November 7th 1918. V.C. FOR FERMANAGH HEROISM OF COL. WEST IN FACE OF CERTAIN DEATH.
The King has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Victoria Cross to the under- mentioned officer:—Captain (A. Lieutenant-Col.) Richard Annesley West, D.S.O., M.C., late North Irish Horse (Cav. S.R.) and Tank Corps, For most conspicuous bravery, leadership and self-sacrifice.
During an attack, the infantry having lost their bearings in the dense fog, this officer at once collected and re-organised any men he could find and led them to their objective in face of heavy machine-gun fire. Throughout the whole action he displayed the most utter disregard of danger, and the capture of the objective was in a great part due to his initiative and gallantry.
On a subsequent occasion, it was intended that a battalion of light tanks under the command of this officer should exploit the initial infantry and heavy tank attack. He therefore went forward in order to keep in touch with the progress of the battle, and arrived at the front line when the enemy were in process of delivering a local counter-attack. The infantry battalion had suffered heavy officer casualties, and its flanks were exposed. Realising that there was a danger of the battalion giving way he at once rode out in front of them under extremely heavy machine-gun and rifle fire and rallied the men. In spite of the fact that enemy were close upon him he took charge of the situation and detailed non-commissioned officers to replace officer casualties. He then rode up and down in front of them in face of certain death encouraging the men and calling to them ’Stick it men; show them fight; and for God’s sake put up a good fight. He fell riddled by machine-gun bullets.
The magnificent bravery of this very gallant officer at the critical moment inspired the infantry to redoubled efforts, and the hostile attack was defeated. The deceased officer was a native of Fermanagh, being the fourth and younger son of the late Mr. A. G. West, of Whitepark. He was born in 1878, and fought in the Boer War .with Kitchener’s Scouts, afterwards taking a commission in the North Irish Horse. The West family has long been connected with Fermanagh and Tyrone, but Mr. E. E. West, its present head, now lives, in Dublin.
Lieut-Colonel Herbert N. Young, D.S.O., Royal Inniskillings (temporarily commanding a battalion of the Sherwood Foresters), killed in action on 25th October was one of the best-known officers of the Inniskillings, with whom he had soldiered for 15 years.
THE MILK SCARCITY.
If the members of the Enniskillen Urban Council who raised the question of the scarcity of the milk supply were genuine in their anxiety for the poor, they have done nothing in the matter till it now is too late to do anything. A year ago an attempt was made to get milk from Fermanagh for Dublin’s poor, and this attempt the Impartial Reporter frustrated, pointing out at the time that any spare milk was badly needed by our own poor in Enniskillen. We then advocated the founding of a municipal milk depot, as had been done in other places, but the Urban Council took no action. The Council was asked to make preparations for the founding of a communal food kitchen to cook food for the very poor. This suggestion was also scouted by the very men who are now crying out about the coal shortage. It is the usual grumble without action. Everyone knew that coal would not get more plentiful, and it was common knowledge that milk would be much scarcer. To talk of obtaining a milk supply now is beating the air. The Chairman of the Urban Council should surely know that creameries have no milk to spare for sale in a stock-rearing county like Fermanagh, except perhaps from the Belleek district. The farmers require all the skim-milk they can get; the creameries dare not cut them short, and thus lose some of their best customers. Milk is scarce to all, rich and poor, alike, and if the poor are in a bad way for milk this winter they know who had it in their power to save them, from such a catastrophe but did nothing till too late, and then, as usual, only talked.
A MEMORIAL SERVICE. Enniskillen Presbyterian Church. It was a moving service — but just one of those things which Rev. Mr. Jenkins knows how to do well, at the proper time, and in the fitting way. Three soldiers of the Enniskillen Presbyterian Congregation have passed away quite recently—Lieut. John Darling, M.C., 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, from wounds received in action ; Company Sergt. Major Wilson, of the 1st Royal Inniskillings, died in action; and Private Herbert Caldwell, from ill-health and starvation, when wounded as a prisoner-of-war in Germany. The congregation at Enniskillen, which has given most of its manhood to the army, per cent., has also had the greatest number of casualties.
November 21st 1918.
Lance-Corporal Seaman, of the Inniskilling Fusiliers has been awarded the Victoria Cross. The official record states that he is awarded the coveted distinction. For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. When the right flank of his company was held np by a nest of enemy machine guns he, with great courage and initiative, rushed forward under heavy fire with his Lewis gun and engaged the position single-handed, capturing two machine guns and 12 prisoners and killing one officer and two men. Later in the day he again rushed another enemy machine-gun position, capturing the gun under heavy fire. He was killed immediately after. His courage and dash were beyond all praise, and it was entirely due to the very gallant conduct of Lance-Corporal Seaman that his company was enabled to push forward to its objective, and capture many prisoners.
BAR TO M.C.
The Commander-In-Chief of the B.E.F. has made an award of a Bar to the Military Cross to Second Lieutenant T. J. Adams, M.C., Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, for conspicuous gallantry in action last month. Second Lieutenant Adams is a son of Mr. Thomas Adams, Tullywinney, Ballygawley.
DERRYGONNELLY MAN WINS D.C.M.
The Distinguished Conduct Medal has been awarded to Sergeant J. Foy, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Derrygonnelly, County Fermanagh)
For conspicuous gallantry in command of his platoon during an attack. When an enemy machine gun attempted to check his advance he came round its flank and with another man charged it and captured the gun and four prisoners. He set a splendid example of courage and determination to his men.
The Cork Eagle records the death in hospital of Cadet Frank Semple of the Royal Air Force, son of Mr. John Semple, Bandon, and formerly of the General Manager’s office, Great Northern Railway, Enniskillen. The “funeral at Cavereham Cemetery was a military one, and the coffin was covered with wreaths. Mr. Semple’s eldest son, Herbert, a brilliant scholar, also gave up a career of bright promise to serve his country and fell in her cause.
PRIVATE JAMES MCTEGGART. Mrs. Quinn, Henry-street, Enniskillen, has been informed that her brother, James McTeggart was killed in action on the 7th November. He had seen much active service with the Inniskillings at the Dardanelles in the retreat from Servia, and in Palestine, before coming to France. His captain in a letter of sympathy says—‘His pals and I miss him very much as he had done good service for the battalion. He was struck by a bullet in the head and death was instantaneous. He is nearly the last of the good old boys who came out with the battalion.’
Private Wm. Manly, 9th Inniskillings, from Tullyavey, died in action on the 29th September, leaving a wife and seven children. His brother, who also had worked at Riversdale, had also served In the army, having served in the 27th Inniskillings in the Boer war. Trory parish yielded 37 of the Protestant men to the army at the call.
Private Bernard Drum, of the Royal Inniskillings has been at home on leave, after having been six months in hospital from wounds received in France, and has gone to Oswestry to join the reserve battalion of the regiment.
Clones and the Epidemic. SHORTAGE OF MEDICAL MEN.
Clones has been terribly in the grip of the Spanish influenza, and suffered all the more because that Dr. Henry, who has a wide circle of patients and the Union hospitals under his charge, became a patient himself.
The town found itself with only one doctor available to minister to the whole district, Dr. Tierney, and lamentable cases on every side. But Clones rose to the occasion. Its chief men met, as they generally do, as neighbours and friends, not as politicians, and subscribed money to meet the emergency; the ladies of the town provided meals for the poor; and by good luck one young doctor was found to take up medical duty in the district, and Mr. Knight obtained the friendly advice of Dr. Kidd of Enniskillen as to procedure; and Dr. Kidd advised among other things, that the assistance of men of the Army Medical Corps at Enniskillen headquarters be requested, to enable nursing and care to be attended to.
Since then, the so-called influenza has got a bad grip of the Clones district, it has also brought its people together to meet the danger and combat it; and we trust their praiseworthy effort will meet with the success which it deserves.
The Recent boxing tournament in Enniskillen for the benefit of Inniskilling prisoners of war resulted in a net profit of £57, which has been sent to the Secretary of the fund at Omagh.
Sale of Fruit to Householders.—Instances having been brought to the knowledge of the Food Control Committee for Ireland, that apples are being sold to householders and others at prices in excess of those set out in the Apples and Perry Pears (Sales) Order, the attention of consumers is directed to the advertisement which appears in this issue.
The Cattle Feeding Staffs supply to Ireland is to be increased.
The German Army committed continual robberies in its retreat, including herds of cattle, carts, chickens, clothing, and vehicles.
The rumour is Revived that the ex-Czar is alive, and that he may be replaced on the Russian throne.
The Galway Board of Guardians have felt hurt that out of 156 circulars sent out, asking that medical practitioners who have been interned for political offences should be released to relieve the scarcity of medical practitioners, only five applies should have been returned, and of these one (Belfast) was against the resolution. Dungannon burned it.
A BIG FIRE AT THE GRAAN MONASTERY. HUNDREDS OF POUNDS DAMAGE.
A destructive fire, entailing the loss of several hundred pounds worth of property, broke out at the Gabriel Retreat, The Graan, about two miles from, Enniskillen, in the early hours of Sunday morning. Residing at the Retreat are four or five priests and about twelve students or novitiates of the Passionists Order of the Roman Catholic Church.
Shortly before one o’clock on Sunday morning one of the resident brothers observed a light in the office-houses near the main dwelling, and upon investigating the matter found the building was on fire. He immediately raised an alarm, but by this time the whole building where the cattle were stalled was a mass of flames. There being no efficient fire extinguishing apparatus about the place, efforts were made to quell the outbreak by means buckets of water drawn from water barrels near by, but these were quite ineffectual.
Word of the fire having been sent to Mr. Christopher Bracken, whose residence is close at hand, both that gentleman and his eldest son were soon on the scene, and worked very hard in assisting the inmates in their fight against the flames. Despite all exertions, however, eight valuable cows, worth from £40 to £50 each and also two calves were burned to death, while the byres, calf-house, and piggeries were razed to the ground. Fortunately the fire did not spread to the large barns attached, in which much corn, hay, and other inflammable material were stored, else the loss would have been considerably heavier. As it was, a valuable staircase, a huge quantity of glass, and other articles intended for use in the new building at present in course of construction, and which were stored temporarily in one of the office-houses, were all burned.