Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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3853   Private John Donaldson
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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)
Died: 23/11/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 20
Summary      
John Donaldson was a son of John and Mary Donaldson of Drumglass, Dungannon. John lived with his wife Mary in North Street, Stewartstown. He was killed in action on 23rd November 1916, when his unit had been ordered to attack Munich trench and succeeded in entering it but were unable to reach their second objective. Four men were killed in this attack with forty-two wounded and nineteen missing. John Donaldson was listed as missing.
Further Information
John Donaldson was a son of John and Mary Donaldson. He was born in Drumglass, Dungannon about 1896.
John lived with his wife Mary in North Street, Stewartstown.
North Street, Stewartstown
John had a brother William, who lived in Dungannon.
John Donaldson enlisted in Cookstown.
Medal card
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 28th November 1914:
Among the wounded soldiers home from the front are Private Willie Hogg, of the Inniskillings, who is staying with his sisters at Cloghog; Private P Corr, also of the Inniskillings, whose friends reside at Drumullan; Corporal McCutcheon, son of Mr Albert McCutcheon, of the G.N.R. Station, Stewartstown, and Private Donaldson, of Dungannon, whose wife belongs to Stewartstown.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 23rd January 1915: Soldier Summoned
Acting Sergeant Ryan v John Donaldson, Stewartstown; drunk and disorderly. He was using filthy language and singing. The Complainant said he understood the defendant was a soldier, and was home from the front wounded. Had it not been for his bad language, the police would not have troubled with him. Sergeant Hayes said the defendant was to rejoin his unit next week. The case was adjourned, the District Inspector stating that if the defendant rejoined the Army the case would be withdrawn.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 18th September 1915: Arrest of Deserter at Stewartstown
Private John Donaldson, 3rd Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers, who was on sick leave, failed to report himself on 12th August, and on Monday surrendered himself to the constabulary at Stewartstown, and was placed under arrest. The police wired the military authorities and an escort arrived and conveyed him to Derry. Donaldson was on active service in France, and about six months ago he got a wound on the hand and was sent back to Ireland.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 10th February 1916:
Newspaper Report
Private John Donaldson, 3rd Inniskilling Fusiliers, has intimated to his brother, Mr William Donaldson, Dungannon, that he is in hospital in France suffering from wounds and has lost a finger of his right hand.
Private John Donaldson was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on 23rd November 1916.
His unit had been ordered to attack Munich trench and succeeded in entering it but were unable to reach their second objective. Four men were killed in this attack with forty-two wounded and nineteen missing. John Donaldson was listed as missing.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 14 December 1916:
Newspaper Report
Private John Donaldson, Inniskillings, has been killed in action. He is a native of Dungannon, and his wife resides in Stewartstown.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 14th December 1916:
Private John Donaldson, North Street, Stewartstown, killed in action on 23rd November last.
Last Will and Testament of Private John Donaldson, dated 19th December 1915:
In case of my death, I leave all in my possession to my wife. North Street, Stewartstown, County Tyrone. Ireland. 3853 J Donaldson. 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. France
Private John Donaldson has no known grave and is commemorated on panels 4D-5B on Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.
Private Donaldson is also listed on Dungannon War Memorial.
The CWGC records Private John Donaldson as the son of John and Mary Donaldson of Dungannon and also as the husband of Mary Donaldson of North Street, Stewartstown, Co. Tyrone.
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 North Street Stewartstown CWGC lists wife at North Street 54.577602 -6.675807
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 Dungannon War Dead Also listed on Dungannon War Dead
2 National Archives of Ireland Last Will and Testament of Private John Donaldson
3 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2021