Welcome to www.longfordatwar.ie. This site was developed as part of Longford’s commemoration of the centenary of the First World War. It also aims to remember all of those from the county who served in past conflicts, including the Easter Rising of 1916.
The database which can be accessed from the site includes details of the Longford people who died in World War I either in combat or from injuries. Included are those who were born in the county and those from elsewhere who lived in it at the time of their enlistment.
We also wish to record information on those from Longford, either natives or residents, who served in World War I or in various other conflicts. In that regard, we are appealing for help from anyone who has information to submit it. Our aim is to identify as many men and women as possible so that they will be remembered.
Soldiers Who Died 100 Years Ago This Month
Patrick was born on the 13 June, 1896 in Granard. He went on to enlist in Longford with the Southern Irish Horse, before transferring to the Royal Munster Fusiliers. Both his elder brothers Thomas and John* also served in WW1, John having been injured at the same engagement that killed Thomas.
An article on Thomas's family was published on the 2 February, and mentions Thomas's brothers and his being missing in action from the 10 November:
A REMARKABLE RECORD
Mrs. J.M. Wilson, Garvagh, Hon. Sec. of Co. Longford Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association, calls our attention to the remarkable record of a Granard family in the present war - the family of Mrs. Mary Boylan, of Barrack Street, Granard. This old lady had three sons who answered the "call" when war broke out, the first Private P. Boylan 15140, 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers, has been wounded and missing since the Battle of Alsace, on the 10th November; the second Private T. Boylan, No. 2828, [Leinster Regiment] was wounded in both legs and in the head in the same battle, and the third son, Private J. Boylan, No. 11452, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, is now in France for the third time during the war. We congratulate Mrs. Boylan on the record of her family and we hope they will all return to her safe and victorious in a short time.
The Battle of Alsace was in fact the Second Battle of Passchendaele, and on the morning of the 10 November 1917, the 2nd Munsters were at the front line in front of Tournant Farm**, southeast of Poelcapple on the Ypres salient. "D" company under Captain James Philip Harding, were to support "C" company and occupy Vat Farm, allowing "C" Coy to proceed to Veal Cottages. Patrick was one of 390 men of non-officer ranks from his regiment, who were killed/missing/wounded on this day. The regimental diary attributes the failure of the action, in part to the horrific conditions created by the mud.
John was born in Killeen, Legan, c.1893. He was a grandson of James and Anne Cox. He later moved to Manchester, England.
Pte Cox enlisted in the Connaught Rangers in Boyle, Co. Roscommon. He entered the war on the 26 September 1914 and was one of the first Longford men in the war, which entitled him to the 1914 Star. He initially served with the 1st Connaught Rangers, who joined the war on the 26 September 1914, when they arrived in Marseilles from Karachi, India, where they had been previously; this strongly suggests that John was an existing member of the British Army prior to WW1, known as the 'Old Contemptibles' at the beginning of the war. John would have taken part in key actions such as the First Battle of Messines, the Battle of Festubert, the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, the Second Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Loos.
John transferred to the 6th Battalion some time after they arrived in France in December 1915. He was killed in action likely during the Battle of Cambrai.
Michael was born c.1892 in Longford, likely on the 12 August 1892 at the workhouse. Michael married Bridget, (likely Bridget Lally in January 1916), who resided at 14 St. Brigid's Terrace, Longford town.
Sgt Conway enlisted with the army when he was of age, and is recorded as serving in India on the 1911 Census, when he was only 20. It is likely he reenlisted with the colours Armagh for war service. He entered WW1 in December 1914 and was awarded the Military Medal in August 1917 for bravery on the field. He was killed in action during the Battle of Cambrai; one of over 230 casualties from his battalion on that day alone.
Patrick was born in 2 March 1885 in Ballincargy, Co. Westmeath. On the 8 January 1908, he married Elizabeth Murray, who was born in England, but lived in Ballynacarrigy. By 1911 they had two children, Katherine and Thomas.
Pte Dowd enlisted in Mullingar and served in the Western Theatre (France). He was wounded at the front and returned to Dublin via Portobello Barracks, for treatment at what was then the George V Hospital, now St. Bricin's Military Hospital, Arbour Hill, Dublin 7. Sadly he passed away there as a result of his wounds.
Early (also Airlie),
John was born John James Erly in Carrowerin, Sligo on the 15 October 1889. His parents Martin (then a servant) and Anne were resident at Charles Street, Sligo at the time. The family later moved to Longford and Martin worked as a bank porter.
John, a.k.a. Jack, worked for Guinness's Brewery in Longford as a storeman (employee ID: 13645) from the 24th April 1914 up to the time he enlisted in November 1915. This is noted in the Longford Leader of the 20 November 1915 under the section Recruiting in Longford:
Amongst those are: Mr. Jack Early, a Clerk in Guinness's Stores in Longford, who was one of the most popular young men in town, and who left for the Irish Guards on Tuesday last.