National Army Soldier Francis Joseph (Frank) Cregan
National Army Soldier Francis Joseph (Frank) Cregan (aged about 20) of 2 Donelan Terrace, Queenstown/Cobh (Castletownroche)
Date of incident: 4 Nov. 1922
Sources: Death Certificate (Fermoy District, Union of Fermoy), 11 Nov. 1922; CE, 13, 14 Nov. 1922, 10 Nov. 1923; MSPC/2D38 (Military Archives); Keane (2017), 323; http://www.irishmedals.ie/National-Army-Killed.php (accessed 2 Aug. 2017).
Note: A natine of Cobh, Private Francis Cregan was seriously injured in a ‘motor smash’ at Castletownroche on 4 November 1922. He suffered a bad fracture of the right leg and was taken to the Fermoy District Hospital, where as a result of the fracture he developed septic poisoning and died seven days later (11 November). The Crossley tender in which Cregan and other soldiers had been traveling ‘ran under a tree that had been felled across the road’. There was an indication at the subsequent court of military inquiry that the driver of the tender ‘had had two drinks’ on the day of the accident and might ‘have had more’. An army captain who testified at the inquiry and who had visited Cregan in the hospital before his death said that Cregan had given ‘as an explanation for taking the Crossley that they were all “fairly tight”’. The court found that Cregan had ‘died from septicaemia caused by injuries received in a collision between a military lorry and an obstacle placed on the road by persons in armed opposition to the National forces’. But the court also called for the injured driver of the lorry to be arrested and tried by court-martial once he had recovered. See CE, 14 Nov. 1922. Private Cregan was interred in St Joseph’s Cemetery, situated along Tory Top Road in Ballyphehane, Cork city. See CE, 13 Nov. 1922. An in memoriam notice for Frank Cregan on the first anniversary of his death gives the date of his death from mortal injuries as 10 November 1922. See CE, 10 Nov. 1923.
Francis Cregan was in 1911 one of the six children of Royal Navy Chief Signalman Robert James Cregan, a native of Belfast, and his wife Mary Ann (or Molly). All six children (four daughters and two sons) co-resided with their parents in that year at house 2.1 in Ballyvoloon (Donelan Terrace) in CobhQueenstown. The children ranged in age from 1 to 9. Francis J. Cregan (then aged 9) was the eldest child. More children may have been born after 1911.
In the Civic Guard report of January 1924 Molly Cregan, the mother of the deceased, was said to have been ‘solely dependant’ on her son Francis or Frank at the time of his death. She received a dependant’s allowance of 15s. a week for life. She died on 20 October 1932. See MSPC/2D38 (Military Archives).