John MALONE – A Fine Soldier

by Annette Edwards.

John Malone was born on 4 June 1833 in Newport, Tipperary, he was the son of Peter Malone and Ellen Callinan.

John joined the Army in 1848 and was a Corporal in the 50th Regiment, he was based at Fullwood barracks in Preston.  On 23 December 1852 he married 22 year old Elizabeth Smalley a dressmaker   at St John, Preston.  John’s father was a “pensioner” so probably had also been a soldier. Elizabeth’s father was Joseph Smalley an overlooker in the cotton mill.

The couple left England and sailed to Ceylon aboard the troop ship Medina, Black Ball Line, which was carrying the 50th Queens Own Regiment from Dublin, during the journey a daughter was born on 2 September 1857. She was named Ellen Medina Chisman Malone after the ship, and the Captain Thomas Chisman, who died on 26 October soon after arrival. Another daughter Alice was born there on 25 September 1859.  

The Army Index of 1861 has John Malone. Rank – Colour Sergeant. Soldier Number – 3314 

Regiment – 50th Foot (Queen’s Own). Regiment stationed at Ceylon.


In May 1861 a son Alexander was born in Colombo (Sri Lanka), but Elizabeth sadly died on 2 July 1861.  She was buried in Galle Face Cemetery, Colombo.  Her burial record is in the original register.

MALONE, Elizabeth, wife of Colour Sergeant John Malone of the 50th Queen’s Own Regiment, was buried in Galle Face Cemetery Colombo on 2nd July 1861 aged 30 years 4 months. Alexander died aged 4 months and was buried 7th September 1861 in the same Cemetery.

The history of the Galle Face Green goes back as far as 1803, when the British Army invaded the Kandyan Kingdom in January 1803. They were defeated and had heavy casualties. Many British soldiers were killed and a greater number died during the retreat when many contracted Malaria. The burial ground in use at that time did not have adequate capacity to bury the bodies of the dead soldiers. The land that now forms Galle Face Green was turned into a burial ground. In the 1920’s, the graves were dug up, and the remains were interred in the Colombo Cemetery (Kanatte).

John  went to New Zealand in 1863 and then to Australia in 1866. He was in Adelaide in 1867 when he lost his Crimean medal, it was reported in the Police Gazette.

It was there he married his second wife, Irish girl Elizabeth McKay on 19 August 1868 , Elizabeth was the daughter of Hugh and Betty McKay and had been born in County Down about 1844.


They came back to England and a son Thomas James was born in Devonport on 28 June 1869.  The family moved to Wrexham by 1871 and were living in 5 Walkers Cottages, Rhosddu, these had recently been built for Peter Walker, the brewery owner.

John was a pensioner late 50th Regt and on the permanent staff of Royal Denbigh Militia.

Their 2 younger children were there, but Ellen was working as a domestic servant for John Brannan and his family who were living on the Beast Market.

THE REVIEW AND INSPECTION.  Colour-Sergeant Malone, late of the 50th Regiment, has recently joined the Denbighshire Militia Stiff, and last week a most elegant and valuable cup was presented to him by Major Leach, captain of his former company. The cup, which was accompanied by a congratulatory address, before the following inscription:—Presented by Major Leach, 50th King’s Own, to Colour-Sergeant John Malone on his leaving the regiment, as a small token of regard. 28th February, 1871.” We may state that the recipient had been 22 years in the 50th Regiment, and has seen a good deal of active service, having served through the Crimean campaign, and was at the battles of Alma, Inkerman, and Sebastopol. He possesses the Crimean and Turkish medals, and a medal for the New Zealand campaign of 1863-4. He likewise wears a medal for long service and good conduct, and was greatly respected and liked in his regiment. Although he has only joined the Militia Staff a short time ago, he has won the admiration and esteem of the men for his upright, honest, and steady conduct, and he has made friends of all with whom he has become acquainted.  John`s army records show he had  spent 6 years in Ceylon on garrison duty, over  2 years in Malta, Turkey and the Crimea, and over  5 years in Australia

20th May 1871 Wrexham Advertiser
Silver Cup 1871

John and Elizabeth returned to Ireland for the birth of their daughter Teresa on 22 July 1871. The birth was registered on 10 August 1871 and their place of residence was Loughbrickland, Banbridge, County Down. It`s possible that she had family there.

By 1881 John and Elizabeth had moved to Shrewsbury Road (Salop Road) and he was a Quartermaster Sergeant in the Denbighshire Militia. Thomas James 12 and Teresa 10 were in school and they had two more sons, Hugh 7 and  John aged 5 who were both born in Wrexham.  Alice had moved away and was working in Prestwich.

John`s wife Elizabeth Malone died on 18 November 1882 at Albert Street, she was only 40. She was buried in Wrexham Cemetery four days later. In 1884 there was an entry in the burial register noting that she had been removed from this grave and taken to Ireland.

(This was only discovered when a descendant of Ellen came from Australia to visit the grave.  No other details were entered and it`s not known where Elizabeth is buried. A check on the St Mary’s cathedral registers shows her death entry, but nothing at all about   the event in 1884.   There is no entry in Irish death indexes as she didn`t die there. It`s possible she was taken to Loughbrickland where she gave birth to Teresa)

 About 40 years later the graves where his first wife Elizabeth was buried were dug up, and the remains were interred in the Colombo Cemetery (Kanatte). Quite a coincidence.

By 1891 his son Thomas James had moved to Chester.

John Malone moved out of the town and on 27 October 1900 there was a report in the newspapers about Sanitation in the area.

The inspector   wrote ;  I have served two notices upon the tenant of a small two-roomed house situate in Poolmouth Valley, and upon John Malone, agent for the Stansty  estate. There are 9 persons who occupy 1 small bedroom 11 feet square, namely, the tenant, and a family consisting  of the parents and six children.

In April 1901 John and Teresa were at Stansty but she married later that year.

John was still at Stansty in 1913 when he endorsed a product   which claimed to improve the eyesight.  Mr James Williams was advertising his “TOUR FOR SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER, 1913” in many Welsh newspapers   and on Sept. 1st he was at Trevor’s Hotel, Regent Street Wrexham.


To Restore the Eyesight. TO RESTORE THE HEARING. A NEW SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY. JAMES WILLIAMS, The Woodlands Birkenhead. The greatest discovery of the age for the cure of eye affection of every kind and at all stages. Short sight. Cataract, Fatigued Eyes, Cross Eyes. Cloudy Vision, Inflamed and Watery Eyes made clear and strong. Strained eyes caused by constant Concentration on fine work, such as Metal Engraving, Watchmaking, Dressmaking, become strong, and Headaches disappear. Indispensable to those whose daily occupations are under artificial light. COLLIERS IN PARTICULAR. Loom workers, constantly staring at vibrating fibres and colours of various hues. Eye-Exerciser (patented in Great Britain and on. the Continent) invented by James Williams, 61, The Woodlands, Birkenhead. Those that are troubled with defective hearing and noise in the head will do wise in consulting Mr. Williams. Stanley  (Stansty) Hall, Wrexham, 1st July, 1913.

 Dear Sir.  I have every reason to believe that I would be stone blind long since if I had not come under your treatment the time I did. Yours truly, JOHN MALONE.

 Mr. Jas Williams, Birkenhead. Mr. Malone is over 80 years of age, and can read and write without aid of glasses.

John died at Laburnum House, 1 New Road, Brynteg on 1 January 1918. He left effects of £52. Administration was granted to his son Hugh who was a publican. 

Cemetery Register

John was buried in Wrexham Cemetery alone.

Quartermaster Sergeant Malone.

                                                               THE CHILDREN

ELLEN M C MALONE 1857 – 1934

Ellen Medina Chisman Malone  was born 2 September 1857 during the journey to Ceylon. She returned to Britain with her father who moved to Wrexham . In 1871 Ellen was working as a domestic servant for John Brannan and his family who were living on the Beast Market.

In 1874 Ellen decided to leave Wales, she sailed from London on the “Glamorgan”   and arrived in Maryborough, Australia on 7 May 1874. Later the same year she married Stephen Fagg on 28 November, the marriage took place at the Wesleyan Parsonage in Maryborough.  Ellen was 17, Stephen was 20 and a labourer, their residence was Mary River Saw Mills.

Stephen had been born in Storrel, Kent and was the son of farmer William Fagg and Mary Ann Hopper, the family had arrived in Maryborough aboard the “Tim Whiffler” on 26 January 1874 .

Ellen must have kept in touch with her family as on 12 July 1897 an article was printed in the Bundaburg Mail.

“On the wall of Mr Stephen Fagg`s residence at Rosehill Farm, Sharon, hangs the photo of one of Englands finest soldiers, the father of Mrs S Fagg. He is in possession of the Crimean Medal with clasps for “Alma” Inkerman and Sebasapol, the Turkish and New Zealand medals  and medals for long service and good conduct. He enlisted for the 50th Queens Own in 1848 and retired in 1893. The fine face and commanding figure also possessed the sterling qualities of manhood, and the numerous presents and addresses testament to the esteem to which he was held by his brother officers. In 1893, his Royal Highness, the Commander in Chief awarded a silver medal, with an annuity, to Mr Malone as a reward for a long and highly meritorious service.”

Stephen and Ellen had 12 children in 22 years. Stephen died 5 December 1933 in Bundaberg, Queensland, Ellen died 30 September 1934 in Brisbane, Queensland.


                                                    ALICE MALONE 1859 – 1936        

Alice was born 25 September 1859 in Ceylon, she returned to Britain with her father who moved to Wrexham by 1871.

Alice had left Wrexham by 1881 and was in Prestwich working as a house servant for the Allen family, she was with them for at least 20 years, but by 1911 had moved to Southport and was a servant for grocer John Cooper.  In 1912 Alice married Richard Williams at St Peter, Accrington, Lancashire. They returned to Wrexham, Richard died aged 71  at Laburnum House, New Road, Brynteg on 6 December 1927, this was the same address where John Malone died in 1918. Alice died on 12 March 1936 aged 77 at 1 New Road, Brynteg which was the same house. In both cases they made wills and Probate was granted to Thomas Fletcher, a retired butcher.  Richard and Alice are buried in St Pauls, Broughton. 


Thomas James was born in Devonport on 28 June 1869.   He came to Wrexham with his parents by 1871.

In 1891 Thomas James was in St Anne`s Street, Chester, he was a printer compositor lodging with John Davies from Bala.  On 29 February 1892 he married Mary (Pollie) Stakeman at the Register office in Chester. Mary was from Chester, her mother was Mary who later married Thomas Dutton.

 By 1901 they had 4 children, Hugh 8, Edith 5, Alice 3 and Margaret aged 1, Thomas James  was still a printers worker  and the family were in Gloucester Street. William Dutton was there, he was Thomas` brother in law.

In 1911 the records state they had 8 children, but only 5 were still alive.  The family were living in Jupps Court, Commonhall Street in the centre of Chester .Only Edith 15, Margaret 11 and Helena aged 3 were at home. The children who are known to have died were Elizabeth Eveline born 1894 died 1896 and Elizabeth born 1898 died 1899.

Hugh was with  Mary Dutton in Handbridge, he was a tobacco stripper. Alice was poorly in the Isolation Hospital in Sealand.

Mary died in Commonhall Street in 1936 aged 67. By 1939 Thomas James was still a printer, but had moved to Meadows Place, Handbridge where he died in November 1940 aged 72,  they are buried together in the Catholic section of  Overleigh Cemetery. 

                                                   TERESA MALONE 1871 – 1946

Teresa was born  22 July 1871 in Loughbrickland, Banbridge, County Down. She remained with John until her marriage.

On 16 July 1901 Teresa married Joseph Woollam  who was a farmer living in at Holy Trinity, Gwersyllt. Joseph’s father was William Woollam a farmer, Teresa was still in Stansty, her father is described as an estate agent.

By 1911 they had children Joseph 9, Theresa 7, William 5, Margaret 3  and Monica Elizabeth Alice  who was 1 and were living at Wheatsheaf  Farm, Gwersyllt. There had been 5 children born, all of which had survived. Another son Robert Roy was born later that year and in 1913 daughter Verina was born

In 1939 they were living at 14 Greenwood Avenue, Wheatsheaf Lane, Gwersyllt, Joseph was  now a coal hewer. Robert Roy was at home and was a bus driver, Monica was also there. Joseph died in 1940 aged 70, Teresa died aged 74 and was buried on 5 January 1946 .They are both buried in Gwersyllt Holy Trinity Churchyard

HUGH MALONE  1874 – 1963

EDITH MALONE 1881 – 1957

Also buried with John is his son Hugh Malone and his wife Edith.

Hugh had been born in Wrexham  on 18 June 1874 and in 1878 he started school at 

Dr Williams’ Foundation/Victoria British School, Wrexham.

When he was aged 9 years and 6 months he was in Dublin , he had been admitted to the Royal Hibernian Military School, his records show he was 4ft 4in  tall, weighed 4 stone 7 lbs, his chest was  25 ¾ inches  and his trade was a tailor. He was there for over 4 years until he

 joined the Army  in Dublin in February 1888, his occupation then was a tailor. He was only 14 years and 5 months old, was 5ft 2 ¾  tall, weighed 108 lbs,  and his chest measured 31”. He had brown hair and grey eyes He was declared fit and was appointed to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers for 12 years service. He served at home until November 1896 when he was sent out to Malta,  Crete, Egypt,  back to Crete, China and India  before finally coming home  in January 1905. Over the years he was promoted to sergeant, and in 1899 he was permitted to re-engage to complete 21 years with the colours. 

Hugh’s medical   records show he had been ill quite a few times while overseas with ague, bronchitis, fever and an eye injury which resulted in a Court of Enquiry in Kandia, Crete.

Hugh married Edith Roberts on 23 July 1907 at St Mary’s RC Church in Wrexham and in 1911 they were living in 3 Saxon Street, Wrexham.  Edith was 29, and had been born in Wrexham in July 1881; they had a daughter also Edith aged 2. It`s not known who Edith’s parents were.

Hugh re – enlisted in October 1914, he was now aged 40, he had gained 5 inches in height, and put on 40 lbs, his chest was now 38 inches.

His records show he was “at home” until July 1918. Edith’s address was given as the Grosvenor Arms, Cefn.  This matches the details from John Malone`s probate when Hugh was a publican. 

 In June 1919 he was discharged as being unfit due to defective eyesight.  By 1939 Hugh and Edith were in Afoneitha, close to Ruabon, they both remained there until Edith died in May 1957 aged 75 and Hugh in May 1963 aged 84.


The photographs and much of the information has been supplied by Julie Walker, a direct descendant of Ellen and Stephen Fagg.  Julie visited the Cemetery some years ago on a visit from her home in Australia.

Annette Edwards.  

Researched by Annette Edwards. With help from Judy Roberts of Chirk.

April 2019. Revised June 2019.


Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery A-00307 & 00308

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