1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

Joseph Niland

Contributed by: John Doyle, on 2008-11-04

Joseph Niland
First Name Joseph
Surname Niland
Year of Birth 1874
Year of Death 1917
Regiment Royal Engineers
Place of Wartime Residence Dublin, Ireland

Joseph's Story

Death Penny

As a boy I spent summers with my grandparents in Harold's Cross, Dublin. There was a medal on the mantelpiece in the parlour which I described as 'Richard the Lionheart'. When I was older my Gran explained that it was the death penny given to her mother following the death of Gran's father, Joseph Niland, who served with 179th Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers. He was killed in action, March 1917.

Other memories

John Doyle, Swindon, UK 2008-11-08

while Joe was away at the front his two daughters (my gran Ellen Niland aged 10 and her sister Mary Niland aged 8) got caught up in the fighting during the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916. Gran remembered being ushered to safety by British soldiers.

Before the war, Joe Niland worked as a cooper at Guinness in St James's Gate, Dublin. The family were reasonably well looked after by Guinness following his death in 1917 - he left behind a wife and 4 young children.

Joe's father Hugh Niland had served in the 2nd Bombay Regiment of European Infantry. Neither of his 2 sons served in the forces but one grandson subsequently served in the RAF and another in the British Army.

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