O’Neil, John Teskey (John)
17th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Died of disease on Tuesday 10 October 1916 (aged 54)
Belfast (Dundonald) Cemetery, Co. Down (Grave F3. 762)
In the CWGC Debt of Honour website it is recorded that Captain John Teskey O’Neil was the husband of Mary Anne O’Neil of Balladee, The Pier, Cultra, Co Down.
John Teskey O’Neil was born on 17 April 1862 at Rathbane in County Limerick, and he was a son of Arthur and Catherine O’Neil. John Teskey O’Neil was a career soldier who served in India and that is where his daughters Ada and Evelyn Teskey O’Neil were born. Their mother’s name was Mary Jane O’Neil.
Mary Anne O’Neil (nee Legear, sometimes Le Gear), John’s second wife, whom he married on 9 December 1896 in Borrisokane Methodist Church, Co Tipperary, was also born in County Limerick. John Teskey O’Neil, a widowed soldier from Kinsale was a son of Arthur O’Neil, a farmer. Mary Anne Le Gear was a minor and a shop assistant and she was a daughter of Henry Le Gear, a farmer.
John Teskey O’Neil and Mary Anne Teskey (nee Le Gear) had at least seven children:
Arthur Henry (born 27 June 1898 in Gortmore, Omagh, County Tyrone)
Rubey Victoria Maud (born 7 December 1899 in Gortmore, Omagh, County Tyrone)
Hilda Victoria Alice (born 23 August 1901 at The Brooke, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh)
George Francis John (born 28 May 1903 in Gortmore, Omagh, County Tyrone)
Irene Susan May (born 22 November 1904 in Mullaghmore, Omagh, County Tyrone)
Ruby Kathleen (born 6 August 1907 at 12 Cappy Street, Belfast)
James Edward (born 15 April 1909 at 12 Cappy Street, Belfast; died 21 January 1914 in Purdysburn Hospital, aged 4)
John Teskey O’Neil joined the Army in 1881 and served for thirteen years in India. During that time, he fought in the Third Burmese War and returned home in 1896.
The O’Neil family lived in the townland of Gortmore, Omagh, Co Tyrone and at The Brooke, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.
The O’Neil family moved to Belfast where they lived at 12 Cappy Street and 129 My Lady’s Road. In civilian life John Teskey O’Neil worked as an electrician.
In 1914 John Teskey O’Neil re-joined the colours and was gazetted Lieutenant in the 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. Then he was appointed Brigade Signalling Officer to 107th Belfast Brigade and promoted Captain into the 17th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles in 1915.
John Teskey O’Neil was a Captain in the 17th (Reserve) Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and was stationed at Ballykinlar when he died of cancer on 10 October 1916 in the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast. He was buried in Belfast (Dundonald) Cemetery.
John’s wife Mary Anne lived at Balladee, The Pier, Cultra and she died on 1 November 1951 (aged 74).