McNally, John

Hull Pals Memorial Posts. Private, JOHN McNALLY, 11/395. Born at Hull, in 1876, John (James to his friends) was the youngest of two sons to John McNally (1851-1882) and Ann Freeman, of Hull. Both his parents were deceased. John worked as a Labourer before the war but was also a member of the Territorial Army meaning when war broke out he was mobilised and turned up at City Hall on 8th September 1914, where he became a member of the 11th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment. His training was interrupted on four occasions by absence when he overstayed a pass and either forfeited pay or was imprisoned as punishment. He shipped for Egypt in December 1915 and arrived in France the following March. John suffered gunshot wounds to the face and scalp on 8th August 1916 during the Somme campaign and was evacuated to the hospital centre at Boulogne where he died the following day. On his attestment form he lists himself as being married and living at 24, Caroline Street, Hull. The army could find no wife, writing instead to a Miss Elizabeth Salmon, of 76 Francis Street in Hull:
“Madam, Can you please inform me of the address of the widow of Private John McNally 11/395 East Yorkshire Regiment also can you kindly state why he was separated from his wife.”
Miss Salmon replied:
“Dear Sir, In reply to your letter, Mr McNally has never been married. I lived with him as his wife for 11 years. I have never been married. I am in a weak state of health and under doctors at present.” She later moved to 133, Chiltern Street, Hull (War Pension address).
I am joining dots here, but could John’s periods of absence have been down to his not wanting to desert his partner her being ill? Terrible really. John is buried at Boulogne Eastern Cemetery; he was 40 years old. His name is recorded on the St Charles Borremeo Church, war memorial, in Hull.

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Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France