Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
Date Name Information
24/05/2018 Reg SM Joy Davis ĎI am sure you are wondering how I am getting on out here, and I hope you will forgive me for not writing before, but we are continually on the move after the Germans and donít get very much chance, and when we do write, we canít tell you where we are or what we are doing as all the letters etc. are read over by our own officers and then signed by them to see that we donít mention the names of any of the places or what is happening. We are certainly worrying our enemies and doing our very best to wipe them out. There are a few of our fellows in hospital, but I am glad to say I am in luckís way and still keeping safe and sound, but of course we all have to take our chances. We are having plenty of excitement and exercise dodging about. We are with the Indian column now and will soon make a big move ahead. I am glad to tell you I am promoted to sergeant now, and is great to be back in the army again.í
24/05/2018 Reg SM Joy Davis Sergeant Joy Davis, of the 67th Company Army Service Corps, in a letter to his mother, Mrs Davis, Barrack Street, Dungannon, says:-
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24/05/2018 Reg SM Joy Davis From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 31st October 1914:
21/05/2018 Pte. William Duke Thomas Huey, Broughadoey, was granted a cottage on James Kerrís farm at Drummond. Hoey is at present at the front. William Duke, Grange, who has also joined the colours, was granted a cottage on the lands of John Patterson, Grange.
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21/05/2018 Pte. William Duke From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 24th October 1914: For Soldiers
21/05/2018 Pte. Robert McShane Private McShane shares a headstone with Private William Nixon, who was born in Cookstown and served with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and died on 26th August 1914.
21/05/2018 Pte. Robert McShane Private Robert McShane is buried in Esnes Communal Cemetery, France.
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21/05/2018 Capt Charles Newell I would like to give you a sketch of the country and my journeys, but I will wait until we are having our tea together. I will have a good reminder, in the form of a diary, in which I am making rough sketches daily. On arriving in France on the night of Saturday 22nd August, we camped out until Monday afternoon, a few miles outside the sea port, Le Havre. After entraining until Tuesday we passed through Rouen and arrived at St Quentin, remaining there until the following night, when we left for La Fere, just in time to escape the Germans, who, according to rumour, arrived in St Quentin but a few hours after we had left. We rode right down to the south east of Paris and within fifteen of it a town called Tournai, where we joined the Fifth Division. All the luxuries the people possessed were shared upon us, but things changed when we turned up north again to follow the retreating Germans, for he had rid the country very well on his way. We received regular and substantial fare, but when we cannot eat it or change its form, we have to go hungry. A spoilt medico and I hold daily consultations as to how we are to manoeuvre the bill of fare, for as we follow up the Germans, and sometimes thousands of our own troops, you can guess how impossible it is to get anything to buy. Our fellows all have plenty of money, yet cannot buy matches. The French farmers do not live scattered over the country as in Ireland, but dwell in innumerable villages, where they live on potatoes, apples, nuts and French rolls. They drink no tea, but go in for cider cups and brews which they make themselves. I will send you a recipe for one of them. If you could send me a pocket electric lamp it might come in useful when I receive a midnight call to saddle up. I though Rouen was going to be our base and not Le Havre and, I had no idea where we were going when I started the train journey. Nor did I know until I had arrived, when I had to ask some of the natives. I believe we are going to get fresh kit supplied some of these days. I may be going to the Engineers today. If so, I shall let you know immediately.'
21/05/2018 Capt Charles Newell ĎI met Mr Hall, dentist (Irish Street, Dungannon), this morning. He is with the 18th Field Ambulance Corps. He gave me this sheet of notepaper and an envelope, as I had neither. I was very glad to meet one whom I had known in Dungannon. I had not seen any of the Dungannon chaps for some time. I believe Davis (Corporal James Davis, Barrack Street, Dungannon, North Irish Horse), is with another Division, which was not many miles away a short time ago. I sent a message to him with a fellow who had lost the Division, but was returning to it. I have got no answer to it yet. Wingfield Espey (lower town, Dungannon, North Irish Horse) is with the Division guarding the general. Lieutenant D Williamson (Fort Hill, Castlecaulfield) is somewhere about this village. In fact I met Mr Hall when looking for him. If you get any information about the Dungannon chaps please let me have it, as we are quite apart. I will details some of my wants now lest I cannot get time again and will try to have this letter franked to speed its passage home. I want another packet of post cards, a few sheets of notepaper and envelopes, a copying ink pencil, trouser buttons, handkerchiefs, leather boot laces, a box of good matches, a cord for Boy Scout tea holder, and some gelatine sweets to put in tea (as milk cannot always be got, and when one gets it all the rest must share). I would like a corned tongue cooked and a black pudding cut in slices and fried, which should make it hardy enough for travelling. Some lads here got eggs from home, but they were all smashed, although boiled. Almost every third soldier has lost his regimental cap and wears a khaki knitted pirateís cap, which was served out. We got ours on the boat, along with an iron-bladed knife and a Cardigan woollen jacket. We left our kit bags at Havre, and I could only take with me what I stood up in and what I managed to roll up in my top coat. I had to leave my mirror behind, but I brought my washing and shaving outfit, some extra socks, a night cap, knife, fork, spoon, et cetera. I can carry more stuff now owing to being in charge of a German saddle belonging to Mr Combe (Lieutenant S B Combe, North Irish Horse, recently reported missing), which has two wallets in it. Some I bought a shirt and some socks off other chaps for a few francs, as they have no money except 20 franc notes, which they cannot get changed and are white elephants to them.
21/05/2018 Capt Charles Newell Mr Joseph Newell, Perry Street, Dungannon, has received a letter from his son, Trooper Harry Newell, of the North Irish Horse, under date of Tuesday 2nd October, of which he says:-
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21/05/2018 Capt Charles Newell From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 17th October 1914: Letters from the Front - Harry Newell (brother of Charles Newell)
19/05/2018 2nd Lt James Andrew Reynolds He subsequently underwent training in Tipperary.
19/05/2018 2nd Lt James Andrew Reynolds Mr James Andrew Reynolds, youngest son of Mr T W Reynolds, Dungannon, has received a commission in the Royal Irish Fusiliers, and has joined the regiment at Portobello.
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19/05/2018 2nd Lt James Andrew Reynolds From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 3rd October 1914:
19/05/2018 2nd Lt James Andrew Reynolds James Reynolds obtained his commission in October 1914 in the Royal Irish Fusiliers, and joined the regiment at Portobello Barracks in Rathmines Dublin.
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