Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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11084   Sergeant William Thomas Mitchell
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 15/01/2019
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 9th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 13/09/1894
Died: 09/09/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 21
Summary      
William Thomas Mitchell was the third son of Thomas and Hannah Mitchell. William was born in Tamlaght, Co. Tyrone on 13th September 1894. He was one of seven children. The family lived in Coagh. His father Thomas Mitchell was a labourer. William Mitchell joined the army, volunteering in August 1914. While training at Randalstown Camp he was promoted to the rank of Corporal, finally becoming a Sergeant in June 1916. Sergeant William T Mitchell was serving with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on Saturday 9th September 1916. He was shot by a German sniper whilst on duty in the trenches.
Sergeant William Thomas Mitchell
Further Information
William Thomas Mitchell was the third son of Thomas and Hannah Mitchell. Thomas Mitchell married Hannah Taylor on 5th October 1889 in the district of Cookstown.
William was born in Tamlaght, Co. Tyrone on 13th September 1894. He was the third of seven children.
The 1901 census lists William as age 7 living with the family at house 39 in Great Georges Street, Coagh. His father Thomas Mitchell was a labourer in a creamery.
Great George's Street, Coagh
William was educated at Tamlaght National School.
Family: Thomas Mitchell, Hannah Mitchell, Robert Mitchell (born 4th July 1890), Joseph Mitchell (born 18th June 1892), William Thomas Mitchell (born 13th September 1894), David Mitchell (born 4th May 1897), Margaret Mitchell (born 23rd August 1899), George Mitchell (born 3rd February 1902), Mary Mitchell (born 10th August 1904).
The 1911 census does not list William as living with the family at house 27 in Urbal, Coagh. His father was a general labourer.
William Mitchell was an active member of Coagh Company of Ulster Volunteers and a member of Drumconvis L.O.L. 794.
1914
He joined the army, volunteering in August 1914 and while training at Randalstown Camp he was promoted to the rank of Corporal, finally becoming a Sergeant in June 1916.
1915
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 10th April 1915: Coagh
The local Ulster Volunteers held a route march on Easter Monday to Springhill. The men, who wore side arms and carried rifles, were in charge of Corporal W T Mitchell, who was on furlough from Randalstown Camp, and Mr Hugh Duff, company commander. They returned home early, and in the evening they held a reception in the Orange Hall in honour of the soldiers in their ranks who had joined Kitchener’s Army and at present were at home in Coagh for their Easter holidays. Dancing was begun about 8 o’clock, the music being supplied by Messrs McCullagh and Hamilton, Tamlaghtmore. Mr Joseph Mitchell kindly acted as M.C. At eleven o’clock tea was served by Miss Violet Ashcroft, Miss Selina McKnight and the Misses Hagan, Coagh, assisted by Mr A Ashcroft and Mr H Shuter. The following contributed largely to the musical programme – Corporal William Mitchell, William Charleton, Joseph Mitchell, Thompson Marks, George Hagan, Thomas McKnight and William Rankin. A vote of thanks to the tea makers and all those who helped make the night a success, was proposed by Mr Thomas Young, seconded by Private James Hudson, and passed. The proceedings concluded by the singing of God Save the King.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 22nd May 1915:
Mr and Mrs John Mitchell, Coagh, have given four sons to serve their King and country. Mr and Mrs Thomas Mitchell come second with three sons in the Ulster Division. Altogether since the beginning, Coagh and district is nobly responding to the call.
1916
Sergeant William T Mitchell was serving with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on Saturday 9th September 1916. He was shot by a German sniper whilst on duty in the trenches.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 16th September 1916:
MITCHELL – 9 September, killed in action in France, Sergeant William T Mitchell, 9th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, son of Thomas Mitchell, Coagh.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 23rd September 1916:
MITCHELL – Killed by a sniper on 9th September, Sergeant W T Mitchell, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, son of Mrs Thomas Mitchell, Coagh, County Tyrone.
'No mother or father saw him die
No brother or sister to say goodbye
No friends or relations to clasp his hand,
But they hope to meet in a better land.
His warfare is o’er, his battle fought,
His victory won, but dearly bought;
His fresh young life could not be saved,
He slumbers now in a soldier’s grave.
In a foreign distant land,
There our darling Willie sleeps.
Nothing now can hurt or harm,
Jesus safe his spirit keeps'
Inserted by his sorrowing parents, sister and brothers –two of whom are at present on active service.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 23rd September 1916:
MITCHELL – killed in action in France on 9th September, Sergeant W T Mitchell, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
‘No more he’ll answer the roll call,
Or rush to the bugle sound;
But Lord, when the roll is called in heaven,
May his name in Thy book be found’
Deeply regretted by a friend.
From the Mid-Ulster Mail dated Saturday 23 September 1916 - Sergeant W T Mitchell, Coagh
As already briefly mentioned, Sergeant WT Mitchell, RIF, has been killed on 9 September. His parents have received the following letter –
‘Dear Mr Mitchell, I regret deeply that I have to inform you of the death of your son, Sergeant W T Mitchell. He was killed today by a German sniper when on duty in the trenches. He was a gallant soldier and a good comrade, and was one of the best of my Sergeants. His death is a great loss to my company, and I will never get another man who will carry out his duties more cheerfully or more promptly. He was always very bright, and set such a fine example to his men under the most trying circumstances. He is mourned alike by the officers and men of his company, who all join in sending you our heartfelt sympathy in your sad bereavement. Yours sincerely J B Anderson, Lieut O.C., No 3 Company, R.I. Fusiliers.’
His commanding officer, Lt-Col Ricardo, also writes –
‘Dear Sir, This letter is to tell you very bad news. I deeply regret to inform you that your son, Sergeant W T Mitchell, of my Battalion, was caught by a German sniper on the 9th and was killed instantly. He appeared to suffer no pain whatever. He was one of the best non-commissioned officers in my Battalion, and was most popular with all ranks, and with the men in his own platoon in particular. His loss is very keenly felt in the Battalion, in which he has served so long, and with such a good record. Please accept my sincere sympathy in the heavy blow you have sustained.’
The late Sergeant William T Mitchell, who was only 22 years of age, volunteered in August 1914 and was one of the first from Coagh to answer the call and join the Ulster Division. While in Randalstown Camp he was promoted to the rank of corporal, and in France, in June last, he was further promoted to the rank of sergeant. He was a very popular fellow, and a wide circle of friends in Coagh and district have sadly learned of his early death. Prior to enlistment he was a popular member of the Coagh section of the U.V.F., also a member of Drumconvis L.O.L. No 794. Great sympathy is felt for his grief-stricken parents, who have also two more boys in the war-swept zone at present.
At a meeting of Drumconvis L.O.L. No 794, held in Coagh Orange Hall, Br. Blackstock in the chair. A vote of condolence was passed to the relatives of deceased, who has made the supreme sacrifice for King and country. The motion was passed in silence, all members standing.
1917
Sergeant William Mitchell’s older brother also died in the war. Private Joseph Mitchell was serving with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action a year later at the Battle of Messines on 7th June 1917.
1918
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 27th April 1918: Hannah Mitchell (mother of William Thomas Mitchell)
MITCHELL – 17th April, at her husband’s residence, Coagh, County Tyrone, Hannah, beloved wife of Thomas Mitchell. Interred in Tamlaght Churchyard on Sunday afternoon.
‘We often think of days gone by when we were all together;
A shadow over our life is cast, our mother gone forever.
‘We often think of days gone by when we were all together;
A shadow over our life is cast, our mother gone forever.
Remembered by her sorrowing husband and family, one of the latter on active service, Coagh, County Tyrone
The Battalion lost three men on the 9th September - William Mitchell, John Parke, who died of wounds at Bailleul and William James Elliot.
Memorials
Sergeant William T Mitchell is buried in Pond Farm Cemetery, Belgium.
William Mitchell is commemorated on Coagh War Memorial (Royal British Legion, Cookstown).
Another brother, David Mitchell, survived the war.
11083 James Mitchell and 11084 William T Mitchell both served with the 9th Inniskillings and both were from Coagh.
The CWGC record William as the son of Thomas and Hannah Mitchell of Coagh, Co. Tyrone.
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Great Georges Street, Coagh Coagh Census listing in Great Georges Street, Coagh 54.647262 -6.617262
2 Urbal, Coagh Coagh Census listing in Urbal 54.646644 -6.620620
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Mitchell family 1901 census lists William as age 7 at house 39 in Great Georges Street, Coagh
2 1911 Census lists Mitchell family 1911 census does not list William at house 27 in Urbal, Coagh
3 Ardboe Heritage More information on Wiliam T Mitchell
4 FindAGrave.com Photo of Sergeant William T Mitchell's grave
5 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
6 Private John Parke Another of the 3 men from the Battalion lost that day
7 Private Joseph Mitchell Brother of Sergeant William T Mitchell
8 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Sergeant William T Mitchell's grave can be purchased here
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2019