2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
07/11/1914 (Killed in Action)
John Newell was a son of Rachel Newell of North Street, Stewartstown and the late William Newell. John was born in Stewartstown John had served along with his elder brother, Joseph; when Joseph was killed in action just over two weeks earlier. John was killed in action on 7th November 1914 when his unit was sent out to recover trenches on the edge of Ploegsteert Wood. Two desperate assaults were made during which John was killed.
John Newell was a son of Rachel and William Newell. William Newell and Rachel Anderson were married on 19th September 1886 in the district of Cookstown.
John Newell was born on 11th June 1896 in Stewartstown. He was one of twelve children, eight surviving.
The 1901 census lists John as age 4, living with family at house 80 in North Street, Stewartstown. His father was a general labourer.
Family: William Newell, Rachel Newell, George Newell (born 30th May 1887), William Newell (born 1st January 1889), Samuel Newell (born 11th September 1890), James Newell (born 9th September 1892), Joseph Newell (born 7th July 1894), John Newell (born 11th June 1896), Ernest Newell (born 19th April 1898, died 19th April 1898), Mary Newell (born 22nd February 1899, died 6th April 1899), Anna Victoria Georgina Newell (born 27th February 1900), Mary Newell (born 13th January 1902), Henry Newell (born 10th August 1903), Jane Newell (born 9th January 1906. died 27th April 1907).
John’s father, William Newell, died on 10th May 1910 in Stewartstown, aged 50.
The 1911 census lists John as 14, living with the family at house 29 in North Street, Stewartstown. He had left school and was working as a telegraph messenger. His mother was a widow.
John Newell enlisted in Cookstown but probably had some initial experience of army life.
Private John Newell served along with his elder brother, Private Joseph Newell in A Company in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
His brother was killed in action just over two weeks before he himself was killed.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 31st October 1914:
While Stewartstown has done very badly in reply to Kitchener’s call for men, there are some exceptions. Mrs Newell, of North Street, to whom we are indebted for a letter from her son at the front, has no less than four sons in the army – one in India and three in the fighting line in France. She has also one brother on the North Irish Horse, another at Finner in training for the reinforcements and four cousins in the Army. A few days ago she was the recipient of warm compliments of Lady Caulfield (sister of Viscount Charlemont) who called on her and congratulated her on giving so much for the defence of Ireland and the Empire.
Private John Newell was killed in action on 7th November 1914 when his unit was sent out to recover trenches on the edge of Ploegsteert Wood. Two desperate assaults were made, during which John was killed.
Both Private Joseph Newell and Private John Newell have no known grave and they are commemorated sided by side on panel 5 of the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium.
Both Joseph and John Newell are also commemorated on Stewartstown Cenotaph and Donaghendry Church of Ireland Roll of Honour.
The CWGC record Private John Newell as the son of Rachel Newell of North Street, Stewartstown, County Tyrone, and of the late William Newell.