Major Michael Henry Connery, MC

Michael Henry Connery was born in Dublin in 1856. A career soldier and long time Battalion Quarter Master, he joined the 63rd Regiment of Foot (the Manchester Regiment) on April 19, 1869 when he was just a boy.


His first son, William Lawrence Connery was born in Ashton-under-Lyne on November 25, 1875.  James Thomas Connery was born in Gorton on June 5, 1877 and Joseph Michael Connery in July, 1878.

In May 1886 he married Emily Field  while he was a Sergeant Quarter Master for the Manchester Regiment living at the Army Barracks in Ashton-under-Lyne. The following year his son Arthur William Field Connery, named after his wife’s father, was born in Ashton.

By 1901 he had been commissioned as an Honorary Lieutenant and he and his wife were both still living in the Army Barracks at Ashton. Their son Arthur was away at boarding school. He served in the South African Campaign of 1901-02 as Quarter Master of the 6th Battalion and was mentioned in despatches (Gazetted July 29, 1902).  Based upon that he was promoted to honourary Captain on August 22, 1904 “for his conduct in the  field.”  By 1911 he was an Honorary Major and Quarter Master of the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, (Gazetted April 22, 1909), and he and his wife had moved out of the Barracks and were living at “Willow Bank” on Henrietta Street, in Ashton.

He sailed with the 1/9th to Egypt in September 1914 and subsequently landed with them at Gallipoli on May 9, 1915.  On June 15, 1915 he was slightly wounded by shrapnel when a shell landed on his dugout.  Two of his sons, Honorary Lieutenant Joseph Michael Connery and Second Lieutenant Arthur William Field Connery served alongside him with the 1/9th in Gallipoli.  He left the peninsula with the 1/9th in December 1915 and continued to served with them in Egypt during the first half of 1916.  In July 1916 he was invalided home from Egypt suffering from heat exhaustion, he was 60 years old. Later in the year he was awarded the Military Cross for his services to the Battalion and received his medal from the King at Buckingham Palace.

He died on April 25, 1921 in Ashton and was buried at Hurst Cemetery with his wife, Emily, who predeceased him in April 1917.  His oldest son, Lt. Col. William Lawrence Connery, M.B.E., J.P. was later buried in the same plot when he died in April 1944.