Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
ff
20139   Private David Sands
Save as PDF
Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 02/06/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Died: 31/01/1917 (Died of Illness)
Age: 23
Summary      
David Sands was the son of James and Catherine ‘Kate’ Sands. David was born about 1894 in Dungannon, County Tyrone. The CWGC records the family names as “Sandes”. This is clearly incorrect as all references to David refer to him as Sands. His father worked on a farm and his mother was a linen weaver. The family lived at Mullaghanagh, Derrygortrevy, Tyrone. David was with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers for a time. Private David Sands was serving with the 1st Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he died in France on 31 January 1917. He was 23 years old.
Private David Sands
Further Information
David Sands was the son of James and Catherine 'Kate' Sands. David was born about 1894 in Dungannon, County Tyrone.
The CWGC records the family names as “Sandes”. The spelling of the surname varies. For simplicity, Sands will be used.
The 1901 census records David as 7 years old. His father worked on a farm and his mother was a linen weaver. He was living with the family at house 1 in Mullaghanagh, Derrygortrevy, Tyrone.
Derrygortrevy is a district parish in the barony of Dungannon. It is three miles (S. W. By S.) from Dungannon, on the road to Aughnacloy.
The 1911 census shows David as still living with the family in Mullaghanagh, Derrygortrevy, He was 17 years and working as a labourer.
David Sands worked on the Ranfurly Estate in Dungannon.
David enlisted in Dungannon. He was with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers for a time (Formerly 9532).
Medal card
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 9th October 1915: Bombardier Sandes’ Escape (brother of David Sands)
Bombardier James Sandes, R.G.A., writing from the Dardanelles on 16th September to his mother, Mrs Sandes, Mullaghanagh, Dungannon, says:-
‘Just a few lines to let you know I am doing well. We have a very hot time of it at the Dardanelles and have had heavy losses. We have been under very sharp fire, and shells have dropped all around us. I had a very narrow escape lately, as a shell fell beside me but did not burst. I was coming from the observing station at the time when it dropped on a hill only twenty yards from me and about one mile from our own guns. The enemy were only ranging to find our position, but I had a very lucky escape.’
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 5th October 1915: James Sandes (brother of David Sands)
Bombardier James Sandes, R.F.A., writing from the Dardanelles to his parents at Mullaghanagh, Dungannon, says that he had a very narrow escape on the 15th September, when a shell struck the ground beside him but did not go off.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 18th November 1915:
Mrs Sands, Mullaghanagh, has received intimation that her son, Private David Sands, 6th Inniskillings, has contracted dysentery in the Eastern field of operations and is in hospital. He is one of four brothers serving on the front.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 2 December 1915: Mullaghanagh Man's Four Sons Serving
The four sons of Mr James Sandes, Mullaghanagh, Dungannon, are nobly serving their King and country in the army, all four being present at the front. The eldest son, Bombardier James Sandes, Royal Field Artillery, was a reservist and was called up at the outbreak of the war and is now serving with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in Salonika. The next son, Gummer Patrick Sandes, Royal Garrison Artillery, had been on the army for a number of years before the outbreak of hostilities and had served for a period in China. He is now in France with his regiment. The other two sons, Driver John Sandes and Private David Sandes, both of the 6th Inniskilling Fusiliers, volunteered early in the war and are now fighting against the Bulgarians like their brother James. Gunner Patrick Sandes has been twice wounded in France, while his brother David is in hospital suffering from dysentery.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 17th February 1916:
Private David Sandes, 6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, has arrived home at Mullaghanagh, Dungannon, to recover from an attack of dysentery contracted at the Dardanelles.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 17th February 1916:
The following local soldiers have also arrived home in Dungannon on short furlough:- Corporal John Bell, Irish Guards; Private David Sandes, 6th Inniskillings (invalided owing to an attack of dysentery contracted at the Dardanelles); and Private Thomas Orr, Moygashel, 9th Inniskillings.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 9th October 1916: Brother of David Sands
Private John Sandes, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, is in hospital in Malta, suffering from malarial fever. His wife resides in Milltown, Dungannon, and he is one of three soldier sons of Mr James Sandes, Mullaghanagh, Dungannon.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 12 October 1916: Brother of David Sands
Private John Sands, Inniskillings, who is in hospital suffering from malarial fever, is one of three soldier sons of Mr James Sands, Mullaghanagh. His wife resides in Milltown. His brother James has been wounded.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 15th January 1917:
Private David Sandes, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, wounded, is the youngest son of Mr James Sands, Mullaghanagh, Dungannon.
Private David Sands was serving with the 1st Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he died in France of bronchitis on 31 January 1917. He was 23 years old.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 8th February 1917:
Private David Sandes, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Mullaghanagh, Dungannon, died of bronchitis in France on 31st January. Three of his brothers are in the service.
From the Tyrone Courier dated Thursday 15 February 1917
The War Office notified Mr James Sandes, Mullaghanagh, Dungannon, on Wednesday that the youngest of his four sons, Private David Sandes, Inniskilling Fusiliers, had died of bronchitis in France on 31st January 1917. He had been recently wounded.
David's older brother Patrick Sands also died in the Great War on 30 June 1917, 5 months later.
Read more
Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Mullaghanagh, Derrygortrevy Dungannon Town South Census listing in Mullaghanagh 54.495019 -6.769731
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Sands family Lists David as age 7 living with the family at house 1 in Mullaghanagh, Derrygortrevy, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists Sands family Lists David as age 17 living with the family at house 2 in Mullaghanagh, Derrygortrevy, Tyrone
3 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
4 Patrick Sands Brother of David Sands
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2020