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Sunday, 10 February 2019

Holmes, Charles

Lieutenant Charles Holmes MC and Bar

was born at Ballybogan on 28th October 1894 to William Holmes (Farmer) and Mary Anne Holmes nee Brooks.

In 1901 Charles was living in house 1, Ballybogan, Clonleigh South, Co. Donegal with his parents and 2 siblings, Robert Brooks and William.  A servant, Patrick Cullen was also living in the property.

By 1911 the property is described as house 4, Ballybogan, Clonleigh South, Co. Donegal.  2 daughters had been born since 1901, Annie Margaret and Rebecca Mary.

Holmes would have joined the Belfast Banking Company around 1912 working in Lurgan and Central branches.

[Belfast Banking Company, Lurgan branch]

[Belfast Banking Company, Belfast Central branch]

Holmes served with the 13th Royal Irish Rifles and attained the rank of Lieutenant.  His first theatre of war is recorded as France from 22nd June 1918.

He later transferred to the Royal Army Pay Corps where he continued his service as a Lieutenant.

The Belfast Banking Company 'Roll of Honour' booklet records Holmes as being 'previously wounded' with his last known address as being 'in France'.

As an officer he would have had to apply for his service medals, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

He was also awarded the Military Cross twice (MC and Bar).

His first citation was published in the London Gazette on 16th September 1918 reads

“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.  One night this officer, with 12 men and a party of infantry, captured two machine guns, holding at bay a large body of the enemy who nearly cut them off, and successfully extricating the whole of his men with but few casualties.” 

The second citation was published by the London Gazette on 1st February 1919.  It reads:

“For conspicuous gallantry and able leadership south-east of Dadizeele in September, 1918.  He led a platoon against a wood strongly held by machine guns and about 100 men, clearing it at the point of the bayonet and accounting for at least fifty men and three machine guns.  Although wounded himself, he continued encouraging his men against heavy odds.”  

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