Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
ff
71655   Private John James Durneen
Save as PDF
Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 28/02/2021
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: "A" Squadron, North Irish Horse (British Army)
Died: 26/03/1918 (Killed in Action)
Age: 22
Summary      
John James Durneen was the son of James and Margaret Eleanor Durneen. He was born about 1997 in Clogher. John James worked for Bullock & Co, a draper in Fintona, County Tyrone. He then moved on to work for Mulholland Bros., Cookstown. John enlisted in Antrim about July 1916. Private John James Durneen joined the 5th Army Cyclist Corps the North Irish Horse Regiment 'A' Squadron. Private John James Durneen was killed in action on Tuesday 26 March 1918 near Rubempre He was returning from special reconnaissance work and was instantly killed by a stray shell.
Further Information
John James Durneen was the son of James and Margaret Eleanor Durneen. James Durneen and Margaret Johnston were married on 3rd September 1895 in the district of Dungannon.
John Durneen was born about 1997 in Clogher. He was one of seven children, five surviving. Partly because of the variation of the spelling of Durneen, it has not been possible to find the birth record in the GRONI records.
The 1901 census records only the initials of the children. John James is 4. His father was a farmer. The family were living in Clogher, County Tyrone.
Clogher Main Street
Known family: James Durneen, Margaret Eleanor Durneen, W D Johnston (born about 1891), John James Durneen (born about 1897), Margaret? Eveline Durneen (born 15th August 1898?), Martha Kathleen Durneen (born 26th June 1900), Thomas Edward Durneen (born 17th October 1901).
The 1911 census indicates John James no longer lived with the family. 14 year old John James was living in Fintona, Tyrone and working as an apprentice draper.
John James worked for Bullock & Co, a draper in Fintona, County Tyrone,
John James then moved on to work for Mulholland Bros., Cookstown.
John enlisted in Antrim about July 1916.
Medal card
Private John James Durneen joined the 5th Army Cyclist Corps the North Irish Horse Regiment 'A' Squadron.
Private John James Durneen was killed in action on Tuesday 26 March 1918 near Rubempre when the British 5th Army was driven back across the former Somme battlefields during the German Kaiserschlacht offensive (called Operation Michael). He was 22.
In a letter to his father, his captain explained that Private John James Durneen was returning from special reconnaissance work and was instantly killed by a stray shell. He had recently been given the responsible position of corps guide.
From the Tyrone Courier and Dungannon News dated Thursday 11 April 1918:
Mr James Durnan of Clogher has received official intimation that his son, Private Jphn James Durnan, North Irish Horse (N.I.H), was killed in action on 26th March 1918. His Captain writing to the family says that as the deceased was returning from special reconnaissance work and was instantly killed by a stray shell. His death was a great loss he added, to the regiment as he was always bright and cheerful and done extremely well and lately was given a most responsible position that of corps guide. The deceased was aged 22 and was formerly in business with Bullock & Co, Draper, Fintona, and later in Mulholland Bros., Cookstown. He was a year and nine months in the army.
Private John James Durneen is buried in Toutencourt Communal Cemetery in France. His inscription reads: FOR EVER WITH THE LORD.
John James Durneen
Private John James Durneen is commemorated locally on Clogher War Memorial and on the WWI tablet in St Macartan's Cathedral in Clogher.
The CWGC record Private John James Durneen as the son of James Durneen and M E Durneen of Clogher, County Tyrone, Ireland.
Read more
Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Clogher Town Clogher Census listing in Clogher Town 54.410289 -7.170138
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
03/09/1895 M Johnston Margaret Parent M/1895/T1/1412/4/183
03/09/1895 M Durneen James Parent M/1895/T1/1412/4/183
13/08/1898 B Durneen Margaret Sibling U/1898/107/1026/11/467 McCrea?
26/06/1900 B Durneen Martha Sibling U/1900/107/1026/12/147 Durnian
17/10/1901 B Durneen Edward Sibling U/1901/107/1026/12/264
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Durneen family Lists "J J" as age 4 at house 37 in Clogher, Tyrone
2 1911 Census John Durneen Lists John, a drapers' apprentice, as age 14 at house 77 in Main Street, Fintona
3 1911 Census lists Durneen family Does not list John as living with the family at house 29 in Clogher, Tyrone
4 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
5 North Irish Horse Photo of John James Durneen's gravestone
6 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Private John James Durneen's gravestone can be purchased here
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2021