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Francis was the son of Charles Michael and Mary Ann O'Callaghan. Charles was born in Ireland while his wife was born in Canterbury, Kent. Charles was a regular soldier in the 88th Connaught Rangers and served in India where two of his children, Catherine Mary and Helene were born. On leaving the regular army Charles served as a sergeant major in the Robin Hood Rifles. The family has so far been traced only on the census of 1881 and 1901 when they were living in Nottingham. Eight children were named on the two census, the two oldest were born in India and their younger siblings in Nottingham: Catherine Mary and Helene (Helen) both born in India, Leonora b. 1877 (J/A/S Nottingham), Charles W, Leonard, Augustus D. birth registered 1880 J/F/M Nottingham, Francis Joseph b. abt 1886 and Leo Joseph b. abt. 1888. In 1881 Charles (43), now serving with the Robin Hood Rifles, and Mary (33) were living at 262 St Ann's Well Road with their five children Catherine (14), Helen (12), Charles W (7), Leonard (4) and Augustus (1). By 1901 the family had moved to 422 Alfreton Road, Nottingham. Charles (62) was now working at a colliery. Six of their children were at home on the night of the census; Catherine (30), Helene (28) a lace pattern girl, Leonora (22) who was in work, Augustus (20), and Francis (15) and Leo (13) who were both still at school. It seems likely that Francis enlisted in the army as there is a Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner Soldier Service Record for a Francis Joseph O'Callaghan, born St Ann's, Nottingham, in about 1886, joining the army in 1904 when he was 18 years old (Regiment: Lancers of the Line). His brother Leo attested in the Territorial Force (Reserve Battalion) in May 1911; 1381 Private, 7th Battalion (Robin Hood) Notts & Derby Regiment. He was then working as a french polisher for Boots the Chemist. He gave his address as 422 Alfreton Road, Nottingham, and his next of kin as his father of the same address. Leo was discharged on 18 December 1914 under Territorial Force Regulations para. 156 (xi) having served 3 years 229 days. Francis' father died on 12 May 1916 at the age of 77. He was buried in Nottingham General Cemetery on 15 May 1916. (See newspaper report in 'extra information'.) Probate was awarded to his eldest daughter, Catherine Mary O'Callaghan. Francis was killed in action less than five months later. The CWGC record gives his widowed mother's address as 68 Talbot Street, Nottingham. His mother probaby died on 23 November 1929.
He joined the army in 1904 (Lancers) but may not have still been serving when war broke out as he was in the Sherwood Foresters at the time of his death.
08 Oct 1916
806953 - CWGC Website
He was resident in Coventry, Warwickshire, but enlisted in Derby.
11th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Registers of Soldiers' Effects: His mother, Mary O'Callaghan, was his legatee. Nottingham Evening Post, 19 November 1907: ‘The Indian Mutiny. Golden Commemoration … Notts Veterans. The following is the complete roll of Nottingham and Notts. Indian Mutiny veterans who are members of the local Crimean and Indian Mutiny Veterans’ Association. Each man has the Indian Mutiny medal, and the clasps so far as known are given in parenthesis. It is impossible, however, to say, until the men’s papers are examined, who of these actually served in India in the year 1857 … (list of names) … Sergeant-Major O’Callaghan, 88th Connaught rangers (Central India). (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 24 June 1914, report on Crimean and Indian Mutiny Veterans Association parade: ‘Veterans on parade … Sergeant-Major O’Callaghan, 88th Connaught Rangers. Medals: Crimean, Turkish, Indian Mutiny, LS and GC and meritorious clasps: Sebastopol, Central India, fell in with the Robin Hood Rifle Veterans, which force he served with on leaving the regular army, and was entitled to wear their uniform.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, Monday 15 May 1916: ‘O’Callaghan. At 422, Alfreton-road, Sergeant-Major O’Callaghan, the 88th Connaught Rangers, for 15 years sergeant-major Robin Hood Rifles. RIP.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) A report of Michael O'Callaghan's funeral on 15 May 1916 appeared in the Nottingham Daily Express, 16 May 1916: “ROBIN HOODS'... SERGT.-MAJOR. “Military Funeral of Old Non-Commissioned Officer in Nottingham. “In a manner befitting a soldier, the remains of Sergeant-Major O'Callaghan, for 15 years the regimental sergeant-major of the Robin Hoods, were laid to rest in the Nottingham General Cemetery yesterday. [15th May 1916] “A Roman Catholic in faith, the old soldier's body had lain in state at St. Barnabas' Cathedral during the week-end, and it was from that place of worship that it was borne on a gun-carriage to the cemetery. “The gun-carriage, drawn by a team of five horses, was escorted by a party of members of the Army Service Corps. “A party of retired non-commissioned officers of the Robin Hoods, all of whom took their certificates under the training of the deceased, acted as bearers. They were in charge of Colour-Sergeant Arthur Foster, one of the dead sergeant’s oldest comrades. “A group of members of the Nottingham and Notts. Crimean and Indian Mutiny Veterans' Association followed the cortege from the cemetery gates. The last rites at the graveside were performed by the Rev. Canon McIlroy.” The above report is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages 'Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.' Probate: O’Callaghan Charles Michael of 422 Alfreton-road Nottingham died 12 May 1916 Probate Nottingham 6 June to Catherine Mary O’Callaghan spinster. Effects £110 8s. 5d.
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