2nd Lieut. Valentine Douglas French

King’s Shropshire Light Infantry

French, Valentine Douglas, 2nd Lieut., 5th (Service) Battn. Shropshire L.I., 3rd s of [the Hon.] John French, of Miramar, Queenstown, Resident Magistrate, J.P. [2nd s. of Charles, 3rd Baron De Freyne], by his wife, Nani, dau. of Valentine Blake Dillon; b. Peatra House, Frenchpark, co. Roscommon, 3 Jan. 1889. Educ. Jesuits College Limerick; gazetted to the 5th

Battn. Royal Munster Fusiliers, 9 April, 1906, but retired in 1907 and became a Manager of the Shelford Rubber Estate at Klang, Malay States. On the outbreak of war he returned home and received a commission in the 5th King’s Shropshire L.I., 10 March, 1915; went to France with his regt. 20 May, and died 16 June 1915, of wounds received in action, and was buried in Dickebusch Churchyard, at the corner of the south wall of Sanctuary; unm. Capt. H. Mensor wrote “When we knew at the last moment before leaving England that he was coming with us, all of us, and we C Coy. Officers in particular, were delighted that we should have him with us, his wonderful good spirits and cheeriness at all times was a tonic of inestimable value to those of us who are not blessed with a stout a heart and as great courage as he was. I last saw him standing in a field which was swept with a hail of shrapnel, cheering the men of his platoon on, and seeing them all into the comparative safety of a concentration trench before he took any advantage of the cover himself, and even after he was hit I am told that he went on encouraging his men and giving them heart.”

Lieut. French’s elder brother was wounded in the same action, and has since died of his wounds. His cousins-german, Lord De Fryene and the Hon. George French, were killed in action a few weeks previously.

De Ruvigney's Roll of Honour