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Killeeshil soldier one of the last to fall

Private Mitchell McFarlane's grave

Private Mitchell McFarlane's grave

In the closing days of World War One, with the ceasfire almost within touching distance, a handful of Irish soldiers were tragically killed.

One of them was Killeeshil man Mitchell McFarlane of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who was just 19 when he succumbed on November 1, 1918.

The story of his untimely death has been preserved for future generations by the creation of a new digital directory, which records the details of the nearly 50,000 Irish soldiers who died during the four year conflict.

Eight volumes of Irish men who died are on the list, originally compiled between 1919 and 1923, and made available in the collaboration between the Department of Foreign Affairs, Google and the In Flanders Fields Museum in Belgium.

The records were originally published in “Ireland’s Memorial Records,” drawn up at the command of Field-Marshall Sir John French, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and illustrated by Irish artists Harry Clarke.

More information can be found at http://imr.inflandersfields.be/index.html.

Born about 1899 in Ballygawley, County Tyrone, Mitchell McFarland was the son of Uriah and Lizzie McFarland.

The 1901 census records 2 year old Mitchell living with the ‘McFarland’ family in Tullyvannon, Aghnahoe, Tyrone. Uriah was a farm labourer.

By the time of the 1911 census, twelve year old Mitchell was living with the Thompson family at Tirelugan, Tullyvar, Tyrone, where he was registered as ‘a boarder’.

Mitchell McFarlane enlisted in Ballygawley. He was serving with the garrison depot of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (located in Omagh) when he died on 1st November 1918, aged 19.

He was buried at Killeeshil St. Paul Church of Ireland Churchyard.

 

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