Author Topic: Death Plaque of John Keegan  (Read 780 times)

Online macgormain

  • **
  • Posts: 38
Death Plaque of John Keegan
« on: May 07, 2021, 11:57:37 PM »
Post on the Facebook “We Grew Up in Manchester” site today concerning the death plaque of John Keegan. It was bought some years ago I think and the owner is trying to reunite the plaque with the family. One possibility is a Private John Keegan, 1/5th Battn, Manchester Regiment who died in 1917. Any help much appreciated. Photo of plaque attached.
Pte John Gorman, 9320, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt, DoW, 26.08.14
Pte Christopher Gorman, 2408, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt
WO II Thomas Gorman MM, 13649, LXXVI Bde, RFA
Pte John Oldham, 2710, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt, DoW, 18.05.15
Pte Frank Meredith, 4773, 2 Bn. Border Regt, KIA, 16.05.15

Offline mack

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,723
Re: Death Plaque of John Keegan
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2021, 11:39:40 AM »
hiya mike
it could be pte 9936 john keegan
1st lancs fusiliers
killed at gallipoli 21-8-15
lived in chorlton on medlock
common law wife elizabeth hutchinson

201398 john keegan
15th manchesters
17 knowles st,platt bridge,wigan
parents james+mary
worked for wigan coal+iron coy
aged 29
gravely wounded in the spine after being shot through the abdomen,died a hour later,the padre was with him when he died

mack

Online macgormain

  • **
  • Posts: 38
Re: Death Plaque of John Keegan
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2021, 01:02:45 PM »
Thanks Mack - I have passed the information on to the owner - Pamela Evans. I presume they didn't put the service number on the Death Plaque?

BTW - CWGC has 201398 John Keegan with 1st/5th Bn. (Buried at Zuydcoote Military Cemetery).

Pte John Gorman, 9320, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt, DoW, 26.08.14
Pte Christopher Gorman, 2408, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt
WO II Thomas Gorman MM, 13649, LXXVI Bde, RFA
Pte John Oldham, 2710, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt, DoW, 18.05.15
Pte Frank Meredith, 4773, 2 Bn. Border Regt, KIA, 16.05.15

Offline Pete Th

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,714
Re: Death Plaque of John Keegan
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2021, 10:24:28 AM »
Thanks Mack - I have passed the information on to the owner - Pamela Evans. I presume they didn't put the service number on the Death Plaque?

The plaques didn’t have any other identifier than the name, e.g. there will be multiple John Smiths. The plaques were accompanied by a scroll that identified the name, rank and regiment, plus a printed letter from the King. The following website explains:

https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/first-world-war-next-of-kin-plaque

I have the scroll, King’s letter and medals (plus lots of original documents) for my great uncle but not the plaque.
Remembering

Pte Sidney Lee (36719), 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regt - dow 18.02.17
Sgt Charles Roberts (13668), 11th Bn, Manchester Regiment - kia 18.05.18
Bombardier John Hesford (70065), 147th Heavy Battery, RGA dow - 04.09.18
Pte Sidney Lee (4131324), 8th Bn, Cheshire Regiment -  kia 12.03.41

Online macgormain

  • **
  • Posts: 38
Re: Death Plaque of John Keegan
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2021, 12:03:45 PM »
Many thanks Pete. Pamela got back to me to say there was a number - 29 - on the plaque. I presume this has nothing to do with the service number - or the age of the soldier - the John Keegan from Wigan was 29 when he died of wounds?
Pte John Gorman, 9320, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt, DoW, 26.08.14
Pte Christopher Gorman, 2408, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt
WO II Thomas Gorman MM, 13649, LXXVI Bde, RFA
Pte John Oldham, 2710, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt, DoW, 18.05.15
Pte Frank Meredith, 4773, 2 Bn. Border Regt, KIA, 16.05.15

Offline Pete Th

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,714
Re: Death Plaque of John Keegan
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2021, 12:32:09 PM »
Many thanks Pete. Pamela got back to me to say there was a number - 29 - on the plaque. I presume this has nothing to do with the service number - or the age of the soldier - the John Keegan from Wigan was 29 when he died of wounds?

Sorry, the 29 will be to do with manufacturing process, not the serviceman.
Remembering

Pte Sidney Lee (36719), 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regt - dow 18.02.17
Sgt Charles Roberts (13668), 11th Bn, Manchester Regiment - kia 18.05.18
Bombardier John Hesford (70065), 147th Heavy Battery, RGA dow - 04.09.18
Pte Sidney Lee (4131324), 8th Bn, Cheshire Regiment -  kia 12.03.41

Online macgormain

  • **
  • Posts: 38
Re: Death Plaque of John Keegan
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2021, 12:48:48 PM »
Thanks Pete - thought that might be a long shot. I have checked all the John Keegan's who died in WW1 on the Ancestry website (screenshot attached). Given that Pamela bought the Plaque in Manchester and there is only one JK who came from the area (Wigan) - and in Manchester Regiment - do you think it's reasonable to assume it must be him? (I'm trying to check if his grandsons settled in Manchester area).
Pte John Gorman, 9320, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt, DoW, 26.08.14
Pte Christopher Gorman, 2408, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt
WO II Thomas Gorman MM, 13649, LXXVI Bde, RFA
Pte John Oldham, 2710, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt, DoW, 18.05.15
Pte Frank Meredith, 4773, 2 Bn. Border Regt, KIA, 16.05.15

Offline Pete Th

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,714
Re: Death Plaque of John Keegan
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2021, 02:20:49 PM »
It's reasonable, however the plaque could have traveled all around the UK and/or Ireland n the past 100 years. Therefore you'll never be 100% certain. Any relative of the listed John Keegan's would be happy to claim it as their own.

Hope this helps.

Pete
Remembering

Pte Sidney Lee (36719), 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regt - dow 18.02.17
Sgt Charles Roberts (13668), 11th Bn, Manchester Regiment - kia 18.05.18
Bombardier John Hesford (70065), 147th Heavy Battery, RGA dow - 04.09.18
Pte Sidney Lee (4131324), 8th Bn, Cheshire Regiment -  kia 12.03.41

Offline mack

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,723
Re: Death Plaque of John Keegan
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2021, 09:11:56 AM »
the number 29 behind the lions paw means it was probably made at the acton factory,they only produced about 200,000 plaques,another source say 300.000 but this has been assessed as too high,those produced at woolwich have a WA stamped on the back,nearly all those who died were killed in 1917 or 1918 apart from one who died on 1st july,9936 john keegan died in august 1915

mack

Online macgormain

  • **
  • Posts: 38
Re: Death Plaque of John Keegan
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2021, 01:57:50 PM »
Thanks again Mack - just read some posts about the Plaques on the Great War Forum - very complicated!

Here's a post, by 303Man, from 16 Feb 2016:

"These are all Acton Plaque reference Numbers:
3045 KIA OCT 14
70292 KIA 1915
75769 KIA 1917
88028 KIA 1916
142154 KIA 1918
151362 KIA 1916
162756 DIED 1919
171952 DIED 1917
176668 DIED 1916
177040 DIED 1916
178958 DIED 1917
181060 DIED 1917
189261 DIED 1917
214845 KIA 1918
224744 KIA 1916
302688 KIA 1915
​As you can see they do not follow numerically by date of death, There must have been a system for the allocation and production of these numbers, I have the regulations regarding issue of the plaques and it mentions allocation of Reference numbers to sheets. I believe the sheets were prepared by Regimental record offices and then submitted, remember some soldiers were missing presumed killed and boards of enquiry were held to establish this, the passage of time would have created overlap and an early casualty's plaque being submitted later on with later casualties."

It also appears the number "29" behind the left ankle refers to the mould used in casting the plaque.

Very hard to see how we can, with any certainty, narrow down Pamela's plaque to John Keegan from Wigan - although the circumstantial evidence seems to point in his direction.

Pte John Gorman, 9320, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt, DoW, 26.08.14
Pte Christopher Gorman, 2408, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt
WO II Thomas Gorman MM, 13649, LXXVI Bde, RFA
Pte John Oldham, 2710, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt, DoW, 18.05.15
Pte Frank Meredith, 4773, 2 Bn. Border Regt, KIA, 16.05.15

Offline mack

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,723
Re: Death Plaque of John Keegan
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2021, 07:52:58 PM »
hiya mike
9936 john keegan was from manchester

mack

Online macgormain

  • **
  • Posts: 38
Re: Death Plaque of John Keegan
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2021, 08:43:03 PM »
Mack and Pete - thanks for all help with this. I given the info to Pamela and I think she realises it is a bit of a needle in a haystack so she is going to sit tight. She bought the plaque on the market in Grey Mare Lane about 50 years ago - but as Pete says it could have washed up there from many places. It would have been nice to reunite the plaque with the family but too many obstacles here. Thanks again - M
Pte John Gorman, 9320, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt, DoW, 26.08.14
Pte Christopher Gorman, 2408, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt
WO II Thomas Gorman MM, 13649, LXXVI Bde, RFA
Pte John Oldham, 2710, 2 Bn. Manchester Regt, DoW, 18.05.15
Pte Frank Meredith, 4773, 2 Bn. Border Regt, KIA, 16.05.15