Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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Date Information
01/05/2020 02035
31/08/2016 Patrick Barton is commemorated on Cookstown Cenotaph.
31/08/2016 Private Patrick Barton was initially interred in Essigny-le-Grand German Cemetery at Memorial 10. Grand Seraucourt Cemetery is only a short distance away and his remains were later moved to there.
31/08/2016 Private Patrick Barton was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on 21st March 1918.
31/08/2016 Private Barton was reported missing, killed in action in fierce hand to hand fighting, when the enemy, under the cover of a thick fog, attacked the British lines. It has been suggested that he was a wounded prisoner of the Germans, dying later of his wounds, but there is absolutely no evidence to support this.
31/08/2016 On the morning of 21st March 1918, the Germans launched the Spring Offensive or Kaiserschlact beginning with Operation Michael on a fifty mile front between the Sensee and Oise Rivers, penetrating deep into the lines of the British Fifth Army and the right wing of the British Third Army. At this point in the war, the German army had developed Stormtrooper units. Their tactic was to attack and disrupt enemy headquarters, artillery units and supply depots, pushing through the British lines and leaving the strong points to be mopped up by follow up troops. Although the British were aware of an imminent attack, the weight of the enemy bombardment and ferocity of the advance was a surprise. The attack was made under the cover of fog. Within a matter of days the Germans had advanced over twenty miles into Allied held territory. By 5th April 1918 Operation Michael was called off. The allies had lost an estimated 255,000 men (British, Commonwealth, French and American). They also lost 1,300 artillery pieces and 200 tanks as they withdrew. German losses amounted to an estimated 239,000 men, largely the specialist shocktroops or Stosstruppen.
31/08/2016 Patrick Barton enlisted in Coatbridge, Scotland. He was listed as living in Lisburn at the time.
31/08/2016 The family had lived in Lisburn and Cookstown.
31/08/2016 Patrick Barton was born in Broxburn, Linlithgow.
30/12/2015 Mrs Annie Speers, Church Street, Cookstown, has received a letter from her husband, dated 24th July, in which he says he has been ill but is now recovered. The big push on the 1st in which he took part, was he says, a bit hot. His battalion had a few daysí rest, but were going out again. He is longing to see his wife and other relatives. Mrs Speers has also received a letter from her brother, Private George Donaldson, saying he is well. He believes Jimmie Smith is killed, but is not certain if it is true. Willie Taylor, Paddy Barton, and McAtackney are out with him and are all right. J McGarvey was slightly wounded a good while ago but is not now at the front. He is in England.
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 12th August 1916: Letters to Mrs Annie Speers, Church Street, Cookstown.
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