Richard Ahern

Date of birth: 1897
Place of birth: Portsea, Portsmouth
Service No.: 5937
Rank:  Private
Regiment: The Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians)
Battalion: 2nd
Died: 24th November 1917 aged 19 or 20 years of age
Death location: Western Front

 

Life Before the War
Richard was born in Portsea, Portsmouth.  By the time of the census of 24th April 1911 he is living in County Kildare, where at the age of 14 he was a Telegraph Messenger.  Also listed are his father, Richard senior, mother Elizabeth and his siblings – 3 sisters and 2 brothers:

Kathleen aged 13

Aileen aged 7

Raymond aged 6

Violet aged 4

Cecil aged 2

Another older brother, Rodney, doesn’t appear in this census.

By the time of Richard’s death his parents were living at 55 Paynes Road, Southampton.

 

Military Service
Richard’s father had served in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers during the Boer War and had signed up to fight again, as had Richard junior’s older brother Rodney.  Richard junior enlisted in the Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians) – a regiment that had been formed in 1881 after the merger of the 100th Canadian Regiment of Foot and the 109th Indian Regiment of Foot.  In 1911 the 2nd Battalion began training in County Cork, where they were well-placed to deploy to France soon after the outbreak of the Great War.  They remained stationed in Flanders and Northern France throughout the War.

During November 1917 Richard’s men were involved in many skirmishes across No Man’s Land to attack enemy trenches.  On 23rd November the 2nd Battalion’s War Diary confirms that a battle took place during which “many” Germans were killed, 31 were taken prisoner and a ‘listening set’ together with much enemy ammunition was captured.  It is likely that it was during this battle that Richard was fatally wounded.

He died on 24th November 1917 of wounds received, just over two years after his brother Rodney had been killed. They both died aged 20.  Please select the link to Rodney’s name to read more of his story.

 

Cemetery/Memorial
Richard is buried in Tincourt Cemetery, grave reference II.F.12, where his headstone is inscribed:

“A Daily Thought – A Silent Sorrow”

He is also listed on the memorial wall in Southampton, although not on the Centotaph itself.

 

Researcher: Mandy Shearing
Published: 15th March 2016
Updated: Insert dates here

If you have any more information about the above named person, or any other name listed on this website or Southampton’s Cenotaph, please email Southampton.cenotaph@hotmail.co.uk and we will contact you.  Many thanks.