“Our route went straight up the shore of the Adriatic from end to end and went through the autumn battlefields – Termoli, the Trigno and the Sangro”, Brigadier Pat Scott of 38 (Irish) Brigade which during September advanced the allied cause in Italy. On this day in 1918, the Ottomans are driven from Damascus by an Arab army. Aiding the victors is an eccentric 30-year-old British officer by the name of T.E. Lawrence. Today’s Roll includes moving accounts of service in war with Canadian and New Zealand regiments of men who had emigrated, and a submariner from Armagh lost with all his shipmates.
Representing their comrades who died on this day
+ARMSTRONG, Charles Arthur
Northumberland Fusiliers. 2nd Bn. Lieutenant Colonel. Died 01/10/1915. Aged 42. RMC Sandhurst. Commissioned Lieutenant 10/10/1894. Served as Adjutant of QUB Training Corps from 1913 until outbreak of war. Only son of Major General Charles Armstrong. Husband of Evelyn Denison Armstrong. Vermelles British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 1st Btn. Private. 3022. Died 01/10/1915. Age 30. He went with his Battalion to Gallipoli where he was seriously wounded and was sent back to England for hospital treatment. His condition gradually deteriorated and he died from his wounds. He resided in Orritor Street, Cookstown with his wife Catherine (nee Rooney) prior to active service. He had previously been employed at Gunning’s factory. Derryloran Chapel Hill RC Graveyard, Cookstown. Gunnings Factory WM at Cookstown RBL
+BRADSHAW, Thomas Henry
Royal Irish Rifles, 15th Btn. Previously of the 10th Btn. Lance-Corporal. 10/4319. Died 01/10/1918. Age 34. Son of Thomas Henry and Catherine Bradshaw nee Devlin ; Husband to Martha Bradshaw nee Hyles, of 25 Scott Street, Belfast. Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Belgium. (Northern Whig 19/10/1918)
Canadian Machine Gun Corps 4th Btn. Private. 237471. Died 01/10/1918. Born 04/09/1889, son of William Ferson of Drumnacross, Cookstown. He emigrated to Canada as a teenager and found work as a tramway conductor in Toronto. He enlisted in Toronto on 10th April 1916 and was described as being five feet four and three quarter inches tall, with blue eyes, brown hair and a fresh complexion. He was not married. At Easter 1918 he was home on leave in Cookstown recovering from being gassed in an attack by the enemy. He was killed in action by a machine gun bullet through the heart as he was getting his own machine gun into action. Canada Cemetery, Tilloy-les-Cambrai, Nord, France. Kildress C of I Parish WM
Royal Irish Fusiliers, 1st Btn. Lance Corporal. 42418. Died 01/10/1918. Aged 19. Son of Thomas and Sarah Gardiner, of 35, Circular Rd., Larne. Dadizeele New British Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
+GRAHAM, William Rennie
9th (North Irish Horse) Bn. attd. 1st Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers. Lieutenant. Died 01/10/1918. Aged 26. William joined the Queen’s University OTC in June 1916 to gain some basic military and leadership training before enlisting with the Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers) regiment as a Private on 04/10/1916. He was commissioned on 28/02/1917, joining the 10th Battalion on 03/04/1917. On 16/06/1917, he transferred to the 9th(North Irish Horse) Battalion, and was posted to “D” Company, but was evacuated to a hospital in England on 29/07/1917.
He was posted to the 1st Battalion on 14/06/1918 and was badly wounded during the attacks on Hill 41 near Dadizeele on 01/10/1918 and died on his way to the dressing station.
Born on 16/05/1892 in Newry, the eldest child of John and Elizabeth Graham, later of 43 Malone Avenue, Belfast. After attending RBAI and QUB, he worked for the Vinolia Manufacturing Company in Belfast. However, the 1911 Ireland Census Return records his occupation as “Apprentice, Linen Manufacturing“ and the newspaper reports of his death record that he was working for Thomas Somerset and Company before he enlisted.
The June 1917 edition of the Central Presbyterian Association magazine reported the marriage of William Rennie Graham to Miss Kathleen M. Prenter on 23/04/1917.
Dadizeele New British Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. RBAI WM, Queen’s University WM, the QUB Officers’ Training Corps RH, Fitzroy Avenue Presbyterian Church WM, PCI Roll of Honour.
+MOAN, William John
Auckland Infantry Regiment, 1st Btn. Private. 54919. Died 01/10/1918. Age 48. Born about 1870, son of Mr. W. J. and Mrs. Catrin Moan of Aughnacloy, Co. Tyrone. He emigrated to New Zealand. Before enlisting William worked as a gardener. He named his next of kin as his mother, still living in Aughnacloy. After training, he embarked from Wellington on 14th July 1917. Anneux British Cemetery, Anneux, Nord, France.
Alberta Regiment (Canadian Infantry). Private. 433137. Died 01/10/1918. Age 26. Born in County Tyrone on 03/07/1893, son of James and Helena Neville. The 1911 census shows Robert as 17. He is working on his father’s farm. The family lived at Moygashel, Dungannon. Robert emigrated to Canada where he worked as a farmer. He enlisted on 06/05/1915 at Edmonton, aged 22. He was single and gives his next of kin as his father. Etaples Military Cemetery, Etaples, Pas De Calais, France. Dungannon WM
+STONE, Erik Edward
Canadian Infantry. 1st Bn. Private. 2355927. Died 01/10/1918. Aged 36. Son of John Harris Stone and Olivia Mary Stone; husband of Mabel Stone, of Dickinson, Galveston Co., Texas, U.S.A. Born at Larne, Ireland. Haynecourt British Cemetery, Nord, France
RN. D/KX. Stoker 1st Class. 79944. Died 01/10/1940. Aged 28. H.M. Submarine Thunderbolt. Formerley named HMS Thetis, she commenced sea trials on 04/03/1939. She sank during trials on 01/06/1939 with the loss of 99 lives. She was salvaged, repaired and recommissioned as HMS Thunderbolt serving in the Atlantic and Mediterranean theatres until she was lost with all hands on 14/03/1943. Son of Joseph and Annie McKee; husband of Edith McKee, of Rich Hill. Kilmore (St Aidan ) C of I Churchyard, Co. Armagh
+BOYCE, Samuel John
Royal Artillery. 965 Defence Bty. Lance Bombardier. 1063039. Died Between 01/10/1942 and 02/10/1942. Aged 40. Sai Wan Memorial, China, (including Hong Kong). Portadown WM
+CUTHBERTSON, Mary Rose
WAAF. Leading Aircraftwoman. 2097144. Died 01/10/1943. Belfast City Cemetery, Glenalina
RAFVR. Aircraftman 2nd Class. 1905744. Died 01/10/1944. Aged 20. Son of James and Elizabeth Simpson, of Belfast. Dundonald Cemetery
RN. Stoker I. K28659. Enrolled 03/11/1915 for hostilities. Served in Pembroke and Actrea. Invalided 01/10/1917. Born Kilkeel 11/07/1880. ADM 188/924/28659
BROWN, Edward Collett
RN. AB. J35070. Boy service from 19/02/1915. Enrolled 02/10/1916. War service in Impregnable, Africa, Vivid I, Wallington, Actaeon and Attentive II. Demobbed 01/10/1923. Joined RFR 02/10/1923. Born Belfast 02/10/1898. ADM 188/717/35070
RN. Chief Petty Officer. 239037. Boy service from 31/07/1907. Enrolled 14/09/1909 for 12 years. Re-engaged 14/09/1921. Served to 01/10/1926. War service in London, Vivid, Highflyer and Temeraire. Born Ballymena 14/09/1891. ADM 188/425/239037
CAMPBELL, William Angus
RN. Petty Officer. J45969. Enrolled 17/11/1917 for 12 years. War service in Impregnable, Cornwallis and Theseus. Joined RFR 01/10/1924. Born Donaghadee 17/11/1899. ADM 188/738/45969
COMBEN, Herbert John
RN. Officers’ Steward. 362391. Served from 09/03/1904 – 01/10/1925. War service in Falmouth, Victory I, Dominion and Commonwealth. Born Kilkeel 23/05/1886. ADM 188/551/362391
MATCHETT, William Thomas
Private. 24447 Royal Irish Fusiliers. William from Clonmacate townland, Co. Armagh enlisted in the Royal Irish Fusiliers in June 1916 – two months after his sixteenth birthday. He was posted to the Regiment’s 9th (Service) Bn., in October 1916 at Ploegsteert, Belgium and saw action with them until January 1917 when his age was discovered and he was sent home. Undeterred, he enlisted in the 20th (Reserve) Bn. Royal Irish Rifles in June 1917 and remained with them on Home Service until demobilised in Feb 1919. He then enlisted in the Royal Army Service Corps as a Driver and through five periods of engagement served with them until October 1945, serving in the final push into Germany in WWII. Discharged in 1945 after over 22 years remarkable service.
McGUGAN, William James
Private.18542. 10th Btn, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (the Derrys). He volunteered for active service in September 1914 (aged about 19 years); before enlisting he was a member of the Portstewart Company, Coleraine Battalion, North Derry Regiment, Ulster Volunteer Force. The Derrys trained at Finner Camp, County Donegal, and Seaford, Sussex, and arrived at the Western Front in October 1915. William was wounded during the Battle of the Somme (July 1916) and again on 27/03/1918 when it was necessary to amputate his right leg. His parents, Mr. Andrew (a driver of Portstewart Tram) and Mrs. Margaret (nee Harkin) McGugan, lived on Main Street, Portstewart. Private William John McGugan was his uncle. William died in October 1968 and was buried in the churchyard of St. Guaire’s Parish Church, Aghadowey. He is commemorated on the Roll of Honour in Agherton Parish Church.
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