Local historian Trevor Temple chronicles the individuals associated with Londonderry who lost their lives in WWI.
Dooley, Private Thomas, 8737
Thomas Dooley, 3rd Battalion Prince of Wales’ (Royal Canadians) Leinster Regiment, was born at Templemore, County Londonderry, and enlisted at Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, Scotland, situated about nine miles east of Glasgow, and at one time a major Scottish centre for iron works and coal mining.
He died in the Central Military Hospital, Victoria Barracks, Cork, on Sunday, August 1, 1915, from wounds received on St Patrick’s Day, 1915, in the fighting at Neuve Chapelle, France.
Thomas was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Dooley, St Columb’s Wells, and brother of Mrs Ellen (Nellie) Walsh, 25, Walker’s Place, Derry.
He was also the brother of Elizabeth; Bernard; and James Dooley.
Private Dooley’s name is commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.
The French village of Neuve Chapelle lay four miles north of La Bassee and eight and a half miles south west of Armentieres.
The place gave its name to a battle fought near here between British and German forces in March 1915, where Private Thomas Dooley received his fatal wounds.
The Germans had taken the village in October 1914, and the British attack was intended to regain it. Some ground was won, but the desired results were not achieved.
A resident of 31, Nelson Street, Derry, Thomas Dooley was an eight years’ service man, who took part in many engagements during the First World War.
At the time of his death he had close on a dozen relatives serving with the colours.
A large number of the general public, and a detachment of the pipe and brass bands of the 3rd Inniskillings, attended the funeral of Private Thomas Dooley, to Londonderry City Cemetery, which took place on Thursday, August 5, 1915.
The firing party discharged the customary volleys over the grave, and trumpeters sounded ‘The Last Post.’
Campbell, Private Andrew, 4496
Andrew Campbell, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died on August 4, 1915.
Aged 28, he was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Campbell, 3, Dixon’s Close, Lower Road, Londonderry.
His name is commemorated on the Christ Church (Church of Ireland), Londonderry, World War 1 Memorial, and recorded on the Diamond War Memorial.
Private Campbell, who volunteered at the start of the Great War, was wounded in Flanders and removed to the Welsh Metropolitan Hospital (formerly the Cardiff City Asylum at Whitchurch).
A nursing sister wrote to his mother saying that he was injured in the arm and shoulder, and was doing nicely.
Two days later his injuries took a serious turn, and the military authorities wired for his mother.
Mrs Campbell travelled at the Government’s expense to Cardiff to see her son, but before her arrival he had passed away.
The military authorities defrayed the cost of the removal of the remains to Londonderry and paid the expenses of the funeral.
Hundreds watched the spectacle of the solemn procession to Glendermott Cemetery through the streets on Monday, August 9, 1915.
In front was the firing party, with arms reversed, most of the men being sergeants or corporals, and more than a few were wearing the South African ribbon.
Then came the band and pipers, the former playing the Dead March alternately with the pipers, whose wail of ‘The Flowers of the Forest’ deepened the solemnity of the spectacle.
In the rear of the band walked the drum major, with his staff reversed and covered with crape.
Following him was the coffin, mounted on a gun carriage drawn by two brown horses.
On the coffin were the Union Flag and a wreath.
Behind the chief mourners walked a detachment of Private Campbell’s old regiment, the Inniskillings.
Private Campbell was a member of City of Derry Temperance Loyal Orange Lodge 1007, treasurer of the Walker Club of Apprentice Boys of Derry, and a member of the 3rd Battalion of the Ulster Volunteer Force.
Doherty, Lance Corporal James Joseph (Jim), 8975
James Joseph Doherty, ‘B’ Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, died in Flanders on August 4, 1915. Aged 17, he was the only son of Charles and Ellen (Nellie) Doherty, 214, Lecky Road, Derry.
His name is commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial, and his remains are interred in New Irish Farm Cemetery, Ieper, West Vlaanderen, Belgium.
Lance Corporal Doherty, before enlisting, was an apprentice shoemaker with James Hampsey, Waterside, Derry.
His uncle, Stoker William Doherty, died on July 13, 1915, at the Dardanelles.
At the time of Lance Corporal Doherty’s death his father was serving with the colours, and was attached to the 16th (Irish) Division at Fermoy.
About one month prior to his death, Lance Corporal Doherty, writing to relatives in Derry, enclosed a specimen of his poetry made in the trenches ‘somewhere in France.’
The hot attack on Hill 60, in which the Royal Irish Rifles took a conspicuous part, was the theme of his poetical efforts.
The accurate fire of the Rifles played havoc with a large number of the enemy. Lance Corporal Doherty, depicting the scene immediately after this sanguinary combat, recalled a stanza in the ‘Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna,’ a popular poem by Charles Wolfe, and said of the stricken enemy:
‘No useless coffins enclosed their breast,
Nor in sheet nor in shroud we wound them;
They lay like Germans taking their rest,
With the R.I.R.’s around them.’
In his book, The 2nd Royal Irish Rifles in the Great War, James W. Taylor records the activities of the battalion in the days leading up to the death of Lance Corporal Doherty: ‘During the afternoon of 1 August, while the British artillery were registering, an enemy shell struck the parapet in U27, killing 2/Lts W.E. Andrews, A.A. Raymond, and two men, severely wounding Lt. D. Kirkpatrick, the Artillery Observing Officer and two other men.
‘Fr Gill was nearby: “There was to be a shoot in the afternoon. Sundays were often free from the horrors of war in the mornings but the evenings were devoted to ‘hate.’
‘On this morning the gunners came along to register on the object to be attended to in the evening.
‘Several artillery officers came along and invited some of our officers to see the registering shots and to help them locate the position.
‘I also set out to see the work.
‘However I turned back to get some newspapers to bring to the men.
‘I thus got separated from the party. However, I followed on after them until I got to a bifurcation in the trench where I forgot which way to turn.
‘I sat down in the bottom of a trench and read a paper until someone should come along who could direct me.
‘I was not encouraged by seeing a notice over my head ‘Do not delay here, under machine gun fire,’ but I was safe in the bottom of the trench.
‘When I did get to the front trench I met a group of officers passing along with periscopes.
‘Taught by the death of Major Alston, I had a strong objection to being one of a party showing periscopes. I therefore gave out my papers and returned to our HQ.
‘I had not been gone ten minutes when the group was shelled and I am sorry to say that four officers and men were killed.
‘One other officer lost his leg and several others were badly wounded.”
‘3/8697 L/Cpl Samuel V. Thompson: “They started strafing early last week, and they have been mixing it ever since.
‘For the past few days they have been using these liquid fire shells, and they must be about the limit.
‘We have not been treated to any of them yet, but tonight we could get scores of them bursting along the line.
‘A great sheet of flame about 30 yards square flies out of them...
‘We made some tea in the trenches and it was only by lucky chance that we discovered we had been using the chemical stuff for the respirators instead of water. I didn’t swear.
‘I have passed that stage, and my hair is turning a beautiful shade of grey.
‘I’ve got a table and chair in the new dug-out. Unfortunately the billiard table is temporarily out of order.”
‘By the time of the relief, 2 August, additional casualties of 5 men killed and 26 wounded had been incurred.
‘The battalion was in the support trenches near St Jean, 3-7 August, where two men were killed...’
On the first anniversary of the death of Lance Corporal Jim Doherty, his parents had the following lines placed in a Derry newspaper:
‘One long, sad, dreary year has passed
Since this great sorrow fell;
The shock that we received that day
We still remember well.
Altho’ we’re in a far off land,
And your grave we cannot see,
As long as life and memory lasts