Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
Date Name Information
25/06/2018 Pte. George Reilly Bell Constable George Bell of Bellshill, Castledawson, at present stationed in Lisburn, is one of the R.I.C. Volunteers accepted for service in the Irish Guards. Constable Bell is one of four brothers on the Force.
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25/06/2018 Pte. George Reilly Bell From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 12th December 1914:
23/06/2018 Pte. Robert Jamison Upperlands, like every other district in the province, has a number of sons at the front fighting for our King and country, and on Saturday one of those local heroes, Private Robert Jameson, 3rd Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers returned home, having been wounded in the right knee by a rifle shot in the fighting between Ypres and Dixmude on 7th November. For three weeks he has been is hospital on the continent and in London. He has now been allowed home for three weeks leave. He landed in France towards the end of September and from then until he was put out of action, he saw warfare in all its horrors, the fighting being continuous. The Germans, he says, are bad shots, but what surprised him most was no matter how many of them were put down, there were always innumerable hordes of them to come again. You could see them coming forward like a mist, but once you get at him with the bayonet, it was goodbye Mr German, British steel being too much for him. Private Jameson speaks highly of the gallantry of the Belgian soldier, but the pluck and bravery of the British surpassed them all. He is full of praise for the officers, who at all times are in the thick of the fight, sharing the dangers of their men. Speaking of the brutality of the Germans, he says it is shocking. He tells of a Belgian farm house which he saw, where the Germans were slaughtering the cattle for the use of their army. The only ones residing in the house was a woman and two children. The poor mother pleaded to spare her one cow to enable her to nourish her children. The officer demanded to see the children. The mother was then strapped up, and the children horribly murdered before her eyes. She was then deprived of her clothing, and treated in a manner not fit for public print, after which they cut the breasts off her, and then put her to death, and three innocent victims had to be buried by British soldiers. This horrible outrage took place on the morning of the day on which he visited the house. Private Jameson is eager to be well again, when he hopes tom take his place at the front.
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23/06/2018 Pte. Robert Jamison From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 28th November 1914:
12/06/2018 Pte. Frank Duffy Private Frank Duffey has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium
12/06/2018 Pte. Frank Duffy Private Frank Duffey was serving with the 74th Foot, 2nd Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry when he was killed in action at Ypres on Sunday 1st November 1914.
12/06/2018 Pte. Frank Duffy The 1901 census shows a possible listing of Frank Duffy, age 17, living at house 8 in Corlacky, Swatragh, County Londonderry. The census records he was born in America. He was working as a servant. He was living with Mary Friel and her son Patrick.
12/06/2018 Pte. Frank Duffy Frank was raised by his grandfather, P Clerkin at Corlecky, Swatragh, County Derry.
12/06/2018 Pte. Frank Duffy Frank Duffy was born in either America or County Derry, about 1884.
12/06/2018 Pte. Frank Duffy Intimation has been received in Maghera that Private Frank Duffy, of the Inniskillings, has been killed in action at the front. He was well-known in the district, where he was raised by his grandfather, the late Mr P Clerkin, Corlecky, Swateragh.
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12/06/2018 Pte. Frank Duffy From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 28th November 1914:
12/06/2018 Pte. Frank Duffy DUFFY – Killed in action at the front, Private Frank Duffy, grandson of the late Mr P Clerkin, Corlecky, Swateragh.
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12/06/2018 Pte. Frank Duffy From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 28th November 1914:
03/06/2018 Chief Eng Frederick William Forbes He began his career as a ship’s engineer on the Buckshall line of steamers in 1901. This was during the South African War, and his first voyage was to South Africa with stores for the troops, and before the end of the war he had made four similar voyages. Since then he has been with various steamship companies and has put into almost every port of the world, during which time he qualified and obtained his various certificates. He passed the Board of Trade’s examination for the Chief Engineer’s Certificate in 1905. Save the sinking of his ship Maple Branch by the Karlsruhe, his most exciting experience at sea was a fire which broke out in the coal bunkers of his ship. The chief engineer, on going down to ascertain the extent of the fire, was immediately suffocated and Mr Forbes, with his characteristic disregard for danger, at once went to his rescue without taking the precaution to ensure his own safe return by tying a rope around him. He had not reached his chief when he was overcome by the fumes and was only rescued when he was on the point of suffocation. Mr Forbes’ whole life has been one long chapter of adventures, nor has it been wanting in romance. It was while voyaging in New York to re-join his ship, then Miss Nedwell, who comes from a well-known South Derry family, long resident in Lisnamorrow. Miss Nedwell was also journeying to America on a visit to friends and the acquaintance begun on board and had its consummation in the Woods Parish Church five years ago when Miss Nedwell became Mrs Forbes. Two handsome children in the Lisnamorrow home, who are too young to understand international complications, express their unspoken thanks in every romp and frolic to the Karlsruhe, which as given them daddy to play much sooner than they expected him, and which has allowed him a much longer time to play than formerly.
03/06/2018 Chief Eng Frederick William Forbes Mr F W Forbes, whose interesting story of detention on a German prison ship appeared in our columns last week, is himself as interesting a personality as the incidents he there related. Born in North Shields, England, he graduated from school to an apprenticeship on the well-known engineering firm of Armstrong, Whitworth & Co. during the first years of his apprenticeship he attended evening classes and perfected himself in the theoretical and mathematical sides of his profession; and at an age when most young men are frittering away their leisure time in frivolous pleasure Mr Forbes unselfishly devoted himself to serious work of a hazardous character for the benefit of his country and of his fellow man. He became a member of the Volunteer Light Brigade of the Royal Submarine Mining Engineers of which body he was a non-commissioned officer when its duties were taken over by the Admiralty. Being an apprentice with a firm whose chief products were for the government, he had no difficulty in getting off for his fortnight’s training twice a year. At the time of naval manoeuvres his Tyne Division of R.S.M. Engineers were usually entrusted with the defences of the Tyne and of Portland Harbour at the later manoeuvres. The work of this body is now done by the navy, but just before being disbanded, the Tyne Volunteers laid the last submarine mine in Gosport Harbour. After disbandment the battalion was reformed under the title Tyne volunteer Electrical Engineers, every member of which was a practical mechanic, and of which Mr Forbes also became an important unit. As a member of the new body, he took part in all manoeuvres, his body being entrusted with the running of the engines, dynamos and searchlights in connection with harbour defences. His section was so trustworthy and efficient that it was sent all over the Kingdom, and one occasion upon which they were charged with the defence of the port of London, Mr Forbes and his colleagues were highly complimented by the Divisional Commander-in-chief. One would imagine that a young apprentice would have found such responsible work ample to employ his energies outside his ordinary occupation, but not so Mr Forbes. He was at the same time an active member of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade; and during his three or four years membership he took part in many thrilling rescues from ships which had come to grief at the (at that time) treacherous entrance to the Tyne. This purely voluntary corps of unselfish and brave men numbered one hundred and twenty and were divided into three sections. On the dark and stormy nights of winter when many a good ship ends her voyaging on the giant tees of our rock-bound coast, these volunteers took it in turn to keep watch and ward on their wind swept coast, so that, with line and lifebelt and oft times at the risk of their own lives, they might snatch from a watery grave any unfortunate mariners in danger of perishing through shipwreck. A hard day’s work in an engineering shop with frequent sleepless nights on a wave tossed shore left little time for reading, yet Mr Forbes contrived at the same time to study and obtain the certificate of the Royal Army Medical Corps, and the first, second and third certificates of St John’s Ambulance Association – the latter carrying with it the Association’s medallion. And in his spare time – think off it! – his spare time – he qualified for the freedom of the Newcastle swimming guild, played football and took part in cycling, running and other athletic contests. At least on two occasions he had reason to be thankful for his abilities as a swimmer. Mr Forbes had just come out from a bathe in Tynemouth Haven and when fully dressed observed one of a group of romping youngsters fall into the water. Without a moment’s hesitation he plunged in and though greatly impeded by his clothing, succeeded in bringing the child ashore, none the worse of its immersion. With a whimsical smile when relating the incident, Mr Forbes will add. ‘Fortunately none of the youngsters knew me and so nobody was able to make a fuss about it.’ The other occasion was when engaged in the work of mine-laying. He accidently fell overboard between the fast moving ship and the shore. Swimming quickly towards the piles of the jetty, he clung there for a few minutes and then turned and swam to meet the boat put off to rescue him.
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03/06/2018 Chief Eng Frederick William Forbes From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 21st November 1914:
02/06/2018 Swrt George Christie Mr William Christie, teacher of the Sixtown School, Draperstown, has the right to take notable pride in the part his family is playing in the fighting forces of the Empire. His eldest son, Sergeant John Christie, of the Royal Army Medical Corps, was through the Battles of Mons and was missing for a day and a night, owing to getting detached from his company in a dense fog in a turnip field. He luckily regained his party, and is still at the front. Mr Christie’s second son, Bob, is a first class gunner in the Royal Navy, and is at present in Devonport, and his third son, Fred, who was also in the Senior Service, died at his post on the ill-fated Amphion. Another son, George, a private in the Inniskillings, is in Ebrington Barracks, Londonderry, awaiting orders for active service. Lance Corporal Blakeman, of the Worcesters, Mr Christie’s son-in-law, has been recommended for the Victoria Cross owing to his having captured a maxim gun from the enemy. Only Blakeman (who was severely wounded and was laid up with concussion of the brain and a knee injury) and another comrade returned from the expedition. Lance Corporal Blakeman has so far recovered.
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02/06/2018 Swrt George Christie From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 21st November 1914:
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