herald

Monday 23 October 2017

JohN taken prisoner just one day after he landed in france

John Joseph Mahon from Dublin's Liberties was shot in the leg one day after he landed in France to play his part in World War One.

The 21-year-old from Francis Street was immediately taken prisoner and sent to Limburg camp in Germany 
where he remained for the rest of the war.

His grandson Thomas Murphy from Oldtown, Co Meath is just beginning to trace his grandfather's history.

"It's only in the last three months I have caught up with all this and now it's like a drug. I need to know more and more," Thomas said.

He knows his grandfather signed up for the British Army in 1913, the year before war broke out.

"He was part of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. I would say it was a career thing, that he did it for the money because he would have been 20 years old and the Lockout had just happened."

Thomas knows that his grandfather (inset) landed in France with the Fusiliers on August 26, 1914.

The next day he was shot and wounded in the left leg and taken prisoner.

John Mahon remained at Limburg for the rest of the war and then returned home to the Liberties.

Thomas knows his grandfather 
married and went to live in Bridge 
Street around the corner from his 
birth home and later moved to nearby Maryland.

printer

The couple had 12 children, including Thomas's mother Mary who is now 78-years-old.

"Like a lot of the Dublin Fusiliers he was offered work and he got a job as a printer with the Irish Independent. He worked there 'til the end of his life. He died in 1947 at the age of 53," said Thomas.

Thomas says his mother was only 12 when her father died and it is unclear what happened. "She says he just got ill one evening and her two older brothers went for the priest.

"We don't know if he had illnesses from his time in the POW camp or even from his injuries. These are all the things we hope to find out now."

csheehy@herald.ie

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