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Rooneys of Clones in WW1 | Kevin Maguire (artist)
Picture of Big Paddy Rooney in military uniform Photo of Big Paddy's medals, back & front Picture of Paddy Rooney in Baghdad in uniform Photo of Paddy's medal, back and front
This is the story of my maternal grandfather and his cousin who both fought in WW1. both were named Patrick Rooney. Big Paddy was my grandfather from the Roslea Road in Clones, Co. Monaghan. The reference number on his medals is 14-145786 - DVR - P. Rooney A.S.C. Big Paddy worked for the Irish Greant Northern Railway and as he was walking to the British Army barracks to enlist a protestant friend of his Billy Lee shouted down from the railway signal cabin where he worked "Hey Paddy where are you going" "I'm going to join the British Army to go to the War" shouted back my grandfather... "hold on til I get my coat and I'll go with you" shouted Billy. And they went off to war together, both of them returning alive. He told my aunt that when they were half way to France if they could of gone home they would of. My grandfather had suffered a bite from a horse, shrapnel wounds and had lost a lot of his hearing. He had joined the Royal Field Artillery at Woolwich Arsenal and he served with them in Ypres and the Somme. He loaded the shells into the big guns. Once while walking across the fields in France or Belgium by complete chance he met his uncle a Mr. Carragher who was enlisted to a seperate Division. On another occasion he had a close escape from death while returning to England from leave. He missed his boat and stayed the ngiht in Dublin, his boat being sunk by the German Navy that night. The other Paddy Rooney was from Millbrook in Clones, Co. Monaghan a cousin of Big Paddy above, and he enlisted seperately in the British Army serving with the Royal Munster Fusiliers. He was reported to have served in the Holy Land and Iraq (as evidenced by his photo attached) the reference number on his medal attached is 5662 A. SJT. P.Rooney R.MUN.FUS. he returned to Clones after the war joining the Old IRA rising to Staff Captain and fought against the British Army during the war of Independence. He died soon after in 1922 possibly of TB.