Paul - Mar '08
of my uncles were killed and one was very badly wounded
in the Great War so I know what the Donaldson family
Fred Bradley - Feb '07
just found out my grandfather died france
1916 in the great war.Ihave been told there was an article
in a local paper giving names and adresses of soldiers
who went from londonderry/derry but I cant find it after
Dianne Garrett - Jan '07
I have just received my grandfathers WW1 forces record
He was a member of the Australian Imperial Expeditionary
Forces it says he went to Bordon from Australia in
April 1917 could this be the same place Sorry this
does not exactly refer to the article above but I am
trying to find where in Borden he was sent to
Jess- Jan '07
great to learn but so sad when we watched a film about
it, it was done from the German side which was good
to see as it showed that our country made some bad
mistakes and dicisions as well!!
- Sep '06
We have a world war one gun shell given to us by our
mum, it belonged to our grandfather but we don't know
how it came in to his possession (he was in the 2nd
WW). We think it is a West Yorkshire army shell, but
not sure, how do we find out the histor of it?
Laurine Potter -Sep
My great great uncle Sandy lost his life at the somme
but he died on 16th May 1915 aged just 17 before the
offensive on 1st of July 1916!
He was private Alexander McIlree of the 2nd Battalion
of the Royal Inneskillen Fusiliers one of eight brother's
all of which faught in the great war. their mother my
great great grandmother Lizzie McIlree received this
letter from the Privey Officer of Buckingham Palace
on 1st February 1915 just 3 months before loosing her
I have the honour to inform you that the King has heard
with much interest that you have, at the present moment,
eight sons in the army. I am commanded to express to
you the King's congratulations and to assure you that
His Majesty much appreciates the spirit of patriotism
which prompted this example, in one family, of loyalty
and devotion to their sovereign and empire.
I have the honour to be, madam, your
Keeper of the privy purse "
Anne - Sep '06
My Grandfather was a Private in
the Royal Berkshire Regiment, his name was Charles McHugh.
Grandfather fought in the Battle of the Somme - and
was badly injured when a piece of shrappnel hit him
in the face. Charles was shipped home to blighty, and
he eventually returned home to Glasgow. I have his medals
from this Battle, my most cherished possessions.
Does anyone know where the troops who
were injured at the Somme, were hospitalized? My Mother
remembers photo's of my Grandfather in his 'Hospital
Blues' unfortunately we cannot find these photo's now..
I was able to download my Grandfather's
Military Record from the National Archives Website -
£3.50 well spent.
Bob - July '06
War is futile
however bravery is to be respected.
- June '06
Roberson George Blackmore SWEETING would have been my
uncle had he lived. He was in the London Rifle Brigade
at GOMMECOURT salient of the Somme and was killed on
1st July 1916. He was eldest son of William and Catherine
SWEETING, born Lambeth March 1892. His younger brother,
my late father, remembered going to meet Rob at the
London station when he came home on leave for 48 hours
in 1915 and watching the troops arrive still covered
in mud from the trenches along with an incessant stream
of wounded and maimed.
Amanda Lousie Bloomer
- June '06
My grandfather ARTHUR DAVID PORTER joined the Royal
Artillery in 1910 and during WW1 he fought at the Battle
of the Somme, being awarded the Mons Star.
After the War he remained a reservist and re-joined
in 1938 at the time of the Munich Crisis. He went on
to serve throughout the whole of WW2 serving with the
14th Army in Burma.
Grandad was injured in action with the Gurkhas and was
eventually, thanks to their assistance, returned to
England where he was hospitalised.
One of my mother's early memories was of him coming
home on a short leave from the convalescent home when
he took her to the local cinema. He was in his "desert"
uniform with the blue flash denoting he had been injured
and was wearing his medals from the earlier campaigns.
Whilst they were waiting in the foyer to take their
seats strangers kept coming up to him to "shake
the hand of a hero" and the cinema manager gave
my mother a small dorothy bag containing sugared almonds,
"for the daughter of a hero". Grandad who
was a very modest man was completely embarrassed by
all the attention.
Jan G Ball, nee Cooper
- June '06
To-day my Grandaughter was 9
years old, she is the great great Grandaughter of my
grandfather who was in the Battle of the Somme, with
the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. It was very fitting
to see the Newfoundland memorial Grounds to-night on
TV. He was James Joseph Cooper from St. John's Newfoundland.
On July 1, 1916 at Beaumant Hammel nine hundred youg
men from the other side of the Atlantic went over the
top . Three minutes later 700 were dead My Papa was
one of the lucky ones . He was badly wounded and spent
a long time on Hospital then returning to the front.
He raised a family in Ayr where the Regiment were given
warm hospitality from the town.
- June '06
My great uncle John Daniel Griffiths,
who served in the Worcester regiment, died in the battle
of the Somme in 1916. His body was never found, but
my elderly father has more information on how he died
and the movements of his regiment up to the time of
- June '06
My husbands' great uncle was killed in the Battle of
the Somme on 18th June 1917. He was in the 4th Suffolk.
His grave is marked at the Arras Memorial. My husbands'
grandmother had a photo of her brother in a locket which
she wore for many years after his death. He was 35 when
he died. I have the photo - a very handsome young man.
I am doing research into the families history and would
hope one day to visit the cemetery as I know no other
member of the family has been able to. His name was
George Holmes -201607 Private 4th Suffolk.
Donald Baxter, Nuneaton
- June '06
My father in law William Parnell was attached to the
Royal Field Artillery having lied about his age to get
in. Born Sept 3rd 1898.In July 1916 aged 18 his horse
was shot and killed from beneath him and W Parnell subsequently
had to have his right leg amputated on the battle field.
Of course there was no anesthetics and just a wipe of
alcohol (whisky I believe was used) and a very rough
field medics saw to take the leg off. For this injury
he received approximately 17/6 pence per week, but he
returned to the pits of Nuneaton where he received an
award for never missing a days work other than his trek
to Birmingham to have his artificial leg seen to every
so often. This was supposed to be the war to end all
wars, and with what all the soldiers did suffer it is
a pity that this doesn't`t ring true today. Bill died
in 1976 without ever complaining about the lack of his
Lesley Jean Diaper
- June '06
My grandmother's brother Sergeant Richard Albert Ritchie,
14809, 8th Bn., Norfolk Regiment died on 1 July 1916
and is remembered at Thiepval Memorial. His only daughter
Eva is still alive aged 94, whom he never saw.
Mary Franklin (nee Beaumont)
- June '06
My father, Private Edgar Beaumont, Seaforth Highlanders,
served in the first world war. He volunteered on the
outbreak of hostilities.
He fought in the desperate Battle of Ypres, also near
Arras and in the Somme offensive of 1916. Whilst taking
part in the last operation he was badly wounded and
had to be evacuated back to England where he received
treatment for many months for the injuries he received.
He remained in hospital for a long time and was discharged
in 1919. He holds the 1914 star and the general service
and victory medals.
He died in 1940 at the age of 46.
Jeff Johnson - June
My Grandfather, Jack Waddington, from near Colne in
Lancashire, was a regular soldier in the Coldstream
Guards before the First War, and was stationed in Windsor,
where he met my Grandmother, who was in service. He
was part of the BEF who went into Belgium at the start
of the war to try and stop the German advance. He survived
intact until the Somme, where during an attack he was
hit in the knee by an 'illegal' pom-pom (blunted) bullet.
As a boy I remember him speaking about his memories
of being left outside the medical tent with the rest
of the wounded, where his only treatment was to be suspended
in a barrel of salt water. Jack was a quiet man who
bore the crippling effects of the Somme with dignity
for the rest of his life.
Mrs Freda Shaw - June
My grandfather Frederick Gilbert Anderson
was in the battle of the Somme serving with the Northamptonshire
Regiment. He was awarded the Military Medal on ? 18th
July 1917. He received a serious leg injury [shrapnel]
which gave him problems for the rest of his life.The
captain who he served under was awarded a VC. I have
been trying for a long time to recover his Military
Medal. According to old family members he sold his medal
at a time of great hardship. Can anyone help me please?
- May '06
I was really worried about exams and I found this site
and it gave me all the info i needed in order to get
great marks, so keep it up!
- March '06
can i just say to MC it makes me shiver with pride to
read your comments on the great war it was a pleasure
to read it and know you understand wat im trying to
tell people in my other comments keep them coming i
would also like to say its great to see so many youn
people learning and remembering the war and the men
in it. if we keep this up it will be pushed to be put
in our school history classes and in ur catholic schools
especially if you want more information contact glenn
barr, ebringtone centre to find out how you and your
schools can get involved.
Stacey, from Sir Thomas
Boughey High School - March '06
I am 13 years old and i absolutely adore history, i
have had to do a very hard piece of history homework
on the battle of the somme, this website has helped
me extremely, i am taking my options this year and i
will obviously take history as it is the best subject.
Leonie - Jan '06
This is a good website and it helped me with my very
hard history homework. It gave me a good understanding
of what the somme offensive was.
Larry Brown - January
James Samuel Davidson was killed in the first day of
the Somme. James was the only son of Samuel Cleland
Davidson, the founder of Sirocco Works. It is known
that James died with honour and valour.
Amy Dickin - January
I'm only 13. Many people in my class at school say what
is the point of learning history. If they just looked
at this page and realised that all those people lost
their lives, fighting for this country, they would hopefully
realise that it's something we need to know, and learn
from so we can respect them for what they did.
Ruth Johnston - January
Alison Gibson - January
I think it would be fair to mention that many, many
young men from southern Ireland fought side by side
with the 36th Ulster Division and that at least 2 V
C's where awarded to men from the south.
If people would realise it wasn't just the 36th Ulster
Divison.... the 10th and 16th were there too, fighting
side by side.
When I was 17/18, I interviewed the last veterans of
the Somme..... including William McFadzean's nephew,
who has the V.C.. I got to hold it.. which was an honour.
I also got into Thiepval Wood to do some videoing........
to see the lying shells, etc. It would make your skin
creep. I did a lot of research for this - interviewed,
James McConville, William Calvert, Tommy Ervine, etc.....
I am 34 now, so I am honoured to be one of the last people
to talk to these brave men.
MC - January
I'm off to the Somme tomorrow with a group of 60 French
students who I teach here in Belgium. My Great Grandfather
fought at the Somme and survived - but a shell of the
man he had been. I am English but I look at this site
from NI - the like of which I haven't seen from english
sources - and my heart warms to the open-minded acceptance
of the tragedy shown. Catholic or Protestant; German
French or British - the guns didn't care and neither
should we! The tragedy was felt equally by all families
mixed up in the battle.
christopher gallagher -
My grandfather was in the Royal
Highland Fusiliers and got a bad leg wound (shrappnel)
whilst at the battle of the Somme. He came from Glasgow
later on he moved to Derry in Northern Ireland Springtown
camps. He was married 3 times, twice in Scotland then
here he died in 1972 aged 78 years old. So, if anyone
can help me find out more about his movments in France
I'd appreciate it thank you.
Gallagher - Nov 05
I was hoping that if anyone here reading would have
old footage or films of the great war that might not
use again could they give them to me? I'd be delighted
and thankful. Just email me and I'll give you my number
and address, cheers thank you.
- Nov 05
I'd like to thank Paul Jones for his comments on the
German people in WWI. He is right in every way - fair
play to him. I've been to Langnark in Belgium... what
a moving place. Over 45 thousand dead Germans. 22 thousand
boys in one mass grave under 16 years of age.
Christopher Gallagher - October
I appeal to the people of ireland to go to france and
belgium to see the resting places of irish men who lay
down there lives so that we would go on in life read
the poems and story's of tom kettle and father doyle
and major william redmond. go and see the impressive
grave of major redmond and follow the story of him and
john meek that story in it self is powerful and moving.
private meeks resting place is in benvarden,ballymoney.antrim.
trust me and just try it you will be impressed by the
I would just like to say thank you to
the workers with pj and glenn barr in derry who are
doing a very good job in bringing Catholics and Protestants
together in FOYLE PEACE AND RECONCILIATION PROGRAM.
We went to the battle fields in the somme and in flanders
fields. What a moving and spectacular trip to make.
I'id like to think all the leaders of the group in making
it one hell of a week to remember.....to tracy mc grory,
sam starret, rachel duffy, ray gleeson and that belgian
man- .lol. - this is a programme I'd recommend to people
to contact them.
Paul Jones - July '05
Hey guys and gals,
My Grandfather was in world War I , he had a Mons Star,
and fought at Gallipoli and Mesopotamia and so many
other places I've forgotten them all, He won an MC in
1918 for an attack on a German machine gun nest at a
place called Kerkhove in Belgium. He survived..or I
wouldn't be here. But he would never talk about any
of it,, and in fact was influential in my mother (his
eldest child) becoming a fluent german speaker. He encouraged
her to do summer exchange with german school kids and
she used to fondly recall happy days on the Rhine boating
with two german jewish girls in the early 30s. ..And
she always cried when she talked about it because she
knew they had been exterminated in Hitler's camps I
still have her stamp collection and its mostly german
stamps from the 20s and 30s.
So please don't get carried away by
tales of 'daring do' for the Empire in WW I..my grandfather
was disgusted by the whole thing and forbade any such
behaviour , He never went to any war commemoration..not
even poppy day..and went out of his way to promote friendly
relations with his German and Austrian former adversaries.
Although a staunch loyalist he even named my mother
'Joyce Kathleen' to recognise the heroism of , and his
love for, his nationalist-minded fellow soldiers and
Tracey - June '05
Hi there Chris, just read your note I think that I was
also in Belgium when you were there - Tracey is my name!
- May 05
I've just got back from Belgium and France and I think
more people from the island of Ireland must go and see
were the men were killed for us are buried and to see
the moving memorials...
I also think we
should have a heritage centre or a better memorial for
the Irish Natioalists 16th & 10th irish divisoins...
people should be told more about the JOHN MEEKE &
WILLIAM REDMOND hero of Messines story...
Could someone help me find out more
about the 12 men from Barnewall Place in Derry who died
at the same time as the Somme?
I had a grandfather who was in the army
at the Somme called JOHN GALLAGHER from Glasgow if you
find out abything email me ? thank you
Stephanie Farrant -
I think that the war was great because people were scared
becase they knew they were going to die but they still
went to war for the sake of there country.
Jade - December '04
I love hearing things and learning things about the
battle of the somme it makes me want to know more. I
am only 13 years of age and yet I love all the information
In November '04, David O'Gilby
wrote to say:
I totaly respect the men of the 36th Ulster Division.
they are gone but not forgotton. We will remember them.