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Title: Passchendaele: Exhibition panel commemorating James O'Toole of Templeogue (aka James Toole) of Templeogue
Authors: Power, David
Power, David
Keywords: Passchendaele
Third Ypres
Issue Date: 2018
Description: James O’Toole (recorded on several documents as simply “James Toole”) was born on the 14th of April 1893 to Charles Toole, a labourer, and Lizzie Toole(Nee Keegan). He lived with his family of twelve siblings at No. 4 Knocklyon Cottages in Templeogue. His younger brother, John, was killed on the 10th of August 1915 at Gallipoli aged 22. O’Toole’s low 4 digit army number suggests he was a soldier who joined the army before the war, but records show he only saw action for the first time in 1916. His lack of entitlement to a l914 or l915 star medal confirms this. He possibly served at home until 1916. We know he made a will in 1916 which was lost when he went missing in action a year later. A substitute will was created by Charles O’Toole (it is unclear if this was James’s father or brother). The document describes a conversation in his home where he states all his effects were to go to his mother. This replacement will was witnessed by John Craig J.P. who lived in Idrone House, Templeogue. On 30th of July 1917, the 1st Royal Irish Rifles began their 8-mile trek to the start line for the impending Battle of Pilckem Ridge. Their captain gave a graphic description of the march: “Try to imagine for yourself a dark night, a shell swept track, the stench of dead horses ... and the sickly smell of asphyxiating gas ... It is a horrible sensation to be floundering along in the dark with a gas helmet over one's head, and falling into shell holes...” A day later, on the opening day of the battle, James O’Toole was killed. He was 24 years of age. His body was never found and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres.
Appears in Collections:Published Items
World War I Exhibitions

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