Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
42468   Private William J Corr (aka Rankin)
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 21/05/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 9th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers (British Army)
Died: 10/04/1919 (Died of Illness)
Age: 19
WJ Corr (Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.) is commemorated on Coagh War Memorial, Royal British Legion. There was an alias W J Corr who served in the Royal welsh Fusiliers in 1919 (died 10 April 1919). His real name was W L Rankin, and is buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin
Further Information
W John Corr/Coyle/Rankin was born about 1900 in County Tyrone. His mother Catherine ‘Kate’ Coyle married William J Corr about 1903.
The 1911 census lists him as the stepson of W.J. Corr of Drumad, Coagh and is called W. John Coyle, aged 11.
William John Corr’s service history is complicated. Throughout his very patchy records, he is referred to as both Rankin and Corr.
Originally, he had enlisted as W J Corr. He produced a birth certificate to say he was W J Rankin on 10th July 1915.
Medal card
On signing up to join Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 5 feet 3 inches and 108 lbs. On enlistment he claims he is 19 yrs and 4 days from Aghavey, Coagh. He lists his next of kin as his mother, Kate Coyle.
During his army career he had many "run ins" with authority - absent without leave, and drunkenness lateness on parade. He was also charged with stealing a blanket at camp in Drumree.
He served in France from 18th Feb. 1916 to 12th Sept 1916, and was wounded in action 2nd August 1918(?). He was invalided in England on 22/10/1918(?) due to gunshot wounds to the forearm.
On 06 January 1917, he was placed in army reserve until he reached 18 years old.
He died from inflammation of the stomach, caused by tuberculosis in Richmond Hospital, Dublin.
Following a letter from his parents that he should be exhumed and brought home, a letter from the army stating where he had been buried was sent to W.J. Corr, Drumad, Coagh.
The local parish priest Rev. P. Quinn from Coalisland on behalf of W.J. Corr wrote to war office to confirm he was a single man.
W John’s wife Sophie and one child were awarded 36 shillings and 8 pence per week on 9/10/1919.
His wife Sophie Rankin wished he be buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin.
On 01/04/1920 his memorial scroll was sent to his now remarried wife Mrs Sophie Thompson of 4 Gilbert’s Court, Lurgan.
His records which are very limited and confusing, states he was 42468 Royal Irish Fusiliers,4/42749, 4th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and 22719 -Royal Irish Rifles--this is presumably because he signed on under age and was placed in army reserve.
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References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1911 Census lists W John Coyle 1911 census lists W J Coyle as 11 year old stepson of WJ Corr
2 Detailed information on Private W J Corr
3 Photo of Private W J Corr's grave
4 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
5 War Graves Photographic Project Gravestone photo of W L Rankin can be purchased here.
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2021