Michael was born in Hugginstown, Kilkenny, Ireland in about 1857. In 1876 he joined the Army at the age of 19 years enlisting at Fermoy with the 69th Brigade of the Royal Irish Regiment. He had previously worked as a labourer and also served with the Kilkenny Militia from which he was released on enlistment. He signed on for 12 years being 6 years’ service and a further 6 as a reserve.
Michael transferred from the 69th Brigade to the 38th in 1879, but later transferred back to the 69th. Most of his service was at home, but he did spend about 4 months in Zululand in 1879 serving in the South Africa campaign. He transferred to the army reserve in 1883.
He had married Maria McGrath in 1881 in Lismore and they later had 3 children, two boys and a girl.
Michael reenlisted in 1888 as a private after his original time had expired. He had again been working as a labourer prior to joining up. He was sent to the Curragh camp in 1889 and spent about 20 years with the army before being discharged on termination of engagement in 1908.
In the 1901 Census he is listed as a married man of 44 years serving as a lance corporal with the Royal Irish regiment based in Aldershot.
In 1911 Michael is back in Kilkenny working as a servant for a family in Danville, but is later living in Monkstone, Co. Dublin.
He enlists in the South Wales Borderers in Brynmawr early 1915, listing his previous occupation as blast furnace worker. He is working at the Depot in Brecon when he catches a cold which develops into pneumonia. He is treated at the Brecon military hospital but does not recover.
Michael is given a military funeral at Brecon cemetery with troops from the depot in attendance. The customary three volleys were fired before the bugler sounded the Last Post.