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   2nd Lieutenant Alfred James Lennox
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Dated added: 01/01/2016   Last updated: 22/05/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 29/04/1889
Died: 20/01/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 26
Summary      
Alfred James Lennox was the only son of William James and Mildred Anna Lennox. He was born in Armagh town on 29th April 1889. His father was born in Drumeenagh, Magherafelt County Derry. They had a drapers shop in the town. Alfred was educated at the Royal School, Armagh. He enlisted as Private in the Black Watch in Perth, Scotland in October 1914. He was promoted in November 1915, and posted to 2nd Royal Irish Rifles. 2nd Lieut Lennox was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles when he was killed in action on 20th. January 1916. It seems Alfred Lennox’s only connection with Magherafelt was that his father was born there.
2nd Lieutenant Alfred James Lennox
Further Information
Alfred Lennox was the only son of William James and Mildred Anna Lennox. William James Lennox married Mildred Ana Wilkinson on 29th December 1885 in Antrim.
Alfred James Lennox was born in Armagh on 29th April 1889
His father was born in Drumeenagh, Magherafelt County Derry. He was a general draper at 17 and 19 Market Street, Armagh. His mother was born in Co. Antrim.
Family: William James Lennox, Mildred Ana Lennox, Jane Jeannie Lennox (born 6th November 1887), Alfred James Lennox (born 29th April 1889), Louisa Agnes Lennox (born 4th October 1890), Annie Lennox (born 22nd March 1892), Mildred Lennox (born 28th December 1894)
Alfred was educated at the Royal School, Armagh.
Alfred James Lennox enlisted as Private 2388 in D Company, 6th Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) TF, in Perth, Scotland on 10th October 1914. He declared his age to be 23 years 5 months. He gave his address as 24 Abbey Street, Armagh
Medal card
His unit embarked from Folkestone on 2nd May 1915.
Private Lennox received a slight gunshot wound to the shoulder on 1st June 1915, and was admitted to No. 1 FA 51st Highland Division at Locon, and to No. 7 CCS at Merville the next day.
He was transferred to No. 5 Train on the 4th, to No. 20 General Hospital on the 5th, and to a convalescent camp at Etaples 20th August 1915.
Private Lennox rejoined his unit on 31st August 1915.
Private Alfred Lennox was then discharged to a commission in 7th Royal Irish Rifles on 28th November 1915, and posted to 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, joining from the Cadet School on 8th December 1915.
Second Lieutenant Alfred James Lennox was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles when he was reported as missing, believed killed on 19th January 1916. He was officially reported as killed in action on 20th. January 1916. He was 26 years old.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 25th January 1916: Second Lieutenant A Lennox Killed
Second Lieutenant Alfred Lennox, Royal Irish Rifles, has been killed on the western front. He was the only son of Mr William J Lennox, Market Street, Armagh, and before the war assisted his father in the drapery business. He formerly served in the ranks of the 6th Battalion Black Watch and in December last was given a commission in the Royal Irish Rifles. He was recently on a visit home.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 29th January 1916:
LENNOX – At the Western Front, on the 21st January, Second Lieutenant A J Lennox, Royal Irish Rifles, aged 26, only son of Mr and Mrs W J Lennox, Armagh.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 29th January 1916:
Second Lieutenant Alfred Lennox, of the Royal Irish Rifles, has been killed at the Western Front. The deceased, who was about 26 years of age, was the only son of Mr W J Lennox, draper, of Armagh, who is a native of Drumeenagh, Magherafelt, He was educated at the Royal School Armagh, afterwards entering his father’s business. Soon after the war broke out he enlisted in the Black watch and in September last was given a Commission in the Rifles.
From the Armagh Gazette dated 12 February 1916: Armagh Men 2nd Lt A J Lennox
Mr Lennox has received the following letters ament the lamented death of his only son somewhere in France:
Dear Mr Lennox, I just heard yesterday the very sad news of Alfie being killed and it came as a great blow to me. Alfie was one of the finest fellows I have ever met and a splendid soldier: not only that, but a friend worth having and keeping. During our time together in the 6th Black Watch his splendid example and great steadfastness in duty did us all a wonderful lot of good and I personally can say that his companionship exercised over me a wonderful influence for good and I mourn the loss of a very good friend. Please accept, Sir, and convey to Mrs Lennox and your daughters my heartfelt sympathy at your sad loss, nevertheless you have the satisfaction of having a son who did his duty and that right loyally. I would not choose a better end than to know I have done my duty and died for my country. Again accept my sincerest sympathy for you and yours. Believe me, yours very sincerely. Seaforth Highlanders, British Expeditionary Force. 4th February 1916
Witness statements describing Second Lieutenant Alfred James Lennox’s death.
7285 Rifleman T. Compton, A Coy, at No. 23 General Hospital, Etaples, 14.7.1916, said he saw Lennox’s body lying in a trench at Vimy Ridge. He had been killed by a HE shell and the head was separated from the body. Compton knew Lennox well and was in a traverse when the shell that killed him came over. Lennox was buried at ‘Souci Valley’ behind the trenches.
8205 Rifleman Coates, aboard the St David, Boulogne, 12.7.1916, saw Lennox killed on January 19th. Lennox was in charge of a party of bombers of which Coates was one. They were in an enemy trench near Le Touquet on the left of Armentieres. A bomb came over and blew Lennox into the air. ‘He was quite dead but his body was not taken back. The bomb fell in front of him and I remember I shouted to him, but he walked right on top of it and was killed outright.’
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 11th February 1916: The Late Second Lieutenant Lennox
Mr W J Lennox, Market Street, Armagh, has received the following letter from Second Lieutenant David Buchanan, Seaforth Highlanders, regarding the death of his son, Second Lieutenant H A J Lennox, Royal Irish Rifles, who was killed in action last month:-
'Alfie was one of the finest fellows I have ever met, and a splendid soldier; not only that, but a friend worth having and keeping. During our time together in the 1/6th Black Watch his splendid example and great steadfastness in duty did us all a wonderful lot of good, and I mourn the loss of a very dear friend.'
A fellow officer writes:-
'The men speak very highly of his bravery and the great encouragement he gave them. I, and indeed all who came in contact with him cannot tell how much we miss him, and how very sorry we are that he is among the absent, and my fellow officers and myself desire to express our deepest sympathy with you all.'
‘He went into the charge on the 19th January in the best of spirits’, says the servant of the late Lieutenant Lennox, ‘and was last seen by his men in the German trench bravely fighting hand to hand.’
His father wrote to the War Office on 28th February 1916, reporting that he had heard from the CO and from Capt. Kelly who said ‘do not quite close the door against the faint hope that our beloved son may have been only wounded when he fell, and may therefore be alive in the hands of the enemy’.
An internal War Office memo dated 30th June referred to ‘List No. 131A’ from the German Government to the American Embassy in Berlin, which was a list of British dead forwarded to the Foreign Office on 20th March 1916. One man is ‘Lenorx? 6 R.H.P. No. 2388’. This was taken as being Lennox and death was accepted for official purposes.
Second Lieutenant A J Lennox has non known grave and is commemorated on Ploegsteert Memorial.
The CWGC record Second Lieutenant Alfred James Lennox as the son of Mr W J Lennox, of 24 Abbey Street, Armagh
It seems Alfred Lennox’s only connection with Magherafelt was that his father was born there.
His sister Louise was a graduate from Queens University, Belfast and taught English at Shirebrook Girls Grammar school. She lived with a fellow teacher at the school, Elsie Manners, who taught art. Louise died c1987
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Relevant Magherafelt Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Drumeenagh Ballymaguigan Father was a native of Drumeenagh 54.724633 -6.527569
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Lennox family 1901 census lists Alfred James as age 11 living with the family at house 24 in Abbey Street, Armagh Town, Armagh
2 1911 Census lists 'Lennix' family 1911 census lists Alfred James as age 21 living with the family at house 38 in Abbey Street, Armagh North Urban, Armagh
3 Armagh War Memorial Extensive details on 2nd Lieutenant Alfred James Lennox
4 Forum discussion (GWF) Details of 2nd Lieutenant Alfred James Lennox including photo
5 Irish Life - Our Heroes Details and photo of 2nd Lieutenant Alfred Lennox
6 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
Magherafelt District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2014-2021