|8th Welsh Regiment
|Place of Birth:
|9 August 1892 Gort, Co' Galway
|Place of Death:
|Date of Death:
Killed in Action: (Gallipoli) 8 August 1915.
Supplementary Notes: Enlisted: Cardiff.
Son of Patrick Foynes of Co. Galway.
Remembered: Helles Memorial — Turkey (140 to 144).
Please Read This.
This is The family history of Michael Foynes.
As a result of my own family history research I have discovered in the last couple of years that Michael was one of my Grandmother’s elder brothers. I never met my grandmother who died long before I was born.
His parents were Patrick and Julia Foynes (nee Larkin) originally of Drumacoo, then Kileenarran. Patrick died late 1900 and Julia early 1901 (Gort Workhouse Fever Hospital). All of the children were born Kileenarran but at the 1901 Census Julia had moved to the original Foynes house in Drumacoo. 8 of the children were placed in the care of the Union and in about 1904 Michael was found destitute and begging on the streets of Gort and subsequently sent to the Industrial School in Ennis but by 1911 Census was resident and employed at Whelan’s Pub in Shanaglish.
At some time between then and 1914 he moved to South Wales where his elder brother, Thomas, had settled and married a local girl following service in the RGA in the early 1900s. Both men worked in mines.
He was an early enlistment to the Army in 1914 and possibly one of the first wave of enthusiastic volunteers on outbreak of war. He was in 8th Battalion the Welsh Regiment, a Service Battalion raised for wartime service only. The Battalion moved around from Wales to South England for the next number of months before being moved to the Mediterranean and on to Gallipoli. They were to see action in the Battle of Chunuk Bair on the night of 7/8 August 1915 during which they were in support of the New Zealanders. Overnight the Battalion lost about 250 men, Michael being one of them. Unfortunately the casualties at Chunuk Bair were left on the hillside until a recovery operation was mounted by the New Zealand army on behalf of the CWGC in 1922. Due to this very few of the skeletal remains were identified and only one from Michael’s Battalion who is buried in Farm Cemetery.
Michael is commemorated on both the Helles Memorial and the Ystrad Mynach and Hengoed Cenotaph in S Wales, the town he enlisted from and where his elder brother lived. I wonder if his brother influenced the inclusion of his name on the memorial?
I have seen Michael’s service records and all of his siblings are recorded as having received part of his death in service gratuity, it was a pity this was not connected to his CWGC record which was completely lacking in detail.
Following Gallipoli 8th Welsh moved to Iraq for the rest of the war disbanding 1918/19 without leaving much of a mark on history. The few mentions of them I did find regarding Gallipoli refer to them as Welsh, Welch, Royal Welsh, Welsh Fusiliers and Welsh Pioneers a bit sad for a unit that lost a third of its strength in one night.