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Somme Stories - County Tyrone

Privates John and James Cumberland

John and James Cumberland were sons of William John and Mary Cumberland of Kilnacart, Derrygortreavy and were both members of Kilnacart LOL No. 296.

James, John and a third brother, William, served with the 9th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers. James and John were both killed in action on 1 July 1916.

In a letter to their mother Colonel Ricardo wrote that: “John and James took part in the great attack on July 1 and were last seen gallantly advancing with their company against the German trenches … I doubt if they were taken prisoners, for ‘No Surrender’ was the feeling that day in the Ulster Division.”

Lance Corporal John Greer

John Greer was from Mountjoy, Omagh. He and his brother Anthony had been members of the Tyrone Regiment of the UVF before joining ‘B’ Company, 9th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

John Greer was Killed in Action on 1 July 1916, and is buried at Connaught Cemetery, Thiepval.

At the time he volunteered for service, John Greer was Worshipful Master of LOL No. 750. He is commemorated in their minute book, March 1917

Captain William Tillie Dickson

William Tillie Dickson was the son of James and Annabella Dickson of Dungannon, his father was a local magistrate and Member of Parliament.

His brother also served with the Australian Hospital Corps and his sister, Jessie, nursed soldiers near the front.

William Dickson was severely wounded at the Somme and had his right leg amputated. He subsequently died on 9 July 1916. He was a member of LOL No. 163.

Lance Corporal George Burrows

George Burrows was the son of James and Sara E. Burrows, and was born in Donaghmore.

Before the war, George had been in the employment of Lord Ranfurly and had been the personal assistant of Viscount Northland at the UVF camp at Baronscourt.

George was a member of Cullenfad LOL No. 39 and Dungannon Temperance RBP No. 523.

On the outbreak of war George enlisted and served with the 9th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

On 1 July 1916, at the Battle of the Somme, George was Killed In Action at the age of 22.

Private Joseph Doonan, MM

Joseph Doonan was the youngest son of Johnston and Anna Clara Doonan of Dungannon.

He enlisted in early 1916 and served with the London Irish Rifles. His father and all his brothers were also in service by this time. In September 1916 he was in hospital in Liverpool, having injured his hand and arm.

It was reported in The Orange Standard of July 1917 that he was to be awarded the Military Medal for his actions during an attack on Easter Saturday “for bravery in rescuing wounded under heavy shell and rifle fire.” Later that year he was reported in the Tyrone Courier as having been “severely gassed”.

His brother, John Alexander Doonan, was Killed In Action on 23 December 1917. In June 1918, his brother Frederick Johnston Doonan was also awarded the Military Medal. Frederick had seen service at the Somme on 1 July 1916.

The brothers were members of LOL No. 178.


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