Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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Date Information
27/01/2019
27/01/2019 The Rev Mr Cooney then offered the dedication prayer. After the hymn ‘When the day of toil is done’ the Rev Mr McKim, taking as his text Revelation 12, 11 – ‘They loved not their lives unto the death’ delivered an appropriate address, in the course of which he said that it was inevitable that on occasion like the present, we should think of those who have given their lives for their country, their God and freedom, in this great war. For our country, strenuous resistance became a solemn duty, physical force became necessary, being in this case a moral force, a spiritual force. Our resistance to aggression was not in any real name a selfish resistance, but was deeply altruistic, philanthropic, patriotic. But we could not affect our purpose, could not carry out our high and solemn duty without involving the great principle of self-sacrifice. This generation has had to learn anew the great lesson of the Cross – that redemption can only be accomplished by sacrifice. There have been many during this great struggle who ‘loved not their lives unto death’, and we cannot help giving the higher mead of praise to those young men who, while conscription was still in the future, offered themselves willingly, and responded to the call of duty. Amongst such we are proud to reckon Charles Robert Cooney. There are many who think those fortunate to have won the prize of immortality almost before their life commenced. All knew that he, whose loss we deeply mourn, could have run the race nobly and well. His was a guileless childhood, which developed into youth, tender and stainless. All who knew Charles Cooney esteemed and loved him. As he gave his life for his country’s freedom in the spirit of .love, so we believe he dedicated his soul to God. Let us hope the memorial which has just been dedicated to the glory of god will preach for centuries, that the great law of love demands self-sacrifice to God. Who could doubt that all true heroic souls find their true home with God. Oh surely of such is the kingdom of heaven. The address was followed by the hymn ‘The day thou gavest Lord is ended’, after which the deeply solemn service concluded with the pronouncing of the Benediction by the rector.
27/01/2019 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 8th June 1918: Moneymore
27/01/2019 An impressive service took place in St John’s Parish Church. Moneymore, on Wednesday evening week, on the occasion of the unveiling and dedication of a handsome mural tablet to the memory of the late Charles Robert Cooney, son of Me J L Cooney, Moneymore. The tablet is of brass, surrounded by black marble, and in addition to the inscription, bears the arms and motto of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The congregation included Mr and Mrs J L Cooney, the Rev W Reid, Rev J W Sharpe, Rev S Lindsay, and many members of the local Protestant churches, who attended to pay a mark of respect to the memory of one who was beloved by all who knew him. The late Lieutenant Cooney, who was a great favourite with everyone, died while leading his men on the field of battle.
27/01/2019 The service opened with the hymn ‘A few more years shall roll’, after which portion of the evening prayer was used. Psalms 15 (Lord who shall dwell in Thy tabernacle) and 23 (The Lord is my shepherd) were read, and the special lesion was Revelation 21, 1-7. The hymn ’Christ will gather in His own’ was next rendered, and an especially moving part of the service was the singing of the following verse by the choir in subdued tones benefitting the words and the occasion-
27/01/2019 ‘Had He asked us, well we know,
27/01/2019 We should cry oh spare this blow!
27/01/2019 Yes, with streaming tears should pray,
27/01/2019 Lord we love him, let him stay’
27/01/2019 At the conclusion of this hymn the Rev S E Cooney, M.A., L.L.B., rector of St John’s Belfast (uncle of the deceased), and the rector the Rev J R McKim, M.A., advanced to where the tablet is placed, and after drawing aside the veil (the congregation reverently standing) the Rev Mr Cooney performed the dedication ceremony by repeating the following:-
27/01/2019 ‘I dedicate this tablet to the glory of God, and in loving memory of Charles Robert Cooney, Second Lieutenant, 7th Royal Dublin Fusiliers (attached 2nd Royal Irish Rifles), killed in action, 9th October 1916, in the Battle of the Somme, and interred near Pozieres, France, aged 22 years. Faithful unto death.’
02/04/2017 A special service was held in St John’s Parish Church. Moneymore, on Wednesday evening, when a handsome mural tablet was unveiled and decorated to the memory of the late Second Lieutenant Charles R Cooney, son of Mr J L Cooney, Moneymore. The tablet, which is of brass, surrounded by black marble, bears the arms and motto of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the following inscription:- ‘In Loving Memory of Charles Robert Cooney, Second Lieutenant 7th Royal Dublin Fusiliers, (Attached 2nd Royal Irish Rifles). Killed in action, 9th October 1916 in the Battle of the Somme and interred near Pozieres, France, aged 22 years Faith until death.’ The unveiling ceremony was performed by the Rev S E Cooney, M.A., L.L.B., rector of St John’s, Laganbank, Belfast, uncle of the deceased, who also offered the dedicating prayer. The Rev J R McKim, M.A., rector, delivered an appropriate address, in the course of which he paid fitting tribute to the memory of the deceased officer.
02/04/2017
02/04/2017 From the Belfast Newsletter dated 31st May 1918: Memorial to a County Derry Officer
05/01/2017 Second Lieutenant Charles R Cooney, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, attached Royal Irish Rifles, killed in action, was the only son of Mr J L Cooney, Moneymore, County Derry. Second Lieutenant Cooney obtained his commission towards the end of last year in the 7th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers. he received his military training at Ipswich and at Kilworth Camp, Fermoy, and attended a course of instruction in bomb throwing at London. He was an old boy of Cookstown academy. Prior to receiving his commission he held a Civil Service appointment in Dublin, having been engaged in the Finance Department of the Metropolitan Police Office. The deceased was a nephew of the Rev S E Cooney, M.A., L.L.B., St John’s Church. Laganbank Road, Belfast, and of the Rev Robert Cooney, Fairview, Dublin. A memorial service in connection with the death of Second Lieutenant Cooney was held in St John’s Church, Moneymore yesterday morning. The special hymns: ’Christ will gather in His own’ (No 597), and ‘Peace, Perfect Peace’ (No 542) were sung by the choir. At the conclusion of his sermon on the text, the rector, the Rev J R McKim, M.A., made appropriate reference to the sad event. At the conclusion of the service the ‘Death March in Saul’ was played by Mrs Byrne, organist, the congregation standing.
05/01/2017
05/01/2017 From the Belfast Newsletter dated 16th October 1916:
23/09/2016 Mr Charles L Cooney, son of Mr J L Cooney, High Street, Moneymore, has been granted a commission in the 7th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Prior to receiving his commission, Mr Cooney held a Civil Service appointment, being engaged in the Finance Department of the Metropolitan Police Office, Dublin. He leaves for Ipswich on Monday for a course of training.
23/09/2016 From the Belfast Newsletter dated 28th October 1915:
23/09/2016
30/12/2015 ‘He was killed instantaneously by a shell when at the head of his men on trench duties. He was buried near __. The Church of England chaplain officiated. A cross has been erected to mark the spot. I was speaking to him only a few days before. He died doing his duty in a hard part of the line.’
30/12/2015 Mr J L Cooney, Moneymore, received the following telegram on Thursday afternoon:-
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 21st October 1916: Second Lieutenant C R Cooney
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 ‘The King and Queen deeply regret the loss you and the army have sustained by the death of your son in the service of his country. Their Majesties truly sympathise with you in your sorrow, Keeper of the Army Purse.
30/12/2015 Mr J L Cooney, Moneymore, received the following telegram on Thursday afternoon:-
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 21st October 1916:
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 21st October 1916:
30/12/2015 Charles Richard Cooney has no known grave and is commemorated on panel 16-C on the Thiepval Memorial, France. He is also commemorated on Moneymore War Memorial (Assembly Rooms).
30/12/2015 A Memorial Service was held in St John’s Church, Moneymore, on Sunday 15th October, in his memory. The hymns that were selected were “Christ will gather his own” and “Peace, perfect peace”. At the conclusion of the service the “Death march in Saul” was played by Mrs Byrne the organist with the congregation standing with bowed heads.
30/12/2015 He arrived in France on 20th July 1916 and was attached to the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles and appears to have taken his turn in the trenches from the day of his arrival. While serving with them in France he was killed by shellfire on 9th October 1916.
30/12/2015 He received a commission in 1915 to the 7th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers and was sent to Ipswich for a preliminary course on 1st November 1915. He was then attached to the 5th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers for training at Curragh Camp and Moore Park, near Fermoy, and subsequently to the 10th Royal Irish Rifles.
30/12/2015 He continued at the Academy until the summer of 1911 having passed with Honours. In August 1911 he entered Connell’s Civil Service Institute, Belfast, to prepare for the C.S. Intermediate Examination and on the advice of his teacher, for the experience, he competed in the second division C.S. examination and passed practically without preparation. He began duty in March 1913 in the local Government Board Office, Dublin and was subsequently transferred to the Finance Department of Dublin Metropolitan Police at Dublin Castle. He was regarded as having a warm and quiet disposition.
30/12/2015 He received his primary education in the National School in Moneymore and in October 1904 went to Cookstown Academy.
30/12/2015 He was a nephew of the Reverend E. Stewart Cooney, MA, LL B, St John’s Church, Belfast, and the Rev Charles R. Cooney BA, Fairview, Dublin.
30/12/2015 A deep gloom was cast over the town and district on Saturday morning last; when it became known that Second Lieutenant Charles R Cooney, only son of Mr J L Cooney, Moneymore, and nephew of the Rev Stewart E Cooney, M.A., L.L.B., St John’s Church, Belfast, and of Rev Charles R. Cooney, B.A., Fairview, Dublin, has been killed in action. The sad news was communicated to Mr Cooney in a telegram from the secretary of war, which contained the following:-
30/12/2015 COONEY – Killed in action in Northern France on 9th October 1916, Second Lieutenant Charles Richard Cooney, Royal Dublin Fusiliers (attached Royal Irish Rifles), aged 22 years, only and dearly beloved son of James L Cooney, Moneymore, County Derry.
30/12/2015 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 9 December 1916:
30/12/2015 In Loving Memory of Charles Robert Cooney, Second Lieutenant 7th Royal Dublin Fusiliers, (Attached 2nd Royal Irish Rifles). Killed in action, 9th October 1916 in the Battle of the Somme and interred near Pozieres, France, aged 22 years.
30/12/2015 A plaque in Desertlyn Church of Ireland commemorates Charles Robert Cooney.
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 Lieutenant Charles R Cooney, son of Mr J L Cooney, paid a flying visit to his home last week, prior to his departure for France. His many friends wish him a safe return.
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 29th July 1916: Magherafelt
30/12/2015 ‘Your son was in charge of a working party when a 7.7 mm struck him and killed instantly. His death was much felt by all his brother officers, and I much mourned the loss of a good officer. I trust you and yours will accept our heartfelt sympathies at your great blow.’
30/12/2015 The letter concludes with an expression of sincere sympathy. The commanding officer says:-
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 Charles Richard Cooney was born on 13th March 1894 and was the only son of James L. Cooney of 3 High Street, Moneymore
30/12/2015 ‘Deeply regret to inform you that Second Lieutenant C R Cooney, Dublin Fusiliers, was killed in action on 9th October. The Army council expresses their sympathy.’
30/12/2015
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 At evening service the hymns: ‘Now the Labourer’s Task is Over’ and ‘Nearer My God To Thee’ were sung, and the Dead March was again played by the organist. In the course of his sermon, the Rev McKim referred to the great number of young officers that were being cut off in the bloom of their youth in the dreadful war now raging. On Thursday, Mr Cooney received the following telegram:- ‘The King and Queen deeply regret the loss you and the army have sustained by the death of your son in the service of his country. Their Majesties truly sympathise with you in your sorrow, Keeper of the Army Purse.’
30/12/2015 At the conclusion of the service the ‘Death March in Saul’ was played by Mrs Byrne, organist, the congregation standing with heads bowed.
30/12/2015 ‘We all felt the keen touch of sorrow and grief when we heard of the death of a youth whom we all knew and loved. Charles Cooney grew up in our presence in guileless childhood and in innocent youth. As I look back I think I never knew, and indeed it would have been heard to find, a more guileless child, more innocent in his youth, than Charles Cooney. He heard the call of God, and let us honour him for it, he unselfishly and nobly gave himself for his God, his Country and his King. He went out to the front and died unselfishly for the cause of right. And as we stand beside his grave in imagination, let us bow our heads reverently and say in grief, yet in faith, and hope, and love, Hallowed Be Thy Name. Let us also pray for those who are suffering elsewhere, and especially for the sorrowing relatives of Charles Cooney. His death has come home to us, and has helped us to realise the horror and awfulness of this gruesome and terrible war.’
30/12/2015 A memorial service in connection with the death of Second Lieutenant Cooney was held in St John’s Church, Moneymore, on Sunday morning 15th October 1916. The special hymns: ’Christ will gather in His own’ (No 597), and ‘Peace, Perfect Peace’ (No 542) were sung by the choir. At the conclusion of his sermon on the text, ’Hallowed Be Thy Name’, the rector, the Rev J R McKim, M.A., said:-
30/12/2015 He was born in Moneymore on 13th March 1894, and received his primary education in the National Schools of his native village. In October 1904, he went to Cookstown Academy, the youngest of several Moneymore boys then attending it. He continued there till summer 1911, having passed with honours in the preliminary, junior and middle grade Intermediate Examinations, and obtained prizes. In August 1911 he entered Connell’s Civil Service Institute in Belfast to prepare for the C.S. Intermediate Examination, and on the advice of his teacher, and for experience, he competed in the Second Division C.S. Examination and passed, practically without special preparation. He began duty in March 1913 in the Local Government Board Office, Dublin, and was subsequently transferred to the Finance Department of Dublin Metropolitan Police Office, making warm friends in both. Whilst in the latter office, the call of his country came to him, and though naturally of a quiet, peace-loving disposition, the call was for him too strong to be denied. He obtained a commission in the 7th Royal Dublin Fusiliers, and was sent to Ipswich for a preliminary course on 1st November 1915. He was attached to the 5th Royal Dublin Fusiliers for training at Curragh Camp and Moore Park, near Fermoy, and subsequently to the 10th Royal Irish Rifles. Arriving in France on 20th July last, he was attached to the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles and appears to have taken a turn in the trenches from the day of his arrival at headquarters, since which he shared the vicissitudes of the battalion.
30/12/2015 The distressing event was the chief topic during the day. Deep was the sorrow and grief which were felt on all sides, and many visited the house of mourning to express their sincere sympathy with the bereaved parents. The deceased was beloved by all in the neighbourhood, where he had grown up, as had been truly remarked elsewhere, in guileless childhood and innocent youth. His kindly and unassuming disposition, his love of what was right, and true and good, along with his many good qualities, won for him the esteem and admiration of everyone. He was a diligent student, and had a most successful scholastic career, having won quite a number of distinctions. He joined the army, not for any love of fighting, for nothing was more foreign to his quiet and gentle disposition, but because he was anxious to do his duty to his God, his King, and his country. In all the difficulties he had to encounter at the front, he never seemed to be despondent. On the contrary, his letters were always cheerful. When the final call came to him, he was found ready. He gave up his life in a noble cause, the cause of liberty and right, he died that we may live.
30/12/2015 Two letters, one from a chaplain of the Royal Irish Rifles, and the other from the commanding officer of the battalion, give some facts regarding the death in action od Second Lieutenant Charles R Cooney. In the course of his letter the chaplain says:-
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