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 Seeking information - Pte Maurice O'Connell, 2/24th Regt - Zulu War medal recipient

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Rich721



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PostSubject: Seeking information - Pte Maurice O'Connell, 2/24th Regt - Zulu War medal recipient   Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:58 am

I'm a new poster here on the forum, although since joining last year I have visited from time to time to learn a little more about the history of the Zulu war, and looking for more information on my great-great grandfather, who served for the duration of the war as a Private in the 2nd Battalion 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot.

His name was Pte Maurice O'Connell, an Irishman from County Kerry, who served with the regiment between 1864 and 1886. He went on to become a Sergeant and served in Gibraltar and India before retiring and passing away in Kent in 1924 aged 81.

My great-grandmother was his eldest daughter. As a child, I knew her (she died at the age of 98 in 1979) - and growing up I was fortunate to hear a few Zulu war stories involving Maurice recounted by family members. She was born at sea as her mother was en route to the regiment's garrison in India in 1881. I have her baptismal certificate from this time signed by R.J. Brandon- a British Army chaplain who possibly served with the 2/24th Regiment - showing her baptism at Secunderabad, India, and listing her father's occupation as Private Soldier 2/24th Regt.

Having obtained Maurice's military record from Kew several years ago, I always wondered what had happened to the one medal he was awarded during his military service - the South African Medal and 1877 - 78 - 79 clasps. I assumed that it had vanished in the sands of time, and I certainly never imagined that I would learn of it’s fate.

I was very surprised and intrigued when a recent google search on my great-great grandfather's name found a for sale advert on the internet for his medal, with one of the well known UK medal dealers. Unfortunately, although I contacted them immediately they advised that it had already sold to a UK collector in Dorset, and that I had missed it by a few days. Sad

If anyone is able to assist with putting me in contact with the buyer of this medal, or has any information they can share on Maurice O'Connell's service in the Zulu war, I'd be very grateful for any help and assistance they can provide.


Last edited by Rich721 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:55 am; edited 3 times in total
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Seeking information - Pte Maurice O'Connell, 2/24th Regt - Zulu War medal recipient   Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:21 am

We have this Maurice O'Connell. Different regiment.

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Rich721



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PostSubject: Re: Seeking information - Pte Maurice O'Connell, 2/24th Regt - Zulu War medal recipient   Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:32 am

Dave, thanks for your reply - I had previously come across records for Lieutenant Maurice O'Connell - mine was definitely 2/24th Regiment, and the highest rank he obtained was Sergeant. I don't think they were related, as mine came from quite a humble background in Ireland and his occupation was shown as labourer prior to joining the British Army.
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90th

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PostSubject: Pvt Maurice O'connell 2 / 24th    Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:57 pm

Hi Rich721.
Was the military record comprehensive ? . If not , someone on here may have ' The Noble 24th ' by Norman Holme . It will give some details of his time in the 24th Regt . I dont have access to my copy for 2 or 3 days , hopefully someone will help out .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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TOWERBOY



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PostSubject: Re: Seeking information - Pte Maurice O'Connell, 2/24th Regt - Zulu War medal recipient   Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:13 pm

Hi, all it has in the book The Noble 24th....is O'CONNELL. M. 1535 Private....South Africa Medal with clasp 1877-8-9. which Forsyths book confirms aswell. Salute
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Seeking information - Pte Maurice O'Connell, 2/24th Regt - Zulu War medal recipient   Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:29 pm

Maurice O’Connell was born in the Parish of Lianaw, near Listowell, Co. Kerry. He enlistewd into the Kerry Militia in November 1864, aged 19 years, 8 months, and thence the 24th Regiment. He served in South Africa and was discharged as a Sergeant at Gosport on 26 January 1885.


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The medal is in circulation among collectors.

Rich - I would go back to the dealer. I would be most surprised if a "reputable dealer" was unwilling to forward your contact details to the buyer.
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Rich721



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PostSubject: Re: Seeking information - Pte Maurice O'Connell, 2/24th Regt - Zulu War medal recipient   Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:39 pm

Thanks 90th & Towerboy, and to Tasker224 for the original auction listing.

His military record is 8 pages long, and gives his regimental number as 1535, so that is definitely him. He wasn't at Rorkes Drift or Isandhlwana, but he had a colourful record of service having been reduced in rank from Sergeant to Private and spent a period in confinement for being drunk on duty. He came good in the end though, being promoted back up to Sergeant, and his character on discharge is described as "very good."

The dealer who sold the medal now has my email address, so I will keep the board updated if they contact me.


Last edited by Rich721 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:48 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Mattyt



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PostSubject: Re: Seeking information - Pte Maurice O'Connell, 2/24th Regt - Zulu War medal recipient   Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:03 am

Hi Rich

It was me who purchased the medal, in fact I've owned this medal twice once from DNW in 2006 then Liverpool medals a few weeks ago.

Thanks Matt
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Rich721



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PostSubject: Re: Seeking information - Pte Maurice O'Connell, 2/24th Regt - Zulu War medal recipient   Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:43 pm

Well, a big thank you to Mattyt, who having come across my post on this forum, has kindly sold me my great-great-grandfather's medal from his collection. Very Happy

It turns out that the dealer who sold the medal to Matt just a few weeks before (a well known UK medal company that is mentioned regularly on the forums), hadn't bothered to contact or pass on my details to Matt, despite twice telling me that they had done so..... scratch

However, it was very nice to meet up with you Matt, and thanks again - it is amazing to think that I was able to find this medal 89 years after his death. Salute
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90th

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PostSubject: Re: Seeking information - Pte Maurice O'Connell, 2/24th Regt - Zulu War medal recipient   Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:45 pm

Well done Mattyt , excellent effort . Congrats Rich721 , I'll bet you never thought you'd come across it , and then be lucky
enough to purchase it . Very Happy
Cheers 90th Salute
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SergioD

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PostSubject: Re: Seeking information - Pte Maurice O'Connell, 2/24th Regt - Zulu War medal recipient   Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:55 pm

indeed - well done Mattyt. I would like to think that all of us medal collectors would not think twice about returning a medal to the family. I think it is a responsibility as custodians of the medal . I did with a QSA and it is the right thing to do.

having said that, I shall have my doubts if Tasker suddenly discovers a family relationship to a certain 2/24th Sergeant :p;:

I am surprised that the dealer didnt forward your details on - as tasker said most dealers and auction houses would.

Still another big win for this Forum..

regards

Sergio D

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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Seeking information - Pte Maurice O'Connell, 2/24th Regt - Zulu War medal recipient   Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:54 pm

Great news, it finally made its way back, to it's origins. Thanks for keeping us up to date! agree
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Seeking information - Pte Maurice O'Connell, 2/24th Regt - Zulu War medal recipient   Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:56 pm

That is the best possible outcome, well done Mattyt, well done Rich for tracking down your ancestor's medal. I bet you had to pay a lot more for it than that other ancestor sold it for! :p;:

Shame that the dealer seems to be in the trade for the wrong reasons.

Being able to return medals to family descendants on a couple of all too rare occasions has been one of the most satisfying, but unexpected pleasures I have ever got out of collecting medals.

I wish I was able to track down my gt grandfather's medals so easily - never ebven seen them for sale so I fear they may have ended up in the melting pot!
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