Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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12122   Private John Whitley
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 04/06/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Died: 01/07/1915 (Died of Wounds)
Age: 17
Summary      
John Whitley was the son of Eugene and Elizabeth Whitley nee Menagh. John was born in Moy, County Tyrone about 1897. The family lived Moy. Lizzie worked as a seamstress and Eugene as courthouse caretaker. John Whitley enlisted in Dungannon. Private John Whitley was serving with the 1st Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he died of wounds in England on 1st July 1915, age 18. Private John Whitley is buried in the west part of Over Peover (St. Lawrence) Churchyard, Knutsford, Cheshire. There was a Red Cross auxiliary hospital in Over Peover in WW1, so it is presumed John Whitley was wounded or taken ill at Gallipoli or on the way there, was repatriated back to hospital in Cheshire where he then died.
Further Information
John Whitley was the son of Eugene and Elizabeth Whitley nee Menagh. John was born in Moy, County Tyrone about 1897.
Eugene married Elizabeth (Menagh) at Moy Presbyterian Church on 14/2/1896.
The 1901 Census lists John as 3 years old. His mother and her family are living with her parents at house 2, Chapel Street, Moy. Lizzie was married and working as a seamstress.
The 1910 Ulster Towns directory lists Eugene Whitley as the caretaker of the Courthouse.
The 1911 Census shows John and his brother William Dixon to still be living with his grandparents at house 2 in Chapel Street, Moy. He was 13 years old and still at school. His father and mother and some of the family were living in the Square in the Moy.
Family: Eugene Whitley, Elizabeth Whitley, Mary Whitley (born about 1897), Thomas Stevens Whitley (born about 1900), William Dixon Whitley (born about 1907), Louis Whitley (born about 1909).
John Whitley volunteered for service in Dungannon in August 1914. Private Whitley left Rugby with the 1st Battalion in March 1915.
Medal card
Medal card
Private Whitley was seriously wounded at the Dardanelles operations in May-June 1915, having been shot through the left jaw, the bullet coming out the right side of his neck
Private John Whitley (12122) was serving with the 1st Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he died of wounds in England on 1st July 1915, age 18.
From the Tyrone Courier, dated 24th June 1915:
Mr Eugene Whitley, courthouse keeper, Moy, has received a letter from the chaplain of the Military Hospital Alexandria notifying that his son, Private John Whitley, 1st Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers, has been seriously wounded at the Dardanelles operations, having been shot through the left jaw, the bullet coming out the right side of his neck. Private Whitley volunteered for service in August last, and is barely 17 years of age.
From the Tyrone Courier, dated 1st July 1915:
Mrs Whitley, who resides at the Courthouse, Moy, has been informed that her son, Private John Whitley (12122) 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was wounded in action on 27th ult. at the Dardanelles, and is now on his way to hospital in England. Whitley enlisted at the outbreak of war, and left Rugby with the 1st Battalion last March.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 2nd July 1915:
Mr Eugene Whitley, courthouse-keeper, Moy, has received intimation that his son, Private John Whitley, 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, has died in hospital in England from wounds received during the operations at the Dardanelles. Private Whitley received a shrapnel wound in the head, the bullet entering the cheek and emerging through the neck.
Private John Whitley is buried in the west part of Over Peover (St. Lawrence) Churchyard, Knutsford, Cheshire
From the Tyrone Courier, dated 8th July 1915: Moy Man Dies of Wounds
Private John Whitley, 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who as previously reported was wounded on May 22 at the Dardanelles, and was removed from Malta to Knutsford hospital, has succumbed to his injuries, the sad event taking place on Thursday. Deceased, who was a native of Moy, enlisted when war wad declared. His parents. who reside at the Courthouse, Moy crossed to Knutsford for the funeral, which took place on Saturday.
There was a Red Cross auxiliary hospital in Over Peover in WW1, so it is presumed John Whitley was wounded or taken ill at Gallipoli or on the way there, was repatriated back to hospital in Cheshire where he then died.
“His gravestone is particularly poignant standing alone in the churchyard - neither on the battlefield with his comrades, nor back at home with his own folk. Happily the good people of Peover look after it well, so he's been made to feel at home, and it's a beautiful country churchyard.”
The CWGC records John Whitley as the son of Eugene and Elizabeth Whitley, of Moy, Co. Tyrone.
Read more
Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Chapel Street (No 2) Moy Census listing in Chapel Street 54.447062 -6.69396
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Whitley family Lists John as age 3 living with the family at house 2 in Chapel St, Moy, Tyrone
2 1910 Ulster Towns Directory - Moy Whitley, Eugene, caretaker Courthouse
3 1911 Census lists John Whitley Lists John as age 13 living with his grandparents at house 2 in Chapel St, Moy, Tyrone
4 1911 Census lists Whitley family Does not list John as living with the family at house 9 in The Square, Moy, Tyrone
5 Forum discussion (GWF) Discussion on why John Whitley is buried in Cheshire.
6 Forum discussion (GWF) Discussion on the different Moy Whitleys
7 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here - Whittley
8 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
9 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of John Whitley's headstone can be purchased here.
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2021