McGrath, 10674 Private William - Royal Irish Regt

william mcgrath, pow, medal card

He does not loose medals. The identification is from Kavanagh's memoir.

Keogh on McGrath

Keogh on McGrath

Correct service no on Roll

1893 Jul 12. Born circa 1893 on Egypt List at Kingstown. Mother Mrs Hurley of Newbridge..

1901 census the family are living with his mother Cathleen's father at Ballymany, Morristownbiller, Kildare. William is missing

There is a William McGrath in 1911 census in Newbridge, Kildare, aged 16 and son of Kate Hurley (remarried) and he is a chemists messenger. Living at Moorefield Road, Newbridge. This is our man - the Irish Brigade record shows his mother is Mrs Hurley

He is a labourer before enlisting on Casements notes.

1913 His service number points to enlisting in February 1913

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

1915 Oct 25. In answer to a question, gave his Ireland address as Newbridge, Kildare.

1915 Sep 18 Given 3 days punishment.

1915 Dec 31. He was apparently the man that caused the riot on New Years Eve at Zossen. Some Germans abused his singing and a major fight broke out.

Meade wrote: On New Years Eve, 1915-1916, we were still in Zossen and we had a big blow out in the canteen. When the Germans were singing, we applauded them whether we liked their singing or not. But eventually when one of our fellow was singing (Billy McGrath was his name), the Germans present indicated their disapproval, at which we took offense and, one word following another, a fight began. Glasses were thrown and the fight then moved out into the square where the Landstrum (3rd line troops) came along with their rifles to quell the disturbance. We turned our attention to the Landsturm then and took their rifles from them, bayonet and all. Retiring into our barracks (this was a special barracks that had been built for us) we defied the whole German army. This incident, which had begun simply enough, had now developed into a serious mutiny, and we refused to allow any German soldier or officer into our camp. The next thing we knew was when the next day or so Casement and Monteith, accompanied by about 20 high ranking German officers, appeared on the scene. We had our own Lewis gun covering off the entrance to the barracks and we had announced that anyone attempting to enter without permission would be shot down. casement arrived, we sent out a sentry of ours to inform Casement that only he and Monteith would be allowed to enter.

Active in Old IRA 1920 - 1921

1916 Jan Volunteered for service in Egypt

O'Toole says that Donoghue and W McGrath were either captured or gave themselves up to the British marines in Danzig at end 1918 or early 1919 was were taken home

1949 died according to Keogh.


Recruits to Irish Brigade