November 4. Arthur O’Neill from Ni was first MP killed in WW1. Roll of Honour

The first Member of Parliament to be killed in action during the First World War was Captain Arthur O’Neill on this day in 1914. Today’s Roll includes Captain Thomas Phillips from Ahoghill, a Campbell and Queen’s educated medic, who was born in Damascus; Stewart Agnew a rifleman from Upperlands serving with New Zealand Army, and Edwin Toole a Royal Canadian Air Force Sergeant from Belfast who died over Serbia near Belgrade. Photo – Recruiting office in Clifton Street, Belfast during WW2.

1 Comment

  1. Isernia was not captured by Fifth Army. It was abandoned by the Germans as untenable in the face of an advance by Eighth Army. The first Allied troops into the town were men of 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, the Lumps. An attack by the Wiltshires, also in 13 Brigade of 5th Division, was planned for 5 November but:

    ‘during the night of 4/5 November, the Wiltshires were upstaged. The Inniskillings had infiltrated the enemy outposts before Isernia and reckoned that they could also take the town. Their commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph O’Brien- Twohig, organised a special night patrol that included a pioneer armed with a pot of paint, a stencil and a brush. Under Lieutenant Long, this patrol found Isernia deserted by the Germans and the pioneer set to work. His stencil was of the castle of Inniskilling, the battalion badge, which he painted on every available surface. At dawn, a Wiltshire patrol arrived to find that they were not the first into Isernia. Then, at 8 o’clock, an American patrol from Fifth Army, confident that they were ahead of anyone, entered the town, to be greeted by laughing Inniskillings and other troops of 13 Brigade.’
    The Inniskillings’ 2nd Battalion, didn’t wear the fusilier bursting grenade badge but used a castle badge, similar to that worn in the caubeens of the regimental pipers.
    Fifth Army’s official history (‘From Salerno to the Alps’, edited by Lt Col Chester G. Starr, makes no mention of Isernia.

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