Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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7802   Private John McKnight
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 13/09/2021
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 01/01/1887
Died: 16/05/1915 (Killed in Action)
Age: 28
Summary      
John McKnight was the eldest son of Thomas and Margaret McKnight. He was born on 1st January 1887 in Cooneen, Co. Fermanagh. He was the second of four children. They were a farming family from Derrynavogy, which straddles the Fermanagh / Tyrone county boundary. Private John McKnight was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action in France at the Battle of Festubert on 16th May 1915.
Further Information
John McKnight was the eldest son of Thomas and Margaret McKnight. Thomas McKnight and Margaret Girven were married on 22nd November 1883 in the district of Fermanagh.
John McKnight was born on 1st January 1887 in Cooneen, Co. Fermanagh. He was the second of four children, all born in the Brookeborough area.
Family: Thomas McKnight, Margaret McKnight, Anne McKnight (born 10th October 1884), John McKnight (born 1st January 1887), Thomas McKnight (born 3rd July 1889), William McKnight (born 8th May 1891).
The 1901 census does not list John as living with the family at house 5 in Derrynavogy, Corralongford, County Fermanagh. He would have been around 12 years old. They were a farming family. They were all born in County Fermanagh.
The townland of Derrynavogy straddles the Fermanagh Tyrone county boundary.
The 1911 census does not list John as living with the family at house 7 in Derrynavogy, Corralongford, County Fermanagh.. They remained a farming family. The census showed his parents had four children, all of which were still living.
The 1911 census lists a John Knight as age 21, a farm servant at house with the Hunter
John McKnight enlisted with the 2nd Inniskillings before the war in Enniskillen. He gave his address as Derrynavogy.
Medal card
Private McKnight went to France on 23rd August 1914. Three days later, the battalion were fighting the Battle of Le Cateau.
On the night of 15th May 1915, the battalion took part in a massive attack on the enemy trenches at Festubert. The attack was partially successful, but the men were unable to consolidate their gains and by the evening of 16th May, they were ordered to withdraw. There were more than 650 casualties of the battle.
Private John McKnight was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action at the Battle of Festubert in France on 16th May 1915.
Private John McKnight has no known grave and is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial near Bethune in France.
Private McKnight is commemorated locally on the WWI Roll of Honour in Fivemiletown Methodist Church and also on Fivemiletown War Memorial.
Private John McKnight is also commemorated on Enniskillen War Memorial, along with his brother.
Private John McKnight is listed on page 145 on the Fermanagh War Dead book and on page 12 of the Fivemiletown War Dead book.
The CWGC record Private John McKnight Son of Thomas and Margaret McKnight, of Dernavogy, Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone.
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Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Derrynavoggy, Corrylongford Fivemiletown Census listing in Derrynavoggy, Corrylongford 54.350554 -7.325306
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists a John Knight Lists John as age 21 a farm servant at house 13 in Ballyreagh, Ballyreagh, Fermanagh
2 1901 Census lists McKnight family Does not list John as living with the family at house 5 in Derrynavoggy, Corrylongford, Fermanagh
3 1911 Census lists McKnight family Does not list John as living with the family at house 7 in Derrynavogy, Corralongford, Fermanagh
4 Brother - Private William McKnight Brother of Private John McKnight
5 FindAGrave.com Poor photo of Private John McKnight's inscription
6 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
7 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Private John McKnight's inscription can be purchased here
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2021