Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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   Lieutenant Donald Alister Greer
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 07/07/2016
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 1st Battalion, Connaught Rangers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 20/10/1894
Died: 12/07/1916 (Died of Illness)
Age: 21
Summary      
Donald Alister Greer was born on 20 0ct 1894 in County Kildare. He was a son of Henry Francis Greer, of "Glenbarr", Palmerston Road, Dublin and of Mrs. M.E. Greer, later of 152 Chorley New Road, Rolton-le-Moors, Lancashire. Donald studied at Trinity College, Dublin. The Connaught Rangers reported 2nd Lieutenant D A Greer’s arrival from Sandhurst 17 December 1914. Lieutenant Donald Alister Greer was with the 1st Battalion of the Connaught Rangers when he died on 12th July 1916. Age 21.
Lieutenant Donald Alister Greer
Further Information
Donald Alister Greer was born on 20 October 1894 in County Kildare. He was a son of Henry Francis Greer, of "Glenbarr", Palmerston Road, Dublin and of Mrs. M.E. Greer, later of 152 Chorley New Road, Rolton-le-Moors, Lancashire.
It is believed he spent time living with relatives at Bernagh House in Dungorman, Bernagh, Tyrone
He went to Tonbridge School in Kent, England in September 1909 from Castle Park, Dalkey, and left at Christmas 1912. He was in the XV in his last year and a Corporal in the O.T.C., obtained his 8rd XI. Colours in Cricket, and was also a keen swimmer.
On leaving school he went to Trinity College, Dublin, and later joined the Engineering School there.
In August 1914, he entered Sandhurst, and was gazetted to the Connaught Bangers on 16th December 1914. He joined his Battalion in France, May 1st, 1915, and from that time till the following December they were in the fighting line with the Lahore Division, chiefly in the neighbourhood of Neuve Chapelle and Festubert.
The Connaught Rangers reported 2nd Lieutenant D A Greer's arrival from Sandhurst 17 December 1914.
On September 28rd, 1915, he was promoted Lieutenant. In December the Battalion was ordered to Mesopotamia with the Lahore Division, and Lieut. Greer became Adjutant on January 19th, 1916.
Lieutenant Donald Alister Greer was with the 1st Battalion of the Connaught Rangers. He was adjutant of his battalion.
He was with the Belief Column during the subsequent severe fighting and, in a letter expressing his great interest in a copy of THE TONBBiDGiAN that he had just received, he told of his experience in a big attack on January 21st. " I was in advance," he wrote, "with the Colonel, and we were getting badly knocked about by the Turkish rifle and machine-gun fire, which is magnificent. We made a rush for the next bit of trench, and as I flung myself into the miserable little trench, someone yelled out, ' Hallo, Greer!' and turning round I saw Boger Le Fleming (1918, P.H., 2nd Lt. Ind. Army, 102nd K.E.O. Grenadiers) next to me. He had just been grazed in the bead by a bullet, but was all right. I had no idea he was in the country, and I am sure he had no idea I was even in the service." He went on to tell that the Colonel was badly wounded before reaching the trench, and in telling of his own loss of his haversack revealed that he went back into the open to attend to his Colonel.
On May 8th he wrote: "As you know, Kut has fallen, which is of course a great blow to us, but it is no use worrying about it. We had some very fierce fighting the week before it fell, and this Regiment and Brigade did some glorious work, and the Turks own up to 10,000 casualties for their counter-attack. I shall never forget that night, as from 7.30pm. till 4.00am they were never further than 50 yards from us and all round us, and we were about 1,000 yards from the rest of the force; but thanks to our machine guns they never captured us or our position."
In his last letter, dated June 2nd, he wrote: "We are only four miles from Kut now, and we can make out the buildings with the naked eye. How I wish we could have got there a month ago instead of now! "
When he fell ill in June with enteric and complications, he was the last officer still with the Battalion of those who originally landed with the Belief Force, and he had never been away from the Regiment for a day.
After showing the greatest patience and courage he became unconscious about July 1st and passed away on the 12th in the Hospital at Amara.
Lieutenant Donald Alister Greer died from enteric fever contracted while on active service on 12th July 1916. Age 21.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 20 July 1916:
Lieutenant Donald Alistair Greer, Connaught Rangers, has died from enteric fever contracted while on active service. He was a son of the later Henry F Greer, Glenbarr, Palmerston Road, Dublin and Bernagh House, Dungannon and was 21 years of age. He was adjutant of his battalion.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 22nd July 1916:
GREER – July 12, died of enteric fever on active service, Donald Alistair Greer, Lieutenant and Adjutant Connaught Rangers, aged 21, son of the late Henry Francis Greer, Bernagh House, Dungannon, only and dearly beloved son of Mrs H F Greer, Upper Leeson Street, Dublin.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 22 July 1916: Lieutenant D A Greer
The death has occurred from enteric fever of Lieutenant Donald Alistair Greer, son of Mr Henry F Greer, Glenbarr, Palmerston Road, Dublin, and Bernagh House, Dungannon, and of Mrs H. F. Greer, 55, Upper Leeson Street, Dublin. The deceased, who was only 21 years of age, contracted fever while serving with the Connaught Rangers, in connection with which he had filled the position of battalion adjutant. He was a nephew of Mr George Greer, Rhonehill, Moy, and of Colonel William Browne, J.P., Northland Row, Dungannon.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 28th October 1916: Mentioned in Dispatches
Amongst those mentioned in General Lake's recent dispatches for good work carried out in Mesopotamia is Lieutenant D A Greer, Connaught Rangers (deceased), son of the late H F Greer, Bernagh House, Dungannon.
He was mentioned in the Despatch from Lt.-Gen. Sir Percy Lake, dated August 24th, 1916.
His C.O. wrote: 'The honour was never more fully and worthily earned.'
All letters testify to his great value and popularity in the Regiment, and his first Colonel wrote of him:
'I feel like a father for Donald. If he had survived and kept his health, all the prizes of the Service lay at his feet. Consummate pluck, excellent, well-informed natural abilities; a poise and judgment unparalleled in my experience of newly-joined subalterns; unselfish devotion to his Battalion, sound military instincts and an irresistible charm of manner: all these were his. I just loved that boy.'
The Quartermaster, too, wrote of him: 'He knew no fear. He was such a man, a hero and a Connaught Banger out and out, a fact of which he was very proud. He lived for the Regiment.'
Lieutenant Donald Alister Greer is commemorated in the 1937 Reading Room of Trinity College.
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Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Bernagh House Killyman Lived in Bernagh House in Dungorman, Bernagh 54.483403 -6.71618
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Greer family Lists Donald A as age 6 at house 385 in Palmerston Road, Rathmines & Rathgar East, Dublin
2 Our Heroes Irish Website Brief information on D. A. Greer
3 The Peerage Includes family history and date of birth.
4 Tonbridge School, Kent Full biography and photo
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2020