Maiden City Great War Roll of Honour Part 24

Undated Handout Photo of Vimy Ridge Memorial, near Arras, France. See PA Feature TRAVEL Flanders Fields. PA Photo/Handout.

Undated Handout Photo of Vimy Ridge Memorial, near Arras, France. See PA Feature TRAVEL Flanders Fields. PA Photo/Handout.

photos: PA Photo

Baird, Private James, 3630

James Baird, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was born at Templemore, County Londonderry, enlisted at Londonderry, and resided in Glasgow.

He died on May 16, 1915, at the Battle of Festubert. Aged 23, he was the son of Mr and Mrs William John Baird, 497, Glasgow Road, Yoker, Clydebank, Glasgow, and his name is recorded on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

Festubert was a village of France, located in the department of Pas-de-Calais, and prominent in the Great War.

The Battle of Festubert formed part of the Artois Offensive spearheaded by Joseph Joffre, commander in chief of the French forces. Launched by British commander Sir Douglas Haig after pressure applied to the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) by Joffre, Festubert marked the BEF’s second attack of the offensive, after a largely unsuccessful assault on May 9 at Neuve Chapelle.

A four-day-long artillery bombardment of the German positions by over 400 Allied guns firing over 100,000 shells preceded the attack on Festubert.

Although the bombardment failed to cause significant damage to the German front line, the initial attack, conducted by two predominately Indian divisions in fair weather conditions on the night of May 15, advanced rapidly, as the German Sixth Army (commanded by Crown Prince Rupprecht) retreated to positions directly in front of the village of Festubert.

The British 2nd and 7th divisions continued the attacks on May 16, but within two days had to be withdrawn due to heavy losses.

On May 18, under heavy rain, Canadian troops began another onslaught, but were forced to retreat under heavy German artillery fire. The Allied troops hurried to build trenches to consolidate the small gains made so far, as the German command sent a fresh injection of reserves to reinforce their lines.

On May 20, the Allies renewed the attacks at Festubert; over the next four days, they were able to capture the village from the Germans, a position that would be held by the Allies until the final German spring offensive in 1918.

Still, by the time the Allied command called off the attacks, the Battle of Festubert had resulted in gains of less than one kilometre of territory - at a cost of 16,000 Allied casualties.

Sir Frank Fox, in his book, The Royal Inniskillings in the World War, describes the actions of the 2nd Inniskillings at Festubert: ‘It was not until the Battle of Festubert, May 15-25, that the Inniskillings were called upon to show again their mettle in attack.

‘On May 12 they had marched through Richebourg to the line, taking over not the trenches, for it would be inaccurate to say there were trenches, but a series of frontline breastworks which had been erected as the best possible means of shelter in that waterlogged country. ‘These breastworks gave little or no protection against the enemy artillery fire, and up to the night of May 15, before the attack opened, the casualties suffered were 6 killed and 40 wounded.

‘Repeated efforts had been made since May 9 to win ground from the Germans on this sector.

‘As attacks by daylight had failed, on the night of May 15 a night attack was attempted.

‘On the 2nd Division front, two Brigades were entrusted with the task, the 6th on the right and the 5th on the left.

‘Of the 5th Brigade, the attacking Battalions were the 2nd Inniskillings on the right and the Worcesters on the left.

‘The 2nd Inniskillings devoted D Company on the right and A Company on the left to the assault, holding C Company in reserve to support D, and B Company to support A.

‘The objectives were to seize the first and second lines of the German trenches and to consolidate in the second line.

‘So far as D Company was concerned, the attack prospered; the first and second lines of German trenches were captured and C Company moved up to support and to consolidate.

‘On the left, however, things did not go so well. There, A Company reached the first line but suffered severe loss, and on its left the Worcesters failed to make good.

‘B Company moved up in support, but also suffered severe losses.

‘The two Companies were obliged to fall back. D Company and C Company were ordered to come back from the second to the first line of German trenches and to consolidate there. ‘This they did, and the Battalion held the position until the evening of the 16th, when it was ordered to withdraw to reserve breastworks.

‘The action took heavy toll of the Battalion. The total casualties were 19 officers and 652 O.R.s...’

Cassidy, Private Charles, 4436

Charles Cassidy, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was born at Templemore, County Londonderry, enlisted at Londonderry, and died at Festubert on May 16, 1915.

His name is recorded on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France, and commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Crampsey, Private Michael, 11757

Michael Crampsey, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was born at Glendermott, County Londonderry, enlisted at Londonderry, and died at Festubert on May 16, 1915.

He was the brother of George Crampsey, 8, High Street, Londonderry, and his name is recorded on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. His name is also commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Cuthbert, Private Patrick, 3835

Patrick Cuthbert, ‘B’ Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was born at Templemore, County Londonderry, enlisted at Londonderry, and died at Festubert on May 16, 1915.

Aged 22, he was the son of Robert Cuthbert, Londonderry, and his name is recorded on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

His name is also commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Deane, Lance Corporal Joseph, 3872

Joseph Deane, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died at Festubert on May 16, 1915. Aged 21, he was the son of Mrs Sarah Deane, 13, Nailor’s Row, Derry. His name is recorded on the Le Touret Memorial, France, and commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

At the time of Lance Corporal Deane’s death, he had three brothers and five cousins serving with the colours. One of his brothers, Private James Deane, Inniskillings, the husband of Mrs Sarah Deane, 11, Nailor’s Row, Derry, was wounded for the second time circa April 1918, and spent time recovering in hospital in Glasgow.

Doherty, Lance Corporal John, 4062

John Doherty, ‘A’ Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died, at Festubert, on May 16, 1915. Aged 33, he was the son of Charles and Isobel Doherty, and husband of Cassie Doherty, 48, Walker’s Place, Londonderry. His name is recorded on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France, and commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Corporal Doherty rejoined the colours at the outbreak of the Great War, as a reservist, and saw much heavy fighting. He took part in the Mons retreat.

Doherty, Private Neil 4454

Neil Doherty, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died at Festubert on May 16, 1915. He was the son of Mary Jane Doherty, 86, Lecky Road, Londonderry. His name is commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial, and his remains are interred in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, Pas de Calais, France.

Donaghy, Sergeant George, 2214

George Donaghy, ‘A’ Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died at Festubert on May 16, 1915. Aged 36, he was the son of Edward and Bridget Donaghy, 35, Long Tower Street, Londonderry.

He was also the husband of Margaret Donaghy, and father of George Donaghy, 3, Quarry Street, Londonderry. His name is recorded on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France, and commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Feeney, Private William, 4309

William Feeny, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was born at the Longtower, Derry, enlisted at Strabane, and died at Festubert on May 16, 1915.

He was the son of Mrs Catherine Feeney, 28, Orchard Row, Derry. His name is recorded on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France, and commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Gallagher, Private John, 13743

John Gallagher, ‘E’ Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was born at Derry, enlisted at Greenock, and died at Festubert on May 16, 1915.

Aged 41, he was the husband of Mrs Sarah Gallagher, 13, Herbert Street, Waterside, Derry.

His name is recorded on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France, and commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Private Gallagher served throughout the South African War, and rejoined his regiment at the commencement of World War 1. He had been at the Front since December 1914.

Harrigan, Private Mark, 7642

Mark Harrigan, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was born at Templemore, County Londonderry, enlisted at Omagh, and died at Festubert on May 16, 1915.

He was a resident of Ferguson’s Lane, and brother-in-law of Madge Harrigan, 4, St Patrick Street, Londonderry. His name is recorded on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France, and commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Heaney, Private John, 3814

John Heaney, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died at Festubert on May 16, 1915. He was the brother of Bridget Heaney, 56, King Street, Waterside, Londonderry.

His name is recorded on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France, and commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Hegarty, Private William, 4698

William Hegarty, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was born at Faughanvale, County Londonderry, enlisted at Londonderry, and died at Festubert on May 16, 1915. He was the son of Mrs Elizabeth Hegarty, 4, Ebrington Street, Waterside, Londonderry.

Private Hegarty’s namename is also recorded on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

His name also appears along with those others commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial in the city centre.