Local historian Trevor Temple chronicles the individuals associated with Londonderry who lost their lives in WWI.
Kyle, Second Lieutenant David Logan
David Logan Kyle, Royal Engineers, was born at Ballymena, and died near Ypres on May 19, 1915.
Aged 23, he was the eldest son of William and Maggie (nee Logan) Kyle, 11, Palace Street, Drogheda, County Louth, and 4, Frankfurt Avenue, Rathgar, Dublin.
He was also the nephew of the Reverend John Kyle, B.A., and brother of Rosie, who married Ernest Remington Gordon, eldest son of Charles W. Gordon, Alexandra Terrace, Londonderry, on April 15, 1922.
Another sister, Jean Kyle, M.A., Principal of St Lurach’s College, Londonderry, married James Brice Killen, youngest son of Dr Samuel Killen, Carrickfergus, on February 10, 1923, at First Derry Presbyterian Church.
David Logan Kyle lived in Londonderry from 1906 until 1914, and attended Foyle College from 1906 until 1910. He was a member of First Derry Presbyterian Church, and a resident of Woodleigh Terrace, Londonderry.
His name is commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial, and his remains are interred at Perth Cemetery (China Wall), Zillebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Named after a local communications trench (‘The Great Wall of China’ with the addition of ‘Perth’ by Scottish soldiers) leading from nearby Zillebeke to the Menin Road which was encompassed by a tall bank of sandbags, Perth Cemetery was established by the French in November 1914. The British took over the cemetery in June 1917 and used it until October that year.
The name of David Logan Kyle was among a list of Great War dead, associated with Foyle College, Londonderry, read aloud during that College’s annual prize giving ceremony, held on Thursday, December 19, 1918.
His father, William Kyle, B.A., was formerly Senior Inspector of Schools in the city of Londonderry.
Mowbray, Private David, 2320
David Mowbray, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was born at Londonderry, enlisted at Enniskillen, and died in France on May 19, 1915.
His name is recorded on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.
Hegarty, Private Robert, 4398
Robert Hegarty, 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was born at Faughanvale, County Londonderry, enlisted at Londonderry, and died at Gurkha Bluff, Dardanelles, on May 22, 1915.
He was the son of Mrs Elizabeth Hegarty, 4, Ebrington Street, Waterside, Londonderry, and his name is commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial. His remains are interred in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, Turkey.
Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery containing the remains of allied troops who died during the Gallipoli campaign. It is located about 1 km south-west of Krithia on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Robert Hegarty died during a Turkish assault at Ghurka Bluff on May 22, 1915.
Nine days earlier, during an artillery bombardment on the Turkish trenches, on May 13, a double company of the 1/6th Gurkhas crept along the shore at Y Beach and assembled below a 300 foot bluff.
Then, the attention of the Turks being taken up with a bombardment, they swiftly scaled the cliffs and carried the enemy trenches with a rush.
The machine-gun section of the Gurkhas was hurried forward, and at 4.30 a.m. a second double company was pushed up to join the first.
At 6 a.m. a third double company advanced across the open from their former front line of trenches under a heavy rifle and machine-gun fire, and established themselves near the newly captured redoubt.
The 4th double company moved up as a support, and held the former firing line. The left flank, which had been firmly held up against all attempts was now advanced nearly 500 yards. Purchased as it was with comparatively slight losses this success was due to the Gurkhas bravery in the face of heavy fire and a formidable enemy.
The following General Routine Order (16) was published on May 17: ‘In order to mark the good work done by the 1/6th Gurkha Rifles in capturing the Bluff on the coast west of Krithia, the General officer commanding has ordered that this Bluff will in future be known as Gurkha Bluff.’
In his book, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in the World War, Sir Frank Fox describes the actions of the 1st Inniskillings at Gurkha Bluff on May 22: ‘After being in reserve for a few days the 1st Inniskillings on May 13 were attached to the Indian Brigade, consisting of the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers and Battalions of Ghurkas and Sikhs.
‘The Indian Brigade was to hold a line between Ghurka Bluff and the head of Big Nullah.
‘At Ghurka Bluff on the afternoon of May 22, whilst the troops were at dinner, the enemy launched a sudden attack under cover of machine-gun fire.
‘So suddenly and resolutely did they come on that the advance post of our line was overwhelmed, and at one point on the left not only our front line but the communication trench was entered.
‘The enemy bombers came forward shouting “Allah, Allah,” careless of death.
‘Fierce hand-to-hand fighting followed in the trenches. Reinforcements came up from the Ghurka Battalion.
‘For nearly four hours the fighting continued with heavy losses on both sides.
‘Then the enemy were thrown back from the communication trench and the main trench.
‘But they still held a sap which ran out on the left of our line.
‘From this they were driven by the determined assault of a Platoon under Sgt. Waugh, all the enemy being killed or captured. ‘Then our advance post was recaptured and the position fully restored. The enemy had paid heavily for his brief success; but on our side the losses were severe, 37 killed, 60 wounded, 14 missing.’
At the time of his death, Robert Hegarty had two brothers serving in the army.
The first brother, Driver Joseph Hegarty, R.F.A., went to the Front shortly after the outbreak of war, and was wounded in the right hand and arm, losing a portion of one of the fingers.
He came home for a few weeks in January 1915, but was back at the Front again in February.
The second brother, Private Thomas Hegarty, joined the Royal Inniskillings. A third brother, Private William Hegarty, of the Inniskilling Fusiliers, who enlisted after the war began, was killed at Festubert on May 16, 1915.
Kent, Private William George, 10135
William George Kent, 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was born at the Crumlin Road, Belfast, County Antrim, and died at Gurkha Bluff, Dardanelles, on May 22, 1915. He was the second son of Richard Kent, ex-prison warder, formerly of Londonderry, and Harriet Kent, 38, Perth Street, Belfast. His remains are interred in Twelve Tree Corpse Cemetery, Turkey, and his name is inscribed on St Columb’s Cathedral (Church of Ireland) Memorial to the men connected to that cathedral who died during the 1914-18 War. His name is also commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial. William George Kent joined the army, in Londonderry, about four years before he met his death. He was for a number of years in St Columb’s Cathedral Choir. He came from India to Rugby with his battalion shortly after war was declared in 1914.
The name of William George Kent was read out during a memorial service held in St Columb’s (Church of Ireland) Cathedral, Londonderry, on Sunday, August 1, 1915, to commemorate the officers and men of the city of Derry, who had died during the first year of the Great War. William George Kent’s father, Richard, was born around 1858/59 in Dublin, and his mother, Harriet Lydia, was also born in Dublin around 1859/60. The 1901 Census contains information on three of their children: Elizabeth Annie, who was born around 1886/87 in Armagh, and was then working as a Drapery Assistant; the above William George; and Jonathan, who was born in the city of Londonderry circa 1897/98.
McFadden, Private Hugh, 9961
Hugh McFadden, 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was born at Londonderry, enlisted at Coleraine, and died at Gurkha Bluff, Dardanelles, on May 22, 1915. Aged 22, he was the son of Maggie McFadden, Dunlop Street, Coleraine, County Londonderry, and his remains are interred in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, Turkey. Further information on Hugh, and his family, can be found in Robert Thompson’s book Coleraine Heroes 1914-1918: ‘Another Coleraine man, Archie Murphy, writing to his father in Stone Row, mentioned Hugh being shot and asked his father to break the sad news to Mrs McFadden. According to Archie Murphy, Hugh was killed instantly by a bullet through the heart. Hugh McFadden is also commemorated in St Patrick’s Parish Church in Coleraine where the family worshipped. The first intimation of Hugh’s death in the newspapers is a mention in the casualty lists in the Fermanagh Herald in June 1915 when 48 men were reported killed in action. News of Hugh’s death in Gallipoli came to his uncle Robert McFadden, at Blackhill, Aghadowey.
‘There was another tragedy in the McFadden family when Hugh’s brother, John, was murdered in Armagh in 1919...’
Mason, Lance Corporal William, 9147
William Mason, 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was born at Templemore, County Londonderry, enlisted at Londonderry, and died at Gurkha Bluff, Dardanelles, on May 22, 1915. He was the son of James Mason, Killea, Londonderry, and his remains are interred in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, Turkey.
Parke, Lance Corporal Daniel, 7079
Daniel Parke, 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died at Gurkha Bluff, Dardanelles, on May 22, 1915. Aged 38, he was the son of Alexander and Catherine, 79, Dungiven Road, and brother of John, 49, Dungiven Road, Waterside, Derry. His remains are interred in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, Helles, Turkey, and his name is commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial. Lance Corporal Parke was on the reserve of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, and accompanied the Expeditionary Force in August 1914 to France. He was in the retreat from Mons and the battle of the Aisne, and took part in numerous other engagements. In November 1914 he was wounded, and after recovery was attached to the 6th Battalion. He was subsequently transferred to the 1st Battalion, and joined the Mediterranean Forces on May 18, 1915. He had fourteen years’ service.