August 16, 1917 – 27 Londonderry men die on first day of Battle of Langemarck

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The battle produced tiny gains for the Allies and heavy casualties. Twenty-seven men associated with the city of Londonderry, and its immediate environs, lost their lives on that terrible day.

Roll of Honour

+ALLEN, George
‘B’ Company, 9th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Derry Volunteers, attached to the Tyrone Volunteers). Private, 23847 Age 22. Fourth son of William and Rebecca (nee Wallace) Allen, 236, Bishop Street, and 10, Victoria Street, Londonderry. Reverend John Redmond, C.F., wrote a letter of condolence to Private Allen’s mother, stating: ‘I have heard Private Allen spoken of in the highest terms by officers, and he will be greatly missed in his company. He was a good soldier, brave and reliable in circumstances of danger. On the battlefield he was in the discharge of his duty faithful unto death, and what greater or nobler thing could be said of any man? He has given his life in a great and righteous cause, which is worthy of the sacrifice, and he did not die in vain. You have great reason to be proud of his memory.’ Brandhoek New Military Cemetery,West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

+ANDREWS, Joseph Hamilton Miller
11th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. Second-Lieutenant. Age 21. Member of Carlisle Road Presbyterian Church, Londonderry. Son of James and Martha (nee Hamilton) Andrews, ‘Glenmont’, Templemore Park, Londonderry. Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

+BARR, Patrick
4th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, attached to 11th Battalion. Drummer, 2208. Age 33. Son of James and Sicilly Barr, 21, Waterloo Street, Derry. Husband to Jane Barr, Eden Place, Derry. Son-in-law of Mrs McGinley, 11, High Street, Derry. Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

+CAIRNS, Robert
9th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (attached to the 109th Trench Mortar Battery). Private. 27944 Born Tirbracken, County Londonderry. Enlisted Londonderry. Son of Mr John Cairns, Tirbracken, Drumahoe. The Reverend J. G. Paton, chaplain, said in a letter to Mrs Cairns: ‘Your son was doing his duty bravely in the big battle on 16th August when he was hit by a shell and died immediately. He was a good boy and a brave soldier. He has given his life for home and country, and what better could any man do? His officers and comrades ask me to extend to you their heartfelt sympathy in your great loss. May God be with you and keep you at this time.’Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

+CROSSAN, John
‘C’ Company, 8th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Private. 31169. Born in Londonderry. Enlisted Greenock, Scotland. Age 29. Son of Neal and Martha Crossan, 200, Bishop Street, Londonderry. Brother of James Crossan, 26, Howard Street, Londonderry. Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

+CULLEN, Cyril
9th Battalion Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers). Lance Corporal. 23694. Born Londonderry. Enlisted Lurgan, County Armagh. Resided Belfast. Age 18. Son of Edward B. and Nellie Cullen, Hazeldene, Carrickfergus, County Antrim. Dochy Farm New British Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

+EGAN, Charles
‘A’ Company, 8th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Private. 21432 formerly 7831, Highland Light Infantry. Born Lochee, Forfarshire. Enlisted Morningside. Age 33. Husband to Sarah Egan, 10, Donegal Place, Londonderry.Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

+GALBRAITH, Patrick
9th Battalion Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers). Private, 24581 Born Claudy, County Londonderry. Enlisted Londonderry. Sister Annie recorded as next of kin on Soldiers Effects. West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

+HARKIN, Joseph
8th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Private. 3678. Born Derry. Enlisted Derry. Killed in action in Flanders on August 16, 1917. Son of Mrs Maggie Harkin, 34, Fahan Street, Derry.Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

+HOUSTON, David
1st/8th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Corporal, 9574. Born Londonderry. Enlisted Londonderry. Husband to Mrs Nellie Houston, 35, Wapping Lane, Londonderry. Possibly brother of Mina Johnson, who married Frederick Spencer Willis, 37, Wapping Lane or 5, McLaughlin’s Square, Ferguson Street, Londonderry, on March 19, 1921, at St Columb’s Cathedral, Londonderry. Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

+IRWIN, Frederick
9th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Lieutenant (Temporary) M.M. Native of Limavady. Employed with Messrs. Irvine and Company, Londonderry, for nine years before enlisting. Brother of John Irwin, 29, Great James Street, Londonderry. New Irish Farm Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

+JOHNSTON, James
7th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Private. 20401. Son of Mary Johnson, 3, Ernest Street, Rosemount, Londonderry.

+KELLY, Robert, (Bobbie)
9th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Derry Volunteers, attached to Tyrone Volunteers).Lance Sergeant. 27250. Born Templemore, County Londonderry. Enlisted Londonderry. Age 21. Member of Ebrington / First Derry Presbyterian Church, Londonderry. Son of Robert and Ellen Kelly, Fountain Place / 18, Mountjoy Street, Londonderry. Major Muriel, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Tyrone Volunteers), wrote to Lance Sergeant Kelly’s father at time of death informing him that his son was ‘a fine N.C.O. and will be a great loss to the battalion, as also to all his comrades. He died the death of a brave man, facing the enemy.’ Reverend John Redmond, C.F., wrote, ‘He was a brave man in face of great peril, and could be relied on in circumstances of difficulty. He was faithful even unto death in the discharge of his duty, and what greater or nobler thing could be said of any man? He is much missed both by the officers and men of his company. He has made the greatest sacrifice a man can make for a great and holy cause, and you have good reason to be proud of his memory.’

+McAULEY, Hugh
10th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Private. 24955. Born Londonderry. Enlisted Coleraine, County Londonderry. Age 22. Son of James and E. McAuley, Daisyhill, Upper Articlave, County Londonderry.

+McCLINTOCK, James
10th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers/Trench Mortar Battery. Private, 29938. Born All Saints, County Donegal. Enlisted Londonderry. Son of Alexander and Sarah Jane McClintock, Ardagh, St Johnston, County Donegal. Adopted son of Moses McConnell, 5, Harding Street, Londonderry.

+McCORKELL, Charles Pollock
11th Battalion Manchester Regiment. Private. 47343. Born Londonderry. Age 26. Son of Hugh and Mary McCorkell, 88, Embden Street, Charlton-on-Medlock, Manchester.

+McFAWN, William
‘B’ Company, 10th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Private. 15833. Born Templemore, County Londonderry. Enlisted Londonderry. Son of Samuel McFawn, 29, Fountain Place, Londonderry.

+McGONIGLE, William (John Anderson)
10th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Private, 29324. Born Ballymoney, County Antrim. Enlisted, under the name of William John Anderson, at Omagh, County Tyrone. Brother of Emma Isabella Glenn, 18, Albert Place, Londonderry.

+McGOWAN, David Caldwell
‘C’ Company, 10th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Private. 21201. Born Donegal. Enlisted Donegal. Age 19. Member of Ebrington Presbyterian Church, Londonderry. Son of Joseph and Margaret McGowan, 5, Bond’s Place, Waterside, Londonderry. His brother, Lance Corporal Thomas McGowan, was killed in action on 11/08/1917.

+MARTIN, John
8th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Private. 27924. Age 35. Son of James and Jane Martin, 9, Brandywell Avenue, Derry. Husband of Martha Jane Martin, Buncrana, County Donegal.

+O’DONNELL, David
7/8th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Private. 21162. Born Desertone, County Londonderry. Enlisted Coleraine. Resident of Fountain Hill, Londonderry. Cousin of Mrs Sarah Hayden, 13, Barnewall Place, Waterside, Londonderry.

+OWENS, Richard J
11th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Donegal Volunteers). Sergeant, 9860. Age 25. Husband of Edith M. Owens, 80, Fountain Street, Londonderry.

+STEVENSON, James
11th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Private, 14492. Age 21. Son of Samuel and Maggie Stevenson, Rockfield Terrace, Racecourse, Londonderry.

+SWEENEY, William
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Private, 40368. (formerly 30402, Royal Warwick Regiment). Born Templemore, County Londonderry. Enlisted Londonderry. Son of Patrick Sweeney, 21, Ann Street, Londonderry.

+TOSH, William James
Trench Mortar Battery, attached to 10th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Derry Volunteers). Private, 16059. Age 40. Son of Mr Richard Tosh, Tamneymore, Derry. Private Tosh joined the Derry Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in September, 1914, and went to France in October, 1915, with the battalion, taking part in all its engagements until he was transferred to the Trench Mortar Battery. He was in the employment of the Londonderry Bridge Commissioners prior to the war, and was a member of City of Derry Temperance Loyal Orange Lodge 1007 and Royal Black Preceptory 113. Private Tosh’s brother-in-law, Lance Corporal Thomas Curry, Inniskilling Fusiliers (Derry Volunteers), was killed in March 1916, and another brother-in-law, Robert Curry, who belonged to the 2nd Inniskillings, spent time as a prisoner in Germany from August 1914.

+WHIRSKEY, Daniel
9th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Private, 9516. Born Londonderry.

+WILLIAMS, James
10th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 24771. Son of James Williams, 35a, Lower Road, Londonderry.

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