Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Many of the men named on the Portsmouth Cenotaph were born beyond the boundaries of the town, arguably the largest contigent of of which were from Ireland, often having been drawn by the chance of working at the Dockyard. Thomas Duggan fitted that category precisely.
Born in Cladda, Galway in Ireland in 1875 Tom Duggan probably remained in his native area until around 1900. By then he had married Mary with whom he had a daughter Susan (b. 1897) before decamping to Govan in Glasgow, probably to work in the shipyards there. Tom and Mary had three more children whilst living in Scotland, Tom jnr. Bridget and Norah (b. 1901, 1906 and 1909 respectively).
By the time of the 1911 census the family had moved to Portsmouth and were living at 22 Frederick Street, Portsea. Tom had found work at the Dockyard as a General Labourer. That same year a fifth child, John was born.
At the outbreak of the Great War Tom was 39 years of age and having a family would have been unlikely to volunteer in the first wave of enthusiasm. Two years later conscription was introduced and it was probably at this point that Tom enlisted in the Hampshire Regiment. His army career would have been short as the Hampshires were involved in the Battle of the Somme and Tom was killed on the 15th September 1916, possibly during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) lists Private Thomas Duggan (19283), 15th Battalion Hampshire Regiment, died on 15/09/1916, aged 41 years. Remembered on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 7 C and 7 B.). Son of the late Mr. and Mrs. P. Duggan, of Cladda, Galway; husband of Mary Duggan, of 36, Cross St., Portsea, Portsmouth.
Tom Duggan 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