Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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Date Name Information
29/08/2018 Pte. John O'Farrell The 1901 census lists John as age 4, living with the family at house 7 in Ross More, Donaghmore, County Tyrone. His mother was a house keeper. His father is not living with family at that point.
29/08/2018 Pte. John O'Farrell Private O’Farrell is buried in Le Touquet-Paris Plage Communal Cemetery in France.
29/08/2018 Pte. John O'Farrell Mr John Farrell, Gortgonis, Coalisland has received intimation from the War Office that his son, Private John Farrell, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, has died on 15th May from wounds received in action. Private Farrell, who was only 18 years of age, had enlisted just six weeks before the outbreak of the war, and was despatched with the second expeditionary force in September.
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29/08/2018 Pte. John O'Farrell From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 5th June 1915:
29/08/2018 Pte. John O'Farrell The Tyrone Courier report and a similar one in the Mid Ulster Mail wrongly identify the family name as Farrell rather than O’Farrell.
28/08/2018 Reg SM Joy Davis Corporal James Davis of the North Irish Horse, writing to his father, Mr James Davis, Barrack Street, Dungannon, says that he has invalided home from the front owing to an attack of fever, and is at present in Moorfield Military Hospital, Glossop. He adds that the hospital ship, Carisbrooke Castle, was the first to have an escort.
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28/08/2018 Reg SM Joy Davis From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 5th June 1915: James Davis (brother of Joy Davis)
26/08/2018 Pte. Joseph McIntyre ‘Just a few lines to let you know that my brother Joseph and I are in hospital wounded, but we are coming on well. I was wounded in the back, and my brother in the ankle. We were lucky to ever see England again, as our regiment had a bayonet charge last Saturday night and we took two lines of German trenches at the point of the bayonet. We were under heavy fire from the time we left the trenches until we reached the Germans, but we fixed them up for the men we lost in the charge. I cannot say how any men we lost in the charge, but I know a number of my own section fell. Young Willie Dickson of Dungannon was killed and I cannot say anything about the other fellows from the town. I got a box from Dickson’s pocket, the only thing I could get for a keepsake. Dickson and I came out here together last September and went through a lot since. We often talked about the times we had in Dungannon, and wondered if we would ever get back. I can nearly swear that out of the thousand men of the Inniskillings who made the great charges on Saturday and Sunday, there were 700 or 800 killed or wounded. I don’t know how young Joe Cunningham of Dungannon got on, as I had no time to see. I got wounded and fell beside two of my chums and we lay under heavy fire until three o’clock on Sunday morning. We were too bad to crawl out of danger. One of my wounded chums got killed by a bullet, so we had a close shave. The shell fire was terrible as the shells were bursting all around us, and we were waiting on our turn. I never saw such fire from the big guns, rifles and machine guns. The machine guns mowed our men down like grass. On Sunday morning, when I came to, I tried to make my way back to our trenches with the German bullets cutting the grass around me. I took cover behind a dead comrade, and on looking at his face I believed, to my horror, that it was my brother. You can guess the state I was in as I crept towards our trench, and on reaching it the first man to speak to me was my brother. He asked me where I was hit and I told him. He had already had his ankle dressed. I was obliged to stop all the Sunday in the front trench, and the German shells nearly did for the lot of us, and I saw half a dozen of our men killed or wounded with one shell from the enemy’s heavy guns. Another shell killed three of our wounded, not more than ten yards from where I was lying. It was an awful Sunday, and in the evening they tried counter attacks on our boys to get their lost trenches back. Our artillery and machine guns, and ourselves with rifles, went at them and mowed them down like sheep. The enemy thought it better to go back and let the British keep the trenches. We all had mouth pads to protect us from the poison gas shells. The Germans use all kinds of stuff to stop us and break through our lines, but it is all in vain. Robert Taylor of Dungannon was wounded a couple of days before the charge, and on the morning after, I saw John Johnston of Dungannon, who got through it all safely. The Germans are great fighters, and fight to the last man. They have plenty of machine guns and when you are advancing on them, the bullets are passing you in thousands, and it is pure luck that a fellow reaches the enemy at all. When we showed them the steel in the dark and got into their trenches, we made them hop. Any of them that were left were easily counted for we made them sit up for the dirty tricks they do. They kill some of our wounded and threw vittol on others and burnt them, and then laugh at the poor fellows’ agony. I have seen all this and also the vittol bombs they throw at night after a battle to catch the wounded who are not fit to get to safety. I am glad to get a good rest after doing my best to fight the Germans for eight months in France and Belgium. I was surprised to see Corporal Anderson of Moygashel in the base hospital. He dressed my wound before I left France, and we were glad to see each other. I hope to get to Dungannon on leave next month and see all the boys.
26/08/2018 Pte. Joseph McIntyre Lance Corporal John McIntyre, of the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who is at present in East Cambridge War Hospital, writing to friends in Dungannon says:-
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26/08/2018 Pte. Joseph McIntyre From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 29th May 1915: Lance Corporal McIntyre on Shell Fire (Lance Corporal John McIntyre – brother of Joseph McIntyre)
26/08/2018 Pte. Robert Thomas Taylor On Friday, Mrs Taylor of Moygashel received intimation from her husband, Private Robert Taylor, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, that he was in a clearing hospital in France as the result of shell wounds to his breast and hand. The shell had burst close to him and had dashed him a system of twenty yards against a tree. Altogether seven men of his company had been injured by the missile. Prior to being called up on the reserve, Private Taylor was noted as a valued section leader for B Company Dungannon Battalion U.V.F.
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26/08/2018 Pte. Robert Thomas Taylor From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 29th May 1915:
25/08/2018 Pte. Robert George Lawson Writing to his mother on 7th May, he says:- ‘I am getting along finer, and my wound is nearly alright. The people here are very good, and we get everything we want – plenty of oranges and cigarettes. I hope to be able to get home for a while and you need not be uneasy about me. The hospital in which I am in is a new one, and we were the first wounded to occupy it. I was looking out for Robert Bell (Private Robert Bell, Milltown, Dungannon, who is reported officially as wounded), but I did not see him after we landed from the boats to attack, not have I heard anything about him. The fighting was terrible but we beat the Turks anyhow. I don’t know whether I will get home or not, butif I do I hope it will be before the Twelfth Day.’ He also wrote in similar terms to his to his father and sister. Mr Lawson has now four sons serving with the colours.
25/08/2018 Pte. Robert George Lawson Lance Corporal Thomas Lawson, 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Mr William Lawson, Milltown, Dungannon, writes as follows from the Kasr Al Ainy Hospital, Cairo, to his brother, Sapper Joseph Lawson, Royal Engineers, Antrim.:- ‘Just a line to let you know I have got wounded fighting at the Dardanelles, but I am feeling better now. I got wounded in the stomach and it was very severe. I am in hospital in Egypt and receiving the best of treatment, but I do not know if I will be going home or not. I was wounded on 28th April. We did good work at the Dardanelles as the Turks can’t fight. I hope all at home are well.’
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25/08/2018 Pte. Robert George Lawson From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 29th May 1915: Lance Corporal Lawson from the Dardanelles Thomas Lawson (Brother of George Lawson)
22/08/2018 Capt Lewis Dudley Richard Huggard ‘One sees many unfamiliar sights in these strange days, and to me one that will not readily be forgotten is the appearance of an Irish Church of England vicar clad in full military captain’s uniform, taking part in a Yorkshire Rugby Football Union meeting. Captain the Rev Richard Huggard, of Barnsley, a past president and one of the most popular of the many good sportsmen in the Yorkshire Rugby Union, has thrown so much zeal and organising ability into recruiting in the Barnsley district that 2,700 men (over two battalions) have passed through his hands and into the ranks of the Yorks and Lancasters. He has therefore, well earned his captain’s rank by his administrative work, even if the leadership of forces on the field is denied him. That he would lend to the trenches, despite archiepiscopal frowns or archidiaconal remonstrates, if the chance came his way, I have not the slightest doubt. A man from Dungannon, cleric or otherwise, could not possibly quall. The vicar of St John the Baptist, Barnsley, holds the rank of captain in the 14th Service Battalion (second Barnsley) of the York and Lancaster Regiment. He has two sons with the forces. The eldest, Lieutenant Hewitt Huggard, has a commission in the 6th East Yorkshire; the younger, Second Lieutenant L D R Huggard, holds a commission in the 13th Service Battalion York and Lancashire. It is a good family record; and doubtless there are many like it in the clerical houses throughout the country.’
22/08/2018 Capt Lewis Dudley Richard Huggard Rev Richard Huggard, formerly curate in Dungannon, enlisted in the new army, and has now the rank of captain. In the notes by ‘Ebor’ in the Yorkshire Evening Post, he writes:-
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22/08/2018 Capt Lewis Dudley Richard Huggard From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 29th May 1915:
22/08/2018 Lieut Hewitt Huggard ‘One sees many unfamiliar sights in these strange days, and to me one that will not readily be forgotten is the appearance of an Irish Church of England vicar clad in full military captain’s uniform, taking part in a Yorkshire Rugby Football Union meeting. Captain the Rev Richard Huggard, of Barnsley, a past president and one of the most popular of the many good sportsmen in the Yorkshire Rugby Union, has thrown so much zeal and organising ability into recruiting in the Barnsley district that 2,700 men (over two battalions) have passed through his hands and into the ranks of the Yorks and Lancasters. He has therefore, well earned his captain’s rank by his administrative work, even if the leadership of forces on the field is denied him. That he would lend to the trenches, despite archiepiscopal frowns or archidiaconal remonstrates, if the chance came his way, I have not the slightest doubt. A man from Dungannon, cleric or otherwise, could not possibly quall. The vicar of St John the Baptist, Barnsley, holds the rank of captain in the 14th Service Battalion (second Barnsley) of the York and Lancaster Regiment. He has two sons with the forces. The eldest, Lieutenant Hewitt Huggard, has a commission in the 6th East Yorkshire; the younger, Second Lieutenant L D R Huggard, holds a commission in the 13th Service Battalion York and Lancashire. It is a good family record; and doubtless there are many like it in the clerical houses throughout the country.’
22/08/2018 Lieut Hewitt Huggard Rev Richard Huggard, formerly curate in Dungannon, enlisted in the new army, and has now the rank of captain. In the notes by ‘Ebor’ in the Yorkshire Evening Post, he writes:-
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22/08/2018 Lieut Hewitt Huggard From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 29th May 1915:
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross 02071
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21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross The newspaper photo, from the North Irish Horse website, is from Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster.
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross All research here was undertaken from taken the North Irish Horse website and from Phillip Tardif’s excellent book – ‘The North Irish Horse in the Great War’
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross The CWGC record Private Robert Ross as the son of John and Elizabeth Ross of 318 Springfield Road, Belfast.
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross After the war his body was moved to his current resting place in Ancre British Cemetery in Beaumont-Hamel, France.
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross Private Robert Ross was initially buried in Beaucourt Cemetery, south-east of Beaumont-Hamel.
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross Private Robert Ross was killed in action on Wednesday 21st August 1918, the first day of the Advance to Victory offensive's attack on the Somme front, probably during the assault on Beaucourt.
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross His medal card stated he was with the Corps of Hussars for a time.
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross In February and March 1918 the regiment was dismounted and became a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps for the remainder of the war.
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross Private Ross was posted to one of the three squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment.
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross Ross enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 8/9th November 1915.
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross The 1911 census lists Robert as age 21, living with the family at house 318 Springfield Road, Falls, Belfast He was working as a general labourer in a linen warehouse. His father was a linen lapper. Indeed, almost all of the family worked in the linen industry.
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross The 1901 census lists Robert as age 11, living with the family at house 20 in Forth River Gardens, Falls Ward, Belfast. He was still at school. His father was an unemployed Linen Sample Maker.
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross Known family: John Ross, Elizabeth Ross, Edith Ross (born 29th September 1881, Cookstown), John Ross (born 24th May 1883, Dungannon), Fred William Ross (born 5th May 1885, Cookstown), Martha Jane Ross (born 11th June 1887, Dungannon), Robert Ross (born 25th April 1889, Dungannon), Annie Ross (born 25th April 1891, Belfast), Bessie Ross (born 1st July 1893, Belfast), Meta Ross (born 23rd October 1895, Belfast).
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross Sometime around 1890 the family moved to Belfast
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross Robert Ross was born on 25th April 1889 at Brooke Street, Dungannon. He was one of nine children, eight surviving.
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross Derivations of maiden name in GRONI include: Roynalds, Reynolds, Rawlins, Rollins and Rowlins.
21/08/2018 Pte. Robert Ross Robert Ross was the son of John and Elizabeth Ross. Robert Ross and Elizabeth Rollins were married on 23rd August 1879 in the district of Cookstown.
20/08/2018 Pte. Joseph McIntyre His brother, Private Joseph McIntyre, has also written his brother that he is at present in East Leeds War Hospital suffering from a wound received in the left ankle. He also reports that Dickson was killed on the Sunday morning and adds that the Inniskillings won a great victory but lost over half the battalion. The man reported killed in the above letter is Private William R Dickson, second son of Mr Richard Dickson, Lisnahull, Dungannon. On hearing of the intimation, Rev T J McEndoo, M.A., visited the house and broke the sorrowful news to the parents. Mr Dickson afterwards wired for information to the War Office and received a reply that the name did not appear on the casualty list furnished. This was some consolation, but it is believed that the information contained in the two letters may be accurate.
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20/08/2018 Pte. Joseph McIntyre From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 29th May 1915:
20/08/2018 Pte. Joseph McIntyre ‘You will be surprised to know that I am wounded and at present in Cambridge East War Hospital. Joe (his brother) and I were both wounded on Sunday last at the one time – he in the foot and I in the small of my back. We were lucky, as nearly all the regiment were killed. Young Dickson was killed, and Joe Cunningham is wounded. Joe and I may be home in a month or so. Young Dickson was killed beside me, and I took a wee box from him to bring home to his mother. It was an awful battle on Saturday and Sunday, and we gained a great victory. We charged over heaps of dead Germans.’
20/08/2018 Pte. Joseph McIntyre By far the most serious information was received on Friday when Lance Corporal John McIntyre, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, wrote to his mother who resides in Linfield Street as follows:-
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20/08/2018 Pte. Joseph McIntyre From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 29th May 1915: Private John McIntyre (brother of Joseph McIntyre)
20/08/2018 Pte. William Richard Dickson In our issue of 13th May appeared a letter from Private Dickson specially written for the Dungannon News in which he said ‘Men of Dungannon, for God’s sake, come forward at once and enlist otherwise you will soon see the Huns in the Market Square’. It is hoped that these few last words of advice of his to his fellow townsmen will bear fruit. Referring to the local casualties on Sunday at the service held in the Parish Church in connection with Empire Day, Rev F S Morrow, B.A., curate assistant, said that the realities of the war had struck home to Dungannon during the past week. Another member of the congregation had given his life for the Empire and a number of others had been severely wounded. They had suffered for the empire and we are their debtors. To the relatives they extended their heartfelt sorrow, and those who had laid down their lives for their country would ever be held in affectionate remembrance by those left at home. Rev T J McEndoo, M.A., also referred to Private Dickson’s death during the course of his address at the evening service.
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20/08/2018 Pte. William Richard Dickson From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 29th May 1915:
20/08/2018 Pte. William Richard Dickson His brother, Private Joseph McIntyre, has also written his brother that he is at present in East Leeds War Hospital suffering from a wound received in the left ankle. He also reports that Dickson was killed on the Sunday morning and adds that the Inniskillings won a great victory but lost over half the battalion. The man reported killed in the above letter is Private William R Dickson, second son of Mr Richard Dickson, Lisnahull, Dungannon. On hearing of the intimation, Rev T J McEndoo, M.A., visited the house and broke the sorrowful news to the parents. Mr Dickson afterwards wired for information to the War Office and received a reply that the name did not appear on the casualty list furnished. This was some consolation, but it is believed that the information contained in the two letters may be accurate.
20/08/2018 Pte. William Richard Dickson 02068
20/08/2018 Pte. William Richard Dickson From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 29th May 1915:
20/08/2018 Pte. William Richard Dickson ‘You will be surprised to know that I am wounded and at present in Cambridge East War Hospital. Joe (his brother) and I were both wounded on Sunday last at the one time – he in the foot and I in the small of my back. We were lucky, as nearly all the regiment were killed. Young Dickson was killed, and Joe Cunningham is wounded. Joe and I may be home in a month or so. Young Dickson was killed beside me, and I took a wee box from him to bring home to his mother. It was an awful battle on Saturday and Sunday, and we gained a great victory. We charged over heaps of dead Germans.’
20/08/2018 Pte. William Richard Dickson By far the most serious information was received on Friday when Lance Corporal John McIntyre, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, wrote to his mother who resides in Linfield Street as follows:-
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20/08/2018 Pte. William Richard Dickson From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 29th May 1915:
20/08/2018 Sapper William J Lewis The 1911 census record William as age 17 years old, living with the family at Milltown Street, Dungannon. He was 17 years old. He was working as a Preparing Master.
20/08/2018 Sapper William J Lewis The 1901 census lists Willie as age 7, living with the family at house 1 in Cottagequinn, Derrygortrevy, Dungannon.
20/08/2018 Sapper William J Lewis Known family: James Lewis, Jane Lewis, Margaret Lewis (born about 1882, Philadelphia), William Lewis (born about 1884, Philadelphia), Lizzie Lewis (born about 1886), Eddie Lewis (born about 1888), Mary Lewis (born about 1890), Charles Lewis (born about 1892).
20/08/2018 Sapper William J Lewis William was born in Philadelphia, USA about1884. His elder sister Margaret was also born in America. He was one of seven children, six surviving.
20/08/2018 Sapper William J Lewis William J Lewis was the eldest son of James and Jane Lewis. They were married about 1880. Both were born in Tyrone.
17/08/2018 2nd Lt William James Morrison Andrews Mr Arthur Andrews, who was home for the weekend, is the second son of Mr Alexander Andrews, Stuart Place, Dungannon. Educated at Dungannon Royal School, he obtained an appointment in the Belfast Bank after public competition. He served in the company’s offices in Portaferry and Coleraine and also in Bangor. He has answered his country’s call on Easter Tuesday and joined the Cadet Corps of the 17th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, and is at present stationed at Newcastle, County Down.
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17/08/2018 2nd Lt William James Morrison Andrews From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 29th May 1915: (brother of William Andrews)
16/08/2018 Capt Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox (Northland) 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.
16/08/2018 Capt Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox (Northland) 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.
16/08/2018 Capt Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox (Northland) 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.
16/08/2018 Capt Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox (Northland) 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.
16/08/2018 Capt Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox (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.
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16/08/2018 Capt Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox (Northland) From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 15th May 1915: Will of Viscount Northland
15/08/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. Private James Lynn, of the 43rd Battery Royal Field Artillery, writing to friends at Coalisland, under date 3rd May says:- ‘I am sorry at not writing before, but I had plenty to do this last few weeks. I have not heard anything from Willie or Alex this good while as their regiment was attacking, and the other battalion that Robert Cardwell and Abernethy are in were also fighting very hard. I hope they are all safe. It is lovely weather now, and I feel quite a new man after what we had to put up with all winter. I am very much afraid the war is going tom last another winter unless we make a good start now. Remember me to all the boys.’
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15/08/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 15th May 1915:
15/08/2018 Pte. Robert George Lawson On Sunday morning, Mr W J Lawson, Milltown, Dungannon, received intimation from the War Office that his son, Lance Corporal Thomas Lawson, 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, had been wounded on 4th May, while serving with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in the Gallipoli Peninsula. Two other sons of Mr Lawson are serving in the Ulster Division, and on hearing the news of his brother been wounded, the youngest son promptly volunteered on Sunday.
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15/08/2018 Pte. Robert George Lawson From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 15th May 1915: Dungannon Soldiers Wounded (Thomas Lawson (Brother of George Lawson))
15/08/2018 Pte. William Harbinson Lance Corporal Adam Harbinson, 3rd Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, has intimated to his relatives in Beechvalley, Dungannon, that he received a shrapnel wound in the left thigh some three weeks ago in northern France, and is now being treated in the Cheshire County Hospital. Lance Corporal Harbinson has been at the front since 1st January last and has taken part in all the engagements since.
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15/08/2018 Pte. William Harbinson From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 15th May 1915: Dungannon Soldiers Wounded (Adam Harbinson – brother of William Harbinson)
15/08/2018 Capt William Henry David Bennett Sergeant W H Bennett, of the Royal Highlanders of Canada, son of ex-Sergeant Bennett, R.I.C., formerly of Glasslough, County Monaghan, and now residing at Primrose Hill, Dungannon, is in hospital in Cardiff, suffering from a rifle wound received near Ypres on 23rd April, which penetrated the thigh and abdomen. Writing to his father her states:- ‘Our battalion of the Canadians went into the trenches on Wednesday night, 21st April, relieving the 1st Battalion, who had taken them over from a French regiment a few days previously. These trenches were in poor condition, and we at once got to work to get them made a little safer. Eighty yards separated us from the German trenches, and the intervening space was strewn with German dead. At dawn we knocked off, and stood to arms. Throughout the day everything was quiet , but at 5pm we were subject to a terrible bombardment, which continued without cessation for several hours. Fortunately the failed to hit the section of trench held by my platoon, and at 8pm not a man had been wounded; but just when it became dark the evil news filtered through. Groups of Turcos filed through our lines on their way to the rear, and the news soon spread that they had to retire as they had been submitted to heavy shell fire and that sulphuric bombs had been used. We knew we were in for a hot time because at that particular point the line formation resembled a giant horseshoe, so that when the Germans poured through the breach they were right behind us. So fierce was the shell fire that we did not expect reinforcements, and we knew we were expected to hang on and we did it. The news that came through was anything but encouraging. Major Norsworthy, the finest officer in our battalion, had been killed; four of our guns had been captured; sulphuric bombs were been used; and still we hung on – there was nothing else to do. Our left had been swung back a little to prevent the enemy front coming from behind, and at a bout 5am this portion of the line was reinforced by one company of the Buffs, who reached our trenches by a circuitous route. All day on Friday we held on, although the bombardment was much fiercer than on the previous day. Men were being wounded all around, and barbed wire entanglements and parapets were blown up in the air. Hourly, we waited for their infantry to attack; in fact we hoped for it, as fighting at close quarters would have been more in our line. Still the attack was never made, and at nightfall we carried out our wounded. Then we received orders to retire our left flank even further, which necessitated the digging of new trenches, and we commenced work about 11pm. We had finished just as dawn was breaking, and immediately the shelling commenced. Our trench was now at right angles to the German lines – i.e. their first position, but there were many more on our front. We were enfiladed by shell fire, and at 7am our trench was practically blown to pieces. Then what was left of us was ordered to retire on the Second Brigade, and I got shot in the left thigh. So far as I was concerned the fight was over. I was sorry because I would have liked to have seen a good hand to hand fight between their infantry and ours. However that was one thing the Germans had always avoided since the war began. He had a wholesome respect for the British bayonet, and never allows it to come within reach of him if he can possibly avoid it. I expect it is against the principles of his cultured teaching to like such a crude weapon.
15/08/2018 Capt William Henry David Bennett 02061
15/08/2018 Capt William Henry David Bennett From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 15th May 1915: The Canadians Heroism – Graphic description by Dungannon Man
15/08/2018 Lieut Edgar Henry Harper He later transferred to the 8th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment, with whom he was promoted to Lieutenant.
15/08/2018 Lieut Edgar Henry Harper With the outbreak of war, Edgar relinquished his post in Cork to volunteer in the service of his country.
15/08/2018 Lieut Edgar Henry Harper Mr Edgar Harper, eldest son of Mr Henry R Harper, has received and accepted a commission in the 7th Royal Munster Fusiliers.
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15/08/2018 Lieut Edgar Henry Harper From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 8th May 1915:
15/08/2018 Lieut Edgar Henry Harper In May 1915 he obtained a commission with the 7th Royal Munster Fusiliers.
08/08/2018 Capt Charles Newell Trooper Harry Newell, writing to his father, Mr Joseph Newell, Dungannon, states that he has received a parcel of comforts, including a box of cigarettes, from Rev John Watson, Carlingford, and who is now minister of Second Dungannon Presbyterian Church.
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08/08/2018 Capt Charles Newell From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 17th April 1915: Clerical Cigarettes (Harry Newell - brother of Captain Charles Newell)
08/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn Writing to friends at Coalisland, Sergeant William Lynn, 2nd Royal Irish Fusiliers says he came through all recent fighting safely. On Sunday 14th March, he was sitting in the dugout when at 2:30pm, just as if someone had pressed a button, a tremendous fire was opened by the German artillery and rifles. A mound that his company was occupying was blown up, and for about two minutes, the ground for half a mile in extent shook like an earthquake. The Germans then rushed the English and succeeded in capturing the trenches, which were untenable after the explosion. That was in one part of the British lines; but in another part, the infantry made a most determined stand and kept up such a well-directed fire that the enemy’s losses were terrible. The British stood to their post to the last and were forced back by sheer weight of numbers and the Germans rushed the support trenches and penetrated into a small village. They were not allowed to hold their new positions for long, for a counter attack was made at three o’clock in the morning which however was but partly successful. Another counter attack was made about two hours later when the Germans were completely driven back, except from the mound, where they had placed machine guns. The British artillery, however shelled it with great effect and arms and legs could be seen flying in the air. Those of the enemy who attempted to flee from the mound were fairly bowled over by the British Infantry, who were only some 150 yards away. When morning came, the Germans showed greater humanity than they usually did. They allowed the stretcher bearers to go in at very close range and carry away the wounded and did not attempt to fire on them. Sergeant Lynn’s company were relieved that night for a short rest, which they sorely needed. On Easter Sunday the Germans in the trenches pushed up a sheet of paper on which was written ‘Peaceful Easter’, but five minutes afterwards the British artillery sent them some British eggs (shells) which did not agree with them, as three of their trenches were blown in. Sergeant Lynn states that he is in the best of health and spirits, and hopes, with God’s help, to return home safely.
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08/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 17th April 1915: Sergeant Lynn’s Experiences
08/08/2018 Capt Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox (Northland) 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.’
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08/08/2018 Capt Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox (Northland) From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 17th April 1915:
07/08/2018 Capt Hugh Hogg Beatty Second Lieutenant H H Beatty, Dungannon, has been attached to the 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, and will be stationed at Newtownards.
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07/08/2018 Capt Hugh Hogg Beatty From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 17th April 1915:
07/08/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. Sergeant James Lynn, 43rd Battery, Royal Field Artillery, also writes to Coalisland that his brother, Willie Lynn, and Alex Procter, are ten miles from him, but they are in the right place for plenty of fighting. There had been lots of fighting, and as the weather was clearing up, much more might be expected. There were a great number of his Orange brethren there from all parts of Ulster, and he could say that they were the boys that feared no noise.
07/08/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. Private William Lynn also wrote mentioning they had taken part in warding off a great attack by the Germans on Sunday 14th March. It lasted from the afternoon until the following morning, and at times he thought it was all over with them, but he and Proctor had come safely through. It was a terrible position lying in the trenches with shells bursting around them and bullets whistling past and seeing their comrades fall.
07/08/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. Private Alexander Proctor, 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, writing to his father, Mr Joseph Proctor, Coalisland, says that he and Willie Lynn are of the same company, are quite well, and go to the trenches together. He received a number of letters from Coalisland friends and a parcel of socks, shirts and other comforts from Miss Adams, Torrent Hill, and the members of the sewing class. The parcel came at the right time. His thoughts had been with them on the night of the annual ball in Coalisland, and he had been very glad to know they had a good time. But they would have greater festivities when, with God’s help, they would all arrive safe at home.
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07/08/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 10th April 1915: Coalisland Chums in the Trenches
07/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn Sergeant James Lynn, 43rd Battery, Royal Field Artillery, also writes to Coalisland that his brother, Willie Lynn, and Alex Procter, are ten miles from him, but they are in the right place for plenty of fighting. There had been lots of fighting, and as the weather was clearing up, much more might be expected. There were a great number of his Orange brethren there from all parts of Ulster, and he could say that they were the boys that feared no noise.
07/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn Private William Lynn also wrote mentioning they had taken part in warding off a great attack by the Germans on Sunday 14th March. It lasted from the afternoon until the following morning, and at times he thought it was all over with them, but he and Proctor had come safely through. It was a terrible position lying in the trenches with shells bursting around them and bullets whistling past and seeing their comrades fall.
07/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn Private Alexander Proctor, 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, writing to his father, Mr Joseph Proctor, Coalisland, says that he and Willie Lynn are of the same company, are quite well, and go to the trenches together. He received a number of letters from Coalisland friends and a parcel of socks, shirts and other comforts from Miss Adams, Torrent Hill, and the members of the sewing class. The parcel came at the right time. His thoughts had been with them on the night of the annual ball in Coalisland, and he had been very glad to know they had a good time. But they would have greater festivities when, with God’s help, they would all arrive safe at home.
07/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn 02055
07/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 10th April 1915: Coalisland Chums in the Trenches
06/08/2018 Reg SM Joy Davis Trooper James Davis, of the North Irish Horse, writing to his father, Mr James Davis, Barrack Street, Dungannon, says:- “You evidently have not much startling news about your town. As is to be expected all eyes are on the war. I suppose Lord Northland’s death was more than most people bargained for. You mentioned only three casualties for the town so far. Don’t you think this is a very insignificant roll of war honour for Dungannon. Of course in other respects it will be a great consolation to some, but then the worst is yet to come, and those of our number whom may be intended for the same glorious death as Lord Northland were willing to go out to win their country’s honour and a soldier’s grave; or if fate otherwise wills it, we picture the day when we may return to enjoy with our friends at home the peace that must ensue. Personally I am proud to be here, come what may, through the trials and burdens of this dreadful war man was never made to bear, and to those at home are well-nigh incredible, and with an army following on the tracks of a departed foe, and the district where remains (to say nothing of the slaughtered man and beast) all manner of refuse, and what is worse, the seed and nourishment of diseases deposited by an ill-conditioned army. Such is the enemy we will have to face; far worse than the myriads of Germans. The odds against our troops, no doubt, are many, but wisdom on the part of our generals has delayed operations as far as they were concerned for these and other reasons, but great things may in another little while be expected of Britishers, and for a considerable time, and as far as we on the spot can venture to say, there is no slight evidence of the speedy termination of hostilities, and the preparations and arrangements being carried out tend in a very different direction. Suffice to say seeing we are unable to comment further on matters of direct concern with our enemies. At the same time none of us are over desirous for the annihilation of a people that have (where the truth is told) up till now made, and at present evidently intend to continue, a stubborn and determined fight, and in many cases when we realise that is, as reported, German boys that we are grappling with, we have certainly some little concession to make though they may abuse certain privileges as prisoners occasionally make a show of the diehard nature, being prompted to this by something national. The thought just reminds me of one little incident which happened lately and of which I am personally aware. In the vicinity of La Bassee it happened that about two dozen of our chaps were taken prisoner by the Germans, and while the fight was nearing an end, went off with the enemy. But not being the chief concern of the moment, they gained an opportunity of their captors for a daring escape, and in winding their way towards the British outposts, turned the scale by making secure a hand of more than half their own number of Germans, and what were they but fourteen German boys, the oldest twenty-four years and the others from thirteen to twenty-one years. They were, of course, at once put under escort and despatched, but not before the twenty-four year old made a violent attempt at the life of the officer in charge, for which the officer was too well on alert for such emergencies and let the young diehard instantly have the ample reward of three revolver bullets. From one of his remaining comrades I received a German penny, which I enclose as a souvenir. The number of prisoners taken on both sides since the declaration of war must be very great. Some people talk of bring hostilities to a sudden termination by blocking Germany and starving the inhabitants, but they don’t make mention of the fate of our countrymen who are prisoners of war and at present do not at all fare well, and must needs be the first to suffer or die of starvation. Every man available today at home is required to gain the victory, and without that we will be sorely at a disadvantage to ourselves and unfit for the gigantic job we have on our hands. As it is, we have trainloads coming in daily of reinforcements of all branches of the Army, and we are quite prepared for the coming big push. We were on service at a large canal bridge and I was surprised to see Paddy McCoey, the mason who worked with Robert Patton, in the Engineers. He had a black beard and I hardly recognised him, and it was the same on the other side for he didn’t recognise me until some of the North Irish Horse pointed me out. We were glad to meet each other, and I need hardly tell you the topic wasn’t Home Rule for Ireland, but rather we would be ruled under Germany, or under the sod. I may tell the same bridge we talked on was blown up by the Germans and part of the town and church brought to the ground. A few days later after I met McCoey we perceived the German dead floating down the canal and the young French stoning the corpses. The state and condition of the people and country brought about by the havoc and turmoil is no doubt crude. We have no chaplain attached to the North Irish Horse, seeing we are divided here and there working with the different Army Divisions, but when we see one for an hour or less, he is certainly admired. One chap of ours from Portadown named Walker was specially written for by his father and rector to the commanding officer and got home, but luckily or unluckily was delayed when commencing his journey home and before that same day had passed, his father had breathed his last. He remained, of course, to bury him and immediately after the funeral rejoined his regiment, and knowing his case fetched the death certificate with him here, but nevertheless was severely punished. Though it may seem strange, it is quite true. He has a brother at the Dungannon Royal School. You see it is very hard getting leave out here, and when you do get it, it is obtained at a price. Considering our present state of health, I have great pleasure in informing (though I am not caring to boast for fear) I am in the very best health and strength. I hope all my brothers and sisters, far and near, are quite well, also my brothers-in-law, and other relations, leaving out nobody. Kindly convey my sincere regards and respect to all, not forgetting the rector and curate. I expect there is no change in that yet, also Mr Stewart if you chance upon him. We have a new troop officer lately sent out from officer to replace Lord Jocelyn, son of Lord Roden, invalided home, a Lieutenant Armstrong, I believe the Dean of Armagh’s son. I intend to send you my Queen Mary’s and Princess Mary’s Xmas presents just as you like to dispose of them if I can get them sent off as I have no way of keeping them out here. There is an aeroplane passing overhead just now. They are as frequent as motor cars at home, and are playing a good share in war.
06/08/2018 Reg SM Joy Davis 02054
06/08/2018 Reg SM Joy Davis From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 3rd April 1915: Trooper Davis at the Front - James Davis (brother of Joy Davis)
06/08/2018 Unknown Hamilton Hugh Burrowes Mr Jack Burrowes, Thomas Street, Dungannon, who arrived home on a visit at the outbreak of the war and recently returned to South Africa, has volunteered in the Imperial Light Horse, and has been despatched with the Expeditionary Force to German South-West Africa. His brother Hamilton H Burrowes, had previously volunteered, and is in German South-West Africa as sergeant dispenser to the 8th Section South African Veterinary Corps (Defence Department).
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06/08/2018 Unknown Hamilton Hugh Burrowes From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 3rd April 1915: Dungannon Men Join Botha's Army
06/08/2018 Corp John Jack Burrowes Mr Jack Burrowes, Thomas Street, Dungannon, who arrived home on a visit at the outbreak of the war and recently returned to South Africa, has volunteered in the Imperial Light Horse, and has been despatched with the Expeditionary Force to German South-West Africa. His brother Hamilton H Burrowes, had previously volunteered, and is in German South-West Africa as sergeant dispenser to the 8th Section South African Veterinary Corps (Defence Department).
06/08/2018 Corp John Jack Burrowes 02053
06/08/2018 Corp John Jack Burrowes From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 3rd April 1915: Dungannon Men Join Botha’s Army
03/08/2018 Capt Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox (Northland) Northland House lay on the east side of Dungannon. Northland House is now part of the Royal School Dungannon.
01/08/2018 Pte. John Lynn ‘Sir, I have the honour to inform you that the King has heard with much interest that you have at the present moment four sons in the army. I am commanded to express to you the King’s congratulations, and to assure you that’s His Majesty much appreciates the spirit of patriotism which prompted this example, in one family, of loyalty and devotion to their Sovereign and Empire. I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient servant, T M Ponsonby, Keeper of the Privy Purse.’
01/08/2018 Pte. John Lynn Mr James Lynn, Mousetown, Coalisland, whose four sons, Bob, James, Willie and John are now at the front, has received the following letter from Buckingham Palace. 18th March 1915.
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01/08/2018 Pte. John Lynn From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 27th March 1915: Letter from the King
01/08/2018 Driver Robert Lynn ‘Sir, I have the honour to inform you that the King has heard with much interest that you have at the present moment four sons in the army. I am commanded to express to you the King’s congratulations, and to assure you that’s His Majesty much appreciates the spirit of patriotism which prompted this example, in one family, of loyalty and devotion to their Sovereign and Empire. I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient servant, T M Ponsonby, Keeper of the Privy Purse.’
01/08/2018 Driver Robert Lynn Mr James Lynn, Mousetown, Coalisland, whose four sons, Bob, James, Willie and John are now at the front, has received the following letter from Buckingham Palace. 18th March 1915.
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01/08/2018 Driver Robert Lynn From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 27th March 1915: Letter from the King
01/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn ‘Sir, I have the honour to inform you that the King has heard with much interest that you have at the present moment four sons in the army. I am commanded to express to you the King’s congratulations, and to assure you that’s His Majesty much appreciates the spirit of patriotism which prompted this example, in one family, of loyalty and devotion to their Sovereign and Empire. I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient servant, T M Ponsonby, Keeper of the Privy Purse.’
01/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn Mr James Lynn, Mousetown, Coalisland, whose four sons, Bob, James, Willie and John are now at the front, has received the following letter from Buckingham Palace. 18th March 1915.
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01/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 27th March 1915: Letter from the King
01/08/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. ‘Sir, I have the honour to inform you that the King has heard with much interest that you have at the present moment four sons in the army. I am commanded to express to you the King’s congratulations, and to assure you that’s His Majesty much appreciates the spirit of patriotism which prompted this example, in one family, of loyalty and devotion to their Sovereign and Empire. I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient servant, T M Ponsonby, Keeper of the Privy Purse.’
01/08/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. Mr James Lynn, Mousetown, Coalisland, whose four sons, Bob, James, Willie and John are now at the front, has received the following letter from Buckingham Palace. 18th March 1915.
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01/08/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 27th March 1915: Letter from the King
01/08/2018 Lieut Alfred Middleton Blackwood Rose-Cleland Mr Alfred M Rose-Cleland, son of Mr Henry S Rose-Cleland, of Bedford House, Moy has received a commission in the 4th Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers. He was educated at the Royal School, Dungannon, and at St Columba’s College, Rathfarnham, County Dublin. At the commencement of the war Lieutenant Cleland, who was in the employment of the well-known firm of McLaughlin and Harvey, contractors and builders, Belfast, was working at Rocking, near Braintree in Essex, but came home and enlisted in the Tyrone (Service) Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He served some months at Finner Camp, and was a lance corporal when gazetted as second lieutenant. Lieutenant Cleland comes of a fighting Scottish race of great antiquity. Their coat of arms, tradition states, was acquired by their being hereditary fortesters to the ancient Earls of Douglas. One of his ancestors, James Cleland, was cousin of the famous Sir William Wallace, the hero of Scotland, and fought by his side in most of his exploits against the English, and particularly in the celebrated sea fight when Thomas de Longville, commonly called the Red Rover, was taken prisoner. Indeed, Blind Harry, in his history of Wallace, refers to him as Wallace’s cousin, and says that he ‘bade with hym in mony perelowes place.’ His grandson, Alexander Cleland, fought at Flodden Field in defence of James IV, of Scotland, and there is a charter extant, dated 1449, to which is appended his seal on which the family coat of arms, a hare with a hunting horn about its neck, appears. Another ancestor, William Cleland, defeated Claverhouse at Drumclog, and was afterwards Lieutenant Colonel of the First Regiment of the Cameronians, which was embodied in support of the Covenant. He fell while leading his regiment at Drumkeld. The Irish branch of the family settled in Bangor, County Down in the year 1645, and produced many notable public men. Lieutenant Cleland’s great grandfather, who had an adventurous career both on sea and land, was killed at the early age of 28 years while leading his company at the storming of Attor in India in June 1768. Lieutenant Cleland’s grandfather, the late Mr James Downett Rose-Cleland, of Rath Gael House, Bangor, County Down, was a celebrated public man, having been a magistrate and deputy lieutenant for the county. He commanded the Newtownards Yeoman Infantry at the Battle of Saintfield on 9th June 1798, and in the August following, raised the Rath Gael Yeoman Infantry, receiving repeated thanks from the government for his services. While filling the office of High Sheriff for County Down in 1805, he presided at the historic election for that county between Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh (who brought about the union between Great Britain and Ireland) and Colonel John Meade, which lasted twenty one days. The election had been caused by Lord Castlereagh being appointed Secretary of State for the Colonies and War Department in Mr Pitt’s government, but principally through the Downshire family influence, Lord Castlereagh most unexpectedly found himself at the bottom of the poll, and had to return to London and accept a seat for one of the ‘pocket boroughs’ of the government. The result of the poll created a profound sensation throughout the three kingdoms, and dealt a vital blow to Mr Pitt’s prestige. Mr James Cleland was a descendant of the Berkshire family of Rose, and took the additional surname Cleland under the will of his distant relative Patrick Cleland, of Ballymagee, Bangor. He was born on 24th March 1767, and lived to a very ripe old age. His eldest son died on 20th November 1794, an infant, and his 9th son is the present genial Mr H S Rose-Cleland, of Bedford House, Moy. the latter often surprises new acquaintances by informing them that his eldest brother died 121 years ago, and that his father was born 148 years ago.
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01/08/2018 Lieut Alfred Middleton Blackwood Rose-Cleland From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th March 1915:
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