McGrath 6208 Private Patrick Royal Irish Regt


This is the right service number from Roll Book. Keogh has him from Tipperary. And Casements notes say he was a "horse trainer" before enlisting. Family records show that he was a jockey (info from Brian Curley - Pat McGrath is his wife's grandfather). He was believed to have been caught by British trying to board a ship to Canada and that they they were all beaten up badly.

The Roll of the Irish Brigade shows that indeed he was 3979 in R Irish Regt. age 22, Jockey. Born Fethard circa 1893. MIC shows he rejoined army with "new" service number after the War.

1893. Born either Fethard or Nenagh, depending on the source. On balance Fethard seems to be more likely to be correct. However it is possible that he was born in Nenagh, and got sent to St Josephs Industrial School from there, and hence looked upon that area as his home. He family believe that he was an illegitimate child who was raised in the industrial school St Josephs in Clonmel.  It has recently been exposed for the abuse in schools at the time. St Joseph’s Industrial School, generally referred to as Ferryhouse, is located four kilometres east of Clonmel. It could take 150 boys and was one of a number of Industrial Schools whose purpose was to offer an alternative to the Workhouse

1901 census I cannot be sure which is him, but a possibility if his birth was at Nenagh as in Army info in 1911. The census shows this family living at Falveys Lane, Nenagh

1911 Census gives a Patrick McGrath, a Private in Royal Irish Regiment in Alderney Garrison, Channel Islands

This points to a birth in Nenagh about 1891/1892. This could be him in as much as the right age born in Nenagh in 1901 census and not 1911 census for Nenagh (same family in 1911 without Patrick, and living in Falvey's Lane)

1914 Taken prisoner, and followed the rest of the Irish Brigade through Limburg, Zossen and Danzig

1915 Oct 25. Gives his address as Irishtown, Clonmel. Another note gives his father as Kiltevan, Fethard.

1916 Jan Volunteered for service in Egypt

1918 Nov 7. Gaffney gets a letter from a group in the Brigade, who denounce Gaffney and Chatterton Hill as not being "true Irishmen". The letter is signed by Keogh, Kavanagh, Forde, Mallon. Delamore, Carroll, Collins, Wilson, Daly, P. McGrath (this appears to be from the men at Dirschau)

O'Toole says he got a job after the Armistice in Germany as he had established relations with the biggest Polish horse dealers in Dirschau

He did not forfeit his medals and his MIC shows he was in Northamptonshire Regt (70295) and still serving after the war. It is believed that he suffered from depression and a gambling addiction,

He married a Katherine Prendergast, who was Catholic. He was in Ireland in 1921 when his first child of his 6 children were born in Templemore. He appears to have moved later to Clonmel. His children were

He did various jobs after his return to Ireland.   He was a driver for a Quaker family but apart from that we know little else.

Patrick disappeared for a number of months in the '30s and 'someone' brought him home from Galway where he had been living for a  number of months. The someone may have been a private detective

Keogh says active in old IRA, 3rd Tipperary Brigade during War of Independence.

1968 died in Leopardstown Hospital, a nursing home for veterans of both British wars and their children.


Recruits to Irish Brigade