"It was lovely to bring a piece of home to him after 100 years"

Gerry Waldron sprinkles some Tralee soil of the grave of ‘Thady’ O’Connor who was killed on November 4, 1918, one week before the signing of the Armistice and the end of the First World War
Gerry Waldron sprinkles some Tralee soil of the grave of ‘Thady’ O’Connor who was killed on November 4, 1918, one week before the signing of the Armistice and the end of the First World War

Fergus Dennehy

A Tralee man who was killed one week before the end of the First World War has been remembered this week by his relatives.

Timothy 'Thady' O'Connor was just 33-years-old when he was killed in action at the Battle of the Sambre Canal in France on November 4, 1918.

He had joined up with the Royal Irish Regiment and had served in Gallipoli, Salonika, the Middle East and the Western Front.

A Boherbee man and former player and loyal follower with John Mitchel's GAA club, it is estimated that Thady was the third last Kerryman to be killed in the Great War.

Thady was the son of Honoria Heffernan and John O'Connor, a cooper. Unfortunately, Thady's father died when he was five On the 100th anniversary of his death, his grand niece Mary Waldron and her husband Gerry - both from Tralee - honoured his memory by sprinkling Tralee soil onto his grave at Cross Roads cemetery. 

His grave is near the villages of La Cateau and Ors and not far from the Sambre Canal, where he was killed.  "It was lovely to bring a piece of home to him even after a 100 years," said Mary, speaking to The Kerryman on Monday.

"It was very moving to visit his grave and we are, as far as we know, the only relatives who have been to see his grave," she continued.

Mary and Gerry are now appealing to anyone who might have photos of Thady to contact them. "What we would like to find is a photograph of Thady. Some photographs were lost when his sister's died. I remember someone showing me a Mitchell's club book which had a photograph of Thady with a team," she said. This would have been produced in the 1970s.

If any Mitchell members have a copy to show us, we would be delighted," she finished. You can contact Mary at maryawaldron@gmail.com.

Kerryman

News