Caroline Clery about her great uncle Daniel Richard Clery
Dan Clery was born in Cork on 31 December 1890 and moved to Dublin when he was a boy. His address was Fortwilliam, Sandycove and he was the second son in a family of five children. He was educated at the Presentation Brothers College, Glasthule, and the Blackrock College. Dan was a keen sportsman and a well-known football player in Dublin. He was working as a clerk in the Land Registry Office, Four Courts, when war broke out, and he at once joined Trinity College Officers’ Training Corps (O. T. C.), obtaining his commission in the 6th Royal Dublin Fusiliers (R. D. F.) in September of 1914 and then went with the 10th Division to Gallipoli.
At the time of leaving for war, Dan was having a romance with a girl called Marie Martin and it was thought that they were engaged to be married. The same girl later became a nun and was the Mother Mary Martin who founded the Medical Missionaries of Mary.
Dan's younger brother Willie also fought with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in Gallipoli and he survived the war. He spoke afterwards of how his brother and he called over to each other as they passed by chance when marching in London on the way to the Dardanelles. They had a night on the town and Dan who was a higher rank than Willie in the army managed to get his brother into a club where only high ranking soldiers could attend. Willie reminisced afterwards about the fun the two young men enjoyed on that evening - a story about a colonel overheard breaking wind in that club and the funny excuses he made were a source for some of the mirth! It was to be the last time the two brothers ever met.
Lieutenant Daniel Richard Clery 1915 | Source: Caroline Clery In one account Dan was reported missing at Gallipoli on 10 August 1915, and was later confirmed killed on that date. He was 24 years old.
The following is also an excerpt from a book called The Irish at the Front where Dan's bravery is described.
“The positions held by the Irish regiments around Chocolate Hill were regularly bombarded. On August 9th Lieutenant D.R. Clery, of the 6th Dublins (a fine young man, very popular as a footballer) was missed. Captain J.J. Carrol of the battalion, writing to a relative, says 'I know that he was in front of the firing line on August 9th, and one of our men told me on the ship coming home of Dan's magnificent conduct in carrying man after man out of danger. The man I refer to said that in saving others, Dan had seemed utterly regardless of danger to himself.'"
Dan's wristwatch (an engraved gift to him from Marie Martin) was taken off his body and brought home to his mother.
The group picture (above): in the photograph taken on 22 June 1913 in Sandycove, Dan is third from the left in the front row with his arm around the dog. Willie is farthest to the right in the back row.
William Clery | Source: Caroline Clery taken from the book "The Pals at Sulva Bay" Dan’s brother Willie (my grandfather) was discharged from the army due to illness in 1915 and had to spend time in Cairo in rest camp on the way home from Gallipoli. He too had been enthusiastic about the adventure of going to war. He had been working as a 19 year old bank clerk in the Munster and Leinster Bank in Tullow when volunteers were being sought and he jumped over the counter from where he was working to “join up”. He got a surprise when he had to march from the Curragh to Dublin in new boots. The photo of Willie is from the book The Pals at Sulva Bay.
Willie named his first son (born in 1926) Daniel Richard after the brother that he had lost. Willie died in Belfast in 1968.