Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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14593   Private Robert Donaldson
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 18/02/2021
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 9th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 06/01/1894
Died: 06/04/1915 (Home)
Age: 21
Summary      
Robert Donaldson was the son of John and Sarah Ann Donaldson. He was born on 6th January 1894 in Dromore, Clogher. He was the second youngest of six children. the family lived in Dromore Middle, near Clogher. His father was a builder and farmer. Robert Donaldson enlisted at Finner Camp, County Donegal. Private Robert Donaldson was serving with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he died of influenza and scarlatina during Easter furlough at his home at Dromore Middle, Clogher on Tuesday 6th April 1915.
Further Information
Robert Donaldson was the son of John and Sarah Ann Donaldson. John Donaldson and Sarah Blakeley were married on 29th April 1878 in the district of Dungannon. Sarahís maiden name was variously spelt Bleakley, Blakely and Blackley.
Robert Donaldson was born on 6th January 1894 in Dromore, Clogher. He was the second youngest of six children, but his younger brother died in 1908, aged 12. All were born in the Clogher area.
Family: John Donaldson, Sarah Ann Donaldson, John Donaldson (born 9th December 1879), William Donaldson (born 21st January 1883), James Donaldson (born 25th May 1886), Sarah A Donaldson (born 17th July 1891), Robert Donaldson (born 6th January 1894), Thomas David Donaldson (born 8th June 1896, died 9th September 1908, age 12).
The 1901 census ists Robert as age 6, living with the family at house 3 in Dromore Middle, Killyfaddy, Tyrone. His father was a builder and farmer.
Clogher Main Street
The 1911 census records Robert as a 17 year old student, still with the family in Clogher. His father was a contractor, builder and farmer.
Robert was a member of Fivemiletown Link and Chain R.B.P. No 242.
Robert Donaldson enlisted at Finner Camp, County Donegal.
No medal card has been found, suggesting that Private Robert Donaldson did not get to France.
Private Robert Donaldson was serving with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he died of influenza and scarlatina during Easter furlough at his home at Dromore Middle, Clogher on Tuesday 6th April 1915, age 21.
The funeral took place on 7th April at Fivemiletown Parish Church. It was exceptionally large, consisting of fifty cars and vehicles. The chief mourners were the deceasedís father John and brothers Jim John and Willie.
From the Tyrone Constitution dated 16th April 1915:
The funeral took place on 7th April at Fivemiletown Parish Church of Private Robert Donaldson, 9th Service Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who died during Easter furlough at his home at Dromore Middle, Clogher. The funeral was exceptionally large, consisting of fifty cars and vehicles, while the members of Fivemiletown Link and Chain R.B.P. No 242, of whom the deceased was a member, attended in regalia. Lislane L.O.L. No. 512 sent a wreath. The chief mourners were the deceasedís father John and brothers Jim John and Willie. Rev T Dagg and Rev T Stothers officiated.
Private Robert Donaldson was buried in Fivemiletown Church of Ireland Churchyard. His inscription reads: FOR EVER WITH THE LORD
Robert Donaldson's gravestone
Private Robert Donaldson is commemorated on Fivemiletown War Memorial and on Clogher War Memorial.
Private Robert Donaldson is listed on page 10 of the Fivemiletown book, from which most of these details come from. Many thanks to Mark Byers for the information.
The CWGC record Private Robert Donaldson as the son of John and Sarah A Donaldson of Dromore, Middle, Clogher.
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Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Dromore Middle, Killyfaddy Clogher Census listing in Dromore Middle, Killyfaddy 54.44529 -7.25275
GRONI References
TYPE - B:Birth M:Marriage D:Death | GRONI | SIBLING: brother or sister | NOTES: spelling inconsistencies, etc.
Date Type Surname First name Relationship GRONI Ref Notes
29/04/1878 M Blakeley Sarah Parent M/1878/T1/1422/2/78 Bleakley
29/04/1878 M Donaldson John Parent M/1878/T1/1422/2/78
09/12/1879 B Donaldson John Sibling U/1879/107/1026/7/223
25/05/1886 B Donaldson James Sibling U/1886/111/1026/6/474 Blakely
17/07/1891 B Donaldson Sarah Sibling U/1891/107/1026/10/185
21/01/1893 B Donaldson William Sibling U/1883/107/1026/8/172
06/01/1894 B Donaldson Robert Casualty U/1894/107/1026/10/482 Blakely
08/06/1896 B Donaldson David Sibling U/1896/107/1026/11/238 Blakely
09/09/1908 D Donaldson Thomas Sibling D/1908/107/1026/12/484 died age 12, David
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Donaldson family Lists Robert as age 6 at house 3 in Dromore Middle, Killyfaddy, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists Donaldson family Lists Robert as age 17 at house 3 in Dromore Middle, Killyfaddy, Tyrone
3 FindAGrave.com Photo of Private Robert Donaldson's gravestone
4 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Private Robert Donaldson's gravestone can be purchased here
5 War-related Graves in Tyrone Cause of Death: Died of Influenza and Scarlatina at home
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2023