Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Rifleman John McCalmont 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles

John McCalmont - 3710 -  was born and raised in Carrickfergus, on the outbreak of war in 1914 he enlisted into the Central Antrim Volunteers, 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles.  While on active service in the Somme area of France he took ill in the trenches and died on 26th February 1916.  

The winter of early 1916 was a particular rough one and life in the trenches became very tough for the men.  The 12th Battalion endured snow, sleet, rain and frost. They continued to fight a battle of attrition against the elements and the human enemy who sprayed their lines with machine gun fire or blasted the area with high explosive. On 26th February, the Battalion war diary recorded that a man at Castor Post died a natural death – ‘he had always been troubled with asthma’.  It is now understood that this was Rifleman McCalmont. Life in the trenches was not for those with a weak constitution and exposure to the elements took a grim toll.

John is buried in Hamel Military Cemetery, Beaumont Hamel I.C 17 (PICTURED), he was an active member of St Nicholas Church of Ireland and is remembered on the church memorial plaque.  

No comments:

Post a Comment