Just over a hundred years ago, on or about March 23rd 1918, another Millstreet man was killed in World War One. He was John Cremin, a gunner with the “C” Battery of the 79th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery, and was killed on Flanders Fields, near the French / Belgian border. He is one of 35,000 men who died in WWI near Arras that have no grave, but whose name is listed on Bay 1 at the Arras Memorial.
But, we know little else about him, other than he was from Millstreet. Does anyone know who he was, or where he came from? or anything else.
So who was he?
I have found no account of his age or parents. There are only 6 John Cremins registered as being born in Millstreet, of possible war-going age.
- Birth of JOHN CREMIN in 1869 to Cornelius Cremin and Margaret Sullivan of Currirague
- Birth of JOHN CREMIN in 1872 to Philip Cremin and Julia Buckley of Rathcoole
- Birth of JOHN CREMIN on 3rd July 1875, to John Cremin and Hannah Murphy of Boolimore, Dromtarriffe (possibly because of his fathers name) (1901 census … gone)(1911 census)
- Birth of JOHN CRIMMEN on 1st Nov 1879 to Patrick Crimmen and Elizabeth Ford, at Lacka, Nohivale (unlikely, would someone from Knocknagree give their address as Millstreet?)
- Birth of JOHN CREMIN in 26th Jan 1894 at Inches, Caherbarnagh, to Cornelius Cremin and Hannah Quill [1901 census] [1911 census] (the most likely age-wise)
- Birth of JOHN CREMIN on 09 January 1902 to Thomas Cremin and Hannah Barry of Crinaloo, Kilcorney (probably too young if he joined the army in Wales)
My instinct would say that John Cremin born 1894 is the most likely because of his age, but it is written that he was “John J”, so it is also likely the John born in 1875 in Bolimore, because at the time, a boy’s second name was usually the father’s first name.
Unless someone actually lets us know, we may never know 🙁
- CREMIN JOHN J 1918-03-23 FRANCE
- Place of birth: MILLSTREET, CO. CORK
- Rank: GUNNER
- Service No.: 25297
- Mil. Unit: Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery “C” Bty. 79th Bde.
- Commemoration – ARRAS MEMORIAL, Faubourg-d’Amiens Cemetery, Plot: Bay 1. [find a Grave] 
- Reference –
- Enlistment Location: Aberdare (Wales)
- Date of death: Killed in action, Sat Mar 23 1918, France /Flanders
- Links: CWGC, WW1 Lookup
Medal Index Card: Sadly, I think that this card implies that the family “requests authority to dispose of medals”.
Who is the Anne O’Callaghan whose effects were left to?
Area – KERRY (RC) , Parish/Church/Congregation – MILLSTREET
Baptism of HANORIA (HONORA) O CALLAGHAN of DRISHANEBEG on 30 March 1898
Name HANORIA (HONORA) O CALLAGHAN
Date of Birth 29 March 1898
Father MICHAEL NR
Mother ANNA (ANN) CREMIN
Further details in the record
Father Occupation NR
Sponsor 1 PHILLIPO (PHILIP) CREMIN
Sponsor 2 MARIA (MARY) CREMIN
Priest J J BURKE
Birth of Julia Callaghan in 1899
1901 Census: The family were living in Killowen
Residents of a house 4 in Killowen (Rathcool, Cork)
Surname Forename Age Sex Relation to head
Callaghan Annie 30 Female Head of Family
Callaghan John 8 Male Son
Callaghan Hanoria 3 Female Daughter
Callaghan Julian 2 Female Daughter
From the above, I’d say that Anne was possibly the daughter of Philip Cremin and Julia Buckley of Rathcoole, born in 1869.
I wonder if the John Callaghan (in the 1901 census above) was actually our John Cremin. He may have been born before they married, and the father seems to have disappeared, so it’s possible that he was baptised Cremin? If so, the Anne Callaghan that he left his effects to was likely his mother.
Mary found the family in the 1911 census with an address of 36, Albert, Mountain Ash, Glamorgan, Wales (census document is above).
It notes that they had three more children in Wales, and that they have a boarder named Philip Cremin, That Michael Callaghan was born in Millstreet, that Annie Callaghan was a native of Rathcoole, that the family were all involved in the coal mining industry (John was a coal haulier), but crucially, John is noted as a step-son who was born in Kilmallock.
Following this up we find that John was born to Annie, a single mother, on April 11th 1893, in the Kilmallock workhouse.
I wonder if this is the same Michael Callaghan that was in and out of prison in Merthyr in the 1890s & 1900’s?
The family moved to Toronto after the war. These are parts of his pension records, which shows that the family moved from 47 Clarence Street, Miskin, Glanmorgan, to 218 Clinton St, Toronto, Canada.