We have a bit of a conundrum for the end of the week, a photo of what appears to be some US soldiers in WW1 uniform outside a tent. There are two signs, the one on our left stating "LB Hennessy, Band Leader" and that on our right "J. Dohney, Sgt. Bugler." I would not be too hopeful that we can find out anything about these men, where the shot was taken or what became of them but it would be nice if we could?
Photographer: Not known
Collection:NLI Ephemera Collection
Date: Circa 1914 - 1918
NLI Ref.: EPH A295
You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie
Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Well they pose like Americans! And they look like their swank! But those are typical Irish names are they not? So there's a case their ancestors emigrated to the states not so long ago that the've still connections back home. So the photo could be from France with them back from the front line waiting to be sent to action. There might also be a possibility band members being allocated to act in the medic/ambulance role. If it is taken in Ireland I guess the're either to or from France. The're might be a case for using Cobh or Derry port rather than sending a troopship closer to the u-boats than necessary. All speculation. Any clues on the back?
Notes in the catalogue say Blank Postcard
National Library of Ireland on The Commons
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Deirge, you say Doheny is typically Irish, yet there are only 10 Dohneys in the 1901 census and 5 in the 1911 census. Perhaps at the time of this postcard there were more Dohneys in the USA than Ireland? https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley
[https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] I'm only a guessing Doheny looks like it might be an Irish surname, it sort of rolls off the tongue. A possibly more fruitful approach might be searching American serviceman records but that's not my area of expertise, I don't have a clue where to start or find the relevant database, or how to get access. For the UK www.archives.gov/research/genealogy/wwi would be a start point ... I don't know the US equivalent though I see a few wanting my dollars.
314 Dohenys, in 1911, a more common spelling/version of the name in Ireland.
National Library of Ireland on The Commons
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley got it.
Two things I know nothing about military uniforms, but I'm getting vaguely Australian vibes from them. I've done a search for "Sergeant Bugler" and the 1st results are British, Australian and New Zealand results. (Am very open to being found mistaken on both points.)
Cavalry with those bags and jaunty hats. No name on tunic, was that a later thing?
The chevrons on the band leader's sleeve suggest U.S. army, as do the hats and gaiters. Americans and Aussies - as well as the Irish - do have a bit of reputation, don't they? 😄
Hennessy on the left looks delightfully camp - as a row of tents! Is he wearing make-up? DADT Definitely US soldiers. Via https://www.flickr.com/photos/imarcc/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/imarcc/6538097989/ Australian WW1 hats were like this, via https://www.flickr.com/photos/australian-war-memorial/ (330K+ views) https://www.flickr.com/photos/australian-war-memorial/2863670139/
beachcomber australia Very artistic, all right. But which one is which? The one on the left has the stripes, but the sign on right says ‘Sg’t Bugler’
[https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy] I was quite persuaded by your suggestion of the possibility of Australian. On an imperfect scan over internet pictures I'm just marginally minded the hat is more American style that Australian due to the band round the hat. However I haven' t found the Dohney on recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/SearchS... (found via www.nla.gov.au/research-guides/world-war-i/finding-a-soldier) - Although recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewIma... would be a close match if William = Liam (and ambulance = band?) That said the rank looks likely too low. (As usual I'm posting without reading the latest posts 😮)
https://flic.kr/p/2o3Dy44 https://flic.kr/p/2o3FZAr Doughboys (1) Campaign Hat: The Doughboy's hat at the beginning of the war was the campaign hat, also known as a “Montana Peak” or Sombrero. Made of wool felt, the campaign hat had a leather chin strap. Later in the war, it was replaced by the overseas cap. Scroll over the image of the soldier at the right for more information on the cap. (2) Uniform (3) Pack (4) Ammunition Belt (5) Overseas Cap: Cheaper, easier to pack in their equipment, and more in the fashion of other Allies' uniforms, the Overseas Cap began to replace the Campaign Hat (on the soldier at left) later in the war. (6) Puttee: When the Doughboys first began preparations in the U.S. they wore canvas leggings, but those who went “over there” wore wool spiral wrap putters. Looks like they’re wearing canvas leggings, so I don’t think they had reached France yet.
they almost look like US Marines, but who knows. Google Lens didn't hep, I can't find much for a band leader named Hennessy from WW1
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Apparently the records have been digitized and are kept over at ancestry.com, if anyone has access. I looked around at the US National Archives website and they seem to have moved them to Ancestry.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Thanks for that steer. I have positive confirmed access even given my status Wikipedia status to (some parts) of Ancestry.com through Wikipedia Library. On a brief glance (I am in a rush and now late!) I seem to have located at least two 'possible' repeat 'possible' matches for J. B. Dohney Sgt Bugler: (1) 1917 Roster of the Illinois National Guard and Illinois Naval Militia p233 : HQ Co. Chicago, Illinois Name&Rank: Dohney, Bernard J.: Rank: First Sergeant; DoCorE: July 17, 1915 ; DoMuster: Aug 3, 1917; Reported for Duty: July 25, 1917 (2) There's a record with handwritten of a Dohney John B (private) signing for the 7, Illinois Infantry (company FB) for the 1898 Spanish War. & oh! TOTAL SNAP (3) 1917 Roster of the Illinois National Guard and Illinois Naval Militia p233 : HQ Co. Chicago, Illinois: Sergeant Bugler: DoCorE: May 5, 1917 ; DoMuster: Aug 3, 1917; Reported for Duty: July 25, 1917 There's a another document giving birth details for liekly same John B. Dohney as 16 Dec 1878 Chicago, Illinois, USA. There's a couple of other documents as well. Suggest using First name "J B" surname "Dohney" on non-exact search. It is possible all three are compatible as possible for first and middle names to be mixed up on WWI enlistments (at least in Hampshire UK/Navy to my late Grandfather)
Dohney ended up at Farragut High School, (Fireman Class A?) being drafted for WWII aged 63 (presumably never mustered). He is recorded at the school in 1944, another Dohney being "(Chief) Engineer". His address at that time was Sawyer Street, Chicago. Ancestry record of application for military headstone: DOB: 1880-12-16 Service#:1375046 Unit:1. Co. B - 7th Regiment Infantry 2. co D - (C. I. O. T. S. Camp Mac arthur, Texas) of the 7th Regiment of Infantry of Ill. Enlisted:1917-07-24 Discharge: 1918-11-26 Died:1947-08-29 buried at Antigo Wisconsin Catholic Cemetery Per the Andrews Sisters song was he the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B out from Chicago way?
Now we come to yer "Bandleader" Daniel J. Hennessy (b. c. 1875-04-20). Now why did the silly photographer crop out the "Danie" part? Now then he might have cropped out "Assistant" as well, and the band leader might have been "Paul Smith", and I might be wary of buying a steer from the photographer, so I might. Is this the same 5' 8¾" 28?yo florid blue(?hazel)-eyed Daniel J. Hennessy with the light brown hair that deserted on 13 July 1901? Actually there was also a Daniel J. Hennessy killed in action in 1915 (navy?) so I'd really have to recheck all this carefully. (I think this Daniel J. Hennessy was from Clommell, the one in the photo in the photo was native (US) born I now believe unlike what I said recently). I believe there was another killed in action in WW2. The other involved Hennessy is the cognac useful when lapping the hay. All this needs peer review.