Peter is remembered on the war memorial at St. Pancras Catholic Church, Orwell Place, Ipswich.
Born: 14th June 1886, St. John’s, Kilkenny, Ireland.
Died: 30th March 1916; age: 29; KiA.
Peter was killed alongside Private Herbert James Spalding, 3/9287, of the Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion, born 1898, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. They were laid to rest next to each other.
Enlistment into the Royal Marine Light Infantry: Location: Plymouth; date: 16th October 1903, age: 17 years, 4 months and 2 days; Religion: Roman Catholic; Occupation: a Bricklayer’s Labourer. Height on enlistment 5ft 5 2/10ins, fair complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair, scar on left wrist. Next of kin: Father – Latimer Cottage, Freston, Suffolk, later Mother – 112, Woodfield Crescent, Westbourne Park, London.
Rank: Private; Service Number: 12294.
Depot Deal – 16th October 1903 – 31st December 1903.
Depot Deal – 1st January 1904 – 6th July 1904.
Plymouth Division – 7th July 1904 – 16th November 1904.
Vivid – 17th November 1904 – 31st December 1904.
Vivid – 1st January 1905 – 18th September 1905.
Plymouth Division – 19th September 1905 – 31st December 1905.
Plymouth Division – 1st January 1906 – 29th January 1906 – embarked.
Argyll – 30th January 1906 – 20th March 1906.
Plymouth Division – 21st March 1906 – 20th April 1906 – Discharged – Service no longer needed Height on discharge 5ft 51/2ins.
Under age from 16th October 1903 – 13th June 1904 – 241 days.
General Character – Very Good.
Enlistment: Location: Blackdown; date: 28th September 1909; age: 22 years & 3 months; religion: Roman Catholic. Height: 5ft & 6 ins, fresh complexion, blue eyes, brown hair. Tattoo – Shamrock ‘Son of Eire’ on left forearm.
Claimed the benefit of the King’s Pardon having confessed to having improperly enlisted into the York & Lancaster Regiment as Private, service number 9657 – 23rd May 1910.
Discharged for mis-conduct 23rd August 1910 – served 330 days. Intended to reside at Royal Sailor’s Rest, Devenport, Devon. In his written confession Peter also admitted that he was No. 141, Rifleman in the 7th (Reserve) Battalion, of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, and was discahrged from that Corps in April 1908.
1908 – Ipswich, Territorial Force, Suffolk Regiment. 3/9316 Private.
Date of Entry Therein: 10th October 1914.
Rank: Private; Service Number: 3/9316.
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion.
Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1914 Star.
Gazette No. 29422. Mentioned in Despatches – 31st December 1915 – recommend for gallant and distinguished service in this field.
1891 Raylan Barracks (married quarters), Stoke Damerel, Devon.
Peter was 4 years old and living with his parents & siblings.
Peter McNamee, 29, a Lance Sergeant – Sherwood Foresters – Infantry, born Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Sarah McNamee (nee Larkin), 24, born Athlone, Ireland.
George Patrick McNamee, 2, born Kilkenny, Ireland.
Rose McNamee, 3, born Kilkenny.
John Joseph McNamee, 6 months, born Devon, Devonshire.
1911 102, Wherstead Road, Ipswich.
Peter was 24 years old, a General Labourer – Iron Works. He was a Boarder at the home
of 45 year old, widow, Alice Tunstall & her family.
A 1911 painting by Peter, of the Ostrich public house and Bourne Bridge, Ipswich.
Image courtesy of Des Pawson MBE.
Soldiers’ Effects to Peter McNamee – father.
BRAVE SUFFOLK’S LAST TASK
Mrs. Motroni, 14, Permit Office Street, Ipswich, has been notified of the death of her son, Private Peter Motroni, 2nd Suffolk Regiment. Lieut. C.J. Moss writes:- “It is with the deepest regret and sympathy that I am writing to inform you of the death of your son. He was killed by the bursting of a shell whilst carrying the wounded from the field to the doctors. Your son was a good worker and by his death I lose one of my best men.”
Writing to Mrs. Motroni, Private Peter McNamee, of the same regiment, says:- “I can honestly say that the loss of his services is keenly felt, both by N.C.O.’s and men, and I thought preharps you would like to know that he suffered no pain whatsoever. A party of his comrades laid him to rest with all due respect in a peaceful burial-ground close by his headquarters, the service being conducted by Col. Clifford, an Irishman and a Catholic, and his grave will be registered by the Graves Registration Committee. He met his death in the most glorious way whilst in the execution of his duty in bringing down the wounded on the night of July 19th. Before we left the burial-ground a French Socialist comrade approached his grave, and, blessing himself, reverently laid some flowers on. I know this will be a terrible to you all, but you must comfort yourself with the knowledge that he died a devout Catholic, manfully performing his duty in the best interest of the State and for the emancipation of the world from the cursed yoke of Prussian militarism.”
Peter is also remembered on the Orwell Works Memorial for Ransomes Sims & Jefferies Ipswich.
On the 9th October 1901, 15 year old Peter, a labourer, appeared before Mr. G. Paul Taylor, Esq., at the Southwark Police Court, charged with attemping to kill and murder himself. He was Tried on Wednesday, 13th November 1901, at the Sessions House, Newington, before Mr. William Robert McConnell, Esq., K.C., D.L. Peter could read and write imperfectly, and had misdemeanours against his name pleaded Guilty of attempting suicide. He was ordered Own Recognizances in 40s. to appear for judgement if called upon.
St. James Gazette – Thursday, 10th October 1901 – A CASE OF SUICIDAL MANIA – Peter McNamee, aged 15, a tall, sullen-looking boy, was charged at Southwark Police Court yesterday, before Mr. Paul Taylor, with attempting to commit suicide by cutting his throat at the Catholic Boys’ Home, Westminster Bridge Road. The Reverend Walter Cooksey, chaplian, said that Peter had been an inmate of the home about three months. During that time he had given a great deal of trouble by repeated attempts at suicide, not very serious, but sufficient to frighten the other boys. He did the same at a Liverpool home (St. Vincent’s Home), to which he was sent from an industrial school. The magistrate: The only thing I can do is to send him to trial, and then if he is found not responsible for his actions he can be put in an asylum. It seems to be a case of suicidal mania. Mr. Cooksey: Yes, he appears to have had his head turned with sensational literature, he is frequently making speeches on the war in the school. John Brady, an assistant at the home, stated that at 12:40 noon Peter tried to strangle himself with a piece of string, and at 9:10 p.m. he cut his throat with a penknife. It was only a superficial wound, but he was “all over blood,” and the act was done in the presence of thiry-seven boys in the recreation room. Peter replied: I got thrashed so much by the lads, and that was why I done it. He was committed for trail.
Extract from the South Wales Daily News – Friday, 11th October 1901 – Peter said: I got thrashed so much by the lads, and that was why I done it. Witness: He has made several attempts at suicide by swallowing stones and eating coke. Mr Cooksey: I have known him tie a towel round his head and go into the swimming bath and try to keep his head under. To another witness Peter said: I was lying asleep, and you and another lad aimed a bed at me. Peter said to the constable who took him in charge: “All the other lads were always on to me.” On being committed to trial, Peter declared: “My superior asked me to chew the coke for him for a ‘tanner,’ to set him the example on a Sunday.”
On the 13th May 1902, 15 year old Peter, a labourer, having been received into custody on the same day appeared before the Committing Magistrates – Captain M. Edgar, and Captain H.E. Lacon, at the Samford Petty Sessions, charged with unlawfully attemping to kill and murder himself on the 10th May 1902. He was Tried on Friday, 4th July 1902, at the County Hall, Ipswich, before the Right Honorable Lord Rendlesham. Peter, who could read and write imperfectly, pleaded Guilty of attempting suicide. He was sentenced for 6 weeks – second division.
Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion