Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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Date Name Information
31/03/2020 Pte. John Flanagan The CWGC record Private John Flanagan as the son of Patrick and Margaret Flanagan of Maghera, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
31/03/2020 Pte. John Flanagan Private John Flanagan is buried in Coriano Ridge War Cemetery in Italy. His inscription reads: WE LITTLE THOUGHT THAT HE SO SOON IN DEATH WOULD SLEEP AND LEAVE US HERE TO MOURN R.I.P.
31/03/2020 Pte. John Flanagan On 3rd September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Following the fall of Rome to the Allies in June 1944, the German retreat became ordered and successive stands were made on a series of defensive lines. In the northern Apennine mountains the last of these, the Gothic Line, was breached by the Allies during the Autumn campaign and the front inched forward as far as Ravenna in the Adriatic sector, but with divisions transferred to support the new offensive in France, and the Germans dug in to a number of key defensive positions, the advance stalled as winter set in. Coriano Ridge was the last important ridge in the way of the Allied advance in the Adriatic sector in the autumn of 1944. Its capture was the key to Rimini and eventually to the River Po. German parachute and panzer troops, aided by bad weather, resisted all attacks on their positions between 4th and 12th September 1944. On the night of 12th September the Eighth Army reopened its attack on the Ridge, with the 1st British and 5th Canadian Armoured Divisions. This attack was successful in taking the Ridge, but marked the beginning of a week of the heaviest fighting experienced since Cassino in May, with daily losses for the Eighth Army of some 150 killed.
31/03/2020 Pte. John Flanagan Private John Flanagan was serving with the 2/5th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment when he died on 23rd September 1944.
31/03/2020 Pte. John Flanagan John Flanagan was the son of Patrick and Margaret Flanagan He was born about 1922.
31/03/2020 Civilian John Esdale The CWGC record John Esdale as being from 41 Bristol Street, Belfast. He is listed as the son of James and Margaret Esdale, of Stranngard, Desertmartin, Co. Derry. He is also recorded as being the husband of Sarah Esdale.finally, it records that he died at Harland and Wolff Ltd., Queen's Road.
31/03/2020 Civilian John Esdale It is thought that John Esdale was buried in a Belfast cemetery, although there is currently no confirmation of this.
31/03/2020 Civilian John Esdale It is not known if he was working there at the time or killed at home in Bristol Street.
31/03/2020 Civilian John Esdale John Esdale was in the vicinity of the Harland and Wolff Shipyard and was killed in the attack on 8th July.
31/03/2020 Civilian John Esdale On the night of 7th-8th April 1941, the Luftwaffe attacked Belfast in what would become known as the Docks Raid of the Belfast Blitz.
31/03/2020 Civilian John Esdale The 1911 census lists John as age 42, living with his family at house 18 in Bristol Street, Belfast. John was a fireman in the shipyard.
31/03/2020 Civilian John Esdale The 1901 census lists John as age 32, living with his family at house 24 in Bristol Street, Belfast. John was a labourer in the shipyard.
31/03/2020 Civilian John Esdale John and Sarah’s only child, James M Esdale, was born on 7th August 1898 in the Magherafelt area.
31/03/2020 Civilian John Esdale John Esdale and Sarah Meeke were married on 4th December 1896 in the Magherafelt area.
31/03/2020 Civilian John Esdale John Esdale was born about 1869. He was the son of James Esdale and Margaret Esdale of Stranngard, Desertmartin, Co. Londonderry.
31/03/2020 Gnr Alexander Cusick Gunner Alexander Cusick is listed on page 109 of the Castledawson War Dead Book – ‘They Didn’t Come Home.’
31/03/2020 Gnr Alexander Cusick Grave photo courtesy of Sam Hudson, Desertmartin. Information provided here is courtesy of the excellent research undertaken by Mr Sam Hudson
31/03/2020 Gnr Alexander Cusick Gunner Alexander Cusick is commemorated locally on Castledawson War Memorial.
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31/03/2020 Gnr Alexander Cusick His wife was Kathleen Cusick (nee Kielt). She was born in 1909 and died in 2010, making her 101 years old.
31/03/2020 Gnr Alexander Cusick Gunner Alexander Cusick is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour at the University of Glasgow.
31/03/2020 Gnr Alexander Cusick Gunner Alexander Cusick is buried in the family plot in St Mary’s Roman Catholic Churchyard in Bellaghy.
31/03/2020 Gnr Alexander Cusick Gunner Alexander Cusick was serving with 133 Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery Unit when he died on 2nd June 1941.
31/03/2020 Gnr Alexander Cusick Alexander enlisted in Dundee.
31/03/2020 Gnr Alexander Cusick Alexander attended the University of Glasgow. He graduated with an MA in the Arts in 1931.
31/03/2020 Gnr Alexander Cusick Alexander Cusick was born on 11th November 1910 in Glasgow.
31/03/2020 Gnr Alexander Cusick Alexander Cusick was the son of John Cusick. John was employed as a warehouse man.
30/03/2020 Pte. Andrew Cotton 01169
30/03/2020 Pte. Andrew Cotton 01168
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30/03/2020 Pte. Andrew Cotton The CWGC record Private Cotton as the son of William and Rachel Cotton of Beattie Street, Fielding, New Zealand. He is listed as having been being born at Magherafelt, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
30/03/2020 Pte. Andrew Cotton Private Cotton is also commemorated on Feilding War Memorial in New Zealand.
30/03/2020 Pte. Andrew Cotton ‘In loving memory of William Cotton died 11th January 1962; and Rachel died 19th June 1956; and their loved son Pvte Andrew Cotton 445583 died on active service Italy, 19 October 1944.’
30/03/2020 Pte. Andrew Cotton Private Cotton is commemorated on the family headstone in Feilding Cemetery in the Manawatu District of New Zealand. The inscription reads:
30/03/2020 Pte. Andrew Cotton Private Andrew Cotton was re-interred in Cesena War Cemetery on 4th June 1945. Cesena is on the east coast of Italy, just north of San Marino. Most of those buried in this cemetery died during the advance from Rimini to Forli and beyond in September-November 1944, an advance across one flooded river after another in atrocious autumn weather.
30/03/2020 Pte. Andrew Cotton Private Andrew Cotton was originally buried in the Military Cemetery at San Mauro.
30/03/2020 Pte. Andrew Cotton Private Andrew Cotton was serving with the 25th Battalion in Italy when he was killed in action in Italy on 19th October 1944. He was 21 years old.
30/03/2020 Pte. Andrew Cotton Private Andrew Cotton served with the New Zealand Infantry in World War Two.
30/03/2020 Pte. Andrew Cotton The family emigrated to New Zealand.
30/03/2020 Pte. Andrew Cotton Andrew Cotton was born about 1923 in Magherafelt.
30/03/2020 Pte. Andrew Cotton Andrew Cotton was the son of William and Rachel Cotton. William Cotton and Rachel Park were married on 27th July 1918 in the district of Magherafelt.
30/03/2020 Pte. William Henry Cottingham The CWGC record Private William Henry Cottingham as the son of William Skinner Cottingham and Harriet Cottingham. He is also listed as the husband of Gladys Rose Cottingham of West Bridgford, Nottingham.
30/03/2020 Pte. William Henry Cottingham Private Cottingham is listed on the WW2 Memorial in St Giles Church in West Bridgford, Nottingham.
30/03/2020 Pte. William Henry Cottingham Private Cottingham is buried in St Patrick’s Church Of Ireland Churchyard in Kilrea. His inscription reads: REST ETERNAL GRANT HIM AFTER WEARY FIGHT.
30/03/2020 Pte. William Henry Cottingham Private William Henry Cottingham was serving with the Royal Army Service Corps when he died on 30th November 1941, age 41.
30/03/2020 Pte. William Henry Cottingham William was the husband of Gladys Rose Cottingham.
30/03/2020 Pte. William Henry Cottingham William Cottingham was born about 1900. No record of the family can be found in either the 1901 census, implying he was born elsewhere.
30/03/2020 Pte. William Henry Cottingham William Henry Cottingham was the son of William Skinner and Harriet Cottingham.
29/03/2020 Fireman James Cochrane 01165
29/03/2020 Fireman James Cochrane Known family: James Cochrane,, Elizabeth Cochrane, Agnes Cochrane (21st February 1904), William James Cochrane (13th February 1906).
29/03/2020 Fireman James Cochrane The CWGC record Fireman and Trimmer James Cochrane as the son of James and Elizabeth Cochrane of Castledawson, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
29/03/2020 Fireman James Cochrane Fireman and Trimmer James Cochrane has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 36 of the Tower Hill Memorial in London.
29/03/2020 Fireman James Cochrane The submarine was a captured Turkish vessel that had been commissioned into the German Navy.
29/03/2020 Fireman James Cochrane At 01.19 hours on 8th March 1941 the Dunaff Head was hit by one of two torpedoes from a U-Boat and sank south of Iceland. Five crew members were lost. The master, 34 crew members and four gunners survived.
29/03/2020 Fireman James Cochrane In March 1941 S.S. Dunaff Head was part of Convoy OB-293, en route from Glasgow to St. John, New Brunswick, Canada.
29/03/2020 Fireman James Cochrane Fireman and Trimmer James Cochrane served with the Merchant Navy in World War Two on board S.S. Dunaff Head. It was a 5,258 GRT steam cargo ship.
29/03/2020 Fireman James Cochrane The 1911 census also has a possible listing of James’ father. He was age 27, boarding at house 14 in Castledawson Town. He was a railway porter.
29/03/2020 Fireman James Cochrane The 1911 census lists James as age 3, boarding at Townparks School in Magherafelt. His older sister Agnes was also a boarder at the school.
29/03/2020 Fireman James Cochrane It seems James’s mother, Elizabeth Cochrane, died on 6th November 1910 in Magherafelt, aged 30. James was three years old.
29/03/2020 Fireman James Cochrane William James Cochrane was born on 13th February 1906 in the district of Magherafelt.
29/03/2020 Fireman James Cochrane James Cochrane was the son of James and Elizabeth Cochrane. James Cochrane and Elizabeth McElroy were married on 20th March 1903 in the district of Cookstown.
28/03/2020 2nd Lieut Neil Blake Clark CLARK – 17th January 1946 at Lingfield, Surrey, result of an accident while on duty, Neil Blake Clark, Irish Guards, dearly loved younger son of Mr and Mrs Willie M Clark, Upperlands, Co Derry.
28/03/2020 2nd Lieut Neil Blake Clark 01164
28/03/2020 2nd Lieut Neil Blake Clark From the Irish Times dated Saturday 2nd February 1946:
28/03/2020 2nd Lieut Neil Blake Clark CLARK – On 17th January 1946 at Lingfield, Surrey, result of an accident while on duty, Neil Blake Clark, Irish Guards, dearly beloved younger son of Mr and Mrs Willie M Clark, Upperlands, Co Derry.
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28/03/2020 2nd Lieut Neil Blake Clark From the Times dated 22nd January 1946: On Active Service
28/03/2020 2nd Lieut Neil Blake Clark The CWGC record 2nd Lieutenant Neil Blake Clark as the son of William Moore Wallis Clark and of Zelie Marguerite Clark (nee Lopdell) of Upperlands.
28/03/2020 2nd Lieut Neil Blake Clark 2nd Lieutenant Neil Blake Clark’s remains were brought home and he is buried in Maghera Church Of Ireland Churchyard.
28/03/2020 2nd Lieut Neil Blake Clark 2nd Lieutenant Neil Blake Clark died on 17th January 1946. He was killed in a training accident whilst on duty at Lingfield, Surrey. His gravestone says he ‘Gave his life for another’.
28/03/2020 2nd Lieut Neil Blake Clark He gained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the Irish Guards on 30th November 1945.
28/03/2020 2nd Lieut Neil Blake Clark Neil Blake Clark joined the Irish Guards.
28/03/2020 2nd Lieut Neil Blake Clark Neil Clark was educated at Shrewsbury School in England, like his father.
28/03/2020 2nd Lieut Neil Blake Clark The family lived at Gorteade House, Upperlands, County Londonderry.
28/03/2020 2nd Lieut Neil Blake Clark Family: William Moore Wallis Clark, Zelie Marguerite Clark, William John Moore Clark (born 18th November 1924), Neil Blake Clark (born 6th October 1926).
28/03/2020 2nd Lieut Neil Blake Clark William Moore Wallis Clark held the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for County Derry in 1936. He held the office of High Sheriff of County Derry in 1938. He held the office of Member of the Senate [Northern Ireland] between 1946 and 1961. He held the office of Leader of the Senate [Northern Ireland] between 1948 and 1961. He held the office of Deputy Lieutenant (D.L.) of County Derry in 1952. He was a director of William Clark & Sons Ltd.
28/03/2020 2nd Lieut Neil Blake Clark Neil Blake Clark was born 6th October 1926, presumably in Upperlands. He was the younger of two children, both sons.
28/03/2020 2nd Lieut Neil Blake Clark Neil Blake Clark was the younger son of William Moore Wallis and Zelie Marguerite Clark. William Moore Wallis Clark and Zelie Marguerite Lopdell were married on 25th August 1920.
28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley Rifleman Arthur Desmond Bradley is listed on pages 105-108 of the Castledawson War Dead Book – ‘They Didn’t Come Home.’
28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley 01162
28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley The official letter confirming Rifleman Desmond Bradley’s death was dated 17th July 1944. It was addressed to his father, who was living at Greenview, Castledawson.
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28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley 01160
28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley On 15th May 1944, Desmond sent home a generic post card / letter confirming he was in good health.
28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley Many thanks to Sam Hudson, whose research was instrumental to this information.
28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley The CWGC record Rifleman Arthur Desmond Bradley as the son of William and Jane Bradley of Magherafelt, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley Rifleman Arthur Desmond Bradley commemorated locally on Castledawson Memorial and Tobermore War Memorial. He is also listed on the WW2 Roll of Honour in Castledawson Memorial Hall.
28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley Rifleman Arthur Desmond Bradley is buried in La Deliverande War Cemetery at Douvres, fourteen kilometres North of Caen. His inscription reads: AND GOD SHALL WIPE AWAY ALL TEARS FROM THEIR EYES; AND THERE SHALL BE NO MORE DEATH
28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley The battalion remained in Cambes until 3rd July 1944, each day losing between three to five men, being either killed or wounded.
28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley The day after D-Day, the 2nd Battalion of Royal Ulster Rifles moved south west towards the village of Cambes-en-Plaine, six miles inland, which was surrounded with thick woodland. It was here, on 17th June, 1944, that Rifleman Arthur Desmond Bradley was killed in Cambes Wood, aged 19.
28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley Rifleman Arthur Desmond Bradley was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Ulster Rifles in Normandy when he was killed in action on 17th June 1944.
28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley Photo of 18 Platoon, D Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles dated May 1944. Rifleman Desmond Bradley is pictured 3rd from the left on the back row.
28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley Desmond Bradley enlisted on 30th July 1941 in Omagh. On enlistment he claimed his date of birth was 3rd June1923, making him 18 years old. He was however, only 17 years old. Below is a copy of the soldier’s pay book, which details his attestation.
28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley Before the war, Desmond, as he was known, worked as a labourer.
28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley Arthur Desmond Bradley was born in October 1924, although the exact date is vague. It has been claimed it was 1st October, although there is no verification of this.
28/03/2020 R/man Arthur Desmond Bradley Arthur Desmond Bradley was the son of William and Jane Bradley.
27/03/2020 Sgt. Robert Hugh Bell The CWGC record Sergeant Robert Hugh Bell as the son of William James Bell and Annie Bell of Belfast. He is also listed as the husband of Margaret Bell of Hebburn-on-Tyne, County Durham, England.
27/03/2020 Sgt. Robert Hugh Bell Sergeant Robert Hugh Bell is buried in St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Churchyard in Maghera.
27/03/2020 Sgt. Robert Hugh Bell Sergeant Robert Hugh Bell died on 1st November 1943. He was 38 years old.
27/03/2020 Sgt. Robert Hugh Bell Sergeant Bell was mentioned in despatches. The date of announcement in London Gazette was 20th December 1940.
27/03/2020 Sgt. Robert Hugh Bell Robert Hugh Bell served with 1 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (Lt A.A. Regt) of the Royal Artillery in World War Two.
27/03/2020 Sgt. Robert Hugh Bell Robert was married to Margaret Bell.
27/03/2020 Sgt. Robert Hugh Bell The 1911 census lists Robert as age 5, living with the family at house 7 in Wellwyne Street, Court Ward, Belfast. His father was now working as a labourer in an ironworks.
27/03/2020 Sgt. Robert Hugh Bell Known family: William James Bell, Annie Bell, William John Bell (31st August 1897), Eva Bell (born 28th May 1899), Violet Bell (born 6th June 1901, died 7th July 1908, age 7), Alice Bell (born 30th August 1903), Robert Hugh Bell (born 27th July 1905), Nina Bell (born 23rd June 1907), James Bell (born 10th January 1910), Richard Bell (born 21st February 1912).
27/03/2020 Sgt. Robert Hugh Bell Robert Hugh Bell was born on 27th July 1905. He was one of at least eight children, all born in Belfast.
27/03/2020 Sgt. Robert Hugh Bell The 1901 census lists the family at house 34 in Cussack Street, Windsor Ward, Belfast. William was a bricklayer and labourer.
27/03/2020 Sgt. Robert Hugh Bell Robert Hugh Bell was the second son of William James and Annie Bell. William James Bell and Annie Sinclair were married on 23rd November 1896 in Belfast.
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