Foley, Patrick John

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Foley, Patrick John

Regiment/Catrawd: 1st (HS) Ir Battalion East Kent Regiment (The Buffs)

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 10931

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

He died after the War

The one and only time we have found Patrick on a census is in 1911. He was 47, and was a General Labourer who had been born in ‘Bristol’.  His wife  of 10 years, Mary was 45  and had been born in Brixton, London. Two children had been born and had survived.  John was 6 and Hannah 5. They had both been born in St. Pancras, London.  The family was living at 7 Fishermans Road Connahs Quay, Flintshire.

There is an index card for Patrick Foley in The Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden.( Connah’s Quay L114.) The card confirms the regimental details above and gives the address 7, Fisherman’s Row. It explains that he served from the 4th September 1914  to the 30th September 1916. It was signed by Mrs. Foley on the  22nd September 1919.  The card tells us that he in fact, survived the war. His card was not filed with the ‘fallen’ but with the ‘living’. He died after the war, but before the Cenotaph was unveiled in 1927.   He was discharged in 1916 no longer physically fit.

Patrick’s medal card  accessible on  www.ancestry.co.uk does not list medals but says he enlisted on 4th September 1914 and was discharged on the 30th September 1916 through ‘sickness’

Patrick Foley’s Army Records exist and are accessible on ww.ancestry.co.uk.

We know from two sources already quoted, that he enlisted on 4th September 1914  and there is a chitty in his records showing that he was paid a 1/6d allowance by a recruiting officer on the 4th September 1914.

There is a description of him at enlistment.  His apparent age was 44 years 10 months. He was 5 feet 5 1/2 inches tall with a chest measurement: of 34 1/2 inches, ( range of expansion 1 1/2 inches). His complexion  was dark, his  eyes were hazel and his hair dark. His religion was Roman Catholic and he was considered to be  fit for the Army. – Dated 4th September 1914  in Shotton.

He was discharged  on the 30th September 1916 through  being no longer physically fit for war service after 2 years and 27 days  with ‘The Buffs’. He was issued with a war badge and certificate on the 21st October 1916. This badge was to be worn on the right breast or lapel of a civilian jacket to denote that he had served in the war.

There is a Letter from Patrick Foley of 7, Fisherman’s Row, Connah’s Quay,  dated the  24th October 1916  and addressed to The Officer in charge of records 1st H.S. Garr. Bn. The Buffs which says

‘Sir,   Can you kindly inform me if I am entitled to the Silver Badge ( for Services rendered) as I am working at a Munition Works & I should like my fellow workers to know that I have done a bit, without having to produce my discharge papers to  satisfy their curiosity.

 I remain Sir,

Yours Obediently,

Late G/10931 P. Foley, 1st H.S. Garr. Bn, The Buffs.

His records contain details of his marriage to Mary Carroll, a widow who was Irish. It took place at the Register Office, St. Pancras on the 17th March 1908. The Registrar was Joseph Stevens and the Witnesses were Alice Horton & Edward Groom.    (However on a later paper it seems that the information is different, it states that they married in 1902).

The very confusing thing about Patrick Foley’s Pension Records is that they include papers that suggest he re enlisted in 1921. He Attested in Connah’s Quay on the 30th June that year. His date of birth was given as 23rd August 1870 and his address was Fisherman’s Road Connah’s Quay. He said he was a Fitter’s Labourer and a married man. His previous service with the East Kent Regiment (10931) was noted. He was 50 years and 10 months old and was declared to be fit for the Territorial Force. He was attached to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and given the number 4182411.

The death is recorded of a Patrick Foley in the North Wales Death Indexes for 1924 in Flintshire. (Flint/34/72)

If Patrick died in 1924, he wouldn’t be on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database, as their cut-off time was 1921.  However the local people in Connah’s Quay, knew he had been in the War and he was honoured by being included amongst the dead of the Great War on the Cenotaph.