Memorial Cross to the R.S.M. of the 24th Battalion
Properly inscribed to 65440 M.M. R.S.M. J. Hennessey.
(The M.M. means he won the Military Medal).
James Hennessey was from Youghal, Ireland, a floor walker by occupation, had Militia service in the 55th Irish Rangers, he also stood 6'-3 1/2" tall.
The Canadian Great War Project provides the following additional details on-line : Military Medal Citation August 10th, 1916 - On the 22nd May 1916 the trench was being heavily shelled, resulting in complete demolition of the parapet in three places and in 18 casualties. Sgt. Hennessy at once proceeded to the assistance of the casualties, although the shelling was still in progress.
He went through the whole trench assisting the wounded and digging out those who were buried. He proceeded through the trench and reported to the Officer in the garrison on the left flank, being exposed to the enemy most of the way. After reporting he returned through the trench to his original garrison while the shelling was still in progress, and in addition passed one of our bomb stores in which the bombs were exploding. Sgt. Hennessy shewed the utter disregard for his own safety under the most trying conditions and his gallantry was an example and had an excellent effect on the men in the garrisons who had been shelled all the afternoon.
CEF Burial Registers - Killed in Action. Just before the battalion "jumped off" in front of Cherisy, he was hit in the chest and severely wounded by shrapnel from an enemy shell. His wounds were dressed but he died before he could be carried out to a dressing station.