Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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6362   Lance Corporal William Furgrove
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 01/05/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (British Army)
Died: 01/07/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 28
Summary      
William Furgrove was the only son of William and Ellen Furgrove. William was born in Moneymore about 1888. Both census’ lists the family name as Forgrave. By 1901, the family lived in Moylarg, Galgorm, Antrim, near Cullybackey. When war broke out, William Furgrove went to Ballymena to enlist into the 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. They did much of their training at Clandeboye and Seaford, before they were sent to France in October 1915. Their first major engagement with the enemy was to be the Somme Offensive. Lance Corporal William Furgrove was killed in action at the Somme on the 1st July 1916. He was aged about 28.
Lance Corporal William Furgrove
Further Information
William Furgrove was the only son of William and Ellen Furgrove. William was born in Moneymore about 1888.
The 1901 census lists the family name as Forgrave. By 1901, the family lived in Moylarg, Galgorm, Antrim, near Cullybackey. Young William was 13 years old. He was still at school.
His father William was working as a Beetling Linenette. Beetling was originally used for linen goods, but by 1911 was almost entirely applied to cotton for the production of so-called linenettes.
Family: William Forgrave, Ellen Forgrave, Jane Forgrave (born about 1885), Maggie Forgrave (born about 1887), William Forgrave (born about 1888), Leticia Forgrave (born about 1891).
The 1911 census lists the family name as Forgrave. By 1911, the family still lived in Moylarg, Galgorm, Antrim, near Cullybackey. William was 23 years old. He was working as a cloth ‘brenther’.
When war broke out, William Furgrove went to Ballymena to enlist into the 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. They did much of their training at Clandeboye and Seaford, before they were sent to France in October 1915, landing at Boulogne.
Medal card
Their first major engagement with the enemy was to be the Somme Offensive. Wet weather had delayed the attack until the 1st July 1916. Some of the trenches close to the River Ancre were flooded and men were moved to the front of Thiepval Wood to drier ground. This meant that machine-guns at St Pierre Division would not be attacked and silenced. These same guns were then able to fire across the river into the side of the attacking 12th Battalion, causing heavy casualties.
Lance Corporal William Furgrove was killed in action at the Somme on the 1st July 1916. He was aged about 28.
"Mrs. Furgrove, Cullybackey, has received information of the death in action of her son, Cpl. W. Furgrove, Royal Irish Rifles (CAV) which took place on the 1st July. The secretary of the Ancient Blue Masonic Lodge, Cullybackey, has written to Mrs. Furgrove and family conveying sincere sympathy." (see references)
William Furgrove : Handwritten Will
WILL: In the event of my death, I give the whole of my property and effects to my mother, Mrs N Fairgrove, Maine Street, Cullybackey, Co Antrim Sig. W Furgrove.
William Furgrove : Will Information
William Furgrove : Handwritten Will 2
William Furgrove is buried in Plot 2, Row E, Grave 19 at Ancre Valley Cemetery, France.
William Furgrove is commemorated in Cunningham Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cullybackey.
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Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Moneymore area Moneymore Born in Moneymore area 54.693961 -6.672449
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists 'Forgrove' family 1901 Census lists William as 13, living with the family at house 23 in Moylarg, Galgorm, Antrim
2 1911 Census lists 'Forgrove' family 1911 Census lists William as 23, living with the family at house 30 in Moylarg, Galgorm, Antrim
3 Ancient Blue Masonic Lodge membership Lodge expresses sympathy to William's mother
4 Ballymena 1914-18 Details of William Furgrove
5 FindAGrave.com Photo of L/Corp William Furgrove's grave
6 National Archives of Ireland Last Will and Testament of William Furgrove
7 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
8 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of L/Corp William Furgrove's grave can be purchased here
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2020