Joseph Mayne was the youngest son of James and Mary Mayne. Joseph was born about 1897. He was the youngest of eleven children, nine surviving. They were a farming family who lived in Tullywiggan, Tullaghoge. Joseph Mayne was working as a barman in Belfast at the outbreak of the First World War. Private Joseph Mayne, who was in charge of the Lewis-gun, was wounded and collapsed across his gun. He was taken to No. 55 Casualty Clearing Station at Tincourt. Private Joseph Mayne was serving with the 6th Battalion of the Connaught Rangers when he died of his wounds a short time later that day on Thursday 10th January 1918.
Joseph Mayne was the youngest son of James and Mary Mayne. James Mayne and Mary McCord were married on 11th February 1877 in the district of Cookstown.
Joseph was born about 1897 in either Belfast, or more likely, Cookstown. He was the youngest of eleven children, nine surviving.
Possible family: James Mayne, Mary Mayne, William Mayne (born 1st December 1877), Thomas Mayne (born about 1879), Annie Mayne (born 17th March 1880), John Mayne (born 20th February 1882), Edward Mayne (born 30th August 1884), Margaret Mayne (born 8th May 1887), Mary Mayne (born 7th October 1889), Sarah Mayne (born 10th February 1892), James Mayne (born 19th August 1894?), Patrick Mayne (born 10th April 1896), Joseph Mayne (born about 1897).
The 1901 census lists Joseph as age 4, living with the family at house 10 in Tullywiggan, Tullaghoge. His father was a farmer.
The 1911 census lists Joseph as age 15, living with the family at house 9 in Tullywiggan, Tullaghoge. Joseph had left school and was working on his father’s farm.
Joseph Mayne was working as a barman in Belfast at the outbreak of the First World War.
On the formation of the Irish Brigade, Joseph joined the 6th Connaught Rangers on the 19th July 1915 at 61 Mill Street, Belfast, giving his home address as 10 Anne Street, Belfast.
Joseph Mayne was described as 5 feet 8 inches tall and 140 lbs in weight. He named his mother, Mary as next of kin.
He proceeded to Fermoy, County Cork for training with the 6th Connaught Rangers on 21st July 1915. Following training, the Battalion with the strength of 36 officers and 952 other ranks sailed from Southampton to Le Harve on the 17th December 1915. He had been on active service in France since Christmas 1915.
The 6th Connaught Rangers fought at the Somme in September 1916 and lost 23 officers and 407 other ranks, almost half its strength. Joseph Mayne was home on leave in Cookstown a number of times, including a period between 18th to 24th August 1917.
On the 10th January 1918 the Battalion was in the front line at Lempire, east of Peronne and came under attack from an enemy raiding party under the cover of a bombardment. The Germans attempted to enter the advanced Lewis-gun post in the Lempire Road, which they bombed, wounding three men but were repulsed. A few minutes before 4.00am the enemy tried to raid one of the Lewis-gun posts, which was placed, necessarily, in an isolated position, well out in ‘No Man’s Land’, about 150 yards in front of the fire trench, in a sunken road that crossed both lines of trenches. The raiders came across the snow in the dark, camouflaged in white overalls. The double sentries on duty in the sunken road heard, but in the darkness could not see any movement in front of them. Hesitating to shoot, they challenged. The immediate reply was a volley of hand grenades.
Private Joseph Mayne, who was in charge of the Lewis-gun, was wounded in many places, including his stomach, his left arm severely damaged. Mortally wounded, and with blood pouring from his arm, he struggled up, and leaning against the parapet, with his unwounded hand discharged a full magazine (47 rounds) into the enemy, who broke and ran. Not one of them reached the Connaught lines.
Private Joseph Mayne then collapsed unconscious across his gun. He was taken to No. 55 Casualty Clearing Station at Tincourt.
Private Joseph Mayne was serving with the 6th Battalion of the Connaught Rangers when he died of his wounds a short time later that day on Thursday 10th January 1918.
Joseph Mayne’s Commanding Officer, Rowland Fielding, recommended that Private Mayne be awarded the Victoria Cross for his outstanding bravery, but this was not awarded and he was posthumously ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ by Sir Douglas Haig’s dispatch on 7th April 1918.
His personal effects, including a letter, 15 photographs, a wallet, a religious medal and a book along with his identity disc were sent home to his family on 11th May 1918.
Private Joseph Mayne is buried in Tincourt New British Cemetery, France. Tincourt was used by these Casualty Clearing Stations throughout 1917 and they were still based there at the end of the war.
At the time of his death, Joseph’s elder brother, John, was serving in the Medical Department of 9th Infantry, American Army, in France.
Private Joseph Mayne is commemorated on Cookstown Cenotaph.
The CWGC record Private Joseph Mayne as the son of James and Mary Mayne of Ardcumber, Cookstown, County Tyrone.