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Patrick Dempsey

Rank: Sergeant (D.C.M.)
Townland: Brosna
Town/Village: King's County (Offaly)
Civil Parish:
Catholic Parish:
Alternative Address: Aghafin Edgeworthstown; Tinnynarr (Tinenare), Edgeworthstown;Newbridge Street, Birr, Co. Offaly
Census 1901: Probable census return at Aghafin, Edgeworthstown
Census 1911: Resident in Birr, Co. Offaly
Regiment/Unit: Yorkshire Regiment, 6th (Service) Battalion/ [2nd Battalion]
Regiment Number: 7766
Date of Death: 30-09-1916
Cause: Killed in action, Battle of Thiepval Ridge (Somme), France
Memorial: Thiepval Memorial, Thiepval, Somme, France

Patrick was born c.1885 in Edgeworthstown. He worked as a postmaster in Brosna, County Offaly at the time of his enlistment, and had previously been a postman in Birr rural district. He married Mary Davis from Birr on the 20 October 1909 and they lived at Newbridge Street, Birr. They had one son, John Henry, by 1911.

Patrick came from a family with a military tradition. Patrick's father* was reported to have served in the same regiment as his son (King's County Chronicle, October 1916). One brother was killed in the Boer War and another in the Great War. He was a reservist before the war and had trained a Volunteer unit at Shinrone, Co. Offaly; he was listed as a soldier with the Yorkshire Regiment on his marriage record. He enlisted for active active service in August 1914 in Newry. Dempsey was awarded the DCM ( Distinguished Conduct Medal) for gallantry in February 1915. His citation reads:

For gallant conduct on many occasions in conveying messages whilst exposed to heavy fire (1.4.15)

Dempsey was wounded at Neuve Chapelle in Belgium in March of the same year. He was presented with the medal in June while recovering from wounds in hospital in Chester, and the event was described by the Longford Leader on the 26 June 1915 (link below).The presentation was made by General H. Mackinnon on Chester Castle Square.

Sgt Dempsey was killed in action during one of the engagements on the Battle of the Somme, likely in the capture of the Stuff Redoubt during the Battle of Thiepval Ridge. His body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Theipval Memorial. The Longford Leader in announcing his death also noted the recent death of his youngest brother, Pte Peter Dempsey, who died of wounds in May 1916. Their brother James, (possible), also served in WW1 and their father Michael had been a British Army sold

Parents Names: *Son of Michael and Catherine/Kate Dempsey (Dempsy), Tinnynarr, Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford
Notes: * The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) state that his parents were Patrick and Kate Dempsey from Pound Street, Edgeworthstown. However, Patrick's civil marriage record states that his father's name was Michael as does the Longford Leader notice of Sgt Dempsey's death. Patrick's birth does not appear to have been registered. It is likely that the CWGC made an error.

Link to CWGC entryCivil Record of marriageLongford Leader, June 1915, Our War Notes; Longford Leader, Death of Sergt. P. Dempsey

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