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Joseph McNally

Rank: Private (Corporal)
Street: Chapel Lane
Town/Village: Longford
Civil Parish: Templemichael
Catholic Parish: Templemichael
Alternative Address:
Census 1901:
Census 1911: Likely
Regiment/Unit: Leinster Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 'B' Company / [previously Royal Army Service Corps]
Regiment Number: 4104 [5004]
Date of Death: 15-08-1915
Cause: Killed in action, Hooge Crater
Memorial: Birr Cross Roads Cemetery, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

Joseph was born c.1876, possibly in Dublin. Private McNally enlisted in Dublin, was assigned to the 17th Division in Belgium.

The Division diary notes the events of the 14 - 15 August 1915 at Hooge. Beginning at 1am, 14 August it reads: "Lieut. J.F. MARSLAND mortally wounded whilst out on patrol near CHATEAU. Corp. MCNALLY and two men wounded at same time..."; it goes on to note that there were a number of deaths on the 14th and 36 casualties from this battalion on the 15th.

McNally's death was noted in the Longford Leader and a letter from Captain Dunne to his brother Robert gave the details of his death, (link below). He died at along with three other soldiers at the Hooge Crater, when a shell detonated above them, setting off the bombs they were carrying. Cpt. Dunne noted that McNally was "a gallant fellow, and always did his duty like a man." The full article reads:

How a Longford man was killed at Hooge: Some time ago we made reference to the death of Joe McNally, of the 2nd Leinster Regt., and the following letter to his brother Patrick McNally, who is in the Scottish Rifles gives details of how his death occurred. Both are Longford men and brothers of Mrs. Connolly, Chapel Lane:-

"In the Field. 10-9-'15. Dear McNally,: I am very sorry indeed to have to tell you that your poor brother was killed on the 15th August. We were up in the crater at Hooge and your brother with some other bombers was watching a German sap, when a shell burst over them exploding their bombs, and killing your brother and three other men. He died at once, and without pain. I am very sorry for him and you all for he was a gallant fellow, and always did his duty like a man. He was given a decent Christian burial at the Hooge dressing station, and his grave properly marked. With sincere sympathy, Yours sincerely, L. Dunne. Capt. 2nd Leinst. Regt."

The incident in which he was killed in referred

Parents Names: Son of Patrick McNally of Chapel Street, Longford.
Notes: There is a reference to a Corporal McNally in the war diary for the 14 August 1915, suggesting that he was promoted in the field prior to his death. McNally may also have been in the Connaught Rangers. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission initially listed his name as R. McNally in error; this was likely a conflation with his brother Robert

Link to his will / Longford Leader, 25 September 1915

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