9th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth:
21/03/1918 (Killed in Action)
William Mayne was the youngest son of Samuel and Annie Mayne. He was born and lived at Annaghananam, Sandholes, Cookstown. They were a farming family. Soon after William enlisted he was promoted to the rank of Corporal. Corporal Billy Mayne was serving with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on the first day of the German Spring Offensive on Thursday 21st March 1918.
William Mayne was the youngest son of Samuel and Annie Mayne. Samuel Mayne and Anne Miller were married on 4th August 1874 in the district of Cookstown.
William Mayne was born at Annaghananam, Sandholes, Cookstown on 17th October 1895. He was the second youngest of eleven children, nine surviving.
Family: Samuel Mayne, Annie Mayne, Annie Mayne (born 14th August 1875), James Mayne (born 21st August 1877), Matilda Mayne (born 23rd August 1879, died 23rd January 1885, age 5), Sarah Mayne (born 4th January 1882), Margaret Mayne (born 16th June 1884) , Robert Mayne (born 2nd October 1886), John Mayne (born 26th February 1889), Matilda Tillie Mayne (born 25th February 1893), William Mayne (born 17th October 1895), Elizabeth Mayne (born 20th April 1897).
The 1901 census lists William as age 5, living with the family at house 3 in Annaghananam, Tullaghoge. They were a farming family.
The 1911 census lists William as age 15, living with the family at house 2 in Annaghananam, Tullaghoge. William had left school and was working on the family farm. His father was a widower.
William Mayne enlisted in Cookstown, joining the ranks of the Inniskilling Fusiliers along with his friends, Isaac Black, Sandy Little, Robert Hogshaw and John Kerr from the village of Sandholes.
They trained at Finner Camp, Ballyshannon, County Donegal and Shane’s Park Camp, Randalstown, County Antrim.
Soon after William enlisted he was promoted to the rank of Corporal.
The late Mrs. Jane Swail, Sandholes, recollected when she was a child, seeing her brother Isaac Black, Sandy Little, Billy Mayne and Robert (wee Bob) Hogshaw walking out from Cookstown train station to the Sandholes village when they came home on leave wearing their uniforms, and all the local children going out to greet them.
The following letter was sent to his sister Cissie, after the Somme Offensive, July 1916:
“My Dear Sister, Just a few lines in answer to your most welcome letter. Sorry to see by it that you weren’t doing so well. I hope you are keeping well now. Well Cissie, I was speaking to John Kerr the other day, I just happened to meet him in the trenches. He was showing me a letter he had from Dr. Logan enquiring about poor Isaac and Sandy, poor lads. I think they were killed in ‘No Mans Land’. I am sure you would see some sights in Belfast. Is Johnny’s knee mending? Remember me to him.”
In the above letter Billy Mayne refers to his friends Isaac Black and Sandy Little who were killed in action on 1st July 1916, and Dr. Logan who was the Presbyterian Minister at Sandholes during that time.
Billy Mayne is also mentioned by the late Jim Donaghy who served with him in 109 Trench Mortar Battery during the Battle of Cambrai, details of which are published in the book, “Three Cheers for the Derry’s” by Gardiner S. Mitchell.
Corporal Billy Mayne was serving with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on the first day of the German Spring Offensive on Thursday 21st March 1918.
Corporal William Mayne was originally buried in Roupy Road German Cemetery in Memorial 34.
After the war, when the Commonwealth War Graves Commission came to erect the British Cemeteries, he was re-interred in Savy British Cemetery. The cemetery is situated on the south-western outskirts of the village of Savy, on the west side of the road to Roupy, about 6.5 kilometres west of St. Quentin.
Corporal William Mayne is commemorated locally on Cookstown Cenotaph and on Sandholes Presbyterian Roll of Honour.