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The 9th (Service) Battalion (County Tyrone), Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
The 9th (Service) Battalion (County Tyrone), The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers was formed at Omagh, in September 1914, from the Tyrone Volunteers they were attached to 3rd Brigade, Ulster Division. On the 2nd November 1914 the formation was renamed 109th Brigade, 36th Division.
The men trained at Dufferin and Ava Estate at Clandeboye, County Down and in July 1915, the Division moved to Seaford, in Sussex, England and then to France in early October 1915.
The 36th Ulster Division are most famous for thier action on the 1st of July 1916, when they were one of the few Divisions to reach thier objective. The front lines were at the edge of Thiepval Wood, troops crossed about 400 yards of No Man's Land, entering the Schwaben Redoubt, (close to where the Ulster Tower stands today) then advancing on towards Stuff Redoubt. The men held out for the day but as their stocks of bombs and ammunition dwindled, they were forced to fall back. The casualties suffered by the 36th Division on the 1st of July were over 5,000 in total. Nine men of the 36th Division were awarded the Victoria Cross on the 1st of July 1916.
In 1917 they were in action at The Battle of Messines, capturing Wytschaete and in the The Battle of Langemarck during the Third Battles of Ypres and the The Cambrai Operations where the Division captured Bourlon Wood. In 1918 they were in action the Somme in the Battles of the Lys and the Final Advance in Flanders. At the Armistice they were at Mouscron, north east of Tourcoing, where the Division remained throughout demobilization which was complete by June 1919.
The Ulster Tower, at Theipval is a memorial to the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division, built as a copy of Helen's Tower at Clandeboye, County Down, where men of the 36th Division trained. There is a small visitor centre with a cafe behind the tower which is staffed by members of the Somme Association. Inside the tower is a small chapel with a number of paintings and plaques from Northern Ireland.
Today Theipval Wood is owned by The Somme Association and guided tours are available of a section of recently excavated trenches.
Please note that Theipval Wood is not open the public, it is used by French huntsmen who use live ammunition and who will shoot, you are putting yourself at risk by entering without permission. Please go to the visitor centre at the Ulster Tower to arrange a guided tour.
A DVD is now available, released for the official opening of the wood for guided tours on the 1st of July 2006, follows the Community Archeology Project, undertaken by The Somme Association and No Man's Land, The European Group for Great War Archaeology.
You can order a copy on-line by clicking the image below:
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Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 215679, your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.
Those known to have served with The 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers during the Great War 1914-1918.
Select a story link or scroll down to browse those stories hosted on this site.
- Pte. Wellington L Allen (d.22nd Aug 1917) Read their Story.
- Pte. R. R. Bellis (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Sgt. John Brangam MM. (d.29th Mar 1918) Read their Story.
- Pte. A. Bryans (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. R. Bryans (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. Michael Mitchell Cairns (d.1st Jul 1916) Read their Story.
- Pte. D. Caldwell (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. J. Cathergood (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. W. Christie (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. John Dolan (d.16th Aug 1917) Read their Story.
- L/Sgt. Frank Fawkes MM. (d.15th Oct 1918) Read their Story.
- Pte. W. Flemming (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. Richard Fowler (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. W. Gates (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. James Gilmour (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. J. Greer (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. J. Hammond (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. T. Hunter (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Private William Hunter (d.4th Feb 1918) Read their Story.
- Pte. Peter Samuel Hutchings (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. J. Kerr (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. G. H. Ledson (d.1st Jul 1916)
- CSM. Thomas McClay DCM MM.
- Pte. T. McCurry (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. W. McKinley (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. David Menarry (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. H. Mills (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. J. Mitchell (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. J. Mitchell (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Pte. H. Moffett (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. Samuel Mulligan (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. J. Neely (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Pte. A. Noble (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. M. Noble (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. W. Quinn (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Cpl. Robert Boyd Rainey (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Pte. John Roulston (d.24th Jun 1916)
- Pte. W. J. Smylie (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. J. Vincent (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. Robert Wallace (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Pte. C. Wasson (d.1st Jul 1916)
- Sjt. Edward John Young (d.1st July 1916) Read their Story.
The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add,, or any recollections or photos of those listed, please get in touch.
Sjt. Edward John Young 9th Btn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (d.1st July 1916)My Great Uncle, Serjeant Edward John Young, died on July 1, 1916 aged 35, at the Battle of the Somme fighting for freedom with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers with the 36th Ulster Division of the British Empire trying to take the Thiepval Plateau.
He died with his men, and his family would like his name to be forever remembered as a proud Irish farmer that fought for freedom. He is buried in the Bray Vale British Cemetery, in the village of Bray-Sur-Somme, France, having been moved there in 1923 from the Fields of Thiepval where he fell in defense of freedom.
I visited his grave, the first member of my family to do so on September 13, 2010, and it was one of the most moving experiences of my life.
Private William Hunter 9th Btn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (d.4th Feb 1918)My uncle William died in St Steeven's Hospital in Dublin "as a result of wounds" according to the official War Office notification. I have no information on where he served or was wounded.
Pte. Michael Mitchell Cairns 9th. Btn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (d.1st Jul 1916)A memorial stone to Michael Mitchell Cairns is in the church yard of St. Canice's Church in Eglinton, Co. Derry, where I now reside, This man was my grand father's elder brother. I have in the past researched my family and I had a printout of the 1911 Ireland census. My grandfather, William Cairns, is on the family list as is an older brother of his entered as Mitcheal Cairns, who was 18 in 1911. On the headstone he was in the 9th. Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, number 26700. He enlisted in Londonderry and was 24 years old when he was killed at the Somme on the first day of the Battle, 1st. July. He is also named on the Thiepval Memorial as one of the missing. I have been trying to find out his enlistment date and hopefully a picture of him.
Sgt. John Brangam MM. 9th Btn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (d.29th Mar 1918)John Brangam was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery on the 20th of November 1917 during the Battle of Cambrai. His battalion had reached the front line trenches with little opposition, but then encountered intense fire from German machine guns. Sergeant Brangam crept around the right flank of the German line and managed to get close enough to bomb a machine gun post, killing two enemy and taking two prisoners. This action allowed his company to resume the advance and take the German line. On the third day of the battle the Germans launched a strong counter-attack, all the other officers in the 9th Battalion fell and Sergeant Brangam assumed the command and forced back the German offensive. John Brangam was killed in action on 29th of March 1918, he has no known grave, but is remembered on the Pozieres Memorial.
L/Sgt. Frank Fawkes MM. 9th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (d.15th Oct 1918)Frank Fawkes was the youngest son of John and the late Elizabeth Ann Fawkes (nee Chambers) and husband of Jane Fawkes (nee Pirie) of 12 Jutland Avenue Hebburn. He was born in Jarrow and enlisted in Newcastle.
Frank died aged 25 on the 15th of October 1918, and was buried in Dadizeele New British Cemetery, Belgium. The Military Medal was awarded to Frank Fawkes for acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire or for individual or associated acts of bravery which were insufficient to merit the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Conferment of the medal was announced in the London Gazette and Frank Fawkes earned the right to add the letters M.M. to his name.
In the 1911 Census for 58 Jervis Street Hebburn, his family is recorded as: John Fawkes age 47 Coal Trimmer at Staithes born Walbottle, Northumberland. (married 14 years, children born 6, children living 5, children died 1) Isabella Fawkes wife age 47 born Bedlington, Northumberland. John William Fawkes son age 25 Coal Teemer at Staithes born Jarrow. Alice Maud Fawkes daughter age 23 born Jarrow. Joseph Anthony Fawkes son age 20 Shunter at Staithes born Jarrow. Frank Fawkes son age 18 Shunter at Staithes born Jarrow.
Pte. John Dolan 9th Btn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (d.16th Aug 1917)John Dolan was born in Jarrow and lived in Gateshead. He enlisted at Newcastle. He is remembered on Tyne Cot Memorial.
Pte. Wellington L Allen 44th Coy. Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) (d.22nd Aug 1917)Private Allen, son of Walter and Margaret Allen, of North Croft, Bowness-on-Solway, Carlisle, was born in St. Columbus, Dublin, and later enlisted there. Before joining the Machine Gun Corps he was a member of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 9th Battalion. He landed at le Havre in February 1916, and was killed in action aged 21 whilst in Flanders fighting The Battle of Passchendaele. Private Allen is buried at Dochy Farm New British Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
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