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tunney1Michael Tunney was born in 1887 in Preston and was the son of Thomas and Jane Ellen Tunney (nee Newsham). Thomas and Jane Ellen were married on the 20 March, 1876 in St. John`s Parish Church, Preston.

In the 1901 Census Michael is with his parents at 26 Duke Street, Preston together with three other siblings namely, Jane Ellen, Edward and Annie. Michael`s father Thomas was working as a labourer.

Michael married Alice Quinn in Preston in 1907. They had 4 children altogether, Alfred (1908-1908), Thomas Albert (1909), Alice (1911) and finally Edith (1913-1914).

In the 1911 Census Michael and Alice were living at 2 Albert Street, Preston with their two children Thomas Albert and Alice. Michael was employed as a labourer. Also in the household is Jane Quinn a `boarder` aged 65 years from County Antrim.

On the 4th August, 1914 he enlisted at Preston and was given the service number 64 which would later become 200029. He was posted to the 2/4th Battalion. On inspection the Medical Officer recorded Michael as being 5`5” tall with a 34 inch chest. He had good vision and good physical development. His address at the time of his enlistment was 7 Larkhill Street, Preston.

On the 7 February, 1917 he embarked at Southampton with the 2/4th Battalion bound for France.

On the 28 March, 1917 Michael was admitted to a field ambulance suffering from influenza. He re-joined his battalion on 6 April, 1917.

On the 12 July, 1917 he was admitted to a field ambulance again, this time with an abscess or wound on his thigh, he re-joined his battalion two weeks later on 26 July.

On the 2nd August, 1917 the 2/4th Battalion had been sent back to Brigade Reserve at l`Epinette but unfortunately Michael landed himself in a bit of trouble.

On the 4 August, 1917 – He was in confinement awaiting trial – “Whereas absenting himself without leave in that he was absent from his section from 10.15 a.m. until apprehended in the town at about 3.30 p.m. Losing by neglect his equipment and regimental necessities”. For this Michael was awarded 60 days field punishment No.1.

On the 10 September, 1917 Michael was admitted to a field ambulance for the third time. On this occasion it was more serious he was suffering from severe gas shell wounds. A few days later he was sent back to 35 General Hospital in Calais and then returned to England via the Hospital Ship Newhaven.

On the 21 September, 1917 he was admitted to Highfield Military Hospital in Liverpool where his condition is described as shell gas, bronchitis. He spent 47 days at Liverpool recovering and was then transferred to the Red Cross Hospital, Abbotsford, Rockferry for a further 17 days.

Michael was then given a period of leave from 23 November, 1917 after which he was posted into to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion.

Presumably having fully recovered he was found fit to return to the front and on 2 April, 1918 he sailed from Folkestone bound for France again. He was then posted to the 9th Battalion joining them in the field on 8 April, 1918.

Private Michael Tunney was killed in action on 28 April, 1918.

The actions around that time were as follows:-

23-24th April the enemy were bombarding and attacking allied positions around Kemmel Hill and on the 25th April the Division was ordered to support the XXII Corps, the enemy by this time had established themselves in Kemmel Village and on Kemmel Hill.

A counter-attack was ordered together with French troops for the early hours of the 26April. The advance was made; however, Kemmel Beek was in a flooded state making it difficult for the men to keep up with the barrage. Parts of the Battalion did get into Kemmel Village and further on but some troops to the right of the Division didn`t fare as well and had to pull back to the line of Kemmel Beek.

The fighting continued right through to the end of the month with the losses mounting up.

The following newspaper article appeared in the Preston Guardian a short while after Michael was killed.


Michael received the British War and Victory Medals and also the T.F. War Medal in recognition of his services. His name is recorded on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing.

Michael`s widow Alice was awarded a pension of 25/5d per week for herself and their two children from 23 December, 1918.

Rank: Private
Service No: 200029
Date of Death: 28/04/1918
Age: 31
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 9th Bn.

This soldier was researched by Janet Davis

Janet Davis
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