Private John Kelly
Private John Kelly (aged about 26) of the 1st Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Millstreet)
Date of incident: 26 Aug. 1920
Sources: Commonwealth War Graves Commission;
http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/list-1921.html (accessed 1 Aug. 2014); http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/kelly/kelly.html and http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/kelly/inquest.html (accessed 26 Sept. 2015).
Note: Kelly and another soldier were shot accidentally by a comrade named Private Wardell in a military barracks at Millstreet on 26 August. At a subsequent military inquest Lieutenant E.H.B. Birkett of the 1st Manchester Regiment testified concerning the accidental shooting of Privates Kelly and Dodd as follows: ‘The rifles were drawn at night because the main defence is from the upper floor, the guard room being on the ground floor. The rifles were drawn loaded because the strength of this detachment is small, viz.: 2 officers and 27 O.R.s, and the building is close to the road and is banked by woods on both sides, rendering a surprise attack probable. . . .’ See http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/kelly/inquest.html (accessed 26 Sept. 2015). Kelly died of his wounds in the ambulance on the way to a hospital in Cork city and was buried in the Cork Military Cemetery. Private Dodd was wounded in the neck, with the bullet entering under his jaw on the left side and exiting from the back of his neck. It is uncertain whether Dodd survived his wounds after his transfer by ambulance from Millstreet to Cork. Private Kelly had had a chequered military career, with desertions, theft, and ‘absent and drunk’ on his official record.