Sunday, 7 November 2010

Lest we forget - Private Peter Fitzhenry of the RAMC

On this Remembrance Sunday, I'm going to revisit the story of one Private Peter Fitzhenry of the Royal Army Medical Corps, a soldier that I wrote about here. I now have some more information to continue his story.

To recap... Peter Fitzhenry wasn't killed in the Great War, but he did receive wounds so severe that he was granted a Silver War Badge and discharged from further service in the Army. As his records had been destroyed by fire during the London Blitz in World War 2, at the time I could not positively identify him out of the several Peters who may have been serving in the British Army at the time.

The Silver War Badge registers at the National Archives at Kew are not yet digitised or on file, but the original register is open to view.
The register showed that SWB number 454414 was granted to Private Peter Fitzhenry of the RAMC. He enlisted on 3 November 1915 and was discharged in 9 December 1919 due to "Wounds" (the alternative reason being "sickness"). He was 35 years and 7 months at discharge, which makes his birthday around May 1884. He served overseas, but the register does not say where.
What is odd is that all the men from the RAMC who were being awarded the SWB on this page of the register in November or December 1919, over one year after the War had ended.

So where does this place Peter Fitzhenry in the wider Fitzhenry family?

The only man in my database that fits his profile is a Peter Fitzhenry who was born in County Wexford and who emigrated with the rest of his brothers to work in the coal mines in the industrial North-West of England. If my guess is correct, then Peter lost at least one and maybe two brothers in the War.

I only started writing this posting this afternoon, made the link and now I will have to consult with one of my correspondents to see if she does indeed recognise him as an ancestor. If so, I'll be able to tell you more about him soon.

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