Author Topic: Help identifying Wigan soldier in WWI postcard  (Read 683 times)

Offline Rosalinda Jones

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Help identifying Wigan soldier in WWI postcard
« on: Sunday 14 May 17 22:15 BST (UK) »
I am trying to confirm the identity of a young soldier in the attached photo postcard.

The lad standing is my great-great-uncle, John Henry (Harry) Jones, from Ince in Wigan, who died at Gallipoli in August 1915, aged 20. We've long wondered who the other young man is, but after some digging I believe him to be John Mahoney, born 1898 in Ince, killed in action in France, 1916. The back of the photo identifies Harry, but not his friend.

Both signed up at the same recruiting office in Wigan on the same day, and their service numbers are only one digit different. John's service record is in Ancestry, and the physical description could fit.

His mother was Selina (nee Heath), mn. Walker, then McNalley, then Mahoney. She had children Arthur, Sarah, Selina, Isaiah, Clara, Richard and John, by her three husbands, primarily in Stoke-on-Trent, then Wigan. In a strange coincidence, Isaiah was killed at Gallipoli on the same day as Harry.

I know it's a massively long shot, but I was wondering if anyone from the Ince area might know of this family, be descended from John's siblings, or know of any local papers that may have mentioned him as he was posthumously awarded the DCM.

The postcard is in a special frame with our own pictures, and we like to think we've adopted 'John' and his memory alongside Harry's, in case there is no one else left to remember him, but we'd love to share the picture if we can.

Thank you!

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline MaxD

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,845
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Help identifying Wigan soldier in WWI postcard
« Reply #1 on: Monday 15 May 17 10:12 BST (UK) »
His record has a note suggesting that the (posthumous, so presumably to his parents) presentation of his DCM would be made on 8th August (the year is missing but the enquiry from the War Office asking about the event refers to letters of 11 and 17 Jul 1917).

His record also gives his next of kin as his mother Selina Mahoney of 303 Warrington Road Wigan and names a half brother Arthur Walker of the same address.  The Register of Solders' Effects gives a long list of other half sisters and brothers :

Richard McNally
Sarah McNally
Clara McNally
Lucy Walker
Mrs Selina Houghton who looks as if she was a McNally before marriage

Hopefully that may narrow the search for relatives in newspapers, haven't found anything in the FindMyPast newspapers.

The evidence is quite strong that he is the man you think he is so I hope the search bears fruit!

maxD
Double  Essex/Suffolk
Randle/Millington Warwicks
Sokser/Klingler Austria/Croatia

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline Rosalinda Jones

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Help identifying Wigan soldier in WWI postcard
« Reply #2 on: Monday 15 May 17 19:19 BST (UK) »
Thanks so much, maxD!  ;D  I'm sure there must have been something printed locally, so I think next step is local newspapers for Ince/Wigan - a bit difficult from Reading, but I'll have a go!  ;)

Offline Prouty99

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 67
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Help identifying Wigan soldier in WWI postcard
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 12 December 18 08:39 GMT (UK) »
Just to throw my own tuppence worth in here, I live pretty close to this house on Warrington Road and if you like I could get you a photo of the house as it is today, although you could probably get one from street view

I will ask a couple of my own elderly relatives from the Ince area to see if they know any local families with the surnames you mentioned