Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

It's worth remembering that the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square does not contain the names of Portsmouth people who died in WW1 but lived outside the 19C Borough boundaries. One of them is Sydney Arthur Kellagher to whom there is an individual plaque in his memory at Christ Church, Widley in addition to his inclusion on the WW1 memorial at St. Andrew's Church, Farlington. The reason his name does not appear on the Cenotaph is that Widley (part of) and Farlington were not absorbed into Portsmouth Borough until after WW1.
Sydney Arthur's father, William D. Kellagher (b. 1860 in New Brompton, Kent) served in the army for the whole of Sydney's life at home and as such the family followed him around for many of his postings. When Sydney was born in 1888 the family were living in Gosport and in 1891 the census records them at The Castle, Yarmouth, on the Isle of Wight where William was Company Sergeant-Major. With William were his wife Selina who had been born in Nova Scotia, also in 1860, and their children Selina (b. 1880), Sydney Arthur (b. 1888) and George (b. 1890).
For the census in 1901 the family were out of the country and by the time of the next one in 1911 Sydney Arthur had already joined the army and was staying at the Soldier's Institute on High Street, Portsmouth. This may well have been when he met Violet Gallagher who was also living on High Street with her parents Henry and Caroline. Sydney and Violet were married at Fareham in 1912 but it's not clear where they set up home, though later Violet is recorded as living in Drayton.
We don't know much about Sydney's early military career but on the 13th November 1914 the London Gazette reported his promotion to 2nd Lieutenant, and on 24th June 1916 he was gazetted with the award of the Military Cross whilst serving as a lieutenant with the Royal Field Artillery. The citation read, "For conspicuous gallantry and ability. When his battery was being constantly shelled he kept up a continuous fire from a position hurriedly occupied, and with little or no cover. By his fine example and resource he brought the battery through with marked success." By the following year he had been promoted to Major and was wounded in action in August 1917 and died shortly after at Le Treport.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) lists Major Sydney Arthur Kellagher, Royal Field Artillery, awarded Military Cross, died on 04/08/1917, aged 29. Buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Treport (Grave Ref: III.A.5B.). Husband of Violet Kellagher, of "Camleigh", Drayton, Cosham, Hants.
Sydney Kellagher is remembered on the WW1 Memorial at St. Andrew's Church, Farlington, on a personal plaque at Christ Church, Widley but not on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War'.
Tim Backhouse
April 2014