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James Leavey (Leavy)

Rank: Serjeant
Street: Naud's Yard (Noud's Yard)
Town/Village: Longford
Civil Parish: Templemichael
Catholic Parish: Templemichael
Alternative Address: Needham's Yard, off Main Street, Longford
Census 1901: Serving in South Africa
Census 1911: Serving in India
Regiment/Unit: Leinster Regiment, 2nd Battalion; [3rd Battalion]; {6th Rifle Brigade}; post-Independence: 1st Midland Division, Western Command
Regiment Number: 5996
Date of Death:
Cause: Survived WW1

James was born James Leavy in Noud's Yard on the 30 December 1879*

Prior to enlisting with the British Army, James was a member of the 6th Rifle Brigade militia. James enlisted with the British Army win August 1899. He served in the Boer Wars in South Africa from 1900 to 1902, earning the Queen's and King's medals, with Cape Colony and Orange Free State clasps. He remained with the colours after those wars, serving overseas including a four-year tour in India, eventually rising to the rank of Corporal. 

Leavey then served in WW1, being immediately promoted to Lance-Serjeant and then Serjeant after the outbreak of war. James served in France from 1916 to 1919; he had been severely wounded by a gunshot wound to the back and chest on the 12 April 1917 at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, possibly in the attack on the wood at Bois-en-Hache, where another Irish soldier in the same battalion earned the Victoria Cross as a result of his actions that day; twenty-one soldiers and officers from the 2nd Leinsters died as a result of the attack. He was formally discharged from the army in September 1920. He then appears to join the Irish Army after Independence, serving as a Sergeant at what was then known as Kelleher Barracks. 

James's younger brother, Sjt Thomas Leavy, also served in WW1 with the 2nd Leinsters; Thomas was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal but was killed in action in 1916. 

Parents Names: Son of Patrick Leavey and Kate (née McDonald) of Naud's Yard, Longford.
Notes: On his attestment he claimed to have been born c. May 1881, but this may have been an error.

Link to National Army Museum, Irish Soldiers entry; link to Civil Record of birth; Irish Army Census 1922

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