The original owner of the medal has been identified as Gunner John Connell, of Cappa Beg, Barefield, County Clare, a general labourer who enlisted in the British Army shortly after the outbreak of the war at the age of 43. He was a married man with five young children.
Gunner Connell’s military papers indicate that he joined the Connacht Rangers in September 1914 and then deserted the following March before immediately joining the Royal Artillery Reserve.
His records also tell us that he served in France with the Royal Garrison Artillery and that he survived the war.
Clare Museum would like to thank local researcher Ger Browne for providing this information and solving the mystery. The full details of John Connell’s war record will be provided when the medal is included in the recent acquisitions section of the museum website in due course.