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Express & Star, 19 Dec 1914

Express & Star, 19 Dec 1914

This photograph accompanies an article in the Express & Star on 19 December 1914, about a man called Private John Donelly [sic] of the South Staffordshire Regiment. His sister, a Mrs A. Monger, of 121 Lower Stafford Street, had just received news that he had been killed at Ypres on 27 October 1914. Donnelly had served 13 and a half years in the 2nd Battalion, fighting in the Boer War, and was called up as a Reservist on 4 August 1914 (number 5987). He had “two brothers in the firing line”, as well as being a keen footballer.

John Thomas Donnelly was born in Wolverhampton in 1884. His sister, Margaret, married a Harry Monger in 1903. I have not been able to find a birth for that name. Given that her initial in the newspaper article is “A.”, she may be the Annie Donnelly whose birth was registered in 1889, although that would make her a very young bride. I have not been able to confirm details of Donnelly’s brothers either. John is commemorated at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.