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  #471  
Old 07-12-2017, 09:27 PM
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Donegal soldier's Victoria Cross goes on display
The only Victoria Cross to be awarded to a Donegal man will go on public display in the county for the first time this afternoon.

Private James Duffy, a stretcher bearer, was awarded the medal for "most conspicuous bravery" after he saved the lives of two of his comrades in Palestine in December 1917.

The VC was presented to him by King George V in July 1918 at Buckingham Palace.

Pte Duffy served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and his medal was donated to the regimental museum in Enniskillen.

A security operation involving gardaí and members of the Defence Forces will surround its transportation from Fermanagh to Letterkenny where it will go on display at Donegal County Museum from 2pm to 4.30pm.

Also coming from Enniskillen are medals awarded to another Donegal soldier, Captain Henry Gallaugher, who was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
https://www.rte.ie/news/ulster/2017/...cross-donegal/
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  #472  
Old 11-12-2017, 02:27 PM
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Donegal's Only WWI Victoria Cross on display today between 2- 4.30pm
in Donegal County Museum
Donegal County Museum, in partnership with the Inniskilling Museum and the Irish Defence Forces, are delighted to display for the first time in County Donegal, the Victoria Cross awarded to Pte James Duffy for “most conspicuous bravery” during World War I. He is the only Donegal winner of a Victoria Cross in WWI. Also on exhibition, the medals awarded to Captain Henry Gallaugher DSO. The medals are on loan from the Inniskilling Museum.
Admission is free and all are welcome.
The Museum is also hosting the exhibition ‘Ulster Winners of the Victoria Cross’ on loan from the Ulster Scots Agency and there will be an opportunity for the public to consult the draft version of the County Donegal Book of Honour: The Great War 1914-1918.
Pte James Duffy VC was born at Thorr, Crolly, Gweedore, on 17 November 1889. As a young baby he was brought to live in Bonagee, Letterkenny. He enlisted in Glasgow on the 1st December 1914 and was posted to the 6th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The Battalion was sent to Gallipoli, later to Egypt and onto Palestine in September 1917 as part of the British invasion of Palestine. On the 27th December 1917, Private Duffy’s heroic actions saved the lives of two of his comrades. He was presented with the Victoria Cross by King George V on 25 July 1918 at Buckingham Palace. He is the only WWI Victoria Cross recipient from County Donegal. His VC is in the collection of the Inniskilling Museum at Enniskillen Castle, Co. Fermanagh.
Captain Henry Gallaugher was born at Balleighain, Manorcunningham in 1886. He was commissioned into the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in 1914. During the Battle of the Somme, Captain Gallaugher formed a party which rescued 28 men stranded in no-man’s land and he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. On 7 June 1917 during the Battle of Messines, Capt Gallagher’s right arm was shattered by a shell fragment. Although urged to go back, he led his company to its objective, and while returning later to have his arm dressed, he was killed instantly by a shell. He is buried in Lone Tree Cemetery, Belgium.
For further information, please contact Donegal County Museum, High Road, Letterkenny, Co Donegal T 074 9124613 E museum@donegalcoco.ie
Donegal County Council Donegal County Archives Donegal Daily Donegal Now Highland Radio News and Sport John Breslin The Inniskillings Museum
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Last edited by jembo; 11-12-2017 at 09:49 PM.
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  #473  
Old 22-12-2017, 08:30 PM
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The courage of the Reverend James Adams, the first clergyman to win the Victoria Cross.

WHEN James Adams’s mother ordered him to embark on a career in the Church, he described it as the bitterest blow of his life.

Strong, sporty and with a sense of adventure, he had hoped for a commission in the army but instead he found himself heading for Trinity College Dublin to study theology.

Little did the young man know at the time that one day he would become the recipient of Britain and the Commonwealth’s most prestigious bravery award: the Victoria Cross.

I have recently completed the private purchase of Adams’s medal group to add to my collection of VCs, the largest in the world.

His is remarkable for several reasons: the Reverend Adams was the first “ecclesiastical VC” and to this day he is also the only clergyman to receive the medal who was not an army chaplain.
He was also the fifth, and to date final, “civilian VC” (my collection, in fact, has three of the civilian VCs).

Furthermore, the medal group came with a typed and bound (but unpublished) write-up on his life penned by his only daughter Edith, which provides a unique insight into his unusual life.

James William Adams was born in Cork, Ireland, on November 24, 1839.

He was the only son of Thomas Adams, a Justice of the Peace, and his wife Elizabeth. Little is known of James’s early life but he had at least one sister and was educated at Hamblin and Porter’s School in Cork.

He was also a fine horseman.

His father died when James was aged 11 and his mother refused to allow him to go to school, something that he regretted all his life.

Instead he was educated by a succession of tutors. At the time, James had only one career desire – to become a soldier – but his mother chose the church and, with a sense of early Victorian obedience, her son complied.

At Trinity College he distinguished himself at boxing and athletics but was half-hearted in his commitment to his course.

However, he passed his exams and in 1863, aged nearly 24, he was ordained as a deacon and as a priest the following year.

His first curacy was in Hyde, Hampshire, from 1863 to 1865 and then at Shottesbrooke, Berkshire, from 1865 to 1867.
While in his second post he came to the conclusion that he could not stand life in a small country parish any longer.

He successfully applied for a post as one of the chaplains in the Bengal Ecclesiastical Establishment and travelled – with a sense of relief – to India with his sister Kate.

Long after her father’s death, Edith Adams wrote: “At this time we may say that James Adams’s life began. He was entirely the right man in the right place and he loved every moment of it, and he was popular with everyone.”

Initially, Adams was based in Peshawar, then Allahabad, then Peshawar again from 1871, where he remained for the next four years.

He rode long distances on horseback to deliver sermons, and he was renowned for his strength and stamina.

Unrest in Afghanistan grew in 1877 and Adams served as extra aide-de-camp to military commander Sir Frederick Roberts, to whom he was devoted.

Roberts (later Lord Roberts and commander of the British forces during the Second Boer War) served with distinction during the Second Afghan War of 1878-80, a conflict that saw British forces invade the Emirate of Afghanistan as part of the so-called “Great Game” between Britain and Russia.

During the war Adams – despite remaining a civilian – was determined to do his bit as chaplain to the Kabul Field Force.

Read More:-
https://www.express.co.uk/life-style...-lord-ashcroft
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  #474  
Old 10-01-2018, 08:54 PM
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John Frederick McCrea was born on 2 April 1854 at St Peter Port, Guernsey to Captain Herbert Taylor McCrea and Elizabeth Dobree Carey. Following his parents' deaths in 1855, he was brought up by his aunt Charlotte in Guernsey and educated at Elizabeth College. He then studied medicine at Guy's Hospital, qualifying in 1878 as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and Edinburgh.

In 1879 he went to South Africa, where he did duty at the Military Hospital in Cape Town as Civilian Surgeon to Her Majesty's Forces. A year later he moved to Fort Beaufort, Eastern Cape to settle, but decided instead to join the 1st Regiment, Cape Mounted Yeomanry as a surgeon.

Details
Surgeon McCrea was 26 years old, and a Surgeon in the 1st Cape Mounted Yeomanry, South African Forces during the Transvaal War, when he performed the following actions for which he was awarded the VC.

On 14 January 1881, at Tweefontein, Basutoland, South Africa, the burghers had been forced to retire under a most determined enemy attack, with a loss of 16 killed and 21 wounded. Surgeon McCrea was the only doctor present and notwithstanding a serious wound on the breast bone, which he dressed himself, he most gallantly took the casualties into shelter and continued to attend to the wounded throughout the day. Had it not been for this devotion to duty on the part of Surgeon McCrea, there would undoubtedly have been much greater suffering and loss of life.

Further career
He was promoted to the rank of Surgeon Major and on 3 February 1882 was transferred to the Cape Mounted Riflemen.

He remained with the regiment and married a South African, Elizabeth Antoinette (Bessie) Watermeyer.He died of heart failure at his home in Kokstad, Cape Colony on 16 July 1894. His widow died on 5 November 1936 in Exmouth, Devon. She was buried in Littleham, Exmouth.

Photos of him exist in the Cape Town Military Museum and in the South African National Museum of Military History. His VC is on display in the Lord Ashcroft VC Gallery at the Imperial War Museum, London.

A painting of McCrea winning his Victoria Cross was completed by Eric Wale of Cape Town for the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) in Millbank, United Kingdom.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Frederick_McCrea
http://jramc.bmj.com/content/157/4/411
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  #475  
Old 20-01-2018, 09:02 AM
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Acting Corporal James Patrick Scully (20 October 1909 – December 1974) of the Pioneer Corps was awarded the George Cross for the valour he displayed on 8 March 1941 in Liverpool in rescuing people from a bomb damaged building. He was originally from Crumlin, Dublin.

The citation was published in the London Gazette on 8 July 1941, and reads:

“ The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the GEORGE CROSS, to:-
No. 13039555 Acting Corporal James Patrick Scully, Pioneer Corps. (Crunslin, (sic) Co. Dublin.)

When houses were demolished by enemy action, a rescue party under the direction of Lieutenant Chittenden went to the incident and a search was made for trapped people.

Corporal Scully located a man and a woman and, with great difficulty, he managed to penetrate the debris and get to where they were buried. Lieutenant Chittenden followed him. Wood was obtained to use as props to shore up the debris, but there was no means of cutting it into proper lengths.

A rescue party then arrived with tools to cut some wood into more suitable lengths for shoring. All available help was mustered and the men worked tremendously hard in their efforts to clear away the wreckage. Corporal Scully remained with the trapped persons and prevented any more debris falling on them. A long plank was inserted to take most of the weight but as the result of further falls the props began to sway out of position. There was then a very real danger of the mass of debris falling down and burying the injured persons. Realising this, Corporal Scully placed his back under the plank to try to prevent the props from giving way completely. He steadied them for a time but gradually the weight increased until the props slipped. This left Corporal Scully holding one end of the plank and Lieutenant Chittenden supporting the other. Corporal Scully could have got away at this stage, but he knew that if he did so the debris would fall and probably kill the trapped persons, so he stayed under the plank. Gradually the weight increased and forced Corporal Scully down until he lay across the trapped man. Lieutenant Chittenden who was still holding one end of the plank reached over and supported Corporal Scully's head to prevent him from being suffocated by having his head pressed into the debris. He managed to keep Corporal Scully's face clear, but he was fast becoming exhausted. Despite this, he kept up his spirits and continued to talk encouragingly to the woman. The man was unconscious nearly all this time. Corporal Scully remained in this position throughout the night until, more than seven hours later, the rescue party were able to rescue him and the casualties.

When they first entered the house. Lieutenant Chittenden and Corporal Scully knew there was a grave risk of injury or death as the high walls nearby appeared about to collapse at any moment. Had this collapse occurred, they would have been buried under many tons of debris. Corporal Scully risked his life to save the two people and, though the position looked hopeless, Lieutenant Chittenden stayed with him.


Scully was the only member of the Pioneer Corps to be awarded the George Cross (although 13 George Medals and many other lesser awards have been won by Corps members.). No members of the Pioneer Corps have won the Victoria Cross while serving with the corps, although Francis George Miles served with the corps in World War II after winning the VC while serving with the Gloucestershire Regiment in World War I.

James Scully was the first Catholic recipient of a George Cross and is commemorated by a sculpture at Simpson Barracks. A Troop of the modern-day Royal Logistics Corps is also named after him.

Corporal Scully's medal group including the George Cross was sold at auction in London on 5 July 2011 for £72,000. The auction was held by Dix Noonan Webb and was lot number 705. It was sold with a quantity of original documentation, including the recipient's Soldier's Service and Pay Book; Buckingham Palace Coronation Medal 1953 certificate; membership certificate for the Royal Society of St George; two or three portrait photographs, and the cover feature of The Hornet of January 1967, featuring the recipient's G.C.-winning exploits.

James Scully died in 1974 while visiting his nephew, the English athlete and later sports broadcaster Brendan Foster.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Scully_(GC)
http://vconline.org.uk/james-p-scully-gc/4589482229
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  #476  
Old 01-02-2018, 08:47 PM
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It was a long held belief that the Victoria Cross and Indian Mutiny Medal awarded to Gunner Richard Fitzgerald, Bengal Horse Artillery, had been lost after the Bristol Museum, where it resided, had been more or less destroyed by a bombing raid in 1941. In fact the coins and medal collection had by then been transferred to the Art Gallery & Museum of Antiquities next door which suffered only minor damage in the raid.
The Fitzgerald VC is part of the Eberle Collection of several thousand medals currently lodged in the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. Eberle was a local Bristol councillor, Alderman and benefactor who established a Veterans Association to help the elderly destitute soldiers in the city, veterans of the Crimean War and Indian Mutiny. Eberle bought their medals from them as a way of providing ready cash, the story being that he lent them back for wearing on special occasions.

Recent research has discovered that Eberle also purchased medals for his collection through auctions. In a notebook that accompanies the medal collection is a small entry against Fitzgerald's Victoria Cross - Sp 3 / 98. Further research has discovered this signifies that the Richard Fitzgerald VC was listed in a Spink "Numismatic Circular" dated February 1898 ( Vol VI, No. 63 ), Item 43478, for sale for the sum of £40. It can therefore be concluded that Alderman Eberle purchased the Richard Fitzgerald Victoria Cross and his Indian Mutiny Medal from the Spink circular in March 1898. Unfortunately, the identity of the vendor of the Fitzgerald VC has not been established.


Richard Fitzgerald remained in India following the conclusion of the Indian Mutiny in 1859 and in 1861 volunteered to transfer to the Royal Horse Artillery. All trace of him was lost in 1884 and two years later, in 1886, the War Office suspended his Victoria Cross pension. The India House Quarterly Returns show no entry for the death of Richard Fitzgerald in India five years either side of 1884.
There is some thought that Richard Fitzgerald and a Gunner James Roots were one and the same person. Both served in the same Bengal Horse Artillery unit and Roots was therefore a witness to Fitzgerald's gallantry on 28th September 1857.

However, the story that Fitzgerald and Roots were the same man is believed not to be the case. The facts below have been obtained from the old India Office and were published by Lieutenant Colonel M.E.S. Laws, OBE, MC, in the Journal of the United Service Institution of India in July 1954. Colonel Laws gives the opinion that James Roots in his old age, he died in 1916, was convinced he had been awarded the Victoria Cross even stating he was wearing his VC when introduced to King George V at the Delhi Durbar in 1911. By this date Richard Fitzgerald's VC was safely in the Eberle Collection in Bristol.

Richard Fitzgerald.............................James Roots
Born: St Finbar, Co Cork, in 1831........Born: 1836
Enlisted: Cork, 17 December 1851......Enlisted: Northfleet, Kent, 2 July 1856
Bengal Horse Artillery........................Bengal Horse Artillery
Profession: Carpenter.........................Profession: Clerk
Arrived: Calcutta, 15 November 1852..Arrived: Calcutta, 29 November 1856
On troopship: 'Soubahdar'..................On troopship: 'Minden'

The action by Colonel Greathead's Column at the town of Bolundshadur was a full scale battle and was in effect the last piece of major resistance by the Delhi rebels. The reason for the action by Diamond and Fitzgerald was that two guns had gone too far forward and had been attacked by heavy small arms fire which totally disabled one gun and left the other with only two effective gunners.

For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 24 April 1858 ], Bolundshadur, Indian Mutiny, 28 September 1857, Sergeant Bernard Diamond & Gunner Richard Fitzgerald, 2nd Troop, 3rd Brigade, Bengal Horse Artillery.

For an act of valour performed in action against the rebels and mutineers at Bolundshadur, on the 28th September 1857, when these two soldiers evinced the most determined bravery in working their gun under a very heavy fire of musketry, whereby they cleared the road of the enemy, after every other man belonging to it had been either killed of disabled by wounds.
Richard Fitzgerald and Bernard Diamond are assumed to have been invested with their Victoria Crosses in India in 1858. However, the location and by whom is unknown.

Extract from report dated 28th September 1857: Lieutenant G. Cracklow, Commanding 2nd Troop, 3rd Brigade, Horse Artillery to Captain C.H. Blunt, Commanding in charge 2nd Troop, 3rd Brigade


I beg to bring to your notice the gallant conduct of Sergeant Diamond and Gunner FitzGerald. These two men, when the rest of the crew were disabled, served the gun under a heavy musketry fire; their coolness and daring elicited the admiration of all present.
Extract from report dated 28th September 1857: Captain C.H. Blunt to Major F. Turner, Commanding Artillery with Movable Column, Camp Bolundshadur


I beg to call to your notice the high commendation which Lieutenant Cracklow has, in his report, bestowed on Sergeant Diamond and Gunner FitzGerald. This commendation has been confirmed and strengthened by several officers in Her Majesty's 9th Lancers, who were witnesses of their gallant conduct.
Extract from report dated 28th September 1857: Major F. Turner to Captain Bannatyne, Major of Brigade, Movable Column, Camp Bolundshadur


I have great pleasure in pressing upon Lieutenant-Colonel Greathead's attention the very gallant conduct of Sergeant Diamond and Gunner FitzGerald of the 2nd Troop, 3rd Brigade, Horse Artillery, who, after the rest of their gun's crew were disabled, continued to serve it under a very heavy fire of musketry, and I trust that by Colonel Greathead, this gallant conduct as also that of 2nd Lieutenant Cracklow, may be brought to the notice of Major General Wilson, Commanding Delhi Field Force, and Commandant of Artillery.
The reports are a good example of the initial progression of a recommendation and also it is worth noting the speed with which the reports were produced bearing in mind that all the officers had been involved in a very severe battle the same day.
http://www.victoriacross.org.uk/bbfitzge.htm
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  #477  
Old 16-02-2018, 08:15 PM
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Private Fowler was awarded his Victoria Cross for bravery at Hlobane Mountain during the Zulu War. He was serving in the 2nd Bn The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) at the time. On 28th Mar 1879, when aged 20, he was part of a group that had been ordered by Evelyn Wood to dislodge enemy tribesmen from a commanding position in caves further up the mountain. The path was so narrow that they had to advance in single file. Captain Campbell of the Coldstream Guards who was leading the party was killed at the mouth of the cave and Lieutenant Lysons and Private Fowler rushed forward and cleared the enemy out of their stronghold. The awards of the VC to both Fowler and Lysons were gazetted on 5th April 1882.
Edmund John Fowler was born in Crook, Waterford in Feb 1859. He reached the rank of Colour-Sergeant and died in Colchester on 26th Mar 1926. His army career was a chequered one. He enlisted in the Cameronians at Waterford on 17th Mar 1877. After serving through the Zulu War he purchased his discharge for 18 pounds at Netley on 29th Jan 1880, but re-enlisted into the 2nd battalion Royal Irish in Feb 1882. He was promoted to Corporal and served in Egypt and the Sudan. He later served in India where he was hospitalised for enteric fever for 56 days. He transferred to the 1st Bn RI in Sep 1884 and returned home. He was promoted to Sergeant and posted to Clonmel.

Then, on 31st Dec 1886 he was in trouble and forfeited his Good Conduct pay. He was imprisoned and court martialled at Devonport on 24th Jan 1887 as a result of which he was found guilty of embezzlement, reduced to the ranks and stripped of his VC and medals. Apparently Queen Victoria heard of this and insisted that his detention was punishment enough and that his medals should be restored to him, which they were on 26th April 1887. His Good Conduct pay was restored the following year and he was promoted to Under Lance-Corporal on 1st Feb 1888. By 1891 he was a sergeant and in 1892 transferred to the 3rd (Wexford Militia) Battalion of the RI. In 1894 he was in the 1st Battalion and hospitalised for leg ulcers.

On 16th March 1896 he transferred back to the Cameronians, this time to the 3rd Battalion (formerly the Lanark Militia) with the rank of sergeant. He was posted to Hamilton and then Lanark where he was hospitalised for 59 days for severe leg ulcers. The following year, in May 1897, he was in Hamilton where he was again hospitalised (89 days) for the same complaint. His promotion to Colour-Sergeant came on 11th May 1898 but his legs were becoming chronic with varicose veins and ulcers. A medical board recommended his discharge and he was finally out of the army on 13th Feb 1900.

He had married Mary from Donegal on 8th July 1883 and they had 4 daughters and 2 sons. After the army he lived in Berechurch Road, St Giles, Colchester and owned a fruit shop, then a pub called the Live and Let Live in Stanwell Street, Colchester. He must have had little flair for business because his VC medal was sold at Sotheby's in Feb 1906, for 42 pounds. The medal can now be seen in the Cameronians museum in Hamilton, Lanarkshire. He died on 26th March 1926 and was buried in Colchester Borough Cemetery on 31st March. The photo shows him in the dress uniform of the Royal Irish Regiment.
http://www.britishempire.co.uk/force.../rirfowler.htm
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  #478  
Old 20-02-2018, 08:57 PM
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The Wreck of the Teaser
March 18, 1911
On Saturday morning, March 18th, 1911, the schooner "Teaser" of Montrose, was wrecked at Curragh, Ardmore with the loss of all hands, during a terrible storm. The "Teaser" was a small schooner on a voyage from Swansea, and was bound for Killorglin, Dingle Bay. She was owned by a Mr. Ferguson of Connach's Quay, Flintshire, North Wales, She called at Milford Haven, which is supposed to have left on Thursday, when her Captain, Thomas Hughes, set sail on his last tragic voyage to eternity.
When the vessel was sighted off Ardmore in a distressed condition, the coastguards with rocket apparatus hurried to the rescue. Several rockets were fired some of which reached the ship. Three of the drew were observed in the rigging in a pitiful condition, but they were unable to make use of the lines put aboard by the coastguards. Two coastguards, Richard Barry and Alexander Neal, plunged into the icy cold water with mountainous waves breaking over them in a gallant attempt to reach the crew, but had to be pulled from the water in an exhausted condition.
Rev. John O'Shea, Curate of Ardmore, was promptly on the scene. Seeing that the only hope of rescue could be carried out by boat, Fr. O'Shea, ,accompanied by a crowd of willing hands, procured a boat nearly a mile away from the wreck.
It was drawn by horse through old boreens with all possible speed to the scene. Fr. O'Shea put on a lifebelt and called to the crowd for a crew. The men of Ardmore answered the call without hesitation, knowing that to get into an open boat in such appalling weather would have daunted the bravest man. But these men had answered many a call and this was to be no exception. Coastguards Barry and Neal, Constable Lawton, William Harris Hotel keeper, Patrick Power Farmer, John O'Brien boatman and Cornelius O'Brien Farmer, formed a crew and with all possible safeguards they pulled the boat into the foaming surf.
In the teeth of a raging gale and with the seas breaking over, they pulled out from the shore. Through mountainous waves they rowed until they came alongside the "Teaser". The crew of the stricken vessel had lashed themselves to the rigging and were at death's door, when Fr. O'Shea administered the last sacraments to them. In an effort to get them off the rigging, one of them slipped into the sea. Coastguards Barry and Neal jumped from the rigging into the sea and with the aid of Mr. Harris and Constable Lawton, succeeded in getting him back on board.
Coastguard Barry was now exhausted, he collapsed and Fr. O'Shea had to administer the Sacraments to him also. Unfortunately the gallant and heroic efforts of the men of Ardmore failed as all of the crew of the "Teaser" died before they could get them ashore. Dr. Foley and many willing hands did all that was humanly possible for the crew but without avail.
Fr. O'Shea and his crew were so exhausted that they had to be assisted to a neighbouring house. They fortunately recovered from their ordeal. Coastguard Barry was driven to the Coastguard station and quickly recovered his strength.
The following are the names of the crew of the "Teaser", Captain Thomas Hughes, the Mate Fox and Ordinary Seaman Walsh.
For this rescue the brave men of Ardmore were decorated by H.M. the King of England at Buckingham Palace, on May 2nd, 1911. They also received medals and certificates from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. These were presented by the Lord Lieutenant and Lady Aberdeen at the Ui Breasail exhibition. Fr. O'Shea received the George Cross from H.M. the King.

https://www.coastguardsofyesteryear....?article_id=16
Richard Barry, Rev. John O'Shea, Alexander Neal, Constable Lawton, William Harris , Patrick Power , John O'Brien and Cornelius O'Brien.
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