Home Guard, died 20 November 1943: CWGC

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Pat Twomey, May 5, 2021.

  1. Pat Twomey

    Pat Twomey Member

    That's brilliant - much better than the CWGC one.
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Can I ask your interest in this casualty

  3. Pat Twomey

    Pat Twomey Member

    My interest is really in his brother William who with my Grandfather Edward Gallagher and many more soldiers were killed in North Russia in 1919 in a sideshow to the Great War. While researching William I came across the story of Walter which prompted me to ask the above question here. Very grateful for all the helpful information and suggestions.
    CL1 likes this.
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Great show well done
    The death cert should give details of his demise

    please let us know


    ARPCDHG Member

    He may well have been killed on Home Guard exercise - many were.
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Name: Pvt William O'Driscoll
    Death Date: 30 Jun 1919
    Cemetery: Archangel Allied Cemetery
    Burial or Cremation Place: Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russian Federation
    Has Bio?: N

    There looks to be 12 trees on Ancestry that include him
    William O'Driscoll
    BIRTH JUN 1899 • Blarney County Cork, Ireland
    DEATH 30 JUN 1919 • Russia


    Some background to the North Russia Expedition 1919 if anyone is interested
    Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War - Wikipedia
    CL1 likes this.
  7. Pat Twomey

    Pat Twomey Member

    Just received the death certificate for Walter Benedict O'Driscoll (39) of 27, Corfton Road, Ealing a sheet metal worker.

    Registration district: Paddington
    When and where died: 19/11/1943 at St Marys Hospital.
    Cause of death: Meningitis due to Bacillus Pyocyaneus certified after PM without inquest.
    Informant: Elizabeth O'Driscoll widow of deceased.

    Not sure where this leaves us. If he was allowed a CWGC headstone it implies his death 'occurred while officially on duty'. Could he have been injured, while on duty, sometime prior to the 19th November and developed Meningitis as a result?

    Would appreciate any thoughts on the matter.
  8. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Hello Pat
    Unless you can dig up info to suggest that he was injured first whilst on duty then he does not qualify for CWGC commemoration. However CWGC have commemorated him so there has been some form of criteria met for them to do so.
    If he had been injured one would assume the dc would have stated it and added that as cause of death

    Please look at my post #14 the same situation but not commemorated

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
  9. jonheyworth

    jonheyworth Senior Member

    I’m with Clive . Very surprised he’s listed on CWGC
  10. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Just spoken to CWGC

    They have no further info about his death but he is commemorated.
    One assumes he became ill whilst on duty then died

    Bacillus Pyocyaneus Just googled this and suggests amongst other things can cause infection via a cut or such like
    Possible he cut himself whilst on duty and demise followed due to infected cut
    Of course I am just running away with my own self diagnosis but that is possibly a reason for his commemoration

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
    Tony56 likes this.
  11. Pat Twomey

    Pat Twomey Member

    Hi Clive and Jon,
    As you say something must have happened whilst on duty which resulted in the infection, this then allowed a CWGC headstone.
    Thanks again for all your help and if I turn up any further info will post it.
  12. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    I may have missed something but what says he was in the Home Guard when he died? Could he not have been in the Home Guard and then enlisted in the 6th Middlesex? If so he would then meet CWGC criteria even if death was from natural causes.


    Edit: Doh :banghead:
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021
  13. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Pvt Walter O'Driscoll (unknown-1943) - Find A...
    Pvt Walter O'Driscoll
    BIRTH unknown
    DEATH 20 Nov 1943
    South Ealing Cemetery
    Ealing, London Borough of Ealing, Greater London, England
    PLOT Sec. C.C. Row M. Grave 44.
    MEMORIAL ID 91555475 · View Source

    Home Guard. 6th Middlesex Bn. Age:39. Son of Mortimer O'Driscoll and of Margaret O'Driscoll (nee Sheehan); husband of Elizebeth O'Driscoll (nee Kennefick), of Ealing.

    Sounds as if service records are necessary to resolve

    timuk and Tony56 like this.
  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Is there another Walter Benedict O'Driscoll ??

    Surrey, England, Regimental Rolls and Recruitment Registers, 1914-1947
    Name: Walter Benedict O'Driscoll
    Event Date: 7 Dec 1944
    Regiment Number: 14883849
    Regiment: Queen's Royal West Surrey


    OK - panic over

    Birth 9 Sep 1926 Ireland
    Death Nov 2002 England
  15. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    timuk, Tony56 and Tricky Dicky like this.
  16. Pat Twomey

    Pat Twomey Member

    Would any St Marys Hospital records be available?
  17. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    I would suggest that it is extremely unlikely that you would get access to any medical records from the hospital.
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  18. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron


    I think you should be pleased he is at least commemorated as per my last post re his cause of death it is an assumption that at the start time of his first illness he was deemed on duty hence his commemoration.
    Also I spoke directly with CWGC today and they do not have any further info

    Tricky Dicky and Tony56 like this.
  19. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Check with them again in Nov 2043

  20. Pat,
    Yes, you're on the right track.
    Walter O'Driscoll was my Grandfather... :)
    Sadly, my father (also W.B. O'Driscoll, who's army number you originally posted) died in 2002 (sadly on 22nd Nov very close to the anniversary of his father) and he had served with his father in the 6th MX HG prior to enlisting in the Army on Dec 7th '44, but didn't really talk about his father much.
    My understanding from what little info I have is that my Grandfather was on guard duty at the large anti-aircraft emplacement site in Gunnersbury Park in West London, which is where they factory HG unit were based, when there was some sort of accident, in which he was injured and hospitalised. It was while in hospital that contracted the bacterial Meningitis, and subsequently died. My Grandmother was left with 9 kids to bring up on her own (the youngest being 9 months old at the time) and she then fought a long battle with the War Office as if he hadn't been injured while on HG duty, he wouldn't have been in the hospital, and thus wouldn't have caught Meningitis (I believe he wasn't the only patient to catch it and die from it)
    My Grandmother eventually did get acceptance from the WO of this fact, and received a small widows pension, and a death in service cert for my Grandfather. I have this death in service certificate, and the original envelope the WO sent it in, and its postmarked Oct 1948, so almost 5 years afterwards. This is why he is buried in a family plot and the CWC headstone was added to the grave many years later.
    I think, but don't know for sure, that the accident may have been on Oct 20th 1943, as near to my Grandfather's grave is a small plot of other CWC graves, and there are two graves of ATS gunners who died on Oct 20th, and that dates sort of fits for the time he was in hospital, so I think whatever killed those ATS gunners was likely the incident that injured my Grandfather.

    As an aside, I only recently obtained his service record from his time in the Irish Free State Army between 1922 & 1924, I have a photo of his taken at Cork Barracks in spring 1923 after his transfer to the Military Police. The Irish Army archives also showed he had 2 years pre-truce service with C Company, 1st Battalion, Cork No.1 Brigade IRA.

Share This Page