Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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11947   Private Richard McCourt
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 27/08/2021
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 5th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 17/08/1890
Died: 15/08/1915 (Killed in Action)
Age: 25
Summary      
Richard James McCourt was the son of James and Eliza McCourt. He was born on 17th August 1890 in the Benburb area, one of at least four children. It seems that by 1893, the family had moved to Belfast. By 1911 he was a house painter. He married in June 1914, but it seems his wife died just a few months later. Private Richard McCourt arrived in the Balkans with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers on 10th July 1915. He was killed in action at Gallipoli on 15th August 1915.
Further Information
Richard James McCourt was the son of James and Eliza McCourt. James McCourt and Elizabeth Conlan were married on 12th June 1877 in the district of Dungannon.
Richard McCourt was born on 17th August 1890 in the Benburb area. He was one of at least four children.
It seems that by 1893, the family had moved to Belfast.
Known family: James McCourt, Eliza McCourt, Margaret McCourt (born 6th May 1878, Benburb), Mary McCourt (born 4th September 1879, Benburb), Richard James McCourt (born 17th August 1890, Benburb), Thomas John McCourt (born 25th September 1893, Belfast).
The 1911 census lists Richard James as age 21 living with the family in Charleville Street, Upper, Shankill, Antrim. Richard worked as a house painter. His mother was a widow.
1914
Richard McCourt and Charlotte Wylie were married on 24th June 1914 in Belfast.
There is a GRONI reference to the death of a Charlotte McCourt, age 22, just a few months later on 13th November 1914 in Belfast.
Richard McCourt enlisted in Belfast.
1915
Medal card
Private Richard McCourt arrived in the Balkans with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers on 10th July 1915.
Private Richard McCourt was serving with ‘C’ Company, 5th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in Gallipoli when he was killed in action on 15th August 1915.
Last Will and Testament
As no will was found, there were some problems in sorting out beneficiaries.
Last Will and Testament - Answer 11th April 1917:
“Sir, as far I remember, I sent you the exact words used by my deceased brother Private Richard McCourt and I really cannot explain to you any further as both myself and my mother has already told you the truth. We cannot explain any plainer to you only what we have already done These were the exact words used by him in the presence of my mother, my youngest brother and myself. All that was present on 16th day of November 1914 at 25 Upper Charleville Street, Belfast, that in case anything should happen to him, either at home or abroad, that his mother was entitled to anything belonging to him. If anything should happen to her that I, his eldest sister and married sister and younger and only brother was to have all divided between us three. This was his exact words used after his wife's death as no family was left. I am truthfully yours. Margaret McCourt, 25 Upper Charleville Street, Belfast.“
Memorials
Private Richard McCourt has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, on the tip of the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey.
At the Somme Heritage Centre near Newtownards, County Down, there is a plaque from the Agnes Street Presbyterian Church, Shankill. Private Richard McCourt is one of the soldiers listed.
The CWGC record Private McCourt as the son of Mrs Eliza McCourt of 25 Upper Charleville Street, Belfast.
The CWGC also record Private McCourt as the husband of the late Charlotte McCourt.
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References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1911 Census lists McCourt family Lists Richard James as age 21 living with the family in Charleville Street, Upper, Shankill, Antrim
2 Agnes Street Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour Lists Richard McCourt
3 Ireland Memorial Record Lists Richard McCourt, Dungannon
4 MilitaryImages.net Photo of Agnes Street Presbyterian Church WWI Memorial
5 National Archives of Ireland Last Will and Testament of Richard McCourt
6 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2021