Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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7980   Private Thomas Woodburn
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 01/05/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 08/02/1885
Died: 12/02/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 31
Summary      
Thomas was the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Woodburn, and brother of Miss M. Woodburn, Tyressan, Cookstown, County Tyrone. Private Woodburn was killed while doing his duty in the trenches on the 12th February 1916. Sergeant J. Preston who was in Private Woodburn’s company indicated that Thomas Woodburn was killed instantly when he was struck down by shell fire. At the time of his death, Thomas had over 12 year’s military service.
Private Thomas Woodburn
Further Information
Thomas Woodburn was the eldest son of Samuel and Elizabeth Woodburn (nee Harkness). Thomas was born on 8th February 1885 in Cookstown, County Tyrone.
Family: Samuel Woodburn, Elizabeth Woodburn, Thomas Woodburn (born 8th February 1885), Samuel Woodburn (born 8th April 1886), William Woodburn (born 12th September 1887), Mary Woodburn (born 18th March 1889).
By the time of the 1901 census, Elizabeth Woodburn had died. Samuel Woodburn was raising his youngest daughter Mary in Clare, Cookstown. Samuel was a railway porter.
The 1901 census records that Thomas Woodburn was living and working for the Anderson family at Ballymaguire, Killycolpy, County Tyrone. He was 15 years old.
Thomas Woodburn enlisted in Cookstown about 1904.
Medal card
Thomas Woodburn photo
The 1911 census shows that both William and Mary were living with relatives in Teressan, Moneyhaw, County Londonderry
Private Woodburn was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on 12th February 1916, just four days after his 31st birthday.
Private Woodburn met his death by a shell, being struck on the head and killed instantly. The same shell killed two others and wounded one.
Captain and Adjutant C.A.M. Alexander reported that Private Woodburn was killed in action while doing his duty in the trenches.
Private Woodburn was buried on 15th February in the military cemetery at Authuile, near Albert in France.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 24th February 1916:
Miss Minnie Woodburn, Tyresson, Cookstown, has received intimation from Captain C A M Alexander, 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, that her brother, Private Thomas Woodburn, was killed in action in France on 12th February.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 26th February 1916
Newspaper Report
WOODBURN – February 12, killed in action in France, 7980 Private Thomas Woodburn, 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, eldest son of the late Samuel Woodburn, Clare, Cookstown
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 26th February 1916
Newspaper Report
Miss M Woodburn, Tyresson, Cookstown, has received information that her brother, Private Thomas Woodburn, 2nd Royal Inniskillings, was killed in action in France on 12th February. Captain and Adjutant C.A.M. Alexander also writes that Private Woodburn ‘was killed in action while doing his duty in the trenches. He was buried on 15th February, in the military cemetery Authuile, near Albert in France, the burial service being conducted by a chaplain.’ Captain Alexander encloses a small packet of letters, etc, belonging to the deceased. Sergeant J Preston, of the deceased’s Company, also writes that Private Woodburn met his death by a shell, being struck on the head and killed instantly. The same shell killed two others and wounded one. They were all very sorry to lose Private Woodburn. He was very cheerful in the midst of danger and a general favourite. The deceased had over 12 ½ years service and expected to be home for good in less than five months. His brother, Willie, is in the Ulster Division.
At the time of his death, Private Thomas Woodburn had 12 ½ years military service.
His brother Willie was serving with the 36th Ulster Division in France at the time of Private Woodburn's death.
Union Street, Cookstown
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 23rd August 1917: (brother of Thomas Woodburn)
Private W J Woodburn, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Union Street, Cookstown, shrapnel wounds in legs. His brother, Private Thomas Woodburn, fell in action a year ago.
Private Thomas Woodburn is buried in Authuile Military Cemetery, France.
The CWGC record Thomas as the son of the late Samuel and Elizabeth Woodburn, of Cookstown, Co. Tyrone. He had 12 years service.
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Ballymaguire Killycolpy Census listing in Ballymaguire 54.620069 -6.636617
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Thomas Woodburn 1901 census lists Thomas as age 15 at house 1 in Ballymaguire, Killycolpy, Tyrone
2 1901 Census lists Woodburn family 1901 census does not list Thomas as living with the family at house 2 in Clare, Cookstown, Tyrone
3 1911 Census lists Woodburn family 1911 census does not list Thomas as living with the family at house 7 in Terressan, Moneyhaw, Londonderry
4 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
5 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Private Thomas Woodburn's grave can be purchased here
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2020