Brief war experience of a 19 year old at the Battle of Loos
James Roarty from Letterkenny, Co Donegal
Image WW1-26-1 Army Form B2067 Character Reference for James Roarty, first page; Image WW1-26-2 Character Reference James Roarty, second page; Image WW1-26-3 Certificate of discharge for James Roarty, first page; Image WW1-26-4 Certificate of discharge for James Roarty, second page; Image WW1-26-5 Photo of medals awarded to James Roarty (front of medals); Image WW1-26-6 Photo of medals awarded to James Roarty (back of medals)
My grandfather, James Roarty came from Letterkenny in Co Donegal, Ireland. He enlisted in the Royal Scots on 6th January, 1915 at Clydebank, Scotland. His service rank was Private and his service number was 16977. He was 19 years old. I have no idea why he signed up. I believe he was injured during the early days of the battle of Loos. I have a newspaper clipping listing him as one of the solders invalided to Dundee, and James is listed as being admitted in the Dundee Hospital book on 8th October, 1915. He only fought on the Western Front for a while. He never spoke of his experience or why he was sent back to Dundee. His discharge papers have a stamp stating that he was discharged in consequence of being ‘no longer physically fit for war service’. The stamp is so faint it will not be picked up in the accompanying image of the discharge papers. He was awarded: 1. The 1914-15 Star. The reverse has his service number, rank, name and unit 2. The British War Medal, 1914-18. His service number, rank, name and unit are impressed on the rim; 3. The Allied Victory Medal. His service number, rank, name and unit are impressed on the rim; 4. The Silver War Badge. The badge was originally issued to officers and men who were discharged or retired from the military forces as a result of sickness or injury caused by their war service. He was discharged on 6th November, 1917. My grandfather never discussed his experience in the war. I was aware that he had participated in WW1 but in the 1970’s in Donegal no one spoke about WW1. James returned to Letterkenny where he married and had two sons. He died on 7th November, 1973.