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John McNamee

Rank: Private
Street: 7 Edge Lane Drive
Townland: Old Swan
Town/Village: Liverpool, Lancashire
Civil Parish:
Catholic Parish:
Alternative Address: Co. Longford
Census 1901:
Census 1911: Likely resident at 1 Pickinson's Cottages, Old Swan, Liverpool.
Regiment/Unit: Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 'C' Company
Regiment Number: 10194
Date of Death: 04-11-1914
Cause: Killed in action, Battle of Tanga, German East Africa (Tanzania)
Memorial: Tanga Memorial Cemetery, Tanga, Tanzania

John was born in Co. Longford and resided in Liverpool, where his sister Bridget and brother Thomas also resided, before enlisting in Preston. It is likely that he was the John McNamee, resident at Old Swan in the 1911, census, whose birth year was c.1889.

At the outbreak of the war, the 2nd Loyals were stationed in Bangalore, India. They landed in Tanga, German East Africa, on the 3 November 1914, along with the 27th Indian Brigade, before moving onto Mombasa, Kenya, on 7 November. From there, they commenced operations in East Africa. Interestingly, this was the only battalion to have been redeployed from India to the East African front.

Pte McNamee was undoubtedly killed during the disastrous Battle of Tanga, where, despite outnumbering the German troops fourfold, 360 British allied troops lost their lives and over 480 were wounded; this is in comparison to the 71 allied German deaths and 76 wounded. 

From At the time of the Great War, Tanzania was a German colony, with a defence force led by General von Lettow-Vorbeck. Commonwealth forces inlcuded: Indian Expeditionary Force 'B', the 2nd Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, the 13th Rajputs, the 61st King George's Own Pioneers, the 63rd Palamcottah Light Infantry, the 98th Infantry and the 101st Grenadiers sustained most of the casualties; the 2nd and 3rd Kashmir Rifles and the Gwalior (Imperial Service) Infantry also took part in the operations.

Parents Names: Likely the son of Annie McNamee, Liverpool
Notes: Interestingly, this battle became known colloquially as the Battle of the Bees, when the small arms fire disturbed the tree-top beehives, releasing swarms of bees onto troops on both sides.  

Link to CWGC entry; link to will; article: The 2nd Loyals in East Africa; Irish Examiner, Jan 1915, German Official Account; possible Civil Record of birth

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