By Paul Craven
GEORGE EDWARD HENRY McELROY was born at 2, Beaver Row, Donnybrook, Dublin, on the 14th of May, 1893.
He was the eldest of four sons and four daughters born to his parents, Samuel McElroy and his wife, Ellen (née Synnott).
Both of his parents were national school teachers, and, he was educated at Beaver Row School where his parents taught, and above which the McElroy family lived. Later, he transferred to secondary school to complete his education.
The First World War broke out in August, 1914, and young McElroy enlisted immediately. Within two months, he was in France, where he served, with the rank of Corporal, as a motorcycle despatch rider. But, by May, 1915, he was promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant.
Then, in December of the same year, 1915, he was badly affected in a gas attack, and was sent home to Dublin to recuperate.
During his stay in Dublin, he was assigned routine garrison duties until Easter, 1916, when he was ordered to suppress the Easter Rising.
He refused to fire on his fellow-countrymen, and, as a result, he was promptly transferred to a garrison in the south of Ireland, far away from the trouble in Dublin. However, this display of Nationalism did not affect his military career.