May 16. Inniskillings major losses at Battle of Festubert. Roll of Honour

This day in 1915 at Festubert, 265 Inniskillings died and 390 were injured in a hard fought battle. The Roll of Honour today reflects the 2nd Battalion’s losses and those of men from Londonderry. In 1917 Campbell Kennedy from Lisburn was in Sulva Bay. A letter home and his parent’s newspaper notice are simple and moving insights of the times. In 1940 the Royal Ulster Rifles provided cover from the Belgian/German border on the westward fall back to the coast and Dunkirk. Cemeteries along the route date the action. Robert Fulton from Dervock and William Hamilton from Belfast fell at Leuven (Louvain) and are remembered in the university city’s Communal Cemetery. John McLean died with the Derry Gunners in Egypt in 1941. He is named on the regimental memorial in St Columb’s Cathedral, Derry. The Rifle’s war included Cassino in 1944. Edmund Bell from Belfast and William Donaldson from Toomebridge are named on the Cassino Memorial.

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