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Army Chaplains Department

26th Aug 1914 Taken Prisoner

20th Oct 1914 Davidson of the Gunners

25th Sep 1915 Beyond all Imagination

26th Sep 1915 Chaplain under Fire

13th Oct 1915 In Action

14th Oct 1915 1st Glosters in Action

16th Nov 1915 Amusing Experiences

15th May 1916 Under Attack

21st Jun 1916 Sacraments

11th Jul 1916 Real Courage

21st Aug 1916 Sickening Sight

30th Aug 1916 Bitter Bereavement

18th Sep 1916 Rugby Internationan Lost

13th Mar 1918 London Food

4th May 1918 Bravery Recognised

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Want to know more about Army Chaplains Department?

There are:1718 pages and articles tagged Army Chaplains Department available in our Library

Those known to have served with

Army Chaplains Department

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Brooker Arthur Basil. Chap. att. 53 Squadron RFC
  • Doyle William Joseph Gabriel. Capt. att. 8th Btn. Royal Irish Fusiliers (d.16th Aug 1917)
  • Hardy Theodore Bailey. Chaplain. Att. 8th Bn. Lincolnshire Regiment (d.18th October 1918)
  • Jones Thomas Glasfryn. Padre. att. 11th South Wales Borderers (d.12th April 1917)
  • Shine James. Chaplain. att. 21st Btn. Middlesex Regiment (d.21st April 1918)

All names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Dec 2017

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Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.


Chaplain. Theodore Bailey Hardy VC. DSO. MC Att. 8th Bn. Lincolnshire Regiment Army Chaplains Dept. (d.18th October 1918)

Theodore Hardy was appointed Chaplain to His Majesty, on 17th Sept., 1918. He died 18th October 1918 and is buried in the St Sever Cemetery Extension.

An extract from the London Gazette, No. 30790, dated 9th July, 1918, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on many occasions. Although over 50 years of age, he has, by his fearlessness, devotion to men of his battalion, and quiet unobtrusive manner, won the respect and admiration of the whole division. His marvellous energy and endurance would be remarkable even in a very much younger man, and his valour and devotion are exemplified in the following incidents: An infantry patrol had gone out to attack a previously located enemy post in the ruins of a village, the Reverend Theodore Bailey Hardy (C.F.) being then at company headquarters. Hearing firing, he followed the patrol, and about four hundred yards beyond our front line of posts found an officer of the patrol dangerously wounded. He remained with the officer until he was able to get assistance to bring him in. During this time there was a great deal of firing, and an enemy patrol actually penetrated between the spot at which the officer was lying and our front line and captured three of our men. On a second occasion when an enemy shell exploded in the middle of one of our posts, the Reverend T. B. Hardy at once made his way to the spot, despite the shell and trench mortar fire which was going on at the time, and set to work to extricate the buried men. He succeeded in getting out one man who had been completely buried. He then set to work to extricate a second man, who was found to be dead. During the whole of the time that he was digging out the men this chaplain was in great danger, not only from shell fire, but also because of the dangerous condition of the wall of the building which had been hit by the shell which buried the men. On a third occasion he displayed the greatest devotion to duty when our infantry, after a successful attack, were gradually forced back to their starting trench. After it was believed that all our men had withdrawn from the wood, Chaplain Hardy came out of it, and on reaching an advanced post asked the men to help him to get in a wounded man. Accompanied by a Serjeant he made his way to the spot where the man lay, within ten yards of a pill-box which had been captured in the morning, but was subsequently re-captured and occupied by the enemy. The wounded man was too weak to stand, but between them the chaplain and the Serjeant eventually succeeded in getting him to our lines. Throughout the day the enemy's artillery, machine-gun and trench mortar fire was continuous, and caused many casualties. Notwithstanding, this very gallant chaplain was seen moving quietly amongst the men and tending the wounded, absolutely regardless of his personal safety."

s flynn


Chap. Arthur Basil Brooker att. 53 Squadron RFC Army Chaplains Dept.

Arthur Basil Brooker served as a Chaplain with 53 Squadron until December 7th 1917.

Gavin Scott-Brooker


Capt. William Joseph Gabriel Doyle att. 8th Btn. Royal Irish Fusiliers Army Chaplains Department (d.16th Aug 1917)

William Joseph Gabriel Doyle was born on 3rd March 1873 in Dublin Ireland. He served with the 8th Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers from 1915. He faced No Man's Land constantly running the gaunlet of gunfire and proved fearless.

Father Doyle celebrated his first Holy Mass in the trenches on 23rd April 1916, Easter Sunday. Father Doyle lived with the men in the trenches, he witnessed the horror of death and the mutilation of the men he called his boys, he went into No Man's Land to give The Last Rites and to bury the dead, he worked tirelessly to give comfort to the injured and dying. He stayed in the trenches to give support even during the gas attacks on the 16th Irish Division. 800 men died, nearly all from gas. In the mist of the fighting, a German shell was fired randomly at British lines. As it exploded, Father Willie was killed outright, whilst dragging a wounded man away from danger. The date was the 16th August 1917.

Father Doyle loved his men, he was loved by everyone in the battalion whether Catholic or Protestant. What was left of Fr Doyle's body was hastily interred without ceremony in a communal grave in the battlefield of Passchendaele.

Mary Tingley


Chaplain. James Shine att. 21st Btn. Middlesex Regiment Army Chaplains Dept. (d.21st April 1918)

James Shine was born at Ballylaffin youngest child of Thomas Shine and Mary Anglim. He went to school in the local school at Gormanstown and the Master wanted him to remain and be a monitor. James told the master that he wanted to be a priest and the Master beat him up so severely that James never went back to that school. The master at that time was very anti the Catholic religion

He was ordained priest on 21st June 1908 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral Waterford, for the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore, by Bishop Alphonsus Sheehan. Fr. James was a very fine tall man who rode to hounds with the local hunt that was unusual for a small Catholic farmer's son at that time. He was sent on loan to the English Mission from 1908 to 1911 and in 1911 he went to Scotland to the Diocese of Dunkeld where he spent the rest of his clerical ministry. The records book for 1913 shows “Father Shine , the curate, has ably assisted Canon Lavelle in the work of the parish”. He was then living at Melville St., Perth. While there he bought a typewriter from the Empire Typewriter company in Glasgow. In 1913 Fr. James was transferred to St. Mary’s Lochee, Dundee.

In March 1914 he received the following Letter from Bishop Robert Fraser:-

“ Dear Fr Shine, I am very sorry to have again to change you but Mgr, Holder needs two very strong energetic and zealous assistants and so I am sending Fr McDonnel and you to him and I am sure you will make his work as easy as possible. You will therefore be at St Josephs on the 20th March 1915, Begging God to bless your work, I am Robert, B/s of Dunkeld.”

So, Fr James was transferred to St. Joseph’s Dundee. His parish priest at St Joseph’s was Right Rev. Joseph Holder, Vicar General of the Diocese of Dunkeld. Fr. Holder was an old man and he left the work of the Vicar general in the hands of Fr. James. In such position he had to contend with the Government of the day on many diverse matters such as the rights of Catholic Prison Chaplains in Dundee. He was very progressive in that he had his own typewriter that he bought on 28th May 1913. A contemporary account states..... “Perhaps the tallest priest in Scotland, he was a commanding personality, and with his homely, hearty Irish manner he had many friends in Perth, Lochee and St. Joseph’s Dundee, to whom he was attached during his detachment from his native Ireland. He was one of those willing disciples who so readily gave their service to the work of the Scottish Mission and his labours in Dunkeld Diocese were of a valuable and edifying nature”.

The Great War was raging in France and Fr. James, who was due to return home to the Waterford and Lismore Diocese, felt that his duty now lay in assisting the men engaged in that Imperial conflict. There was only 17 Catholic Chaplains in the Armed forces at this time. An urgent appeal was made for Chaplains in the Forces and on 7th Oct. 1915 Fr. James and a fellow priest Fr. John Stuart were appointed as Army Chaplains. From then he was Captain The Reverend James Shine, Commissioned into the Royal Army Chaplains Department. His address at that time was 39 Panton Street, Haymarket, Middlesex. His cheque book account shows that he lived in digs in London. It seems while undergoing Army Training as he was now to be commissioned as an officer in the Army. His bank account was based in McGregirs Bank which looked after army pay for officers.

On the first of June 1916 he entered France with the Middlesex Regiment. For two years he served in France experiencing the horror of war at first hand. He was stationed right in the heart of the Somme slaughter. He came home to Ballylaffin on leave of absence in July 1917 during this period. On his way from France he came through Waterford and spent the night in the Ursuline Convent saying Mass next day for the nuns and visiting his aunt Sr. Barbara Anglim.

He was a great favourite with the children while on holidays and he used to throw pennies into the air for them to scramble for. Alas, his brief visit came to an end and he returned to France never again to see home. His mother Mary fell and broke her hip and died in Feb. 1918 but he did not get home for the funeral.

On the ninth of April 1918 Jim Keeling of The Brook, Portrane served Mass for him for the last time.

This was at the height of the great German Spring offensive of 1918. The 21st Bn Middlesex regiment was a machine-gun battalion, the cornerstone of the divisional defence and therefore one of the main targets of the German artillery in that sector. Main article: Battle of the Lys (1918).Michael had drawn British forces to defend Amiens, leaving the rail route through Hazebrouck and the approaches to the Channel ports of Calais, Boulogne and Dunkirk vulnerable. German success here could choke the British into defeat.

The attack started on 9 April after a Feuerwalze. The main attack was made on the open and flat sector defended by the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps. After an entire year spent in the trenches, the Portuguese were tired and had suffered heavy losses. They were being replaced in the front line by fresh British divisions, an operation that was planned to be completed on 9 April, the same day as the Germans attacked the sector. The process of relief in place was poorly organized by the British First Army's command, and the Portuguese 1st Division had been withdrawn to the rear on the 6 April, leaving the Portuguese 2nd Division to defend the entire sector alone. They were left with an extensive 7 mi (11 km) front, without natural obstacles which could favour the defense.

Hit hard by the Feuerwalze bombardment and under the assault of eight German divisions, the Portuguese 2nd Division made a desperate defense, trying to held their positions, which, however, were rapidly enveloped and overrun by the masses of German forces. The 2nd Division was virtually annihilated, losing more than 7,000 men. The British 40th Division, on the northern flank of the Portuguese, also rapidly collapsed before the attack, opening a gap that further facilitated the envelopment of the Portuguese by the Germans. However, under much less pressure from the Germans and occupying good defensive positions protected by the La Bassée Canal, the British 55th Division on the southern flank of the Portuguese were able to hold much of their position throughout the battle.

The next day, the Germans widened their attack to the north, forcing the defenders of Armentieres to withdraw before they were surrounded, and capturing most of the Messines Ridge. By the end of the day, the few British divisions in reserve were hard-pressed to hold a line along the River Lys.

Without French reinforcements, it was feared that the Germans could advance the remaining 15 mi (24 km) to the ports within a week. The commander of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, issued an "Order of the Day" on 11 April stating, "With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight on to the end."

However, the German offensive had stalled because of logistical problems and exposed flanks. Counterattacks by British, French, American[citation needed], and ANZAC forces slowed and stopped the German advance. Ludendorff ended Georgette on 29 April.

As with Michael, losses were roughly equal, approximately 110,000 men wounded or killed, each.[19] Again, the strategic results were disappointing for the Germans. Hazebrouck remained in Allied hands and the Germans occupied a vulnerable salient under fire from three sides. The British abandoned the comparatively worthless territory they had captured at vast cost the previous year around Ypres, freeing several divisions to face the German attackers. Later that day Father James was wounded while ministering to the dying, under fire on the battlefield and was taken to hospital.

He died on 21st April 1918 at the Military Hospital, Boulonge, France whilst serving as Chaplain attached to 21st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, aged 37 years.

The Glasgow Observer of May 4 1918 reports on his death as follows:- “Many hearts were sad in Dundee when it was learned that Fr. Shine had died of wounds received in the battlefield while ministering to the wounded and dying. In spirit he heard the voices of his wounded countrymen on the battlefield calling for his spiritual help that only a priest of God can give. So leaving the comparative comfort and security of work at home he answered the call and sought to serve his God and help his fellow man in a very inferno of German lead, where to remain unscathed would be a miracle . Fr. Shine made light of the leaden messengers of death from the reeking mouths of the enemy cannons and calmly knelt at the side of a dying man in order to send his soul clean and undefiled before its God. Injured severely, he lingered for a few days but his sturdy frame was unable to resist the effects of the blow he received. He died a hero’s death.......”

The Catholic Record of May 1918 reports the Death of Diocesan Army chaplain. “At the moment of going to press we learn with deep regret that the Rev James Shine died on 21st April from wounds received in the recent fighting in France. Father Shine was a native of the parish of Ballylooby and was ordained in the Cathedral nearly eight years ago. He had been serving on a temporary mission in Dundee when early in the war he volunteered as army chaplain. Father Shine’s death following so soon on that of Father Looby (Cahir), suggests what a self sacrificing and indeed heroic part played by those of our young priests who volunteered as chaplains for the front.

Father Patrick Looby: At the Battle of Loos Sept/Oct 1915 Fr Patrick Looby from Cahir was wounded but he returned to duty after recovery. He returned to Cahir in January 1916 to attend the funeral of Toby Egan a well known personality in the town. He was subsequently killed on 26th October 1917 at the Third battle of Ypres commonly called Passchendale. Fr Looby was firstly described as missing in action and only later when collated from survivors of the battle, was he declared on War Office authority to have died in action. Fr Looby’s brothers Tim and Jack worked a steam thresher in the area and his other brother Denis carried on an auctioneering business in the town. A local field still bears the name Looby’s field.”

The Catholic Record 0f June 1918:-

The Rev W. Ryan writes to us from the Principal Chaplain’s Office, Boulogne, giving details of Father James Shine’s death. “Poor Father Shine died quiet unexpectedly on Sunday the 21st ult. His wounds, which were very bad, seemed to be healing nicely and in the opinion of the doctors and nurses, there was no reason why he should not recover. I was with him on Sunday morning and gave him Holy Communion. I called to see him again in the afternoon and remained with him till 4p.m. He did not appear to be worse than on the previous days. I came back here and almost immediately I was rung up on the telephone and asked to go back as quickly as possible. When I got back at 4.30 p.m. he was dead. R.I.P. Apparently he went off without a struggle. I had Solemn Requiem Mass for him at St Nicholas’ Parish Church, at which all the priests of the area attended. I was the celebrant: Fr Lane Fox O.S.B, deacon and Father Healy, sub deacon. In the choir- Father Rawlinson (Principal Chaplain), Father Kean, Father McDonald, Father Frail, Father Luch, Father Ahearn, C.SS.R, Father Cagney, C.SS.R, M.le Doyen, M. I’Abbe Dejardin and I’Abbe Cocart. The above were also at the funeral.”

Fr. James was buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Plot 7, Row B, Grave 40. He was awarded the British War medal and The Victory Medal (posthumously). His name is inscribed on the War Memorial in Cahir “ Royal Army Chaplains Department Rev. J. Shine”. His name is recorded on the family stone at Duhill churchyard Co Tipperary “Son Rev James Shine, France, 21 April 1918. Aged 37 years.”

"Fr Lane Fox OSB was chaplain to the Irish Guards. He lost his right eye and hand in a bombing accident. He was standing by the Colonel Lord Desmond Fitzgerald watching a bombing practice. The Colonel said "Now Padre, you can have a try”. Fr Lane Fox took a bomb, pulled out the pin and then before the proper time the bomb exploded in his hand, destroying his right eye and hand and killing Lord Desmond Fitzgerald. He also served with the 2nd London Irish of 47th Division and was awarded the Military Cross and the French Medaille Militaire Like all large Catholic parishes of the time, St. Joseph’s had more than its fair share of the killed and wounded in the First World War. Records show that over one hundred men of the parish were killed including Fr. James Shine a former assistant priest who was killed while on Army chaplain service in 1917. It fell to Canon James McDonald to visit and comfort the bereaved during those years. A mortuary chapel was added to the church in 1924, a memorial to the faithful of the parish who fell in the Great War.”

Cheque Book of Fr James Shine While serving as Army Chaplain. November 3rd 1915 to Feb 4th 1918

  • 03/11/15 A. Studdet (Camp Kit £ 5.10.0) 5 .0.0
  • 18/12/15 For Holidays Saturday 10.0.0
  • 03/01/16 For lodgings & for expenses £ 5.0.0
  • 08/01/16 Paid to Mrs Hunt the sum of two pounds four shillings and five pence for the week ending Jan 8th . £2.4.5.
  • 15/01/16 Lodgings £2.3.0
  • 22/01/16 Lodgings two pounds £2.2.6
  • 22/01/16 For Trip to Scotland 6.0.0
  • 23/05/16 Mon Rourke (Cheque £35.12/- collection) £2.3.0
  • 13/07/16 Drawn at Bully le Mines Thursday 126 francs
  • 21/07/16 May O’Donoghue for photos one pound £1.0.0
  • 01/08/16 Drawn at Lisbribis one hundred & 25 125 francs
  • 16/09/16 Drawn at Lisbribis 125 francs £4.9.8
  • 10/02/17 Drawn at Sailly Loritte Thomas Shine £200.0.0
  • 11/05/17 At Fins to J. Coholan sixteen “Neds” £2.0.0
  • 03/06/17 pour “Neds” J.Coholan £2.0.0
  • July 1917 for holidays twelve pounds £12.0.0
  • 27/12/17 £1 for IC Intention £2.0.0
  • 26/01/18 to Thomas Prendergast for poney £20.0.0
  • Sent to McGregor on Feb 14th 1918
  • Cheque Fr O’Rourke ”Neds” £32.12.06
His part of the Somme did not see fighting until 26-27 March 1918, when the Third Army withdrew to a line between Albert and Sailly-le-Sec ahead of the German advance. This line was held until 4 July, when it was advanced nearly to Sailly-Laurette, and on 8 August, the first day of the Battle of Amiens, Sailly-Laurette and the road to Morlancourt were disengaged.

After the Death of Fr James his next of kin was given as his father Thomes Shine and as no will could be found the War Office in London contacted Thomas Shine by letter 5th June to say that Messers Cox & Co Shipping Agency the packet of his effects.

Sean Murphy

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