|5689 Sergeant Thomas Francis Connelly (Connolly) DCM of the Royal Irish Regiment. For his service in South Africa Connelly would
receive the Queen's South Africa Medal with the clasps: "Paardeberg", "Dreifontein", "Johannesburg", "Diamond Hill", "Belfast"
and "Relief of Kimberley". He would also receive the King's South Africa Medal with its usual two clasps: "1901" and "1902".
While little if anything has turned up to date regarding Connelly's personal life, I have uncovered several interesting fact about his military
career following the end of the conflict in South Africa. Deploying to India with his battalion around 1904 Connelly would be selected to represent
his regiment in the Delhi Durbar of 1911 and was presented with the medal for that event. Connelly would remain in India until the outbreak of
World War One when the 1/Royal Irish Regiment would return the England.
On 14 December, 1914 now Sergeant Major Thomas Connolly (all references to him after this date use this spelling of his surname) was
appointed Quarter Master and Honorary 2nd Lieutenant and around this time transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment. On
20 January, 1915 Connolly was promoted Quarter Master and Honorary Lieutenant. He was appointed Honorary Captain on 7 February, 1918.
Connolly was gazetted for the Military Cross on 12 December 1919 - after the 2nd Battalion had been deployed to Chakratta, India. Connolly's
Medal Index Card shows his entitlement to the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The card also shows Connolly's
address as being with the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Irish Regiment in Chakratta, India. In addition the card has a final date of 4 January, 1922
which would seem to indicate that Connolly was still with the regiment when it was disbanded in India on 31 July, 1922.
6 5/8 Inches by 4 7/8 Inches
(17 cm x 12.5 cm)
|A graphic reconstruction of Thomas Francis Connolly's medal group as it would have appeared
From left: George V type Military Cross, pre-1902 Distinguished Conduct Medal, 6-clasp
Queen's South Africa Medal, Kings South Africa Medal, 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal,
Victory Medal and 1911 Delhi Durbar Medal.