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Somme Stories - County Fermanagh


Lance Corporal David Johnston


David Johnston was the son of William and Mary Johnston of Derryharney, Co. Fermanagh. He enlisted with the 11th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in Enniskillen in September 1914 and went to France on 5 October 1915.


Before the war he was a member of Belleisle True Blues LOL No. 1314. He worked on the family farm with his brother George and was a commercial fisherman on Lough Erne.


Lance Corporal Johnston was a lay preacher in the Methodist Church and would lead his men in prayer before they climbed out of the trenches. He was killed on the first day of the Somme.


Major Charles Fausset Falls

Charles Fausset Falls was an Enniskillen solicitor and Commander of the 3rd Battalion of the Fermanagh Regiment UVF.


The 11th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers formed in September and was comprised mainly of UVF members from Fermanagh and Donegal. Falls was assigned Captain of the battalion.


By January 1916, Falls was a Major. An extract of a letter to Mr. Alfred Armstrong was recorded in The Orange Standard of January 1916. In it he acknowledged gifts from LOL No. 1539 and said, “Please tell the brethren that we have a very flourishing LOL in our battalion, and before we have finished we hope to hold a meeting in Berlin.” Major Falls was Master of Lisbellaw District LOL and a member of LOL No. 415.


He was made Knight Commander of the Civil Division in 1922 and given a Knighthood in 1923. He was Member of Parliament for Fermanagh & Tyrone from 1924 to 1929.


Private Edwin James Vance

Edwin James Vance was the son of John and Mary Anne Vance of Lisblake, Florencecourt, Co. Fermanagh.


Prior to the war Edwin had been employed as a shop assistant in Enniskillen. He served with the 11th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and went to France in October 1915.


He was 21 years old when he was killed in action at the Somme on 1 July 1916.


Private Joseph Henry Graham

Joseph Henry (Harry) Graham was the second son of David and Mary Anne Graham of Derrylin, Co Fermanagh.


He had enlisted in May 1915 although he was suffering with an injured ankle. He served with the 11th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and was 24 years old when he was killed at the Somme on 1 July 1916.


Harry was the Treasurer of Derrylin LOL No. 1648 and both he and his father had been active members of the Ulster Volunteer Force, joining at Derrylin on 13 April 1913.


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