Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
11200   Private William Harbinson
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 02/05/2021
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 9th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 02/07/1889
Died: 01/07/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 26
William Harbinson was the son of James and Mary Harbinson. He was born on 2nd July 1889 in Dungannon. William was educated at Drumglass School. William enlisted in Dungannon. Private William Harbinson was with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action at the Somme on 1st July 1916.
Further Information
William Harbinson was the son of James and Mary Harbinson. James Harbinson and Mary Cummings were married on 17th December 1878 in the Belfast.
William Harbinson was born on 2nd July 1889. He was one of nine children, eight surviving, all born in Dungannon.
William was educated at Drumglass school.
Family: James Harbinson, Mary Harbinson, Margaret Harbinson (born 22nd September 1879), Thomas Harbinson (born 8th October 1881, died 5th October 1882), Annie Mary Harbinson (born 24th December 1883), Eliza Lilly Harbinson (born 25th August 1885), George Harbinson (13th May 1887), William Harbinson (born 2nd July 1889), Adam Harbinson (born 1st October 1891), Teresa Harbinson (born 11th October 1893), Susan Jane ‘Jeannie’ Harbinson (born 2nd August 1896).
The 1901 census records George as age 13, having left school was working as a mill worker doffer. Most of the rest of the family also worked in the mill. His father was a labourer. They were living in house 6 at Railway View, Dungannon.
By the time of the 1911 census, William was living by himself in Drumcoo, Dungannon, Tyrone. He was 20 years old and single. William gives his occupation as horse trainer.
Barrack Street, Dungannon
The 1911 census record that the Harbinson family was living with the Cumberland family in Barrack Street, Dungannon. They are described in the census as “visitors”. William’s father was still alive but not with the family.
William worked for Mr James McAlister, Scotch Street, Dungannon as a carter.
William was a member of Holdfast L.O.L. 1620 Dungannon.
William enlisted in Dungannon
Medal card
Private Harbinson arrived in France with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers on 5th October 1915.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 15th May 1915: Dungannon Soldiers Wounded (Adam Harbinson – brother of William Harbinson)
Lance Corporal Adam Harbinson, 3rd Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, has intimated to his relatives in Beechvalley, Dungannon, that he received a shrapnel wound in the left thigh some three weeks ago in northern France, and is now being treated in the Cheshire County Hospital. Lance Corporal Harbinson has been at the front since 1st January last and has taken part in all the engagements since.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 10th June 1915: Coalisland Man’s Experiences (Adam Harbinson – brother of William Harbinson)
Private R Cardwell, of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, writing to his mother, Mrs William Cardwell, Derry Green, Coalisland, says:- ‘We had a great battle with the Germans a few weeks ago and T Abernethy and I have come through safely. The Germans used poisonous gases on us but I only got a slight dose of it. It had terrible effects if you get a proper does of it. Adam Harbinson, of Dungannon, was wounded some time ago. The Canadians lost a terrible lot in the fight; they are a fine lot of chaps. It is terrible to see the dead lying everywhere.’ Private Abernethy mentions that he has received parcels of comforts from friends, and adds that at present, he is quite well.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 8th July 1915: (Adam Harbinson – brother of William Harbinson)
Other Dungannon soldiers home from the front wounded include Private Michael Wilson and Private Patrick Donnelly of the Dublin Fusiliers; Lance Corporal Adam Harbinson of the Royal Irish Rifles; and Private W J Wilson of the Irish Fusiliers.
Private William Harbinson was part of the Transport Section with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on Saturday 1st July 1916. It was the day before his 27th birthday.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 20 July 1916:
Private William Harbison, unofficially reported killed, is one of three soldier sons of Mr James Harbison, Clare Terrace, Dungannon. He was formerly in the employment of Mr James McAlister, Scotch Street, Dungannon as a carter. His brother Thomas is in hospital in England.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 22 July 1916: Private Thomas Harbison
Mrs James Harbison, Clare Terrace, Dungannon, received the mournful intelligence on 12th July from her son Private Thomas Harbison, Tyrone volunteers, that another of her four soldier sons, Private William Harbison, of the Transport Section of the same battalion, had been killed in action. He had been in the employment of Mr James McAllister, Scotch Street, Dungannon.
Private William Harbinson was one of three brothers who served. One of his brothers, Private Thomas Harbinson, was in hospital in England when William was killed.
Newspaper reports from 1916 list his mother was living at Clare Terrace, Dungannon.
Private William Harbinson has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Private William Harbinson is commemorated locally on Dungannon War Memorial and on the WWI Roll of Honour in St Anne's Church Of Ireland in Dungannon.
Private William Harbinson is also commemorated on the Holdfast L.O.L. 1620 Dungannon Roll of Honour.
Read more
Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Drumcoo, Derrygortreavy Dungannon Town North Census listing in Drumcoo 54.513035 -6.765139
2 Clare Terrace, Dungannon Dungannon Town South Newspaper lists mother at Clare Terrace 54.500347 -6.775944
GRONI References
TYPE - B:Birth M:Marriage D:Death | GRONI | SIBLING: brother or sister | NOTES: spelling inconsistencies, etc.
Date Type Surname First name Relationship GRONI Ref Notes
17/12/1878 M Cummings Mary Parent M/1878/B1/418/49/187
17/12/1878 M Harbinson James Parent M/1878/B1/418/49/187 Harbison
22/09/1879 B Harbinson Margaret Sibling U/1879/112/1012/12/109 Cummins
08/10/1881 B Harbinson Thomas Sibling U/1881/112/1012/13/236 Cummins
05/10/1882 D Harbinson Thomas Sibling D/1882/98/1009/5/17 died age 0
24/12/1883 B Harbinson Mary Sibling U/1884/112/1012/14/352 Cummins
25/08/1885 B Harbinson Eliza Sibling U/1885/112/1012/15/332 Cummins
13/05/1887 B Harbinson George Sibling U/1887/112/1012/16/301
02/07/1889 B Harbinson William Casualty U/1889/112/1012/17/357 Kimmins
01/10/1891 B Harbinson Adam Sibling U/1891/112/1012/18/406
11/10/1893 B Harbinson Teresa Sibling U/1893/112/1012/19/359 Theresa
02/08/1896 B Harbinson Jennie Sibling U/1896/112/1012/21/116
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 census lists Harbinson family Lists William as age 11 at house 6 in Railway View, Dungannon, Tyrone
2 1911 census lists Harbinson family Does not list William as living with the family at house 17 in Barrack Street, Dungannon
3 1911 census lists William Harbinson Lists William as age 20 at house 1000 in Drumcoo, Dungannon, Tyrone
4 Drumglass School Roll of Honour, 1914 William Harbinson listed Drumglass Roll of Honour 1914 Boys National School, Dungannon
5 Photo of Private William Harbinson's inscription
6 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2021