Capt. Geoffrey Thomas Baggallay

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Captain Geoffrey Thomas Baggallay in Reserve of Officers murdered 21 Nov 1920

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Baggallay BC

1891 Oct 4. Geoffrey Thomas Baggallay born  at Kensington the son of Gertrude (nee Phillips) and Frank Thomas Baggallay, an architect living at 83 Lansdown Rd, London

1901 census the family are living at Blackacre Rd, Theydon Bois

He attended Merchant Taylors SChool for 5 years

1911 census - the family are at Westwood, Albion Hill, Loughton and Geoffrey Thomas Baggallay is living at home. He is an articled solicitors clerk. He passed the Solicitors' Intermediate Exam before enlisting.

1912 About Aug from his service number, he enlisted as a Private in 28th London Regt. with Service No 1040. 1/28th (County of London) Battalion (Artist's Rifles) was a Territorial unit. So he obviously carried on with his job in the law. Articled to A. Bathurst, 48 Lincoln's Inn Fields.

"The Artists Rifles was a popular unit for volunteers. It had been increased to twelve companies in 1900 and was formed into three sub-battalions in 1914, and recruitment was eventually restricted by recommendation from existing members of the battalion. It particularly attracted recruits from public schools and universities. On this basis, following the outbreak of the First World War, a number of enlisted members of the Artists' Rifles were selected to be officers in other units. This exercise was so successful that, early in 1915, selected Artists' officers and NCOs were transferred to run a separate Officers Training Corps, the remainder being retained as a fighting unit. Over fifteen thousand men passed through the battalion during the war, more than ten thousand of them becoming officers.

1914 Aug. Mobilised as Private, 28th Batt. County of London Regt. (The Artists).at outbreak of war. The battalion was attached to 2nd London Division. Moved on mobilisation to St Albans area.

1914 Oct 26 Landed in France.

1914 Dec 28. Appointed Sgt and instructor at Machine Gun School at St Omer

Group from Artists Rifles in 1915

1915 Mar 21.Suffered from "impetigo" at St Omer. Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection often encountered in the trenches in WW1

1915 Mar 22 Discharged hospital at St Omer and returned to duty.

1915 Apr 8 transferred to cadet school.

1915 May 9. gazetted Temp. 2nd Lieut. Welch Regt.

1915 May 15 to May 27 served in the field with 1/Welch

1915 May 24 Wounded while with 1/Welch - a rifle bullet passed through his nect, behind the ears.

1915 May. Returns to UK posting following wounding

1915 Returns to France

1915 Oct 3. served in the field with 2/Welch

1916 Feb 26 Posted on to South Wales Borderers. London Gazette says nominated for Commission in the Regular Army, under paragraph 3 of Army Order 333 of 1915, to be Second Lieutenants, and to retain their higher rank until ordered to join a regular unit. — with seniority from 4 Feb 1916. He is a temp 2nd Lieutenant. Gazette His long number entry in the records states that he was progressively in Welsh Regt, MGC then South Wales Borderers. Served in UK from Feb 16 to May 1917

1916 Jun 1. Promoted Temp Captain, 2nd Lt. G. T. Baggallay (S. Wales Bord.). Gazetted

1917 Apr 18 2nd Lt. G. T. Baggallay (S. Wales Bord.) relinquishes the temp, rank of Capt. on ceasing to be employed with the Corps. This appears to refer to Machine Gun Corps in the context.

1917 May. Returns from UK to France and remains in France till Nov 1917

1917 Aug 4. G. T. Baggallay. 2nd Lt to be Lt.. South Wales Borderers. Gazette

1917 Nov. 20. Wounded at Marcoing, 4 miles SW of Cambrai and had leg amputated the next day. After this he returns to UK

1919 May 24, he made an application for his 1914 Star from 1 Dorset Rd, Wimbledon, London SW9

1919 Jun 26. has a reference on his MIC,but I do not know what it is

1919 Aug 5. Lt. G. T. Baggallay, S. Wales Bord., to be temp. Capt. (without the pay or allowances of that rank) whilst employed. as a Courts- Martial Officer.

1919 Aug 24, S. Wales Bord.—Lt. G. T. Baggallay is placed placed on half pay list, and retains his present appt. as Courts-Martial Officer, Catterick- Res. Centre.

1920 Apr 11. Lt. G. T. Baggallay, on ceasing to be employed. as Courts Martial Officer, Catterick, is placed on the half pay list on account of ill health.

1920 Apr 30 Special appointment and he is gazetted a Temp Capt, while employed as a Courts Martial officer. Lt. G. T. Baggallay, from the half pay list, is restored to full pay whilst employed as a Courts Martial Ofiicer. 30th Apr. 1920.

1920 Nov 19 Acting as a Court Martial Officer in Limerick

Living at 119 Baggot Street, Captain Geoffrey Thomas Baggallay, a barrister by profession, who had been employed as a prosecutor under the Restoration of Order in Ireland Regulations, and had been a member of military courts that sentenced IRA volunteers to death, was killed by a three-man IRA unit. He had been aparently targeted for assassination due to his role in the "Cairo Gang" murder of Kilmallock solicitor, John Lynch, who had come to Dublin with national loan money for Collins, and had been staying at the Exchange Hotel. Neligan had informed Collins that Baggalley a "one legged" courts martial officer had phoned Dublin Castle telling of Lynch's presence at the hotel - the IRA believed that the actual murder was carried out by Angliss and Peel working undercover.

At 1:35 am on the morning of the murder, a phone message was received by Captain Baggelly, General Staff, Ship St Barracks….to send a car. A car was sent…members of the RIC force picked up a small party of military…and proceeded to the Royal Exchange Hotel. At 2:15 am, a phone message passed from the headquarters of the Dublin District to College Street Station, giving the information that the RIC had been to the Royal Exchange Hotel and shot a man named Lynch

On the morning of 21 Nov 1920, the IRA men involved stopped outside 119 Baggot Street, Matty MacDonald shared a joke with Jack Keating about the size of the hammer he had brought to force in the door. But the hammer was not needed. MacDonald went on:

We knocked at the front door a maid came along have a letter from the Castle will you deliver this note to Captain Bagelly a one legged man (his record shows the leg amputation and oddly we know that Hardy had a leg amputated as well) . The maid pointing and in we went in. We tapped at the door, opened it and walked in. There were 3 of us. Bagelly was in bed. Lemass, Jimmy and I. I was kind of scared. ‘Captain Bagelly ?’ ‘That’s my name.’ ‘ I suppose you know what we came for. We came for you.’ He was the Judge Advocate General. ‘ I suppose you’ve come for my guns’ he said. One of us, Jimmy Brennan hid it under the bed and he reached behind for it… Slugs and a little more was our reply. ‘Get up.’ He was in pyjamas. Lemass and Jimmy and I fired 2 in the head from the 3 guns. I heard maids screaming afterwards but I was told she was alright. On the ground floor was Jack Foley. A fellow came out with a towel in pyjamas for a bath and Jack stuck him up and he was balls naked. Thinking he was a lodger but he was another British army officer and how we didn’t know about him, we hadn’t any orders about him. MacDonald took a camera and whatever papers he could find. An examination of the body found that Captain G. T. Baggally had been shot on the top of the head, through the left eye and twice in the chest

Hansard reports. When the police arrived every occupant of the house had left, and no witness was available to describe the circumstances. Thomas Whelan was charged with the murder of Capt Baggallay, along with three others - one of whom was called Boyce.  A British Army officer, who occupied the room next to Baggally, identified Whelan as the man who covered him with a revolver as another man (who he identified as Boyce) shot Baggally.  Both Boyce and Whelan produced evidence that they were elsewhere during the shooting.  Boyce's evidence was accepted and he was acquitted along with the other two charged.  Even though Whelan had five witnesses (including a priest stationed in Ringsend) who said he was at 9 o'clock mass in Ringsend church at the time of the shootings, he was still found guilty.  (Whelan was a member of A Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade, IRA.) 

5 men were charged with the murder but only Thomas Whelan was found guilty and hanged.

Capt Baggallay has recently been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC. However, it will not be possible to add his name to this Memorial immediately. Comemorated on Brookwood Memorial, which is owned by the Commission and is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the United Kingdom, covering approximately 37 acres. In 1917, an area of land in Brookwood Cemetery (The London Necropolis) was set aside for the burial of men and women of the forces of the Commonwealth and Americans, who had died, many of battle wounds, in the London district

Geoffrey Baggallay never married, the obituary notice was placed by his fiancee Marjorie Bertha Jagger. Their engagement was announced on 20 Aug 1920

The Times 21 Nov 1921

His parents lived about 300yds from the church, and he was engaged to the vicar's daughter, so he was certainly local and well-connected with the church.  The church sits in the middle of a conservation area based on the former nurseries of the famous horticulturalist, John Innes, and has a long history, including associations with Nelson, who lived nearby, and magnificent stained glass windows by Burne-Jones.

Companion of Order of St Michael and St George is used to honour individuals who have rendered important services in relation to the United Kingdom. I have not found him in London Gazette with this honour.

On officers long list, the 24 for The South Wales Borderers (Regimental District No. 24) 41 MGC for 41st Battalion, Machine Guns Corps

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‘The Dublin Massacre’ in the Surrey Advertiser on 27 November 1920: One [of the victims] was Captain Baggallay, aged 29, who lived at 1 Dorset Road, Wimbledon, had been twice wounded in the war, and had lost a leg. He was a barrister by profession, and was engaged to be married to Miss Majorie B Jagger, daughter of the rector of Merton. A search of the burial registers for St Mary’s Parish Church, Merton,(SHC reference: 3185/1/33) found the following entry on page 160:
Name: Geoiffrey Thomas Baggallay
Abode: 1 Dorset Road, Merton
When Buried: 26 November 1920
Age: 29 years
By Whom Ceremony was Performed: J E Jagger, Vicar
Remarks: Courts Martial Officer killed in Dublin Nov 21st/20 – Westminster Abbey Service

Buried in St Mary the Virgin, Merton Park, Churchyard, with his mother and father.'South of the church on the left side of the right-hand boundary path, 19 graves before the tomb of the horticulturalist, John Innes'.

Cairo Gang