Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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4247   Private Robert J Averall
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 12/07/2018
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 31/12/1891
Died: 07/11/1914 (Killed in Action)
Age: 22
Summary      
Robert Averall was the eldest son of James and Mary Jane Averall. He was born on New Year’s Eve in 1891. He was the eldest of six children. Robert and his father were both labourers. Private Robert Averall was called up with the Reservists on 7th August 1914 and went to the front on the 5th September. Private Robert Averall was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on Saturday 7th November 1914 at the 1st Battle of Ypres. He was 22 years old.
Further Information
Robert Averall was the eldest son of James and Mary Jane Averall. James Averall and Mary Bell were married on 2nd September 1889 in the district of Dungannon.
Robert J Averall was born on 31st December 1891 in Gortshalgan, Dungannon. He was the eldest of six children, four surviving.
The 1901 census lists Robert as age 9, living with the family at house 4 in Miltown (South side), Dungannon. James Averall was a farm servant.
Family: James Averill, Mary Ann Averill, Robert Averill (born 31st December 1891), Mary Ann Averill (born 15th April 1894, died 22nd March 1911, age 16), Maria Averill (born 5th May 1896, died 7th May 1896), Maria Averill (born 9th August 1897), Carliona / Caroline Averall (born 30th September 1901), Thomas James Averall (born 22nd October 1904).
Robert was a pupil of Drumglass National School.
Brook Street, Milltown, Dungannon
The 1911 census lists Robert as age 19, living with the family at house 23 in Brook Street (South Side), Dungannon. Robert and his father were both labourers.
Robert Averall was a member of Holdfast L.O.L. 1620.
Private Robert Averall was called up with the Reservists on 7th August 1914 and went to the front on the 5th September.
Private Robert Averall was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on Saturday 7th November 1914 at the 1st Battle of Ypres. He was 22 years old.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 26 November 1914:
Another Dungannon Man Killed: Mr. J Averill, Dungannon has received intimation from the War Office that his son Robert, who belonged to the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on 12th November at the battle of Ypres. He was called up with the Reservists on 7th August and went to the front on the 5th September.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 28th November 1914:
AVERILL – 12th November, killed in action at the Battle of Ypres, Private Robert Averill, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, sons of James Averill, Brooke Street, Dungannon.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 28th November 1914: Private Robert Averill
Mr James Averill, Brook Street, Dungannon has received intimation from the War Office that his son Robert, who belonged to the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on 12th November at the battle of Ypres. He was called up with the Reservists on 7th August and went to the front on the 5th September. The deceased was a member of A Company, Dungannon U.V.F.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 12th December 1914:
Holdfast L.O.L. 1620 met in Dungannon Orange Hall on 7th December, when Bro. James Nixon, W.M., presided, and Bro. William Kerr, occupied the vice-chair. On the motion of the W.M. a resolution was adopted, expressing deep sympathy with the parents of Bro. Robert Averall, a member of the lodge who had been killed at Ypres.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 9th January 1915: Corporal Johnston’s Christmas
Lance Corporal John Johnston, of the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskillings, son of Mr David Johnston, Killymeal, Dungannon, writing to his friends in Dungannon, says that he has had a very merry time at Christmas. He went to Holy Communion at eight o’clock, and saw John McIntyre, Joseph McIntyre and William Dixon (Dickson), all Dungannon boys, there. There was a heavy snow storm on Christmas Day. We all got Princess Mary’s Christmas Box, from which we enjoyed a good smoke. He came across Wingfield Espey (Bush, Dungannon), and was informed that James Davis (Dungannon) was still alive and well. They were all sorry at losing Averall and Devlin, both Dungannon men, reported killed during November, who were very popular in the battalion. He concludes by wishing all the townspeople a New Year, and especially A Company U.V.F., and Mr Bingham, officer commanding and Sergeant Major Whitelaw.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 21st January 1915:
The published list of casualties in yesterday's issue contains the names of Private Robert Averall, Brooke Street, Dungannon, and Private James O'Neill, Wilson's Lane, both of whom belonged to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, and have been killed in action. The War Office had however notified their relatives of the distressing occurrences some time ago.
Joseph McIntyre writes that he ‘misses’ Averall, who came out to ‘this country’ together last September.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 22nd April 1915: A Request for the Courier
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 Caulfield 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'
From the Tyrone Courier dated 3rd August 1916: Casualties
Private Robert Averall, Inniskilling Fusiliers, son of Mr James Averall, Milltown, Dungannon.
Private Robert Averall has no known grave and is commemorated on panel 5 on Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium.
The CWGC record Private Robert Averall as the son of Mr and Mrs James Averall of 22 Brooke Street, Milltown, Dungannon, County Tyrone.
Read more
Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Brooke Street, Milltown Dungannon Town South Census listing in Brooke Street, Milltown 54.500639 -6.766766
2 Gortshalgan Killyman Born in Gortshalgan area 54.509248 -6.734101
References and Links
No Link Reference Doc
1 1901 Census lists Averill family Lists Robert as age 9 living at house 4 in Miltown, South side, Dungannon
2 1911 Census lists Averall family Lists Robert, a labourer, as age 19 living at house 23 in Brook Street, South Side, Dungannon
3 1st Presbyterian Dungannon Robert J Averill, killed in action
4 Drumglass School Roll of Honour, 1914 R Averall listed Drumglass Roll of Honour 1914 Boys National School, Dungannon
5 Joseph McIntyre Misses him. Joseph McIntyre mentions him in a letter home
6 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
7 Townlands.ie Born in Gortshalgan
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2018