Local historian Trevor Temple chronicles the individuals associated with Londonderry who lost their lives in WWI.
Blaney, Private Terrance, 13515
Terrance Blaney, 15th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, was born at Derry, enlisted at Durham, and died on June 6, 1915.
His remains are interred in Aylesbury Cemetery, Buckinghamshire.
15th Battalion Durham Light Infantry was formed at Newcastle in September 1914, as part of the Third New Army (K3), and came under orders of 64th Brigade in 21st Division. They then moved to Halton Park, Buckinghamshire, which was offered at the outbreak of war to the War Office by Alfred de Rothschild for use as a training camp.
In December 1914 they moved to Maidenhead, Berkshire, and in April 1915 returned to Halton Park.
Goligher, Private John, 2265
John Goligher, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died in France on June 7, 1915.
Aged 25, he was the husband of Mrs Goligher, 19, Dark Lane, Derry.
His name is commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial, and his remains are interred in Fosse 7 Military Cemetery, Mazingarbe, a village in the Department of the Pas-de-Calais, France, ten kilometres south-east of Bethune.
This cemetery was begun by French troops in May, 1915, and carried on by British units from June, 1915, to April, 1917. Also named ‘Quality Street,’ it is believed that the cemetery takes its name from the Pithead which stood nearby.
John Goligher’s wife received from Captain C. A. M. Alexander, Acting Adjutant, 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, a letter expressing his deep regret at having to convey the sad intelligence of her husband’s death, and mentioning that Private Goligher had been interred in a quiet little corner, his grave being marked with a cross bearing his name, number, and regiment. Private Goligher had been in the Inniskillings for about ten years. He had also been a member of the ‘No Surrender’ Band.
The name of John Goligher was read out at a memorial service held, in St Columb’s (Church of Ireland) Cathedral, Londonderry, on Sunday, July 30, 1916, to pay homage to the memory of the men of the city of Derry, who had died, or been declared dead, during the second year of the First World War. Another soldier belonging to the 2nd Inniskillings, who also died on June 7, 1915, and was buried in Fosse 7 Military Cemetery, was Coleraine man, Private Robert Parke. He was the elder son of William and Maggie Parke of 10, Park Street, Coleraine. He was educated in the Irish Society School in Coleraine, and was shot by a sniper when leaving the trenches after a very long spell of duty.
McClintock, Private James, 3957
James McClintock, 3rd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died at his father’s residence on June 10, 1915. He was the second son of John McClintock, 37, Nailor’s Row, Londonderry, and his name is commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial. His remains were interred in Londonderry City Cemetery on Saturday, June 12, 1915, at half past two o’clock p.m.
Doak, Private John, S/5954
John Doak, 1st Battalion Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), was born at Galliagh, County Londonderry, enlisted at Clydebank, Dumbartonshire, Scotland, and died in France on June 12, 1915.
Aged 32, he was the youngest son of John and Jane – who possibly died on February 3, 1922 – and brother of Margaret Doak, Bogslea, Shantallow, Londonderry. His remains are interred in Chocques Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France, and his name is commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial. 1st Battalion Black Watch were based at Aldershot with the 1st (Guards) Brigade, 1st Division, when the Great War broke out in August 1914. They proceeded to France almost immediately, landing at Le Havre on August 14, and being amongst the first troops of the British Expeditionary Force. In May 1915, the month before the death of Private Doak, they were in action at the Battle of Aubers Ridge.
Four Black Watch battalions were involved at Aubers Ridge. Though the battle was a defeat, the mauled 1st Battalion would leave the battlefield with witnesses praising its courage and fighting spirit.
Casualties were high and resulted in no gain. During the Battle, two Victoria Crosses were won: Corporal John Ripley (1st Black Watch) and Lance Corporal David Findlay (2nd Black Watch). The 4th Battalion fought alongside the 2nd in the Bareilly Brigade of the Meerut Division, and the 5th Battalion served in the 8th Division. The 8th Division were involved in the northern attack.
Doherty, Private John, 18492
John Doherty, Canadian Infantry (Western Ontario Regiment) 1st Battalion, Canadian 1st Division, was born on May 22, 1893, and died at the Second Action of Givenchy on June 15, 1915.
He was the third son of Thomas and Annie Doherty, Lower Campsie, Londonderry, and his name is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial, France.
Originally the attack at Givenchy on June 15 was to be made by the British 7th and 51st Divisions with the Canadian 1st Division in support. As the plan was developed the Canadians were delegated to take two German strongpoints known as the Duck’s Bill and H3. Three artillery pieces were secretly moved, and camouflaged, close to the front line to eliminate machine gun nests. A tunnel dug under the German trenches was packed with explosives in the hope that it would eliminate a large section of the German front line trenches. Lastly, an artillery bombardment using high explosive shells was intended to destroy barbed wire.
The four companies of the 1st Battalion Canadians were to lead the attack. By mid afternoon of June 15, the Battalion was in place.
A Private Maurice Henry Brown wrote a letter to a friend describing the ensuing battle, which was published in the London Free Press – a newspaper based in London, Ontario, Canada – on July 6, 1915: ‘...We knew an attack was to be made, and the 1st Battalion was honoured with the job. We marched into the trenches at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, and waited till 6. For four days a terrible bombardment of the enemy’s trenches had taken place. At 5:30 a fierce concentration fire from our guns was turned on them. At one minute to 6 we blew a mine up. This was a signal for the attack. The mine was too near to our trench, and its violence shook our trench all to pieces, killing a number of our men, and the earth which it threw up, coming down, smashed some of our men’s heads beyond recognition. Being a signaller I was kept in the trench.
‘Well, the boys from Chatham, I believe, started the attack, followed quickly by the London boys. The din was terrific, the struggle terrible.
‘We dared not put our heads over the parapet to see our boys advancing, but it was a brilliant sight. Nearly everybody over at the same time.
‘They soon had the first line cleared of Germans, and then off to the second line, and they had just about reached them when I got mine.
‘A big shell struck the trench above us. Four were killed and four of us completely buried by six to eight feet of earth.
‘I continued shouting to let them know where I was, but soon went off for lack of fresh air.
‘The next thing I know they had dug me out. I didn’t know what had happened, but my memory returned after a while.
‘I had given myself to my Maker. I did not expect to see any more of this world, but God in His providence had heard your prayers.
‘I am now in hospital again, just two weeks after my return to the regiment. It was the worst experience I ever had.’
Lieutenant Frederick William Campbell, 1st (Western Ontario) Battalion, Canadian Infantry, was awarded the Victoria Cross for actions performed at Givenchy.
The citation reads: ‘For most conspicuous bravery on 15th June, 1915, during the action at Givenchy. Lt. Campbell took two machine-guns over the parapet, arrived at the German first line with one gun, and maintained his position there, under very heavy rifle, machine-gun and bomb fire, notwithstanding the fact that almost the whole of his detachment had then been killed or wounded.
When our supply of bombs had become exhausted, this Officer advanced his gun still further to an exposed position, and, by firing about 1,000 rounds, succeeded in holding back the enemy’s counter-attack. This very gallant Officer was subsequently wounded, and has since died.’
McLaughlin, Private John, 21736
John McLaughlin, Canadian Infantry (West Ontario Regiment), 1st Battalion, was born on November 29, 1889, and died at the Second Action of Givenchy, on June 15, 1915.
His father, Samuel, was born around 1860/61 in County Donegal, worked as a carpenter circa 1901, and died on June 10, 1938.
Private McLaughlin’s mother, Louisa, was also born around 1860/61 in County Donegal, and died on January 16, 1937. Both parents resided at Bishop Street, Londonderry.
Private John McLaughlin was in addition the brother of Samuel James (who died on November 4, 1905); Hugh; Margaret; Sarah Louise; Isabel Dorothea; Sophia Catherine; Barbara Ann Smyly (who died on April 29, 1922); and William Gardiner McLaughlin, 44, Carlisle Road, Londonderry.
Private McLaughlin’s name is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France; on St Augustine’s Church (Church of Ireland), Londonderry, First World War Memorial; and on the Diamond War Memorial.
The name of John McLaughlin was read out at a memorial service, held in St Augustine’s (Church of Ireland) Church at the end of December 1917, in remembrance of ten members of the congregation who had fallen in the Great War and others who had officially been reported as missing.
Tracey, Private Harry, 18832
Harry Tracey, Canadian Infantry (Western Ontario Regiment), 1st Battalion, was born at Cumber Claudy on April 3, 1880, and died at the Second Action of Givenchy on June 15, 1915.
A miner by trade or calling, he was the brother of Mrs Cunningham, 5, Dervock Place, Waterside, Londonderry, and his name is commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.
His name is also recorded on the Vimy Memorial, France.