Matthew Crowley, Centenarian
Update July 2018
We are delighted to report that Matthew is in fine form, and indeed received his Silver Commemorative Medal from Irish President Michael D. Higgins, as well as his Congratulatory Telegram from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of his 104th birthday. Congratulations Matthew !!!
By Leo Crowley, Crowley Clan Newsletter, July 2015
My father Matthew Crowley is now 101 years young. His friends and neighbors refer to him as "Lord Summerfield" mostly out of respect. It is not a royal or inherited title. He holds "court" at our home "Derreen House" in Youghal three days a week. He is much respected in our cul-de-sac which was built on the Summerfield Estate in Ballyclamasay, Summerfield, Youghal.
Matthew Crowley comes from a long line of schooner captains and lighthouse keepers in the Irish Lights. His father was stationed at the Hook (Wexford); the Mouth of the Shannon (Loop Head,) County Clare; Ballycotton, County Cork; Beeves Rock (the river Shannon estuary) County Limerick; Bull Rock County Cork; and Rathlin-OByrne(Donegal Antrim). He took early retirement from both the Gloucester Aircraft Company and Sir George Dowty-Rotol (Gloucestershire) and inherited the position of Principal Keeper at Minehead Lighthouse, Ring, Dungarvan (County Waterford) for 13 years.
My father was born in Ashkeaton, County Limerick and my mother (Matilda "Tillie" nee Connors), who passed away in 2000 at the age of 92 was a native of Ballyvaughan, near Lisdoonvarna, County Clare. She trained at St Thomas Hospital Medical School in London as a Registered Nurse, specialized certification in fever/infectious diseases, and was brilliant at being able to recite Irish poetry at the drop of a hat.
They had 4 children (2 boys, 2 girls) of which I am the second-eldest, first-born male child and we were all born, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK; we commenced our education at the St Peter's RC Preparatory School in nearby City of Gloucester, which itself was founded in 40 A.D. by one of Julius Caesar's generals, of which one of his four names was "Glevum" which translated to Gloucester.
My dad was involved in the British Home Guard loosely affiliated with the 5th Gloucestershire Regiment during the German bombing of Britain (World War II) and was relocated to the Gloucester Aircraft Company in Gloucestershire where he was involved in the implementation and production of the Royal Air Force "Spitfire" fighter plane and the revolutionary new "Gloucester Javelin" which was the first all-weather, delta wing, jet fighter/bomber commissioned by the RAF.