The Great War had a great impact on the cricket community of Ireland. From the early days of the war until almost a year to the day after Armistice Day, there were fatalities, all of whom had some cricket heritage, either in their youth or just prior to the outbreak of the war.
Based on a review of the contemporary press, Great War histories, war memorials, cricket books, journals and websites there were men who died during the Great War who had some cricket connection to county Tipperary, and sports historian Pat Bracken has outlined some of their cricketing heritage. For more in-depth details on some of the men please view the archive.
Group at cricket match. Dr. Russell’s team v Cashel Garrison, 6 Sept 1919
An early casualty of the Great War was Lieutenant Henry Richmond Inigo-Jones. He was born on December 17, 1891, a son of Major General Inigo-Jones and Elinor M. Inigo-Jones (née Charteris), of 10 South Audley Street, London. Lt. Henry was a grandson of Lieutenant Colonel the Hon. Richard and Lady Margaret Charteris, Cahir Park, Co. Tipperary. From an early age, the youthful Henry visited Cahir, where he soon formed his own cricket team, playing against the local teams in the vicinity of Cahir. Each summer from 1904 to 1906, after finishing school in Eton, he was to be found on the cricket fields around Cahir. In 1904/05, he played with a juvenile team, which bore his name. In 1906, he was a member of a team selected by W.F.H. Watson. He subsequently became a member of Cahir Park CC and from August 1909 to August 1913, he returned each summer to play for the club, for which he also became captain. He joined the Scots Guards as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1912 and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1913.
When the war started, Lt. Henry was part of the first troop movement, which across the channel to Europe. When British forces came up against German opposition at Mons, Belgium, Lt. Henry lost his life in an attack on a ridge overlooking the River Aisne. Serving with the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, he died on September 14, 1914, aged 22 years. He was the first war casualty among those listed on the Cahir War Memorial, Co. Tipperary. He is also remembered on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France.
Captain Learo Aylmer Henry Hackett, M.C., 10th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles was born in Estcourt, Natal, South Africa, on 22 June 1884. At that time his father was a civil engineer with the Natal Government Railways. He was the eldest and last surviving son of Edward Augustus and Emille Elliott Hackett, Castletown, Ballycumber, Co. Offaly, and formerly of Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. Edward Hackett was a civil engineer and Co. Surveyor for south Tipperary. The Hackett family had a close association with cricket in the south Tipperary town, with Capt. Hackett’s father an active playing member of the Clonmel Asylum CC, from 1901 to 1913. He was also treasurer of the club. A youthful Learo played cricket with the local grammar school, with Mr. Bouchier’s XI, and he also appeared for the Clonmel Asylum club, alongside his father, in a match against a F.C. Burke XI, in May 1905.
After leaving school he joined the Royal Munster Fusiliers, but he resigned a commission before the war started and engaged himself in rubber planting in the East. He answered the call in January 1916, from Ceylon, and was posted to his old regiment initially, and later to the Royal Irish Rifles. He received the Military Cross in 1917. He was killed in action at Ypres, Belgium, on 24 April 1918, aged 33 years, while serving with the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles. His brother Eric Adrian Nethercote Hackett, also died in the Great War.
In St. Mary’s Church of Ireland, Tipperary Town, is erected a brass memorial to thirtynine old boys of the Tipperary Grammar School, (also known as The Abbey), who gave their lives in the Great War. Amongst those listed is Captain L.A. Hackett, M.C. R.I.R. He is also commemorated on the Great War memorial in Old St. Mary’s Church, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. He is also remembered with honour at Minty Farm Cemetery.
Captain Eustace Henry Cubitt was born in England, on 23 June 1889. He was the son of Edward George and Christabel M. Cubitt, Honing Hall, Worstead, Norwich. In 1911, both he and his sister, Christabel, were living at Carrigeen, Kilcommon, Cahir, Co. Tipperary. He started a career as a miller’s apprentice when he moved to Tipperary. His aunt Ida was married to William Going, a Cahir corn merchant, who was in partnership with Richard Smith, and together they ran a very successful milling operation, Going & Smith Mills, at Bridge Street, Cahir. While living in the district, Eustace joined the local cricket club and was a regular starting member in the second half of the 1911 season. During 1912 he regularly played on the same starting eleven alongside Henry Inigo-Jones. At the start of the 1914 cricket season Eustace was elected to the committee of Cahir Park CC. He was also a member of Cahir Park AFC.
During the Great War he fought with the 1st/5th Battalion Norfolk Regiment. He was
killed in action on Thursday, 19 April 1917, one of three brothers who lost their lives in the war. He is interred in the Gaza War Cemetery, Israel and Palestine. He is remembered with honour on the Cahir War Memorial. He is also remembered on the Roll of Honour at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church, Honing, Norfolk, and on the Great War memorial at Kidderminster.
Staff Sergeant Thomas Patrick Holloway was the second son of Thomas and Kate Holloway, Church Street, Cahir, Co. Tipperary. His father was a contractor and a builder. Thomas junior was educated at Rockwell College. Thomas emigrated to Australia, around 1910, and worked as a chemist in Kerang, before moving on to Dandenong, where he resided for two years, in the employment of Mr. R.A. Titcher. During his youth in Tipperary Thomas was a keen cricketer with the Cahir Club. His father had also played cricket with the Cahir club. His enthusiasm for the game never waned and on arrival in Australia he figured prominently in many matches.
When hostilities started in Europe, Thomas joined the Australian Light Infantry, and was attached to the Royal Army Medical Corps. While at Seymour camp he contracted pneumonia, and although he recovered and resumed duty, it was to be, but for a short period of time. He took ill again and was admitted to Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, Melbourne, for six months, where he passed away on 28 March 1917, aged 34 years.4 He is remembered with honour in Coburg Pine Ridge Cemetery, Melbourne, Australia and on the Cahir War Memorial, Co. Tipperary.
Private Frederick William Day was a native of England and he came to Nenagh in the 1870s, where he established a stationery business. He advertised his business as Fred W. Day, Stationer, Librarian, Druggist, & Fancy Warehouseman, 51 Castle St., Nenagh. His father, George Day, lived in Delgany, Co. Wicklow. Fred was an agent for the London and Lancashire Fire Insurance Company. He was subsequently made a Commissioner for Oaths, taking affidavits for the High Court of Justice, and was well known and respected by the commercial and professional people of Nenagh. He later moved to Peter Street (now Kickham Street), Nenagh. He was married to Matilda, and they had two daughters, the eldest of which, Clara Florence married Philip N. Fogarty, at St. Stephen’s Church, Dublin, on 26 February 1913. His family connections were widespread. Fred’s brother, Harry, died in Brisbane on 12 October 1892. His sister, Alice, died in Southampton on 7 April 1893. In Nenagh, Fred established a lending library, with different membership rates applicable,
depending on the amount of books which were borrowed. In 1905 he was secretary of the Nenagh Rate Payers Association. He was a ticket agent for operas and concerts, which were held in the Town Hall. Socially, he was a member of the Ormond Club. In 1883 he was present at a meeting to establish a cricket club of ‘a respectable character’ in Nenagh. He played cricket, on an irregular basis, with the Nenagh Institute CC. In his business he sold cricket bats, with prices ranging from one shilling to twelve shillings and six pence. He sold wickets for the same prices, and cricket balls ranged from a relatively cheap six pence up to seven shillings and six pence. He also attended a meeting in O’Meara’s Hotel, Nenagh, in September 1906, to revive the Ormond Rugby Football Club.
When hostilities broke out in Europe, Fred was determined to join the 16th Company
Royal Army Medical Corps, as a dispenser. He remained in Ireland, working in Cork and Waterford. He took ill, while living in Waterford, and he passed way on 24 December 1916, aged 62 years. His remains were returned to Nenagh by rail, where his coffin was draped in the Union Jack. A short service followed at St. Mary’s Church, and as it was the Christmas season it was impossible to get a military band and firing party together. However, Captain Hickie and Major Fitzgerald ensured that every available soldier was present to ensure that the last respects were paid to Fred Day in a fitting manner. The cortege passed through the town, to the Old Graveyard, on Barrack Street, where he was interred after Canon Thomas had recited the final prayers.
Captain Robert Hornidge Cullinan was born on 9 August 1881, a son of John and Martha Frances Cullinan (née Faris), 6, Bendon Street, Ennis, Co. Clare. He attended the Tipperary Grammar School, and played on the school cricket team from 1894 to October 1900. He entered Trinity College Dublin, in October 1899, but returned to play for the Grammar school eleven in October 1900. He graduated from Dublin University, in 1903, receiving his BA. He left with a gold medal for history and political science. He was a member of the Dublin University cricket club, in 1903, and played for the A side, Rapparees and Long Vacation. Dublin University had a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd XI at this time. He played rugby while at Trinity, obtaining his colours in 190001. He was also the record secretary of the University Historical Debating Society. He was called to the Irish Bar, in Trinity Term, 1904, and was a member of the Munster circuit.
When the war started he enlisted with the Royal Munster Fusiliers. He was killed in action at Suvla Bay, on 8 August 1915, aged 34 years. Captain Robert H. Cullinan is commemorated on the Abbey Old Boys plaque, in St. Mary’s Church, Tipperary Town. He is also commemorated in his home town of Ennis, on a memorial tablet in the parish church. In Dublin, he is commemorated on a window memorial at St. Ann’s Church, Dawson Street, Dublin 2, alongside Ernest Lawrence Julian, who also died in the Great War, both members of the Irish Bar. He is also remembered on the memorial in Four Courts, Dublin to the Irish barristers who died in the Great War and are named on the bronze panel, which was sculpted by Oliver Sheppard. Finally, he is remembered with honour on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey.
Poole Henry Hickman, was another Co. Clare pupil of Tipperary Grammar School. He was born on 8 June 1880 a son of Francis William and Elizabeth B. Gore Hickman, 23 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin, though originally they lived in Co. Clare. He was born on 8 June 1880. He attended Tipperary Grammar School and he appeared on the Abbey cricket eleven from 1894–98, playing alongside R.H. Cullinan and R.C. Wallace, both of whom also died in the Great War. On leaving Tipperary grammar school he entered Trinity College Dublin, in October 1898, receiving his BA in 1902. In 1899, played cricket for the Dublin University 2nds and 3rds; in 1900 he played 1sts, 2nds and 3rds; in 1901 he played 2nd, 3rd, 4th and also on the Long Vacation XI. In 1902 he played on the 3rds. He also played for the Aravon Past & Present XI, in 1906. After leaving Trinity, he joined Wanderers FC and became captain of the first fifteen in 1908. He was admitted as a student at King’s Inns, Dublin, and was called to the Bar, in Easter Term, 1909. He was hon. secretary and treasurer of the Munster Bar. When war broke out he enlisted with the 7th Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Two of his brothers, Thomas and Norman, also served with the British forces during the war. He was killed in action, fighting in the Dardanelles, exactly one week after the death of Capt. R.H. Cullinan. He had sent home accounts of the War and the conditions that the men faced each day. He died on 15 August 1915, aged 35 years.
He is commemorated on the Great War memorial to the Abbey Old Boys, in St. Mary’s
Church, Tipperary Town. He is also commemorated on the Great War memorial to the Old Boys of Aravon School, Church Road, Bray, Co. Wicklow; on the memorial in Four Courts, Dublin to the Irish barristers who died in the Great War and who are named on the bronze panel which was sculpted by Oliver Sheppard. Lastly, he is remembered with honour on the Helles Memorial, on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey.
Private James Lawrence Rentoul was born in England around 1885, the son of Rev. Robert W. and Caroline (née Wylie) Rentoul. His family subsequently moved to Clonmel, Co. Tipperary where his father was a Presbyterian clergyman. James attended Clonmel Grammar School and he played cricket for the school eleven in 1900, 1902 and 1903. In 1907, he played for the Clonmel Asylum team, at that time the strongest civilian team in the town, mindful that cricket was heading into decline in the county at that juncture. James married Eileen Rentoul (née Moore), of ‘Fircroft’, Hawthornden Road, Knock, Co. Down. James was a Presbyterian Minister in Rostrevor, Co. Down, and he was a nephew of Mr. Justice Wylie, Dublin, and of Dr. Wylie, Crown Solicitor for Co. Down. It was in May 1918 when Rev. Rentoul volunteered for service with the army. Every member of the congregation of Rostrevor Presbyterian Church contributed towards the presentation of a cheque to him, which was made in a letter from the congregational treasurer, Mr. D.C. Sinton. At a service in his church Rev. Rentoul told his congregation that ‘it would be the proudest moment of his life when he became a member of the glorious British Army….He was going to minister to and help the wounded,’ he continued. He served with the 91st Field Ambulance with the Royal Army Medical Corps. Rev. James Rentoul died on 30 September 1918, aged 33 years. His remains were interred in La Baraque British Cemetery, Bellenglise, Departement de l’Aisne, Picardie, France, where he is remembered with honour. He is also commemorated on the war memorial at Queen’s University, Belfast.
Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Durham Murphy was the second son of Lieut. Colonel Edmond William and Mary Ellen Murphy, of Ballinamona, Cashel, Co. Tipperary. He was born in England in 1890, and educated at Downside School. He attended Downside from April 1902 until December 1906.2 When at home with his family, in Cashel, he played cricket for the town club alongside his father. His father organised his own eleven, and was a keen supporter of cricket in this south Tipperary town. Alfred appeared on the Cashel eleven from 1908 to 1910.
He entered the Leinsters from the Special Reserve in 1911, the same regiment which his father served in for twenty years. He also played cricket for the Leinsters, appearing as one of the opening bats. At the outbreak of hostilities he went to France with his Battalion in the 6th Division, in September 1914, as a junior lieutenant and transport officer. Sir John French mentioned Lieut. Murphy’s courageous actions in several despatches. In all he was mentioned in Despatches on four occasions. In 1915 he was promoted to captain and appointed adjutant of the Battalion. In May 1916 he became a temporary Major, and was appointed acting LieutenantColonel three months later, a position he held until his untimely death.
In an account of the incident which led to his death ‘Lieutenant-Colonel Murphy was with the medical officer and several other members of the Battalion headquarters attending to some wounded men in a building which served as the headquarters mess. While they were engaged upon this work a chance shell dropped right into their midst with terrible effect. Colonel Murphy, the medical officer and six men were killed outright’.
Lieutenant William Armstrong Burgess was born 3 June 1889, the second son of Francis L. Burgess, Irwin House, West Australia and of Mrs. Scroope, stepson of Mr. Frederic Scroope, grandson of Francis Carlton Burges M.D., Fethard, Co. Tipperary. He commenced his school career at Clonmel Grammar School, where he and his brothers attended for over four years. William played cricket for the school, alongside his brother, Irwin, in 1903.
He subsequently attended Campbell College, Belfast, for a short time, and the remainder of his school days was spent at the Royal School, Armagh. He attended the Royal School from September 1904 to July 1908.3 A keen sportsman, William won many silver cups while at Armagh, including the Championship Cup two years in succession. He played both cricket and football, playing for the Ulster Schools cricket team. He played in the second school’s interprovincial match in 1907.4 After leaving school he entered Sandhurst, where he played on the rugby first XV.
He passed into Sandhurst in 1908, and was gazetted to the 2nd Battery Royal Irish Rifles in 1910. After a short time he was transferred to the 1st Battery stationed at Maymyo, Burma. He came home with the regiment from Aden in October, and was promoted First Lieutenant. After a fortnight in England the battalion was ordered to the front, and on 10 March 1915, Lieut. William Burges fell at Neuve Chapelle, aged 26 years. Lieut. Burges was killed in action by machine gun fire, one of four officers who led the assault.
A letter was received from a brother officer saying he died whilst ‘gallantly leading a charge of his platoon’. The writer concluded by saying he would always be affectionately remembered by his brother officers. His elder brother Irwin was with the West Australian Light Horse, and his younger brother Francis was at the front with the Irish Guards. Lieut. William A.
Captain Falkiner Melton Hewson was born on 30 May 1885, the son of Falkiner Francis John Hewson and Frances Alice Maunsell, Stillorgan Park, and Leeson Park, Dublin. Like others remembered in this series, he too attended school Tipperary Grammar School. He played on the Abbey cricket XI in 1902.
He gained the rank of Lieutenant on 4 February 1908 in the service of the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). He subsequently gained the rank of Captain on 4 February 1911 in the service of the RAMC. He served in India 1910-14, in France and Belgium 1914-16, and India again from 1916-18. He died on 22 October 1918 at Mhow, Rajputana, India, from influenza, aged 33 years. He is remembered on the Abbey School memorial to the Abbey Old Boys who died in the Great War, at St. Mary’s Church, Tipperary Town. He is also remembered with honour at Mhow New Cemetery, India. He is commemorated on the Roll of Honour at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
Captain John George Hamerton Kennefick was a son of Dr. John S. and Malvina Penelope (née Hamerton) Kennefick, Auburn House, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. He was grandson of General Hamerton C.B., Orchardstown, Clonmel, who gave all his military career serving with the Essex – old 44th – Regiment.
John G.H. Kennefick made one of his earliest appearances on the cricket fields of south
Tipperary when he appeared on a W.R. Hatte XI, in Clonmel, in 1899, aged just fourteen years. Such was his interest in the game that, in 1912, he organized his own eleven, playing against the Clonmel Grammar School, regularly posting scores of thirty or more. He also played for Clonmel Asylum in their matches against Cahir Park in 1912, having previously appeared for the Asylum team in 1909 and 1910. At the commencement of hostilities in Europe, Capt. Kennefick saw active service with the Essex Regiment. He was with the 3rd Battalion, but attached to the 2nd Battalion at the time of his death on 20 April 1918, aged 33 years. After his death his mother received a report from a firm of London solicitors confirming that John G. H. Kennefick was killed in action at Bellerive, near Gonnehem.
For his parents, John’s death was a third mournful loss for his family, following on from
the early death of his sister Eveline, in 1897 and his brother Edward Hamerton Kennefick, who also served with the Essex Regiment and who also died in the Great War on 8 July 1916. Captain John G.H. Kennefick is remembered on the family memorial, along with his brother Edward, at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Waterford Road, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. He is also remembered with honour at Gonnehem British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.
Private Richard Cooke Wallace was another of the Abbey Old Boys to die in the Great War. He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. J. R Wallace, 9 Victoria Terrace, Limerick. Richard was a solicitor by profession. He attended Tipperary Grammar School and he appeared on the Abbey school cricket XI from May 1895, appearing alongside Poole Henry Hickman in his first match. He played with the Abbey team until June 1896.
During the War in Europe he fought with the Irish Guards. He was wounded on two occasions, but met his death on 13 September 1917, aged 37 years. He is remembered on the memorial to solicitors and apprentices at the Four Courts, Dublin, which was sculpted by Oliver Sheppard. He is also remembered on the Abbey Old Boys memorial in St. Mary’s Church, Tipperary Town. Finally, he is remembered with honour on the Tyne Cot Memorial, WestVlaanderen, Belgium.
Rev. James Shine was born on 11 April 1881 to Thomas and Mary Shine (née Anglim), Ballylaffin, Ardfinnan, Cahir, Co. Tipperary. He attended school at Gormanstown. While living at home he became a member of the Cahir Cricket Club. In 1905 he was a member of the Henry Inigo-Jones XI which took to the field against an eleven brought together by W.F.H. Watson.
He became a Roman Catholic priest for the Waterford diocese. He was ordained on 21 June 1908 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral Waterford, for the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore. From there he went ‘on loan to Dunkeld RC Diocese, Scotland’.
During the war he was a Chaplain 4th Class, and was with the Army Chaplain’s Department, attached to the 21st Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. He died, on 21 April 1918, of wounds received while performing his duties at Boulogne, aged 37 years. He is another of the Cahir cricketers commemorated on the Cahir War Memorial, Co. Tipperary. He is also commemorated on the Aldershot Memorial. Finally, he is remembered with honour at Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.
Sergeant Richard Butler was a son of Joseph and Ellen Butler, Castle Street, Cahir, Co. Tipperary. Like many others in Cahir a youthful Richard was drawn to the local cricket club and he played with the town team from 1899 to 1903, playing for the club each year over these five seasons. His brother Patrick was also an active member of the Cahir Park club.
At the time of the 1901 census Richard, aged 20, was living at home with his widowed mother and his nine siblings. His occupation was recorded as a Brewers accountant. He enlisted in Vancouver and during the war saw active service with the Canadian Cavalry Machine Gun Squadron. His service number was 116055. In a letter to one of his brothers, John, a butcher in Tipperary Town, one of Richard’s comrades wrote that he ‘was very popular among the men and that he died a hero’s death, having volunteered to take charge of a gun which had all its crew wounded. In the midst of a violent battle he was killed instantly by a shell’. He died on 30 March 1918, aged 37 years. He has no known grave. Sgt. Richard Butler is commemorated on the Cahir War Memorial, Co. Tipperary. He is also remembered with honour Vimy Memorial, overlooking the Douai Plain, Pas de Calais, France.
Second Lieutenant Henry Frederick Cooke, born 2 August 1885, the fourth son of Rev. Caesar Sutton and Elizabeth Maria Cooke. They resided at Beakstown, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. His father died on 10 June 1900, and at the time of his death was Canon of Kilbraugh. He had also served for twenty-two years as Rector of Thurles parish. Henry and his brother, George Leonard, attended school at Campbell College, Belfast, which Henry attended from November 1898 to December 1902. Henry’s school number was 450. He was on the rugby first XV from 19011903. He played on the cricket first XI in 1901-1902. During the summer of 1901 one of Henry’s sisters, Grace, organised her own cricket eleven and she took her team to Clonoulty to play against Miss O’Flaherty’s eleven at the local rectory. At this time it was not uncommon in Tipperary for mixed elevens to appear on the cricket field. The cricket was not of a high standard, though Henry top scored with thirteen runs.
Following his school career he was a mine manager at Jumpers Deep Mine, Cleveland, Johannesburg, South Africa. In relation to his military service he was with the Transvaal Mounted Rifles 1906, during the Zulu Rebellion. He later saw action with the Rhodesian Regiment in German South West Africa, 1914-1915. During the Great War he was a Second Lieutenant 5th attached to 7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment. Mentioned in Despatches, he met his death on 4 August 1916, near Pozieres, France, aged 31 years. He is remembered with honour at Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France, and in St. Mary’s Church, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
Second Lieutenant Eric Adrian Nethercote Hackett was born on 6 August 1895, and educated at All Hallows School, Honiton, Devon. While at All Hallows Eric played on the cricket XI. He was a son of Edward Augustus and Emille Elliott Hackett, Castletown, Ballycumber, Co. Offaly, and Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. Edward Hackett was a civil engineer and Co. Surveyor for south Tipperary. Eric gained the rank of Lieutenant in the Royal Irish Regiment.
He was killed on 9 September 1916, at the taking of Ginchy, aged 21 years. In a letter from Major W. Redmond informed Eric’s parents that he ‘was near the Colonel at the time, who was also killed. Your son was with me the day before, as bright and as brave as ever’. He was posthumously awarded the Irish Brigade Certificate for gallantry. He is commemorated on the Great War memorial in Old St. Mary’s Church, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. He is also remembered with honour on the Thiepval Memorial, at the Somme, France. His brother Captain Learo A.H. Hackett also died in the War, just over one and a half years later.
Second Lieutenant Herbert Charles Rosa was the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Rosa, 17 Westbourne Street, London. His parents were founders of the Carl Rosa Opera Company. Herbert was educated at Clifden College. Herbert married Marie O’Meara, the eldest daughter of William O’Meara, Drumbawn, Birr, Co. Offaly. He purchased the lands and house of Killavalla, Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary where he settled down to live a county life. He was described as ‘an enthusiastic sportsman, he was keen on every form of outdoor sport—football, tennis, golf, cricket—game for anything. Horses and dogs he couldn’t do without and in pre-war days hail, rain or snow wouldn’t keep him from a hunt anywhere in North Tipperary’.
When war broke out he volunteered for service and went to Egypt with the Honourable
Artillery Company. He subsequently transferred to the Royal Field Artillery and in the middle of 1917 he departed for France. He was killed in action on 31 July 1917, aged 33 years. He left behind a widow and young daughter. He is remembered with honour at Poperinghe New Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
Corporal Joseph G. Walsh was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Walsh, Abbey, Street, Cahir, Co. Tipperary. His family was associated with Cahir Park Association Football Club in the years after it was founded in 1910. Joseph also played cricket with Cahir Park CC. A wireless operator, he served with the Royal Engineers during the war in Europe. He was exposed to gas on 19 April 1918 and in writing to his father, Lieutenant Marsh, of his company, stated that he ‘refused to give in until his task was completed’. Unfortunately, Cpl. Walsh died from the effects of gas inhalation seven days later, on 26 April 1918. On Sunday, 27 October 1918 at a ceremony in Cahir, his father received the medal which was won by his son for bravery on the field. The presentation was made by Lieut.-Colonel Burns Lindow, D.S.O. who commanded the South Irish Horse at Cahir Barracks, in front of a full parade of officers and men on the large square.
Sergeant James Somers V.C. was a son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Somers, of Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary. He was born in Belturbet, Co. Cavan, on 12 June 1894. James was the son of a master carpenter and sexton with the Church of Ireland. The family moved to several locations around Ireland before settling in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary, around 1912, living at Church Road. James was a footman in Bantry House a couple of years before he joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers where ‘he was a keen cricketer, and a great man to throw in from the outfield’. During the war he served with the Army Service Corps. He stopped three German bullets in Flanders on 21 August 1914 and after hospital treatment in England he returned to the front. When the opportunity came his way to go to the Dardanelles he took it and spent four months there. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his efforts in recapturing a trench which had been lost. The London Gazette recorded this tribute to him:
For most conspicuous bravery on the night of 1st -2nd July, 1915, in the Southern Zone of the
Gallipoli Peninsula, when, owing to hostile bombing, some of our troops had retired from a sap, Serjeant Somers remained alone on the spot until a party brought up bombs. He then climbed over into the Turkish trench, and bombed the Turks with great effect. Later on he advanced into the open under very heavy fire and held back the enemy by throwing bombs into their flank until a barricade had been established. During this period he frequently ran to and from our trenches to obtain fresh supplies of bombs. By his great gallantry and coolness Serjeant Somers was largely instrumental in effecting the recapture of a portion of our trench which had been lost.
He died back home in Tipperary on 7 May 1918, aged 24 years, due to lung trouble contracted in France. He was interred with full military honours at Modreeny Church of Ireland Churchyard. The 3rd Camerons from Limerick formed the guard of honour and firing party, while the “Dead March in Saul” was played by their band. He is named on the Regimental Memorial at St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. He is commemorated on the Victoria Cross Commemorative Paving Stone, Cross of Sacrifice, at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin. He is also commemorated with a Blue Plaque at Belturbet Church of Ireland, Co. Cavan. He is also remembered on a plaque at Modreeny Church, Co. Tipperary.
The Marchant Cup
The trophy was presented to the Leinster Cricket Union in 1922 by Thomas Frederick Marchant in memory of his son, who had been killed in the Great War.
Charles Stewart Marchant, (known as Stewart) was born on 21 June 1895, a son of Thomas and Kathleen Marchant, 16 Castlewood Park, Rathmines. Stewart played his cricket with Clontarf CC. It wasn’t long before he was opening the batting for the first team. During the Great War years there was virtually no cricket played throughout Ireland. Stewart Marchant joined the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, but on the 4th June 1917 he was killed in action, aged 21 years. Second Lieutenant C.S. Marchant is buried at Loker Graveyard, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
To his memory the Marchant Cup was presented to the Leinster Cricket Union, in January 1922. The cup is awarded to a batter (other than overseas professional players) who has the best average in senior cricket in Leinster.
Image courtesy Deryck Vincent