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2nd Ltn. Joseph O'Dowda Wade

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Hi all,

Here is my next research project, when I find some free time from the college studies, kids and 1001 other tasks that has to be done.

I was able to pick up nice Victory Medal that was named to "2 Ltn. J. O'Dowda-Wade". His MIC shows that he was entitled only VM and BWM pair, so only one medal to locate now. Also that he served with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers - only reason why I wanted that medal in the first place.

He landed in Frane July 1916 and on MIC his address is given as 5 Sandycove Avenue, Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire).

London Gzette research shows that he was commissioned to the rank 2nd Lieutenant on 1st January 1916.

Rest of the information I have found from the Irish Times...

Joseph O'Dowda-Wade was born 1886 as a son of well known merchant Matthew Wade from Sandycove. He was educated in the college in Liverpool where he became musician (singer). 1909 he won gold medal of Feis Ceoil music competitions.He was well known baritone in Dublin, especially in Abbey theater.

When the war broke out, he also took part of Irish Deputation in Paris at May 1915. Probably because his friendship with nationalist parliament member Joseph Devlin, who was part of delegation. Until up to the time when he was commissioned, he organised concerts in order to raise funds for Irish troops or/and for wounded soldiers.

Unfortunately his career as an officer didn't last long. He received a severe wound that disabled him from the front line. But he appears again on the concerts lists as a Lieutenant from March 1917 (Soldiers Central Club 27.03.1917). I presume he was listed as an officer with the 3rd Reserve Battalion, as stated on his MIC.

He sang as well in Belfast, where his friend Joseph Devlin was active and also in London. He appears concerts lists up to 1935.

Sad news was posted up on 5 September 1936 that Joseph O'Dowda Wade passed away suddenly age 50. His last address in given as 49 Kenilworth Square, Rathgar, Dublin (Just ca. 2 km where I live!).

I can see that his service papers are in the National Archive, so I am hoping to get them via researcher. Also I am planning to contact with the Abbey theater because there can be some photos, etc about him.

Now guys, is there any other ideas or recommendations how to research his life would be great?

Kind Regards,

Timo aka Noor

Edited by Noor
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Thanks guys! Devlin was interesting figure, especially because when the war broke out he sided with Redmond's and supported recruiting into Irish regiments, etc. So, he was nationalist but he wasn't extremist. Probably his view was shared with Joseph O'Dowda-Wade, when he commissioned into the Royal Dublin Fusiliers as well.

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Next information piece that I got shows again that some nationalists Irish officers, who were politically minded believed the Easter Rising damaged the prospects of Home Rule. O'Dowda-Wade took part the Easter Rising as well.... against the Sinn Fein. He was attached to the Dublin University OTC column. After the war, like Irish Times shows, he took part public movements with the same men, who he fought in Dublin 1916.

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Thanks Mervyn! I can't wait to get his service papers from Kew - they will give me so much extra information!

Also, because who he was, I am sure, picture of him must exist somewhere!

Have a good one guys,


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  • 3 months later...

Hi all,

I got his papers a long time back but haven't had time to look at them closely. Unfortunately no interesting facts. This poor officer was more sick and between medical boards then in France.

Entitled British War Medal and Victory Medal. Applied medals 29 April 1921.

Lived: 5 Sandycove Avenue, Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire), Ireland

Good moral character certificate when he wanted to become an officer was signed by Dublin Lord Mayor Sir James Gallagher (1915-1918).

During the war address on the service papers was given as Conyngham Road Parkgate Street, Dublin 8.

Arrived to 9th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers in France 27 July 1916.

Officers rejoining from Hospital 16 November 1916

Officers to Hospital Sick 26 November 1916

Rejoining from Hospital 11 December 1916

Officers to Hospital Sick 2 January 1917

During his time in the front line he saw some action on the Wytschaete Sector.

Operated in France on 1st and 2nd February 1917 for Appendicitis. Date of leaving unit from France 22 February 1917. Sick leave until 15 March 1917.

Unfit for General service from 30 April 1918. He was at this time attached to the 2nd Garrison Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers.

July 1918 he was still found unfit for general service.

Demobilization 8 January 1919 (LG 14 July 1920).



Rest I think I was able to capture from the Irish Times and other sources from Ancestry.

Still interesting medal with the Dublin famous OTC and Easter Rising "twist"! (BWM on the photo is replacement)


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