John Henry Irish

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Widecombe in the Moor, Devon, England, United Kingdom

General information

Last known residence:
Lower Cator, Devon, England, United Kingdom
Church of England

Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Newton Abbot, Devon, England, United Kingdom
 —  Royal Marines, 1st Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Banff House, Poelcapelle, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 ‘Place of death’

My story

John Henry Irish was born on 24 March 1896 in Widecomde in the Moor, Devon. He was the third child of Edmund and Bessie, (née Counter) Irish. John had six sisters and a brother. He worked as a cowman on his father's farm. In December 1915, John enlisted at Newton Abbot and was transferred to the Royal Marine Light Infantry in January 1917.

After training in England and France, he joined the 1st Battalion of the Royal Marines, part of the 63rd Royal Naval Division, on 15 September 1917. In October 1917, the division arrived at Ypres and was ordered to support the Canadian Corps between Passchendaele and Poelcapelle.

On 26 October, the battalion was to attack Banff House, between Wallemolen and Paddebeek. They reached their objective, but had to retreat by nightfall. The battalion suffered many casualties, including John.

John has no known grave and is commemorated at the Tyne Cot Memorial, Passchendaele, and at his birthplace Widecombe in the Moor.

Sources 6

1 Royal Marine (The National Archives, Kew (TNA), WO 95/3110/1).
Sources used
Blumberg H.E., Britain's Sea Soldiers. a Record of the Royal Marines during the War 1914-1919. (Uckfield, Naval & Military Press, 2015) 323-333.
Sources used
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911 (The National Archives, Kew (TNA), RG14).
Sources used
McCarthy Chris., Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account (London, Unicorn Publishing Group, 2018), 147-148.
Sources used
Name Irish, John Henry Register Number: 1987 Division: Royal Marine Light Infantry: Chatham Division Short Service (The National Archives, Kew (TNA) ADM 159/146/1987).
Sources used
Widecombe in World War One
Sources used

More information 3