Author Topic: Bernard J Fagan, trying to sketch his army career  (Read 1184 times)

Offline ourgang

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Bernard J Fagan, trying to sketch his army career
« on: Tuesday 27 December 16 16:45 GMT (UK) »
Today I have decided to start a project! My husband's grandfather was in the British Army but I have no idea of when and where. Where is the best place to start?.

What I know is Bernard Joseph Fagan was born in October 1874 unsure of where. His Irish family could have been living in London or Belfast at that time.His father served as a doctor at the Belfast Royal Hospital from 1876-1897.

I know he was in India I found him there in the 1911English census at Bairds Barracks Bangalore/Overseas Military. His daughter was born in 1915 in Mauritius (but it could be that the wives went there for safety during the war). A letter folder of his has 2 Madras Lancers on it.Though for some reason I thought he was in the Dublin Fusiliers!He could have been injured in WW1 as family lore referred to injuries. His final rank was Colonel.

I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew!!
McGuirk, Jordan of Wicklow
Carr of Liverpool
Connor of Blackrock

Offline MaxD

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Re: Bernard J Fagan, trying to sketch his army career
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 27 December 16 17:58 GMT (UK) »
Starter for ten - quick first look finds a number of entries for what must be him in the London Gazette showing various steps of his career from 1895 when he passed out as cadet and gained a commission in the Royal Munster Fusiliers via 1904 when he had already transferred to the Indian Army and was already a Lieutenant in the 63rd Palamcottah Light Infantry becoming Captain then 1913 now in the 17th Infantry (The Loyal Regiment) (Indian Army) becoming Major then 1917 awarded the Croix de Guerre the 1918 as Temporary Lieut Col awarded the DSO.
Medal card for him at the National Archives.  Referes to service with 17th Regt whose war can be established.
Arrived in India 27 Nov 1899 as Lieut
So lots of building blocks to start with so complicated and perhaps long winded!

No more time just now.

maxD

Need more time
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Offline Sinann

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Re: Bernard J Fagan, trying to sketch his army career
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 27 December 16 18:44 GMT (UK) »
He was born Belfast 18 Oct 1874 Registered 1875 so search result is 1875.
You can view an image of the registration (free)
http://www.rootschat.com/links/01j5h/


Offline Telinlethaed

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Re: Bernard J Fagan, trying to sketch his army career
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 27 December 16 19:02 GMT (UK) »
Hart's Annual Army List
1908: Bernard Joseph Fagan, Captain, Indian Army (63rd Light Infantry)
Previously in the Munster Fusiliers.
2nd Lieutenant: 06 Mar 1895
Lieutenant: 30 Sept 1897
Captain: 06 Mar 1904

++++++++++++++++

UK Britiah Army Lists, 1882-1964
1912 list of Captains in the Indian Army, birthdate: 08 Oct 1874

++

Bernard Joseph Fagan
Born on 08 Oct 1874 in Ireland to John & Mary Catherine (Hughes) Fagan

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Irish Catholic Parish Registers
Church: St. Mary's, Belfast City, Antrim, Ireland
Bernard Joseph Hughes Fagin
Birth: 08 Oct 1874
Father: John Fagin
Mother: Mary Catherine Hughes
Residence: College Square
Baptized: 14 Oct 1874
Godparents: Thomas & Mary McCaffrey

++

India, Select Marriages
Bernard Joseph Fagan, male, single, 38 years old, born in 1874
Marriage Date: 11 Nov 1912
Marriage Place: Calcutta, Bengal, India
Father: John Fagan
Spouse: K. Mary Teresa Irvine

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Indian Army Quarterly List for 1 Jan 1912
Bernard Joseph Fagan
Born: 08 Oct 1874
First Commission Date: 06 Mar 1895
17th Infantry
Rank: Captain
Company: British Officers of the Indian Army

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British Army List of 1916
Bernard Joseph Fagan
Born: 08 Oct 1874
Regiment: Royal Munster Fusiliers
Rank: Major

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British Army List for 1917
Bernard Joseph Fagan
08 Oct 1874
Major in the Indian Army

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British Army List for 1912
Captain in the Indian Army

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British Army List for 1902
Lieutenant in the Royal Munster Fusiliers

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British Army List for 1915
Major in the Indian Army

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British Army List for 1902
Lieutenant in the Royal Munster Fusiliers

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31 Aug 1917
Awarded the "Crois de Guerre" as a Major in the Indian Army

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"Gentleman Cadet Bernard Joseph Fagan, from the Royal Military College, to be 2nd Lieutenant (Royal Munster Fusiliers)."

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Belfast News-Letter, 06 Oct 1938, page 6
Sir John Fagan
A correspondent writes: Your mention of Sir John Fagan, father of Mr. J.B. Fagan, reminds me of a chat I had with Sir Frank Benson when he visited Belfast some years ago. Sir Frank told me that he became acquainted with Sir John when Lawrence Irving, a member of Sir Frank's company and a relative of Sir Henry Irving, met with a serious accident in Belfast. "Fagan and Sinclair (whom I took to be Colonel Sinclair) saved young Irving's life," said Sir Frank. When J.B. Fagan decided to go on the stage and joined Sir Frank's company, Sir John was far from pleased. "It will break your mother's heart," he said. But both parents lived to be proud of their son's achievements in the world of drama. Another son, Lieuteuant Colonel Bernard Joseph Fagan, is still living. He retired from the Army in 1920.

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Belfast News-Letter, 05 Jan 1939, page 6

LIEUT.-COL. B.J. FAGAN
Belfast-born Officer Who Took Up Beet Farming
Lieut-Colonel B.J. Fagan, DSO, son of Sir John Fagan, a well-known surgeon, and brother of the late Mr. J.B. Fagan, the playwright, has died ta Killiney, Co. Dublin.

Lieut-colonel Fagan, who was born in Belfast in 1874, was educated at the Methodist College, Belfast: Clongowes Wood College, and at Sandhurst. He joined the Indian Army, and in the Great War served in East Africa and Palestine. He was awarded the DSO and the Cruix de Guerre.

In Palestine he was severely wounded and subsequently he was invalided from the Service, from which he retired in 1920. On his return to Ireland, he went infor farming at Ballybrittas, Queen's County, and took a deep interest in the sugar-beet industry.

Colonel Fagan's father, Sir John, was Inspector of Industrial Schools and a member of the Prisons Board. He was consulting surgeon to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, and the Children's Hospital, the located in Queen Street. Sir John's dramatist son, J.B. Fagan, founded the Oxford Repertory Theatre.

Another newspaper obit says that he died "at his residence, Reen-a-Vanna, Glenaluh Road, Killiney".
++

In September 1911, Captain Fagan and Miss Irvine were listed in the Open Mixed Foursomes (themselves as a duo) for Malone Golf Club. They golfed before they married! Wonder if that's how they met . . . hmm . . . (Follow-up: they were beat by the other pair.)

++

Belfast News-Letter, 03 Dec 912, page 1
MARRIAGES
FAGAN-IRVINE
November 11th, 1912, at the Roman Catholic Church, Calcutta, Captain B.J. Fagan, 17th Infantry, Indian Army, second son of Sir John Fagan, Graigue-a-Verne, County Kildare, to Kathleen, daughter of John R. Gerard Irvine, Dunsona, Derryvolgie, Belfast.

Offline MaxD

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Re: Bernard J Fagan, trying to sketch his army career
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 27 December 16 19:21 GMT (UK) »
Well done Telinlethaed.

See also the National Archives guide to Indian Army officers http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/indian-army-personnel/ (scroll down to Indian Army Service Records) which suggests the British Library for service records which should add to the valuable building blocks provided from Army lists  etc by Tel....

Another source is FIBIS http://www.fibis.org/

Good luck!

maxD
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Offline ourgang

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Re: Bernard J Fagan, trying to sketch his army career
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 27 December 16 23:27 GMT (UK) »
What can I say?
Thank you so much MaxD, Telinlethaed and Sinann. This is wonderful. We really had no knowledge of his career. You have done all the work for me !It will take me some days to let this all sink in.
McGuirk, Jordan of Wicklow
Carr of Liverpool
Connor of Blackrock

Offline MaxD

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Re: Bernard J Fagan, trying to sketch his army career
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 28 December 16 09:37 GMT (UK) »
You are most welcome!

Indian Army lists, in which, with a lot of patience waiting for downloads, you could trace him from one Indian Regiment to another after arrival in India in 1899, are at http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Indian_Army_List_online

More things to delve into at http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Category:Military

In the Great War he was serving in the 17th Infantry (The Loyal Regiment).  Very useful guide here which will take you to the war diaries, some of which are digitised and downloadable for 3.45 each.

I have sent a PM

maxD
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Offline ourgang

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Re: Bernard J Fagan, trying to sketch his army career
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 28 December 16 11:23 GMT (UK) »
Thank you MaxD,

Ha, little did I know what I was letting myself in for when I offered to help my husband. As usual Rootschat has come up with wonderful researchers and kind, generous people willing to share their knowledge.

Thank you again MaxD for the further links...a new project for my retirement!!
I really appreciate all this help because last evening all I had was Bernard's name and the fact that he was in the army.
McGuirk, Jordan of Wicklow
Carr of Liverpool
Connor of Blackrock

Offline AM77

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Re: Bernard J Fagan, trying to sketch his army career
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 25 October 18 07:21 BST (UK) »
Lt Col. BJ Fagan commanded the 17th Infantry alongside the South African Cape Corps in the assault on Wye Hill, near Jerusalem, as part of General Allenby's 1916 Middle Eastern Campaign.  Here is some text from "The Story of the 1st Battalion Cape Corps, 1915-1919" by Ivor Difford (p207), which explains his pivotal role in that victory, and the circumstances of his becoming wounded (note, he had not yet been awarded his DSO at the time of this action):

"The approach to Wye Hill was most precipitous, and today one wonders how we reached the top. Consequent upon this fact a short delay was necessary in order to enable the slowest of the men to catch up to the more vigorous. Colonel Fagan, D.S.O., in command of the 17th Infantry, rightly decided, therefore, to delay calling for the barrage until such time as he was sure that the whole brigade was up the hill and closed up. At 10 p.m. (zero hour) he asked for the barrage and after twenty minutes bombardment of Wye Works his battalion attacked with great dash and took the position in a few minutes. Colonel Fagan and his regiment were under machine and rifle fire the whole time and took eighty odd casualties in capturing the hill (including Colonel Fagan himself) which they did at the point of the bayonet, capturing forty or fifty prisoners and seven machine guns."