Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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Date Name Information
08/08/2018 Capt Charles Newell Trooper Harry Newell, writing to his father, Mr Joseph Newell, Dungannon, states that he has received a parcel of comforts, including a box of cigarettes, from Rev John Watson, Carlingford, and who is now minister of Second Dungannon Presbyterian Church.
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08/08/2018 Capt Charles Newell From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 17th April 1915: Clerical Cigarettes (Harry Newell - brother of Captain Charles Newell)
08/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn Writing to friends at Coalisland, Sergeant William Lynn, 2nd Royal Irish Fusiliers says he came through all recent fighting safely. On Sunday 14th March, he was sitting in the dugout when at 2:30pm, just as if someone had pressed a button, a tremendous fire was opened by the German artillery and rifles. A mound that his company was occupying was blown up, and for about two minutes, the ground for half a mile in extent shook like an earthquake. The Germans then rushed the English and succeeded in capturing the trenches, which were untenable after the explosion. That was in one part of the British lines; but in another part, the infantry made a most determined stand and kept up such a well-directed fire that the enemy’s losses were terrible. The British stood to their post to the last and were forced back by sheer weight of numbers and the Germans rushed the support trenches and penetrated into a small village. They were not allowed to hold their new positions for long, for a counter attack was made at three o’clock in the morning which however was but partly successful. Another counter attack was made about two hours later when the Germans were completely driven back, except from the mound, where they had placed machine guns. The British artillery, however shelled it with great effect and arms and legs could be seen flying in the air. Those of the enemy who attempted to flee from the mound were fairly bowled over by the British Infantry, who were only some 150 yards away. When morning came, the Germans showed greater humanity than they usually did. They allowed the stretcher bearers to go in at very close range and carry away the wounded and did not attempt to fire on them. Sergeant Lynn’s company were relieved that night for a short rest, which they sorely needed. On Easter Sunday the Germans in the trenches pushed up a sheet of paper on which was written ‘Peaceful Easter’, but five minutes afterwards the British artillery sent them some British eggs (shells) which did not agree with them, as three of their trenches were blown in. Sergeant Lynn states that he is in the best of health and spirits, and hopes, with God’s help, to return home safely.
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08/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 17th April 1915: Sergeant Lynn’s Experiences
08/08/2018 Capt Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox (Northland) Holdfast L.O.L. No. 1620 met in the Orange Hall, Dungannon, on Monday, Bro James Nixon, W.M., presiding, and Bro John McMinn, in the vice-chair. The Earl of Ranfurly wrote acknowledging the Lodge’s resolution of sympathy on the death of Lord Northland. He said:- ‘We had all hoped for a brilliant future for my son, both in doing his duty to his country at the front, and in Ulster later, supporting our old traditions of civil and religious liberty. However it was not to be, and Dungannon and Ulster have lost one of their most energetic supporters and we have lost our only son – making a gap that nothing can ever replace.’
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08/08/2018 Capt Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox (Northland) From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 17th April 1915:
07/08/2018 Capt Hugh Hogg Beatty Second Lieutenant H H Beatty, Dungannon, has been attached to the 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, and will be stationed at Newtownards.
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07/08/2018 Capt Hugh Hogg Beatty From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 17th April 1915:
07/08/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. Sergeant James Lynn, 43rd Battery, Royal Field Artillery, also writes to Coalisland that his brother, Willie Lynn, and Alex Procter, are ten miles from him, but they are in the right place for plenty of fighting. There had been lots of fighting, and as the weather was clearing up, much more might be expected. There were a great number of his Orange brethren there from all parts of Ulster, and he could say that they were the boys that feared no noise.
07/08/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. Private William Lynn also wrote mentioning they had taken part in warding off a great attack by the Germans on Sunday 14th March. It lasted from the afternoon until the following morning, and at times he thought it was all over with them, but he and Proctor had come safely through. It was a terrible position lying in the trenches with shells bursting around them and bullets whistling past and seeing their comrades fall.
07/08/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. Private Alexander Proctor, 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, writing to his father, Mr Joseph Proctor, Coalisland, says that he and Willie Lynn are of the same company, are quite well, and go to the trenches together. He received a number of letters from Coalisland friends and a parcel of socks, shirts and other comforts from Miss Adams, Torrent Hill, and the members of the sewing class. The parcel came at the right time. His thoughts had been with them on the night of the annual ball in Coalisland, and he had been very glad to know they had a good time. But they would have greater festivities when, with God’s help, they would all arrive safe at home.
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07/08/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 10th April 1915: Coalisland Chums in the Trenches
07/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn Sergeant James Lynn, 43rd Battery, Royal Field Artillery, also writes to Coalisland that his brother, Willie Lynn, and Alex Procter, are ten miles from him, but they are in the right place for plenty of fighting. There had been lots of fighting, and as the weather was clearing up, much more might be expected. There were a great number of his Orange brethren there from all parts of Ulster, and he could say that they were the boys that feared no noise.
07/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn Private William Lynn also wrote mentioning they had taken part in warding off a great attack by the Germans on Sunday 14th March. It lasted from the afternoon until the following morning, and at times he thought it was all over with them, but he and Proctor had come safely through. It was a terrible position lying in the trenches with shells bursting around them and bullets whistling past and seeing their comrades fall.
07/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn Private Alexander Proctor, 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, writing to his father, Mr Joseph Proctor, Coalisland, says that he and Willie Lynn are of the same company, are quite well, and go to the trenches together. He received a number of letters from Coalisland friends and a parcel of socks, shirts and other comforts from Miss Adams, Torrent Hill, and the members of the sewing class. The parcel came at the right time. His thoughts had been with them on the night of the annual ball in Coalisland, and he had been very glad to know they had a good time. But they would have greater festivities when, with God’s help, they would all arrive safe at home.
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07/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 10th April 1915: Coalisland Chums in the Trenches
06/08/2018 Reg SM Joy Davis Trooper James Davis, of the North Irish Horse, writing to his father, Mr James Davis, Barrack Street, Dungannon, says:- “You evidently have not much startling news about your town. As is to be expected all eyes are on the war. I suppose Lord Northland’s death was more than most people bargained for. You mentioned only three casualties for the town so far. Don’t you think this is a very insignificant roll of war honour for Dungannon. Of course in other respects it will be a great consolation to some, but then the worst is yet to come, and those of our number whom may be intended for the same glorious death as Lord Northland were willing to go out to win their country’s honour and a soldier’s grave; or if fate otherwise wills it, we picture the day when we may return to enjoy with our friends at home the peace that must ensue. Personally I am proud to be here, come what may, through the trials and burdens of this dreadful war man was never made to bear, and to those at home are well-nigh incredible, and with an army following on the tracks of a departed foe, and the district where remains (to say nothing of the slaughtered man and beast) all manner of refuse, and what is worse, the seed and nourishment of diseases deposited by an ill-conditioned army. Such is the enemy we will have to face; far worse than the myriads of Germans. The odds against our troops, no doubt, are many, but wisdom on the part of our generals has delayed operations as far as they were concerned for these and other reasons, but great things may in another little while be expected of Britishers, and for a considerable time, and as far as we on the spot can venture to say, there is no slight evidence of the speedy termination of hostilities, and the preparations and arrangements being carried out tend in a very different direction. Suffice to say seeing we are unable to comment further on matters of direct concern with our enemies. At the same time none of us are over desirous for the annihilation of a people that have (where the truth is told) up till now made, and at present evidently intend to continue, a stubborn and determined fight, and in many cases when we realise that is, as reported, German boys that we are grappling with, we have certainly some little concession to make though they may abuse certain privileges as prisoners occasionally make a show of the diehard nature, being prompted to this by something national. The thought just reminds me of one little incident which happened lately and of which I am personally aware. In the vicinity of La Bassee it happened that about two dozen of our chaps were taken prisoner by the Germans, and while the fight was nearing an end, went off with the enemy. But not being the chief concern of the moment, they gained an opportunity of their captors for a daring escape, and in winding their way towards the British outposts, turned the scale by making secure a hand of more than half their own number of Germans, and what were they but fourteen German boys, the oldest twenty-four years and the others from thirteen to twenty-one years. They were, of course, at once put under escort and despatched, but not before the twenty-four year old made a violent attempt at the life of the officer in charge, for which the officer was too well on alert for such emergencies and let the young diehard instantly have the ample reward of three revolver bullets. From one of his remaining comrades I received a German penny, which I enclose as a souvenir. The number of prisoners taken on both sides since the declaration of war must be very great. Some people talk of bring hostilities to a sudden termination by blocking Germany and starving the inhabitants, but they don’t make mention of the fate of our countrymen who are prisoners of war and at present do not at all fare well, and must needs be the first to suffer or die of starvation. Every man available today at home is required to gain the victory, and without that we will be sorely at a disadvantage to ourselves and unfit for the gigantic job we have on our hands. As it is, we have trainloads coming in daily of reinforcements of all branches of the Army, and we are quite prepared for the coming big push. We were on service at a large canal bridge and I was surprised to see Paddy McCoey, the mason who worked with Robert Patton, in the Engineers. He had a black beard and I hardly recognised him, and it was the same on the other side for he didn’t recognise me until some of the North Irish Horse pointed me out. We were glad to meet each other, and I need hardly tell you the topic wasn’t Home Rule for Ireland, but rather we would be ruled under Germany, or under the sod. I may tell the same bridge we talked on was blown up by the Germans and part of the town and church brought to the ground. A few days later after I met McCoey we perceived the German dead floating down the canal and the young French stoning the corpses. The state and condition of the people and country brought about by the havoc and turmoil is no doubt crude. We have no chaplain attached to the North Irish Horse, seeing we are divided here and there working with the different Army Divisions, but when we see one for an hour or less, he is certainly admired. One chap of ours from Portadown named Walker was specially written for by his father and rector to the commanding officer and got home, but luckily or unluckily was delayed when commencing his journey home and before that same day had passed, his father had breathed his last. He remained, of course, to bury him and immediately after the funeral rejoined his regiment, and knowing his case fetched the death certificate with him here, but nevertheless was severely punished. Though it may seem strange, it is quite true. He has a brother at the Dungannon Royal School. You see it is very hard getting leave out here, and when you do get it, it is obtained at a price. Considering our present state of health, I have great pleasure in informing (though I am not caring to boast for fear) I am in the very best health and strength. I hope all my brothers and sisters, far and near, are quite well, also my brothers-in-law, and other relations, leaving out nobody. Kindly convey my sincere regards and respect to all, not forgetting the rector and curate. I expect there is no change in that yet, also Mr Stewart if you chance upon him. We have a new troop officer lately sent out from officer to replace Lord Jocelyn, son of Lord Roden, invalided home, a Lieutenant Armstrong, I believe the Dean of Armagh’s son. I intend to send you my Queen Mary’s and Princess Mary’s Xmas presents just as you like to dispose of them if I can get them sent off as I have no way of keeping them out here. There is an aeroplane passing overhead just now. They are as frequent as motor cars at home, and are playing a good share in war.
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06/08/2018 Reg SM Joy Davis From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 3rd April 1915: Trooper Davis at the Front - James Davis (brother of Joy Davis)
06/08/2018 Unknown Hamilton Hugh Burrowes Mr Jack Burrowes, Thomas Street, Dungannon, who arrived home on a visit at the outbreak of the war and recently returned to South Africa, has volunteered in the Imperial Light Horse, and has been despatched with the Expeditionary Force to German South-West Africa. His brother Hamilton H Burrowes, had previously volunteered, and is in German South-West Africa as sergeant dispenser to the 8th Section South African Veterinary Corps (Defence Department).
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06/08/2018 Unknown Hamilton Hugh Burrowes From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 3rd April 1915: Dungannon Men Join Botha's Army
06/08/2018 Corp John Jack Burrowes Mr Jack Burrowes, Thomas Street, Dungannon, who arrived home on a visit at the outbreak of the war and recently returned to South Africa, has volunteered in the Imperial Light Horse, and has been despatched with the Expeditionary Force to German South-West Africa. His brother Hamilton H Burrowes, had previously volunteered, and is in German South-West Africa as sergeant dispenser to the 8th Section South African Veterinary Corps (Defence Department).
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06/08/2018 Corp John Jack Burrowes From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 3rd April 1915: Dungannon Men Join Botha’s Army
03/08/2018 Capt Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox (Northland) Northland House lay on the east side of Dungannon. Northland House is now part of the Royal School Dungannon.
01/08/2018 Pte. John Lynn ‘Sir, I have the honour to inform you that the King has heard with much interest that you have at the present moment four sons in the army. I am commanded to express to you the King’s congratulations, and to assure you that’s His Majesty much appreciates the spirit of patriotism which prompted this example, in one family, of loyalty and devotion to their Sovereign and Empire. I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient servant, T M Ponsonby, Keeper of the Privy Purse.’
01/08/2018 Pte. John Lynn Mr James Lynn, Mousetown, Coalisland, whose four sons, Bob, James, Willie and John are now at the front, has received the following letter from Buckingham Palace. 18th March 1915.
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01/08/2018 Pte. John Lynn From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 27th March 1915: Letter from the King
01/08/2018 Driver Robert Lynn ‘Sir, I have the honour to inform you that the King has heard with much interest that you have at the present moment four sons in the army. I am commanded to express to you the King’s congratulations, and to assure you that’s His Majesty much appreciates the spirit of patriotism which prompted this example, in one family, of loyalty and devotion to their Sovereign and Empire. I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient servant, T M Ponsonby, Keeper of the Privy Purse.’
01/08/2018 Driver Robert Lynn Mr James Lynn, Mousetown, Coalisland, whose four sons, Bob, James, Willie and John are now at the front, has received the following letter from Buckingham Palace. 18th March 1915.
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01/08/2018 Driver Robert Lynn From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 27th March 1915: Letter from the King
01/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn ‘Sir, I have the honour to inform you that the King has heard with much interest that you have at the present moment four sons in the army. I am commanded to express to you the King’s congratulations, and to assure you that’s His Majesty much appreciates the spirit of patriotism which prompted this example, in one family, of loyalty and devotion to their Sovereign and Empire. I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient servant, T M Ponsonby, Keeper of the Privy Purse.’
01/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn Mr James Lynn, Mousetown, Coalisland, whose four sons, Bob, James, Willie and John are now at the front, has received the following letter from Buckingham Palace. 18th March 1915.
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01/08/2018 Sgt. William Edward Lynn From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 27th March 1915: Letter from the King
01/08/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. ‘Sir, I have the honour to inform you that the King has heard with much interest that you have at the present moment four sons in the army. I am commanded to express to you the King’s congratulations, and to assure you that’s His Majesty much appreciates the spirit of patriotism which prompted this example, in one family, of loyalty and devotion to their Sovereign and Empire. I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient servant, T M Ponsonby, Keeper of the Privy Purse.’
01/08/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. Mr James Lynn, Mousetown, Coalisland, whose four sons, Bob, James, Willie and John are now at the front, has received the following letter from Buckingham Palace. 18th March 1915.
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01/08/2018 Sgt. James Lynn M.M. From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 27th March 1915: Letter from the King
01/08/2018 Lieut Alfred Middleton Blackwood Rose-Cleland Mr Alfred M Rose-Cleland, son of Mr Henry S Rose-Cleland, of Bedford House, Moy has received a commission in the 4th Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers. He was educated at the Royal School, Dungannon, and at St Columba’s College, Rathfarnham, County Dublin. At the commencement of the war Lieutenant Cleland, who was in the employment of the well-known firm of McLaughlin and Harvey, contractors and builders, Belfast, was working at Rocking, near Braintree in Essex, but came home and enlisted in the Tyrone (Service) Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He served some months at Finner Camp, and was a lance corporal when gazetted as second lieutenant. Lieutenant Cleland comes of a fighting Scottish race of great antiquity. Their coat of arms, tradition states, was acquired by their being hereditary fortesters to the ancient Earls of Douglas. One of his ancestors, James Cleland, was cousin of the famous Sir William Wallace, the hero of Scotland, and fought by his side in most of his exploits against the English, and particularly in the celebrated sea fight when Thomas de Longville, commonly called the Red Rover, was taken prisoner. Indeed, Blind Harry, in his history of Wallace, refers to him as Wallace’s cousin, and says that he ‘bade with hym in mony perelowes place.’ His grandson, Alexander Cleland, fought at Flodden Field in defence of James IV, of Scotland, and there is a charter extant, dated 1449, to which is appended his seal on which the family coat of arms, a hare with a hunting horn about its neck, appears. Another ancestor, William Cleland, defeated Claverhouse at Drumclog, and was afterwards Lieutenant Colonel of the First Regiment of the Cameronians, which was embodied in support of the Covenant. He fell while leading his regiment at Drumkeld. The Irish branch of the family settled in Bangor, County Down in the year 1645, and produced many notable public men. Lieutenant Cleland’s great grandfather, who had an adventurous career both on sea and land, was killed at the early age of 28 years while leading his company at the storming of Attor in India in June 1768. Lieutenant Cleland’s grandfather, the late Mr James Downett Rose-Cleland, of Rath Gael House, Bangor, County Down, was a celebrated public man, having been a magistrate and deputy lieutenant for the county. He commanded the Newtownards Yeoman Infantry at the Battle of Saintfield on 9th June 1798, and in the August following, raised the Rath Gael Yeoman Infantry, receiving repeated thanks from the government for his services. While filling the office of High Sheriff for County Down in 1805, he presided at the historic election for that county between Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh (who brought about the union between Great Britain and Ireland) and Colonel John Meade, which lasted twenty one days. The election had been caused by Lord Castlereagh being appointed Secretary of State for the Colonies and War Department in Mr Pitt’s government, but principally through the Downshire family influence, Lord Castlereagh most unexpectedly found himself at the bottom of the poll, and had to return to London and accept a seat for one of the ‘pocket boroughs’ of the government. The result of the poll created a profound sensation throughout the three kingdoms, and dealt a vital blow to Mr Pitt’s prestige. Mr James Cleland was a descendant of the Berkshire family of Rose, and took the additional surname Cleland under the will of his distant relative Patrick Cleland, of Ballymagee, Bangor. He was born on 24th March 1767, and lived to a very ripe old age. His eldest son died on 20th November 1794, an infant, and his 9th son is the present genial Mr H S Rose-Cleland, of Bedford House, Moy. the latter often surprises new acquaintances by informing them that his eldest brother died 121 years ago, and that his father was born 148 years ago.
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01/08/2018 Lieut Alfred Middleton Blackwood Rose-Cleland From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th March 1915:
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