Thursday 17 October 2019

Finding Private Ryan: Charity shop searching for relatives of war hero as WWI medals found in jacket

The medals were found in an old thread jacket
The medals were found in an old thread jacket Newsdesk Newsdesk

A charity shop in Cork is searching for the relatives of a Private Ryan after medals from World War One were found in the pocket of a donated jacket.

The discovery was made at Kealkil Charity Shop in Bantry.

Skibbereen Heritage Centre is now trying to trace the history of Private Patrick Ryan, who owned the two medals.

The centre has already uncovered some interesting information.

"Patrick Ryan would have been a volunteer as no conscripted soldiers were awarded the 1914-15 Star. He volunteered early in the war, perhaps signing on in Tralee in 1914.

"He was in the 1st Battalion of the Munster Fusiliers and joined them as a replacement in the Balkans so he was possibly at Gallipoli or in Egypt in the holding and supply area.

"The 1st Munster Fusiliers were evacuated from Gallipoli back to Eqypt In January 1916. In March 1916 Patrick Ryan and the rest of the battalion were shipped to Marseille and subsequently transferred to the Western Front where he saw active service in June 1916.

"Patrick was nominated to receive a bravery award, The Military Medal, but it was not awarded."

Private Ryan survived the war but was subsequently re-enlisted.

"We'd like to see Private Patrick Ryan's medals back with their family as do the wonderful people in Kealkil Charity Shop...," Skibbereen Heritage Centre said.

The medals will stay on display there until they find a new home.

Anyone with information can contact the centre here.

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