Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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Date Name Information
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Privy Purse Office, Buckingham Palace, 1st February 1915. Madam, I have the honour to inform you that The King has heard with much interest that you have at the present moment, eight sons in the army. I am commanded to express to you The King’s congratulations, and to assure you that His Majesty much appreciates the spirit of patriotism which prompted this example, in one family, of loyalty and devotion to their Sovereign and Empire. I have the honour to be madam, your obedient servant. F PONSONBY, Keeper of the Privy Purse. Mrs McIlree.
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree The rector of Ardtrea wrote to the King to inform him of his parishioner, Mrs McIlree, having eight sons in the army. He received a reply and an enclosed letter for her – a copy of which is as follows:-
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19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 13th February 1915: Eight Sons in the Army
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree That you’d been a son of Widow McIlree.
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Upon that dreadful day,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Such slaughter that you’ll pray,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree ‘Twill be too late to crush him, and there’ll be
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Upon you native land,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Once let the tyrant stand
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Hangs above the head of all that’s now at stake.
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree To enlist, know that’s a halter,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree And may all those who falter
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Upon your splendid fight for Britain’s sake;
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree May ‘peace, with honour’ wait,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Oh gallant Brothers Eight
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree To gird the sword and don the battle helm.’
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree The most sons sent her by Heaven,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree ‘Tis she, who has gladly given,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Amongst women, to do service to your realm?’
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree When asked, ‘Who best has tried,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Napoleon once replied,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree For a record like the house of McIlree
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Amid the battle fray
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree For you’ll search in vain today
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Await her and her valiant family;
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree And may praises, long and loud,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree That mother may be proud,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree And ‘frightful menace from our homes remove.
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree To fight the cruel Hun,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Whilst some will grudge but one,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Is it not the limit of a mother’s love?
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree To face the foeman’s guns –
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Who else has given eight sons
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree To keep the country safe from war’s alarm.
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Knows she given all her own,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree But the King upon his throne,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree As the nations meet in deadly clash of arms;
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree Who is living all alone,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree There is a widow in Tyrone,
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree 01524
19/07/2018 Pte. Alexander McIlree From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 13th February 1915: The Fighting McIlrees
19/07/2018 L/Corp Hugh John Cairns ‘This is a great country. I suppose you often hear of cows ploughing. If you were going along, as we are, you would see them here and dogs churning the buttermilk and drawing small carts along the streets. If the summer was once here it would be all right. You would go a long way to see the Indian troops. They are rum looking men. The Germans are very afraid of them. They are the boys that can use the knives.’
19/07/2018 L/Corp Hugh John Cairns Writing to other friends he says:-
19/07/2018 L/Corp Hugh John Cairns ‘We were on the march for four days. The weather is a bit cold and frosty, but it is all right for marching. I saw Lord Northland a few days ago when we were passing through a village. I saw a lot of artillery and kept a look out for James Lynn (Coalisland), but did not see him. We are getting plenty of food and it is the very best. I am in the best of health and spirits and hope to return safe and sound. We all hope to be home for the Twelfth of July.’
19/07/2018 L/Corp Hugh John Cairns Lance Corporal Cairns, of the Machine Gun Detachment, writing to his sister in Coalisland on 1st February says:-
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19/07/2018 L/Corp Hugh John Cairns From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 13th February 1915: Coalisland Man’s Sight-Seeing
18/07/2018 Pte. John Jordan Information has been received at Moneymore that Privates David and John Jordan, 2nd Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers, are at present in hospital in England with frostbitten limbs. The brothers Jordan have been at the front since the Battle at Mons
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18/07/2018 Pte. John Jordan From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 6th February 1915:
18/07/2018 Pte. Matthew James McAnary M.M. Signaller Edward Harte and Privates Robert Irwin and Matthew J McAnary, all natives of Castledawson and members of the 1st Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers, which has recently returned from India for service in France, were given a few days leave last week and visited their homes in the village. When the three joined the colours eight years ago the first battalion was on the point of leaving for foreign service, so they have been absent from their home for that time, and have been stationed in Malta, Crete, China and India. Signaller Harte has gained a number of proficiency certificates in his special branch, and all three look fit, and are looking forward with the professional soldier’s eagerness to active service.
18/07/2018 Pte. Matthew James McAnary M.M. 01521
18/07/2018 Pte. Matthew James McAnary M.M. From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 6th February 1915:
18/07/2018 Pte. Robert Irwin M.M. Signaller Edward Harte and Privates Robert Irwin and Matthew J McAnary, all natives of Castledawson and members of the 1st Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers, which has recently returned from India for service in France, were given a few days leave last week and visited their homes in the village. When the three joined the colours eight years ago the first battalion was on the point of leaving for foreign service, so they have been absent from their home for that time, and have been stationed in Malta, Crete, China and India. Signaller Harte has gained a number of proficiency certificates in his special branch, and all three look fit, and are looking forward with the professional soldier’s eagerness to active service.
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18/07/2018 Pte. Robert Irwin M.M. From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 6th February 1915:
18/07/2018 L/Corp Bryce M Gilmour Constable Bryce M Gilmour (son of ex Head-Constable Gilmour, master of Ballymoney Workhouse, volunteered with two others from Cookstown police district for active service in the Irish Guards. He has now been called up, while the two others, though successful in the ballot, have since withdrawn their applications. Constable Gilmour was born in County Roscommon while his father was stationed there, and has three years’ service in the Royal Irish constabulary, two of which have been spent in Cookstown. He has orders to report in Dublin next week, thence to proceed to the depot of the Irish Guards at Caterham. He carries with him the best wishes of every patriotic citizen for his safe return. His brother, a commercial traveller, has just died suddenly of appendicitis when on business in the west of Ireland.
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18/07/2018 L/Corp Bryce M Gilmour From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 6th February 1915:
14/07/2018 Sgt. William Taylor The 1911 census records William and his wife Mary Ann living at Millburn Street. At that time they had five children. William was 41 years old and working as a ‘dealer’.
14/07/2018 Sgt. William Taylor Family: William Taylor, Mary Ann Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor (born 2nd March 1899), William Robert Taylor (born 20th January 1900), Jemima Taylor (born 4th December 1901), Unnamed male (born 3rd March 1903), Jeanette Letitia Taylor (born 19th April 1906), Dorothy Taylor (born 11th April 1909), Nora Taylor (born 18th February 1912), Violet Taylor? (born 15th January 1915).
14/07/2018 Sgt. William Taylor The 1901 census lists William as living with his wife and family at house 43 in Rainey Street, Magherafelt, Londonderry. His in-laws were also living with them. William was a farm labourer.
14/07/2018 Sgt. William Taylor William Taylor and Mary Ann McCormick were married on 4th December 1897 in the district of Magherafelt.
14/07/2018 Sgt. William Taylor Great regret was expressed in Cookstown on Wednesday, when the death was announced of Sergeant William Taylor, of the Inniskillings, who had been acting as local recruitment officer since shortly after the declaration of war. Sergeant Taylor served in the old Militia and he and two brothers were through the South African war, and one of the brothers is now fighting in France. Sergeant Taylor took a great interest in the Ulster Volunteer Force, and held the position of sergeant-instructor in the Cookstown Company. A few days ago, pneumonia set in as the result of a severe cold, and he succumbed on Wednesday morning at his residence in Millburn Street. The late soldier leaves a widow and seven children, the baby having been born on Saturday last. The funeral took place on Friday afternoon to the New Cemetery. The coffin was covered with a Union Jack, on which was placed the deceased’s side arms. The hearse was preceded by a firing party of the U.V.F., who saluted as the coffin was removed from the house. The firing party carried rifles reversed and wore mourning armlets. Following the hearse was a contingent of the U.V.F. wearing side arms and armlets. The funeral services were conducted by Re F M Moeran, A.M., and Rev J Bloomer, A.B., and the firing party, which was in charge of Instructor Hugh Montgomery, discharged three volleys at the graveside as a parting salute. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr Robert Steenson, undertaker, Cookstown.
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14/07/2018 Sgt. William Taylor From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 23rd January 1915: Sergeant William Taylor, Cookstown
14/07/2018 Pte. Patrick Taylor The CWGC record Private Patrick Taylor as the son of Mrs Sarah Taylor of Drumeen, Moneymore, County Londonderry.
14/07/2018 Pte. Patrick Taylor Private Patrick Taylor is also commemorated on Moneymore War Memorial (Assembly Rooms).
14/07/2018 Pte. Patrick Taylor Private Patrick Taylor has no known grave and is commemorated on panels 16-17 on Le Touret Memorial in France.
14/07/2018 Pte. Patrick Taylor Private James Owens died the same day.
14/07/2018 Pte. Patrick Taylor Private Patrick Taylor was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action at the Battle of Festubert on Sunday 16th May 1915.
14/07/2018 Pte. Patrick Taylor Private Patrick Taylor and Private James Owens went out to France together in the same draft.
14/07/2018 Pte. Patrick Taylor Patrick enlisted in Cookstown at the same time as James Owens and both men joined the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
14/07/2018 Pte. Patrick Taylor The 1911 census lists Patrick as 23 years old, living with the family at house 4 in Killybaskey, Lisson Upper. Patrick was a labourer.
14/07/2018 Pte. Patrick Taylor The 1901 census lists Patrick as 15 years old, living with his mother at house 22 in Killybaskey, Lissan Upper, County Londonderry. His mother was a widow. His mother was a washerwoman and Patrick was a labourer.
14/07/2018 Pte. Patrick Taylor Known family: Sarah Taylor, Patrick Taylor (born 9th November 1887), Mary Minnie Taylor (born 9th November 1887).
14/07/2018 Pte. Patrick Taylor Patrick and Mary Taylor were twins born on 9th November 1887 in the Moneymore area.
14/07/2018 Pte. Patrick Taylor Patrick Taylor was a son of Mrs Sarah Taylor.
14/07/2018 Sgt. William Taylor Sergeant Taylor’s received a full U.V.F. funeral, with the service overseen by Reverend F.M. Moeran A.M. and Reverend J. Bloomer A.B. Funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. Robert Steenson.
14/07/2018 Sgt. William Taylor William Taylor was buried in Cookstown New Cemetery in an unmarked grave.
13/07/2018 Pte. Wesley C McClelland Trooper Wesley McClelland (son of Mr Sloan McClelland, White House, Cookstown), of the North Irish Horse, has sent home to his sister for safe keeping as mementoes – a German soldier’s cap, a German coin, Princess Mary’s Christmas card, photo, and cigarette box. Trooper McClelland reports himself as feeling fit.
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13/07/2018 Pte. Wesley C McClelland From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 23rd January 1915:
13/07/2018 Pte. James Sterling Lavery Cookstown District L.O.L. No. 3 met in the Orange Hall on Tuesday evening, Brother Rev C A B Millington, D.M., presiding assisting in the unavoidable absence of the D.D.M., the vice chair was occupied by Brother Samuel Kennedy. Brother Alex Morrison, district secretary, and Brother William Woods, district treasurer, were also in attendance, together with a large representation from all lodges in the district. Private business was transacted. An invitation was received from the Magherafelt District L.O.L. inviting the brethren to Magherafelt this coming 12th July, but it decided to adjourn this matter to a further meeting. The district master proposed that an expression of sympathy of the district be sent to Brother William J Lavery on the loss of his son, who fell in action. This was seconded by Brother John McQueen, and passed in silence, all members standing.
13/07/2018 Pte. James Sterling Lavery 01517
13/07/2018 Pte. James Sterling Lavery From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 23rd January 1915:
13/07/2018 Pte. John Donaldson Acting Sergeant Ryan v John Donaldson, Stewartstown; drunk and disorderly. He was using filthy language and singing. The Complainant said he understood the defendant was a soldier, and was home from the front wounded. Had it not been for his bad language, the police would not have troubled with him. Sergeant Hayes said the defendant was to rejoin his unit next week. The case was adjourned, the District Inspector stating that if the defendant rejoined the Army the case would be withdrawn.
13/07/2018 Pte. John Donaldson 01516
13/07/2018 Pte. John Donaldson From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 23rd January 1915: Soldier Summoned
12/07/2018 Pte. Joseph Newell The King has written to Mrs Newell, North Street, Stewartstown, informing her that he had heard with much interest that she has had four sons in the army, and expressing his congratulations, and assuring her that His Majesty appreciates the spirit and patriotism which prompted this example in one family of loyalty and devotion to Sovereign and country. Mrs Newell has had two sons killed in the long drawn battle at Lille in November – Joseph, aged twenty, and John, aged 18 years. Another son joined the army during the past week, making the total of sons now five – all attached to the Royal Irish Fusiliers. In addition, she has the unique distinction of having two brothers and thirteen cousins serving in the British Army. The two boys who were killed in action were deservedly popular among their comrades and Mrs Newell, since their death, has received a number of New Year’s cards from their comrades. On New Year’s Day, she received a small present of rice from the United States children.
12/07/2018 Pte. Joseph Newell 01515
12/07/2018 Pte. Joseph Newell From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 16th January 1915: Five Sons in the Army
12/07/2018 Pte. John Newell The King has written to Mrs Newell, North Street, Stewartstown, informing her that he had heard with much interest that she has had four sons in the army, and expressing his congratulations, and assuring her that His Majesty appreciates the spirit and patriotism which prompted this example in one family of loyalty and devotion to Sovereign and country. Mrs Newell has had two sons killed in the long drawn battle at Lille in November – Joseph, aged twenty, and John, aged 18 years. Another son joined the army during the past week, making the total of sons now five – all attached to the Royal Irish Fusiliers. In addition, she has the unique distinction of having two brothers and thirteen cousins serving in the British Army. The two boys who were killed in action were deservedly popular among their comrades and Mrs Newell, since their death, has received a number of New Year’s cards from their comrades. On New Year’s Day, she received a small present of rice from the United States children.
12/07/2018 Pte. John Newell 01515
12/07/2018 Pte. John Newell From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 16th January 1915: Five Sons in the Army
11/07/2018 Maj Algernon Hubert Cuthell CUTHELL – 6th January, at Mount Vale, York, the wife of Captain (temporary Major) A H Cuthell, P.W.O., West Yorkshire Regiment – a son.
11/07/2018 Maj Algernon Hubert Cuthell 01514
11/07/2018 Maj Algernon Hubert Cuthell From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 9th January 1915: Births
10/07/2018 Pte. Robert McNicol M.M. 01513
10/07/2018 Pte. Robert J Lyttle REVERSE: Certified that this will was extracted from the Pay Book of no 9/13935 Private R Lyttle. 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. GHQ 3rd Echelon. Captain C H Rennik. 18 May 1916.
10/07/2018 Pte. Robert J Lyttle 01512
10/07/2018 Pte. Robert J Lyttle In the event of my death, I give to my mother Mrs E J Lyttle, Colkeighan, Cookstown, Co Tyrone all my personal effects and any pay which may be due to me. Private R Lyttle 13935. 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 14 January 1916.
10/07/2018 Pte. Robert J Lyttle 01511
10/07/2018 Pte. Robert J Lyttle Last Will and Testament of Private Robert Lyttle dated 14 January 1916:
10/07/2018 Pte. William James McMinn In his will, he left all to his mother, Mrs Jane McMinn, who was living at Derry, Coalisland.
10/07/2018 Pte. William James McMinn In the event of my death, I leave the whole of my property and effects to Mrs Jane McMinn, mother, Derry, Coalisland, County Tyrone. Signed William James McMinn, Private No 28158 3rd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
10/07/2018 Pte. William James McMinn 01510
10/07/2018 Pte. William James McMinn Last Will and Testament of Private William McMinn dated 4th September 1917:
10/07/2018 Pte. Joseph James Simpson Private Joseph James Simpson was serving with the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers when he was killed in action in France on Friday 16th August 1918.
10/07/2018 Pte. Joseph James Simpson In his Will, he left all to his mother, Matilda, who was living in Ballymully.
10/07/2018 Pte. Joseph James Simpson In the event of my death, I leave the whole of my property and effects to Mrs Matilda Simpson, mother, Ballymully, Moneymore Post Office, County Londonderry. Signed James Simpson, Private No 16006. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
10/07/2018 Pte. Joseph James Simpson 01509
10/07/2018 Pte. Joseph James Simpson Last Will and Testament of Private Joseph James Simpson dated 13th June 1916:
10/07/2018 Pte. Joseph James Simpson There is a Joseph Simpson listed as having attended Oldtown School. There is also a listing of the same Joseph Simpson, from the Oldtown, a member of Derryloran Parish Church, serving with the 3rd Battalion of the Inniskillings. This is thought to be a second Joseph Simpson, as Joseph James was a Presbyterian who at age 11 was still living in Ballymully, which is on the Desertmartin side of Moneymore.
10/07/2018 Pte. Robert J Lyttle The spelling of the surname alternates throughout between Little and Lyttle. In his Will he spells it as Lyttle.
09/07/2018 Pte. James Herbert Clarke Private James Herbert Clarke is also commemorated on Coleraine Congregational Church and at The Irish Society School, where he was educated.
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09/07/2018 Pte. James Herbert Clarke Known family: Henry Clarke, Mary Clarke, James Clarke (born 1st May 1882), John ‘Jack’ Clarke (born 10th April 1885).
09/07/2018 Pte. James Herbert Clarke James Clarke was born in Coleraine on 1st May 1882. He was the eldest of two sons.
09/07/2018 Pte. James Herbert Clarke He left Egypt in and returned to Cookstown where he married Lilly, who was the daughter of Mr James Steenson, Milburn Street, NO RECORD OF THIS CAN BE FOUND
09/07/2018 Pte. James Herbert Clarke His wife received a letter from the captain of her husband’s regiment informing her that he had been wounded in action on 7th November. She later received official intimation that he died the following day.
09/07/2018 Pte. James Herbert Clarke In 1905 he went to Cairo, where he served for three years as a training instructor at a regimental school.
09/07/2018 Pte. James Herbert Clarke Mrs J H Clarke, 2 Springbank Road, Paisley, wife of Lance Corporal James H Clarke, of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, and daughter of Mr James Steenson, Millburn Street, Cookstown, received a letter from the captain of her husband’s regiment informing her that he had been wounded in action on 7th November. Later she received intimation from the War Office that her husband died the following day at No 10 Field Ambulance from his wounds. Lance Corporal Clarke was a telegraphist in Coleraine in 1899, in which year he joined the Inniskillings. He fought throughout the South African war, and had the medal and clasps for several engagements. He left South Africa in 1905 and proceeded to Cairo, where for three years he taught in the regimental school. He took his discharge in 1908, having served nine years with the colours. A year ago the family removed to Paisley, where the deceased was employed in Messrs. Fullerton’s shipyard as a red leader. On the outbreak of the war he was mobilised, and proceeded to Omagh to join his regiment on 5th August. From there he went to the continent and fought up till 7th November, where he was mortally wounded at St Marguerite’s. He leaves a widow and four young children, to whom the sympathy of all will go out. Lance Corporal Clarke has a brother, Mr Jack Clarke, on the staff of the Ulster Gazette, Armagh.
09/07/2018 Pte. James Herbert Clarke 01507
09/07/2018 Pte. James Herbert Clarke From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 9th January 1915: Lance Corporal James H Clarke
09/07/2018 Pte. James Herbert Clarke Private James Herbert Clarke was 32 years old and left a widow and four children. The family were living at 2 Springbank Road, Paisley, Scotland at the time of his death.
09/07/2018 Pte. James Herbert Clarke James and his family returned to Cookstown. On 5th August, he went to Omagh and joined up with his old regiment, the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
09/07/2018 Pte. James Herbert Clarke On the outbreak of the war he was mobilised, and was called to Cowshot, Hampshire to re-join the army.
09/07/2018 Pte. James Herbert Clarke In 1909, James and Lilly left Cookstown to live in Paisley, Scotland. He worked as a ‘red leader’ in the shipyard there for the Fullerton company.
09/07/2018 Pte. James Herbert Clarke He took his discharge in 1908, having served nine years with the colours.
09/07/2018 Pte. James Herbert Clarke He served throughout the Boer War in South Africa and had the medal and clasps for several engagements.
09/07/2018 Pte. James Herbert Clarke James Herbert Clarke was the son of Henry and Mary Clarke. Henry Clarke and Mary McFetridge were married on 21st June 1881 in the district of Coleraine.
01/07/2018 L/Sgt William Boyd Constable William A W Boyd, who is a native of Mabuoy. Pomeroy, and at present stationed at Craven Street, Belfast, has volunteered for Kitchener’s Army. He has been accepted for active service on the Irish Guards, and leaves next week for Chesterham for a short training before joining the battalion in France. Constable Boyd has nine years’ service on the R.I.C., six years of which were in Counties Limerick and Down, and the last three in Belfast.
01/07/2018 L/Sgt William Boyd 01506
01/07/2018 L/Sgt William Boyd From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 9th January 1915:
01/07/2018 Corp William Nathaniel Thom The name of Rev John Thom, curate of St Catherine’s Dublin, and eldest son of the late Mr William Thom, The Poplars, Cookstown, appears in the list of the Trinity College graduates on whom the M.A. degree was conferred recently.
01/07/2018 Corp William Nathaniel Thom 01505
01/07/2018 Corp William Nathaniel Thom From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 2nd January 1915:
01/07/2018 Pte. Wesley C McClelland ‘There has been lots of rain. However, we don’t complain as we will likely have worse before the war is over. It is terrible to see the wrecked homes and innocent blood on every hand – just the same scene everywhere we go. People should be very thankful they are not living in this country. Thanks for pipe and tobacco received all right. It is quite a change from what we have been getting. Many a poor unfortunate German would be glad of it. We come across them starving from cold and hunger, and have no trouble taking them in as prisoners. They come along and throw down their arms and put up their hands. You should see them turn all the colours of the rainbow when we present the bayonet to them. We have been taken back from the frontier and are at present doing bodyguard to General Sir John French, which is a great honour to this squadron. The British have done splendid work on this side. I have had three different mounts since I left Dublin. I have got nearly all the parcels now, and am pretty well off for clothing etc., so don’t send any more until I let you know. There are six of the Cookstown chaps at this place and all are well. The French are very kind to us, often giving us hot coffee at 5 o’clock in the morning after we have done patrol all night. Thanks for penknife which is very useful. Kind Irish friends, keep us in a supply of cigarettes and other requisites.’
01/07/2018 Pte. Wesley C McClelland Trooper Wesley McClelland, writing from France to his father, Mr Sloan McClelland, The White House, Cookstown, says:-
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01/07/2018 Pte. Wesley C McClelland From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 2nd January 1915: Trooper Wesley McClelland
01/07/2018 Pte. Samuel James MacFarlane ‘We have settled the Germans out here but the natives are a little troublesome. We leave here for the Booker Islands in a week’s time to ‘question’ a few cannibals who have eaten someone. So far as I can tell, this part of the world is packed with man-eaters. The Germans have not handled their possessions well. We are camped on the sea front and in view of an active volcano standing above us, but not in the least dangerous. We have swimming parades every morning and afternoon, and in the heat of the day sleep or drink coconuts. We have been partially paid in German money which is no use out here, but enclosed is a five mark note (value 4s 2d) which you can keep as a curiosity. The people of Sydney sent us out new uniforms with a host of girls’ names and offers of marriage in the lining of the clothes! We expect soon to be sent to Africa or Europe. I trust it may be to the front in France. The Germans keep up a good fight but they do not play the game when they use, as they do, dum-dum bullets, barbed bayonets and fire on the Red Cross. One of our doctors was shot when they fired on the Red Cross in one of the engagements here.’
01/07/2018 Pte. Samuel James MacFarlane Mr Samuel MacFarlane, son of Mr and Mrs MacFarlane, Skerry Bhan Hotel, Portrush, and formerly of Doons, Cookstown, who joined the 1st Australian Naval and Military Expedition, writes his parents an interesting letter from the Bismarck Archipelago, under date 29th October. He says:-
01/07/2018 Pte. Samuel James MacFarlane 01503
01/07/2018 Pte. Samuel James MacFarlane From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 2nd January 1915: From the Bismarck Archipelago
01/07/2018 Lieut Eric Wallace Harris Mr Frederick Porter Harris, only son of Mr J Porter Harris, solicitor, Stewartstown, has obtained a commission as a lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and is posted to the camp at Salisbury Plain early in January. The young officer was educated at Coleraine Academical Institution, and entered Trinity College Dublin. He had a very successful university career, being invariably highly placed at the different examinations. At the final in surgery last month, he was first in the College, and in medicine he was second, though he did not confine his studies to the professional school but also took the Arts course, graduating as a B.A. some weeks ago. He also took his full share in the social life of the College, and was a member of Monkstown Football Club and the University Golf Club. Having completed his professional course (as medical students wishing to volunteer were advised to do), he at once proceeded to London and offered his services to the War Office.
01/07/2018 Lieut Eric Wallace Harris 01502
01/07/2018 Lieut Eric Wallace Harris From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 2nd January 1915: F P Harris (cousin of Eric Wallace Harris)
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