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September

1st September

Three Local Men Lost in the Great War

Robert Finlay served as a corporal in the Australians.

The following year this orbituary was placed in a local paper.

‘A soldier and a hero, too,
He played his part through and through,
His name was good, his friendship sound,
Loved and respected by all around.’

Michael Sweeney served as private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Thomas Wilson served as a private in the same regiment.

Queenstown Based American Ship in Rescue

The cargo ships City of Glasgow and Meseba were sunk by German u –boats. The two ships had been sailing in convoys. USS Beale picked up twenty-eight survivors and they were landed at Queenstown.

2nd September

Three Local Men Lost in the Great War

Hugh Arbuckle served as a 2nd lieutenant in the Royal Irish Regiment.

Patrick Gorman served as a private in the Royal Munster Fusiliers.

His informal will was dated 26th May 1918 and the in the War Office report it stated that he was killed on 2nd September or shortly after. His will was processed by the War Office on 7th May 1919, about a year after his death. In his will he wrote,’ In the event of my death I leave the whole of my property and effects to my mother, Mrs. Mary Gorman, Number 3, Nailor’s Row, Londonderry, Ireland.

The Gorman family had to liv the rest of their lives in the knowledge that they had lost a loved one in the Great War.

Robert McGeady served as a lance corporal in the Royal Irish Rifles.

3rd September

United States Naval Aviation Branch, Opens at Ture County Donegal

Also known as the U.S. Naval Air Service, they now required bases in Ireland for the newly-developed flying boats. Bases opened this year also at Queenstown, Whiddy Island and Beerhaven. Planes deployed were the twin-engine Curtis H 16, powered by two 400 horse power engines. These planes had a wingspan of seventy-six feet and they were forty-six feet long. German High Command were soon aware of the existence of the sea bases and they hampered some of their naval operations.

Other bases were at Bershaven, which opened on 21st May, Wexford which opened on 18th September, Whittle Island which opened on 25th September and ueenstown which opened on 30th September.

A Local Man Lost in the Great War

Michael B. McCool served as a private in the Canadians.

4th September

Two Local Men Lost in the Great War

Denis B. Roddy served as a sergeant in the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Private Samuel Pinkerton served in the Royal Irish Fusiliers. He was from Cross near Drumahoe.

5th September

A Local Man Lost in the Great War

William H. Robb served in the Canadians.

6th September

Royal Irish Constabulary Attacked Near Abbeyfeale

Volunteers carried out a gun attack against an R.I.C. patrol in which one constable was wounded.

Boston Pathologist and ‘The Plague’

The eminent Boston pathologist was called in to investigate the deaths of men in Boston. He said,’ This must be some new kind of infection or plague.’

9th September

Orbituary in Local Paper

Michael Keelan served as a private in the Royal Irish Regiment and he was killed on 9th September 1916. Before the war he had been a member of the Irish National Volunteers. On the second anniversary of his death in 1918 his family from Sloan’s Terrace placed the following lines in a local paper.

‘We little thought when he left home,
That he would ne’er return;
That he no soon in death would sleep,
And leave us here to mourn.’

In the previous year on the first anniversary of his death, the following lines were inserted in a local paper.

‘When he whispered adieu to the green shores of Erin,
And sailed with his brave hearted comrades away,
We cherished the hope when the war clouds had vanished,
He’d return to the scenes of his boyhood some day.

Shall a fond mother dream of her son be coming home,
For neath foreign skies by the blood-sodden mountain,
Mid the slain he lies sleeping afar oe’r the foam.

Weep not for me mother dear,
Nor yet be ever sad,
The shorter time I spent on earth
The fewer faults I had’.
Michael Keelan has no known grave and his name is one of the thousands on the Thiepval Memorial.

12th September

Orbituary in Local Paper

Charles Gallagher served in the Royal Navy and was killed on 12th September 1917. On the first anniversary of his death in 1918, his family from Cottage Row in Rosemount placed the following lines in a local paper.

‘When last we saw our loving father,
He looked so strong and brave;
We little thought how soon he would
Be laid in a sailor’s grave.’

Orbituary in local Paper

Hugh O’Neill served as a private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and he was killed on 12th September 1916.In 1918 his wife and family inserted the following lines in a local paper.

‘Dear husband, for you I grieve,
My loss is hard to bear, but for the little ones you left behind
For your dear sake I’ll care.
The birds will come back to their nests, I know,
And the leaves will come back to the tree;
But my dear husband I lost two years ago
He will never come back to me.
The voice is now silent, the heart is now cold,
Whose smile and whose welcome oft met us of old;
We miss him and mourn him in silence unseen,
And dwell in the memory of days that have been.’

13th September

Coaster Sunk off the Mouth of Belfast Lough

Craig’s were coal merchants based at 6, Royal Avenue, Belfast and had been in business since the mid-19th century. The 753 ton M.J. Craig had been built in 1906 and was sailing from Ayr to Belfast with a cargo of coal when it was hit by a torpedo fired by U-64. The crew all lost their U-64 sank twenty-nine merchant ships, losses 33,740 tons.

A Local Man Lost in the Great War

Andrew Sinclair served as a corporal in the Royal Inniskilling fusiliers.

Queenstown-Based American Ships Attack German Submarine

The USS Shaw and Conyngham attack a German U-boat. After the attack oil wakes were seen on the surface.

15th September

The Vardar Offensive against Bulgaria

After 1916, the conflict near Bulgaria degraded into trench warfare which weakened the Bulgarian economy, created supply difficulties and caused health and morale problems in the Bulgarian army. An Allied army composed of troops from Britain, France, Greece, Italy and Serbia broke through into southern Bulgaria. This further devasted the morale of the Bulgarian army and there were mass desertions.

Austria-Hungary Seeks an end to Fighting

The Austro-Hungarian government made contact with President Wilson seeking an armistice.

United States Submarine ‘Chasers’ Arrive in Cork

Thirty-six of these American ships had travelled across the Atlantic Ocean. These wooden ships were about one hundred feet long and were mostly manned by personnel from the United States Naval Reserve.

16th September

Flag Day for Prisoners of War

A Flag Day in Douglas, Isle of Man, in aid of Prisoners of War, raised £104.

17th September

A Local Man Lost in the Great War

Robert Buchanan served as a private in the Royal Innisilling Fusiliers.

He died in the war Hospital in Belfast. His will was dated on 8th July 1917 and it took the War Office until 26th March 1920 to process his will. His will declared, ‘In the event of my death I leave the whole of my property and effects to my wife, Lizzie Buchanan, 14, Linenhall Street, Londonderry, Ireland.’

In an enclosed training manual, it said that it took him six seconds to put on his helmet with sachet slung to the side.

On the third anniversary of his death his family had the following lines placed in a local newspaper.

‘When the shadows are falling soft and still,
And the toil of the day is done,
I see through the dark, as a mother can,
The face of my darling son.’

18th September

A Local Man Lost in Great War

John Maguire served as a private in the Royal Irish Regiment.

19th September

Allied Offensive against the Ottoman Empire

The Battle of Megiddo began and this was the final Allied offensive of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign. Megiddo is the Biblical site of the Battle of Armageddon. The conflict took place in lands where Syria, Jordan and Israel are today. General Edmund Allenby broke the trench warfare by deploying mobile forces made up of cavalry, armoured cars and aircraft. The Ottoman army was surrounded resulting in the cutting off their lines of retreat.

20th September

Londonderry, New Hampshire and influenza

It was reported that in this city in the United States that there had recently been about thirty cases of influenza. The Derry Evening Record recommended that locals should avoid panic but that they should seek medical advice at the first sign of influenza. Other recommendations included the need to be sanitary, to avoid talking, whistling or breathing into anyone’s face. They were also advised to avoid spitting on sideways and also to avoid crowds.

Local Men Lost in the Great War

Walter Wilson served as a private in the Cheshire Regiment.

John Mason served as a private in the Argyll and Sutherland Regiment.

Thomas McNichol served as a private in the Cameronians. He was from Dungiven.

Australian Soldier Evacuated from Haifa with Influenza

One of the first soldiers to contract Spanish flu in the Middle East was Australian Warrant Officer Patrick Hamilton. He was evacuated from Haifa and was not able to return to his regiment until November.

Middle East, British Advance, Capture of Nazareth

British forces captured the town of Nazareth. The Allied army was composed of troops from Australia, Britain, India and New Zealand.

Two Local Men Lose Their lives in the great War

Thomas Rodgers served as a private in the Liverpool Regiment.

Robert Buchanan served as a private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st September

A Local Man Lost in the Great War

Corporal John McGlinchey served in the Royal Irish regiment. He was from Drumahoe.

22nd September

United States Nurses Sail for Ireland, Dealing with Influenza on Board

Thirty-eight American nurses embarked on RMS Briton on their way to take up duty in the American hospital in County Cork. On board were about two thousand American troops. Influenza swept through the ship and about one hundred were affected. The nurses were deployed to care for the people who had been struck down.

23rd September

Sinai Peninsula, Battle of Sharon, Telegram from The King

This ended after six days, part of the Palestinian conflict. The Egyptian Expeditionary Force with support from the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and Australian forces defeated a Turkish army. King George V sent the following telegram to Allenby,’ It is with feelings of pride and admiration that we at home have received the news of the ably conceived and brilliantly carried out operations in which the British Indian and Allied forces under your command with the support of the Royal Navy have gained a complete victory over the enemy.’

24th September

Bulgaria Seeks Armistice

Facing almost certain defeat, Bulgaria sought an end to hostilities with the Allies. Over one million men had been conscripted into the Bulgarian army and one third of these were killed or wounded. The population generally was on the point of starvation.

26th September

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, American Losses of Inexperienced Troops

Also known as The Battle of The Argonne Forest, the aim of this assault was to capture the railhead at Sedan which was the main communication hub for the German forces in France and Flanders. This battle was to last right up to the Armistice and involved over one and a half million American troops alone. In the first three hours after the battle commenced, the Allies used more ammunition than there had been used by both sides in the American Civil War. Over fifty thousand soldiers on both sides were killed.

Captured Turkish Troops Face Appalling Conditions in Desert Heat

After the defeat of the Turkish army a few days ago, thousands of captured Turkish troops are held in poor conditions. A Lieutenant Dinning wrote,’ There are too many sick to go under the scanty canvasses. You will see the Turkish prisoners herded under tarpaulins and where none are available they lie under the sun. Sandfly fever, influenza, malaria and dysentery have hit the Turkish army hard, so have they ours, but not to the same degree. The Turks are dying like flies.’

Londonderry New Hampshire’s Health Board Takes Action

In the United States city, the local health board gave out instructions to attempt to prevent the spread of influenza. Schools, churches and places of entertainment were to close until further notice. Parents were instructed to keep their children’s feet dry and to make sure they were properly clothed when going outside.

Londonderry New Hampshire, Many Funerals

With so many funerals local florists’ ran out of flowers. Normally the church bells rang out one peal each year, but with so many deaths the church bells were ringing both day and night.

A local Man Lost in The Great War

Joseph Devine served as a private in the Army Cyclist Corps.

27th September

British Offensive at Cambrai

This led to the storming of the Hindenburg Line. At the Battle of St. Quentin, British and American troops had launched this devastating offensive along the Canal Du Nord and St. Quentin Canal.

Bulgarian Government Seek End to Conflict

The Bulgarian government again sought an armistice.

A Local Man Lost in the Great War

Patrick Casey served as a private in the Yorkshire Regiment.

29th September

First Public Performance of Holst’s ‘Planet Suite’

This is a seven-movement orchestral suite by the English composer Gustav Holst and it was written between 1914 and 1916. The first performance was held on this date in Queen’s Hall, a venue which was destroyed in German bombing in 1941.On 15th November 1920 the first complete public performance was given in London by Albert Coates conducting the London Symphony Orchestra.

German Emperor Informed That Surrender Was Now an Option

From the German Supreme Command Headquarters in Spa, Belgium, a message was sent from General Erich Ludendorff to Emperor Wilheim II and Chancellor von Hertling that the military situation for Germany was hopeless. The general made it clear that the German Western Front could collapse at any moment.

Politicians in Germany Plan Surrender

A plan was devised in Germany to seek an armistice. This was not to come from the regime associated with the Kaiser but to be one based on the majority of political parties in the county. The aim was to make it more difficult for President Wilson to refuse a German peace offer which appeared to come from a civilian rather than a military government.

Armistice of Salonica, Bulgaria Surrenders

This peace treaty brought to an end Bulgaria’s involvement in the First World War. The terms included and agreed to by the Bulgarians were that their army was to be immediately demobilied and Bulgarian troops were to withdraw from parts of Greece and Serbia. German and Austro-Hungarian troops were to be withdrawn from Bulgaria by the end of October and British and Greek troops were to move into the area around Constantinople. French troops were to be stationed in Romania.

Ten Local Men Lost in the Great War

Thomas Diamond served in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Thomas W. Diver served as a lance corporal in the same regiment.

James Fox served as a private in the same regiment.

William leitch served as a lance corporal in the same regiment.

Samuel W. Lilley served as a lance corporal in the same regiment.

John McElwee served as a private in the same regiment.

Hugh McKelvey served as a sergeant in the same regiment.

Robert Parkhill served as a private in the same regiment.

Robert Roulston served as a private in the same regiment.

William J. Bond served as a private in the same regiment.

His will was dated 8th July 1916 and he died in France. In his will he wrote,’ In the event of my death I give the whole of my property and effects to my wife, Mrs. W.J.Bond, 39 Benvarden Avenue, Waterside, Londonderry. If you are sent to hospital in England, send A.C. as soon as possible to The Honourable Secretary, Lady Carson’s Ulster Division Comfort Fund, 31 Belgrave Square, London SW. and every endeavour will be made to look after you.’

Mrs. Bond lost her husband in the Great War and the wider family circle in the north west lost a family member. They were victims of the Great War.

Peter Owen served as a sergeant in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

30th September

Allied Offensive on the Western Front

In the previous twenty-four hours the Allies had fired about one million shells.