Sweeney, 6937 Private Patrick - 2nd Connaught Rangers

patrick sweeney connaught rangers

Correct man from service number on Roll.

1882 October (3rd?) Patrick Sweeney, born in the parish of Lissannany, Tuam, Galway. There is an 1882 birth at Tuam that is probably him. Lissannany is a hamlet 8 miles NW of Tuam. His father was Myles and brothers John and Thomas, sister Bridget. Army records show he was not married when he died in 1919. But a Mrs Daly of Tuam was getting 6/5d per week, this is probably his sister Bridget. The 1911 census gives Myles age 72 (a farmer and widower) and his daughter Bridget (aged 20) living together at Lisananny. The Sweeneys had been in Lissananny in 1850s with Griffiths entry for John Sweeney in that townland. Egypt List says aged 28 (so born circa 1887, born Tuam)

6 Oct 1900 Patrick Sweeney joined the Connaught Rangers. His service record survives and is here. When he enlisted age 18 he was 5ft 8inches and weighed 10 stone. Sallow complexion, blue eyes, brown hair and a Roman Catholic

20 Oct 1900. Deserted. It appeared that service life and Patrick Sweeney were not made for each other as he only lasted 2 weeks before deserting.

1901 census living at Lissananny, Foxhall, Galway. So the army have not caught up with him.

1902 Apr 5 in confinement awaiting trial. And sentenced to 56 days hard labour and stoppage of pay for desertion, loss of kit and fraudulent enlistment. The fraudulent enlistment makes it seem that he tried to enlist afresh, but was spotted.

1902 Jun 26 returned to duty after his spell of punishment.

1903 Jan 28. Posted to 1st Battalion. The 1st Battalion had embarked in the transport 'Staffordshire' for England at Burghersdorp South Africa. Arrived at Southampton 16 Feb 1903 and proceeded to Mullingar on 17 Feb 1903. Three detail companies numbering 400 were already quartered at Mullingar. These had been attached to a Provisional Battalion and had been moved to Mullingar in anticipation of the arrival of the 1st Battalion.

1903 Apr 2. absent without leave for 6 days

1903 May 15 the 1st Battalion went by train to Finner Camp, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, for musketry and field training.

1903 Jul 23 J The Battalion proceeded to Belfast.

1903 Jul 27 The 1st Battalion lined the streets of Belfast on occasion of the King’s visit.

1903 Jul 29. 1st Battalion returned to Finner Camp.

1903 Aug 31. Four companies made up to war strength proceeded to Castlepollard Co. Westmeath for manoeuvres, leaving a detachment at Finner Camp.

1903 Sept 15 The 1st Battalion and Finner Camp detachment returned to Mullingar

1903 Oct 16 posted to India. Which seems uneventful, in as much as there is no record of any misdemeanours. The 2nd Connaught Rangers were stationed at Ahmednagar in 1904, and appear to have been stationed there for all of his stay in India. A draft of 2 sergeants, 1 corporal, 1 drummer and 75 privates was dispatched to reinforce the 2nd Battalion in India 16 Oct 1903. An order had arrived for 276 privates to be sent, but with the large number of men enlisted for 3 years colour service it was impossible to comply.

The 2nd Battalion The Connaught Rangers had arrived at Ahmednager 25 Apr 1902. They were based in the Barracks. 1 company based in the Fort, 3 Company’s lived in hutments and rest in the barracks. The British Army occupied a large ancient fort in the city, which is still a large army base today. The cantonment of Ahmednagar had a Fort as its centre. All units formed a circle around the Fort at a distance of half a mile from it. South east of the Fort stood two churches, Roman Catholic & Episcopalian, both adjoining each other.

Ahmednagar is a drought-prone city in Ahmednagar District in the state of Maharashtra, India, on the left bank of the Sina River, about 120 km southeast of Pune. The climate at Ahmednagar is one of the healthiest in India. The camp lies high. Coming from Bombay, the train passes through tunnels and over viaducts to reach the top of the Ghats which command the western coast of India.

When the 2nd Battalion left India 8 March 1908 600 men were left behind at Poona for transfer to the 1st Battalion. Under the command of Major S J Murray, they proceeded from Poona on 9 March 1908 for Bombay whence they took passage in the R.I.M.S. 'Dufferin' to Karachi and joined the 1st Battalion on 14 March 1908 at Kalka. Between 26 Oct 1909 to 10 March 1910 eight small drafts comprising 134 men, were sent to England from the 1st Battalion.

11 Feb 1910 back from India. On 22 Feb 1910 11 men joined the 2nd Battalion at Tipperary from the 1st Battalion in India. This coincides with his record, so he must have been one of those 11 men, therefore he had transferred to 1st battion earlier.

2 Feb 1910 transferred to Army Reserve.

1911 Census. The only man fitting his details is a Patrick Sweeney lodging at 30 Dominick Street,Mullingar, Westmeath

25 May 1911 arrested by civil powers and convicted to firstly 1 month or £2, and secondly 14 days or 20 pence for riotous behaviour

25 April 1914 re-engaged

14 Aug 1914 he landed with the battalion in France

26 Aug 1914 reported missing and probably POW

diary entry

Diary in IWM date 26th August 1914 from Sergeant McIlwain's journal who was with 'D' Coy, 2nd Battalion, Connaught Rangers.

8 Sep 1914 award 28 days FP, he had been captured 12 days earlier (his record actually has this, but even the army opted to put a question mark against this entry).

He appears on a Connaught Rangers list of POWs with "Zossen" and Milltown, Tuam as his address

He is shipped to Limburg along with many Irish POWs. And joins the Irish Brigade. Keogh has him as coming from Galway and Casements notes say he was a labourer before enlistment.

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 Lissannany, Tuam.

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

1916 Jan Volunteered for service in Egypt

Zerhusen reords that Sweeney nearly died on a swimming trip to Brosento swim in the sea. He swam too far out and had to be hauled ashore completely exhausted.

1917 Jan 10. They had a hut inspection one day from an American official, who they mistook for someone from Dublin, and gave him information about themselves that they should not have give. Soon after this the NCOs appear to have drawn up a black list of grumblers and men branded as English. And some days later a fully armed section of German troops entered the barracks, and the Irish Brigade NCOs seemed aware of what was happening. Nine or ten names were read out, and the men ordered to have their kit ready to leave in 5 minutes. They were then marched out of the camp under guard and into as Rahilly says "slavery", a punishment camp. A letter that Burke wrote to Gaffney about their treatment confirms the state of affirs given by Rahilly, and one can arrive at list the men sent to the punishment camp from putting together information from Burke and O'Toole, plus the official list from Hahn gives:-

British files say that in October 1918 the Irish Brigade men were given false German names and passports and told to fend for themselves. Some went to Bavaria, some sailed to the British Isles, Keogh says that 3 fought on the Government side in Munich in 1919 and 5 or 6 stayed in Germany. Keogh alludes to having a false passport in his memoirs, and we know that Michael Keogh, Jeremiah O'Callaghan were in the Freikorps and the Patrick Sweeney died in Bavaria in Feb 1919.

CWGC does have 6937 Patrick Sweeney, 2nd Connaught Rangers, died 21 Feb 1919 and recorded on Cologne Memorial. SDGW adds that he was born in Tuam, and enlisted at Tuam. And his service record shows a lot about his life, which ties in with him coming from Galway

death of Patrick Sweeney in Germany

Tutzing is about 25 miles SW of Munich. So both Keogh and the British Army agree that Patrick Sweeney was killed near Munich. The report of him being stabbed appears to be correct, as it has corroborating evidence. Kurt Eisner, the first prime minister of the Bavarian Republic, was assassinated on 21 February 1919 in Munich, shortly before he was going to hand in his own resignation from office.

mahony's report on sweeneys death

Mahony's report on Carr's death

Private Carr of South Lancs Regt and Private Daniel Murphy were members of the Irish Brigade. John Murphy had also reported the death of Robert Scanlan of the Irish Brigade during the post war disturbances in Germany. Sweeney's death is down to a brawl apparently.

Sweeney is, in Mahoney's account, buried in Ost Friedhof in Munich. McDonagh also records that Sweeney was murdered by Carr.

ostfriedhof munich

Ost Freidhof

Recruits to Irish Brigade