of Boleylug aged 35 (Royal Dublin Fusiliers – Western Front)
Patrick Kane of Holdenstown (Royal Dublin Fusiliers – Western Front)
Edward Tutty aged 27 (Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers – Western Front)
William Byrne aged 22 (Royal Dublin Fusiliers – Western Front)
William Lanegan shoemaker in Clarkes of the Bridge aged 24 (Irish Guards – Western Front)
Thomas William Middleton aged 28 (Royal Navy – near Dunkirk)
James Christopher Doogan of Main Street aged 19 (Royal Irish Regiment – Western Front)
Thomas Fitzgerald (Royal Garrison Artillery – Western Front)
Anthony Ovington from Woodfieldglen (Royal Dublin Fusiliers – Western Front)
William Conway of Deerpark aged 26 (Connaught Rangers – Western Front)
James Kearney of the Green Lane (Irish Guards – Western Front)
Michael O’Neill (Royal Dublin Fusiliers – Western Front)
George S. Brereton of Weavers’ Square aged 42 (Royal Irish Regiment – East Mediterranean)
Joseph Doody of Stratfordlodge aged 23 (Royal Dublin Fusiliers – Western Front)
Henry Hawkins from Newtownsaunders aged 41 (Royal Navy – Orkney, Scotland)
William Kelly (Irish Guards – Western Front)
William J. Mallen of Grangecon aged 18½ (Royal Dublin Fusiliers – Western Front)
Michael Kane (Royal Field Artillery – Western Front)
Thomas Malone of Main Street aged 39 (Machine Gun Corps – Western Front)
Ambrose A. Shearman cashier in the National Bank aged 26 (London Regiment – Western Front)
Hubert L. Grogan of Slaney Park aged 21 (Worcestershire Regiment – Western Front)
Michael J. Harbourne of the Bridge Hotel aged 21 (Australian Infantry – Western Front)
Joseph Brean (Army Service Corps – Southern Front)
Henry Pollard (Royal Dublin Fusiliers – in Germany)
1919 (from wounds)
James Moore of Ballyhook aged 24 (Royal Dublin Fusiliers – in Germany)
You list William Kelly as killed in action with the Irish Guards in 1917. He was my Grand uncle. He had served as a boy soldier in the British army in the Boer war, he returned to the Kelly family farm in Boleylug and his best friend Andrew Kelly, the son of a farm labourer on the same farm in Boleylug.
Andrew joined the British army and went to France, William had enough of war and stayed at home. Andrew was a signillar with the Royal Dublin fusiliers, a particularly dangerous job as he would carry messages between units and he was killed on the first day of the battle of the Somme.
When William was notified of Andrew’s death, he almost immediatly re-enlisted and due to his prior service was assigned to the elite 1st battalion Irish Guards. He was killed in action in the battle of Passchendale in August 1917.
Thanks for your comment, Paul. My full list is in my book ‘Baltinglass Chronicles 1851-2001. I never found reference to an Andrew Kelly in relation to the war. By any chance do you mean Andrew Jones? He was from Boleylug and he was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
In relation to William Kelly the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records stated that he was born in Kiltegan and resident in Baltinglass. Additionally, I found that he was a former member of the Baltinglass Town Hall Club. I didn’t know that he was from the Boleylug family till Tommy Doyle mentioned him in an article.
You may not be aware of Tommy article published a few weeks ago in ‘The Review 2018′, an annual produced by the Communications Group of Baltinglass Parish. Tommy mentions William Kelly as being of Boleylug and as being a friend of Patrick J. Kehoe of Weavers’ Square, who was killed in 1915.
Sorry, that was a typo, my grand uncle’s friends name was Andrew Jones. You have him listed as below
Andrew Jones of Boleylug aged 35 (Royal Dublin Fusiliers – Western Front)
Only came across this now. William Kelly was my great great uncle and i was unaware he has served in the Boar War also. Thanks for the info.
Thanks for your interest in my blog, Paul. It was a third Paul who gave the information about the Boer War – Paul McKenna, who says William Kelly was his granduncle.
Hi Paul, I have been enjoying your blog,very interesting. My Cousin Patrick Greene is on your list as killed in action. He also had three uncles that were in the 1st world war Patrick, Jim and Billy Greene , My Grandmother’s brothers,they survived the war,though I believe Jim lost a leg in 1917. Patrick was in the RDF but not sure if his Uncles were in the same regiment!
Hello Esther, thanks for your interest and your additional information on the Greenes. It’s always good to share extra details like those. Someone else interested in the family may see the post and the replies.
Hi Ester, my name is Carmel Greene, my father was Patrick Greene born in Baltinglass on 1/6/23, he lived in the square towards the Tinahealy rd I think. His father was Patrick Greene born 1923 near Kilcock Kildare. I wonder if we are related???
Hi Carmel, I would say we are. Have you a tree? I am on ancestry and myheritage if you would like to have a look.
Great article Paul. Just see now. Thanks for the insight and for sharing it.
Too many of them died.