Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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14603   Corporal John Henry Fitzsimons
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 01/05/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 14th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 16/11/1894
Died: 01/07/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 21
Summary      
John Henry Fitzsimons was the son of Charles Edward and Jeanie Fitzsimons. He was born in Coagh, County Tyrone on 16th November 1894. He was one ten children. Johnís father was a constable in the Royal Irish Constabulary, which may explain why the family moved around quite regularly. They lived in Coagh, Cookstown and Benburb. By 1911, the family were living in Aughnacloy and John was a draperís apprentice in Belfast. John Henry Fitzsimons enlisted in Belfast. Corporal John Henry Fitzsimons was serving with the 14th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles when he died in his first engagement. He was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on Saturday 1st July 1916.
Further Information
John Fitzsimons was the son of Charles Edward and Jeanie Fitzsimons. Charles Fitzsimons married Jeannie Harrison on 23rd April 1890 in the district of Down.
John Henry Fitzsimons was born in Coagh, County Tyrone on 16th November 1894. He was one ten children, eight surviving.
Johnís father was a constable in the Royal Irish Constabulary, which may explain why the family moved around quite regularly.
Family: Charles Edward Fitzsimons, Jeanie Fitzsimons, Samuel Fitzsimons (born 6th February 1892, Dungannon), James Fitzsimons (born 27th August 1893, Coagh), John Henry Fitzsimons (born 16th November 1894, Coagh), Robert W Fitzsimons (born 1st July 1896, Benburb), Isabella G Fitzsimons (born 25th June 1898, Benburb), Ethel M Fitzsimons (born 25th June 1898, Benburb), Charles M Fitzsimons (born about 1900), Maria E D Fitzsimons (born about 1st July 1903, Omagh), Jeanie H Fitzsimons (born 1st September 1905, Benburb).
The 1901 census lists John as age 6, living with the family at house 5 in Union Street, Cookstown, County Tyrone. Johnís mother was born in America. Johnís father was born in county Donegal. The family included twins, Ethel and Isabella.
The 1911 census does not list John as living with the family at house 31 in Moore Street, Aughnacloy, County Tyrone. Charles Edward Fitzsimons was now a sergeant in the Royal Irish Constabulary.
The 1911 census lists John Henry as age 16, boarding at house 47 in Agnes Street, Court Ward, Belfast. John was a draperís apprentice. The Thompson family he was living with were not drapers, so it must be assumed he worked elsewhere.
John Henry Fitzsimons enlisted in Belfast, joining the 14th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. This Battalion had been raised in Belfast from the Belfast Volunteers in September 1914 and were trained at Randalstown and Ballyshannon.
Medal card
During training at Seaford John was promoted to Corporal.
Corporal Fitzsimons landed at Boulogne, France in October 1915.
Corporal John Henry Fitzsimons was serving with the 14th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles when he died in his first engagement. He was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on Saturday 1st July 1916.
Corporal John Henry Fitzsimons remains were recovered and he is buried in Connaught Cemetery near the Ulster Tower at Thiepval in France.
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Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Coagh area Coagh Born in Coagh area 54.645974 -6.614894
2 Union Street Cookstown Central Census listing in Union Street 54.647684 -6.741929
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Fitzsimons family 1901 census lists John as age 6 living with the family at house 5 in Union St, Cookstown, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists Fitzsimons family 1911 census does not list John as living with the family at house 31 in Moore Street, Aughnacloy Tyrone)
3 1911 Census lists John H Fitzsimons 1911 census lists John Henry as boarding at house 47 in Agnes Street, Court Ward, Antrim
4 Ardboe Heritage Details of Corporal John Henry Fitzsimons
5 FindAGrave.com Photo of Corporal John Henry Fitzsimons's grave
6 Flickr Photo of Corporal John Henry Fitzsimons's grave
7 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
8 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Corporal John Henry Fitzsimons's grave can be purchased here
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2023