Private Owen Dominick Short


Owen Dominick Short was born on 1 June 1895 at Meingree, Listowel, County Kerry, the second of five children of Royal Irish Constabulary sergeant Owen Short and his wife Norah (née Sheehy). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Kilpedder Town, Greystones, County Wicklow, with his parents and three of his siblings. He later worked as a clerk for the firm Mooney & Co, Gardener's Row, Dublin.

Short enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Dublin on 16 March 1916 (No.2134). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp until November 1916, when he and around 100 other North Irish Horsemen volunteered to transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles. The formal transfer took place on 7 December (Short was issued regimental number 40915), and on that day the men embarked for France. There they were posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, joining it on the Somme front on 12 December.

Short was deprived of three days' pay on 4 February 1917 for being absent from parade. He was evacuated to the UK on 9 March 1917, suffering from trench foot. He was treated at Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow, Dumfries VAD Hosital, and the Ballykinlar Convalescent Camp.

Short served in the UK for the remainder of the war. On 30 September 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. He was granted a pension for 'VDH' (valvular disease of the heart), his level of disability assessed at 30 per cent. According to a medical board report of 21 February 1920:

States that he was gassed on 23/12/16. ... headaches, sleeplessness, nervousness, states that he has lost confidence in himself. Does not have war dreams. States that his memory is bad. Knee jerks slightly exaggerated. No tremor of hands. Slight tremor of tongue. States that he has been twelve months in hospital suffering from shell shock.

By 1932 Short was living at 118 Cambridge Road, Hounslow, Middlesex, and working as a book-keeper and audit clerk. On 14 July that year he married Mary M. Bowers at the Murrintown Roman Catholic Church, Wexford. The 1939 Register shows him living with his wife and his older brother at Cambridge Road and working as an attendant at the Royal Court of Justice.