Commonwealth Wargraves in the Church of the Holy Rosary Graveyard, Midleton

We went to the main Catholic graveyard in Midleton to have a look at the Commonwealth Wargraves related to World War One and World War Two, and to see if we could find any details on the men themselves. Of course there are numerous military-related graves in the Church of the Holy Rosary cemetery, from the I.R.A. volunteers killed and executed following the Clonmult Ambush during the War of Independence, to veterans of the armies and navies of both Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Below are those men buried in Midleton who died while in British service, and who are recorded by the Commonwealth Wargraves Commission. We supply short biographies of each one, but are eager to uncover more detail on their lives from readers. One of these men, Tasmanian Ambrose Augustine Haley, will be the subject of a more detailed post over the weekend.

Shipwright 2nd Class William Froyne, HMS Roxburgh

William died of disease on 24th May 1915. He was 33 years of age and served aboard HMS Roxburgh, an armoured cruiser. He was the husband of Mary Froyne of 10 St. Mary’s Road, Midleton. William was originally from Kilmore, Co. Wexford, and had married Mary Ballick of Midleton.

Shipwright 2nd Class William Froyne, HMS Roxburgh

Shipwright 2nd Class William Froyne, HMS Roxvurgh

HMS Roxburgh (Image via Rootsweb)

William’s ship, HMS Roxburgh (Image via Rootsweb)

Mechanician Patrick Lynch, HMS Revenge

Patrick died at sea at the age of 35 on 10th November 1918, the day before the armistice. He was serving aboard the dreadnought HMS Revenge. Patrick was the husband of Norah Lynch of Avoncore Cottages in Midleton. He had been born in Carrigtohill on 28th December 1881.

Mechanician Patrick Lynch, HMS Revenge

Mechanician Patrick Lynch, HMS Revenge

Patrick's ship, HMS Revenge (Wikipedia)

Patrick’s ship, HMS Revenge (Image via Wikipedia)

Gunner Ambrose Augustine Haley, Australian Field Artillery

Ambrose died at the age of 26 on 25th December 1918. He was from Australia and served in the Australian Imperial Force. We have carried out research into Ambrose’s life, and what led to him being buried in East Cork. His story will be the subject of the next post on the site.

Gunner Ambrose Augustine Haley, Australian Field Artillery

Gunner Ambrose Augustine Haley, Australian Field Artillery

Able Seaman Peter O’Reilly, HMS Marlborough

Peter died of disease at the age of 30 on 12th February 1919. He was serving aboard the battleship HMS Marlborough. He was born in Killorglin, Co. Kerry; his father Edward was from Ballyera, Ballincurrig.

Able Seaman Peter O'Reilly, HMS Marlborough

Able Seaman Peter O’Reilly, HMS Marlborough

Peter's ship, HMS Marlborough (Image via Wikipedia)

Peter’s ship, HMS Marlborough (Image via Wikipedia)

Private Edward Hayes, 6th Connaught Rangers

Edward (sometimes referenced as Edmond) died at the age of 27 on 25th September 1919. He was the son of Mrs. Bridget Hayes, Upper Mill Road, Midleton. The 1901 Census showed that he grew up in Broomfield West with his mother Bridget, grandmother Norah O’Callaghan, aunt Julia, uncle Stephen and older brother Christopher. As yet we know little of Edward’s service. The 6th Connaughts served in France and Flanders with the 16th (Irish) Division from 1915-1918, taking particularly punishing casualties at engagments such as the German Kaiserslacht Offensive of March 1918.

Private Edward Hayes, 6th Connaught Rangers

Private Edward Hayes, 6th Connaught Rangers

Private William Bridgeman, Royal Army Ordnance Corps

William died on 26th October 1940. Born in Ireland, he lived in London before his enlistment. We currently know little regarding his service or death.

Private William Bridgeman, Royal Army Ordnance Corps

Private William Bridgeman, Royal Army Ordnance Corps

Sergeant Stephen Joseph Coleman, Royal Army Service Corps

Stephen died on 15th October 1942. He was 42 years of age and had also served in World War One. He was the son of Hannah Coleman of Midleton. We find them in the 1911 Census living at 5 Park Street, with Stephen’s father Thomas working as Town Watchman. Stephen was the eldest of six at the time; he had three younger sisters and two younger brothers. He served as a driver in the army.

Sergeant Stephen Joseph Coleman, Royal Army Service Corps

Sergeant Stephen Joseph Coleman, Royal Army Service Corps

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Categories: 20th Century, World War One | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Commonwealth Wargraves in the Church of the Holy Rosary Graveyard, Midleton

  1. Wonderful article on this particular subject, Damian. As you say, the Republican graves are well known – and unmissable, given the size of the Republican plot. But these other graves, especially the ones marked by a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone are scattered throughout the oldest section of the graveyard. I wonder if the gravestones were made by local craftsmen – the stone seems to be an Irish limestone.,

    • Hi Tony,

      Thanks! The stones are Irish limestone so you may well be right- you could spend hours in there just exploring all the different headstones and inscriptions! By the by, anyone interested in Midleton should check out Tony’s must-read blog Midleton with 1 ‘d’ at https://midletonwith1d.wordpress.com/ it is superb. Was really sorry to miss the Sean Horgan lecture last night, I was away in Roscommon. Hopefully he will give it again.

  2. Reblogged this on Midleton with 1 'd' and commented:
    Damian Shiels digs way again and comes up with another gem – the Commonwealth War Graves in Holy Rosary Cemetery in Midleton. These graves are scattered throughout the oldest section of the graveyard so they require a search to find them. Damian has done a lot to uncover the stories of men from Midleton involved in the Napoleonic War and World War I. He’s also an expert on the Irish in the American Civil War.

  3. Damian
    The depth of information available is far beyond what I believed was there. Thank you for dipping into it and giving us a sample. The cases of the poor Irish who ended up in the New York workhouse shows that there was a real danger in ending up in poverty, even in the land of opportunity. That is a side of the American tale not recounted too often.
    The fantastic photos and snippets of information to be found on the passport archive, is very interesting to read over 100 years later. KEEP IT UP
    Michael

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