Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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16285   Private Alexander (Sandy) Lyttle
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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: 26/04/1896
Died: 01/07/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 20
Summary      
Sandy Little was born at Killyneedan, Sandholes, the son of Alexander and Clara Little. Before the war he worked as a farmer and was an active member of the Tullylagan Company of Ulster Volunteers . He enlisted with the 9th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (C Company) and was sent to France in October of 1915. He was killed in action on 1st July 1916 as he tried to cross ‘No Mans Land’ close to where the Ulster Tower now stands at Thiepval. Sandy Little is buried close to where he fell near Thiepval Wood
Private Alexander (Sandy) Lyttle
Further Information
Alexander Little was the youngest son of Alexander and Clara Little. Alexander Little and Clara Morrow were married on 10th July 1885 in the district of Cookstown.
Alexander was born on 26th April 1896 at Killyneedan, Sandholes. He was one of at least five children.
Sandholes village, Cookstown, County Tyrone
The 1901 census lists Alexander as age 4 living with his parents at house 1 in Killyneedan, The Sandholes, Tyrone. His father was a farmer.
Known family: Alexander Little, Clara Little, David Bruce Little (born 31st December 1888), Margaret Little (born 25th October 1890), William James Little (born 21st December 1892), Alexander Little (born 26th April 1896), Clara McMinn Little (born 22nd August 1905).
His father died on 10th October 1909 in Cookstown, aged 52.
The 1911 census lists Alexander as age 14 living with the family at house 6 in Killyneedan, The Sandholes, Tyrone. His father had died. The family still worked the farm. Alexander was still at school.
Before the war Sandy worked as a farmer and was an active member of the Tullylagan Company of Ulster Volunteers with his close friend Isaac Black, where they practiced semaphore signalling.
Sandy Little travelled to Finner Camp to enlist with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (‘C’ company) and was sent to France in October 1915.
Private Sandy Little was killed in action on 1st July 1916 as he tried to cross ‘No Mans Land’ close to where the Ulster Tower now stands at Thiepval. He was 20 years old.
At first a slight rise in the ground covered movement but as soon as the Battalion crested this rise they became a target for machine-gunners in the German front line. Most were simply cut down and only a few reached the Schwaben Redoubt, which they captured and held all day. It was a magnificent achievement by the Inniskilling Fusiliers and only shortage of ammunition forced their withdrawal.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 21st August 1916:
Private Alexander Lyttle, Tyrone Volunteers, is missing, is a son of the late Mr Alexander Lyttle, Killyneedan, Sandholes, Dungannon. He took a leading part in U.V.F. work, being a member of the Tullylagan Company.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 24 August 1916:
Newspaper Report
The War Office has notified that Private Sandy Lyttle, Tyrone volunteers, is missing since 1st July. He is a son of the late Mr Alexander Lyttle, farmer, Killyneedan, Sandholes.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 26th August 1916:
The War Office has notified that Private Sandy Lyttle, Tyrone Volunteers, is missing since 1st July. He is a son of the late Mr Alexander Lyttle, farmer, Killyneedan, Sandholes, and assisted in farming. He took a leading part in U.V.F. work, being a prominent member of Tullylagan Company.
Private Sandy Little is buried close to where he fell near Thiepval Wood in row 5D- grave 10 at Connaught Cemetery, Thiepval, France.
Private Alexander Little is commemorated on Cookstown Cenotaph (as Alexander Lyttle) and on Sandholes Presbyterian Roll of Honour (as Alexander Little).
The CWGC record Private Sandy Little as the son of Clara Little, of Sandholes, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone.
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Killyneedan Sandholes Census listing in Killyneedan 54.590490 -6.783982
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Little family 1901 census lists Alexander as age 4 at house 1 in Killyneedan, The Sandholes, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists Little family 1911 census lists Alexander as age 14 at house 6 in Killyneedan, The Sandholes, Tyrone
3 Isaac Black Close friend of Sandy Little
4 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
5 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Private Alexander (Sandy) Little's grave can be purchased here
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2020