Navan Shamrock Festival Committee

CYWS Hall, Fairgreen, Navan, Co. Meath.

TEL: + 353 (0) 879671173


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Navan Shamrock Festival Committee

CYWS Hall, Fairgreen, Navan, Co. Meath.

TEL: + 353 (0) 879671173


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Meath Men of World War One

Our 2014 festival also marked the 100th anniversary of World War One. Listed below are some of the fallen brave Irish and Meath men together with letters and storytelling.

BLAKE, John. Lance Corporal, Leinster Regiment, 1st Battalion, 5544. Born: Navan, about 1885. Son of John and Margaret Blake, Flower Hill, Navan. Husband of Rose Anne Blake, nee McGillick, Cannon Row, Navan. Employed as billiard marker before becoming employee of Meath County Council for 16 years. Enlistment location: Drogheda. Died of sickness, 17 October 1918. Age 33. Memorial: S.3. Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel.

CAHILL, James. Shoeing Smith, Army Service Corps, TS/7267. Husband of Sarah Cahill, 22 St. Patrick’s Terrace, Navan. Three children in 1911 census. Occupation: Blacksmith. Died 27 October 1917. Age: 52. Memorial: Donaghmore Graveyard.


Lance Corporal Michael Colclough

Irish Guards, 2nd Battalion, 6908. Born: Navan, about 1891. Son of James and Margaret Colclough, Kells Road, Navan. Father’s occupation: Gatekeeper, Railway. Served in Navan Irish National Volunteers. Enlistment location: Drogheda, Co. Louth. Died of wounds, France & Flanders, 1 October 1915. Age: 24. Memorial: IV.H.4; Etaples Military Cemetery.

“Navan Soldier’s Story

A Navan gentleman has received the following letter from Corporal Colclough of the Irish Guards, dated “France 9th Sept – I suppose you have been watching a line from me for many a day. I take this opportunity of dropping you a line. I am quite well and rather enjoying this new experience. We find things rough betimes, but you have one consolation – when you are finished duty you are finished till the next day. We met the 1st Battalion, some time ago. I was speaking to Pat Fox. He is well and you would think it was in the ‘Mollies’ we were again, we settled down so comfortably for a chat. He is slightly thinner than usual but otherwise seems as good as ever. He wishes to be remembered to you. I also met young McIneeny, who was in the Post Office. I saw him as we passed through the town in which he is stationed. I called him. He was quite surprised to see me. He also looks fit.

This is a fine country for agriculture. All around you as far as you can reach is nothing but crops in their various stages. The people are very hard-working. They begin their days about 5.30 a.m. and finish often about 7 or 8 o’clock that evening. Here and there are patches of clover, in which cattle, mostly milch cows, are tethered out. I have spent a couple of evenings giving the people with whom we are billeted a hand to get in the corn. We have a Catholic chaplain attached to our regiment. He is a fine man and ranks as captain. We have Mass every Sunday and there is every opportunity given to fulfil your other religious duties. Any evening we happen to be in billets we have Rosary and Benediction in the local church. The country around simply teems with religious emblems. At every cross roads you find huge crosses and here and there along the road are small shrines, as well as statues of the Blessed Virgin set in the gable ends of many houses. Pig rearing also seems to be an industry in this part of the country.

John Sherlock has transferred to the 1st Battalion. He is a signaller. We went for a swim one day and one of our fellows got into difficulties and caught hold of a swimmer who happened to be passing and I believe Sherlock brought both in. The river was narrow but very deep: but you would know anyone who learned swimming at the Metal Bridge could never be beaten in a stiff stream. There is a little more noise out here than we used to make when we were shooting at the slopes.” Meath Chronicle 2 October 1915. Colclough was dead the day before the date of issue of the paper.

“Lance Copl. Michael Colclough, aged 24, Navan, 2nd Batt. Irish Guards, has died in France of wounds received in action on October 29th. The deceased was much esteemed in Navan, where the sad news evoked keen regret, and occasioned deep sympathy with members of his family.” Meath Chronicle 4 December 1915.

FAY, James. Private, Leinster Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 6032. Born: Johnstown. Son of Mrs. Mary Fay, Garlow Cross, Navan. Enlistment location: Navan. Reservist. Joined on mobilisation. Served in France from 8 September 1914. Wounded at Mons. Killed in action: France & Flanders, 12 August 1915. Age 35. Memorial: Panel 44, Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. Drogheda War Memorial.

“Meathmen Killeww1d and Wounded

James Fay, of the Leinsters, has been wounded in action in France. He is a native of Garlow Cross. ...” Meath Chronicle 28 November 1914.

FOX, Patrick. Private, Irish Guards, 1st Battalion, 5861. Baptised Navan, 29 December 1874. Son of Patrick and Joan Fox, nee Graham, Flower Hill, Navan. Father’s occupation: Labourer. Enlistment location: Navan. Served in France from 24 May 1915. Killed in action, France & Flanders, 15 September 1916. Age: 40. Memorial: Pier and Face 7 D, Thiepval Memorial.

“At the Navan recruiting meeting Mr. Timmon stated that he had a letter from Mr. P. Fox, who was once a “back” in the Pierce Mahony’s but is now a “forward” at the front scoring points for the English!” Meath Chronicle 31 July 1915.

See M.J. Colclough’s letter.

“News has reached Navan that Private Patk. Fox, Irish Guards, has been killed in action. He was one of the old Pierce Mahony football club.” Meath Chronicle 28 October 1916.

“News of the death of Pte. Patrick Fox, 1st Batt, Irish Guards, has reached Navan, his native town and aroused much regret amongst his companions and friends. He was killed in action on September 25. His mother and friends reside at Flower Hill.” Meath Chronicle 4 November 1916.

GERRARD, Christopher. Private, South Lancashire Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 17709. Formerly Lancashire Fusiliers, 4794. Baptised Bohermeen, 9 December 1882. Son of Thomas and Anne Gerrard, nee Fitzsimons, White Quarry, Ardbraccan, Navan. Mother’s occupation: Farmer. Occupation in 1901: General Labourer. Occupation at enlistment: Collier. Enlistment location: Wigan, Lancashire, 30 August 1914. Height 5 foot 8¾ inches. Complexion: Pale. Eyes: Blue. Hair: Black. Served in France from 2 April 1915. Died of wounds, 9th General Hospital, Rouen, France, 21 July 1916. Age: 33. Memorial: A.36.7; St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen.

GILES, Victor Marshall. Second Lieutenant, Royal Irish Rifles 7th Battalion. Baptised Navan, 26 March 1897. Son of Marshall and Ethel Giles, nee Carver, Brewshill, Navan and later of 66 University Street, Belfast. Father’s occupation: Bookkeeper at F.& J. Clayton & Co. Ltd. Entered Blue Coat School in 1911 as King’s Scholar. Left 1914. He relinquished a valuable scholarship at King’s Hospital in order to serve. Served in France from 29 December 1915. Killed in action, France & Flanders, 28 June 1916. Age: 19. Memorial: IV.A.13; Vermelles British Cemetery. Roll of Honour, St. Mary’s Church, Navan.

HEARY, Thomas. Private, Irish Guards, 1st Battalion, 4676. Baptised Navan, 10 June 1895. Son of Patrick and Margaret Heary, nee Quigley, Trimgate Street. Father’s occupation: Labourer. Occupation: General Labourer. Enlistment location: Drogheda. Killed in action, France & Flanders, 10 January 1915. Memorial: I.A.12; Rue-des-Berceaux Military Cemetery, Richbourg-L’Avoue.

“Meath and the War – Two Navan Men Killed

Word reached Navan on Tuesday that Joseph Kerrigan, a private in the 1st Leinsters, and Thomas Heary, of Flower Hill, a private in the Irish Guards, had been killed at the front on or about 14th inst. …Private Heary had his head blown off by a shell and his death is deeply mourned in his native town …” Meath Chronicle 23 January 1915.

KEAPPOCK, John Alfred. Royal Navy, H.M.S. “Shark”, Engine Room Artificer 4th Class. M/4997. Son of Joseph and Catherine Keappock, Claremount, Navan. Father’s occupation: Merchant. Drowned off Jutland following a battle in the North Sea, 31 May 1916. Age: 26. Memorial: 15, Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

“Navan Bluejacket Missing

On Monday last Mr. Joseph Keappock U.D.C. Navan, received notification that his second eldest son, John, who was a second hand artificer on board the “Shark,” was missing. Since then the list of survivors from this vessel has been published, but his name does not appear in it. Although official notification of his death has not been received it is feared that his chances of having been saved are remote. When about 23 he joined H.M.S. “Harrier” on which he remained about six months and was then transferred to the “Shark” on which he spent the last two years.” Meath Chronicle 10 June 1916.

“Navan Man Lost in North Sea Fight

Last week Mr. John Keappock, employed as engineer on the H.M.S. Shark, sunk in the North Sea battle, was reported as missing. We regret to say that the worst fears of his friends have been realised. His father, Mr. Joseph Keappock, U.D.C., has received a communication from the Admirality intimating their belief that the gallant young fellow had been numbered among the victims of what has been described as the greatest sea fight in the world’s history. Mr. Keappock was considered exceptionally clever at his work and had every prospect of a distinguished career in the navy. Of a manly and chivalrous character, he was a prime favourite amongst his comrades. The fact that he was engaged to be married adds a pathetic feature to the sadness of his untimely death which is mourned by many friends.” Meath Chronicle 17 June 1916.

Lance Corporal Michael Colclough PDF FileBack to Noel French