26-year-old Private James Cooney, 4th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died on 19th November 1916 in Carisbroke military hospital on the Isle of Wight as a result of flu and cardiac failure. He was buried at Olton Franciscan Friary in Solihull.
He was born in Birmingham in 1886 but was orphaned by the age of six. His mother, Catherine (née Finan), died in 1888 at the age of 33, whilst his father, Thomas, died in 1891, aged 38. James and his older sister, Annie, a dressmaker, moved in with their maternal aunt. Their older brother, Thomas, joined the Army in 1898, and served in the Boer War for two years, followed by four years in India. He was transferred to the Army Reserves in 1906, and was called up on 5th August 1914. He was discharged a year later on the termination of his engagement, without having been posted overseas.
We haven’t been able to find a medal index card for James Cooney, suggesting that he didn’t serve overseas. He was serving with the 4th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, which was an extra reserve battalion that was stationed in the Isle of Wight for much of the war.
If you have any further information, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
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