Author Topic: John Thomas O'Brien  (Read 5513 times)

IanC

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John Thomas O'Brien
« on: January 22, 2013, 04:54:23 AM »
Greetings all,

Hope you guys and gals can solve another mystery for me like you did with my grandfather - James Henry Cropper.

This time it's his brother-in-law - John Thomas O'Brien - I'm interested in. When James enlisted with the Manchesters in 1898 he was living with John O'Brien and his wife Emma (James' sister). I suspect given that John was already in the Manchesters was the reason my grandfather enlisted in the first place.

The first clue came out of the 1901 census when it showed that Emma was listed as head of the house and also still married. I suspect this is because John was in South Africa with the Manchesters at this time. My best guess is that 1901 also coincided with John's 10th year of service.
 
John Thomas O�Brien re-enlisted in the army at the outbreak of WW1. The records show that he joined the Army Reserve (Special Reservists) on September 1, 1914. It is this document that confirms John�s 10 year stint in the 1st Battalion of the Manchester Regiment (10 years - time expired).

John is described as 38 years of age � but he�s more likely to be 41 in 1914 � and a labourer by trade. His service number on re-enlistment is 2861 and he�s assigned to the South Lancashire Regiment. Early in the piece, his record shows that he qualified as a �first class shot in the Part III general musketry course�. Later in the war, he transfers to the Royal Engineers.

He served for four years and 188 days, leaving the army on March 7, 1919.

While I've managed to uncover some of John's service history during WWI, it's his time in the Manchesters that continues to elude me.

If there is anyone who can provide me details about his service at home and abroad, rank and his awards, it would be much appreciated.

As a postcript, there's also a certain poignancy about the lives of James Henry Cropper and certain mystery concerning John Thomas O'Brien.

In my own mind, I see these two as not just brothers-in-law but great mates.

My grandfather died in 1930 at the age of 50 as a consequence of being gassed in France. John Thomas O'Brien died in 1922 at the age of 49 also as a consequence of gassing - even though his military record says he wasn't posted overseas during the conflict. Can't get to the bottom of the latter issue - lots of correspondence about him not being posted overseas. So how was he gassed? An accident back in Blighty? Or just the military not recording the facts?

Regards,

Ian Cropper
« Last Edit: March 06, 2017, 06:13:29 PM by timberman »

Offline tonyrod

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Re: John Thomas O'Brien
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 08:43:09 AM »
HI IAN,  could this be his medal card,
Medal card of O'Brien, John T Corps:
 Liverpool Regiment Regiment No: 74117 Rank: Corporal...
Corporal South Lancashire Regiment 2861
 Corporal Labour Corps 49501
Corporal Royal Engineers 36768 (incomplete) Corporal. ...
Collection:Records created or inherited by the War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General, and related bodiesDate range: 01 January 1914 - 31 December 1920
Reference:WO 372/15/23297Subjects:Medals,
 Armed Forces (General), Army, Operations, battles and campaigns, Conflict

Offline themonsstar

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Re: John Thomas O'Brien
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2013, 10:03:03 AM »
His service overseas was with the Kings Liverpool Regt Labour Battalion dates with the BEF 16th March 1917-12th March 1918 (he was Gassed)

In April 1917 the Labour Corps with units like the KLR  was formed from it.


83rd Coy

   Formed as 18th Labour Company King’s Liverpool Regiment
17 Mar 17    Arrived France 3 Officers & 495 ORs
19 Apr 17   18 Coy Liverpools (83 Coy) – move BEAUMONT HAMEL to MIRAUMONT for roadwork – 5th Army Diary
15 Jun 17   Capt B J Francis – tos OC – 36 Gp Diary
17 Aug 17   Sos from 36 Gp (Gp HQ at POZIERES) – 36 Gp Diary
17 Aug 17   83 Coy – sos from 36 Gp to 5th Army – 3rd Army Diary
18 Aug 17   Tos HOPOUTRE (37 Gp) and camped – 37 Gp Diary
18 Aug 17   83 Coy – tos from 3rd Army 37 Gp (II Corps) – ADLR – 5th Army Diary
27 Aug 17   Army Work – ADLR – 12, 33, 83 & 118 Coys and 57 Coy CLC – 5th Army Diary
5 Sep 17   II Corps Labour Units tos by 5th Army: - 2nd Army Diary
12, 29 & 37 Gps - 8, 12, 28, 33, 51, 61, 83, 93, 114, 118, 123, 143, 151, 168 & 185 Coys
40, 41, 54 & 57 Coys CLC
9 Sep 17   2 ORs killed & 5 wounded near DICKEBUSCH due to heavy shelling – working on railways – 37 Gp Diary
27 Sep 17   20 ORs – tos – 37 Gp Diary
27 Nov 17   83 Coy – tos from II ANZAC Corps – IX Corps Diary
25 Jan 18   83 Coy – tos HAM (37 Gp) – lt rail, 1 pl to BEAUVOIS, HQ & 1 pl at ST SIMON and 1 pl GRAND SEAUCOURT, rest at HAM, – XVIII Corps Diary
31 Jan 18   XVIII Corps: (7 white, 2 CLC) – 5th Army Diary
37 Gp (HAMM) – 16, 28, 45, 83, 193, 717 & 718 Coys and 127 & 131 Coys CLC
17 Feb 18   Reorganisation: – XVIII Corps Diary
37 Gp – 28, 45, 83, 193, 714, 717 & 718 Coys
26 Feb 18   HQ 28 Gp – tos VERT GALANT from CURCHY and takes over the following units: 28, 45, 83, 193, 714, 717 & 718 Coys – XVIII Corps Diary
28 Feb 18   XVIII Corps: (9 white, 3 CLC, 2 Area) – 5th Army Diary
37 Gp (FLUQUIERES) – 28, 45, 83, 193, 714, 717 & 718 Coys
14 Mar 18   1 pl 83 Coy – HAM – XVIII Corps Diary
23 Mar 18   7.30 p.m. – 83 & 90 Coys – urgent tasking 150 men to ROYE station to unload ammo  and 100 men to dump at CARRE-PUITS to unload lorries – XVIII Corps Diary
6 Apr 18   Units: 18 Gp - 33, 83,  88 & 708 Coys – III Corps Diary
26 Apr 18   61 Gp (21, 83, 162, 187, 708, 709 & 714 Coys) – sos to III Corps – ANZAC Corps Diary
28 Apr 18   Sos to Australian Corps – III Corps Diary
18 Jul 18   83 & 90 Coys – LONGEAU siding – ANZAC Corps Diary
5 Aug 18   61 Gp (inc 34, 83, 114, 193 & 708 Coys) – sos to Canadian Corps – ANZAC Corps Diary
6 Aug 18   61 Gp (34, 83, 114, 193 & 708 Coys) – tos – Canadian Corps Diary
22 Aug 18   61 Gp – 49, 74, 83, 86, 114, 160 & 708 Coys and 73 Coy CLC and 1 & 2 Canadian Bns – sos to Australian Corps – Canadian Corps Diary
23 Aug 18   61 Gp – 49, 74, 83, 114, 160 & 708 Coys and 73 & 115 Coys CL:C and 1 & 2 Canadian Works Bns – ANZAC Corps Diary
30 Aug 18   83 & 114 Coys (4th Army) B Gauge rail at LA FLAQUE – GHQ Diary
4 Sep 18   83 Coy – sos to III Corps – ANZAC Corps Diary
12 Oct 18   83, 103, 727 & ? Coys – in Corps – XIII Corps Diary
28 Nov 18   Tos WASSIGNY from 4th Army – 3rd Army Diary


After being Gassed he was back home serving with 566 Coy Labour Coy which was a Home service company. He was then posted to the RE at Gosport with a Searchlight unit.


He was issue the British War Medal & Victory Medals
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 10:04:45 AM by themonsstar »

Online mack

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Re: John Thomas O'Brien
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2013, 12:02:04 PM »
he was awarded the QSA medal,clasps wittenberg,cape colony and transvaal and KSA medal,clasps 1901+1902
served in south africa with the 2nd manchesters as 4856 john,thomas o'brien
he contracted lobar pneumonia and died of heart failure on 30th sept 1922.

mack ;D

IanC

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Re: John Thomas O'Brien
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 07:07:19 AM »
Just a quick note to thank you all for the information you provided on John Thomas O'Brien. It certainly solves the mystery of his war service and continues to flesh out the family history.

Cheers,

IanC

Offline obby62

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Re: John Thomas O'Brien
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2016, 04:24:58 PM »
Hello Ian C
Came across your messages I think James Thomas O'Brien was my grandfather
I scoured the internet a few years ago without any luck but this seems promising
My father was George William O'Brien son of James and Emily nee Cropper
I remember my father telling me that when his father died he was sat on his bed
He was 11 which ties in with his father's death 1922
He said that he remembered his father as having red hair when he woke up in the morning he would go into the backyard put his head under the cold water tap irrespective of the weather, might explain his death from pneumonia
Is he the same man?
Regards
Brian