• Christina Drummond

Lieutenant Lord Henry Bligh Fortescue Parnell, Fifth Baron Congleton and a Baronet of Ireland, MID,


Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1914, Lieutenant Lord Henry Bligh Fortescue Parnell, Fifth Baron Congleton and a Baronet of Ireland, MID, 2nd Battalion, the Grenadier Guards, was killed in action near Ypres.

The eldest son of Major-General Lord Congleton C.B., he was related to Charles Stewart Parnell, the Irish politician, and he was also the first member of the House of Peers to be killed in the Great War. Educated at Eton and New College, Oxford, he took second class Honours for History, joined the Grenadier Guards as a university candidate in 1912, and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1913. He was considered to be gifted and multi-talented; he wrote articles on sporting subjects for magazines such as The Field, was a fine shot and polo player. Had he not gone from university to the war, he would have been part of the Stackhouse expedition to the Antarctic. He also took a keen interest in social problems, supported no political party but often sat in the House of Lords as a listener, and was an ardent Tariff Reformer.

In January of 1915, he was mentioned in Sir John French's Despatch, for “gallant conduct and skilful handling of his platoon against terrific odds on the 6th of November, 1914, thereby saving the British line at that point”. He is buried in the Zillebeke Churchyard Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, which forms part of the village churchyard located around the Catholic parish church of Zillebeke in Belgium.

Henry, from Annerville, Clonmel, County Tipperary in Ireland, was 24 years old.

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