9th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth:
19/04/1918 (Killed in Action)
Randal Edmund McManus was the son of Samuel and Jane McManus (nee Booth). He was born on 21st February 1893 in Dungannon. Randall enlisted in Dungannon. Randal E McManus was initially with the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons (Service Squadron) and the 2nd Regiment North Irish Horse, Service Numbers UD/88 (Inniskilling Dragoons) and 41505 (RIF). Lance Corporal Randal Edmund McManus then joined 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers. Lance Corporal Randal Edmund McManus was killed in action on died at Kemmel Hill, Belgium on 19th April 1918, age 26.
Randall Edmund McManus was the youngest son of Samuel and Jane McManus (nee Booth). He was born on 21st February 1893 in Dungannon.
The 1901 census lists Renold Edmond McMannes as age 8 living with the family at house 6 in Market Square, Dungannon, Tyrone. The family owned a drapers shop in Market Square in Dungannon.
Randall attended Dungannon Royal School, entering in 1906.
Family: Samuel McManus, Jane McManus, Samuel Edger McManus (born about 1877) , Anne Gertrude McManus (born about 1881), Louisa Euphemia / Laura Evyleen McManus (born about 1884) , Harold McManus (born about 1886), Hubert McManus (born about 1888), Winifred McManus (born about 1891), Randall Edmond McManus (born about 1893).
Randal McManus was in business in Toronto, Canada, at the outbreak of war and returned home to Market Square, Dungannon. He came home at the same time as his brother Hubert, both of whom subsequently enlisted
Randall enlisted in Dungannon with the Service Squadron of the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons.
Randal E McManus was initially with the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons (Service Squadron) and the 2nd Regiment North Irish Horse, Service Numbers UD/88 (Inniskilling Dragoons) and 41505 (RIF).
It was reported in May 1915 that the Squadron was on duty at Magilligan Camp on the Derry coast and it appears that when out skirmishing in the hills, Trooper McManus sustained a fracture of his leg caused by his horse falling and rolling on him. Permission was given for his removal home and he was motored back to Dungannon.
From the Tyrone Courier 27 May 1915 - Dungannon Dragoon Injured. Serious accident at Magilligan
Mr Randal McManus, Market Square, Dungannon, who was in business in Canada at the outbreak of war and returned to volunteer in the Service Squadron of the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, has met with a serious mishap. The Squadron is on duty at Magilligan Camp on the Derry coast since the Ulster division parade in Belfast, and it appears that when out skirmishing in the hills, Trooper McManus sustained a comminuted fracture of his leg caused by his horse falling and rolling on him. Permission was given for his removal home and he was motored to Dungannon on Sunday.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 27th November 1915: Corporal Doonan Meets Friends at the Front
Lance Corporal Fed J Doonan, of the 9th Tyrone Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, writing to his mother Mrs Doonan, Dungannon says:-
‘We have been moving about from village to village for the last month, and there are very few villages in the north of France but we have been in. I could fill pages regarding our life in France, but so much is happening here it would be impossible to say everything. We kept moving so quietly about that in a very short time we were up in the town next to the firing line. I have been to the reserve trenches with the Commanding Officer, Major, Adjutant, and am thankful to have got back safely. Our battalion was in the firing line for over three days experience previous to taking over our own line of trenches, and had only one casualty – Donnell of Derry. It was practically his own fault, as he had been told to keep his head down by his Company Officer, but he took another look and was instantaneously shot between the eyes. He was a very bright chap of nineteen. We are back for a rest and a good bit from the firing line. You would be surprised to see our poor lads coming out of the trenches after three days without sleep. They are covered in mud from head to foot. We keep our old motto – ‘Keep Smiling’.
Jack Johnston and George Hickey came to see me. It was very dark and I had to light a match to see who they were, and I nearly fell with surprise and delight. They both came through a lot of fighting and are now in a rest camp close to our battalion.
I also met ‘Major’ McBride and young Donaghy. I was carrying a despatch for the colonel and had to cycle a few miles along the road to headquarters, and in passing the 6th Dragoons, I was surprised to hear Randy McManus and Harry Hamilton calling after me. I also met a little chap called Joe, who was chauffeur in Major Howard’s. I got sll the letters, papers and parcels, which I enjoyed very much, especially the nuts, etc. I was surprised to hear of father joining, but he had been often talking about it. He has done his duty.’
By December 1915, Trooper Randal McManus, 6th Inniskilling Dragoons was back at the front with the Ulster Division
From the Tyrone Courier dated 9th December 1915: Three Brothers Volunteer
Mrs S McManus, Market Square, Dungannon, is well represented in the service of King and country, three of her sons having volunteered for service. The eldest son, Private Harold McManus, King's Guards, who is in business in Canada, offered his services at the beginning of the war, but owing to his being married, he was prevent from joining the Canadian contingent for active service in the accordance with a resolution of the Dominion Government, and he was obliged to join the King's Guards for duty in Canada. The next son, Trooper Hubert McManus, was engaged in the Imperial Bank of Canada at North Bay when hostilities broke out, and promptly came home to answer his country's call, and joined the North Irish Horse at Antrim in October 1914, and has been in France with his regiment since April last. The youngest son, Trooper Randal McManus, 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, was in business in Toronto at the beginning of the war, and came home at the same time as his brother Hubert, and enlisted in the Inniskilling Dragoons at Enniskillen, and is now at the front with the Ulster Division.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 23rd March 1916: Thanks from the Front (Hubert McManus –brother of Randal McManus)
Mr W N Thornberry, principal of Drumglass National School, has received the following letter from Trooper Hubert McManus, North Irish Horse:-
‘It was a pleasant surprise when I received today from the Flag Day Fund a parcel which included a fine packet of chocolates from your boys. It was very, very thoughtful of them, and I know all the Dungannon soldier boys will appreciate it. Please give them my best thanks and say how pleased I am to receive such a pleasant reminder from my old town,’
Trooper Randal McManus had his horse shot under him during the fighting in France in July 1916.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 22 July 1916:
Trooper Randal McManus, Royal Inniskilling Dragoons, Service Squadron, had a horse shot under him during the recent fighting in France. He is the youngest of three soldier sons of Mrs McManus, Market Square, Dungannon.
Lance Corporal Randal Edmund McManus then joined 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers.
On 18 April 1918 the Battalion diary stated:
2am. Moved to Kemmel as composite Battalion with 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Kelly. Heavy casualties, while moving into position, from enemy shelling. Captain Despard wounded and died soon after. 8pm. Relieved by French troops and marched to Siege Camp.
On 19th April 1918, while preparing for a counter attack, Lance Corporal Randal Edmund McManus was shot through the head by a sniper and killed instantaneously at Kemmel Hill, Belgium. He was 26 years old
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 20th May 1918:
Lance Corporal Randal Edmund McManus, 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, attached to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, who was killed in action on 15th April, was the youngest son of the late Mr Samuel McManus and Mrs McManus, Market Square, Dungannon. He was educated at Dungannon Royal School, and returned home from Toronto to volunteer.
From the Tyrone Courier and Dungannon News dated Thursday 23 May 1918:
General sympathy is expressed with Mrs McManus, Market Square, Dungannon, on the death of her youngest son, Lance Corporal Randal Edmund McManus, 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, attached to the Royal Irish Fusiliers who fell in action in France on 15th April 1918. This young townsman was educated at Royal School Dungannon and going out to Canada was engaged in business in Toronto at the commencement of the war. Accompanied by his brother Hubert he promptly returned home to volunteer in defence of the motherland and joined the squadron of Inniskilling Dragoons in connection with the Ulster Division. He had served abroad for a considerable time and with the other members of his squadron had been attached to the Royal Irish Fusiliers. On the 15th April while preparing for a counter attack, he was shot through the head by a sniper and killed instantaneously. The first intimation of the fatality was received in a very sympathetic letter from Rev E C Gimblett, Chaplain to the Forces, formerly Methodist minister in Dungannon.
Trooper Randal McManus has no known grave and is commemorated on Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium.
His father, Samuel McManus was born on 16 August 1850 in Randalstown, County Antrim.
The CWGC lists his mother Jane McManus as living at 6 Howard Terrace, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone at the time of his death.