1914 Star, with sewn on copy bar, 7993 Pte. J. Warren, “A” Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, Killed in action on 27th October 1914 at Neuve Chapelle.
The war diary on the day of his death:
“The enemy about 7am got round our left flank and rear. After their two companies (A & C) had suffered very severe losses from shrapnel, howitzer and rifle fire and Capt Dixon had sent in repeated messages for support, he was obliged to retire these 2 companies into the village of Neuve Chapelle to prevent the enemy getting round in rear of the brigade.
Only 2 Officers and 46 men succeeded in getting back, out of a total of 5 Officers and 250 men.”
John Warren was from Dublin, he landed with the first contingent of the B.E.F. in France at Rouen on 14th August 1914.
He was serving with “a” Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, seeing early action at the Battle of Mons, followed by the Rearguard action at Solesmes, the Battle of the Marne, before his war came to a halt at Neuve Chapelle when most of his battalion was killed.
At Neuve Chapelle on 24th October, the 2nd Royal Irish Rifle were being heavily bombarded by artillery, by night they had to repulse a ‘determined attack by the enemy in considerable strength’ but it was repulsed with heavy casualties to the Germans.
The 25th October came with another heavy bombardment, with the regiment taking heavy casualties, with a back and forth fight with the Germans for control of a field gun, in two days they had lost 3 officers killed and 2 wounded, one of them was their commander (Major Daunt) who left to hospital with a concussion.
On the 26th October, A company along with C company were ordered back into billets at Richebourg St Vaas, with B coy in the Trenches, D Company in support to them but the enemy swiftly broke through the line, the Regiment heard nothing that day from B & D company.
In the night A & C companies advanced and took back the trenches.
The war diary entry for the 27th October 1914:
“Neuve Chapelle, 7 a.m., The Trenches to the left of A & C coys being unoccupied by our own troops, the enemy about 7:00 am got round our left flank and rear. After their two companies had suffered very severe losses from shrapnel, howitzer and rifle fire, and Capt Dixon had sent repeated messages for support, he was obliged to retire these companies into the village of Neuve Chapelle (250 yards in rear) to prevent the enemy getting round in rear of the Brigade.
Only 2 officers and 46 NCOs and men succeeded in getting back out of a total of 5 Officers and 250 NCOs and men.
Capt Davis being killed, Lt Mulcahy-Morgan was wounded and missing, Capt Jonsson was also missing. All these were Special Reserve Officers.
The fighting strength of the Battalion was