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Royal Irish Regiment - Pte Patrick Nee BWM


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Hi,

I was acually suprised how much information was available online regarding this unit. But now, when I have main details I am stuck with the research.

Any ideas from where I can find details about his recruit, pervious service before Regiment, etc?

Private Patrick Nee, son of late Thomas Nee and of Bridget Shaughnessy (formerly Nee).

I know he was from Co.Galway, enlisted from Dublin and served first with the Royal Irish Rifles (regimental number 7874). Then transferred to the Royal Irish Regiment, B Coy, 7th (South Irish Horse) battalion in autumn 1917 - new regimental number 18231.

21st March 1918, when Germans launched their Sbring offencive (Kaisers battle), his company (and A company) was swiped out near village of Ronsoy - no one of A & B Coys got back to the rest of the battalion.

Patrick Nee was one of the KIAs. Memorial: Pozieres Memorial, Grave-Memorial Reference: Panel 30 and 31. He was 21 years old.

Now, my main questions:

- because his service number is small and also he was young when he enlisted, can I presume that the Royal Irish Rifles, sart they army regimental numbers from the beginning, when they start recruiting new army battalions?

- is there any sources of his recruitment or main information when and how it worked in Dublin?

- from where or how I can find out which battalion he served with the Rifles?

- does anyone have information how Royal Irish Regiment put together 7th battalion. I know base was from South irish Horse (as battalion name states), who they start using as a regular infantry, but does extra men became from Dubs, Rifles, etc as a volunteers, etc? How they made the selection?

- Any information piece or help would be great!

Thank you in advance,

Timo aka Noor

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Hi,

I was acually suprised how much information was available online regarding this unit. But now, when I have main details I am stuck with the research.

Any ideas from where I can find details about his recruit, pervious service before Regiment, etc?

Private Patrick Nee, son of late Thomas Nee and of Bridget Shaughnessy (formerly Nee).

I know he was from Co.Galway, enlisted from Dublin and served first with the Royal Irish Rifles (regimental number 7874). Then transferred to the Royal Irish Regiment, B Coy, 7th (South Irish Horse) battalion in autumn 1917 - new regimental number 18231.

21st March 1918, when Germans launched their Sbring offencive (Kaisers battle), his company (and A company) was swiped out near village of Ronsoy - no one of A & B Coys got back to the rest of the battalion.

Patrick Nee was one of the KIAs. Memorial: Pozieres Memorial, Grave-Memorial Reference: Panel 30 and 31. He was 21 years old.

Now, my main questions:

- because his service number is small and also he was young when he enlisted, can I presume that the Royal Irish Rifles, sart they army regimental numbers from the beginning, when they start recruiting new army battalions?

- is there any sources of his recruitment or main information when and how it worked in Dublin?

- from where or how I can find out which battalion he served with the Rifles?

- does anyone have information how Royal Irish Regiment put together 7th battalion. I know base was from South irish Horse (as battalion name states), who they start using as a regular infantry, but does extra men became from Dubs, Rifles, etc as a volunteers, etc? How they made the selection?

- Any information piece or help would be great!

Thank you in advance,

Timo aka Noor

Timo as to numbers you can never assume anything. When someone left the service his number would be re-allocated to a new recruit. Have you looked up his MIC which should be available on the National Archives. This should answer a few questions.

All the best,

Paul

A

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Timo as to numbers you can never assume anything. When someone left the service his number would be re-allocated to a new recruit. Have you looked up his MIC which should be available on the National Archives. This should answer a few questions.

All the best,

Paul

A

Edited by Graham Stewart
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Thank you for your help guys!

Actually MIC is always first thing what I get from ancestry (annual membership was one of the best small investment I think regarding that collecting field!)

At this point I have his:

- Medal Index card

- Death notice

- 7th battalion war diary from that date.

- Irish census input

- Commonwealth War Graves Commission

From medal index card I found out his entitlement only (BWM and VM) - so he most likelly enlisted with the new army one of the many Royal Irish Fusiliers battalions. Hopefully I get the medal roles inputs as well from Kew, in this case I can establish where he was and what he did before 1917.

Death notice: "Nee, Patrick, 18231. "B" Coy. 7th (South Irish Horse) Bn. Royal Irish Regt. 21st March 1918. Age 21. Son of late Thomas Nee and of Bridget Shaughnessy (formaly Nee), of Killola, Rosschaill. Co.Galway

Here is the information from shoutirishhorse.com web (7th Bn. war diary) what happened with him and his B company on the fisrt day of Spring offencive (Kaiser's battle) on the 21st March 1918:

4.30am. The enemy opened a heavy bombardment mostly with gas shells lasting about 4 hours. The morning was very foggy.

8.30am. The enemy attacked and broke through A&C Coys and reached RONSOY VILLAGE before S&B Coys were aware that the attack had commenced. No one of A&B Coys got back to the rest of the Battn, either being killed or taken prisoners. The enemy had practically surrounded the village before HQ and S&B Coys were aware of it, as he had broken through the Division on the right. At this time all the Officers, with the exception of Capt Bridge had become casualties, also the majority of other ranks. The remainder were ordered to withdraw and fought their way back to ST EMILIE where they arrived about 7pm. The strength then was 1 Officer and about 40 Other Ranks which included 5608 Sergt Maloney and 7683 Corpl Harrison. About 9pm. the Battn was relieved by a Battn of the 39th Division, and moved back to VILLERS FAUCON

His name is on the Pozieres Memorial, Panel 30 and 31.

Now more confusing part - his census....

First at all, census shows him and his 10 years old brother John (+ Mary Nee) as a step sons to Shaughessy Thomas and Bridget Shaughessy. They had been married 1911 a 20 years and Patrick was was 14 years old (his name is written incorrectly - Petrick) and family - thats why it was hard to find him on census but was possible thank you to his younger brother John!

Because Bridget was formely Nee, I presume Patrick, John and Mary must be from her side of family and they adobted them (what shows as well that they can,t be Bridget's is that they had 10 years old daughters - Sarah and Mary Shaughessy's as well). They all lived House 1, Newvillage, Oughterard, Galway. But whay death notice gives Thomas name Nee as well in this case? Mistake?

Now John, who was born 1901 enlisted to the Royal Munster Regiment - Royal irish regiment 4th Extra Reserve battalion 16th August 1917 from Galway and because he has made misstatement of his age, he was discharged after 50 days of service.

Now, any ideas how I can move on with this research project? As I mentioned, I think my best bet is to get inputs of Patrick's medal roles, in order to establish which battalion he was in with the Royal Irish Rifles?

Also I hope to find time and check old newspapers in Dublin archive + maybe is confirm census records via birth certs, if these are available for public to check.

Anything else guys?

Regards,

Timo

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I had a look of his Medal Index Card again and two questions arrised....

First at all, whats the note means on the "Remarks" box?

Also, I usually get the MIC from ancestry but I have been advised that on NA page shows his MIC like this:

Description Medal card of Nee, Patrick

Corps Regiment No Rank

Royal Irish Rifles 7874 (incomplete) Private

Royal Irish Regiment 18231 (incomplete) Private

What tha "incomplete" can mean there???

Link to the NA page:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?Edoc_Id=4409620&queryType=1&resultcount=1

MIC:

18111493b03358_l.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Still waiting the book about the Royal Irish Regiment batallions to be delivered but the main text is almost ready (+ add maps, pictures, etc - I was lucky to ge his memorial panel shot too!). Anything to correct or add?

Special thank you to Doug for his excellen web page and all who helped!

Patrick Nee (1897 - 21 Mar 1918)

Private

Royal Irish Rifles Regimental number 7874

Royal Irish Regiment Regimental number 18231

British War Medal named to “18231 PTE. P-NEE. R.I.REG

Patrick Nee was born in Co. Galway, Newvillage, Oughterard in 1897. He, his younger brother John and sister Mary was raised by step parents Thomas and Bridget Shaughessy, who had 7 children themselves. Probably they were related with Bridget who’s second name was formerly Nee as well but she has been married 20 years by 1911 and they had twins same age as John Nee (2). They were Roman Catholic’s and their trade was listed on the Irish Census as farmers (herd) (10).

Because his age on the beginning of the Great War, Patrick most likely enlisted to the New Army (often referred as Kitchener's Army) what was called up on 5 August 1914 by Minister for War, Field Marshal Earl Kitchener. Each man would sign up for new "general service" terms of three years or the duration of the war (whichever the longer) and would agree to being sent to serve anywhere the army needed them. On 6 August Parliament sanctioned an increase of 500,000 men of all ranks (12/13/14).

His brother John Nee enlisted to the Royal Irish Regiment 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion/Royal Munster Fusiliers on the 16th August 1917 from Galway.

Because he has made a misstatement at his age on enlistment, he was discharged after 50 days of service. He was only 16 years old at this time (11).

Patrick Nee, being age 17-18 on the end of 1914, was accepted as fit for the Army and he was enlisted in Dublin as a private to the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. His regimental number was 7874.

2nd Battalion was part of 7th Brigade in 3rd Division and saw action from 14th August 1914, when they landed in Rouen. 8th October 1915 all 7th Brigade was transferred to 25th Division. 26th October 1915 Battalion was transferred to 74th Brigade in the same Division. 13th November 1917 transferred to 108th Brigade in 36th (Ulster) Division and absorbed with the 7th Battalion (17).

Medal role indicates that some moment, Patrick was transferred over to the 7th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. However, it is impossible to say when he joined with the 2nd or 7th Battalion on the field and when he got his first combat experience, because his service record has not been survived in the National Archive.

The 7th (Service) Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, formed in Belfast in September, 1914, was in the 48th Brigade, 16th (Irish) Division. It spent practically the first year of its existence at Mallow, Co. Cork, and Ballyvonare Camp, where it had excellent training-ground in the Ballyhoura Mountains (16).

Next move took place and Private Patrick Nee was moved to the “B” Company, 7th (South Irish Horse) Battalion at the Royal Irish Regiment. His new regimental number was 18231.

This Battalion was formed in France, 1 September 1917, from the dismounted 1st and 2nd Battalions of South Irish Horse and extra men from Royal Dublin Fusiliers, Royal Irish Rifles, Royal Irish Regiment, etc.

Probably he was moved to this unit at the point of the formation or straight after 2nd Battalion was absorbed with the 7th Battalion of Royal Irish Rifles but it is impossible to find out and approve.

The 7th (South Irish Horse) Battalion was posted to 49th Infantry Brigade in 16th (Irish) Division at Ervillers on the 14 October 1917 and saw action soon after this. A look at the list of war dead will show 21 men recorded as Killed in Action on 12th December 1917 and a further 9 Died of Wounds by the end of the month (6/7).

Private Patrick Nee and many of his comrades met their faith when on the 21st March 1918 the battalion was caught in the maelstrom of the German Kaiserschlacht (Kaiser's Battle) offensive (8). The Official History records that, "2 Companies of 7th Royal Irish Regiment, posted in forward zone, suffered terribly; not a man succeeded in escaping.

According to the War Diary of 49th Infantry Brigade the battalion strength on 30th March 1918 was 1 officer and 34 other ranks. The battalion strength on 20th March is not known but a sister battalion (2nd Royal Irish Regiment) in the brigade had a strength of 18 officers and 514 men before the battle and 1 officer and 31 other ranks on 30th March (7).

What exactly happened on the 21st March 1918, is possible to find out from 7th Battalion War Diary:

7th (SIH) Bn, Royal Irish Regt War Diaries. September 1917 to May 1918 - 21.03.1918

21st March 1918

4.30am. The enemy opened a heavy bombardment mostly with gas shells lasting about 4 hours. The morning was very foggy.

8.30am. The enemy attacked and broke through A &C Coys and reached RONSOY VILLAGE before S & B Coys were aware that the attack had commenced. No one of A & B Coys got back to the rest of the Battn, either being killed or taken prisoners. The enemy had practically surrounded the village before HQ and S & B Coys were aware of it, as he had broken through the Division on the right. At this time all the Officers, with the exception of Capt Bridge had become casualties, also the majority of other ranks. The remainders were ordered to withdraw and fought their way back to ST EMILIE where they arrived about 7pm. The strength then was 1 Officer and about 40 Other Ranks which included 5608 Sergt Maloney and 7683 Corpl Harrison. About 9pm. the Battn was relieved by a Battn of the 39th Division, and moved back to VILLERS FAUCON (4).

Patrick Nee medal role indicates that he was MIA (Missing in Action) and was pronounced KIA (Killed in Action) from 21st March 1918 (?).

Those soldiers who were missing and presumed dead are listed on the major memorials in the theatres of war; in this way every man is commemorated even if no trace was ever found of his physical remains. Patrick Nee’s name is listed on the Pozieres Memorial, Grave/Memorial, Panel 30 and 31 (2/3). He was 21 years old.

Sources:

(1) British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920

http://search.ancestry.co.uk

(2) UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919

http://search.ancestry.co.uk

(3) Commonwealth War Graves Commission

http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=1585951

(4) 7th (SIH) Bn, Royal Irish Regt War Diaries. September 1917 to May 1918

http://www.southirishhorse.com/documents/7sih_riregt_war_diaries_1.htm

(5) Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Irish_Horse

(6) The Long, Lon Trail, 1914-1918

http://www.1914-1918.net/rireg.htm

(7) History of South of Ireland Imperial yeomanry & the South Irish Horse

http://www.southirishhorse.com/documents/history.htm

(8) Spring Offencive – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_Offensive

(9) The Long, Long Trail, 1914-1918

http://www.1914-1918.net

(10) The national Archive of Ireland – 1911 Census

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Galway/Oughterard/Newvillage/471318/

(11) British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920

http://search.ancestry.co.uk

(12) Ireland and World War I - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ireland_and_World_War_I

(13) The Long, Long Trail, 1914-1918

http://www.1914-1918.net/kitcheners.htm

(14) Kitchener's Army - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitchener's_Army

(15) The 16th (Irish) Division in 1914-1918

http://www.1914-1918.net/16div.htm

(16) The Royal Irish Rifles 1914-1918

http://royalirishrifles.webs.com/

(17) The Royal Irish Rifles 1914-1918

http://www.1914-1918.net/ririfles.htm

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