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Name

Corporal John Connolly

Plot

K004

Birth

1864

Death

22 June 1916

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Corporal John Connolly served in the Royal Scots, 2nd Bn., Service No. 20308

He was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Connolly
He was the husband of Elizabeth Connolly, of 57 Calton Road, Edinburgh.

This is an interesting story which began with an influx of people from Ireland during the potato famine. John was one of 5 children. His father, originally from Ireland, was a carter collecting sewage. The family lived in one room in 107 Cowgate.  The toilet was shared with a number of other families. There were 3 boys, John being the eldest. The British Army seemed the obvious choice for a career and all 3 enlisted. John was underage and used the name of J. Reid, possibly ‘James Reid’. He specifically asked that he be buried in an unmarked grave as he did not want to be remembered just because of his brother, who was James Connelly, the Irish rebel. James did not agree with the way the British ruled in Ireland and was eventually executed when he helped lead the Easter Rising of 1916 in Dublin. John remained loyal to the British Army. In 1916 he became unwell due to being exposed in bad weather while guarding German prisoners at Stobs Camp in the borders. He died aged 52 and was buried with full military honours.