July 1 – Stories of the Somme 1 – Inst

There was not an aspect of society in Northern Ireland upon which the Battle of the Somme did not impact. 15 Instonians, former pupils of Belfast city-centre school, the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. 703 past pupils served in WW1, 132 or more gave their lives in the struggle.

The 15 Instonians killed on that one day reflected life in Belfast city. The son of Samuel Cleland Davidson, founder and owner of the Sirocco Engineering Works in East Belfast, Captain James Cleland Davidson was killed, aged 29.  Second Lieutenant Ernest George Boas was the youngest Instonian to lose his life, aged 19 years.

ROLL OF HONOUR
INSTONIANS AT THE FIRST DAY OF THE SOMME

+BOAS, Ernest George
Royal Irish Rifles. 5th Bn. attd. 13th Bn. Second Lieutenant. Died 01/07/1916. Aged 19. Son of May L. Boas, of 31, Sans Souci Park, Belfast, and the late Ernest A. Boas. Theipval Memorial Pier and Face 15 A

+DAVIDSON, James Samuel
Royal Irish Rifles. 13th Bn.attd. 108th Coy. Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Captain. Died 01/07/1916. Aged 39. Son of Samuel Cleland Davidson, of Seacourt, Bangor, who founded and owned Sirocco Engineering Works, Belfast. Serre Rd., Cemetery, No.2. Somme, France

+ELLIOTT, Thomas Brignall
Royal Irish Rifles. 10th Bn. Second Lieutenant. Died 01/07/1916 during the attack on the german fifth line at the Schawben Redoubt.. Aged 29. Son of Thomas and Annie Elliott, of “Sandown”, Chichester Park, Belfast. Theipval Memorial Pier and Face 15 A

+HAMILTON, Robert Victor
Royal Irish Rifles. 9th Bn. Second Lieutenant. Died 01/07/1916. Aged 24. Son of James and Matilda Hamilton, of 7, Charnwood Avenue, Belfast. Theipval Memorial Pier and Face 15 A

+HEWITT, Holt Montgomery
Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). 109th Coy. Lieutenant. Died 01/07/1916. Aged 29. Son of James H. and Jeannie D. Hewitt, of 97, Mornington Park, Bangor. His brothers William Arthur Hewitt and Ernest Henry Hewitt also fell. Mill Road Cemetery, Theipval, Somme, France

+HEWITT, William Arthur
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 9th Bn. Second Lieutenant. Died 01/07/1916. Aged 23. Son of James H. and Jeannie D. Hewitt, of 97, Mornington Park, Bangor. His brothers Ernest Henry Hewitt and Holt Montgomery Hewitt also fell. Theipval Memorial Pier and Face 4D

+HOLLYWOOD, Arthur Carson
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 9th Bn. Lieutenant. Died 01/07/1916. Aged 24. The telegram announcing his death arrived one day apart from that announcing the death of his brother. Son of Elizabeth Hollywood and the late James Hollywood. Theipval Memorial Pier and Face15A

+HOLLYWOOD, James
Royal Irish Rifles. 18th Bn. attd. 12th Bn. Second Lieutenant. Died 01/07/1916. Aged 23. Son of Elizabeth Hollywood and the late James Hollywood. Theipval Memorial Pier and Face15A

+KING, WILLIAM
14th Royal Irish Rifles. Lance Corporal. 18030. Died 01/07/1916. Aged 33. Son of the late James and Mary J. King, of Belfast. Theipval Memorial Pier and Face15A and 15B

+McCULLOUGH, Joseph Craig
Royal Irish Rifles. 9th Bn. Rifleman. 15241. Died 01/07/1916. Mill Road Cemetery, Thiepval, Somme, France

+MOORE, Thomas George
Royal Irish Rifles. 17th Bn. attd. 8th Bn. Second Lieutenant. Died 01/07/1916. Aged 24. Theipval Memorial Pier and Face15A and 15B

+NEILL, James Dermot
108th Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Lieutenant. Died 01/07/1916. Aged 29. Son of Sharman D. and Annie S. Neill, of Ardmoyle, Cultra. Theipval Memorial Pier and Face 5c and 12 C

+O’FLAHERTY, Douglas Hill
Royal Irish Rifles. 15th Bn. Captain. Died 01/07/1916. Aged 36. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Hill Hale O’Flaherty, of Belfast; husband to Beatrice O’Flaherty, of 31, Myrtlefield Park, Belfast. Theipval Memorial Pier and Face15A and 15B

+POLLOCK, Paul Gilchrist
Royal Irish Rifles. 14th Btn. Lance Corporal. 15780. Died 01/07/1916. Aged 20. Son of John and Marion J.F. Pollock, of Duncairn, Antrim. Theipval Memorial, Addenda 3

+RAMSEY (Ramsay), John
1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Corporal. Died 01/07/1916. Had been wounded at Sulva Bay, Dardanelles in 1915. No CWGC reference. RBAI records.

 

Instonians remember

In memory of the former members of the school who died, Instonians sports clubs added the colour puple to their traditional gold and black colours.

Longer individual accounts of each of those in the roll above are available at the ‘Inst in the Great War’ website compiled by an Instonian, Alan Curragh at:
http://www.instgreatwar.com/

 

Acknowledgments
CWGC – Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Alan Curragh, RBAI alumnus – Inst in the Great War web site

Brian J Todd. Former member of teaching staff –  Inst and Instonians at War 1914 – 1918, Priory Press, 2014

 

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