National Army Soldier William Francis Woulahan


National Army Soldier William Francis Woulahan (aged 33) of 49 Charlemont Street, Dublin (Bandon)

Date of death: 16 Nov. 1922

Sources: CE, 17 Nov. 1922; FJ, 23 Nov. 1922; II, 23 Nov. 1922; MSPC/2D319 (Military Archives); Keane (2017), 326, 419.


Note: The Cork Examiner of 17 November 1922 reported: ‘The remains of Volunteer Woulahan, who died at Bandon following an operation, were removed to the Mercy Hospital, Cork, yesterday [16 November].’ It appears that the report of the Irish Independent of 23 November 1922 and a record in William Woulahan’s pension file were incorrect in stating that he had been ‘killed in action in Bandon’. See MSPC/2D319 (Military Archives). Instead he was mortally wounded, and under circumstances that remain unclear.

‘The funeral of Pte. W. F. Woulahan, late of 49 Charlemont St . . . , took place [within a week] with full military honours from Rathmines church, after Requiem Mass, to Glasnevin. The cortege was headed by the Fife and Drum Band of the 2nd Eastern Div[ision] under Serg[eant] Healy [of] Wellington Barracks. A body guard was furnished by [the] deceased’s comrades under Capt[ain] O’Doherty. The firing party was in charge of Co[mpany] Serg[ean]t-Major Duffy. Rev. R[ichard] Concannon, C.F., said the prayers at the grave. The funeral arrangements were in charge of Staff Capt[ain] Stafford.’ See II, 23 Nov. 1922.  

Private Woulahan’s surname was often spelled incorrectly in his brief pension file, where it was mostly rendered as Wonlahan on account of the poor penmanship of his widowed mother Mary, who applied for a gratuity or allowance. Her application was never completed and thus no award was ever made. She was said in February 1924 to have been ‘in great distress’ since the death of her son William, partly because her husband too had died ‘at Easter 1923’. She herself died on 10 March 1924. See MSPC/2D319.

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