Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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30271   Private William Richard McKnight
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 18/09/2021
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Canterbury Regiment (New Zealand Army)
Date Of Birth: 08/05/1891
Died: 05/10/1918 (Killed in Action)
Age: 27
Summary      
William Richard McKnight was the son of Thomas and Margaret McKnight. He was born on 8th May 1891 in Fivemiletown. They were a farming family from Derrynavogy, which straddles the Fermanagh – Tyrone county boundary. William McKnight emigrated to New Zealand. Prior to enlisting, William worked as an iron monger for a Mr J Darragh in Fielding, New Zealand. Private McKnight was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Canterbury Regiment when he was killed in action in Le Cateau, France on 5th October 1918.
Further Information
William Richard McKnight was the son of Thomas and Margaret McKnight. Thomas McKnight and Margaret Girven were married on 22nd November 1883 in the district of Fermanagh.
William was born on 8th May 1891 in Fivemiletown, County Tyrone.
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 lists William as age 9, living with the family at house 5 in Derrynavogy, Corralongford, County Fermanagh. 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 William 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.
William McKnight emigrated to New Zealand.
Prior to enlisting, William worked as an iron monger for a Mr J Darragh in Fielding, New Zealand.
William Richard McKnight enlisted on 22nd August 1916 in Canterbury. He gave his next of kin as his father, Mr T McKnight of Fivemiletown.
Private McKnight embarked from Wellington, New Zealand on the 30th December 1916 with the 14th Reinforcements 2nd Battalion, (F Company) of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, bound for Plymouth.
Private William Richard McKnight was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Canterbury Regiment, part of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, when he was killed in action in Le Cateau, France on 5th October 1918.
William’s brother, Private John McKnight, also died in the war.
Memorials
Private William McKnight has no known grave and is commemorated on the Grevillers (New Zealand) Memorial.
Private McKnight is commemorated locally on the WWI Roll of Honour in Fivemiletown Methodist Church and also on Fivemiletown War Memorial.
Private William McKnight is also commemorated on Enniskillen War Memorial, along with his brother.
Private William McKnight is listed on page 571 on the Fermanagh War Dead book and on page 69 of the Fivemiletown War Dead book.
The CWGC record Private William McKnight as the son of Thomas and Margaret McKnight of Fivemiletown, County Tyrone, Ireland.
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References and Links
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1 1901 Census lists McKnight family Lists William as age 9 living with the family at house 5 in Derrynavoggy, Corrylongford, Fermanagh
2 1911 Census lists McKnight family Does not list William as living with the family at house 7 in Derrynavogy, Corralongford, Fermanagh
3 Archives New Zealand Military documents (19 no) of William Richard McKnight
4 Brother - Private John McKnight Brother of Private William R McKnight
5 New Zealand Cenotaph Details of Private William Richard McKnight
6 NOK Address in Ireland Thomas and Margaret McKnight, Parents, Fivemiletown, County Tyrone, Ireland
7 NZ War Graves Project Photo of William McKnight's inscription
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2021