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  • Writer's pictureStephen Callaghan

A King's County Gentleman - Andrew Acres Stoney

Andrew Acres Stoney was born in Frankford (Kilcormac), King’s County (County Offaly) on 8 October 1879. He was the only surviving son of Deputy Surgeon General Andrew Acres Stoney and Mary Frances Stoney (née Drought).

Andrew Acres (senior) had a long career in the army as a surgeon and served during Indian Mutiny. He married Mary Frances Drought on 6 July 1876 in St Anne’s Church, Dublin.

Andrew’s mother died in 1888 when he was just 10, his father died 5 years later. Andrew probably had to grow up fairly quickly and take responsibility for the family estate.

Andrew was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 3rd (Militia) Battalion, Leinster Regiment on 1 May 1897. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 4 November 1899, just at the start of the Second Anglo Boer War.

Prior to the start of the Boer War a recruiting party from the militia toured the county to strengthen its ranks with new recruits. When war in South Africa broke out the battalion volunteer to serve overseas, which they did for two long years. Lieutenant Stoney being among the officers who went to fight.

In April 1901 the battalion was near Kimberly when Captain Arnott and Lieutenant Stoney were selected to serve as mounted infantry with a number of other ranks. They worked as escorts and preformed scouting duties. Lieutenant Stoney likely having prior experience with horses. During one engagement with the Boers, he was shot through the neck, the bullet narrowly missing his spinal cord. Despite being wounded he did not dismount and continued with his duties until the party returned to the battalion at Kimberly, where his wound was treated.

Lieutenant Stoney remained in hospital for the duration of the war. The battalion returned from South Africa in May 1902. Stoney returning as an invalid in June 1902. Shortly after he resigned his commission from the militia. For his service in the Boer War he received the Queen’s South Africa medal with the clasps Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal and the King’s South Africa medal with clasps South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902.

In later years Andrew was involved in the Kilcormac Agricultural show. We find Andrew next on the 1911 census, living in his family home in Frankford, with a maid, lodger and a groom. The farmhouse was quite extensive with stables for eleven horses, two coach houses, two cow houses, one calf house, a dairy and a piggery.

In April 1914 Andrew was suffering from a spell of bad health and he died on 12 April from uremic eclampsia. His aunt had been tending to him. He was buried in the graveyard at Ballyboy. The local papers recording the death of a King’s County gentleman. In July the contents of his house and estate was offered for auction which included an assortment of furniture and livestock.

Gravestone of Andrew Acres Stoney.
Ruin church and graveyard, Ballyboy, County Offaly.

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