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   Captain Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox (Northland)
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 16/08/2018
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 13/06/1882
Died: 01/02/1915 (Killed in Action)
Age: 32
Summary      
Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox was the son of Uchter John Mark Knox, 5th Earl of Ranfurly and Hon. Constance Elizabeth Caulfeild. Thomas was born on 13th June 1882 in Dungannon. The family lived at Northland House, Dungannon. Viscount Northland was educated at Eton and then at the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. He joined the Coldstream Guards in 1900. He and Hilda Cooper were married on 12th June 1912. On the outbreak of the war, Captain Viscount Northland immediately rejoined the Coldstream Guards. Captain Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards when he was killed in action on 1st February 1915.
Captain Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox (Northland)
Further Information
Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox was the son of Uchter John Mark Knox, 5th Earl of Ranfurly and Hon. Constance Elizabeth Caulfeild.
Thomas was born on 13th June 1882 in Dungannon.
He was given the title Viscount Northland.
Known family: Uchter John Mark Knox, 5th Earl of Ranfurly, Hon. Constance Elizabeth Caulfeild, Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox, Viscount Northland (born 13th June 1882), Constance Knox (born 21st April 1885), Eileen Maud Juliana Knox (born 3rd May 1891, died 1972).
The family lived at Northland House, Dungannon.
Northland House, Dungannon
Northland House lay on the east side of Dungannon. Northland House is now part of the Royal School Dungannon.
Viscount Northland was educated at Eton and then at the Royal Military College at Sandhurst.
He joined the Coldstream Guards in 1900.
He served in the Boer War with the Coldstream Guards in 1902, where he was earned the South African Medal with two clasps.
During his father's Governor-Generalship of New Zealand (1897-1904), Lord Northland acted as Aide-de-Camp to the Earl between 1903 and 1904.
He was invested as a Knight of Grace, Order of St. John of Jerusalem (K.G. St. J.).
Viscount Northland left the Guards in 1906, subsequently joining the Yorkshire Dragoons.
He passed into the Reserve of Officers in 1907.
He married Hilda Susan Ellen Cooper, daughter of Sir Daniel Cooper, 2nd Bt. and Harriet Grant-Suttie, of Mill House, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire. Daniel Cooper's father, the first baronet, was the first Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales.
Viscount Northland and Hilda Cooper were married on 12th June 1912.
Family: Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox (Viscount Northland), Hilda Susan Ellen Cooper, Thomas Daniel Knox, (6th Earl of Ranfurly) (born 29th May 1913, died 1988), Edward Paul Uchter Knox (born 23rd May 1914, died 11th December 1935)
1914
Lord Northland took a very active and practical interest in the Ulster Volunteer Force, of which he was a most enthusiastic and popular officer. He was chiefly instrumental in organising and training the 4th (Dungannon) Battalion of the Tyrone Regiment U.V.F., which numbered 2,500 men. He was the commanding officer of the battalion.
Lord Northland had been an enthusiastic Orangeman, and on the death of H W Chambre, J.P., in 1914, had been elected Deputy Grand Master of the County Tyrone Grand Orange Lodge and District Master of Killyman District Orange Lodge. He also held the office of Deputy Grand Master of the Orange Institution of Ireland.
He was a valued member of Tyrone County Council, and was a magistrate in the county.
On the outbreak of the war, Captain Viscount Northland immediately rejoined the Coldstream Guards.
Photo of Viscount  Northland
After proceeding to the Front, his first action was to publish a request to the Volunteers to join Kitchener’s army.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 3rd September 1914: Lord Northland’s Appeal
Lord Northland, who is at present on service with the Coldstream Guards, has issued the following appeal to the men of the Dungannon Battalion of the Ulster Volunteer Force:
‘Ulster Volunteer Force 4th Dungannon Battalion. Your King and country needs you now. Enlist at once for the duration of the war at the Inniskilling Fusiliers Depot, Omagh. No one should hesitate. No personal or political consideration should stop you. We will deal with politics later. I personally appeal to all members of the Dungannon Battalion to join at once and prove the loyalty of Ulster. Enlist today. Northland, Lieutenant, 4th Coldstream Guards.’
Captain Viscount Northland was involved in the fighting on the Aisne and at Ypres.
1915
Captain Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards when he was killed in action on 1st February 1915.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 11th February 1915: DEATH OF LORD NORTHLAND - KILLED IN ACTION NEAR LA BASSEE - WIDESPREAD SORROW
The sad news of Captain the Hon. Viscount Northland, of the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards, who was killed in action at Cuinchy, near La Bassee on Monday 1st inst., was heard of with general regret throughout Ulster, and particularly in Dungannon and district, where he was well known as an officer of the Ulster Volunteer Force. Although Viscount Northland’s death took place on Monday, the sad news only reached the London residence of his father, the Earl of Ranfurly, on Wednesday night, and it was immediately telegraphed to Northland House, Dungannon, where he was Earl in attendance. The news was broken by his medical adviser, Dr F. C. Mann, who was accompanied by a friend of the family, Mr. W. H Darragh, J.P. His Lordship was almost prostrated at the news, more especially as he had heard from Lord Northland a few days ago, stating that he was quite well and hoped to get over to London for a short visit to see his family and relatives, but it is understood he expressed his satisfaction in the fact that his gallant son had fallen in the noble cause of King and Country. When the intelligence became generally know in Dungannon on Thursday, widespread regret was expressed by all classes of the community in the town and country, amongst whom he was a well-known and popular figure. The church bells of the parish were solemnly tolled. The country folk, to whom the late Lord Northland was intimately known, expressed the sincerest sorrow of his death, as well as deep sympathy with the Earl and Countess and the bereaved widow and family. The relatives of the late Lord Northland have been informed his Lordship did not die of wounds, as was at first reported, but was shot through the head and died immediately.
SKETCH OF HIS CAREER: The late Lord Northland, who was the only son of the Earl of Ranfurly of Northland House, Dungannon and Pont Street London, was 32 years of age, having been born on 13th June 1882. He was educated at Eton and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He joined the Coldstream Guards in 1900, and served with them in the Boer War, earning the South African Medal. He left the Guards in 1906, and subsequently became a captain in the Yorkshire Dragoons (Yeomanry) passing into the Reserve of Officers in 1907. On the outbreak of the present war his Lordship immediately rejoined the Coldstream Guards, being posted to the 2nd Battalion. Both the Coldstream and Grenadier Guards took a prominent part in the stubborn fighting at La Bassee and suffered rather heavy losses. Owing to his valuable services at the Front, he had lately been promoted captain. The Viscount, who had travelled extensively, came of age in 1903 during the time his father was Governor-General of New Zealand, and his majority was celebrated by a ball at the Wellington Government House, which was one of the chief social events of the season. For a short period he acted as aide-de-camp to his father in New Zealand. He was a Knight of Grace of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. In 1912 his Lordship married Hilda Cooper, daughter of the late Daniel Cooper, whose father, the first baronet, was the first Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales. Their son and heir, Thomas Daniel, was born on the 29th May 1914. The deceased took a very active and practical interest in the Ulster Volunteer Force, of which he was a most enthusiastic and popular officer. He was chiefly instrumental in organising and training the 4th (Dungannon) Battalion of the Tyrone Regiment U.V.F., which numbers 2,500 men. He was the commanding officer of the battalion, by whom he was regarded with the utmost esteem and affection, and the news of his untimely death was received with the greatest sorrow by his former comrades, who are however gratified to learn that, like many other members of the Ulster nobility, who were officers in the U.V.F., he died as a gallant soldier fighting for his country. After proceeding to the Front, his first action was to publish a request to the Volunteers to join Kitchener’s army. His Lordship had been an enthusiastic Orangeman, and on the death of H. W. Chambre, J.P., a few months ago, had been elected Deputy Grand Master of the County Tyrone Grand Orange Lodge and District Master of Killyman District Orange Lodge. He also held the office of Deputy Grand Master of the Orange Institution of Ireland. He was a valued member of Tyrone County Council, and was a magistrate in the county.
MESSAGE OF SYMPATHY: Telegram from the King and Queen: Lord Ranfurly received on Thursday the following telegram from Buckingham Palace: “The King and Queen are profoundly grieved to hear of the loss which you and the army have sustained by the death of your only son in the service of his country. Their Majesties deeply regret that this young life so full of promise should have suddenly cut off, and they offer you their sympathy in your great sorrow” - Private Secretary. Ulster Unionist Council: Mr R Dawson Bates, secretary of the Ulster Unionist Council, sent the following telegram:- ‘On behalf of the Ulster Unionist Council I am desired to express their sympathy with you in your bereavement’
The news reached the London residence of his father two days later and it was immediately telegraphed to Northland House, Dungannon, where he was living.
A memorial service was held for Captain the Hon Viscount Northland in St Anne’s Parish Church, Dungannon in early February on a Friday afternoon. There was a very large attendance. All of the public works, shops and places of business in the district were closed for the occasion, and from an early hour in the day the country people could be seen making their way to Dungannon.
From the Tyrone Courier 13 February 1915: The Late Lord Northland - Memorial Service in Dungannon. Address by the Lord Primate.
A memorial service in connection with the death of Captain the Hon Viscount Northland, who was killed in action at Cuinchy, near La Bassee, on 1st February, was held in St Anne’s Parish Church, Dungannon on Friday afternoon when there was a large and representative attendance and the proceedings were the most impressive throughout. All of the public works, shops and places of business in the district were closed for the occasion, and from an early hour in the day the country people could be seen wending their way to Dungannon.
Colonel Ricardo, D.S.O., the officer commanding the 9th (Service) Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who had been intimately connected with the deceased nobleman in the Ulster Volunteer Movement, attended from the Randalstown Camp with a contingent of 80 men from the battalion, the greater number of whom had volunteered from the Dungannon U.V.F.; and Captain R Stevenson, 6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who had been Lord Northland’s second-in-command of the Dungannon Volunteer Force and Lieutenant W Porter of the 5th Battalion, attended specially from Dublin, a half-troop of the Inniskilling Dragoons (Service Squadron) also attended.
The sacred building was tastefully draped with Union Jacks and the beautiful regimental flag of the Dungannon Battalion U.V.F occupied a commanding position in the chancel. The parish choir had been augmented for the occasion and the special music was sweetly rendered under the conductorship of Mr George A Hardcastle, the parish organist. The service commenced with the singing of the the Hymn, ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’, and portions of the burial service were read by Revs. T.J. McEndoo , M.A., rector of Drumglass, C.S. Stewart, M.A., rector of Donaghenry; and F.S. Morrow, B.A, curate-assistant at Drumglass. The psalm, ‘Lord, thou hast been our refuge’ was chanted to Morley in D minor; Spohr’s beautiful anthem, ‘Blest are the departed’ was sung, the quartet portion being taken by Mrs Meglaughlin. Mrs Neill, Dr T.F. Wilson and Mr Gill, tenor soloist Armagh Cathedral. The special lesson, which was the moving 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, was read by his Grace.
Shortly before the hour appointed for the service, an imposing procession filed out of the Royal School grounds, consisting of the Dragoons and soldiers; some fifteen hundred men of the Dungannon Battalion U.V.F., under the command of Mr R. W. Bingham, B.A., temporary commanding officer; the Dungannon Troop Boy Scouts, under Mr. Charles Newell, scoutmaster; the Drumglass Company of the Church Lad’s Brigade, in the charge of Rev. F.S. Morrow, B.A., captain; and the students of the Dungannon Royal School. The bereaved family was represented by Captain Granville Knox and Major Dudley Alexander, C.M.G., who had travelled specifically from London for the service.
The Lord Primate’s Address.
His Grace, the Lord Primate of All Ireland, addressing the congregation said, ‘What a glorious ring of hope St. Paul gave them in the lesson from the Burial Service, that because the spiritual was greater than the material, that because their life was not bounded by the brief span of human existence, but because what they saw was only temporary, and that the things not seen were eternal, therefore they were to be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, and they needed such hope and courage when they were brought face to face with the tragedy of a young life full of splendid promise suddenly cut off in a cruel and devastating war. He knew well how Lord Northland had one the hearts of the people of Dungannon and its neighbourhood during the last few years by his keen devotion to duty and his simple unostentatious desire to spend his life for the good of their beloved land. There were many ends which that memorial service was meant to serve. First of all it was to give voice to their own deep sense of sorrow, and to bring the comfort of human sympathy to bear upon the lives of those whose hearts were torn with grief at the loss of a beloved husband, son and brother. To those dearest to Lord Northland, they offered their heartfelt and respectful sympathy. Might the Lord bless and comfort them in their sore distress, and pour into their hearts the benediction of His heavenly love. Secondly they met to remind one another that there were evils worse than death, and that even death was preferable to dishonour. Had the manhood of their nation stood on one side when Germany tore up treaties as a scrap of paper, violated solemn obligations and turned civilised warfare into murder, rapine and brutal outrage, then indeed the sun of Great Britain would have led? in degradation and woe. But luxury and even ease had not after all eaten away that nation’s manhood and when the call of duty came, Lord Northland was one of the first to offer his services for the cause of God and King and fatherland. Might they not say that the example of such as he put to shame the stay at home policy of the shirkers, none of whom had no more to fear than Lord Northland had half as much to lose. He thought they needed to hold such a service as that when so many of their gallant dead were laid in unknown and unmarked graves, and perhaps without the words of hope they loved so much to hear at the burial of their loved ones. He believed that their Father in Heaven was very near to their gallant officers and men and to their sailors on the sea, who were bearing cheerfully for their country, privation and loss of which they at home had no conception. He loved to think that their noble sons and brothers who had died for them on the continent of Europe, who had given up their lives for God and country that they may be spared the awful fate of unhappy Belgium; that these men had one, often all unconsciously the benediction of Jesus Christ – ‘He that leveth his life shall lose it, and that he hateth his life in this world shall keep it until life eternal’. That day their gallant soldiers and sailors were shown forth the noblest virtues of responsibility and of unselfishness in opposition to the two vices which lay at the root of every kind of sin. How little any of them had ever suffered for God or man in comparison to what they were suffering. They were exhibiting the noblest and richest example of manhood at its best that their world had ever witnessed. Let them for a moment think what courage and danger, what patience in suffering, what mercy in victory, always unconquered and unconquerable because they knew their cause was just. ‘Well done for them; And fail isle well done for thee; While that they bosom beareth sons like those; the little gem set in the silver sea Shall never fear their foes’. There was a bright side toward, as well as its dark side. It had touched and ennobled human nature; it had turned man from the vanities of life to its stern reality. It had taught man fortitude which never gave way, and a brotherhood which in our times had abolished class hatred and suspicion. Therefore, they blessed God for this, those men who have departed this life in such a cause and in such a spirit. With all reverence, he dared to say that they had followed afar off the blessed steps of Christ’s most holy life and had ‘given their lives a ransom for many’. The gallant regiment with which the late Lord Northland served had indeed proved worthy of the best traditions of the British Army. Where almost every branch and every regiment of the Service had distinguished itself, the Coldstream Guards had won immortal honour, and in future records the name of Lord Northland would be held in the highest honour. Lord Northland had the interests of Dungannon at heart. They would see their that his memory was kept in his native land, and that the closing years of his life amongst them, and his gallant death on the field of battle would inspire them, for generations yet unborn, to do their duty in that state of life, to which it may please God to call them, and to leave behind them the record their soldiers and sailors had won throughout the present war of ‘gallant gentleman, who had no malice, and knew no fear’. At the conclusion of the service, the Dead March in ‘Saul’ was impressively rendered by the organist and the buglers of the 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers sounded the ‘Las Post’. The soldiers and Volunteers afterwards paraded in Market Square, and marched to their respective headquarters.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th February 1915: The Late Lord Northland – Impressive Memorial Service in Dungannon.
The deep grief in which the people of County Tyrone where plunged by the announcement that the Hon. Viscount Northland had been killed in action at La Bassee, on 1st February found some expression in the impressive scenes witnessed in Dungannon on Friday afternoon, when a memorial service was held in the parish church. His late lordship’s personality had endeared him to the hearts of all classes in the district, and no one could have moved through the crods on Friday without being stirred by emotion at hearing the expressions of deep regret uttered on all sides. It is no exaggeration to say that never in the history of the town and district had the death of one man created such a personal sense of loss, and indeed, if any one class grieved more than another it was the working and labouring class, who had over regarded him as a brother and a friend owing to his personal acquaintance with in connection with the Ulster Volunteer movement. All of the public works, shops and places of business in the district were closed for the occasion, and from an early hour in the day the country people could be seen wending their way to Dungannon, the mournful silence being sometimes broken by the solemn tread of the various companies of the Dungannon Battalion, Ulster Volunteer Force (of which the late Lord Northland had been the gifted commanding officer and indeed the founder), as they marched to the parade ground at the Royal School.
Colonel Ricardo, D.S.O., the officer commanding the 9th (Service) Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who had been intimately connected with the deceased nobleman in the Ulster Volunteer movement, attended from the Randalstown Camp with a contingent of eighty non-commissioned officers and men from the battalion, the greater number of whom had volunteered from the Dungannon U.V.F.; and Captain R Stevenson, 6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who had been Lord Northland’s second-in-command of the Dungannon Volunteer Force and Lieutenant W Porter, of the 5th Battalion, who had been a half officer of the local volunteers, a attended specially from Dublin. Unfortunately the other local officers on duty in the metropolis were prevented from being present owing to the preparations connected with the approaching departure of the Lord Lieutenant. A half-troop of the Inniskilling Dragoons (Service Squadron) also attended.
The officers of the Dungannon Battalion were:- Mr R. W Bingham, B.A., officer commanding; Mr Harry Stevenson. Second in command; Mr W E Stevenson, adjutant and officer commanding B Company; Mr Robert Newton, J.P., commanding A Company; Messrs Thomas McGaffin and James Cingston, half company commanders C Company; Mr S G Burns, commanding D Company; Mr Robert Daniel, commanding E Company; Mr Thomas Rogers, commanding F Company; Mr D A Frizelle, commanding G Company; Mr Alexander Robinson, D.L., commanding H Company; Mr William Mills, commanding I Company; Colonel R T G Lowry, D.L., commanding J Company; Rev J M Jennings, B.A., officer commanding K Company.
Shortly before the hour appointed for the service, an imposing procession filed out of the Royal School grounds, consisting of the Dragoons and soldiers; some fifteen hundred men of the Dungannon Battalion U.V.F., under the command of Mr R. W Bingham, B.A., temporary commanding officer; the Dungannon Troop Boy Scouts, under Mr Charles Newell, scoutmaster; the Drumglass Company of the Church Lads’ Brigade, in the charge of Rev. F.S. Morrow, B.A., captain; and the students of the Dungannon Royal School. These occupied not only the entire seating accommodation but numbers had to stand in the aisles and the three Dungannon companies could not gain admission to the church at all. The bereaved family was represented by Captain Granville Knox and Major Dudley Alexander, C.M.G., who had travelled specifically from London for the service, and all employees in the mansion house and on the estate were present in the north transept. The general public, including the gentry of the neighbourhood, crowded the small portion of the building reserved for them, and large numbers of people were unable to gain access.
His Grace the Lord Primate of all Ireland had intimated his desire to be present, and although suffering from a severe chill recently contracted in Dublin, attended the service and was accompanied by his chaplain, Rev A F B Tunstall, M.A. While the congregation was assembling, Mr Hardcastle, the parish organist, rendered selections including ‘Elegy’ (Hollins), Aria ‘He Counted All Your Sorrows’ (Mendelssohn), ‘Lament’ (Celeridge-Taylor), Aria ‘O Rest In The Lord’ (Mendelssohn), and Chopin’s ‘Marche Funebre’.
The sacred building was tastefully draped with Union Jacks and the beautiful regimental flag of the Dungannon Battalion U.V.F occupied a commanding position in the chancel. The parish choir had been augmented for the occasion by a large representation from First Dungannon Presbyterian Church choir, and the special music was sweetly rendered under the conductorship of Mr George A Hardcastle, the parish organist. The service commenced with the singing of the the Hymn, ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’, and portions of the burial service were read by Revs. T.J. McEndoo , M.A., rector of Drumglass, C.S. Stewart, M.A., rector of Donaghenry; and F.S. Morrow, B.A, curate-assistant at Drumglass. The psalm, ‘Lord, thou hast been our refuge’ was chanted to Morley in D minor; Spohr’s beautiful anthem, ‘Blest are the departed’ was sung, the quartet portion being taken by Mrs Meglaughlin. Mrs Neill, Dr T.F. Wilson and Mr Gill, tenor soloist Armagh Cathedral. The special lesson, which was the moving 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, was read by his Grace the Lord Primate, and the other hymns were rendered were ‘Brief life is here our portion’ and ‘Now the Labourer’s Task is Over’.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th February 1915: The Lord Primate’s Address
His Grace, the Lord Primate of all Ireland, addressing the congregation said, ‘What a glorious ring of hope St Paul gave them in the lesson from the burial service, that because the spiritual was greater than the material, and because their life was not bounded by the brief span of human existence, but because what they saw was temporary, and that the things not seen were eternal, therefore they were to be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, and they needed such hope and courage when they were brought face to face with the tragedy of a young life full of splendid promise suddenly cut off in a cruel and devastating war. He knew well how Lord Northland had won the hearts of the people of Dungannon and its neighbourhood during the last few years by his keen devotion to duty and his simple unostentatious desire to spend his life for the good of their beloved land. There were many ends which that memorial service was meant to serve. First of all it was to give voice to their own deep sense of sorrow, and to bring the comfort of human sympathy to bear upon the lives of those whose hearts were torn with grief at the loss of a beloved husband, son and brother. To those dearest to Lord Northland, they offered their heartfelt and respectful sympathy. Might the Lord bless and comfort them in their sore distress, and pour into their hearts the benediction of His heavenly love. Secondly they met to remind one another that there were evils worse than death, and that even death was preferable to dishonour. Had the manhood of their nation stood on one side when Germany tore up treaties as a scrap of paper, violated solemn obligations and turned civilised warfare into murder, rapine and brutal outrage, then indeed the sun of Great Britain would have set in degradation and woe. But luxury and even ease had not after all eaten away that nation’s manhood and when the call of duty came, Lord Northland was one of the first to offer his services for the cause of God and King and fatherland. Might they not say that the example of such as he put to shame the stay at home policy of the shirkers and the shrinkers, none of whom had no more to fear than Lord Northland had or half as much to lose. He thought they needed to hold such a service as that when so many of their gallant dead were laid in unknown and unmarked graves, and perhaps without the words of hope they loved so much to hear at the burial of their loved ones. He believed that their Father in Heaven was very near to their gallant officers and men and to their sailors on the sea, who were bearing cheerfully for their country, privation and loss of which they at home had no conception. He loved to think that their noble sons and brothers who had died for them on the continent of Europe, who had given up their lives for God and country that they may be spared the awful fate of unhappy Belgium; that these men had won, often all unconsciously the benediction of Jesus Christ – ‘He that loveth his life shall lose it, and that he hateth his life in this world shall keep it until life eternal’. That day their gallant soldiers and sailors were shown forth the noblest virtues of responsibility and of unselfishness in opposition to the two vices which lay at the root of every kind of sin. How little any of them had ever suffered for God or man in comparison to what they were suffering. They were exhibiting the noblest and richest example of manhood at its best that their world had ever witnessed. Let them for a moment think what courage and danger, what patience in suffering, what mercy in victory, always unconquered and unconquerable because they knew their cause was just.
‘Well done for them;
And fail isle well done for thee;
While that they bosom beareth sons like those;
the little gem set in the silver sea
Shall never fear their foes’.
For there was a bright side to war, as well as it’s dark side. It had touched and ennobled human nature; it had turned man from the vanities of life to its stern reality. It had taught man a fortitude which never gave way, and a brotherhood which in their own land bade fair to abolish class hatred and suspicion. Therefore, they blessed God for those men who had departed this life for such a spirit. With all reverence, he dared to say that they had followed afar off, the blessed steps of Christ’s most holy life and had ‘given their lives a ransom for many’. And might they not believe that the same precious Word, which alone could heal and save, had availed in God’s sight to cleanse and save their brethren cut off so tragically in a quarrel not of their own seeking, and in a cause with the success of which was bound up the whole hope of humanity.
The gallant regiment with which the late Lord Northland served had indeed proved worthy of the best traditions of the British Army. Where almost every branch and every regiment of the Service had distinguished itself, the Coldstream Guards had won immortal honour, and in future records the name of Lord Northland would be held in the highest honour. Very striking was the testimony borne to Lord Northland in a letter to Lord Ranfurly of the 4th February last (which has been recently published) from the colonel commanding the Guards regiment. They all knew how Lord Northland had entered into their lives and shared their interests and won their affections there in Dungannon. They would see that is memory was kept green in his native land; that the closing years of his life amongst them and his gallant death on the field of battle might inspire others and even generations yet unborn to do their duty in that state of life into which it might please God to call them, and to leave behind them the record their soldiers and sailors had won throughout the present war of ‘gallant gentleman, who love no malice, and knew no fear’.
At the conclusion of the service, the benediction was pronounced by His Grace the Lord Primate and the Dead March in ‘Saul’ was impressively rendered by the organist, and the buglers of the 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers sounded the ‘Last Post’. The soldiers and Volunteers afterwards paraded in Market Square, and marched to their respective headquarters.
Before the volunteers were dismissed, Mr Bingham, B.A., temporary commanding officer, addressed them, and said that they were there to pay a last tribute of respect to their leader who was gone, to one who was beloved by them, and under whose guidance they had hoped to bring their work to a successful issue. He had however, fallen manfully in a greater cause, and although his body may lie in the field of battle in France, his spirit would remain with them. He (Mr Bingham), wanted every man of his battalion that day and in the future to work and act as Lord Northland would have wished had he himself been present.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th February 1915: Memorial Service at Stewartstown
An impressive memorial service in connection with the death of Viscount Northland was held in the parish church, Stewartstown, on Sunday, when the sacred building was filled to its utmost capacity. It was most appropriate that such a service should be held in Stewartstown as the deceased nobleman had spent many happy youthful days there at the residence of his grandfather, the late Hon. Viscount Charlemont, C.B., Drumcairne. The pulpit, lectern, prayer desk and choir gallery were tastefully draped. A detachment of the 9th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers attended the service, and the Tullylagan, Tullyhogue, Kingsmills and Stewartstown Battalions of the Ulster Volunteer Force also paraded, under the command of Mr T MacGregor Greer, J.P., officer commanding the battalion, Messrs William Hagan (Tullyhogue), Andrew Brown (Tullyhogue) and H S Burrowes (Stewartstown), company officers; Mr W J Doey, half-company officer (Kingsmills); and Mr R A Irwin (Tullylagan), officer commanding the battalion signallers.
The choir sang, with much feeling and devotion, the hymns ‘Oft in danger, Oft in woe’, ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ and the psalm ‘Lord thou has been our Refuge’ was chanted. The special lessons, first chapter of Joshua and 1st Corinthians, 15th chapter, were read by Mr T McGregor Greer, J.P. Portions of of the burial service were read by Rev C S Stewart, M.A., rector of Donaghenry, and the other hymns rendered were ‘Brief life is here our portion’ and ‘Now the labourer’s task is over’. Some of the hymns were special favourites of the deceased.
The rector then addressed the congregation from the text ‘Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life’, Revelation II, 10). He said the nations of old times, especially the Greeks, loved their heroes, and even in modern times they loved a well built, athletic and active man. The later Lord Northland had spent his young days in Drumcairne, and worshipped in that church. It was therefore fitting that a memorial service should be held there. His lordship had taken an exceptionally keen interest in the Ulster Volunteer Force, and had worked assiduously to make the Dungannon Battalion the foremost one of the Tyrone Regiment. Lord Northland has visited the various companies nightly, sometimes inspecting three in one evening, and had then worked to the small hours of the morning studying the details. When the call to arms sounded, his lordship left his home of luxury and took his place with his brother officers of the Coldstream Guards in defence of his King and country. The same strenuousness which he brought to bear in his work in connection with the Ulster Volunteer movement was afterwards brought into effect on the field of battle, and he had died the death of a hero.
And now he has been taken away at an age when he had entered a career of great usefulness, and a time when, in the history of the empire, he was taking no small or inconspicuous part. He died that his own honour may be secure, that others might live, and that the nation might be free. Life, happiness and opportunity awaited him, but he threw down all he possessed at a turning point in the world’s history. He could not, I know, have asked a nobler fate, and we all feel proud of the part he has played for his country. Our poor departed brother, the dead yet speakth, and we hope and pray that his lesson of courage and self-sacrifice will bear fruit in future generations. To Lord and Lady Ranfurly and to the widowed Viscountess, they tendered their whole-hearted sympathy, and they prayed that God in His infinite mercy would heal their broken hearts.
‘God’s faithful soldier now we lay,
In earth’s embrace, and go our way;
Till dawns the Resurrection Day,
When dried in every tear.
And He, we know, will not forget,
The ones he loved, and loveth yet.
And while our eyes with tears are wet,
We feel he is still near.’
The Dead March in Saul was then rendered by Mr F Pearson, parish organist, the congregation reverently standing. The Volunteers and Fusiliers afterwards paraded and returned to the drill hall, Masonic Avenue, where they were dismissed.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th February 1915: Drumglass Young Men’s Society
At a special meeting of Drumglass Young Men’s Society on Thursday evening, Mr R T Clarke presiding, Mr John Beatty moved that a vote of condolence be passed and forwarded to the relatives of the late Captain Viscount Northland. He said that they had lost a good friend and gallant leader, in the person of Lord Northland, whose death on the field of honour they all lamented deeply and whose place in their midst it would be impossible to fill. Mr W N Thornberry said it was his sad duty to second the motion. The people of Dungannon had met with an irreparable loss, but what must it be to the bereaved father, mother and widow, to lose such a young life? Viscount Northland had met his death nobly fighting for his King and country, and the members he was certain would extend their heartfelt sympathy to the family in their great sorrow. Mr Alfred McCurry, in associating himself with the resolution, stated that the late noble Viscount had been a vice president of the Young Men’s Society, while his father, Lord Ranfurly, was the society’s patron. The resolution was passed in silence, the members standing.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th February 1915: Dungannon Presbyterians
The Session and Committee of First Dungannon Presbyterian Church, at a special meeting, adopted the following resolution in connection with the lamented death of Captain Viscount Northland:- ‘The Session and Committee of First Dungannon Presbyterian Church, beg respectfully to tender their heartfelt sympathy to Lord and Lady Ranfurly and to Lady Northland in their present sorrow. Lord Northland died the death of a patriot fighting for his King and country, and his noble sacrifice will never be forgotten by the community where, in his few short years of residence, he had come to be regarded universally with admiration and respect.’ The clerk of the committee (Mr Francis Henderson) was directed to forward a copy of the resolution to Lord Ranfurly.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th February 1915: North Tyrone Volunteers Sympathy
Captain J C Herdman, in his capacity as officer commanding the North Tyrone Battalion, Ulster Volunteer Force, has written to the Earl of Ranfurly offering hm the sympathy of the officers and men in the great loss he has sustained by the death of his son, Lord Northland. He has received the following reply:- Dear Mr Herdman, Allow me to express my sincere thanks to you for your very kind letter, written only not only from yourself but as representing the Ulster Volunteer Force, North Tyrone Battalion. the blank left in our lives can never be replaced, but he died as he should, at his country’s call, facing the enemy. I know his great desire was to see the Ulster Volunteer Force of Tyrone fully represented at the front, and I hope you will express this to all able bodied men who have not yet volunteered. Now is the time, and in this war if we are to conquer and end war for generations, it can only be done by having an inexhaustible supply of recruits to take the place of those who have fallen fulfilling their duty. The following extract of a letter from his colonel at the front may be of interest:- ‘His place in the battalion cannot be filled, and no officer in the battalion could I rely on more implicitly than I did of him. He was a perfect company commander, always cool and most sound in his work. There was no more popular officer in this battalion, and his loss is a terrible blow to us all. Believe me, yours sincerely, Ranfurly.’
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th February 1915: Dungannon Abstinence L.O.L. No. 1229
At this meeting on Friday evening, Bro D J Beatty, W.M., presiding, passed a resolution, proposed by Bro W J Beatty, P.M., regretting the great loss sustained by the Orange Institution, through the death of Bro The Hon. Viscount Northland, who had been Deputy County Grand Master of Tyrone and District Master of the Orangeman of Killyman District. The resolution was adopted in silence, the members standing.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th February 1915: Royal Black Preceptory No. 523
At a special meeting of Royal Black Preceptory No. 523, Dungannon, a resolution of sympathy with the relatives of the late Captain Viscount Northland was moved by Bro W J Beatty, W.M., and seconded by Bro Thomas McClean, D.M., and passed in silence, the members standing
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th February 1915: Castlecaulfield Orangemen
LO.L. 324 met in the Walker Memorial Hall, Castlecaulfield, on Thursday. Bro John Soley, W.M., in the chair, and Bro William Courtney in the vice chair. The following resolution was proposed by Bro John Rowan:- ‘We express our profound regret at the death of Bro Lord Northland, and we hereby tender our heartfelt sympathy to Lord and Lady Ranfurly and the Viscountess Northland in the irreparable loss they have sustained.’ Bro Hugh J Bennett, in seconding the resolution, referred to the great loss the Orange Order had sustained in the death of Lord Northland, as he was always a staunch supporter of the Orange Order and a very successful organiser of the U.V.F. they all deplored his loss as their leader in whom they had the greatest confidence. His place would be hard to fill, but hey must go on with renewed vigour and keep the old flag flying that his lordship loved so well. The resolution was passed in silence, the members standing. This was all the business and the Lodge was then closed in the usual form.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th February 1915: Derrygortreavy Unionist Club
A special meeting of the Derrygortreavy Unionist Club was held on Tuesday. The following resolution was proposed by the Rev J M Jennings, seconded by Mr W P Lockhart and passed in silence, all standing:- ‘We the members of Derrygortreavy Unionist Club, beg to tender to the Earl and Countess of Ranfurly and to Viscountess Northland, our deepest sympathy on the death of Viscount Northland. His death has removed from amongst us one whom we loved and honoured, and we feel that we have lost not only a leader, but also a friend, whose place it will be impossible to fill.’
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th February 1915: Dungannon Rural Council
At Dungannon Rural Council meeting, under the presidency of Mr Jackson Erskine, the following resolution was adopted, on the motion of Mr W Watson, seconded by Mr Henry Atkinson. ‘That this Council tenders to the Right Honourable the Earl and Countess of Ranfurly their sincere sympathy on the great loss occasioned by the lamented death of their son, Lord Northland, at the front, in the service of his King and while nobly and heroically fighting in the interests of our country and empire.’ A letter of sympathy was also directed to be forwarded to Lady Northland.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th February 1915: Tyrone Hospital Committee
At a meeting of the Committee of Management of Tyrone County Hospital, Right Rev Mons O’Doherty presiding, Dr Thompson referred to the loss the committee has sustained by the death of Lord Northland, which had taken place in France since the last meeting of the committee. The deceased nobleman, he said, had taken a great interest in the welfare of that institution, and his father, the Earl of Ranfurly, was one of its oldest governors. On the motion of the chairman, seconded by Rev J McGeorty, a vote of sympathy was passed, and it was ordered that this was to be placed in the minutes.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th February 1915: Omagh Asylum Committee’s Tribute
At a meeting of the Committee of Management of Omagh Lunatic Asylum, Mr Patrick McMenamin presiding, the Earl of Belmore referred to the death of Lord Northland, and moved the following resolution:- ‘We, the members of the Committee of Management of Omagh District Lunatic Asylum, desire to express our deep sorrow at the recent death in action in France of our colleague, Viscount Northland, J.P., who, since his recent entry into public life, had displayed a praiseworthy interest in all local affairs and had earned the esteem of all his colleagues, and we wish to assure his relatives of our sincere sympathy with them at the great loss they have sustained in the premature close of a promising career.’ Mr George Murnaghan, J.P., in seconding the resolution, said Lord Northland had gained for himself the good opinion of every man with whom he came in contact. The resolution was passed in silence, all members standing.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th February 1915: Dungannon U.V.F.
The following letter has been received from Lady Ranfurly and Lady Northland in reply to the message of sympathy sent by the members of the Dungannon Battalion of the Ulster Volunteers:- ‘Dear Mr Bingham, Thank you very much indeed for you kind letter and the message of sympathy and sorrow from the Dungannon Battalion. The regiment which was so entirely bound up with our dear son will indeed know that in this overwhelming sorrow that has come to us, there is only one consolation and that is that he has given his life for the sake of his country, and so acted up to those principles thet were so dear to him. It was his pride and pleasure that the Dungannon Battalion had done so well. They were his first thought. It will always be a satisfaction to us, who have lost everything in him, that so many truly mourned his loss, and we can never forget the sympathy and kindness extended to us in this dark hour. Will you convey to all concerned our heartfelt thanks, yours sincerely Constance Ranfurly.
Dear Mr Bingham, will you kindly convey to the members of the Dungannon Battalion my very grateful thanks for their expression of sympathy. I know they will all feel the loss of one whose every thought was for the good of his country, yours sincerely Hilda Northland.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th February 1915: Derrygortreavy Unionist Club.
Mr William Irwin, president of above, has received the following letter from the Earl of Ranfurly:- ‘Will you please convey Lady Ranfurly, Lady Northland and my thanks to Derrygortreavy Unionist Club for the resolution they have passed. We desire to thank them for the kind sympathy they express to us in this time of severe grief. It is some comfort to know that he died respected by all his brother officers doing his duty to his country; also that in his own home all mourn him as a true friend. His love of his native place, his deep interest in all that affected the interest of Ulster, and the active and wise part he took therein, also a person friendship with the members of his battalion will leave a vacancy it will be hard to refill at Dungannon. To us it has left a vacancy in our home that nothing can replace.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 27th February 1915: The Late Lord Northland - Tyrone County Council
Mr Montgomery proposed the following resolution:- ‘That we, the members of Tyrone County Council, at this our first meeting since the lamented death of one of our members, Lord Northland, desire to place on record the sincere regret as his untimely end. At the same time, we are proud to know that he died a soldier’s death on the field of battle. Though only a member of our Council for a short time, he was universally esteemed by all its members, and our hopes that he would be with us for many years to come have, unfortunately, not been realised. We beg to offer our respectable sympathy to his parents, the Earl and Countess of Ranfurly, and to his widow, Lady Northland.’
He thought everybody who came into contact with the late Lord Northland in the short time since he began to take part in their county business grew new not only like him, but almost love him. He was not only a perfect gentleman, but a gallant officer, anxious to do his duty in every capacity when called upon. He was ready to undertake any amount of work, and would, he believed, would have been one of the most useful members of that body. Some of them were getting on to the wrong side of threescore years, and were looking out for young men to take their places. They thought in Lord Northland they had found one who would take the pace of some of them and improve on the old model. It was with great grief that they had learned that he would be with them no more, but at the same time, as the resolution pointed out, he died as they would have chosen him to die, with the reputation of a most gallant soldier. He fell on the terrible field, fighting for King and country. Mr Anketell Moutray seconded the resolution. The Chairman endorsed everything that had been said concerning the late Lord Northland. They had not many opportunities of recognising his qualities, but the few they had were sufficient to attract most of them to him, and gave them the impression that they had got into their body a man who, in the time to come, would make his mark in the county. The resolution was passed in silence, all present standing.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 27th February 1915: The Late Lord Northland
In reply to the resolutions of sympathy adopted by the Dungannon magistrates with reference to the death of the late Lord Northland, who had been killed on action, the following letter has been received by Lady Northland:- ‘Will you kindly convey to the magistrates of Dungannon Petty Sessions District my very grateful thanks for their letter of sympathy, Hilda Northland.’
Lord Ranfurly, the father of the deceased nobleman, replied in the following terms:- ‘I desire to convey to the magistrates of Dungannon Petty Sessions District Lady Ranfurly’s and my own sincere thanks for their resolution. I find it hard to express my feelings in words at such a moment. The loss of an only son makes a vast difference to our lives, but it is of some satisfaction to see how he was beloved by all who knew him in his own native town. At the first call he returned to his regiment and served at the front tom the satisfaction of his commanding officers. He ended his career in this world for his country’s sake for which he gave his life. Our hopes had been that he and his family should have lived much in the future in Dungannon, but it was not to be and our hearth is left desolate. Thank you for your kindness in this the hour of our sorrow. Believe me, yours very faithfully, Ranfurly.’
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 6th March 1915: Where Lord Northland Died
Sir John French, in Friday’s Despatch, mentioned the heroism of a sergeant and private who held a trench alone. The sergeant belongs to Lisburn and in a letter describes the brickfield where Lord Northland was killed and the charge in which sergeant O’Leary got his V.C. Describing the brickfield of La Bassee he says:-
‘It was something like Wallace Park, Lisburn, in size and shape, and comprises a group of brick shacks, three or four in number, spread all over the place. Each stack is about twenty or thirty yards square, and about twenty feet in height, and solid. To remove any of the bricks, it is necessary to use a pick. The Germans were so well fortified that it was impossible to drive them clear with rifle or machine gun fire. An artillery officer told me it would take a 9 inch gun playing on one for ten days before it could be demolished, the material being of that sort being that the more hammering it gets, the more solid it becomes. We had some hard fighting around these same stacks, for after the Germans’ struggle to give Kaiser Bill a birthday present by taking Bethune, they were always attacking our line, only to be repulsed, and adding more dead to the number already on the field. On the 1st February, we made a bayonet charge to capture a trench which had been lost by another battalion the previous day. I may mention that this was the charge in which Corporal O’Leary won the V.C. His was a great piece of work. With the aid of a telescope, where I was posted as a sniper, I observed a piece of trench occupied by the Germans, who had got lost. I approached as near as possible, and there met Lord Northland, to whom I reported my observations, and he occupied me to where we could more easily observe the trench but not without the danger of the sniper, who let us know of his presence. The officer remained in opposition until he was satisfied the trench was occupied by the Germans. Later, the trench, with its occupants (20 in number) was taken. I am sorry to say on the following night I heard of Lord Northland being killed. We retired to billets on the night of the 2nd February for a rest, which turned out to be a short one, for something had to be done, and the Irish had to be there. So on the 4th we took up our position again in the brickfield. We were told that the battalion which we were relieving had been driven out of the trench, which, if recaptured, would lead the Germans being driven clear of the brickfield. I was posted on a barricade which divided the trench between the Germans and ourselves. By lying on my back, I fortified the pace so well that a private and myself held it until the following night, when it was decided by our commanding officer to retake the trench. The idea of two only holding the barricade was to prevent loss of life, as we were so close to the enemy that we were liable to get bombs thrown at us. The time appointed was 8pm, and at 7:30pm I commenced to take down the barricade. After that we fired a few bombs to keep the enemy back a piece. I then reconnoitred the trench by stepping over the dead bodies of Germans who had been killed two nights before. Having reported all clear, the platoon filed down the trench, fortified it, and so well was this done that the Germans knew nothing about it until daybreak. Then there was a great fuss as to who would keep the trench. A gret fight with bombs on both sides ended in about an hour with a victory for us. I got part of the contents of a bomb through my great coat, jacket, jersey and shirt, but my flesh escaped. When things quietened down, I made some tea for Sergeant Fleming (ex-constable R.I.C., Lisburn) and myself. He had a tin of butter which he said was Lisburn stuff, and I had a French loaf. After tea I had a look around for a shot, but before I got a chance, a bullet passed through the left breast of my coat, striking the top button of my jacket, and lodging in my right breast. The Germans were chased out of the brickfield, and that night in hospital, I saw some of the wounded coming in.’
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 6th March 1915: The Late Lord Northland
Drumnashallog L.O.L. No. 50, at a special meeting, passed the following resolution in connection with the death of the late Captain Viscount Northland:- ‘We, the members of Drumnashallog L.O.L. No. 50 in lodge assembled, desire to place on record our sense of the deep loss both the Orange Order and Ulster have sustained by the death of Viscount Northland; and we beg to ender our sincerest sympathy to Lord and Lady Ranfurly in their bereavement. We realise how helpless we are to remove the burden of sorrow from your hearts, but we hasten with what assistance we have to lend a helping hand in bearing it.‘
Mr James Walsh, District Master of Benburb District L.O.L. has received the following reply from Lord Ranfurly:- ‘Will you kindly express to the brethren of Drumnashallog L.O.L. our sincere thanks for their kind resolution of sympathy with us in our deep distress. I write on behalf of Lady Ranfurly and Lady Northland, as well as myself. My son died the best of deaths, facing the foe, fighting for his King and country. His loss to Ulster is severe; he took the greatest pride in his battalion, and was very fond of his connection with the Orange Institution. If one had only been younger, I could have filled a more active part in this struggle. As it is, while doing my best at home, my interests have been broken in life. The very pride I feel in him makes it harder to bear when one thinks of one’s hopes for the future. He died doing his duty, leaving us to mourn him.’ Lady Northland also wrote acknowledging the resolution of sympathy.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 6th March 1915:
Mr William Irwin, secretary of Derrygortreavy Unionist Club, has received the following reply from Viscountess Northland to the resolution of sympathy forwarded on the death of Captain Viscount Northland:- ‘Will you kindly convey to the members of Derrygortreavy Unionist Club my most grateful thanks for their resolution of sympathy.’
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 6th March 1915:
At the meeting of Holdfast L.O.L. No 1620 on Monday evening, 1st March, the following resolution was proposed by Bro J Nixon.:- ‘We express our profound regret at the death of Lord Northland, and we hereby tender our heartfelt sympathy to Lord and Lady Ranfurly and Viscountess Northland in the irreparable loss they have sustained.’ Bro R Menagh seconded, and the resolution was passed in silence, the members standing; and the secretary was instructed to convey the resolution to Lord and Lady Ranfurly and Viscountess Northland.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 25th March 1915:
A pathetic incident arising out of the death of Captain the Hon. Viscount Northland, 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards, who was killed in action at La Bassee on 1st February, is mentioned in letters just received from Corporal John Johnston, machine-gun section of the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, and Private Robert Taylor, of the same battalion. They had been former section leaders in the Dungannon U.V.F., of which Lord Northland had been the popular commanding officer, and they mention in their letters that they had sought out his grave in a French cemetery near La Bassee and had planted flowers on it.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 17th April 1915:
Holdfast L.O.L. No. 1620 met in the Orange Hall, Dungannon, on Monday, Bro James Nixon, W.M., presiding, and Bro John McMinn, in the vice-chair. The Earl of Ranfurly wrote acknowledging the Lodge’s resolution of sympathy on the death of Lord Northland. He said:- ‘We had all hoped for a brilliant future for my son, both in doing his duty to his country at the front, and in Ulster later, supporting our old traditions of civil and religious liberty. However it was not to be, and Dungannon and Ulster have lost one of their most energetic supporters and we have lost our only son – making a gap that nothing can ever replace.’
From the Tyrone Courier – 22nd April 1915: A Request for the Courier - mentions grave ‘nicely done up.’
Lance Corporal J McIntyre, Dungannon of the Inniskilling Fusiliers in a letter from the front to a friend in Dungannon says:- ‘I lay beside the Irish Fusiliers last November but I have not seen them since. I saw young Devlin of the New Row; he was the only Dungannon fellow I saw, but I believe Bob Steenson, of the Windmill Hill, is in the battalion now, Johnston and Taylor are well. They are not in my Company, but I see them regular when we come out of the trenches for a rest. All the other boys are doing well in the regiment. This is a good battalion; my brother and Willie Dickson of the Caulfeild Road and myself are in the battalion 6 months. We have seen a lot of country and a lot of Germans. We have met them on several occasions. They are a great nation and have some fine shots, especially the snipers. They never finish firing. They are very dangerous to us when going into the trenches and out of them. As regards their artillery, they are not much good now, but they used to give us hell with their big shells at the beginning but I think they have run short either of ammunition or guns. Thank God for it too as they used to play our trenches up greatly. This regiment has lost a lot of fine men since they came out here. Young Vallely of Moygashel was wounded a few weeks ago. He was also in my Company. I miss Averall; he came out to this country with me last September. We had a very severe winter, but the summer is on us now so it won’t be so bad. We had plenty of clothing during the winter months. I was very sorry about Lord Northland. I saw the churchyard where he was buried but I had not time to go in and see it, but his grave is very nicely done up by the men of his own regiment (the Coldstream Guards). I would like a copy of the Tyrone Courier to see something about Dungannon’
1916
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 2nd February 1916: Anniversary of Viscount Northland’s Death
Yesterday was the anniversary of the death of Viscount Northland, captain, Coldstream Guards, who was killed in the trenches at Cuinchy, near La Bassee, on 1st February 1915. He was the only son of the Earl and Countess of Ranfurly, and was a prominent member of the Ulster Volunteer Force.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 19th August 1916:
Private J McGuiness (Tyrone Volunteers), who is officially reported wounded in action, was one of the buglers who sounded the last post at the Memorial Service for the late Lord Northland, held in Dungannon Parish Church on March 1915. He is a native of Greystones, County Wicklow.
Will of Lord Northland
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 15th May 1915: Will of Viscount Northland
Lieutenant (Thomas Uchter Caulfeild) Viscount Northland, Coldstream Guards, of 18 Bryanston Square, London W1, who saw service in the South African war, afterwards aid-de-camp to his father, Earl of Ranfurly, whilst Governor General of New Zealand, a Knight of Grave of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, who was killed in action at Cuinchy, France, on 1st February last, aged 32 years, left unsettled property of the gross value of £2,990 4s 4d, with net personality of £1,023 0s 9d.
Probate of his Will, dated 17th November 1913, has been granted to his widow, Hilda Susan Ellen Viscountess Northland. He stated that, without in any way attempting to fetter the discretion of the guardians of his infant children, he expressed the wish that his sons should follow some profession as a career, and his son who should be heir-apparent to the earldom of Ranfurly should be educated at Eton, and then, unless he should prefer some other career, enter the Coldstream Guards, and remain there until he attains the captain’s rank.
He left his interest in his English marriage settlement funds to such person who on the death of himself and his father should become the Earl of Ranfurly.
One year’s wages to each in or outdoor servant in his service at his decease, who shall have been for five years in such service, and not be under notice.
The residue of his property he left to his wife. He desired to record his feeling that a remarriage by his wife would honour rather than cast a slur upon his memory, and that if she should marry again, she would leave one half of her disposable property to their children.
Post War
Captain Viscount Northland is buried in Cuinchy Communal Cemetery in France.
Viscount Northland is commemorated on a plaque in St Anne’s Parish Church, Dungannon. It reads:-
To the Beloved and Gallant Memory of Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox, Viscount Northland, Captain 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards, who gave his life for his country at Cuinchy, France, 1st February 1915, in his 33rd year.
They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.’
The CWGC record Captain Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox as being Viscount Northland. He is describes as the son of 5th Earl and Countess of Ranfurly. He is also recorded as the husband of Lady Northland, who became Mrs Wardell of 24 Gilbert Street, Grosvenor Square, London.
After his death, Hilda married three more times, her last husband dying only in 1958.
Read more
Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Northland House Dungannon Central Viscount Northland's abode 54.502371 -6.76329
References and Links
No Link Reference Doc
1 Caulfeild website Geneology
2 Cuinchy Cemetery Small photo of Viscount Northland's headstone
3 CWGC Newsletter - Feb 2013 Details of Viscount Northland (page 9)
4 FindAGrave.com Photo of Viscount Northland's headstone can be purchased here.
5 Hilda Knox the Viscount's mother (married four times)
6 Killyman Royal Black District Chapter No 1 Viscount Northland was a former Worshipful Master of Killyman Orange District
7 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
8 New Zealand Archive Photo of Viscount Northland
9 The Peerage Details of Viscount Northlands life
10 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Viscount Northland's headstone can be purchased here.
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2018