Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Growing up in the shadow of a father who had been awarded the Victoria Cross must have been a formative experience but it didn't hinder Patrick Danagher's decision to join the Connaught Rangers, his father's regiment. Patrick probably enlisted almost as soon as he was old enough which meant that he would have spent little time at home, specifically after his father, John, moved his family to Portsmouth.
John Danagher had been born in Limerick, Ireland in 1860 and moved to South Africa seeking work in 1880. There he signed up with a local militia group and then the Connaught Rangers. In 1881 he won the Victoria Cross (see and in 1883 married Bridget from Kildare in Ireland. Together they sailed with the Connaught Rangers, with whom John served to Malta, Egypt and India. Almost all of their children (eight boys and one girl) were born overseas before John retired and moved to Portsmouth.
The 1911 census shows the Danagher family at 74 King's Road which was a public house called The Falcon, on the south side of the road between Castle Road and Great Southsea Street. Patrick was not included in the household but Bridget, 4 of the younger boys and one daughter were.
Patrick's service with the Connaught Rangers took him to Flanders in the early months of the Great War and then to Gallipoli in April 1915. He died of wounds received during the climax of the campaign in August 1915.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) lists Sergeant Patrick Stephen Danagher (8545), 5th Battalion Connaught Rangers, died on 23/08/1915, aged 28 years. Remembered at the 7th Field Ambulance Cemetery, Gallipoli (Sp. Mem. B.2.). Son of Serjt. John Danagher, V.C. (late Connaught Rangers), and Mrs. John Danagher, of 115, Fratton Rd., Portsmouth.
Patrick Danagher is also remembered on the WW1 Memorial at St. John's RC Cathedral and on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War'.
Tim Backhouse
April 2014