First World War Roll of Honour

James John Kearney was born in Harlesden on 29 September 1883, the son of James Kearney and his wife Sarah. After the death of his father, James’s mother married George William Brown in 1887 and the family had moved to Ilkley, Yorkshire, by the time of the 1891 Census. James attended Aysgarth School from January 1895 to July 1897 before returning south to complete his education at Dulwich College from 1898-1899, where he played cricket in the first XI. He matriculated at Downing College in 1902 and passed the first and second General Examinations towards the Ordinary BA. The obituary printed in the Michaelmas 1915 issue of the College magazine, The Griffin, reads:

“A fine all-round sportsman, he obtained College colours for practically everything, played in the Freshmen’s Cricket Match 1903, and was Vice-President of the Griffins’ Club. His exceeding popularity is evidenced by the following extract from a contemporary article in the College Magazine (Easter Term, 1905), written by a fellow undergraduate who is now a successful barrister: - ‘It is mere presumption to attempt to express in words the unbounded goodwill that exists towards him in the hearts of all who know him.’ His experience after going down in 1905 was very varied, and, included managing mines in South America and other parts of the world. Latterly he had devoted himself to farming and pony breeding in England, and when the war broke out he was playing polo and selling ponies in Germany, whence he had some difficulty in returning. He volunteered for service and, tired of waiting for a commission, joined the Gloucestershire Yeomanry as a Trooper. He went out to the Mediterranean in the late spring and was killed during a charge in Gallipoli on 21 August 1915.”

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records list Kearney as a Private in the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars. He is buried in Green Hill Cemetery in Turkey.


The Griffin, Michaelmas 1915 – various sources, including 1891 Census.
Dulwich College Register (online)