Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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150090   Private William John R Gorman
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Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 8th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Canadian Army)
Date Of Birth: 23/12/1892
Died: 07/02/1917 (Died by accident)
Age: 25
Summary      
William J.R. Gorman was born on 23rd December 1892 in Bangor, County Down, he was the son of Thomas B. Gorman, of 19 Bridge Street, Bangor. William emigrated to Canada where he worked as a Salesman before enlisting with the 8th Battalion Canadian Infantry. He died of wounds at is buried in grave 1 B 38 at Fosse No: 10 Communal Cemetery Extension, Sains-en-Gohelle, France. This cemetery was used continuously by Field Ambulance Hospitals between April 1916 and October 1918
Further Information
William John Robinson Gorman was the son of Thomas Balmer Gorman. Thomas Gorman married Maggie McDowell on 16th May 1883 in the district of North Down.
William was born on 23rd December 1892 in Bangor, County Down. He was one of at least seven children.
Known family: Thomas Balmer Gorman, Maggie Gorman, Phoebe Gorman (born 20th February 1884), Robert Gorman (born 30th May 1886), James Gorman (born 8th July 1888), Philip Gorman (born 29th May 1890), William John Robinson Gorman (born 23rd December 1892), Francis Gorman (born 13th April 1895), Noel Gorman (born 25th December 1896, died 22nd August 1897).
William Gorman's mother, Maggie Gorman, died sometime between 1897 and 1901.
Thomas Gorman married Matilda Hegan on 17th September 1901 in the district of Dungannon. Tillie Hegan was from the Sandholes. This means William Gorman and Private James Hegan were NOT cousins.
William attended Bangor Grammar School.
The 1911 census lists William as age 18 living with the family at house 19 in Bridge Street, Bangor, County Down. His father was a chemist. William was a chemist’s assistant.
William Gorman emigrated to Canada.
Prior to enlisting, William worked as a salesman.
William J R Gorman enlisted in Winnipeg on 26th July 1915. He listed his next of kin as his father, who was living at 19 Bridge Street, Bangor, Ireland.
Canadian Attestion Papers - William J R Gorman 1/2
Canadian Attestion Papers - William J R Gorman 2/2
Private William Gorman was serving with the 8th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry when he died of wounds after an accident with a hand grenade on 7th February 1917.
The accident occurred when a grenade, in the hands of Private Gorman, while teaching a class the working of the grenade, went off accidentally.
From the Circumstances of Death Register: - Accidentally Killed
A Court of Enquiry convened to inquire into the circumstances of the death of Private Gorman found that the accident was caused by the explosion of a No. 1 general service grenade in the hands of Private W J R Gorman the instructor, while he was conducting a class at the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade Training area on 7th February 1917. The said explosion being caused by Private Gorman, who, to illustrate the working of the grenade, struck, with his hand the cap, thinking that the detonator which he had previously inserted was a dummy whereas it was actually a ‘live’ one.
A newspaper report suggests that his father was living at Tullyard House, County Tyrone at the time of his death. His second wife’s father lived here. Thomas Hegan was leader of Tullylagan, B Company of Cookstown U.V.F., with 163 men under his command (see references)
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 19th February 1917:
Private W J R Gorman, Canadian Infantry, son of Mr T B Gorman, Tullyard House, County Tyrone, formerly of the Esplanade, Bangor, killed in action on 7th February.
Private W J R Gorman is buried in Fosse No 10 Communal Cemetery Extension, Sains-en-Gohelle, France. This cemetery was used continuously by Field Ambulance Hospitals between April 1916 and October 1918.
Private W J R Gorman is commemorated on the memorial in Bangor Grammar School.
Private W J R Gorman is also listed on the family memorial in St Matthew's Churchyard, Broomhedge, 30 Lurganure Road, Lisburn, County Antrim.
Private Gorman is also listed on the family memorial in Bangor Cemetery in County Down.
He was the grandson of Philip Gorman who died on the 30th May 1907 aged 90, and Anne Jane Gorman who died on the 26th February 1897 on whose headstone in Broomhedge Parish church graveyard his death is commemorated.
The CWGC record Private W J R Gorman as the son of Thomas B Gorman of Bangor, Ireland.
Private Gorman is listed on Cookstown Cenotaph, although there is no evidence to suggest he ever lived in the area.
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Sandholes Sandholes Step-mother from Sandholes 54.594569 -6.780699
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1911 Census lists Gorman family 1911 census lists William as age 18 son of a chemist, at house 19 in Bridge Street, Bangor, Down
2 Canadian Great War Project Details of Private William Gorman
3 Canadian Virtual War Memorial Details of Private James Ferson including grave photo
4 Circumstances of Death Registers Details of Private William John R Gorman's death
5 Circumstances of Death Registers Details of Private William Gorman's death
6 EE Commemorative Project Photo of family headstone in Bangor, Northern Ireland
7 FindAGrave.com Photo of Private William John R Gorman's family headstone
8 Friends School Lisburn Lists Private "Willie" J R Gorman
9 Newsletter - Tyrone U.V.F. Thomas Hegan, Tullyard House
10 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Private William John R Gorman's grave can be purchased here
11 William Gorman Attestation Papers Canadian Military documents (38 no.)