I have had some difficulty establishing when John Morrisey was born due to conflicting information on Census forms and Army Service Papers. We know from his Service Papers that he was born in Manchester.
The 1881 Census on Ancestry.co.uk shows a family called Morrisey living at 18, Mill Street, Ground Floor, Ancoats, Manchester. Head of the household was Bridget Morrisey age 36, unmarried, born in Ireland, a Charwoman by trade. Her children were Michael age 18 an Iron Fitter by trade, Mary A. age 12, Scholar, John age 4 and Thomas age 2, all the children were born in Manchester.
Ten years on we find the family now living at 29, Branton Street, New Cross, Manchester. Head is still Bridget Morrisey age 45, Washerwoman. All her children were still at home, Michael age 28 a General labourer, Mary A. age 25 a Cop Reeler, there is also an addition to the family as it appears that Mary had a child, William, 9 months who is listed as Grandson. John age 16 had a trade of Piecer in Cotton Mill and Thomas age 11 was a Scholar.
I cannot find any of the family in 1901 or 1911.
Service Record for Private 8136 John Morrisey on Ancestry.co.uk
This record shows that John Morrisey, born in Beswick, Manchester completed a Short Attestation Form in order to enlist in the Royal Lancashire Fusiliers at Preston in Lancashire on 6th December 1904, he gave his trade as General Labourer and Next of Kin as Mother, Bridget of 8 Pollard St. Ancoats and Brother Thomas of the 17th Battalion Royal Field Artillery.
It would appear that John was not fit to serve in the Royal Lancashire Fusileirs as he was discharged five days later.
Attestation Papers for Private 3137, Private John Morrisey on Ancestry.co.uk
On 12th September 1914 at Ashton under Lyne, Manchester, John Morrisey completed an Army Reservists One Year Service Attestation Form in order to join the 13th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. His Regimental Number was 3137 and he stated that he had served 8 years with the 5th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers and that the time had expired in 1904. He gave his trade as Labourer, age 34 years and 6 months, this would have given a bith year of 1880 which agrees with the 1891 census. His address as, 47, Lloyd Street, Oldham Road, Manchester On John’s medical check he is shown to have a tattoo of a lady on his forearm and flags,he is also shown to be fit for service.
It would appear that John was far from well during the months between September 1914 and January 1915 when he was completeing his training. There are quite a few breaches of conduct and he was eventually found to be unfit for service after being diagnosed with recurring attacks of Epilepsy on 1st January 1915 and discharged.
Attestation Papers for Regimental Number 17723, Private John Morrisey,10th South Lancashire Regiment.
On 7th April 1915 in Manchester John Morrisey completed an attestation form to join the 10th South Lancashire Regiment. He gave his trade as Labourer, address as 18, Fir street, Oldham Road, Manchester, age as 37 years and 1 month which would make his birth year as 1878 and stated that he had previously served with the 5th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers for 8 years. His next of kin given was Michael Morrisey, brother of 18, Fir Street Manchester. Distinctive marks were noted as Tattoo Lady flags and bunting to forearm.
John was posted to a tented camp at Kinmel Park to complete his training.
John Morrisey sadly died of Epilepsy and heart failure at Saint Asaph Hospital on 24th July 1915 and was buried in Mount Road Cemetery, Saint Asaph.
I believe this article in the Denbighshire Free Press is an account of the Military Funeral that John was granted but there was an error with his christian name.
John’s brother Thomas enlisted into the Royal Field Artillery in Manchester on 10th September 1902, his regimental number was 26424. He gave his address as 25 Buckland Street, Ancoats, Manchester, he was 23 years of age and single. In 1905 Thomas married Isabella Durrant in Colchester on 7th March 1905, they had four children, Thomas, John, Ellen and Isabella. This information is on Thomas’ Service Record on Ancestry.co.uk.
I received an e mail from Thomas’ Great Grandson Liam Crowley and he gave me some more information about the Morrisey family and also Isabella’s family.
The Morrisey family certainly gave their all in service of King and Country, as so many other families did. Please see below the links to the Morrisey Familiy who served and died in service of their country. John was my Great Grandfathers Brother (Thomas Morrisey) who served with the Royal Field Artillery from September 1902 – March 1920. Thomas served at Mons and Le Cateau, and later served in Mesopotamia.
As you know John Morrisey died in 1915, please see below the other members of the familiy who paid the ultimate sacrifice in both World Wars.
17723 Pte John Morrisey Died 1915 (Brother of Thomas Morrisey)
C/JX253557 Ordinary Seaman Micahel Morrisey KIA 1941 (HMS Zinnia) (Son of Thomas Morrisey)
11757 Pte Athur Worthington MGC (Inf) KIA 1917 (Step Son of Thomas’s sister Mary Ellen)
While serving in Colchester in 1905 Thomas Morrisey married Isabella Durrant
40053 Pte Sidney Edward Durrant 11th Bn Essex Regt KIA 15 October 1916 (Brother of Isabella)
29299 Pte Henry Durrant MM 10th Bn Essex Regt KIA 21 September 1918 (Brotehr of Isabella) he was awarded the Military Medal in 1917.
Incidentally, Thomas married Isabella in Colchester, I was based there from 2011-2015, I researched a fair bit, and found the house where the Durrants lived, their family burial plots, and the Barrack Block that Thomas served in. Fascinating.
As you can see the Morrisey family and antecedents suffered, as so many families did.