Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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58599   Rifleman William Hobson
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 20/09/2017
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: Kings Royal Rifle Corps (British Army)
Died: 13/06/1919 (Home)
Age: 34
Summary      
Rifleman W Hobson served with the Kings Royal Rifle Corp. Rifleman W Hobson was the son of Benjamin and Eliza Hobson of Stewartstown. He died on the 13th June 1919 aged 34 He is buried in Donaghendry Church Of Ireland Churchyard, North Street, Stewartstown.
Further Information
William Hobson was the son of Benjamin and Eliza Hobson. William was born about 1885 in Stewartstown.
The 1901 census lists William as age 21 living with the family at house 1 in Killylack Glebe, Bernagh, Tyrone. Killylack Glebe is near Stewartstown. William was working as a Mill Labourer.
Family: Benjamin Hobson, Eliza Hobson, William Hobson (born about 1880), Elizabeth Hobson (born about 1881), Henry Hobson (born about 1884), Hugh Hobson (born about 1887), Joseph Hobson (born about 1889)
The 1911 census lists William as age 30, living at house 3 in Killylack Glebe, Bernagh, Tyrone. He was working as a labourer.
Rifleman William Hobson served with the Kings Royal Rifle Corp.
1915
From the Tyrone Courier dated 18th November 1915: With the Ulster Division Henry Harry Hobson (brother of William Hobson)
Mr Ben Hobson, Dungannon, has received the following letter from his brother, Private Harry Hobson, 9th Inniskillings, who is serving with the Ulster Division in France:
‘I received you kind and welcome letter and was glad to hear that you are well as this leaves me the same at present. I have to thank Miss Kathleen Chambre for her present, it is very useful here. We are just out of the trenches for a rest. We had very wet weather in them and up to our knees in mud. You would have laughed if you had seen where I wrote the last letter to you. I have not seen Willie since I came out nor do I know what part he is in. We were only 200 yards off the German trenches in the place we were in. I hear no word of the war being over yet; it might be a year yet or more. I saw lots of boys from Dungannon and Coalisland that I knew. You can tell my father I was asking for him.’
From the Tyrone Courier dated 2nd December 1915:
Writing to his brother, Mr Joseph Hobson, caretaker of Dungannon sanatorium, Rifleman William Hobson, 16th Irish Rifles, (who is one of two brothers serving with the Ulster Division) says:-
‘I am sure you will wonder at me at not writing sooner, but this is the first chance I have got since I got your post card. I am keeping in good health and doing well. I am just out of the trenches, so that is how I have got a chance to write. I would like you to send me some tobacco when you write again. I haven’t seen Harry since I left England and I haven’t seen any other relatives.’
1916
From the Tyrone Courier dated 10th February 1916: With the Ulster Division (Henry Harry Hobson - brother of William Hobson)
Writing to his brother, Mr Ben Hobson, Dungannon, Private Harry Hobson, 9th Inniskillings, says:-
‘Just a few lines in answer to your kind and welcome letter which I got alright., and the Tyrone Courier you send me every week. You might not send me out any more cigarettes for we get plenty out here and alos tobacco, and I am very thankful to you all the same. We get a glass of rum sometimes too. I hope the 18th December passed over in peace. I suppose you burned Lundy as the Inniskillings burned him in France; the French people thought he was the Kaiser and they were all glad to see him burn. We had the Lord Primate of All Ireland speaking to us today. It is very wet out here at present, raining every day. We are all in the best of health.'
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 26th February 1916: Henry Harry Hobson (brother of William Hobson)
Newspaper Report
Private Harry Hobson, 9th Inniskillings (Tyrone Volunteers) , writing from France to his brother, Mr Ben Hobson, Killylack, Dungannon says:-
‘I got your letter all right and also the Dungannon News. We are back again in the trenches, and may be a good while there, as there is great fighting going on at this front at present. We are trying to dodge the shells and bullets as well as we can. Just now there is one of our big guns firing over our heads, and they always make their mark when one of them goes off. It is very wet and cold here just now. Our battalion is getting leave at the rate of eight or ten per week, so it will come my turn later on. I have not seen my brother Willie yet, but some of our boys have seen him and he is alright so far. Young Orr, of Moygashel, has got leave home. I got a parcel from the boys of Drumglass School and it was very nice indeed.‘
From the Tyrone Courier dated 23rd March 1916: Dungannon Soldier’s Escape (Henry Harry Hobson - brother of William Hobson)
Sergeant Edward Lucas, Parkanaur, and Privates Harry Hobson and Ted McNeill, Dungannon, all of the 9th Inniskilling Fusiliers, have had a very narrow shave in the trenches in France. While on duty they were subjected to shell fire from the Germans. A large piece of shrapnel shell, about two pounds in weight, skimmed over the parapet, and knocking the steel helmet off Sergeant Lucas, buried itself about a foot and a half in the bottom of the trench between Privates Hobson and McNeill.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 25th March 1916: Henry Harry Hobson (brother of William Hobson)
Newspaper Report
Private Harry Hobson, 9th Inniskillings, who is in France, writing to his brother, Mr Ben Hobson, Dungannon, says:-
‘I could not answer your letter sooner as we were in the trenches and are now just out for a few days rest. I had the pleasure of meeting John Johnston (2nd Inniskillings), Sam Wilkinson (Irish Rifles), and Joe Webb (Royal Engineers). They are all in the best of health and quite happy. It is fearfully cold on the feet in the trenches, and we had a fall of snow which made the trenches very wet and muddy. When the artillery starts shelling it makes things very warm, but our gunners are very good shots. They make havoc of the enemy’s trenches, but the enemy cannot do us any harm except for shrapnel. By the way, Ted McNeill, Sergeant Lucas and myself had a very narrow escape of being knocked out the other day. We were on sap duty when shrapnel shells were being sent over. There was a lump about two pounds weight skimmed the parapet and, knocking the steel helmet off Sergeant Lewis, buried itself about a foot and a half in the bottom of the trench between Ted McNeill and myself. It was a very thrilling experience, but we had a laugh when it was over.’
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 22nd April 1916:
Newspaper Report
Several Dungannon soldiers have been home during the week, including Pioneer William Hobson (Killylack), Royal Irish Rifles, and Trooper Harry Hamilton (Perry Street), Inniskilling Dragoons, the latter of whom it will be remembered met with a very severe accident at the front recently.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 13 July 1916: Henry Harry Hobson (brother of William Hobson)
Newspaper Report
Private Henry Hobson, Inniskillings, wounded, is a brother of Mr J Hobson, sanatorium, Dungannon. His brother William is officially reported missing.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 27 July 1916:
Newspaper Report
Intimation has been received that Pioneer William Hobson, Irish Rifles, (Killylack), previously reported missing, has rejoined.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 29 July 1916: Rifleman William Hobson Rejoined
Newspaper Report
Intimation has been received from relatives that Pioneer William Hobson, Royal Irish Rifles, (Pioneers), who was reported missing, has re-joined. His father lives in Killylack, Dungannon.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 3 August 1916:
Newspaper Report
Rifleman William Hobson, Irish Rifles (Killylack), has now been reported as being in hospital in France suffering from injury to the leg.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 16th September 1916: Dungannon Wounded Soldiers’ Return - Harry Hobson (brother of William Hobson)
Private Harry Hobson, Killylack, Dungannon, wounded in the abdomen.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 30 November 1916:
Newspaper Report
The plucky action of a young railway porter named James Wallace was the means of averting a serious accident at Dungannon Railway Station on Tuesday. A soldier named Private William Hobson, of Killylack, Stewartstown, who was returning to the front, had boarded the 5:30 train to Belfast and was shaking hands with his brother, Private Henry Hobson, who with another brother, Mr Joseph Hobson (caretaker of Dungannon Sanatorium), had accompanied him to the station. As the train moved off, porter Wallace came to see to the closing of the door, and in stepping out of his way, Private Henry Hobson accidentally knocked against his brother Joseph, and precipitated him across the buffers of two carriages of the moving train, his head lighting on the coupling. Porter Wallace quickly took in the situation, and holding on by the carriage, he at once caught Hobson by the clothing and landed him from his extremely perilous position unto the platform, both falling clear of the train. Mr Gray, the station-master, observing the accident, had the train stopped with all possible speed after it had gone some 12 or 14 yards, but this would not of course saved Hobson from at least serious injuries if he had not been so promptly rescued by Wallace.
1917
From the Tyrone Courier dated 22 March 1917: Henry Harry Hobson (brother of William Hobson)
Newspaper Report
Private Harry Hobson, Inniskilling Fusiliers, writing to his brother, Mr Benjamin Hobson, Dungannon, says:- ‘I receive your invaluable paper, the ‘Dungannon Courier’ every week and I am so glad to get it as it supplies me with a mine of information about local affairs at home, so keep on sending it. I suppose you are aware that my nephew, Rifleman J Mitchell, Antrim, was wounded a few days. He transferred from the North Irish Horse (N.I.H.) recently and joined the infantry but is at present lying in No 5 General Hospital, Rouen. I often see his brother Sergeant William Mitchell of the Field Ambulance. He has been out here for the past eighteen months. As regards my brother Willie, I haven’t come across him since I returned here. The weather out here is very cold and as I am writing, the ground is covered in snow. However, the summer is approaching and the thrush can be heard, and it reminds me of home in the country. All the Dungannon boys are well and feeling fit for anything that comes their way. We are all at present having a rest. We are determined to let Fritz have some of his own when the time comes. I must refer to one of John Oxenham’s poems as it is a great favourite with us.’
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 16th August 1917: Henry Harry Hobson (brother of William Hobson)
Private Henry Hobson, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Killylech (Killylack), Dungannon, wounded.
Rifleman William Hobson died at home on the 13th June 1919. He was 34 years old.
He is buried in Donaghenry Church of Ireland Churchyard, North Street, Stewartstown.
His brother, Henry Hobson, served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and survived the war.
The CWGC record Rifleman William Hobson as the Son of Benjamin and Eliza Hobson. Born at Stewartstown.
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Donaghendry COI Churchyard Stewartstown Buried in COI Churchyard 54.578222 -6.677050
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Hobson family 1901 census lists William as age 21, a mill labourer, at house 1 in Killylack Glebe, Bernagh, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists Hobson family 1911 census lists does not list William at house 2 in Killylack Glebe, Bernagh, Tyrone
3 1911 Census lists William Hobson 1911 census lists William as age 30, a labourer, at house 3 in Killylack Glebe, Bernagh, Tyrone
4 Dungannon War Dead Also listed on Dungannon War Dead
5 War Graves Photographic Project Gravestone photo of W Hobson can be purchased here.
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2018