Saturday, 3 October 2015

Genealogy Saturday: Louis Perrody (1900-1974)

Patrick Louis Perrody was born in Dublin, on 17 March 1900. He was the eldest son and third surviving child of Richard Perrody and Isabella Wynne.[1]

He may have been called Patrick in honour of our patron saint, whose feast-day is celebrated on his birthday, or perhaps he was named after his maternal uncle, my great-grandfather, Patrick Wynne. Perhaps he was named for both of them.  Either way, by the time he was eleven years old, he had adopted his middle name ‘Louis’ as his moniker of choice.[2]

As Louis Patrick Perrody, he enrolled in the Royal Navy Marines on 17 January 1918, two months short of his eighteenth birthday. Like many young men, it appears he was underage, but so anxious to fight in the Great War, he lied on his application and gave his birthday as 17 March 1899.

Louis served aboard the HMS Colleen, a depot ship for the Auxiliary Patrol Service, stationed at Queenstown (now Cobh), Co. Cork. This was far better than the trenches!

The famous Antarctic explorer, Tom Crean, served as acting boatswain on the HMS Colleen and may well have served with Louis.

According to the naval records, Louis was five foot, two and a half inches tall, with a chest measurement of thirty-four inches. He had grey eyes and a dark complexion. 

The records also reveal Louis was awarded the Victory and the British War Medals, for participating in the campaign.[3]

Louis returned to Dublin after the war and enlisted in the Irish Republican Army, where he fought for Irish Independence from Britain. He was in the Cycle Company, later known as “A” Company, 2nd Battalion, of the 1st Dublin Brigade.[4]

He inherited his parent's house at 2 Nelson Street and was recorded at this address throughout the 1940s to 1950. Here, he lived with his sisters Violet and Clarissa. Various other people shared the house with them - presumably boarders.[5]

Inherent in ancestral research is the potential discovery, not only of a person's greatest achievements, but also their lowest moments. It is these very ‘extremes’ that are most likely to be recorded and when I was searching for an obituary for Louis, I happened upon what would not be described as his finest hour. 

In December 1950, he was charged with the larceny of three gas cookers. He pleaded ‘guilty under extenuating circumstances’. He had intended to convert his house in Nelson Street into self-contained flats, when he got into financial difficulties. He received a nine-month prison sentence, which was suspended on condition he repaid his debt, in weekly installments of £1. The newspaper report of the court case described Louis as a musician.[6]

According to my cousin Aileen, Pat Fagan, a first cousin of Louis, now deceased, said Louis was a musician in a band. She believed, they were the resident band at the Gresham Hotel, Dublin during the winter season. Louis played piano, banjo, accordion and the even the electric guitar. 

Louis migrated to England, probably in the 1950s. He died in Birmingham, aged seventy-four years, in 1974.

© 2015 Black Raven Genealogy

[1] England and Wales, civil registration death index, General Register Office. 
[2] 1911 census of Ireland, National Archives of Ireland.
[3] Royal Naval Reserve ratings' records of service, The National Archives (UK).
[4] IRA Membership Series, Organisation and Membership, Military Service Pensions Collection, Military Archives, Dublin I Brigade, MA/MSPC/RO/3, Military Archives.
[5] Louis Perodie, Electoral Lists 1938-1964, Dublin City Library and Archive
[6] Irish Press, 8 December 1950, p. 2.

Image credit: World War I recruitment poster, Wikimedia Commons.


  1. Isn't it sad that it is so much easier to find their low points rather than their high points? In looking over my family tree it is clearly those who were in trouble that I know the most about.

    1. It’s true, Michelle, my all-time favourite sources are the Irish prisons' registers they include name, date and place of birth, residence, next-of-kin and even a physical description. ;-)


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