Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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5185   Private Henry (Harry) Tohill
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 21/05/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 6th Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 23/05/1889
Died: 07/08/1915 (Killed in Action)
Age: 26
Summary      
Private Henry (Harry) Tohill was born and lived at Rainey Street Magherafelt, County Londonderry. Harry was the eldest of 5 boys who served in the army during the First World War. At the outbreak of war, Harry along with his team mates, Thomas Darragh and Paddy Corey joined the ranks of the Inniskilling Fusiliers. Harry later transferred to the Royal Munster Fusiliers and was killed in action at Gallipoli on 7th August 1915.
Private Henry (Harry) Tohill
Further Information
Henry Tohill was the son of Henry and Margaret Tohill (nee Lavelle). Henry was born in Magherafelt about 1889.
The 1901 census lists the Taughill family as living in Rainey Street, Magherafelt. Henry was 10 years old. His father was a flesher.
Family: Henry Taughill, Maggie Taughill, Mary Jane Taughill (born about 1886), John Patrick Taughill (born about 1888), Henry Taughill (born about 1891), Nannie Taughill (born about 1892), Kathleen Taughill (born about 1895), Francis Taughill (born about 1897), James Taughill (born about 1898), Bridget Taughill (born about 1900).
Henry (Harry) Tohill was a butcher by trade and a close friend of Mr Bobby Allen, Cookstown.
Although a resident of Magherafelt, Harry Tohill was well known in the Mid Ulster area as a footballer and keen sportsman, and was friends with Cookstown soccer players, Thomas Darragh and Paddy Corey.
During the soccer season, Harry was brought to Cookstown every Friday evening to stay overnight by Mr. Bobby Allen, a butcher by trade, so Harry could qualify as a resident, making him eligible to play for popular local team, Derryloran Football Club.
Derryloran Football Club, Cookstown 1910-1911
1914
Harry was one of four brothers who joined up with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers during the First World War. His brother James was wounded in the arm in Egypt where it was discovered that he was actually under age and was promptly sent back home to recuperate, but rejoined the army later on. Francis Tohill took an inner ear infection and was discharged, because they thought he might lose hearing in the ear would not make a good soldier. Harry’s three brothers, Francis, John and James survived the war.
Medal card
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 14th November 1914:
Three Magherafelt recruits, Hugh Niblock, Harry Tohill and John Tohill, have joined the Irish Brigade and left on Tuesday for the headquarters.
At the outbreak of war, Harry Tohill, along with his team mates Thomas Darragh and Paddy Corey, joined the ranks of the Inniskilling Fusiliers (Service No 16922).
1915
Harry later transferred to the Royal Munster Fusiliers and was killed in action at Gallipoli on 7th August 1915. He was 26 years old.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 11th September 1915: (some discrepancies in this report - brother of Henry?)
Mr Henry Tohill, Rainey Street, has received intimation that his son, Private Hugh Tohill, 7th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Irish Brigade, has been wounded at the Dardanelles and is at present lying in hospital in Alexandria. His brother Frank has been twice wounded in the same place.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 25th September 1915:
Private Marcus Hagan, 7th Munsters, writing to his mother in Magherafelt, states that Private Joseph Walls and Harry Tohill are both wounded and the latter missing.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 21st December 1915:
Mr Henry Tohill, Rainey Street, Magherafelt, has received official intimation that his son, Private Henry Tohill, 6th Royal Munster Fusiliers, has been reported as wounded and missing since 9th August. Private Tohill was with the 10th Division at the landing at Suvla Bay. He was a well-known footballer in Derry and Tyrone.
1916
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 12th February 1916:
TOHILL – 7th August 1915 at Suvla Bay, killed in action, Private Henry Tohill, 6th Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers, second son of Henry and Maggie Tohill, Rainey Street, Magherafelt. R.I.P. On his soul, Sweet Jesus, have mercy.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 12th February 1916: Private Henry Tohill, Munster Fusiliers
Newspaper Report
Mr Henry Tohill, Rainey Street, Magherafelt, has received official intimation that his son, Private Henry Tohill, of the 6th Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers, was killed in action at the Dardanelles on the 7th August last, previously reported as missing. He was a well known footballer in Cookstown and Magherafelt, having assisted the teams of those towns on many an occasion. Mr Henry Tohill has also received intimation that another son has been wounded in action in the Balkans. Mr Tohill has now three sons fighting for King and Country.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 10th June 1916: James Tohill (brother of Henry)
Newspaper Report
Private James Tohill, son of Mr Henry Tohill, Rainey Street, is at present in a Warrington hospital, suffering from shrapnel wounds in the left arm.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 5th August 1916: Magherafelt: Francis Tohill (brother of Henry)
Newspaper Report
F Tohill, Magherafelt, is officially reported wounded.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 9th September 1916: James Tohill (brother of Henry)
Private James Tohill is home on ten days leave at Magherafelt. He was gassed at Loos and has been in hospital in England since. He has two other brothers serving, John in Salonika, and another at present in England, having been wounded in France for the fourth time. A fourth member of this patriotic family is missing since the landing at Suvla Bay.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 16th September 1916: Francis Tohill (brother of Henry)
Henry Tohill, Rainey Street, Magherafelt, has received a card from his son, Private Francis Tohill, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, that he was wounded on 4th September, and is now in hospital in Manchester. This is the fourth time Private Tohill has been wounded.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 23rd September 1916: Francis Tohill (brother of Henry)
Private Francis Tohill, Inniskilling Fusiliers, 16th Division (Irish Brigade), who is at present lying wounded in a Manchester hospital, writing to his mother, Mrs Tohill, Rainey Street, states that he was wounded in the Battle of the Somme on 9th September. His division got a bad cutting up, but he escaped he says, thank God, with a small wound in the left arm. The battle was terrible and the sight of the dead and the dying appalling. The Irishmen leaped from the trenches and charged across the shell swept No Man’s Land with irresistible dash. He says he is glad to be an Irishman, and proud of his comrades for the fight they made. It may be added that Private Tohill was wounded three times previously at the Dardanelles. He has two brothers serving.
Private Henry (Harry) Tohill has no known grave and is commemorated on panels 185-190 on Helles Memorial, Turkey.
Henry Tohill inscription
This inscription photo was taken by the Friends of the Somme Mid Ulster Branch on a visit to Gallipoli in September 2014.
Harry Tohill’s team mates, Thomas Darragh and Paddy Corey, were also killed in action during the First World War.
Read more
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists 'Taughill' family Lists Henry as age 10 living with the family at house 14 in Rainey Street, Magherafelt, Londonderry
2 Magherafelt War Dead Also listed on Magherafelt War Dead
3 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
4 Paddy Corey Friend and fellow footballer
5 Soldiers Died in the Great War Details of Private Henry (Harry) Tohill
6 Thomas Darragh Friend and fellow footballer
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2020