Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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Date Name Information
07/10/2019 Pte. William Jeffers Private William Jeffers was injured in the summer of 1917.
07/10/2019 Pte. William Jeffers Seaforth Highlanders – Wounded, 2127 W Jeffers (Omagh)
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07/10/2019 Pte. William Jeffers From the Belfast Newsletter dated 10th August 1917:
07/10/2019 Pte. William Jeffers William Jamfrey’s brother. James Jamfrey, enlisted in the Royal Navy about 1919. He was killed in World War Two.
07/10/2019 Pte. William Jeffers Private William Jeffers is commemorated on Lurgan War Memorial.
07/10/2019 Pte. William Jeffers Private William Jeffers is buried in St Souplet British Cemetery in Nord in France.
07/10/2019 Pte. William Jeffers It seems that by the time of his death his parents had moved to live at 97 Victoria Street in Lurgan, County Armagh.
07/10/2019 Pte. William Jeffers Private William Jeffers was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders when he died in France on Saturday 2nd November 1918, just nine days before the Armistice was signed and the war ended.
07/10/2019 Pte. William Jeffers From then on his surname was ‘Jeffers’.
07/10/2019 Pte. William Jeffers The 1911 census lists William Jamfrey as age 22, living with the family at house 1 in Coolnafranky, Cookstown. Williams, his brother and his father were all employed as railway porters.
07/10/2019 Pte. William Jeffers Family: Thomas Jamfrey, Elizabeth Jamfrey , William Jamfrey (born 10th April 1888, Omagh), May Jamfrey (born 18th April 1890), James Jamfrey (born 17th September 1893), Sarah Jamfrey (born 9th April 1897), Ethel Jamfrey (born 11th September 1899), Margret Jamfrey (born 14th August 1902), Elizabeth Jamfrey (born 24th September 1907).
07/10/2019 Pte. William Jeffers The 1901 census lists William Jamfrey as age 13, living with the family at house 2 in Coolnafranky, Cookstown, County Tyrone. He was still at school. His father was a plate layer.
07/10/2019 Pte. William Jeffers William Jamfrey was born on 10th April 1888 in Omagh (GRONI Ref U/1888/212/1025/17/348). Interesting he was named William Jeffers. He was one of seven children. All the children were born in Cookstown except William.
07/10/2019 Pte. William Jeffers William Jamfrey was eldest son of Thomas and Elizabeth Jamfrey. According to GRONI Thomas ‘Jeffers’ and Elizabeth Cardwell were married on 21st April 1887 in the district of Dungannon.
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey 01947
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey 01946
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey 01945
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey The CWGC record Petty Officer Stoker James Jamfrey as the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Jamfrey. He is also recorded as the husband of Winifred Mary Jamfrey, of Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland.
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey Petty Officer Jamfrey is also commemorated on Bangor War Memorial.
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey Petty Officer Jamfrey is also commemorated in Bangor Parish Church of Ireland (St Comgalls) Church on the 2nd World War Memorial Plaque
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey Petty Officer Jamfrey has no known grave and is commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial in Kent.
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey Hours later, the convoy's lead escort, consisting of HMS Bramham (L51) returned to rescue 99 survivors from the HMS Curacoa's crew of 338,
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey HMS Curacoa sank in six minutes, about 100 yards from the Queen Mary. Due to the risk of U-boat attacks, the Queen Mary did not assist in rescue operations and instead steamed onward with a damaged bow.
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey RMS Queen Mary was steaming at 28 knots in an evasive zig-zagging course, but HMS CURACOA with her ageing engines, could not keep to the same zigzag pattern and was following a straight course. At 2:15 PM Queen Mary rammed HMS Curacoa, striking her amidships and cutting her in two.
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey On 2 October 1942, 30 miles north of the coast of Ireland HMS Curacoa was escorting the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary who was carrying 10,000 American troops of the 29th Infantry Division to join the Allied forces in Europe.
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey Petty Officer Stoker James Jamfrey was serving with the Royal Navy on board HMS Curacoa when he died on 2nd October 1942. He had previously been reported as missing. He was 49 years old.
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey Petty Officer Stoker James Jamfrey had been previously been Mentioned in Despatches in the New Year’s Honours List.
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey James was the husband of Winifred Mary Jamfrey, who by 1942, was living at Groomsport Road, Bangor, County Down.
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey Around 1919, a year after his brother William was killed in the latter days of World War One, William joined the Royal Navy.
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey The 1911 census lists James as age 17, living with the family at house 1 in Coolnafranky, Cookstown. James, his brother and his father were all employed as railway porters.
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey Family: Thomas Jamfrey, Elizabeth Jamfrey , William Jamfrey (born 10th April 1888, Omagh), May Jamfrey (born 18th April 1890), James Jamfrey (born 17th September 1893), Sarah Jamfrey (born 9th April 1897), Ethel Jamfrey (born 11th September 1899), Margret Jamfrey (born 14th August 1902), Elizabeth Jamfrey (born 24th September 1907).
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey The 1901 census lists James as age 7, living with the family at house 2 in Coolnafranky, Cookstown, County Tyrone. His father was a plate layer.
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey James Jamfrey was born on 17th September 1893 in Cookstown. He was one of seven children. All the children were born in Cookstown except William, who was born in Omagh.
07/10/2019 POS James Jamfrey James Jamfrey was the youngest son of Thomas and Elizabeth Jamfrey. According to GRONI Thomas ‘Jeffers’ and Elizabeth Cardwell were married on 21st April 1887 in the district of Dungannon.
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy 01943
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy 01944
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy ‘Opposite this place lies the wreck of the Troopship Lancastria sunk by enemy action on 17 June 1940 whilst embarking British troops and civilians during the evacuation of France. To the glory of God, in proud memory of more than 4,000 who died and in commemoration of of the people of St Nazaire and surrounding districts who saved many lives, tended the wounded and gave a Christian burial to victims.’
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy In the town of St Nazaire, there is a memorial to the Lancastria. The inscription reads:
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy The CWGC record Private John Joseph Murphy as the husband of Mary Ann Murphy of Cookstown, County Tyrone.
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy Private John Joseph Murphy is commemorated locally on Cookstown War Memorial.
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy Private John Joseph Murphy has no known grave and is commemorated on Column 153 of the Dunkirk Memorial in France.
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy Government documents relating to the Lancastria remained classified for many years. In July 2007 another request for documents held by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) related to the sinking was rejected by the British government. The Lancastria Association of Scotland made a further request in 2009. They were told that release under the FOIA would not be given because of several exemptions. In the face of continued campaigning by relatives, the MoD stated in 2015 that all known documents had long since been released through the National Archives.
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy The story of the tragedy later broke in the U.S.A.
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy British Prime Minister Winston Churchill felt that the country’s morale could not bare such news so ordered the British press not to reveal the story.
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy There were approximately 6,000 troops, crew, and civilian personnel on board. Enormous uncertainty remains to the actual loss of life and it is now estimated that some 4,000 lives were lost in the incident.
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy On 17th June 1940, Private Murphy was on board the S.S. Lancastria when it was attacked by German bombers. One of the bombs went down the funnel of the Lancastria. She exploded and sank within thirty minutes. Private John Joseph Murphy was 43 years old when he died.
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy During the withdrawal of troops from northern France in June 1940, soldiers and airmen, including Private John Joseph Murphy, were being evacuated from the port of St Nazaire, in Brittany, France.
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy John Joseph Murphy served with the 50th Company of the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps (A.M.P.C.) during World War Two.
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy Known family: John Joseph Murphy, Mary Ann Murphy, Kathleen Murphy, Joseph Murphy, John Murphy, James Murphy (twin), Anthony Murphy (twin), Freddie Murphy. Patricia Murphy.
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy John Joseph Murphy went on to be the husband of Mary Ann Murphy, (nee Quinn). They had seven children.
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy John Murphy served in World War One.
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy Known family: Joseph Murphy, Lizzie Murphy (born about 1887), Ellen Murphy (born about 1890), John Joseph Murphy (born 10th December 1896)
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy The 1901 census lists John Joseph Murphy as age 4, living with the family at house 48 in Coagh Street, Cookstown. His father was a waiter.
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy John Joseph Murphy was the son of Joseph Murphy. John was born on 10th December 1896 in the Cookstown area.
06/10/2019 Pte. John Joseph Murphy The following details of John’s early life (pre WW1) are provisional.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh 01942
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh Private Thomas Darragh, Connaught Rangers, who was killed in action in France on or about the 3rd September. He had been reported missing, but official intimation of his death on that date was received a few days ago. He joined the Army soon after the outbreak of the war and was in the fighting line for many months. He was wounded last May. Previous to joining he worked in Cookstown as a builder’s labourer. He was well known in local football circles, having paid for both Cookstown and Derryloran Football Clubs. His wife and three little children reside in Chapel Street, Cookstown, and much sympathy is felt for them in their sad bereavement.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh 00782
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06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 2nd December 1916: Private Thomas Darragh (father of William Darragh)
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh Mrs Darragh, Chapel Street, Cookstown, has received official intimation that her husband. Private T Darragh, 6th Connaught Rangers, is wounded and missing since 3rd September. Private Darragh, who joined the army about two years ago, was previously wounded last May. No particulars as to his fate are forthcoming. He wrote home very regularly up to a few weeks ago, since when nothing has been heard of him. His wife, who is naturally very anxious, has three little sons.
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06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 28th October 1916: (father of William Darragh)
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh The CWGC record Able Seaman William Darragh as the son of Thomas and Sarah Jane Darragh. He is alos recorded as the husband of Catherine Darragh of Cookstown, County Tyrone.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh Able Seaman Darragh is commemorated locally on Cookstown Cenotaph.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh Able Seaman William Darragh has no known grave and is commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh He was survived by another brother, Thomas Darragh who at the time was a painter and lived in Cookstown.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh At the time of his death, William was survived by his mother, Mrs Lagan, Orritor Street, Cookstown, and his brother Joseph Darragh, a joiner, who during the Second World War was engaged on government work in Scotland.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh Able Seaman William Darragh was lost at sea on 19th January 1940. He was ten days shy of his 26th birthday. He had often spoke highly of Captain Creasy, the ship’s commander who was among the survivors.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh HMS Grenville quickly capsized. Her bow was the last part of the ship to disappear. 118 of the crew survived. Seventy five officers and crew lost their life in the sinking.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh On 19 January 1940, HMS Grenville was operating out of Harwich with six other ships of the Flotilla were returning from an operation off the Dutch coast when in calm weather, she was mined at 1250 hrs in the Thames estuary, 23 nautical miles east of the Kentish Knock light vessel in position 51º39'N, 02º17'E.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh On the outbreak of war in September 1939, Grenville was deployed in the Mediterranean. On 22 October, Grenville and her sisters Griffin, Grenade and Gipsy were transferred to the Western Approaches Command and arrived at Plymouth on 2 November. Grenville and Grenade collided during the night of 7/8 November and Grenville's No. 3 boiler room was flooded. She was under repair at HM Dockyard, Devonport until 1 December.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh When the ship returned to home waters in November 1939 Seaman Darragh came home on short leave. This was to be the last time he saw his native town. His period of active service in the Navy would have been completed in another year.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh HMS Grenville (H03) was a British Royal Navy Ship named after Vice Admiral Sir Richard Grenville. HMS Grenville was a G class destroyer laid down by the Yarrow Shipbuilding Company Limited, at Scotstoun in Glasgow on 29th September 1934, launched on 15th August 1935 and completed on 1st July 1936.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh After periods of service in other ships he was transferred to HMS Grenville, a flotilla leader, and served on her in the Mediterranean prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh Able Seaman Darragh later served on HMS Royal Oak, which was torpedoed at Scapa Flow, the same month.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh HMS ‘Iron Duke’ was slightly damaged by a bomb at Scapa Flow in October 1939.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh Able Seaman William Darragh had the honour to be one of the naval ratings to be chosen to represent the Fleet at the funeral of the late Admiral Earl Jellicoe in 1935.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh William joined the Navy in 1934. The first ship he joined was the HMS ‘Iron Duke’.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh William Darragh was the husband of Catherine Darragh.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh William Darragh served his apprenticeship to the joinery trade with Joseph Crilly and Sons, who were building contractors in Cookstown. He was highly regarded and popular among his friends and acquaintances.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh William Darragh served his apprenticeship to the joinery trade with Joseph Crilly and Sons, who were building contractors in Cookstown.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh William Darragh’s father, Private Thomas Darragh, served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the Connaught Rangers during the First World War and was killed in action in France in September 1916.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh Family: Thomas Darragh, Sarah Jane Darragh, Joseph Darragh (born 11th November 1909), Thomas Darragh (born 23rd July 1911), William Darragh (born 29th January 1914).
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh William Darragh was born on 29th January 1914 in Cookstown.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh The 1911 census lists Thomas’ father and mother living at house 9 in Chapel Street, Cookstown. His father was a labourer.
06/10/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh William Darragh was the youngest son of Thomas and Sarah Jane Darragh. Thomas Darragh and Sarah Jane Scullion were married on 17th October 1908 in the district of Cookstown.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker Serge Vaculik later wrote a number of books detailing his experiences with the S.A.S., two of them being ‘Air Commando’ and ‘Beret Rouge’.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker The CWGC record Private Thomas James Barker as the son of John and Florence Barker, of Cookstown, County Tyrone.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker Tot’s brother Louis served with the Royal Ulster Constabulary as a Sergeant at Comber R.U.C. Station for many years. In September 1964 he travelled to France with his wife Eileen and their nephew Thomas (Tot) joined them there to take part in a memorial service commemorating the death of this group of soldiers. The Barker family met one of the survivors, Serge Vaculik.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker Private Thomas James Barker is commemorated locally on Cookstown Cenotaph.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker In February 1947, at the War Crimes at Wuppertal, Germany, six S.S. men were found guilty of murder, the two witnesses were Serge Vaculik and Ginger Jones. Four were hanged and two imprisoned.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker Private Thomas James ‘Tot’ Barker is buried at Marissel French National Cemetery, Oise, France. His grave inscription reads: UNTIL THE DAY BREAK AND THE SHADOWS FLEE AWAY.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker The French people from the nearby village later erected a memorial near the spot where they were murdered.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker Those who escaped were taken into care by the French Resistance and eventually sent back to British lines.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker 811752 Sergeant Thomas Varey, York, England
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker 7018947 Private William Pearson Young, Randalstown
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker 7019954 Private Joseph Walker, Moira
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker 95531 Captain Patrick Bannister Garstin, Cork
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker 6986237 Private Thomas James ‘Tot’ Barker, Cookstown
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker Two men escaped but Trooper Thomas (Tot) Barker and four others were killed. The five men who were killed were:
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker Private Thomas Barker was serving with the 1st Special Air Service Regiment, part of the Army Air Corps (A.A.C.) when he was killed on 9th August near Beauvais in France.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker On the 8th August they were told they were going to be exchanged for German agents and were being transferred to Switzerland. After midnight they were taken to a field of the roadside near the village of Noailles. The soldiers were dressed in civilian clothes and all were handcuffed. Just outside Beauvais they were taken to a wood and put before a firing squad. Captain Garstin whispered to his comrades that when he shouted they were to make their dash for freedom. When the Gestapo stated that they had been condemned to death and were to be shot, French soldier Serge Vaculik escaped as Captain Garstin gave the command. They all started running except for Captain Garstin.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker The party of soldiers were taken prisoner. Tot Barker and Captain Garstin were wounded and taken to hospital. The five remaining soldiers were taken to Gestapo Headquarters in Paris. All were horribly tortured prior to Tot Barker and Captain Garstin being reunited with their colleagues on the night of 7th/8th August.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker On the night of 4/5th July 1944, a unit of paratroopers commanded by Captain Pat Garstin were dropped south of Paris behind the German lines. Their mission was to damage German aircraft on French airfields and to blow up ammunition dumps. Somewhere along the line a wrong signal was given and the Germans were ready and waiting for them. It was later revealed that they were betrayed by some locals.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker Private Thomas Barker later became a paratrooper with the 6th Airborne Division and finally joined the Special Air Service where he was under the command of Colonel Blair ‘Paddy’ Mayne.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker ‘To my dear sister Evelyn, and Lowry, I got your telegram on Thursday evening and honestly I am very sorry for your trouble. I still can’t believe it. Lowry if you are reading this letter will you write and let me know how Evelyn is doing. I know Evelyn and you are in a very bad state but I know you are a man and that you will be better than Evelyn so you can let me know about you and Evelyn. I hope you got my telegram all right. I had to get a fellow to send it, as I was out on a school and didn’t get back until Saturday evening. I tried to get home but the adjutant wouldn’t let me as we are all going home in January on leave. I can’t believe that wee Avril is away. The last time I saw her was in our house when I was going back the last time and she was laughing and I feel like crying when I’m writing this letter. Will you give me a photo of wee Avril when I go home Lowry because I never liked a kid as much as I liked wee Avril. I’m getting on fine. So dear Evelyn and Lowry, I’ll close now wishing that you are well and hope that you will soon be happy again. From your ever loving brother, and brother in law Tot. P.S. Write soon and let me know how you’re getting on.’
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker The following letter was written by Tot whilst serving with the Royal Ulster Rifles addressed to his sister, Mrs Evelyn Nelson and her husband Lowry. It refers to the death of their daughter, Avril Nelson.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker A month before his 18th birthday he transferred to the Royal Ulster Rifles.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker At the age of 17, around 1941, he joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker Known family: John Barker, Florence Barker, Thomas James Barker (born about 1924), Evelyn Barker.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker Prior to enlistment Thomas worked with David Anderson & Son who were grocers in Cookstown. The 1910 Street Directory describes Andersons as provision dealers and agricultural seed merchants based in William Street.
05/10/2019 Pte. Thomas James (Tot) Barker Thomas James Barker was the son of John and Florence Barker of Cookstown, County Tyrone. Thomas was born about 1924.
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