b. c. 1873 Belfast, Ireland. d. 07/10/1917 off Ballycotton Island, County Cork, Ireland.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 01/10/1916 Le Havre, France.
Joseph was the son of Martin and Mary Connolly, who originally hailed from Belfast. As a child, the family emigrated to Liverpool, from where Joseph joined the Merchant Navy. He was presented with his Albert Medal by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 24th February 1917. Tragically just eight months after the presentation, he was lost at sea whilst aboard the “Aylevarroo” sailing out of Limerick. They were torpedoed and all hands were lost.
On the 1st October, 1916,. the steamship ” Vanellus,” of Cork, struck a mine in Havre Roads, and the vessel, which was laden with petrol, immediately burst into flames. Owing to the rapidity with.which .the. flames spread it was impossible to clear away the boats, and most of the crew jumped overboard. Three lives were lost by the casualty. Although the engine-room telegraph was broken by the explosion Mr. Conolly remained at his post in the engine-room until everyone else had left the ship. He kept the engines working astern, and thus made it possible for a lifeboat to be lowered on the port side, and by this means a number of lives were saved. Before finally leaving the ship he again went below and stopped the engines. Mr. Conolly was badly burnt in rendering the services.
BURIAL LOCATION: LOST AT SEA. ON TOWER HILL MEMORIAL, LONDON.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.