Superb WW1 Collection of Items to O’Shea DCM Royal Munster Fusiliers.
A vast collection of personal items all belonging to 9487 Company Serjeant Major John O’Shea of the 1st battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers and later the East Yorkshire Regiment and Coventry Home Guard. Who was awarded the mentioned in dispatches and the DFC plus the 1914/15 star trio during the First World War.
Included here is his original R M F brass bedplate, trench art matchbox holder, with both the Musters and West Yorkshires badges. White metal topped Royal Munster Fusiliers swagger stick. Two crucifixes, one with beaded chain. Horn hafted pen knife, pocket watch or whistle chain, Warrant officer sleeve badge, Brass East Yorkshire regiment named desk plate. Various post WW1 and WW2 army booklets, 1930’s era Military Wrist Watch. Post WW1 wedding photo 6 East Yorkshire Regiment photographs. His 1918 Warrant promotion certificate. WW2 defence medal in named and addressed box of issue, Lieut J. J. 90 Morris Avenue, Wyken, Coventry, plus various other badges etc.
1st Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers were in Rangoon, Burma when war broke out in August 1914. They returned to Britain, landing at Avonmouth on the 10th of January 1915. They joined 86th Brigade, 29th Division at Coventry and on the 16th of March 1915 they sailed from Avonmouth for Gallipoli, via Alexandria and Mudros. They landed at Cape Helles on the 25th of April 1915 suffering heavy casualties and on the 30th of April they merged with the 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers forming a unit nick named the 'Dubsters'. They resumed their own identity on the 19th of May 1915. They were evacuated from Gallipoli in the first week of January, returning to Egypt. On the 13th of March 1916 they sailed from Port Said for Marseilles and travelled by train to the Somme. On the 25th of April 1916 they transferred to the Lines of Communication and on the 28th joined 48th Brigade, 16th (Irish) Division, absorbing the disbanded 9th Munsters. They were in action on the Somme during the Battle of Guillemont in which the Division captured the village and the Battle of Ginchy. On the 22nd of November 1916 they transferred to 47th Brigade, still with 16th (Irish) Division absorbing over 400 troops from the disbanding 8th Munsters. In 1917 they fought at the Battle of Messines and the Battle of Langemark, during the Third Battles of Ypres. At this point John O’Shea was a Serjeant with the 1st battalion Munsters and during the Battle of Langemark he was awarded the DCM. “for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in bombing and capturing and enemy post. He set a fine example of courage and coolness combined with sound judgment, and later he pushed forward and obtained valuable information enabling a trench to be captured and further facilitating the success of the advance.”
In 1918 they were in action on the Somme, suffering very heavy casualties. On the 19th of April they transferred to 172nd Brigade, 57th (2nd North Midland) Division absorbing the 2nd Munsters. They were in action during the Second Battles of Arras, the Battles of the Hindenburg Line, including assisting in the capture of Cambrai in October, The occupation of Lille and the Final Advance in Artois. At the Armistice the 57th Division was at rest in the eastern suburbs of Lille. They moved to Arras on the 21st of November to assist with the clear up and the Division was demobilised between March and July 1919.
After the war, John stayed in the army and was transferred to the 2nd Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment, he remained in the army till at least 1928, when he was married Edith and they had one daughter Molly and taking employment as a raw material stacker.
During the 2nd world war he was called upon once again and served with the Coventry Home Guard as a Lieutenant.
Loads more research is needed on this lot, a very long serving soldier who in the amidst of war proved himself to be gallant and unyielding in his courageousness against the enemy.
Also with this lot comes a little copied research. Medal index card, Citation for the DCM, London Gazette entry card, Census info etc.
Please also see a separate Nursing lot to his daughter Molly O’Shea, who was one of the first nurses working for the NHS after the war.