Friday, 17 April 2015

We Will Remember Them: Dr John Joseph Esmonde 17 Apr 1915

Continuing to look at the lives of the MPs who died during the First World War

Dr John Joseph Esmonde was born into the Irish gentry. His father's elder brother also John was the 10th Baronet, who had initially been elected to Westminster for the Irish Liberal Party who later transferred his allegiance to the Independent Irish Party.

John was a Doctor by profession but followed the course of his uncle when he was elected as the Nationalist MP for North Tipperary in 1910. He was married firstly to Rose Magennis and they live in Pontesbury, England until her death in 1901. They had three sons John, Geoffrey and Anthony.

In 1904 he married again to Eily O'Sullivan they would have seven further children.

He was serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps as a Captain when he died of pneumonia and heart failure consequent on the strain of overwork.

He was succeeded in his seat by his 21-year-old son John Lymbrick Esmonde, who at the time of his election was serving as a Second Lieutenant with the Leinster Regiment. A younger son Geoffrey who was a Second Lieutenant in the Tyneside Irish died in Oct 1916 while serving with the Northumberland Fusiliers. A second son Eugene from his second marriage was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross in 1942 as a pilot in the Royal Navy as part of a torbedo bomber squadron. His youngest son Paddy was another decorated soldier receiving a Miltary Cross for his actions on the Rhine in 1944 like his father in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Dr John Joseph Esmonde 27 Jan 1862 - 17 Apr 1915 MP for North Tipperary 1910 -15

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