Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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31184   Private George Usher
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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: 22/04/1899
Died: 16/10/1918 (Died of Wounds)
Age: 20
Summary      
George Usher was the youngest son of James and Margaret Usher. He was born on 22nd April 1899 in Cookstown. George’s father died on 15th May 1909 in Cookstown. He was 37 years old. He left behind a wife and six children, the eldest being just 13 years old. George went on to work at Gunning’s Factory in Millburn. He enlisted in Omagh. Private George Usher was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when died of wounds on 16th October 1918. He was 19 years of age.
Further Information
William George Usher was the youngest son of James and Margaret Usher. James Usher married Margaret Donaldson on 14th May 1894 in Cookstown.
William George Usher was born on 22nd April 1899 in Cookstown.
Union Street, Cookstown
The 1901 census lists lists George as age 1 living with the family at house 51 in Union Street, Cookstown. His father was a farm servant.
Family: James Usher, Maggie Usher, Annie Usher (born 2nd January 1896), John James Usher (born 2nd January 1896), William George Usher (born 22nd April 1899), Lillie Josephine Usher (born 17th November 1901), Sarah Usher (23rd April 1903), Margaret Rubina Usher (born 6th October 1905).
George’s father, James Usher, died on 15th May 1909 in Cookstown. He was 37 years old. He left behind a wife and six children, the eldest being just 13 years old.
The 1911 census records George as age 12, living with his mother and the rest of the family at house 1 in McElhatten's Court, Cookstown. George was still at school. Both his elder siblings were working and his mother worked as a charwoman.
George went on to work at Gunning’s Factory in Millburn as he is commemorated on their War Memorial.
Gunnings Factory, Milburn, Cookstown
George Usher enlisted in Omagh with Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
Medal card
After a period of training he was promoted Lance Corporal and joined his battalion in a draft during 1916.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 4th May 1918: John Usher (brother of George Usher)
Gunner John Usher, whose mother resides at Milburn Street, Cookstown writes from a base hospital in France that he was wounded on 25th April on Kemmel Hill. He, however, makes light of his injury. His brother George is also serving.
Private George Usher was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when died of wounds on 16th October 1918. He was 20 years of age.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 24th October 1918:
USHER – Killed in action in France, 16th October 1918. Private George Usher, Royal Inniskillings, youngest son of Mrs Margaret and the late James Usher. Oldtown Street, Cookstown, aged 20 years.
‘The blow was hard, we felt it bad –
God’s will, it must be done;
With a manly heart, he did his part,
My well beloved son.
He fell mid din of battle
Amid the cannon’s roar;
We hope to clap you hand, dear George,
On a brighter, better shore.’
Inserted by his sorrowing mother, sisters and brother (on active service) and his brother-in-law.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 24th October 1918: Cookstown Soldier Killed
Mrs Margaret Usher, Oldtown Street, Cookstown, has received a letter from the matron of a field hospital in France that her son, Private George Usher, Royal Inniskillings, was brought in on the morning of 16th October suffering from a wound in the abdomen His condition was very bad on admission, and he failed to respond to treatment, passing away at 4:30 the same evening without regaining consciousness. He was buried in a convenient British cemetery. Private Usher, who was only 20 years old, joined up two years ago. Prior to enlistment he was an apprentice mechanic in Messrs Gunning’s factory. He was a lad of kindly and pleasant disposition, and respected by everyone, and the news of his death has caused much regret.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 31st October 1918:
At the meeting of the Hope of Cookstown Lodge, I.O.G.T., on Monday, Brother J H Donaghey presided, and there was a good attendance. Arrangements were made for a social meeting on Halloweve night. A resolution of sympathy was passed with Brother George Ferson, Drumnacross, on the recent death in action of his brother, a silent standing vote. A similar resolution was passed to Sister Lily Usher, Oldtown, Cookstown, who also lost a brother, killed in action a few days previously.
George Usher 's Grave
Private Usher was interred at Duhallow (Advanced Dressing Station) Cemetery.
When the war was over and the cemeteries were being put in place, George’s family were asked if they would like a personal inscription added to the headstone. They chose the following:-
‘I shall go to Him but He shall not return to me.’ Samuel 2, Chapter 12, Verse 23.
Private George Usher is commemorated on Cookstown Cenotaph and St. Luran’s Church of Ireland Roll of Honour, Derryloran, Cookstown and Gunning’s (Milburn) Factory Memorial.
The CWGC record Private Usher as the son of James and Margaret Usher, of Millburn Street, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone.
Memorial Plaque
‘In Loving Memory of George Usher 31184 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died 16-10-1918 resting in Duhallow A.D.S. Cemetery. ‘I shall go to Him but He shall not return to me.’ (Samuel 2, Chapter 12, Verse 23). Remembered by his great nephew Jackie Donnelly, Cookstown.'
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Union Street, Cookstown Cookstown Central Census listings in Union Street 54.647232 -6.741955
2 Millburn Street, Cookstown Cookstown North CWGC lists parents in Millburn Street 54.650733 -6.746032
3 McElhattens Court unknown Cookstown Central Census listing in McElhatten's Court 54.647450 -6.743071
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Usher family 1901 census lists George as age 1 at house 51 in Union Street, Cookstown
2 1911 Census lists "Ussher" family 1911 census lists George as age 12 at house 1 in McElhatten's Court, Cookstown
3 FindAGrave.com Photo of Private George Usher's grave
4 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
5 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Private George Usher's grave can be purchased here
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2021