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  • Christina Drummond

Second Lieutenant Charles Love Crockett, 11/12th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1916, Second ieutenant Charles Love Crockett, 11/12th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died from a gunshot wound received two days earlier during the Easter Rising in Dublin.

The eldest of three sons, he was educated at Foyle College and Queen’s Univerity; was known to be a staunch unionist and had signed the 1912 Ulster Covenant pledging resistance to Home Rule. When the Great War broke out he at first enlisted as a private in the Ulster Division; formerly in the Queen’s University OTC, he received his commission early in 1916.

On the 26th of April he had been posted at Aldborough House near Fitzwilliam Street in Dublin, with the Lewis Gun Section. He was given an order to contact the officers of the Dublin Fusiliers at their headquarters about a hundred yards away. It was late at night and he could not be seen clearly by the Dublin Fusiliers’ sentry on duty, who called out but on not receiving an immediate response fired, grievously wounding Second Lieutenant Crockett. He was taken to the King George V Hospital, but died two days later.

His funeral took place in Londonderry on the 3rd of May - he was to have been given full military honours but his parents refused, allowing only four of his fellow officers to walk behind the hearse. The funeral was noted for the wealth of wreaths that were sent, from his colonel and other officers as well as from non-commissioned officers, the Boys’ Brigade and family and friends. As the funeral cortege passed slowly through Londonderry to the city cemetery, people lined the streets, soldiers stood at attention and saluted, blinds were drawn and many establishments were closed, one witness commenting on the level of feeling for one of the city’s own. At the Sunday morning service in Strand Road Presbyterian Church the following Sunday, Reverend J. Carson Greer said, “On his twentieth birthday his life work was done, and he heard the Master's 'Well done.' He was one of the first to respond to the Empire's appeal to all her loyal sons, and in the true spirit of Christian chivalry he never for a moment wavered.”

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