Remembering the Fallen: On this day in 1916, Private Irvine Montgomery, 1st Battalion, the Irish Guards, was killed in action on the Somme.
The only son of a widowed mother, he had joined the army at the outbreak of the Great War. His battalion landed at Le Havre on the 13th of August in 1914 and served initially as part of 4th (Guards) Brigade, 2nd division until the end of July in 1915. They then joined the 1st (Guards) Brigade, Guards Division, for the duration of the Great War, during which they suffered over twelve hundred losses.
Private Montgomery saw action at the Battle of Mons and subsequent retreat, as well as the Battle of Le Cateau, during which the enemy suffered heavy losses. In September of 1914, he took part in the First Battle of the Marne and the advance towards the Aisne. The following month saw the beginning of the First Battle of Ypres - the battalion fought for the duration, suffering heavy casualties, and by the end of the battle in November the original battalion had been all but wiped out.
In 1915, Private Montgomery saw action during the Battles of Festubert and Loos, and then until the beginning of the Battle of the Somme in July of 1916, spent much of the time in the trenches. The battalion suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, and then during the Battle of Morval there were over two hundred and fifty casualties, including Private Montgomery. He is buried in the Guards’ Cemetery at Lesboeufs in France.
Irvine, from Arvagh, County Cavan in Ireland, was 23 years old.