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Kieran Connolly

Rank: Warrant Officer
Street: Lisglassick House
Townland: Lisglassick
Town/Village: Kenagh
Civil Parish: Kenagh
Catholic Parish: Kilcommock
Alternative Address:
Census 1901: N/A
Census 1911: N/A
Regiment/Unit: Royal Air Force, 100 Squadron
Regiment Number: 621344
Date of Death: 12-08-1945
Cause: Died
Memorial: Chungkai War Cemetery, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Kieran was born in Kenagh around the 17 July 1920. He was the son of M P Connolly, who owned the Ford motor garage on Ballymahon Street in Longford, and a participant in the Irish War of Independence. 

Kieran joined the Royal Air Force in 1938 and may have seen action in Europe early in the war. Kieran and his squadron were involved in the defence of Singapore before it fell to the Japanese and afterwards in the evacuation. Their planes were old Vildebeest and Brewster Buffalos and were no match for the Mitsubishi A6M Zero.

After the fall of Singapore Kieran made his way to Australia, and according to news coverage in the Longford Leader, was en-route to England from Melbourne when the ship was torpedoed. Kieran, along with the other survivors was captured by the Japanese Navy on the 12th of July 1942; he spent most of his captivity moving from camp to camp along the notorious Burma Railway.

Kieran died on the 12th of August 1945 in No. 2 POW, or Tha Rua* camp, Thailand, just three days before Japan surrendered.  He is remembered in Chungkai war Cemetery, Thailand close to the Burma Railway. 



Parents Names: Son of Michael Connolly and Bridie (née Higgins), Kenagh, Co. Longford
Notes: *Tha Rua was a transit camp for POWs from Singapore marching from the north. 

Link to CWGC entry; link to Civil Record of Birth; Death of Kieran Connolly, Longford Leader, 15 Sept 1945;  The London Gazette, 1 October 1946;  Longford Leader, 8 Nov 2019, includes photo; 

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