Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (25 & 26 November 2015)

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Date of Auction: 25th & 26th November 2015

Sold for £1,500

Estimate: £1,200 - £1,500

A scarce Great War M.C. group of four awarded to the Rev. A. O’Connor, Army Chaplains Department

Military Cross, G.V.R., the reverse privately engraved, ‘Rev. A. O’Connor, Sep. 3rd 1916’; 1914-15 Star (Rev. A. O’Connor, A.C.D.); British War and Victory Medals (Rev. A. O’Connor), generally good very fine (4) £1200-1500

Footnote

M.C. London Gazette 14 November 1916:

‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He carried out fine work, attending the wounded under very heavy fire with great skill and determination. His good work, and devotion to duty, has on former occasions been of a most marked nature.’

(James) Arthur O’Connor was born in Bury in 1880 and was educated at St. Bede’s College and the English College, Valladolid. Ordained into the Roman Catholic Church at St. Gertrude’s Convent, Manchester, in April 1904, he worked as Curate at the Cathedral at Salford for three years prior to moving to St. Mary’s, Blackburn and thence to St. Gregory’s, Farnworth and St. Augustine’s, Manchester.

O’Connor was appointed a 4th Class Chaplain to the Forces in April 1915 and went to France in the same month but was invalided home from Ypres on account of illness a few weeks later. Duly recovered, he returned to France, where he won his M.C. for gallant deeds in September 1916, most likely on the Somme. O’Connor was again evacuated home at the end of 1918, suffering from influenza but later served in the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. He was finally released from service in March 1922.

On returning to his duties as a Parish Priest, he founded the new parish of St. George’s, Nelson in the mid-1920s, prior to holding appointments in Burnley and Manchester. In 1940, he became Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s, Blackburn, in which capacity he remained employed until his retirement in 1965. O’Connor retired to Dalkey, Co. Cork, where he died in May 1968; sold with copied research, including obituary notices.