Private Alfred Johnston Bagnall

 

 

Alfred Johnston Bagnall was born on 9 June 1897 at Kilmacroy, Ballyfarnan, County Roscommon, the sixth of seven children of farmer George Bagnall and his wife Maria (née Johnston). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Kilmacroy with his parents and three of his siblings.

Bagnall enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 4 January 1916 (regimental number unknown). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp until November 1916, when he and around 100 other North Irish Horsemen volunteered to transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles. The formal transfer took place on 7 December (Bagnall was issued regimental number 40850), and on that day the men embarked for France. There they were posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, joining it on the Somme front on 12 December.

During 1917 or in early 1918 he was posted to the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles.

Soon after, Bagnall fell ill. He was evacuated to the UK, where he was diagnosed to be suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis. On 16 July 1918 he was discharged, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392 (xvi), King's Regulations).

Bagnall was granted a pension, his illness determined to be attributable to his military service, and he returned home to Kilmacroy. His health continued to decline, however, and he died there on 14 February 1921. He was buried in the Kilronan (St Thomas) Church of Ireland Churchyard, County Roscommon.

 

At the time of his death, Alfred Bagnall was not officially identified as a casualty of the war. A submission has now been made to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, through the In From the Cold Project, seeking a correction to this oversight.

 

Image courtesy of Terry Denham of the In From the Cold Project.