Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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16273   Private Isaac Black
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 01/05/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 9th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 29/09/1894
Died: 01/07/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 21
Summary      
Isaac Black was born at Sandholes, Cookstown. He was the son of William Black and Elizabeth Black (nee Vance). When members of the Ulster Volunteers joined the colours in 1914, Isaac enlisted at Finner Camp, Ballyshannon, County Donegal, and trained at Shane’s Park Camp at Randalstown. He was promoted to Corporal during his early training and early in September 1915 the 9th Inniskillings went to Bordon Camp in England and from there to France in October. Corporal Isaac Black was killed in action on 1st July 1916, as he encouraged his men to cross No Man’s Land. He was buried in Mill Road Cemetery close to where he fell.
Private Isaac Black
Further Information
Isaac Black was the eldest son of William Black and Elizabeth Black (nee Vance). Isaac was born at Sandholes, Cookstown on 29th September 1894.
The 1901 census lists Isaac as age 6 living with the family at house 3 in Legacurry, The Sandholes, County Tyrone. William James Black was a farmer.
Sandholes village, Cookstown, County Tyrone
The 1911 census lists Isaac as age 16 living with the family at house 7 in Legacurry, The Sandholes, County Tyrone. By then the family also owned the grocer shop in Sandholes village. Isaac Black was working on his father’s farm.
Family: William James Black, Eliza Black (nee Vance), Georgina Black (born 31st January 1893), Isaac Black (born 29th September 1894), Robert Black (born about 1897), William Black (born 5th August 1898), Wilhelmina Black (born about 1899), James Black (born 9th June 1900), Jane Black (20th January 1902), Elizabeth Black (born 9th May 1904), Ezekiel Black (born 17th April 1906), George Black (born about 1908), Alexander Black (born 27th February 1908), Richard Black (born 12th December 1909, died 27th October 1910)
The 1911 census also records that he had four brothers and four sisters, Robert, Ezekiel, James, George, Jane, Elizabeth, Mina and Georgina.
Isaac was an active member of the local Tullylagan Company of Ulster Volunteers, where part of his duties was as a semaphore signaller with his good friend, Alexander (Sandy) Little.
Isaac Black’s sister, the late Mrs Jane Swaile, related a story of how as a young girl she watched Isaac and Sandy carry out their duties, signalling to one another from their respective homes up at Killyneedan, Sandholes, a distance of approximately 1000 yards.
When members of the Ulster Volunteers joined the colours in 1914, Isaac enlisted at Finner Camp, Ballyshannon, County Donegal, and trained at Shane’s Park Camp at Randalstown, County Antrim.
Isaac was promoted to Corporal during his early training and early in September 1915 the 9th Inniskillings went to Bordon Camp in England and from there to France in October.
An article in the local newspaper in May 1916 reports that he was ‘a few weeks ago’ especially recommended for gallantry by Colonel Ricardo, his commanding officer.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 20th May 1916: Local Soldiers (furlough)
Newspaper Report
During the last ten days, quite a number of soldiers have been home on furlough. Lance Corporal Isaac Black, son of Mr W J Black, Sandholes, was home for a few days leave recently. He is in the 9th Inniskillings (Ulster Division), which he joined at its formation. He was an enthusiastic U.V.F. man. He was a few weeks ago especially recommended for gallantry by Colonel Ricardo, his commanding officer.
Corporal Isaac Black was killed in action on 1st July 1916, as he encouraged his men to cross No Man’s Land. He was 21 years old.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 12th August 1916:
Newspaper Report
Private W J Black, writing to his mother at Tattykeel says :- ‘I am sorry to have to say I have got no word about Isaac Black (Sandholes) or Jacob Wilkinson as yet, but I am living in hopes for the best.’
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 21st August 1916:
Corporal Isaac Black, Tyrone Volunteers, missing, is a son of Mr William J Black, Sandholes, Dungannon. He was an active member of the Tullylagan Company, Cookstown Battalion U.V.F.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 26th August 1916:
Official notification has been received by Mr J Black, Sandholes, Dungannon, that his son, Corporal Isaac Black, Tyrone Volunteers, is missing since 1st July. He assisted his father in farming, and was an active member of the Tullylagan Company, Cookstown Battalion U.V.F.
Corporal Isaac Black was buried in Mill Road Cemetery close to where he fell.
His family worshipped in Sandholes Presbyterian Church and following Isaac’s death the Minister spoke in the most glowing terms of Isaac’s life and worth.
Isaac Black is commemorated on Cookstown Cenotaph and on Sandholes Presbyterian Church, Roll of Honour.
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Legacurry, Sandholes Sandholes Census listings in Legacurry, Sandholes 54.595631 -6.783157
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Black family 1901 census lists Isaac as age 6 at house 3 in Legacurry, The Sandholes, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists Black family 1911 census lists Isaac as age 16 at house 7 in Legacurry, The Sandholes, Tyrone
3 Alexander (Sandy) Little Good Friend
4 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
5 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Private Isaac Black's grave can be purchased here
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2020