Author Topic: John O'Brien  (Read 6121 times)

Offline obby62

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John O'Brien
« on: November 07, 2008, 06:01:07 PM »
Hi

I spent endless hours a few years ago surfing the net trying to find info about my grandfather which proved both frustrating and fruitless
I'm trying again my renewed interest prompted by the upcoming anniversary
My father died back in 1982 and my information is sparse
What I do know is
His name is John O'Brien (I think his middle name is Thomas)
He was born in Ireland c.1883 (Waterford?)
Served in the Boer War my father said he was at Ladysmith
Re enlisted during WW1 was wounded in action suffering exposure (stuck in no man's land)
His rank was Private
I've visited various sites and found J O'Brien's but after paying to download several which were obviously not him it was becoming an expensive failure
I tried emailing the Regimental museum and was informed that they only have officer's records
That certainly came as no surprise after reading the history of the Boer War and the insane tactics of the officer's who regarded the enlisted men as canon fodder
My father was 11 when his father died and he told me that the family had a greengrocer's shop in Salford
His recollection was of his father day after day sitting in the back of the shop drinking which contributed to his death at the age of 39
Maybe a man traumatised with shell shock will never know
Any help or tips anybody please
Thanks
Brian
« Last Edit: November 07, 2008, 09:10:57 PM by harribobs »

Offline harribobs

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Re: John O'Brien
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2008, 09:13:41 PM »
Hi Brian

i have moved your post over to the Boer War section to see if we can find him there first

do you have an address for the shop in salford?

cheers

chris
“It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply
  to serve as a warning to others."

Offline obby62

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Re: John O'Brien
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2008, 05:40:23 PM »
Hi Chris

Thank you for your help

No address I'm afraid just a vague recollection of my father pointing to a road and saying he lived there or off there

It was Regent Rd I think

Not much help I'm afraid

Brian

liverpool annie

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Re: John O'Brien
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2008, 09:06:56 PM »


Hi Brian and welcome to the Forum !!  :)

Can't answer your question I'm afraid ... but thought maybe you'd be interested in some "extra " padding !!

http://www.angloboerwar.com/units%20imperial/manchester_regt.htm

Annie  :)

liverpool annie

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Re: John O'Brien
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2008, 09:18:32 PM »


I found 13 John O'Briens in the Manchester Regiment in the medal cards .... and a few in the Pension records ...

Any chance you could remember anything else Brian ... maybe family stories to give some clues ??

Annie  :)

Offline obby62

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Re: John O'Brien
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2008, 02:15:16 PM »
Hi Annie

Thanks for that
The Boer War notes only mention the 1st Manchester's present at Ladysmith but the 2nd's were part of the relief force
In a previous search I found a listing for a J O'Brien 2nd Manchester F battalion who was wounded in action
But that was it no other details
If he was the only J O'Brien wia then I imagine that would have to be him
Do medal cards show any information other than name rank and serial number?

Thanks

Brian

ladysmith

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Re: John O'Brien
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2008, 12:44:02 PM »
Hi Brian - Do you know for sure that your man was in the Manchesters? There is a P. O'Brien on the 1st Battalion roll and that's all. The 1st Battalion was, as you say, involved in the Defefnce of Ladysmith but the 2nd Battalion wasn't in the Natal theatre at all. However, about 130 detached men from the 1st Battalion were involved in the operations to relieve Ladysmith.

I've come across a number of family snippets of a man 'being in Ladysmith' but these could mean he was in the defence, in the relief force or in the Ladysmith garrison after the relief.

There were many units involved in the defence and relief of Ladysmith but as he doesn't appear on the medal roll of 1/Manchesters this strongly suggests he was in another regiment.

Regards, David


Offline obby62

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Re: John O'Brien
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2008, 12:15:06 AM »
Hi David
Thanks for your time I'm beginning to believe I'm fated never to find him
My father definitely said he was at Ladysmith
This prompted me to read up on the Boer War and I'm sure that it said that the 2nd Manchester's were there
I'm not sure if they were part of the relief force or after it but again I remember reading the actual dead wounded and sick numbers for the 2 regiments
The 1st's suffered more casualties because they went through the siege the 2nd's lost a few men in combat they mainly suffered illness
I did once come across a J T O'Brien 2nd battalion F Co. wounded in action WW1 (his middle name was Thomas) I think on the online records held at Kew
I thought that may well be him but it was several years ago and I have never been able to find it again!
Regards
Brian

ladysmith

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Re: John O'Brien
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2008, 07:39:04 AM »
Hi Brian - I can confirm that the 2nd Manchesters weren't at Ladysmith or indeed anywhere in the Natal campaign at all. They arrived at Cape Town 6/4/1900, some 5 weeks after Ladysmith was relieved, and operated in the Orange Free State and Transvaal.

The only way to verify if he was in the 2nd (or any other battalion) Manchesters is to check, or have someone check for you, the QSA Medal rolls at the National Archives. I have the 1st Battalion roll but not the 2nd. The Manchester Regiment QSA rolls are in series WO 100/198.

Regards, David

sphinx

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Re: John O'Brien
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2008, 08:01:15 PM »
Private 4856 J.T. O'Brien served in S.Africa with the 2nd Bn. The Manchester Regiment.

He earned the QSA with clasps Wittebergan, Cape Colony and Transvaal.
Doubtless also awarded the KSA with clasps S.Africa 1901 and 1902.

Offline obby62

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Re: John O'Brien
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2008, 09:43:46 PM »
Ladysmith and Sphinx

Thanks to you both for your help

Ladysmith

My memory of the book I read must be suspect!

Sphinx

Hopefully he's my grandfather I'll investigate further

If he's the same man wia WW1 it's very likely he's the man

Another question do you know if a man who re enlists is allocated the same regimental number?

Thanks

Brian


sphinx

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Re: John O'Brien
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2008, 10:32:58 PM »
Brian,

As a regular soldier serving with the colours he would have transfered to the Army Reserve for 5 years and retained his number.  Those soldiers recalled to the colours on the outbreak of War, served in the same Regiment and Battalion with the same service number.

If his time in the reserve had expired and he rejoined on his own volition he could join any regiment and get any number, including if he rejoined the Manchesters.

regards