Captain John Leahy
Captain John Leahy retired from the army in India in about 1899 and took up residence with his family in the Isle of Wight in 1901.
John Leahy was born in Port Talbot in the early 1850s after his parents emigrated there from Fermoy in Ireland. He had enlisted in the Royal Artlliery at Cardiff in February 1871 and sailed to India on the Serapis in October.
In 1875, at Ferozapore, he married Annie Bourke. They had 13 children: Catherine, Louise, Maude, Ellen, Gertrude, Clement, Mona, Edmund, Sidney, Reginald, Dennis, Nora, and the youngest, John, who was born in 1901 in the Isle of Wight.
The family lived in Shanklin, first in Sandown Road, then at 1 Sydney Villas, Atherley Road. John named the house in Atherley Road, Penrhys. One of his grand-daughters mentions, in her memoirs, that she visited her late grandfather's house in Atherley Road in the 1930s and it was stilled called Penrhys at that time.
Captain John Leahy sadly died of cancer on 28th October 1906, aged 56 years.
He is buried in Shanklin Cemetery. After his death the family returned to India.
In later years, Maude, Mona, Gertrude and Edmund returned to England. Edmund's
family and descendants lived in Hampshire, while branches of Sidney's family emigrated to
Australia, New Zealand and England.
The attached image (LH side) (a photocopy unfortunately) was taken by Horace Mew, Station Road, Shanklin. The numbers were apparently written on the photo by my grandfather, Sidney Leahy. I - Mona, 2- Gertrude, 3 - Clement, 4 - Ellen, 5 - Annie, 6 - John.
The other photo is of son Clem in his Seaforth Highlanders uniform, taken in India. He was killed
in World War I on 7 November 1914 aged 18. He was awarded the D.C.M. and is commemorated on the Le Touret
Memorial in France.
This photo of Maude Leahy was sent to me by a recently discovered distant cousin, Maude’s grand daughter. Apparently Maude worked as a governess in Switzerland not long after this photo was taken. It is also from the studio of Horace Mew.
Linda Evans, New Zealand