WWI: John Cremin ( 1893 – 1918)

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.

Ireland Casualties of World War I 1914-1922 for John Cremin [1]

UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921 [2]

Commonwealth War Graves Commission – commemorative certificate [1]
John Cremin’s name is on this plaque on Bay 1 at the Arras Memorial in France. This is a poor photo. It would be good to have a better photo [find a grave]

John Cremin’s Register of Effects. Royal Field Artillery, Gunner. Who is the Ms. Annie Callaghan who he left his effects to? It’s possibly his mother. see the notes on this further down. [1]


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.

  1. Birth of JOHN CREMIN in 1869 to Cornelius Cremin and Margaret Sullivan of Currirague
  2. Birth of JOHN CREMIN in 1872 to Philip Cremin and Julia Buckley of Rathcoole
  3. 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)
  4. 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?)
  5. 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)
  6. 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] [2]
    • 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

Date of Birth 29 March 1898
Further details in the record
Father Occupation NR
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.


Mystery solved

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.


John’s sister Anne married Arthur Murray on July 24th 1929 [ref] in Toronto. Her address at the time was 45 Geoffrey Street, Toronto [Street view]


8 thoughts on “WWI: John Cremin ( 1893 – 1918)”

  1. Hello – in working on my family tree, I have come across John Cremin. My grandfather, Ben Noonan, came from Millstreet. His sister, Abigail (Abina), married Michael Cremin who was the brother of John Cremin (born Jan. 28, 1894). Their parents were Cornelius Cremin and Johannah Quill.

    Patrick Dennehy of Millstreet, Michael Cremin’s grandson, is my second cousin.

  2. Hi Maryann, thanks for your comment. Unfortunately I failed to nail down who our John Cremin was. I’m now working on the premise that Anne Callaghan that he left his effects to was his mother, but I unfortunately have nothing fully conclusive 🙁

  3. This is your cousin Patrick Dennehy whom you visited some years back. John Cremin was my mother’s uncle who emigrated to Australia! He came to Ireland for two visits during the sixties! He had a son and 2 daughters. His son and one daughter are still alive and live in Brisbane. I and a number of Cremin cousins have been over to visit them. If you send me your email address I can send more info?

    1. How nice to hear from you! I had to look at my old picture albums to see when that was – it was 2003. I’d love to hear more about your family – is there a way I can send you my email address?

        1. Thanks! I was wondering how I’d get it to him without putting it out there for all the world to see.

    2. Hi Patrick, your grandfather would have been my great grandfathers first cousin. I had traced John Cremin down to leaving To Australia in 1922. It would be great to fill in extended family tree. Thank you, Liam

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