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Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Biography -
- George Robert O'Donnell -

Unknown person Name : George Robert O'Donnell

Son of Edward O'Donnell (died 1905) and Mary Jane O'Donnell (née Holbrook) of North Street, Ventnor, Isle of Wight.

Born 1875 Ventnor. Canadian Army record gives date of birth as 12 July 1883.
  Census information :

1881 : Edward and Mary O'Donnell, with their children including George aged 5, are at the Volunteer Drill Hall, Ventnor. Edward O'Donnell is decribed as a Pensioner and Drill Instructor (Vol).

1891 : Edward and Mary O'Donnell are at the Conservative Club, Ventnor, where they are described as the Steward and Stewardess. George O'Donnell not located

1901 : Edward and Mary O'Donnell are at 2 Stone Cottage, Ventnor. Edward O'Donnell is described as a Pensioner. George O'Donnell not located

1911 : Mary O'Donnell with 2 sons including George aged 35 are at 2 Stone Cross Cottages, Ventnor. Mary O'Donnell is described as a Lodging House Keeper. George O'Donnell is a Carpenter.
  Migration :

A passenger named G R O'Donnell is listed twice on the Passenger Lists of the "Corsican" of the Allan Steamship Line. The two sailings were on 19th April 1911 and 18th May 1911, from Liverpool to Quebec. The same ticket number is given on both lists. It is assumed that this is George Robert O'Donnell. No other information other than his occupation as Lab. [labourer] is given.
  Service Details :

Private 228491 George Robert O'Donnell, Royal Canadian Regiment.

Attested for service 14 June 1916 at Medicine Hat, Saskatchewan. His address was given as Tacoma, Washington, USA. He was 5 ft 5 in tall, with medium complexion, blue eyes and black hair. His occupation was Carpenter; he stated that he had had 12 years' service with the Royal Engineers.
Casualty Details :

Died 6 October 1916, aged 41.

Buried at : Contay British Cemetery, Contay, Somme, France.

CWGC Record

Canadian Veteran Affairs Record

The Canadian War Graves Burial Record states :

"Died of Wounds"
He was severely wounded in the lower jaw, and buried in the debris, about 2 P.M. on October 1st 1916, when an enemy shell struck the house in which he was billeted at Albert. He was dug out from the ruins of the house and taken to the nearest Field Dressing Station, and evacuated to No. 49 Casualty Clearing Station where he died five days later.
  Commemorated on these Memorials :

Ventnor War Memorial
County War Memorial, Carisbrooke Castle
  Documents and Newspaper cuttings :


Friday, October 20, 1916 Page 5

Ventnor Man Killed
Pte. G.R. O'Donnell, son of the late Sergt.-Instructor O'Donnell, of the old Ventnor Volunteers, and of Mrs. O'Donnell, North Street, Ventnor, died on October 1st, from gun-shot wound in the jaw, received in action on the previous day. Pte. O'Donnell served 12 years in the Royal Engineers and went to Canada about five years ago. He came over to England with a unit of the Canadian Expeditionary Force only about two months ago and was almost immediately sent to the Western Front. It is a pathetic circumstance that his mother received a letter from him dated the same day as he was wounded, stating that he was in good spirits. Pte. O'Donnell was a carpenter and was apprenticed to Jolliffe Bros., Bonchurch. Mrs. O'Donnell will receive the greatest sympathy in her bereavement.


Friday, October 27, 1916 Page 4

MRS. O'DONNELL, 2, Stonecross Cottages, North Street desires to return thanks to all friends for kind messages of sympathy received in the death of her son.


Friday, November 10, 1916 Page 4

MRS. O'DONNELL, of Ventnor, has received a kind letter of sympathy in the death of her son (who was killed in action), from General Sir Sam Hughes, who writes:
dear Mrs. O'Donnell, - will you kindly accept my sincere sympathy and condolence in the decease of that worthy citizen and heroic soldier, your son, Private George O'Donnell, while one cannot too deeply mourn the loss of such a brave comrade, there is consolation in knowing that he did his duty fearlessly and well, and gave his life for the cause of liberty and the up-building of the Empire. Again extending to you my heartfelt sympathy, faithfully, Sam Hughes.
  Links :

General Sir Sam Hughes (Canadian Minister of Militia and Defence during World War I) - Wikipedia

Sir Sam Hughes - Canadian War Museum
  Acknowledgments :

Janet Griffin for newspaper research
  Page status :
Page last updated : 6 February 2012 (added to website)


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