Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

Patrick McGlynn

Patrick McGlynn : Photograph of Patrick in Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre.  Reference: MRP/5D/097

Photograph of Patrick in Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre. Reference: MRP/5D/097

Patrick McGlynn : (L to R) 1914 Star with clasp '5th Aug.-22nd Nov. 1914'; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal; 1939-45 Defence Medal; 1939-45 War Medal; Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

(L to R) 1914 Star with clasp '5th Aug.-22nd Nov. 1914'; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal; 1939-45 Defence Medal; 1939-45 War Medal; Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

Patrick was born in August 1886 in Manchester. We believe his mother was called Susannah and that he had at least 2 younger siblings: William and Mary Ann. We don't know anything about his early life, except that by 1901 his father had died, and that the family lived in the Ancoats area of Manchester.

Patrick was working as a scaffolder when he joined the Manchester Regiment in around February 1904. He was given the service number 9750. Unfortunately, we don't know anything about his early service.

In April 1908 Patrick was stationed in the UK, as he was able to travel to Ancoats and marry Grace Byrom there on the 4th. Their first child, named Grace, was born 4 months later on the 24th August. They had a son, Patrick, on the 30th April 1910. During this period the 2nd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment was stationed in various parts of the UK, and the Regimental Depot was based in Ashton-under-Lyne.

Most soldiers enlisted for 7 years in the Regular Army followed by 5 in the Army Reserve. This seems to have been what Patrick did as when the 1911 Census was taken in early April he was not a soldier. He was working as a general labourer and lived with his family at 16 Hutchins Street in the Beswick area of Manchester. As a Reservist he lived as a civilian, but could be called back to the Army in an emergency.

An emergency arose in early August 1914 when the First World War broke out, and Reservists were recalled. Patrick had to leave his family, including his new baby Mary Ann who had been born on the 11th April. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment.

This unit had been sent to France in mid August, and saw heavy combat at Mons and Le Cateau before the end of the month. They took heavy casualties in this fighting, and needed reinforcements. Patrick was one of the men sent. He arrived in France on the 11th September.

Shortly after the end of the war the National Publishing Company began an attempt to print a roll covering every man who had served in the First World War. They invited veterans or their families to send a short account of his or her service, for a fee. Not all veterans took up this offer, and the details they included were not checked for accuracy. Patrick sent this biography to the Company. It was published in Section XI, Manchester, of the National Roll of the Great War:

McGlynn, P., Sergeant. 2nd Manchester Regiment

Mobilised from the Army Reserve on the outbreak of war, he proceeded to France with the first Expeditionary Force and fought in the Retreat from Mons, and the Battles of Le Cateau, the Marne and the Aisne. He was wounded at La Bassee in October 1914, and on recovery took an active part in severe fighting at Loos, Albert, Vermelles and Vimy Ridge, where he was again wounded in May 1916. Evacuated to England he received hospital treatment, and was engaged on home service duties. Still serving in 1920, he holds the Mons Star, and the General Service and Victory Medals.

23, Garrick Street, Ancoats, Manchester

In the UK, Patrick was transferred to the Labour Corps when it was formed in February 1917. He was given the service number 131145. He joined the 556th Home Service Employment Company. This was made up of men who were not fit enough to serve overseas. Employment Companies carried out a variety of construction and administrative tasks to support military installations such as hospitals and training camps. Later he transferred to the 522nd Home Service Company.

Patrick and Grace had another son, Martin, in Manchester on the 13th April 1916 and a daughter, Ellen, on the 25th August 1919.

Patrick rejoined the Manchester Regiment on the 14th April 1919. At the time he was stationed in Liverpool. He was assigned to the Regimental Depot with the rank of Sergeant. At the end of November he came 3rd in the Sergeant's Mess Billiard Handicap. The winner was Robert Scott, whose medals are also in the Museum of the Manchester Regiment collection.

At some point after this Patrick was given a new service number: 3512677. We believe he was based at the Depot for the rest of his time in the Army. At some point he became the Master Cook, in charge of the kitchens and of preparing food for the soldiers and recruits based there.

By 1925 Patrick had served for 21 years in the Army. He was 'permitted to continue in the Service' beyond this for a period of 1 year from the 16th February 1925. Patrick's service was extended this way several times, the last being in January 1929. He retired from the Army on the 23rd August.

Patrick's comrades in the Depot's Sergeant's Mess wished him 'the best of everything in civil life' and hoped he would 'enjoy his well-earned pension'. Early the next year Patrick was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, which recognised 18 years service. It also came with a gratuity.

In retirement Patrick and Grace went to live at 'Glendale' 129 Curzon Road in Ashton. He joined the Manchester Regiment Old Comrade's Association and attended some of their functions. He is recorded as attending the Ladysmith Ball in January 1938.

At some point after he retired Patrick became the 'House-Foreman' at the BBC offices in Manchester. By 1946 he had held this job for 'a long time now', and was very good at it: 'Woe betide any unauthorised person who tries to get past his eagle eye'. He had to retire that August because of his age.

Patrick earned the 1939-45 Defence Medal and the 1939-45 War Medal during the Second World War. We don't know anything about what he did during the war, although being awarded the 1939-45 War Medal tells us that he served in the armed forces full-time for at least 28 days.

The rest of Patrick's life remains a mystery. We believe he died in St Asaph, North Wales, between July and September 1971. He was 85 years old.

Museum of the Manchester Regiment
c/o Portland Basin Museum
Portland Place
Heritage Wharf
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL7 0QA

Telephone: 0161 343 2878
Email: Portland.Basin@tameside.gov.uk
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Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund logo
Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council