Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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Date Name Information
26/12/2019 POS James Jamfrey 01978
26/12/2019 POS James Jamfrey 01977
24/12/2019 Sgt. John Samuel Orr A newspaper report from August 1940 mentions a Jackie Orr, son of Constable Orr of Pomeroy.
24/12/2019 Sgt. John Samuel Orr Mr Jackie Orr, of the Royal Air Force (son of Constable Orr and Mrs Orr of Pomeroy), was on holidays in Pomeroy at the weekend. Lance Corporal James Creggan, R.I.F., was also on furlough during the past week.
24/12/2019 Sgt. John Samuel Orr 01976
24/12/2019 Sgt. John Samuel Orr From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 17th August 1940: Pomeroy
23/12/2019 A/man Frederick Stewart STEWART – 27th July 1940, killed in action in England, Aircraftman (First-class) Frederick Stewart, Royal Air Force, of 6 Louisville, Cookstown.
23/12/2019 A/man Frederick Stewart 01975
23/12/2019 A/man Frederick Stewart From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 3rd August 1940: Roll of Honour
23/12/2019 A/man Frederick Stewart Known family: Robert Stewart, Rebecca Stewart, Frederick Stewart (born about 1918), Isaac Stewart, William Stewart.
23/12/2019 A/man Frederick Stewart Mrs Robert Stewart of Louisville, Cookstown, received notification from the Air Ministry during the week that one of her sons, First-class Aircraftman Frederick Stewart, Royal Air Force, was killed in action in England on Tuesday last. Another son, Fusilier Isaac Stewart, R.I.F., who was with the British Expeditionary Force, is at present on leave. A third son, William, is serving with the Royal Air Force.
23/12/2019 A/man Frederick Stewart 01974
23/12/2019 A/man Frederick Stewart From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 3rd August 1940:
23/12/2019 Pilot Off James Hamilton Gordon GORDON – 25th May 1940, killed in action at Calais, Pilot Officer J H Gordon, nephew of Miss L Hardy and H S Hardy, J.P., Donaghey.
23/12/2019 Pilot Off James Hamilton Gordon 01973
23/12/2019 Pilot Off James Hamilton Gordon From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 27th July 1940: Roll of Honour
23/12/2019 Pilot Off James Hamilton Gordon GORDON – 25th May 1940, killed in action at Calais, Pilot Officer James Hamilton Gordon, Pier View, Holywood; also beloved cousin of Enie Cochrane, Maidie Thompson, Joe Hardy and Mollie Hardy of Donaghey.
23/12/2019 Pilot Off James Hamilton Gordon 01972
23/12/2019 Pilot Off James Hamilton Gordon From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th July 1940: Roll of Honour
22/12/2019 Pte. James Ferson Miss Moira Ferson (daughter of Mr and Mrs William Ferson of Ballymena, and grand-daughter of the late Mr William Ferson and Mrs Ferson of Drumnacross, Cookstown), has passed her final examination in nursing. She is at present employed in the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital.
22/12/2019 Pte. James Ferson 01971
22/12/2019 Pte. James Ferson From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 6th July 1940: Nurse Moira Ferson (niece of Private James Ferson)
22/12/2019 Fus Ernest McGuckin Private Robert Robinson, Royal Army Service Corps, of Union Street, Cookstown
22/12/2019 Fus Ernest McGuckin Private Clark McNickle, R.I.F., of Louisville
22/12/2019 Fus Ernest McGuckin Corporal Cecil Reynolds, Royal Artillery, of St Jean’s Cottages, Cookstown
22/12/2019 Fus Ernest McGuckin Private John Purvis, of Louisville, Cookstown
22/12/2019 Fus Ernest McGuckin Driver Samuel McCann, Royal Army Service Corps, of Coagh Street, Cookstown
22/12/2019 Fus Ernest McGuckin Driver John Donnelly, of Coagh Street, Cookstown an ambulance driver attached to the Royal Army Service Corps
22/12/2019 Fus Ernest McGuckin Private Ernest McGuckin, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, of Low Cross, Tullyhogue
22/12/2019 Fus Ernest McGuckin Other B.E.F. men who arrived home on leave recently were:
22/12/2019 Fus Ernest McGuckin 01970
22/12/2019 Fus Ernest McGuckin From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 29th June 1940:
22/12/2019 Fus Joseph Burns The Burns family wish to express their sincere thanks to all who sympathised with them in their bereavement, and to the many kind friends who made personal calls. This is an acknowledgment of their gratitude in a time of sorrow. Morgan’s Hill, Cookstown.
22/12/2019 Fus Joseph Burns BURNS – 29th May 1940, killed in action with the British Expeditionary Force, Fusiliers Joseph Burns, Royal Irish Fusiliers, fourth son of Mrs Margaret Burns of Morgan’s Hill, Cookstown.
22/12/2019 Fus Joseph Burns 01969
22/12/2019 Fus Joseph Burns From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 29th June 1940: Roll of Honour
20/12/2019 Fus Hugh O'Neill Sapper James Kelly of Orritor Street, Cookstown
20/12/2019 Fus Hugh O'Neill Driver Patrick O’Neill, Royal Army Service Corps, of Chapel Street
20/12/2019 Fus Hugh O'Neill Private John Cheevers, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, of Cemetery Cottages, Cookstown
20/12/2019 Fus Hugh O'Neill Gunner Joseph Espey, Royal Artillery, of Fortview, Cookstown
20/12/2019 Fus Hugh O'Neill Driver Cecil Slane, Royal Army Service Corps, of Chapel Street
20/12/2019 Fus Hugh O'Neill Lance Corporal William Cunningham, of Fairhill, Cookstown
20/12/2019 Fus Hugh O'Neill Sergeant John Stirrup, Pioneers, of William Street, Cookstown
20/12/2019 Fus Hugh O'Neill Private Norman Nelson, R.I.F., of Coolreaghs
20/12/2019 Fus Hugh O'Neill Private George Taylor, R.I.F., of Coagh Street, Cookstown
20/12/2019 Fus Hugh O'Neill Local men of the British Expeditionary Force who arrived home on leave since Friday last were:
20/12/2019 Fus Hugh O'Neill Mrs Burns, of Morgan’s Hill Road, Cookstown, has been notified that her son, Private Joseph Burns, Royal Irish Fusiliers, was killed in action on Flanders.
20/12/2019 Fus Hugh O'Neill Mrs W Irvine, of ex-Soldier’s Cottages, Tullyhogue, has been notified by the Air Ministry that her eldest son, Aircraftman (1st Class) William C Irvine, was killed on 11th June when the aircraft, of which he was wireless operator, crashed at the aerodrome when taking off. He was 19 years of age.
20/12/2019 Fus Hugh O'Neill 01968
20/12/2019 Fus Hugh O'Neill From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 22nd June 1940: Patrick O’Neill – brother of Fusilier Hugh O’Neill
20/12/2019 Fus Joseph Burns Mrs Burns, of Morgan’s Hill Road, Cookstown, has been notified that her son, Private Joseph Burns, Royal Irish Fusiliers, was killed in action on Flanders.
20/12/2019 Fus Joseph Burns Mrs W Irvine, of ex-Soldier’s Cottages, Tullyhogue, has been notified by the Air Ministry that her eldest son, Aircraftman (1st Class) William C Irvine, was killed on 11th June when the aircraft, of which he was wireless operator, crashed at the aerodrome when taking off. He was 19 years of age.
20/12/2019 Fus Joseph Burns 01968
20/12/2019 Fus Joseph Burns From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 22nd June 1940:
20/12/2019 A/man William Charles Irvine Mrs W Irvine, of ex-Soldier’s Cottages, Tullyhogue, has been notified by the Air Ministry that her eldest son, Aircraftman (1st Class) William C Irvine, was killed on 11th June when the aircraft, of which he was wireless operator, crashed at the aerodrome when taking off. He was 19 years of age.
20/12/2019 A/man William Charles Irvine 01968
20/12/2019 A/man William Charles Irvine From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 22nd June 1940:
19/12/2019 Civilian John Creggan Private W Campbell, Pioneer Corps, of Fortview
19/12/2019 Civilian John Creggan Sapper Cecil Lee, Royal Engineers, of Red Brae, Tullywiggan
19/12/2019 Civilian John Creggan Private P Hagan, Royal Artillery, of Fortview
19/12/2019 Civilian John Creggan Sergeant R Nixon, Royal Artillery, of Coagh Street
19/12/2019 Civilian John Creggan Private James Corey, Pioneer Corps, of Fountain Road
19/12/2019 Civilian John Creggan Private J Creggan, Pioneer Corps, of Killymoon Street
19/12/2019 Civilian John Creggan Private Victor Stirrup, R.I.F., of Coagh Street
19/12/2019 Civilian John Creggan Private E Cosgrove, R.I.F., of Orritor Street
19/12/2019 Civilian John Creggan Sergeant Thomas McGeown, Royal Field Artillery, of Killymoon Street
19/12/2019 Civilian John Creggan Private John McIlree, R.I.F., of Maloon
19/12/2019 Civilian John Creggan Private J Larmour, R.U.R., of Orritor Street, Cookstown who was wounded in the leg and his brother Private W Larmour, R.I.F., of Killymoon Street
19/12/2019 Civilian John Creggan Intimation was received on Thursday by Mr Robert Larmour of Killymoon Street, Cookstown, that his son, Private R Larmour, R.I.F., is missing. Local men who were with British Expeditionary Force in Flanders who are at present on leave include:-
19/12/2019 Civilian John Creggan Mrs Curran of Drapersfield has been officially notified that her son, Seaman A Curran, is reported missing. He was serving on the aircraft carrier H.M.S. Glorious, believed lost in action in Norwegian waters recently. He had several years service in the Navy.
19/12/2019 Civilian John Creggan 01967
19/12/2019 Civilian John Creggan From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 15th June 1940: Private J Creggan, Pioneer Corps (father of Master John Creggan)
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree Private W Campbell, Pioneer Corps, of Fortview
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree Sapper Cecil Lee, Royal Engineers, of Red Brae, Tullywiggan
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree Private P Hagan, Royal Artillery, of Fortview
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree Sergeant R Nixon, Royal Artillery, of Coagh Street
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree Private James Corey, Pioneer Corps, of Fountain Road
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree Private J Creggan, Pioneer Corps, of Killymoon Street
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree Private Victor Stirrup, R.I.F., of Coagh Street
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree Private E Cosgrove, R.I.F., of Orritor Street
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree Sergeant Thomas McGeown, Royal Field Artillery, of Killymoon Street
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree Private John McIlree, R.I.F., of Maloon
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree Private J Larmour, R.U.R., of Orritor Street, Cookstown who was wounded in the leg and his brother Private W Larmour, R.I.F., of Killymoon Street
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree Intimation was received on Thursday by Mr Robert Larmour of Killymoon Street, Cookstown, that his son, Private R Larmour, R.I.F., is missing. Local men who were with British Expeditionary Force in Flanders who are at present on leave include:-
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree Mrs Curran of Drapersfield has been officially notified that her son, Seaman A Curran, is reported missing. He was serving on the aircraft carrier H.M.S. Glorious, believed lost in action in Norwegian waters recently. He had several years service in the Navy.
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree 01967
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 15th June 1940: (Private John McIlree - brother of Alexander McIlree)
19/12/2019 Ab Sea Andrew Curran Private W Campbell, Pioneer Corps, of Fortview
19/12/2019 Ab Sea Andrew Curran Sapper Cecil Lee, Royal Engineers, of Red Brae, Tullywiggan
19/12/2019 Ab Sea Andrew Curran Private P Hagan, Royal Artillery, of Fortview
19/12/2019 Ab Sea Andrew Curran Sergeant R Nixon, Royal Artillery, of Coagh Street
19/12/2019 Ab Sea Andrew Curran Private James Corey, Pioneer Corps, of Fountain Road
19/12/2019 Ab Sea Andrew Curran Private J Creggan, Pioneer Corps, of Killymoon Street
19/12/2019 Ab Sea Andrew Curran Private Victor Stirrup, R.I.F., of Coagh Street
19/12/2019 Ab Sea Andrew Curran Private E Cosgrove, R.I.F., of Orritor Street
19/12/2019 Ab Sea Andrew Curran Sergeant Thomas McGeown, Royal Field Artillery, of Killymoon Street
19/12/2019 Ab Sea Andrew Curran Private John McIlree, R.I.F., of Maloon
19/12/2019 Ab Sea Andrew Curran Private J Larmour, R.U.R., of Orritor Street, Cookstown who was wounded in the leg and his brother Private W Larmour, R.I.F., of Killymoon Street
19/12/2019 Ab Sea Andrew Curran Intimation was received on Thursday by Mr Robert Larmour of Killymoon Street, Cookstown, that his son, Private R Larmour, R.I.F., is missing. Local men who were with British Expeditionary Force in Flanders who are at present on leave include:-
19/12/2019 Ab Sea Andrew Curran Mrs Curran of Drapersfield has been officially notified that her son, Seaman A Curran, is reported missing. He was serving on the aircraft carrier H.M.S. Glorious, believed lost in action in Norwegian waters recently. He had several years service in the Navy.
19/12/2019 Ab Sea Andrew Curran 01967
19/12/2019 Ab Sea Andrew Curran From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 15th June 1940:
19/12/2019 Corp John Gilmor Magee Among the 235,000 men who escaped the clutches of the Germans in the great evacuation from Dunkirk last week was Mr Ronald Magee (seventh son of the late Alexander Magee of Toberlane, Cookstown). He had been an engineer in the employment of Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, the big firm of contractors. On the declaration of war in September, he volunteered and was sent to Arras, where he served until the invasion of Belgium, when he went to the new front. His relatives got word from him on Saturday that he had arrived safely at his home. He is married and has two children.
19/12/2019 Corp John Gilmor Magee 01966
19/12/2019 Corp John Gilmor Magee From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 8th June 1940: Ronald Magee (brother of Corporal John Magee)
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree Our readers will understand that it is not possible for a newspaper to possess a list of all men from the locality who are serving in the Forces, and they will greatly assist us if they inform us promptly of any official intimation they receive as to relatives wounded, missing or killed in action. We are not permitted to publish such information until ‘official’ notification has been received by relatives concerned.
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree Two members of the Pioneer Corps, Private Leslie McIlree of Maloon, and Private Robert Hamilton of Gortalowry, also got leave. Private McIlree, who saw service through most of the Great War with the Royal Field Artillery, is probably the oldest war veteran in the district to volunteer for service on the outbreak of the present hostilities. He had six brothers in the Great War, and he has two sons at present on active service.
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree On Saturday last, Privates Jim McCullagh, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, of Milburn Street and Thomas Talbot, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, of Donaghrisk, arrived home on short leave and returned on Monday. Private McCullagh however got further leave, reaching home again during the week.
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree Most of the Cookstown men who served with the British Expeditionary Force in Flanders are reported safe. Some have been home on leave, others have written from England, but at the time going to press no official information as to the whereabouts of several men have been received. Mrs Gildea of Union Street, Cookstown, was notified by the War Office on Thursday that her husband, Sergeant Thomas Gildea, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, has been posted as missing.
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree 01965
19/12/2019 Pte. Alexander McIlree From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 8th June 1940: (Private Leslie McIlree - brother of Alexander McIlree)
19/12/2019 Sgt. Thomas James Gildea Our readers will understand that it is not possible for a newspaper to possess a list of all men from the locality who are serving in the Forces, and they will greatly assist us if they inform us promptly of any official intimation they receive as to relatives wounded, missing or killed in action. We are not permitted to publish such information until ‘official’ notification has been received by relatives concerned.
19/12/2019 Sgt. Thomas James Gildea Two members of the Pioneer Corps, Private Leslie McIlree of Maloon, and Private Robert Hamilton of Gortalowry, also got leave. Private McIlree, who saw service through most of the Great War with the Royal Field Artillery, is probably the oldest war veteran in the district to volunteer for service on the outbreak of the present hostilities. He had six brothers in the Great War, and he has two sons at present on active service.
19/12/2019 Sgt. Thomas James Gildea On Saturday last, Privates Jim McCullagh, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, of Milburn Street and Thomas Talbot, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, of Donaghrisk, arrived home on short leave and returned on Monday. Private McCullagh however got further leave, reaching home again during the week.
19/12/2019 Sgt. Thomas James Gildea Most of the Cookstown men who served with the British Expeditionary Force in Flanders are reported safe. Some have been home on leave, others have written from England, but at the time going to press no official information as to the whereabouts of several men have been received. Mrs Gildea of Union Street, Cookstown, was notified by the War Office on Thursday that her husband, Sergeant Thomas Gildea, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, has been posted as missing.
19/12/2019 Sgt. Thomas James Gildea 01965
19/12/2019 Sgt. Thomas James Gildea From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 8th June 1940:
18/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman An enjoyable programme was contributed by the Chairman, Messrs J Allen, William Parke, R S Twigg, George H Hanna, R Faulkner, Thompson, R Hughes, W Anderson and James McCammon. The proceedings ended with the singing of ’Auld Lang Syne’ and the National Anthem.
18/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman Seaman Freeman, after the company had sung ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow’, thanked them all for the pleasant evening and for their nice gift, which he was proud to have.
18/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman Mr Twigg joined in the congratulations, and said her would have felt it very much amiss if young Freeman had been allowed to go away without some appreciation of his services being shown. It was not sufficiently appreciated, he thought, what the lads in the Navy were doing for them. They had passed through one of the worst winters on record. Were it not for the Navy in the present war, the people of Britain would find themselves in a very tight place, and it was only right that everything should be done to make the task of the Navy men easier, and to show their appreciation of what they were doing. He wished Seaman Freeman God-speed.
18/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman Mr Allen, on behalf of the subscribers, presented Seaman Freeman with the watch, and said that they felt that his services should be recognised in his home town. They were proud that he was in the Navy. They heard a lot about the Army and the Air Force, but it was the British Navy that kept them safe and would continue to keep them safe. Everyone was safe in the Navy’s hands (applause).
18/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman Safe in the Navy’s Hands
18/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman The toast to the King having been loyally honoured. Mr Glasgow said he appreciated the honour of being asked to preside at a function arranged in order to do honour to their fellow townsman. Seaman Freeman, who had taken part in the battle with the Graf Spee. They were as delighted to welcome him among them as they had been with the result of the battle with the Nazi warship. Most of them had read in that day’s press the story of how members of the Graf Spee’s crew in harbour after the fight mutinied rather than go out again and fight. Out of the entire crew of over 900 men, only sixty men had volunteered to face the British ships, which showed that the crew had a healthy respect for the British Navy, even though the ships were not more than half the strength of their German opponent. They hoped their young friend would be spared to come back to Cookstown. Some of the residents in the town had thought it right to present him with a memento which he would be able to carry about with him and perhaps remind him (if he required any reminder) on what took place on 13th December. The Chairman then asked Mr Joseph Allen to hand over the gift.
18/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman Mr John Glasgow, J.P., Chairman of the Urban Council, presided, and the others present were Messrs:- Samuel McKinney, UDC; William Alexander, UDC; James Wright, UDC; R Stewart Twigg, Joseph Allen, James McCammon, Clerk RDC; A Cameron, RDC; Robert J Allen, William Parks, William Anderson, T Greer, A McConnell, Rankin Faulkner, George H Hanna, Robert Hughes, David Wilkinson, C H Tomb, Samuel Glasgow, Mr Thompson.
18/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman Seaman William H Freeman, of Church Street, Cookstown, who on board H.M.S. Exeter, took part in the River Plate action against the Admiral Graf Spee, was the recipient of further congratulations from his native town on Wednesday night, when he was the guest of a number of business men and merchants in a special gathering held in The Café. The function was due to the initiative of Mr Joseph Allen, who arranged to present young Freeman with an inscribed gold wristlet watch in recognition of his service on the Exeter.
18/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman 01964
18/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 30th March 1940: Cookstown Honour Townsman – Presentation to Seaman W H Freeman
18/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman He was congratulated by the host and hostess and by members of the club, and afterwards the company took part in community singing and popular games. Miss M Morrell, secretary of the club, took the chair for a short time and explained the object of their meeting. They wished to extend to Mr Freeman their heartiest congratulations for the part he played in the battle with the Graf Spee. Everyone had been thrilled by the account of the action, and the gallant fighting of the Exeter, Ajax and Achilles. Seaman Freeman might say that on that occasion he only did his duty, but he played a man’s part in helping to win the victory – a victory which incidentally they in Cookstown could claim to have a share. The club wished him luck, added Miss Morrell, who then asked Mrs Jones on their behalf to make the presentation. Mrs Jones handed over the gift and wished Seaman Freeman God-speed wherever his duty took him. Miss Mary Porter (treasurer), Mr Jones and others also spoke briefly and joined in the congratulations. Seaman freeman thanked the members of the club for their kindness. During the night an impromptu musical programme was contributed by Misses M Porter, N Ferguson, E Gilmour, D Freeman and Messrs George H Hanna, R H Vigor and Seaman Freeman. A vote of thanks was enthusiastically accorded to Mr and Mrs Jones for their hospitality and kindness, on the motion of Miss M Porter.
18/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman Seaman Freeman, who was accompanied by his sister, had just returned from Belfast, where he and other Northern Ireland sailors from Exeter and Ajax were presented by Lady Craigavon with parcels of comforts from the Ulster Gift Fund Depot.
18/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman Seaman William H Freeman of Cookstown (HMS Exeter), who goes back to duty in a few days’ time. After spending four weeks leave with his family, was honoured by the Tuesday Night Club, Cookstown, on Wednesday night. When he was presented by the members with a solid silver cigarette case, suitably inscribed, in recognition of his service with H.M.S. Exeter in the River Plate Battle on 13th December. The members of the club were, for the occasion, the guests of Mr and Mrs R Jones, Bank of Ireland House, who entertained the company to tea and spared no trouble in making in making the function a happy and enjoyable one.
18/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman 01963
18/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 23rd March 1940: Cookstown Sailor Honoured – Guest of Tuesday Night Club
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman Another Cookstown man who took part in the Battle of the River Plate on 12th December was Mr Francis Kane. He was on H.M.S. Ajax. At an early age (he is 24 now) he joined the Royal Marines and about five years ago he went to Ajax as a wireless operator. He came through the action uninjured, but when his ship returned home last month he did not visit his native district. Instead he took the opportunity afforded by his leave to get married to a young lady in England, and he spent the remainder of his time with his bride.
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman 01962
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 23rd March 1940: Wireless Operator Francis Kane
17/12/2019 Fus John Galloway A military wedding took place in St Mary’s Catholic Church, Stewartstown, on Saturday morning, when Corporal Joseph Devlin, who had crossed from France on Tuesday night, was married to Miss K Devlin, of Railway Street, Stewartstown. The bridesmaid was Mrs John Galloway, whose husband is at present serving with the British forces in France, and the groomsman was Private John O’Neill of the Royal I F. The marriage ceremony was performed by the Rev P J Geatins, P.P. the bride’s father, Mr Joseph Devlin, is at present in training at Ballykinlar, and the groom is the son of Mr Francis Devlin of North Street, Stewartstown, who served in the Great War. The groom left on Tuesday to re-join his regiment in France.
17/12/2019 Fus John Galloway 01961
17/12/2019 Fus John Galloway From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 16th March 1940: From France to Wed
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman Seaman William H Freeman, of Church Street, Cookstown, was one of eight member of the crew of H.M.S. Exeter, who with two men from H.M.S. Ajax wee the guests of Lord Craigavon at Stormont on Tuesday. The party spent some time in the House of Commons, and some of them were accommodated in the Distinguished Strangers Gallery at the direction of the Speaker. They were entertained at tea in the Members’ dining rooms.
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman 01960
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 16th March 1940:
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman He speaks highly of the kindness shown to the Exeter’s company when they arrived at the Falklands on the Saturday after the battle. Among the mementos of the battle he brought home with him is a piece of the Graf Spee shell and a special memento of the Falkland Islands News Weekly, inscribed to Captain F S Bell and his Sea Pirates. It contains a brief account of the battle, the casualty list, and the funeral of those who lost their lives.
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman The coolness of his comrades under fire he described as wonderful. They chatted away and sang songs as shells burst all around them, killing and wounding many men. A shell splinter made a hole in his cap, but with exception of a slight cut on one hand, he was fortunate to escape almost unscratched. Modestly he disclaimed any important part in the Exeter’s heroic fight as she closed with the enemy, drawing her concentrated fire, while Ajax and Achilles maneuvered into position to shoot up the Graf Spee. Only when pressed did he reveal that he was engaged in the highly dangerous task of throwing sand on the shells in the shell-lockers, or dumping them overboard to prevent them being ‘touched off’ by enemy fire.
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman Sang Songs Amidst Burning Shells
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman On that fateful morning in the South Atlantic, shortly after 6am, he was lying on deck when the order came to action stations. Perhaps it was just another merchant ship on the horizon, another false alarm. But those aboard Exeter were not long left in doubt as to the nature of the ship that had been sighted. Distant guns flashed and soon those aboard Exeter has received their first baptism of fire. It was an exciting time in those first moments as the heavy shells from the Nazi cruiser’s 11-inch guns fell close to the British ship. Seaman Freeman paid tribute to the accuracy of the German gunners, whose fifth salvo scored a hit. Many others followed, but Exeter returned shot for shot and inflicted considerable damage by her steady and accurate fire, until almost all her guns were out of action. Freeman, who was a member of the crew of one of the 4.7in guns, helped to send the Graf Spee a few surprise packets, until their gun was disabled.
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman Seaman Freeman joined the Navy in the summer of 1938, and after a period of training he went to sea in the Exeter, his first ship, which had come home from Foreign Service. When she went abroad again sometime before the outbreak of war, there were about fourteen North of Ireland men on board, as well as a number of men from the Free State. He was among the younger members of the ship’s company, being 19 years of age at the time of the River Plate action. Young Freeman is very reticent about the memorable battle in which his ship played a gallant part and suffered so heavily on 13th December, a date which was most unlucky for the Graf Spee.
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman His Impressions of the Battle
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman Later at night, some members of Killymoon and Derryloran Bands got a few instruments together and assembled with a large crowd at the Freeman home. Ther hero of the hour had to reappear and on the shoulders of young men among whom he had spent his childhood, he was carried in procession through the town, with the band playing patriotic airs. When the party returned to Church Street again, young Freeman briefly thanked the assembled crowd for the warmth of the welcome that had been given to him. There was a loud cheer when he concluded with the words: ‘I hope I live to see Hitler scuttle himself too!’
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman When the bus stopped it was immediately surrounded by a excited throng. The first to greet Seaman Freeman, who was undoubtedly taken aback by the reception, was his sister. Then Mr John Glasgow J.P., on behalf of the Urban Council and the town, gave the blushing sailor a hearty handshake, a pat on the shoulder, and a welcome home. Others who shook hands with him were Mr John W Fleming, District Inspector Wolseley, Mr Joseph Allen and Mr John Cadden (Head Postmaster) and as friends and well-wishers surrounded him, there was a cheer for the young Exeter hero. Everyone was eager to grasp him by the hand or to get a glimpse of him. On the suggestion of Mr Cadden, several members of the Services on leave lifted young Freeman shoulder high, and in this way he was escorted to his home, where is overjoyed and proud parents awaited his return. A union Jack was secured and carried in front of the escort.
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman Council Chairman’s Welcome
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman There was enthusiastic scenes when the bus in which he travelled from Belfast arrived at the Transport Board’s depot in William Street. When it became known that he was arriving by the 6:50pm bus, a large crowd gathered and Mr John Glasgow J.P. (chairman) and members of the Urban Council; Mr John W Fleming, Town Clerk; District Inspector A H Wolseley, and others, were there to welcome the young sailor, who after little more than a year’s service in the Royal Navy, had the thrilling experience of being under fire in the first naval action of the present war, and helped to defeat the Graf Spee, which sough safety in Montevideo harbor and later scuttled by her crew. Many Cookstown residents were proud of the fact that their town had been identified with the River Plate battle in this way, and it was this thought, no less than the desire to offer professional congratulations to young Freeman (whose plucky riding as a novice in the last 100 Miles motor cycle race through Cookstown in 1938 will be remembered) that prompted the public demonstration of welcome.
17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman Seaman William H Freeman, of Church Street, Cookstown, a member of the crew of H.M.S. Exeter, which played such a heroic part in the battle with the Nazi pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee off the River Plate on 13th December, received a hearty welcome when he arrived home in his native town on Saturday evening to spend 28 days leave with his parents.
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17/12/2019 Blacksmith William Hugh Freeman From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 9th March 1940: Cookstown’s Exeter Hero – Seaman W H Freeman Welcomed – What he saw of the Graf Spee Battle.
17/12/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh One of his two brothers, Joseph Darragh, a joiner, is engaged in government work in Scotland, and the other, Thomas Darragh, is a painter in Cookstown.
17/12/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh His father, Thomas Darragh, served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and Connaught Rangers during the Great War, and was killed in action in France in 1916. His mother, who married again, is Mrs Lagan of Orritor Street, Cookstown.
17/12/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh Young Darragh was no doubt popular among his shipmates. He spoke very highly of Captain Creasy, the ship’s commander, who is among the survivors.
17/12/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh The destroyer Grenville had been engaged in convoy patrol duty, and it has been stated that she responsible for the sinking of at least one U-boat.
17/12/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh When the ship returned to home waters in November last, Seaman Darragh came home on short leave. That was the last he saw of his native town. His period of active service in the Navy would have been completed in another year.
17/12/2019 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 war. Grenville was in Spanish waters during the Spanish Civil War, and while lying in Barcelona harbour, one of her motor pinnaces, which had gone to collect Consular mail, was fired upon.
17/12/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh He joined the navy in 1934, and the first ship he joined was the Iron Duke, which it will be recalled, was slightly damaged by a bomb at Scapa Flow in the same month. He had the honour to be one of the naval ratings chosen to represent the Fleet at the funeral of the late Admiral Earl Jellicoe in 1935.
17/12/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh As recently as Thursday 18th January, actually the day on which HMS Grenville was lost, she had a letter from him stating that he was due home on leave on 29th. But fate willed otherwise.
17/12/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh Seaman Darragh, who was rated as first-class gunner, would have been 26 years of age on Monday next, and the pathetic feature of the occurrence is that his wife, who lives at Church Street with her eighteen month old son, was expecting him home on leave on his birthday next week.
17/12/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh Official intimation from the Admiralty that he was among the 73 members of the crew missing and presumed dead following the loss of the ship, was received by his wife and relatives on Saturday night and Sunday morning,
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17/12/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh Able Seaman William Darragh of Church Street, Cookstown, who went down with his ship H.M.S. Grenville, a destroyer of 1485 tons, when she was sunk by a mine or torpedo on Thursday of last week, is the first man from the town or district to, lose his life in action in the current war.
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17/12/2019 Ab Sea William Darragh From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 27th January 1940: Cookstown Sailor’s Death – Went down with His Ship
16/12/2019 Fus Hugh O'Neill Driver Patrick O’Neill, Royal Army Service Corps (eldest son of Mr Hugh O’Neill of Chapel Street, Cookstown), who has been home on ten days’ leave from France, was welcomed by his parents and friends and all who knew him. He left on Wednesday to re-join his unit in the best of health and spirits. He wishes to thank the ladies of the town for the parcels he received from Cookstown, and to say how much the men out there appreciate a parcel.
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16/12/2019 Fus Hugh O'Neill From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 13th January 1940: Patrick O’Neill – brother of Fusilier Hugh O’Neill
16/12/2019 Fus John Galloway Private John Galloway, who was serving in France, was the first soldier from Stewartstown to arrive on leave last week. He says the boys are all of good cheer, and that everything is going okay.
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16/12/2019 Fus John Galloway From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 6th January 1940: Stewartstown
16/12/2019 Sig/man Richard David Millar Signalman Millar was then posted to Malaya in January 1940 with the Royal Corps of Signals.
16/12/2019 Sig/man Richard David Millar In November 1939, his mother laid a wreath at Stewartstown War Memorial. Three of her sons were serving in the army.
16/12/2019 Sig/man Richard David Millar Remembrance Day was observed in First Stewartstown Presbyterian Church on Sunday. Rev S Huston, who conducted the service, read the Roll of Honour, which was followed by the Two Minute’s Silence. The praise service and sermon were appropriate to the occasion. The wreath given bt the congregation was on view during the service, and subsequently laid at the Cenotaph by Mrs Miller, of Church Street, whose three sons are serving in the army. The offering was on behalf of the Earl Haig Fund.
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16/12/2019 Sig/man Richard David Millar From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 25th November 1939: Remembrance Day – Stewartstown Presbyterian Church
16/12/2019 Pte. John Newell In loving memory of my John and Joseph Newell, from their mother brothers and sisters.
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16/12/2019 Pte. John Newell From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 25th November 1939: Remembrance Day - Stewartstown
16/12/2019 Pte. Joseph Newell In loving memory of my John and Joseph Newell, from their mother brothers and sisters.
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16/12/2019 Pte. Joseph Newell From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 25th November 1939: Remembrance Day - Stewartstown
16/12/2019 Pte. Samuel Donnelly In loving memory of my dear brother, Samuel Donnelly, from his sister, Mrs G Stewart and family.
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16/12/2019 Pte. Samuel Donnelly From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 25th November 1939: Remembrance Day - Stewartstown
16/12/2019 R/man Charles Campbell In loving memory of my dear brothers, Charles and Frank Campbell, 10th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (South Belfast Volunteers), killed in action 1917. In fond remembrance by their sister and brother-in-law, Ellen and W J McVey.
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16/12/2019 R/man Charles Campbell From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 25th November 1939: Remembrance Day - Stewartstown
11/12/2019 Cadet Thomas Xavier Murphy Cadet Thomas Murphy is listed on Ballycarry War Memorial.
08/12/2019 Cadet Thomas Xavier Murphy It is believed he was killed at Leaside Aerodrome near Toronto. The book ‘Dancing in the Sky: The Royal Flying Corps in Canada’ refers to the accident in a table of those killed.
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08/12/2019 Cadet Thomas Xavier Murphy 26th October 1917 – Cadet Thomas Murphy of Cookstown, killed in a flying accident at Toronto.
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08/12/2019 Cadet Thomas Xavier Murphy From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 26th December 1942: 25 Years Ago – Deaths
08/12/2019 Cadet Thomas Xavier Murphy The CWGC record Cadet Thomas X Murphy as the son of Hugh Murphy of Bentra, Ballcarry, County Antrim, Ireland, and of Mary Murphy of 532 Jamaica Avenue, Astoria, Long Island, New York.
08/12/2019 Cadet Thomas Xavier Murphy Cadet Thomas X Murphy is buried at Toronto (Mount Hope) Cemetery.
08/12/2019 Cadet Thomas Xavier Murphy Cadet Thomas Murphy was killed in a flying accident at Toronto.
08/12/2019 Cadet Thomas Xavier Murphy Thomas enlisted with the Canadian Royal Flying Corps.
08/12/2019 Cadet Thomas Xavier Murphy Thomas emigrated to Canada / USA.
08/12/2019 Cadet Thomas Xavier Murphy The 1911 census lists Thomas as age 17, living with the family at house 3 in Union Street, Cookstown. Thomas was still at school. Hugh Murphy was described as a pensioner from the 4th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He was working as a rural postman.
08/12/2019 Cadet Thomas Xavier Murphy Family: Hugh Murphy, Mary Murphy, Thomas Xavier Murphy (born about 1894 in Thayetmyo, Burma, Mary Murphy (born 31st July 1895, Cookstown), Rosanna A Murphy (born 27th September 1897, Omagh), Martha Ellen P Murphy (born 3rd July 1900, Omagh), Eileen / Elaine / Ellen Josephine Murphy (born 6th October 1902, Cookstown), Hugh Patrick Murphy (born 1st July 1904, Cookstown).
08/12/2019 Cadet Thomas Xavier Murphy The 1901 census lists Thomas as age 7, living with the family at house 30 in Loy Street, Cookstown. His father was a sergeant in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
08/12/2019 Cadet Thomas Xavier Murphy From birth records, it seems the family returned to live in Omagh in 1895.
08/12/2019 Cadet Thomas Xavier Murphy Thomas Xavier Murphy was born about 1894 in Thayetmyo, Burma. His father was in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Thomas was the oldest of six children.
08/12/2019 Cadet Thomas Xavier Murphy Thomas Murphy was the eldest son of Hugh and of Mary Murphy (nee Cullen). They were married about 1893.
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