Private Joseph Niland


Photograph courtesy of Royston Williamson

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

Joseph Niland Irish Baptism Registration ©

Joseph Niland was born on 14th March 1876 in Kildare, Ireland to John and Margaret. He was baptised on 19th March 1876 in Kildare and Rathangan.

His father, John was born about 1837 in Galway to John snr. His mother, Margaret Brown was born about 1841 in Galway to Thomas Browne. The widowed John Niland married Margaret on 12th September 1864 in Kildare. Joseph had two known brothers: Patrick, born about 1879 in Kildare, and John.

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family resided in Ireland. The household comprised of John and Margaret and their sons Patrick and Joseph.

Joseph attested on 7th January 1903 in Dublin into the Irish Guards. He was a Private with service number 1556. At the time of his attestation he was working as a groom. Joseph had a fresh complexion, brown eyes and black hair. He was over 5ft tall. On 10th January 1903 Joseph joined the Irish Guards in London.

Joseph married Emily Butler on 28th January 1907 at the Kensington Registry Office.

Emily Butler was born about 1880 in Cherhill, Wiltshire to carpenter Jesse, born about 1852 in Blackland, Wiltshire and Mary, born about 1848 in Calne, Wiltshire.

Joseph Niland, under the alias of David Patrick Niland, unlawfully married Daisy Maud Kent on 10th January 1909 at the Dorking Registration Office.

Daisy Kent ©

Daisy Kent was born in the 3rd quarter of 1885 in Tottenham, to burner John, born about 1856 in Hertfordshire and Marie Josephine, born about 1851 in Belgium. Daisy was baptised on 11th October 1885 at St Ann’s church in Tottenham.

On 7th January 1911 Joseph Niland was transferred into the Army Reserve. He started to work as a labourer in Dorking.



At the Dorking Police Court, on Monday, before Mr. F. H. Harding and Mr. W. Cole, Joseph Niland, 47, was charged with bigamously marrying Daisy Maud Kent, on June 9th 1909, his lawful wife, Emily Niland being then alive.

P. S. Oliver said that from information he received he saw the prisoner in South Street on Saturday. He told him he was going to arrest him on suspicion for committing bigamy. He replied that he did not remember anything about it, and he made the same reply when charged at the Police Station.

Supt. Boon asked for a remand till Saturday, and prisoner was removed in custody. The accused was formerly in the Irish Guards, and having completed his time he has recently been working in Dorking as a labourer.

Joseph Niland Bigamy Case 1st April 1911 © Dorking Advertiser

Joseph Niland was arrested in South Street, Dorking at 7.45pm on 25th March 1911, and was taken to the police station where he was charged with bigamy. The prisoner replied: “I don’t remember anything about it”. (1911 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser)



At the Dorking Petty Sessions, on Saturday before Mr. A. C. Powell and other magistrates, Joseph Niland described as a labourer, but who has lately completed his time in the Irish Guards, was charged with having, at Dorking, on Jan 10th 1909, feloniously married Daisy Maud Kent, his former wife, Emily, being then alive. Both the prisoner’s lawful wife, and Miss Kent, with whom he subsequently went through the form of marriage were in Court.

Ellen Butler, dressmaker of Colne Wiltshire, said that on Jan 28th 1907, she was present at the Kensington Registry Office, when the prisoner was married to her sister Emily. Witnesses has not seen him since till that day.

Supt. Boon : On the day he married your sister was he, as dar as you remember, all right? Witness : Yes.

The Clerk : Did you know him before? Witness : No.

Supt Boon addressing the magistrates, explained that his reason for asking the question was because the prisoner had said he did not remember anything about the marriage.

In answer to further questions, Miss Butler said that within a fortnight, at about the time of the marriage, she saw the prisoner several times with her sister.

The Clerk : And at the marriage ceremony you say that the prisoner was apparently alright? “Quite all right”

Not intoxicated or anything of that sort? “Oh no”

The accused has no questions to ask.

Arthur Herbert Hinton, assistant clerk to the Kensington Guardians, and Clerk to the Superintendent Registrar, produced the register for marriage certificate for January 1907, and said the marriage certificate produced was a correct copy from the same.

Daisy Maud Kent said she was living at 47 Orchard Road, and on Jan 10th 1909, she was married to the prisoner at the Dorking Registry Office, and subsequently at the Roman Catholic Church. The prisoner married her in the name of Joseph Patrick.

The Clerk : Do you identify the prisoner as the man you were married to? Witness : Yes because I have been living with him since January last, when he came out of the Army.

William Robert Alloway, the Dorking Deputy Registrar for marriages, produced the marriage register for January 10th, 1909, and said the certificate produced was a correct copy. He recognised the prisoner as the man who contracted the marriage.

P. S. Oliver said at 7.45 on the evening of March 23rd he arrested the prisoner in South Street, and took him to the police station where he was charged with bigamy. He replied “I don’t remember anything about it.”

Prisoner said he would like to speak on his own behalf, but the Chairman told him the magistrates would have to send the case to the Assizes, and advised him in his own interest to advise, to reserve anything he had to say till then. Any statement he made now would not do him any good, and it might do him harm.

The Prisoner then said he would reserve his defence, and he was accordingly committed for trial at the Surrey Assizes.

Joseph Niland Bigamy Case 8th April 1911 © Dorking Advertiser

On the 27th of March 1911 Joseph Niland was awaiting trial for bigamy. He was convicted of felony and sentenced to 9 months of imprisonment.

Joseph Niland 1911 Census ©

At the time of the 1911 Census, Joseph Niland was a prisoner at HM Prison, Brixton Hill, Brixton, London. He stated that he was married and prior to his imprisonment was working as a labourer on a farm. At the time of the 1911 Census, Joseph’s wife Emily Niland was a cook for William C. Carre at 8 St James’ Square in Bath, Somerset. Mr Carre was a German living of private means. At the time of the 1911 Census, Joseph’s unlawful wife Daisy Maud Kent (Niland) lived with her parents John and Marie Josephine Kent at 47 Orchard Road in Dorking. John Kent was working as a burner.

On the 17th of July 1911, Joseph Niland was discharged from prison. He was in the Army for 8 years and 192 days. He served on the home front from 7th January 1903 to 17th July 1911.

Joseph re-enlisted in 1915 in Warley, Essex into the 2nd Battalion, the Irish Guards. He was a Private with regimental number 6224. At the time of his enlistment he resided in Dorking. He disembarked on 17th August 1915 in France.

Joseph Niland died of wounds on 19th July 1917 in France.

Joseph Niland Mendinghem Military Cemetery Roll of Honour ©

He is buried at the Mendinghem Military Cemetery in Belgium. His grave reference number is: II.F.10.

He received the British War and Victory medals and the 1915 Star.

Joseph Niland Soldiers Effects ©

Joseph’s unlawful wife Daisy received £6, 9s and 8d on 4th February 1918 and a further £12 and 10s on 11th December 1919 in Soldier’s Effects.

Born Kildare, Ireland
Son of John and Margaret Niland of Kildare
Husband of Daisy Maude Niland of 47 Orchard Road, Dorking
Regiment 2nd Battalion, Irish Guards
Number 6224
Date of Death 19th July 1917
Place of Death Ypres, Belgium
Cause of Death Died of Wounds
Age 37
Cemetery Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Proven, Belgium
Malcare WordPress Security