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2nd Lieutenant William Joseph O’Malley

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Bedford House Cemetery Grave Encl.No.4 I.H.13

‘Y’ 47th Divisional Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Field Artillery

Age 25

KIA 9.4.17

The only son of William O'Malley, the journalist, speculative business manager, and Irish Parliamentary Party MP for Galway Connemara from 1895-1918. He married Mary (nee O’Connor) and had three children. Mary was the sister of Thomas Power O’Connor the Irish Nationalist MP for Galway and Liverpool, he chose to sit for Liverpool from 1885 until his death in 1929. The only Irish Nationalist Party MP to have been elected by a constituency not in Ireland. Mary was active in the Nationalist movement and regularly spoke at Land League meetings, she was imprisoned for six months in the 1880s. William lost his seat in the 1918 Sinn Féin landslide victory. They lived in England throughout his parliamentary career only returning to Ireland in 1921.


Early Life

William was born in Clapham, Surrey, in 1892 and attended St Augustine’s College in Ramsgate, Kent from 1907 to 1911. On leaving school, he undertook a long spell of travelling abroad which was also to help him recover from poor health and on his return he became an accountant. On the outbreak of war he enlisted in the 6th London Brigade, Royal Artillery in September 1914 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He went to France on 9 October 1915.


His Death

He was posted to the Divisional Ammunition Column. This was an important element of the division providing supplies and stores of ammunition to the front-line dumps with the work carried at night and the enemy constantly shelled rear areas. He felt bored by this dangerous work and sought a transfer and he was transferred to the 47th Divisional Trench Mortar Battery. He was killed and two other rank members of his battery were wounded during a German artillery barrage on the divisional lines at the Bluff.

Linesman Map showing the trench lines at the Bluff

The War Diary records Williams death:

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