Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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16431   Private James Watson Hetherington
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 05/09/2017
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 7th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Canadian Army)
Date Of Birth: 23/03/1884
Died: 03/06/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 32
Summary      
James Watson Hetherington was the oldest son of James and Jane Hetherington of Killyman Street, Moy, County Tyrone. James was born on 23rd March 1884 in Moy, Tyrone. The 1901 census records James as living with the family at Killyman Street, Moy. His father had died. James Hetherington was a 17 year old Apprentice Black Smith. James enlisted with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers for one year. James emigrated to Canada where he worked as a labourer. James Hetherington enlisted on 18th September 1914 at Valcartier, Quebec. He was 30 years old and single. Private James Watson Hetherington was with the 7th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry (British Columbia Regiment)when he died on 3rd June 1916, age 32.
Further Information
James Watson Hetherington was the oldest son of James and Jane Hetherington of Killyman Street, Moy, County Tyrone. James was born on 23rd March 1884 in Moy, Tyrone.
The 1901 census records James as living with the family at Killyman Street, Moy. His father had died. James Hetherington was a 17 year old Apprentice Black Smith.
Family : James Hetherington, Jane Hetherington, James Watson Hetherington (born about 1884), Richard Alexander Hetherington (born about 1887), Samuel D Hetherington (born about 1890), Letitia Watson Hetherington (born about 1892), Robert John Hetherington (born about 1894), William Frederick Hetherington (born about 1897).
James enlisted with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers for one year.
James emigrated to Canada where he worked as a labourer.
James Watson Hetherington Attestation Paper - page 1
James Watson Hetherington Attestation Paper - page 2
James W Hetherington enlisted on 18th September 1914 at Valcartier, Quebec. He was 30 years old and single.
Private James Watson Hetherington joined on the outbreak of war and came over with the first Canadian contingent.
After going through a course of training at Salisbury Plain, went with his regiment to the front in February 1915,
From the Tyrone Courier dated 27th May 1915:
The following casualties in the Canadians are officially reported:- 7th Battalion, Private James Watson Hetherington, native of Moy.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 17 June 1915 - Moy Soldier's Graphic Narrative
Private James Hetherington of the 7th Battalion (British Columbia) Canadian Light Infantry, has returned home to Moy, suffering from shrapnel wounds received at the Battle of Ypres on 24th April. Private Hetherington, who is one of three brothers serving with the colours, had been in Canada fore the last nine year, and in the company of half a dozen Ulstermen who had been employed with him, volunteered for active service. It was at Neuve Chapelle that their first serious engagement took place. The Canadians were placed on the extreme right and occupied the advanced trenches on the eve of the great battle, and they crept forward towards the German lines and at daybreak were the first to open fire. This was the means of drawing almost three thousand Germans down on them, and hot work ensued. But the stand made by the Canadians there prevented that force of the enemy reinforcing their main body at Neuve Chapelle. On 24th April Private Hetherington got struck on the shoulder by a shrapnel bullet while the Canadians were advancing in open order. It felt like a blow caused by a stone, but as they were lying preparatory to another rush, he could not raise his head. His chum Private Clifford Dodge (who was also wounded, and has accompanied Private Hetherington home to Moy), managed to look across and saw that the latter's shoulder strap and great coat were torn away at that place. Dodge lifted Hetherington and carried him back, despite the heavy machine gun, rifle and shell fire. He deposited him in a large hole made by a “Jack Johnston” and applied first aid. Dodge afterwards crept back to the firing line, and later in the evening was himself wounded in the night thigh by a rifle bullet. Both were conveyed to a hospital in France and last week were transferred to England en route to Moy.
Private Hetherington was wounded by shrapnel in the right shoulder and arm in May 1915. After being in hospital, and in a convalescent home for a time, on medical examination he was marked for home duty,
Not being content with that decision, he volunteered a second time and joined the Machine Gun section.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 25 May 1916: Stoker R J Hetherington (brother of Private James Hetherington)
Stoker R J Hetherington, of HMS Latona, whose home address is Killyman Street, Moy writes us as follows: 'would you kindly allow me space in your very valuable paper to make a few remarks? How flattered you would be if you only knew how much your paper is appreciated by men out here from your district. The Tyrone Courier gets a very warm reception for it comes next to letters from home. I get your paper weekly. I am now on active service with the Royal Navy, having joined about one year ago on the appeal for recruits and I am also proud to say I have three brothers serving with the colours. My eldest brother, James Watson Hetherington, joined on the outbreak of war in Vancouver (where he had been for a number of years) and came over with the first Canadian contingent, and after going through a course of training at Salisbury Plain, went with his regiment to the front in February 1915, and was wounded by shrapnel in the right shoulder and arm in May following of the same year. After being in hospital, and in a convalescent home for a time, on medical examination he was marked for home duty, but not being content with that decision, he volunteered a second time and is again doing his bit in the firing line, having joined the machine gun section. The other brothers, Richard Alexander Hetherington and Samuel Hetherington, who belonged to Moy Company, Dungannon Battalion, U.V.F., with myself, volunteered at the outbreak of war, and are now with the gallant 9th Battalion doing their duty in France as all Ulster men should. I often think of the slackers back home; how shamed they should be of their cowardice, and how small they will surely appear in the eyes of the heroes on their victorious return from this most bloody war. I am both please and proud to say there are no cowards in our family, as I would rather be doing my duty just here than bear the disgrace of the slackers at home. Of course I do not refer to married men with young families, nor an only son with a widowed mother to look after. I hear from my brothers very regularly, and am glad to say not one of them would change place with the cowards they have known so well in days gone by, and who were then so apparently very loyal. I sincerely hope conscription will soon be passed in Ireland; then we will get a good laugh at these cowards who will then be obliged to don the khaki, much to their sorrow. In any case, if God spares us to come home again, we'll be able to hold up our heads and look everyone straight in the face, and say we at least have done our duty like men.'
Private James Watson Hetherington was with the 7th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry (British Columbia Regiment) when he was killed in action on 3rd June 1916, age 32.
The Canadian Circumstances of Death Register records that Private Hetherington was killed in action on 3rd June 1916. His unit was involved in an attack in the vicinity of Mount Sorrel at the time.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 22 June 1916:
Mrs Hetherington, Killyman Street, Moy, has received official intimation that her eldest son, Private James Watson Hetherington, Canadian Infantry, has been killed in action. He was one of four brothers serving with the colours, and had been in Canada for a number of years, where, in company with half a dozen other Ulstermen who had been employed with him, had volunteered for active service.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 24th June 1916:
HETHERINGTON – June 3, killed in action. Private James Watson Hetherington, Canadian Contingent, eldest and dearly beloved son of Jane and the late James Hetherington, Killyman Street, Moy, County Tyrone. 'Thy will be done'. Deeply lamented by his sorrowing mother, sisters and brothers (three of the latter on active service)
From the Tyrone Courier dated 20 July 1916: Samuel Hetherington (brother of James Hetherington)
Private Samuel Hetherington, Tyrone Volunteers, wounded, is one of four soldier sons of Mrs Hetherington, Killyman Street, Moy. One of his brothers was recently killed with the Canadian Forces.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 22 July 1916: Samuel Hetherington (brother of James Hetherington)
Private Samuel Hetherington, Tyrone Volunteers, wounded, is one of the four soldier sons of Mrs Hetherington, Killyman Street, Moy. One of his brothers was recently killed with the Canadian force.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 2nd December 1916: Samuel Hetherington (brother of James Hetherington)
Private Samuel Hetherington, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, wounded in action for the second time, is the third son of Mrs Jane Hetherington, Killyman Street, Moy. She has five sons on active service, the eldest, James Watson Hetherington, Canadian Forces, having been killed in action on 3rd June last.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 7 December 1916: Samuel Hetherington (brother of James Hetherington)
Private Samuel Hetherington, Inniskilling Fusiliers, who has been wounded in action for the second time, is one of five soldier sons of Mrs Jane Hetherington, Killyman Street, Moy. His brother, James Watson Hetherington, of the Canadian Forces, was killed in action in June last.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 9th December 1916: Samuel Hetherington (brother of James Hetherington)
Private Samuel Hetherington, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who has been wounded in action for the second time, is one of five soldier sons of Mrs Jane Hetherington, Killyman Street, Moy. His brother, James Watson Hetherington, of the Canadian Forces, was killed in action in June last.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 24th August 1917: Richard Hetherington (brother of James Hetherington)
Private Richard Heatherington, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Killyman Street, Moy, wounded.
From the Sydney Watchman dated Thursday 28th March 1918 : The Vacant Ranks - A Voice From Beyond
The following poem was found on the body of Private James Watson Hetherington, 7th Battalion (British Columbia), Canadian Light Infantry, who was killed in action on 3rd June last. He had written it while resting after eight days' duty in the trenches. Private Hetherington was the eldest son of Mrs. Hetherington, Killyman Street, Moy, Co. Tyrone. He had been in Canada for nine years, and enlisted on the outbreak of hostilities, and after preliminary training he went to the front on 11th February, 1915. He was wounded on 24th April 1915, and after some time in hospital he was transferred to home service; but not being content with this he again volunteered, and joined a machine-gun section, and was sent to the front.
Before emigrating Private Hetherington was a member- of Moy L.O.L., No. 90, and R.B.P. No. 77, Killyman District. He was also a member of the Moy Conservative Flute Band. His brothers, Richard Alexander, and Samuel, who are on active service with the Inniskilling Fusiliers, and Robert, who is in the Royal Navy, were all members of Moy L.O.L. No. 90, Moy Conservative Flute Band, and the Moy Company (Dungannon. Battalion) U.V.F. All four enlisted at the outbreak of the war.
On the road to Tipperary
There's a place that's vacant still,
There's a rifle lying silent,
There's a uniform to fill.
True, at home they'll hate to lose you,
But the march will soon begin
On the road to Tipperary,
With the army to Berlin.
In the Morris chair of clubland
Are you there content to stay,
While others guard your honor,
While the Germans boast "the day?"
For your King and country need you,
And we want to count you in
On the road to Tipperary,
With the army to Berlin.
Have you seen the lonely crosses-,
Boys who'll never more come home
Will you idle while they're calling,
Will you leave them there alone?
For they're calling, calling, calling,
And they want to hear you sing
On the road to Tipperary
With the army to Berlin.
When from Mons they fought each footstep,
When their lips with pain were dumb,
'Twas the hope that held our trenches
Never doubting you would come.
Through the frozen hell of winter,
'Midst the shrapnel's racking din,
They have waited, never fearing
You would join them in Berlin.
On the road to Tipperary
There's a crimson debt to pay;
There's a land of awful darkness,
Patient faces tired and grey.
Sobbing women, ruined girlhood
Strew the train of cultured sin.
Can't you hear the call for vengeance,
Won't you join us in Berlin?
On the road to Tipperary
Sleep the boys whose day is done;
Don't you hear the voices calling
To complete their work begun?
There are ghastly fingers beck'ning,
There are victories yet to win
On the road to Tipperary
With the army to Berlin.
On the road to Tipperary,
When the boys come home at last,
Won't you wish that you had listened
Ere Old England's call had passed?
But the gate of manhood's open,
You your part can still begin
On the road to Tipperary
With the army to Berlin.
- from the Belfast Weekly News
From the Tyrone Courier and Dungannon News dated Thursday 4 July 1918: Samuel Hetherington (brother of James Hetherington)
Mrs Jane Hetherington, Killyman Street, Moy. has now received intimation that her third son, Private Samuel Hetherington, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who has been reported missing since 21st March is now a prisoner of war in Germany. Prior to volunteering, he was employed as tailor in Portadown. All Mrs Hetherington's five sons volunteered and the eldest, Private James Watson Hetherington, Canadian Infantry, was killed in action on 3rd June 1916.
Private J W Hetherington is commemorated on Special Memorial H-2 at Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm), Ypres, Belgium.
James Watson Hetherington gravestone
The CWGC record Private James Watson Hetherington as the son of James and Jane Hetherington of Killyman Street, Moy, County Tyrone, Ireland.
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Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Killyman Street, Moy Moy Census listing in Killyman St, Moy 54.447711 -6.69008
References and Links
No Link Reference Doc
1 1901 Census lists Hetherington family Lists James as age 17, an apprentice blacksmith, living with the family at house 16 in Killyman St, Moy, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists Hetherington family Does not list James as living with the family at house 21 in Killyman St, Moy, Tyrone
3 Canadian Great War Project Details of Private James Watson Hetherington
4 Canadian Virtual War Memorial Newspaper cutting relating to george Hadden
5 Circumstances of Death Registers Details of Private James Watson Hetherington's death
6 James Watson Hetherington Attestation Papers Canadian Military documents (46 no.)
7 Sydney Watchman newspaper Poem by Private Hetherington
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2018