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Remembrance 2020: Private Archibald Kelly

The story of Archibald Kelly is a sad one.

The eldest son of Joseph and Maggie Kelly of James Street, Coleraine, Archibald enlisted, underage, in the 9th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Like many hundreds of others, he was killed on 1 July 1916 at the Somme.

Initially, he was reported missing and his father posted an appeal in local newspapers for information but there was no response. His mother, however, refused to believe he had been killed and went to meet the weekly train that brought wounded and convalescing soldiers home each Saturday.

Finally, the family wrote to the army for official confirmation of his death, in the hope that it would bring some peace to his mother. He was only 18.


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