Some years ago, I came across the treasure trove of a website, Irish War Memorials. It records memorials to those who died in wars – not graves but a memorial to those who died in any war, anywhere, anytime. I have sent on photographs of a few that I have come across on my travels. On my journey home from West Cork yesterday, I came across another.
My intrigue started at St. Mary of the Rosary Church in Nenagh when I noted the memorial plaque to Capt. John Joseph McCormack. This was the first Catholic Church where I noted a War Memorial.
Since then, I have noted three stained glass memorials in Catholic Churches to Irish Republican war dead – Thomas M. Ashe; Frank O’ Grady; and, the Delany brothers, Con and Jerh.
Memorials in Catholic Churches to those who died fighting in World War I have been as scarce to my eyes – the Dodds in Killorglin; Sligo Cathedral; and, Church of Holy Name in Ranelagh.
Driving back after an early meeting yesterday, I took some time out to explore the cemetery and church at Enniskeane and read for the first time of Capt. Thomas J. Fehily. He is remembered in the centre window of the south transept at Enniskeane Parish Church.
- His brother was Dr Joseph Patrick Fehily who also served in WWI. They had a sister, Margaret, and their parents were Patrick Fehily and Margaret Dineen.
- The CWGC website notes that Capt. Thomas Fehily is commemorated at the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium
- From the National Archives, I purchased his medal record and discovered he entered the war in March 1915, first serving in Egypt
- He studied in Cork and Dublin and worked in Jervis Street. The RAMC website has a photograph – an image definitely heightens a search for me.
- His death was reported on 3rd May. My lunchtime was spent in Cork City Library Local Studies Section looking through the Cork Constitution of April and May 1918 but I failed to see any note of his death. A return visit beckons.
- He is listed in the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland Roll of Honour
- The Southern Star from 1942 mentions him but unable to access the webpage so another library search is on the cards
The medical flaks of Dr Patrick Joseph were sold on EBay in 2013
- The 1901 census has only one Thomas Fehily of 16 years of age, and he was a visitor to the Monaghan household on South Circular Road in Dublin
- The 1911 census has no 26 year old Thomas Fehily
- His brother Joseph Patrick was born in 1892
- There is only one 8 year old Joseph Fehily in the 1901 census. He was son of Patrick and Margaret (tick) and does have a sister Margaret (tick). His father was a general merchant. It appears that he was a builder too and roofed the church at Castletown-Kenneigh.
- The 1911 census has Joseph at 19 and a medical student, like his 21 year old brother, Eugene. His brother, 31 year old Patrick, was head of household and was a Hardware and Drapery Merchant. There is a photograph of the hardware shop and details of a publicity document online.
- The 1911 census does not appear to list a 70 year old Patrick or 60 year old Margaret Fehily so they may have passed away or emigrated by time of 1901 census
- The Bureau Of Military History witness statements record a Dr Fehily of Ballineen but indicates that he was elderly in 1918. His house was commandeered by Essex Regiment at one stage. He treated General Tom Barry who became ill after the retreat from Kilmichael.
- Page 234 of the Guys Directory for 1916 lists a Dr Eugene Fehily (possible tick) and Patrick Fehily as a Merchant, Draper and Builder (tick). Page 94 says Dr Eugene qualified in 1913 (tick).
Maybe the reference to elderly in BMH did not apply to Dr Fehily.
Maybe this is another family that served in the British Army in WWI and then sided with Republican Volunteers in War of Independence.
If the installation of the stained glass window was for Dr. Thomas J. Fehily to be brought to mind many years after his death, it succeeded in that objective yesterday.
Working in Rainhill may explain adsence from census.