Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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Date Name Information
13/06/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. Writing on 8th November to his brother, he says:- ‘I have been through the mill since I last saw you, but I am getting quite used to it now, though I have seen some sights I should not like to see again. No one knows it only the boys in the trenches and our boys behind the guns. The Royal Field Artillery have covered themselves in glory in this war, for it has been nearly all artillery work. The infantry have a hat time of it with ‘coal boxes’ and ‘Black Marias’, as we call the German shells. The noise of the explosion is something awful, and even when they do not take effect, the noise knocks one stupid. Our Indian soldiers, especially the Ghurkhas, made the enemy quake, and fairly back them with bayonets and knives. The weather is getting cold, and today is misty, and frost is threatening. We dig holes behind the guns and get straw and live like rabbits. You would laugh if you saw some of us boys with beards. I hear Bob Patterson is a prisoner of war.’
13/06/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. Bombardier James Lynn, RFA, writing to his parents at Coalisland says ‘We are having it hot and heavy, but thank God I am safe yet, though I have had several narrow escapes. On Monday the corporal and I were laying out some field telephone wire over ground in view of the German trenches, not knowing how dangerous it was. When we got to the end of the wire, we knelt to attach the telephone, when the Germans opened up on us with a battery, machine guns and rifles. I shall never forget it. The Corporal was killed at my side, and a lance corporal of the Engineers about thirty yards away was wounded in the thigh. It was so decreed that I was not to fall. Humanly speaking, nothing could have lived through that hail of lead. Our trenches were about eighty yards off, and I did a sprint and fell into the first trench on top of two men, who were crushed, so I had to go to another trench fifty yards further on, which I reached, thank God, without a scratch. I have been recommended for gallantry on the field for obeying orders, and carrying them out under fire.’
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13/06/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 28th November 1914: Bombardier James Lynn, R.F.A.
11/06/2018 Capt Hugh Hogg Beatty ‘We had our longest route march last Wednesday, the distance being altogether about 27 miles – some say more. We marched from Seaford, Sussex, through Alfriston, Polegate, and on to Hailsham, where we had half an hour’s rest, and returned via Upper Dicker, in which village there is the residence of ‘John Bull’ (Mr Horatio Bottomley). Mr Bottomley invited the battalion into his grounds and dispensed biscuits, beer and tobacco to every man. We arrived back at camp at 7pm very tired. I felt very fit next morning, but nearly 100men had to see the doctor suffering from sore feet, etc. They are almost all right today. We are having a night march 4:30 to 8pm tonight, and half-holiday on Saturday.’
11/06/2018 Capt Hugh Hogg Beatty Sergeant H H Beatty, a well-known Dungannon rugby man, writing from the headquarters of the Cardiff Commercial Battalion of the 11th Welsh Regiment, at Seaford, Sussex, says:-
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11/06/2018 Capt Hugh Hogg Beatty From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 28th November 1914: Severe Marching on the South Coast – John Bulls Hospitality
11/06/2018 Pte. Robert J Averall Mr James Averill, Brook Street, Dungannon has received intimation from the War Office that his son Robert, who belonged to the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on 12th November at the battle of Ypres. He was called up with the Reservists on 7th August and went to the front on the 5th September. The deceased was a member of A Company, Dungannon U.V.F.
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11/06/2018 Pte. Robert J Averall From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 28th November 1914: Private Robert Averill
11/06/2018 Pte. Robert J Averall AVERILL – 12th November, killed in action at the Battle of Ypres, Private Robert Averill, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, sons of James Averill, Brooke Street, Dungannon.
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11/06/2018 Pte. Robert J Averall From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 28th November 1914:
04/06/2018 Driver Robert Lynn Driver Robert Lynn, of the 87th Battery Royal Field Artillery, writing under date of 31st October to friends at Coalisland, says that he was sure they had seen by the papers the accounts of the various battles. The people at home know more how the war is progressing than the boys at the front. We are having a bit of a rough time here with plenty of scrapping. I am still dodging German bullets, though about a week ago we were in none position, and I thought it was all up with us. It started about three o’clock in the morning, and a terrible fire lasted all day, in fact a proper artillery duel. We had twelve casualties in our troop. My two horses got hit just as I was giving them a bit of spur to get out of their range, but I dragged them on. I was never so glad to see a day over in my life. We had a few more severe days at the Battle of Aisne, but we never came as near the enemy as today. We were sure the guns were gone as we had to leave them, but we went back with a rush and got them out again. You should have heard the Germans shout as they advanced. We had a regiment of infantry with us about fifteen hundred strong, but after that terrible night they numbered scarcely two hundred. It was an awful sight to see them; they were running up into the firing line, some without rifles, and we had to give ours. The Germans are very cruel, and sometimes it is all up with our chaps when they get into their heads. They have this country ruined, and it is sad to see every town you come to looted and destroyed , and some of the finest buildings you ever saw tumbled to the ground by shell fire, but their own country will suffer by and by. You would laugh at them coming into action. They come in millions, no skirmishing order, just in lumps, and they make fine targets. They fall in heaps in front of our chaps. They must be losing an awful lot of men, and you would think that after one good hard day’s fighting that they were nearly wiped out, but still they come in droves. Our chaps are all expecting to be home for Christmas, but I think it won’t be over so soon as that. We are all about fed up listening to shell fire day and night; it never stops. I saw R McNally when I was coming through the base. His battery caught it very hard, and he is resting there at present. I have never yet seen Patterson (Robert Patterson officially reported as a prisoner of war). McNally will not forget the Battle of Mons in a hurry. He was nearly in tears when I was talking to him, as most of his chums in the battery had been killed.
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04/06/2018 Driver Robert Lynn From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 21st November 1914: Driver Robert Lynn
03/06/2018 Pte. John Cullen The CWGC record Private John Cullen as the son of John Cullen, of Fair View, Ann Street, Dungannon, County Tyrone
03/06/2018 Pte. John Cullen John Cullen was the son of John Cullen. He was born in Drumglass, County Tyrone about 1865.
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