John Thompson was the eldest son of Thomas and Matilda Thompson. John Thompson was born on 4th January 1894 in Magherafelt. Thomas was a coachman. The family lived in Cookstown and also in Killinchy. John Thompson enlisted in Belfast. He was apparently living in ‘Donald’ at the time. This may have been Dundonald. Rifleman John Thompson was serving with the 12th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on Saturday 1st July 1916.
Hamel is a small village about 6.5 kilometres north of Albert. Using the D929 from Bapaume to Albert, continue until you come to La Boisselle, where there is a right turn signposted to Aveluy on the D20. Upon entering Aveluy, continue straight until you reach the crossroads where you should turn right to Beaumont-Hamel. Continue for 5 kilometres until you reach Hamel village where the military cemetery is on your immediate left.