John Coyle was born in Castelderg, County Tyrone, and lived and worked in Cookstown. He was in Glasgow, Scotland, before he enlisted in the Cameronians. He was killed in action during the Battle of Loos. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial France, panel 57-59
John Coyle was born in Spamount, Castlederg, County Tyrone.
John lived and worked in Cookstown for a time.
John was in Glasgow when he enlisted in the Cameronians.
Private John Coyle was serving with the 1st Battalion of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) when he was killed in action during the Battle of Loos on Monday 27th September 1915.
The Battle of Loos formed a part of the wider Artois-Loos Offensive conducted by the French and British in the autumn of 1915, and is sometimes referred to as the second Battle of Artois. The Loos Offensive began on 25th September 1915, following a four day bombardment in which 250,000 shells were fired, and was called off in failure on the 28th September. The Offensive had been presided over by Douglas Haig who committed six Divisions to the attack, despite serious misgivings. He was concerned at both the marked shortage in available shells (sparking the shell shortage scandal in Britain in 1915), and at the fatigued state of his troops; he was further concerned at the nature of the difficult terrain that would need to be crossed. All considered he favoured a delay in the attack. Set against these concerns however was the reality that the British out-numbered their German opposition, almost 7 to 1 in some places along this front line. After the first day’s attack, supply problems and a serious need for reserves brought the attack to a halt. Haig asked the Commander-in-Chief, Sir John French, to make available 9 Corps as a potential reserve to use on the same day as the first attack, but French argued that these troops would not be needed until the next day. These troops, including two new army Divisions at the time, 21st and 24th Divisions arrived late that night. Along the line, little progress was made, however 7th and 9th Divisions managed to establish a foothold at the Hohenzollern Reboubt. The delay in making available these reserves was however crucial to the success of the attack. On the second day the Germans brought in reserves to defend the lines at Hulluch and Hill 60 and were stronger than they were at the start of the attack.
By now the British no longer had the benefit of a preliminary bombardment. As British Troops advanced toward the German lines that afternoon without the artillery cover fire, they were decimated by repeated machine gun fire, the Germans were astonished that the second attack had been launched without adequate cover. After a few days of sporadic fighting, the British were forced to withdraw. The Loos attack was renewed on the 13th October 1915, when further heavy losses combined with the poor weather conditions caused the Offensive to be called off.
During the Battle of Loos, the British suffered 50,000 casualties. German casualties were estimated to be approximately half of that. The British failure at Loos contributed to Sir John French being replaced as Commander-in-Chief by Douglas Haig at the close of 1915.
Private John Coyle has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial in France.