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John Turkington cap badgePrivate John Turkington

7/8th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers
Service No: 23358

John Turkington grave





Personal details

Family Information

Son of John and Annie Turkington. Husband of Elizabeth (Lizzie) McGeown (03/09/1888- ) of 215s Main St, Coatbridge. They married on the 12/07/1912 in Derrymacash, Armagh. They moved to Coatbridge shortly after and had 2 young children, James Edward Turkington born on the 19/05/1913 and John Turkington born on the 12/08/1915. In his Will dated 20/07/1916 John's effects and property were received by his wife Lizzie Turkington. From the 1901 Ireland Census - Address - 43 Derryadd, Montiaghs, Armagh - John Turkington aged 47, Annie Turkington aged 42, Sarah Anne Turkington aged 21, John Turkington aged 13, James Turkington aged 9. From the 1911 Ireland Census - Address - 49 Derryadd, Montiaghs, Armagh - John Turkington aged 52, Ann Turkington aged 48, Sarah Ann Turkington aged 28, John Turkington aged 22, James Edward Turkington aged 17, fathers grandson Edward Turkington aged 7, fathers granddaughter Sarah Ann McDonnel aged 4. John's Pension was awarded to his wife Elizabeth on the 10/12/1917. Their 2 children are also listed.

Born / Resided

Derryadd, Co. Armagh / 215s Main St, Coatbridge


Killed in Action on the 07/06/1917 on the opening day of the Battle of Messines




Tennents Foundry / Agricultural Labourer at home aged 22



Buried / Remembered

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 42), West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

Cemetery / Memorial Information

From October 1914 to the summer of 1918, Ypres (now Ieper) formed the centre of a salient held by Commonwealth (and for a while French) forces. From April 1915, the town was bombarded and destroyed more completely than any other town of its size on the western front. YPRES TOWN CEMETERY, close to the Menin Gate, was used from October 1914 to May 1915, and once in 1918. The cemetery contains 145 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, grouped in plots among the civil graves.

Additional Information

ADDITIONAL FAMILY INFORMATION - John had 3 cousins who fell, Private Edward Turkington (13072) of the 8th (Service) Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers who fell on the 20/12/1918, Private William Turkington (11020) of the 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry who fell on the 19/12/1914 and Private James Turkington (B/7627) also of the 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry who fell on the 20/12/1914. (NONE of these men are on the Memorial. See photos for information on the 3 cousins and the family kindly added from Robert D Corrins' fantastic book, St. Patrick's Roll of Honour). The Battalion arrived in France in February 1916 and were part of the 49th Brigade, 16th (Irish) Division. The 7th and 8th Battalions amalgamated with each other on the 15/10/1916. John fell on the opening day of the Battle of Messines, 7th – 14th June 1917 : A brilliantly planned and executed attack that resulted in the capture of the Wytschaete - Messines ridge south of Ypres, a feature that had given the British problems since 1914 and which was important to hold for future offensive operations in Flanders. Commenced with one of the heaviest artillery bombardments of the war and the explosion of nineteen enormous and long-prepared underground mines. Zero Day was fixed for the 7th June, with zero hour at 3:10 a.m., when it was expected that a man could be seen from the west at 100 yd (91 m). There was a thunderstorm in the evening of the 6th June but by midnight the sky had cleared and at 2:00 a.m., British aircraft cruised over the German lines to camouflage the sound of tanks as they drove to their starting points. By 3:00 a.m., the attacking troops had reached their jumping-off positions unnoticed, except for some in the II Anzac Corps area. Routine British artillery night firing stopped around half an hour before dawn and birdsong could be heard. At 3:10 a.m. the mines began to detonate. After the explosions, the British artillery began to fire at maximum rate. A creeping barrage in three belts 700 yd (640 m) deep began and counter-battery groups bombarded all known German artillery positions with gas shell. The nine attacking divisions and the three in reserve began their advance as the German artillery reply came scattered and late, falling on British assembly trenches after they had been vacated. The 16th (Irish) Division attacked between Maedelstede Farm and the Vierstraat–Wytschaete road. The mines at Maedelstede and the two at Petit Bois devastated the defence; the mines at Petit Bois on the left were about 12 seconds late and knocked over some of the advancing British infantry. The reserve Brigade of the 25th Division continued the advance to the north except at Lumm Farm, which was eventually taken with assistance from the right flank troops of the 36th (Ulster) Division. Helped by two tanks, the rest of the 36th (Ulster) Division advanced to the right of Wytschaete village and captured a German battalion headquarters. Wytschaete had been fortified like Messines but special bombardments fired on the 3rd June had demolished the village. Two Battalions of the 16th (Irish) Division overran the German survivors and on the left, the reserve Brigade of the 19th Division took the area from Wytschaete village to Oosttaverne Wood with little resistance. The 16th (Irish) Division and the 36th (Ulster) Division captured Wytschaete. John is also remembered on the St. Patrick's Roll of Honour (see photos) and the St. Patrick's (book) Roll of Honour. See photos for John's Medal Index Card, his Newspaper clipping, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls, the Family listing in the 1901 Ireland Census, the Family listing in the 1911 Ireland Census, John's listing in the Ireland Casualties WW1, his CWGC Grave Registration, his name on the Menin Gate Memorial x 2, his name on the Menin Gate Memorial Panel List, John's Pension Records x 2, the Royal Irish Fusiliers Cap Badge, the Messines area 1917, the Battle of Messines planning map, the Spanbroekmolen crater in 2009 (created in 1917 by one of the mines at the Battle) and a dummy tree used as an observation post on Hill 63 by Australian troops during the Battle of Messines.

John Turkington Medal Index CardJohn Turkington newspaper clippingJohn Turkington newspaper clippingJohn Turkington newspaper clippingJohn Turkington remembered at homeJohn Turkington remembered at homeJohn Turkington remembered at homeJohn Turkington remembered at homeJohn Turkington additional photoJohn Turkington additional photoJohn Turkington additional photoJohn Turkington additional photoJohn Turkington additional photoJohn Turkington additional photoJohn Turkington additional photoJohn Turkington additional photoJohn Turkington additional photoJohn Turkington additional photoJohn Turkington additional photo

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