John Mahony, Private 9623 RDF

mhoney mic mahoney mic

mahoney by keogh

Keogh's view of Mahoney

Roll of Irish Brigade in Zossen confirms service no. No sign of a forfeit of his medals. Keogh notes that he played the concertina. Mahony's own statement on his return to UK says that he refused to join Machine Gun section at Zossen and refused to volunteer for the Egypt operation. He claims to have lost his corporals stripes over this, but it is more likely that he lost the stripes for bad conduct as Hahn had recommended this course of action. He gave an account to of his time in Irish Brigade British Intelligence after repatriation.

John Mahoney

John Mahony in NCOs photo

1891 born Ennis, Clare. Vol 4, p 190. Ennis parish record shows him baptised 28 April 1891. Son of Michael Mahony and Jane Ryan who had been married in Ennis 31 May 1890

parents 1901 census

1901 census shows him aged 10 living in Ennis with his grandparents at 4 Cloughleagh Road, Ennis. His parents are living at 36 Cloughleagh Road, Ennis with other of their children, but not young John.

He describes his work before he joined as clerk and head porter a Milton Malbay railway station in Clare.

1906 His service number points to an enlistment around Nov 1906

1911 census mahony

1911 His family are at 22 Old Mill Street, Ennis

1914 Aug 23. Lands in France

1914 Aug 26 captured at Cony, near Donai during the retreat from Mons. He had been wounded and had been in the hospital for a week when it was captured by the Germans. His Irish Brigade roll entry says that his father and mother were dead by 1915. His next of kin are sibblings living at Glendine, Milton Malby

1914 Sep transferred to Doberitz

1914 Dec transferred to Limburg with the other Irish in Doberitz

1915 transferred to Zossen, where after a week he suffered from fits and went to Halbmond Lager

1915 Sep 17. Boehm recommends to Casement that Mahoney be reduced to the ranks

1915 Sep 18. Boehm tells Casement that he will be leaving the Irish Brigade, and that he (Boehm) will no longer be able to deal with Corporal O'Mahoney (seems to be a court martial)

1915 Oct 12. Zerhusen reports to Casement that Dowling has been court martialed the day before. Mahoney had had to give evidence, and the court's decision was adjourned

1915 Oct 24. Hahn writes to Casement that he is having problems with Cpl Mahoney. Mahoney was AWOL for a day and got 3 days imprisonment and he also lost his stripes on the recommendation of Keogh and the sergeants. The German authorities refused to sanction the loss of stripes, but Hahn was asking Casement to sanction this action.

1915 Gives his address as Clonbony, Miltown Malbay

1915 Nov 19. Hahn writes to Casement asking him to authorise the removal of a number of men for drunkeness and /or insubordination, adding that Dowling and Quinlisk agree with this request. He is on that list, but Casement did not act on it

1915 Dec. Asked with the rest to volunteer to fight with the Germans in Egypt, he says he refused and lost his Corporals stripes. The loss of the stripes is confirmed by the pay list of Apr 1916 which shows him as a Private.

1916 transferred to Danzig, where after about 3 weeks he was sent out to work as a laboureer. The wage was 30 marks less 28 marks stoppages for board and lodging.

WO161 Joined Irish Brigade file WO 141/9 includes a summary of the evidence compiled by MI5 re the men and NCO’s reported to have joined the German-Irish Brigade. It suggests that for Pte J Mahoney (9625) – Ryl Dublin Fusiliers, the evidence is strong enough for pay, allowances etc be stopped. His medal card does not show any forfeits and in a section dealing with postal censorship in a booklet titled "Forms Issued in Connection with the Work of The Central Prisoners of War Committee" published by the British Red Cross and Order of St John in 1917, they give this service number in a list of men known tohave joined the Irish Brigade

FO383/496 Irish Brigade movement in Germany: statements by Private Michael McDonagh of 2nd Leinster Regiment and Private John Mahony of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, including intelligence information and a list of the names and regiments of men who volunteered for service in Egypt.

1917 May 29. Mahoney to Gaffney. Says that there are 14 Brigade men in Paper Factory near Stolp. They ask Gaffney to send them a concertina. Later the concertina arrives and they write to thank Gaffney for it. The factory is actually in a village outside Stolp, called Raths-Damnitz

1918 June, Jul, Aug he was in hospital

1918 Oct sent to Munich with the rest of the Irish Brigade, they were told for their own safety. They got false papers from the Germans, his were for Hans Harbeck of Stolpe in Pomerania. They got to Buchlin near Passing and after 2 days were left to fend for themselves.

He got a job at St Ottilien Monastery near Geltendorf as a gardener, but after 4 weeks joined some of his Irish Brigade comrades at Tutzing on the Stamberger See. There he describes how Sweeney was murdered by Carr in a quarrel over money.

1919 Mar 16 He reported sick and spent 3 weeks in hospital in Munich. The returned to Tutzing, but work dried up after about another two weeks. Eventually ge returned to Munich and fought for two days and nights at the bridge beyond the Banhof. Besides McDonagh, he heard from Murphy D of the Connaught Rangers who was also in this fight

After this he returned to Stamberg and resumed work, until he heard that the British Red Cross in Berlin were inquiring about him and Sewell (he had no idea on what happened to Sewell) He decided to go to the British Red Cross in Berlin. From there a staff officer sent him to the British Provest Marshall in Cologne, where he met up with McDonagh and Murphy D. He returned to Britain then in a hospital ship.

1919 Jun 13. His account was written in Queen Alexandra Hospital on Milbank. He gives his home address as c/o Mr McMahon, Clo(o)nbony, Miltown Malbay. There is a Thomas and Jane McMahon there in 1911 census, but I cannot see an obvious relationahip.

He says that ten he left there were 10 Irish Brigade men still known to him to be in Germany.

The non-volunteering for Egypt appears to have split the Brigade. Keogh never kept up with these men after the war. He has a list of the Brigade in 1960 with when the men died or if they are alive or if he does not know. 20 men did not volunteer for Egypt and by 1960 Keogh had lost touch with 13 of them. Of the remaining 36 he had only lost touch with 7.

Recruits to Irish Brigade