Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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3411   Private William Patton
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 08/09/2017
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 17/03/1893
Died: 16/05/1915 (Killed in Action)
Age: 22
Summary      
William Patton was the eldest son of Thomas and Margaret Patton. He was born in Shankill, Belfast on 17th March 1893. William moved to Newmills when he was young and was brought up by his grandfather. William Patton enlisted in Belfast. Private William John Patton was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action in France on Sunday 16th May 1915.
Further Information
William Patton was eldest son of Thomas and Margaret Patton. Thomas Patton and Margaret Seawright were married on 7th July 1892 in Belfast.
William J Patton was born in Shankill, Belfast on 17th March 1893. He was one of three sons.
Known family: Thomas Patton, Margaret Patton, William Patton (born 17th March 1893, Belfast), Thomas Patton (born 27th September 1894, Belfast), Charles Patton (born 27th November 1895, Belfast).
William moved to Newmills when he was young and was brought up by his grandfather.
The 1901 census lists William James as age 7, living with relatives at house 2 in Derry, Tullyniskane, County Tyrone. His grandfather was Joseph Seawright.
The 1911 census lists William as age 17, living with relatives at house 22 in Derry, Tullyniskane, County Tyrone. William was a general labourer.
William Patton enlisted in Belfast.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 17th June 1915 – Coalisland Men in the Trenches – An Appeal to Shirkers
Mr William Cardwell, Derry Green, Coalisland, has received the following letter from his brother, Private R Cardwell, of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers:-
‘Just a few lines to let you know I received your letter and papers, as did also T Abernethy. The Germans used the gasses on us again for the second time; they gave us a better does this time but we have got respirations (respirators) for putting over our mouths. It is a terrible thing. We had a letter from J Lynn; he was only slightly wounded by shrapnel. They had a night attack and I am sorry to say they lost a good few. J Cunningham, P Corr, Young Patton from Pike’s Bridge and R J Frizelle were all killed. Another man we knew is missing but might turn up yet. We lost our machine gun sergeant; he was sniped through the head beside me. He belonged to Scarva and was a right good chap.’
Private Cardwell mentions that he and T Abernethy received parcels of comforts and concludes by asking to be remembered to all his old friends. Mr Cardwell also received a letter, signed by Private Albert Buckley, of the 1st Irish Fusiliers, in which he states:-
‘Just a few lines hoping to find you well as we are enjoying the best of health. We had a very rough time this last while. The Germans have been using poisonous gasses and several other poisonous shells. But we are holding our own. Since the 25th April up to the present we have had some heavy engagements but have come through safe so far. I hope to see the Ulster Volunteers out here soon. We are waiting for Kitchener’s army to come up to the fighting line till we get a week’s rest. We have done our share of fighting since we started. One thing we enjoy is the issue of rum; when we get it we are in proper fighting order. I would like the young men of Coalisland and surrounding districts to realise we are engaged in one of the greatest struggles the world has ever seen and the more men we have, we will beat them the sooner. We are not downhearted yet.’
A newspaper report from 1915 suggests he was living in Pike’s Bridge, near Newmills. James Stewart, who also died in the war, is also listed as being from Pike’s Bridge.
Private William John Patton was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action in France on Sunday 16th May 1915.
Private William John Patton has no known grave and is commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.
Joseph Seawright’s son, Thomas Seawright, also served in the war. He survived and is also listed on the Newmills Roll of Honour as among those who served.
The CWGC record Private William John Patton as the nephew of Mrs Sarah Meneilly of 145 Snugville Street, Belfast.
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References and Links
No Link Reference Doc
1 1901 census lists William J Patton Lists William as age 7, living with relatives at house 2 in Derry, Tullyniskane, Tyrone
2 1911 census lists William J Patton Lists William as age 17, living with relatives at house 22 in Derry, Tullyniskane, Tyrone
3 Editor's notes Attached document explains deductions
4 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
5 Private James Stewart Also from Pike's Bridge, Newmills
6 Ulster Covenant William J Patton signed whil living in Derry, Coalisland
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2018