Bessbrook, County Armagh

Bessbrook, County Armagh.
Bessbrook War Memorial is located in Charlemont Square in the middle of the village.
The memorial, on which are the names of 86 men of the village who made the supreme sacrifice, takes the form of an obelisk. It is over 17 feet (5.75m) tall and is made from white marble and Newry granite and occupies a central site in the village.
The massive base, check and chamber, with patent axed finish supports a richly molded base and deeply paneled die with the top of octagonal and four sides enhanced with graceful swags of carving. Supporting the die is a beautifully draped spire with central shield bearing in relief the dates 1914-18.
410 men from Bessbrook and district joining up. Many of these young men in the pride of their youth left that happy and peaceful country village and everything that was near and dear to them to answer the call of their King and Country in the time of danger, and of that 410 men, 86 never returned.
At the end of the ceremony at the request of Dr. O’Connor, representing the War Memorial Committee, the  Chairman, on behalf of the Bessbrook Spinning Co. accepted the custodianship of the memorial.

To Bear to Succeeding Generations the Names of the Men of
Bessbrook and District who Fell in the Great War,
And as a Testimony to their Noble Sacrifice.
“They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

Beattie, James

Beattie, Alexander

Best, Henry James

Black, William

Blakely, James

Birdie, Joseph

Boyle, James

Boyle, Thomas

Brady, Andrew

Brown, James

Burke, John

Burns, Samuel

Caldwell, George

Chambers, Bernard

Chambers, John

Chambers, Joseph

Clarke, William

Connolly, Patrick

Connolly, Patrick

Connolly, Thomas

Devaney, Joseph

Donnelly, Willia

Doran, Peter

Dunwoody, John

Egan, Michael

Freeburn, George

Feehan, James

Feighan, Michael James

Flood, Robert S.

Graham, Joseph

Gray, Edmond

Green, Harold

Glass, Joseph

Hamilton, Thomas

Hanna, William

Hanna, William

Hanna, Samuel

Harvey, John

Hennings, George

Hughes, Thomas

Kearney, Michael

Kennedy, Harry

Knott, F.W.

Lavelle, Thomas John

Lundy, Samuel

Marron, James

Lavelle, Thomas John

Moody, William Thomas

McCabe, John Francis

McCambly, James

McCann, James

McCulla, James

The following information has been supplied by Christine Tyrrell

Bessbrook and District Fallen from the Great War.

Private James Bailey, age 28, Service No. 8852, 1st  R.I.N.F, Lurgan, Bessbrook, 29/6/15, Helles Memorial

Joseph Baird, Bessbrook District, Presbyterian Church World War 1 Memorial.

Sergeant William Black, Service No. 6338, Royal Irish Rifles. Son of Andrew William and Agness Black, of 1, Fountain St., Bessbrook, Co. Armagh. 16/12/14, Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, France.
Private Alexander Beattie, Service No. 19763, 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, 2 College Square, Bessbrook. 9/7/16, Doullens Communal Cemetery Extension No.1, Somme, France.
Rifleman James Beattie, Service No. 16222, 13th Royal Irish Rifles, 2 College Square, Bessbrook, 1/7/16, Mill Road Cemetery, Thiepval, Somme, France.

Private John Beattie, Service No. 13176. 5th R.I.F, Bessbrook, Carnaget, Newry, 27/1/18, Buried at Newry (St. Patrick) Church Of Ireland Churchyard, County Down.
Lieutenant Henry J. Best, age 23, Royal Engineers, Jerrettspass, County Armagh. 25/7/16.
Sapper William Best, age 35, Service No. 208397, Canadian Engineers, Son of Elizabeth Jane Best, of Maytown, Bessbrook, Co. Armagh, Ireland, and the late William Best. Maytown, New York, 6/2/20, Buried at Hamilton Cemetery, Ontario, Canada.

Private Joseph Birdie, Service No. 42338, Seaforth Highlanders Scotland, Frederick Street, Bessbrook,  25/7/18, Buzancy Military Cemetery, France.
Private James Blakely, age 20, Service No. 14089, 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers. Son of Elizabeth J. Blakely, of 20, Charlemont Square, Bessbrook, Co. Armagh, and the late William Blakely. Obt1/7/16, Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. 
Lance-Corporal James Brown, age 22, Service No. 18560, 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers. Son of Alexander and Sarah A. Brown, of 18, College Square, Bessbrook, Co. Armagh. Obt1/7/16, Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. Prior to enlisting he was a painter in the employment of the Bessbrook Spinning Company. He was a member of the Star of Hope Temperance L.O.L., Bessbrook.

Corporal James Boyle, age 24, Service No. 1801, 8th Royal Munster Fusiliers. Son of Patrick and Catherine Boyle, of Maytown, Bessbrook, Co. Armagh. Obt, 18/5/16, Bethune Town Cemetery, France.
Rifleman Thomas Henry Boyle, Service No. 3/8538, 15th  R.I.R, Camlough Road, Camlough, 7/6/17,Wulverghen-Ii.C.3
Private John Burke, Service No. 10468, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 10 Thomas Street, Bessbrook, County Armagh. 11/7/16, Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.                   
Private Samuel Burns, age 22, 1st  Royal Irish Fusiliers, Service No. 11122. 10 James Street, Bessbrook. Son of Mrs. Mary Ann Burns, of Woodvale Avenue, Armagh Rd., Glassdrummond, Co. Armagh. 27/8/14, La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, France.
Rifleman Andrew Brady, R.I.R, College Square Bessbrook, Service No. 737. 27/9/16, Aveluy Wood Cemetery, Mesnil-Martinsart, France.
Able Seaman, Andrew Burt, age 20, Service No. R2786. Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Son of Alfred B. and Eleanor M. Y. Burt, of Wrenbury, near Nantwich, Cheshire. Born at Bessbrook, Co. Armagh. 19/6/18, Buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Treport, France.
Private George Caldwell, Service No. 96174, Royal Army Service Corps. Bessbrook, Date of Death 3/5/17,
Private William Clarke, Service No. 5598, 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, Bessbrook. Date of Death 7/12/14, Ploegsteert Memoria, Belgium.                    
Rifleman James Clare, age 28, Service No. 8349, R.I.R, Drogheda and Bessbrook. Son of James and Catherine Clare, of 24, Peter Street, Drogheda, Co. Louth. Date of Death 10/3/15, Le Touret Mem-42-43.

Private Patrick Conlan, Kings, Service No. 8071, Derramore, Bessbrook. Date of Death 28/10/14, Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, France.
Private Patrick Conlan James McNally, Service No. 700182,  51 High Street, Bessbrook. Date of Death 28/6/17, Vimy Ridge.
Connolly or Conlan, Thomas, Bessbrook District.
Private Bernard Chambers, age 25, Service No. 5316, Royal Irish Fusiliers, 36 Mullaghglass Newry. Brother of Thomas Chambers, of 19, Charlemont, Bessbrook, Co. Armagh. Date of Death 25/4/15, Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, France.
Private John Chambers, age 19, Service No. 14089, Royal Irish Fusiliers, 20 Fountain Street, Bessbrook, Date of Death 1/7/16,Hamel Cem –I-B-12          
Private Joseph Chambers, 25, Service No. 14074, Royal Irish Fusiliers, 5 Maytown Terrace Bessbrook. Date of Death 16/8/17,Tyne Cot Mem -140  
Private Joseph Devaney, Service No. 6324, 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, Scotland. 5-Maghernahely, Date of Death 21/3/15-Reningheist Cem,Ref-57                                  
Private Peter Doran, Service No. 43016, 7/8th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Kerrcrippen, Camlough, Date of Death 16/8/17, Tyne Cot Memorial, Ref-140                               
Private William J Donnell, Service No. 18091, 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Bessbrook, 10 Demoan, P/Pass,16/8/17, Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium 

Lieutenant John Myles Dunwoody, age 20, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, Monaghan Hotel. Bessbrook. Son of William George Dunwoody, M.D., and Elizabeth Dunwoody, of Dashwood House, Ramsgate. Date of Death 4/5/17, (died at sea) Savona Memorial, Italy.      
Private Michael Egan, age 21, Service No. 33635, 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers. Son of Patrick and Catherine Egan, of 45, Frederick St., Bessbrook, Co. Armagh. Date of Death 23/7/20. Buried at Tehran War Cemetery, Iran.
Sapper Joseph Emerson, age 21, Service No. 113201, Canadian Railway Troops, Only son of Annie E. and the late Oliver Emerson, of Bessbrook, Co. Armagh, Ireland. Date of Death 1/7/18, Etaples Military Cemetery, France.
Second Corporal James Feehan, Service No. 552403, Royal Engineers, (Inland Water Transport). Son of Mrs. Elizabeth Feehan, of 6, Charlemont Square, Bessbrook, Co. Armagh. Date of Death 4/7/19, Basra War Cemetery, Iraq       
Pte-Michael  J Feighan, age 24, Service No. 73523, Machine Gun Corps. Son of William and Mary Ann Feighan, of Scotland; husband of Rose Feighan, of 48, Frederick St., Bessbrook, Co. Armagh. Date of Death 22/8/17, Buried at Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium.      
Lance Corporal Joseph Flanagan, Service No. 15673, R.D.F, Lisburn-Bessbrook. Date of Death 9/9/16, Guards C, Lesboeufs
Captain Robert S Flood, age 26, M.C., Service No. 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Son of Robert I. and Mrs. M. O. Flood, of Milhale, Tullyvin, Cootehlll, Co. Cavan. Born at Ashfield, Cootehill, died 5/12/17. Buried at Ribecourt Military Cemetery, France.
Private George S. Freebairn, age 38, Service No. 6739, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Scotland. Date of Death 5/12/16. Belfast City Cemetery. Alternative Commemoration - buried in Mullaghglass Old Graveyard, Co. Armagh.        
Private (Stretcher Bearer) Edmund Gray, age 27, Service No. 14201, 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers. Son of William and Lucinda Gray, of Orange Hall, Bessbrook, Co. Armagh. Date of Death 6/8/17, Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.                   
Private Joseph Glass, age 21, Service No. 22982, 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Mullaghglass, Obt, 1/7/16, Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.                                                   
Private Joseph Graham, age 28, Service No. 11527, Royal Irish Fusiliers, Son of James and Mary Graham, of Brown's Schoolhouses, Bessbrook, Co. Armagh. Born at Mullaglass, Co. Armagh. Date of Death 27/8/15, Alexandria (Chatby) Military And War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.
Sergeant William Graham, Service No. 5311, 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, Bessbrook, Markethill, Date of Death 6/7/15, Artillery Wood Cemetery, Belgium.

Second Lieutenant Harold Green, age 24, Service No. Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Son of William John and Susan E. Green, of Kinnego, Lurgan, Co. Armagh. Date of Death 28/2/17, Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
Private Thomas Hamilton, Service No. 8823, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Fountain Place, Bessbrook. Date of Death 28/4/15, Helles Memorial,Turkey.              
Lance Corporal Samuel Hanna, age 22, Service No. 16571, 13th Royal Irish Rifles, Rathfriland, 42 Fountain Street, Bessbrook. Date of Death, 1/7/16, Cayeux Military Cemetery, Somme France.
Rifleman William Henry Hanna, Service No. R.I.R, G/148, 56 Fountain Street, Bessbrook. Date of Death 4/1/18, Allahabad New Cantonment Cemetery, The Madras 1914-1918 Memorial is situated at the rear of the cemetery. It bears the names of more than 1,000 servicemen who died during the First World War who lie in many civil and cantonment cemeteries in various parts of India where it is not possible to maintain their graves in perpetuity.
Private William Hanna, age 21, Service No. 14281, 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Son of Mary Hanna, of 56, Fountain St., Bessbrook, Co. Armagh, and the late William Henry Hanna. Date of Death 10/9/17, Boulogne Cem Ref-Viii-I-31
Private John Harvey, 22, Service No. 41060, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, Divernagh, Bessbrook. Brother of Peter Harvey, of 52, James St., Bessbrook, Co. Armagh. Date of Death 21/3/18, Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium.
Rifleman Thomas Hughes, age 29, Service No. 8549, 1st  Royal Irish Rifles. Son of Mrs. Hughes, of High Street, Bessbrook; husband of Annie Hughes, of 5, Fountain St., Bessbrook. Date of Death 29/1/18, buried at Camlough Roman Catholic Cemetery. On Friday last [1st February 1918] the remains of the late Rifleman Thomas Hughes, who died in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, on Tuesday last, were laid to rest in Carrickcruppin cemetery with full military honours.
The band of the Royal Irish Rifles from Newry with a contingent in charge of Lieutenant Rocke, acted as military escort. The deceased had been on active service for a considerable time, and was married only a few months ago.  The cortege was large and representative, including all classes and creeds. The chief mourners were: Messrs. Richard Hughes (father), Richard, John, William, Felix and Michael Hughes (brothers), Thomas Hughes (uncle), John, W. J. and Richard Hughes (cousins), William Kane and James Wilson (relatives). Rev. Father James Quinn, C.C., officiated. Mr. Hugh M’Crink had charge of the funeral arrangements.                                                                                       
Private George Henning, Service No. 6453, 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Maytown, Bessbrook. Date of Death 26/9/14, La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, France.
Corporal Michael Kearney, age 27, Service No. 28921, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, High Street, Bessbrook. Date of Death 8/11/18, Dourlers Communal Cemetery Extension, France.
Rifleman Harry (Henry) Kennedy, Service No. 6143, Royal Irish Rifles, Bessbrook. Date of Death 11/3/15, Le Touret Memorial, France.
Second Lieutenant Frederick W. Knott, age 25, 9th Yorks, Stalybridge Lanc Hotel, Bessbrook. Son of Herbert and Ada S. W. Knott, of “Sunny Bank,” Wilmslow, Manchester. Date of Death 7/6/17, Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium


Bessbrook and District Fallen from the Second World War.

Bessbrook W.W. 2 Roll Of Honour Dead

Bell, Albert, Leading Aircraftman, Royal Air Force, Service Number 644334. Age 27. Date of Death 29/03/1945, commemorated on Singapore Memorial, Kranji War Cemetery. Singapore.
Son of George Thomas and Maria Bell. Brother of Lance Corporal David Bell.

Bell, David, Lance Corporal, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), Service Number 6983663. Age 22. Date of Death 19/07/1943. Son of George Thomas and Maria Bell. Brother of Albert Bell. Buried at Catania War Cemetery. Sicily, Italy.

Clarke, Patrick Joseph, Fusilier, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), Commando. Service Number 6482285. Age 31. Date of Death 10/06/1944. Buried at Ranville War Cemetery, France
Son of Daniel and Mary, Husband of Irene Margaret, Bessbrook. Newry.

Donaldson, Walter Stewart, Greaser, Merchant Navy, M.V. Empire Light (Liverpool). Age 35. Date of Death 7/03/1943, commemorated on The Tower Hill Memorial, London. Son of Stuart and Mary Donaldson, Jerrettspass Co. Armagh.

Dowling, Beatrice Olivia, Sister, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service, Service No: 266662. Date of Death 12/02/1944, buried at Brookwood Memorial Surrey. England. Daughter of Sam and Sadie Dowling, Woodview, Bessbrook, and Belfast.

Lance Corporal Morgan Gerald Foster, 6th R.S.F. Service Number 14435231. Date of Death 7/08/1944, Bayeux Memorial. From Goragh, County Armagh.

Gray, George Campbell, Petty Officer Supply, Royal Navy, H.M.S. Nile. Age 23, Service No: C/MX 56347. Date of Death 19/11/1942, buried at Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. Son of Alexander Baird Gray and Mary Gray, Newry.

Little, Edward, Sergeant, Royal Artillery, 155 Bty., 52 Lt. A.A. Regt. Service No: 821949. Age 30. Date of Death 20/04/1941. Husband of Norah Little, of Bessbrook, Co. Armagh.

Mulligan, Francis Xavier, Lance Bombardier, Royal Artillery, 179 Field Regt. Service No. 5256357. Age 30. Date of Death 30/04/1945, Buried at Becklingen War Cemetery, Germany. Son of Peter and Kathleen Mulligan; husband of Ena Maria Mulligan, of Seaford, Sussex.

McMurray, William, Quartermaster Master, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Service Number 6983653. Age 30. Date of Death 17/04/1941, buried at Bessbrook Methodist Cemetery, Bessbrook, County Armagh. Son of George and Annie and Husband of Susan Elizabeth, Bessbrook, County Armagh.

McNeill, Fusilier Ernest McNeill, Private, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Service Number 6982560. Age 17. Date of Death 16/04/1941, Mullaghglass (St. Luke) Church Of Ireland Churchyard, County Armagh. Son of John and Margaret McNeill of Craigmore, Bessbrook.

O’Connell, John Felix, Petty Officer, Royal Navy, H.M.S. Hood, Service Number 143771. Age 27. Date of Death 29/05/1941, commemorated on Portsmouth Navy Memorial, Hampshire. David and Margaret O’Connell, Camlough, Co Armagh

O’Hanlon, James Patrick Joseph, Guardsman, Irish Guards, Service Number 2723994. Age 23. 24/07/1944, buried at Bayeax Cemetery France. Son of Patrick and Mary Anne O'Hanlon; husband of Kathleen O'Hanlon, of Bessbrook, Co. Armagh.

Rooney, Peter Joseph, Stoker 1st Class, H.M.S. Howe, Service Number P/KX 163240. Date of Death 23/10/1945, Mombasa (Mbaraki) Cemetery, Kenya
Son of Mr and Mrs Jack Rooney, Mayobridge, husband to Madge, 19 Hill Street, Bessbrook. County Armagh.

Smith, Lalor, Rifleman, Royal Ulster Rifles, Service Number 7011328. Age 28, buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium
Son of Robert and Agnes Smith. Husband to Agnes Smith, Bessbrook, County Armagh.

Thompson Stanley J., Pilot Officer, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Service Number 86402. Age 19. Date of Death 13/10/1940. Buried at Sutton Bridge (St Matthew) Churchyard, Lincolnshire.
Son of John Davis Thompson and Sarah Scott Thompson of Bessbrook, Co Armagh.

Tough, Albert Jason, Corporal Royal Engineers, Service Number 2929432. Age 23. Date of Death 2/12/1944, buried at Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands.
Son of Albert James Tough and Helen Tough of Forres, Morayshire Scotland. Husband of Jean Tough of Millvale, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland.

Thornberry, Edward Windsor, Sub-Lieutenant (A), Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, Age 21, commemorated on the Lee-on-Solent Memorial, Hampshire, Son of Joseph G. and Agnes E. Thornberry, Mullaghglass, Co Armagh and Kilkeel County Down.

Vaughan, Wilfred J. Driver, Royal Engineers, Service Number 1922313. Age 26. Date of Death 2/12/1944, Groesbeek Cemetery. Son of Alfred and Jane, Wales, Husband to Jean Vaughan, Bessbrook.

Weir, Samuel Joseph, Sergeant, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Service Number 1081810. Age 21. Date of Death 31/01/1944, commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Son of Samuel and Elizabeth Weir, Craigmore, Bessbrook, County Armagh.

Mckinstry, Robert Noel, O.B.E., Surgeon Lieutenant, died March 1961 in Cape Town where he acted as MOH to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Tidereach.  Buried in Dido Valley Military Cemetery, South Africa. Brother of Lieutenants James McKinstry, and Lieutenant Jack Mckinstry, North Irish Horse and Royal Irish Rifles.
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