7th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth:
02/04/1916 (Killed in Action)
Peter Little was the son of Joseph and Maggie Little, Coagh, County Tyrone. He was educated at Tamlaght National School, Coagh. He enlisted with the Inniskillings in June 1915 and was posted to the 7th Battalion for training at Randalstown, County Antrim and Finner Camp, Ballyshannon, Peter Little was killed in action on 2ndApril 1916 along with his comrades, John Burns from Belfast, Alex Thompson and Denis Gallagher from Donegal and John Richard Poller from Birmingham.
Peter Little was the eldest son of Joseph and Maggie Little. Peter was born on Ballymurphy, Coagh, County Tyrone on the 9th August 1896.
The 1901 census lists Peter as age 4 living with the family at house 17 in Dromore, Killycolpy, Tyrone. Joseph Little was a farm labourer.
Peter was educated at Tamlaght National School, Coagh.
The 1911 census lists Peter as age 14 living with the family at house 5 in Kettle Street, Coagh. Peter ha d left school and was working as a mill worker.
Family: Joseph Little, Maggie Little, Peter Little (born 9th August 1896), Joseph Little (born 14th February 1898), Elizabeth Little (born 28th November 1899), Margaret Little (born 16th September 1901), Margaret Little (born 25th December 1902), Thomas Little (born 23rd September 1904), Mary Jane Little (born 24th May 1906), Annie Little (born 8th April 1908), Patrick J Little (born 12th March 1910).
Peter Little enlisted with the Inniskillings in Omagh in June 1915 and was posted to the 7th Battalion for training at Randalstown, County Antrim and Finner Camp, Ballyshannon, County Donegal.
The 7th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers were part of 49 Brigade, 16th Irish Division and went to the Western Front in February 1916.
The Division was split up for training in battle practice with other experienced units which were familiar with the Front and, by St. Patrick’s Day 1917, all Inniskilling Battalions had settled back into the line. The 7th Battalion took to their positions again at Philosophe East in the Hulluch sector, close to where many men of the Battalion are buried in the cemetery nearby.
Private Peter Little was killed in action on Sunday 2ndApril 1916. About 8 am, the Germans sent over four shells. A piece of shrapnel penetrated his helmet and rendered him unconscious. He never regained consciousness, and died about an hour after. He was 20 years old.
Other comrades died that day: John Burns from Belfast, Alex Thompson and Denis Gallagher from Donegal and John Richard Poller from Birmingham.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 22nd April 1916:
Private Peter Little, of the Inniskillings, has been killed in action on 2 April 1916. The deceased, whose parents belong to Coagh, volunteered in June last, and was only a little over three months in the fighting line. His Sergeant sent the following letter to his mother:-
‘Dear Madam, I write to let you know that it is impossible to convey to you and all relatives of our late comrade, our sincere regret at your great loss. He was a nice, quiet, unassuming lad, attentive to duty, and also his religious duties, and he died a happy death, and suffered no pain. I have handed his belongings into headquarters, and also a letter and parcel which came for him the day he was hit. It was on Sunday 2nd April, about 8 am, the Germans sent over four shells. A piece of shrapnel penetrated his helmet and rendered him unconscious. He never regained consciousness, and died about an hour after. I am certain it was a happy day, as he was well prepared. I shall conclude, hoping that God will comfort you all in your great sorrow. Your heartfelt, friend Sergeant A. Hester.’
His Commanding Officer says :-
‘It is with the deepest regret that I write to you to tell you of the death of your son. He has been under my command since coming out, and he was greatly respected by all his comrades a a keen soldier and above all, a good comrade. The men in my section join with me in tendering to you our deepest sympathy on the loss of your son. Yours very sincerely, D Hamill Morton’
Private Peter Little is buried in Philosophe British Military Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France.
The CWGC records Private P Little as the son of Joseph and Maggie Little, of Coagh, Moneymore, Co. Derry.