Today I attended the launch on line of material from the Military Service Pensions Collection by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
The Military Service Pensions Collection consists of approximately 300,000 paper files, with a number of maps,drawings and diagrams. The files relate in the main to applications by individuals and/or their dependents for the award of pensions and gratuities for people who served as members of the Irish Volunteers, the Irish Citizen Army, the original Irish Republican Army, Cumann na mBan, Na Fianna Éireann, the Hibernian Rifles and the Irish National Army on active service who were casualties or wounded while on duty during the period April-May 1916 to September 1923.
The Taoiseach spoke not only of these soldiers but of those who joined the British Army before and after the Great War, whom he said must be given equal recognition..A beautiful speech. Minister Deenihan spoke of my own work in this field of shared history and Common Identity, which I am pursuing with my colleague in Pretani Associates Helen Brooker.
This is indeed interesting stuff…. For there were applicants who were in the British Army before they joined the original IRA, and there were those who were in the original IRA before they joined the British and Imperial Forces.There was also a lady who was initially denied a pension because a soldier was defined as of male gender.
I was curious to see if anyone emigrated to New Zealand after their service in Ireland
4 applications came from New Zealand (and eight from Australia).
Spot sample ….
Name: Molloy, John
Location: 17 Childers Terrace, Kilbirnie, Wellington, New Zealand
Not always good news….. by the time John Molloy’s pension was approved in 1943, he seems to have died aged 55 fighting for British New Zealand in the Second World War.
It would be interesting to follow across to Commonwealth War Graves Commission records and try to find out where his service in New Zealand had brought him.