John Adams (Army No. 13971) fought with the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers in the Great War, and this site records his letters home over the period 1914-1919.
He started this period in a training camp in Newtownards, moved to Sussex for further training, was deployed to the Western Front, was wounded 2 months before the Battle of the Somme, and spent Christmas in a camp in Tipperary. He went back to the Front in early 1917 and was involved in the Battle of Messines and further fighting in the Ypres Salient (Passchendaele). He was wounded in October 1918, a few weeks before the end of the War.
The following is an extract from the Ulster Gazette January 1971, on his death:
“For his bravery at Passchendaele he received the Military Medal and for courageous deeds the following year he also got a bar for his medal. He was twice wounded and once gassed and the only battle he did not take part in with his famous Ulster Division was that of the Somme on July 1st 1916, for he had been wounded in May of that year. He was discharged in 1919 when he had attained the rank of Acting Company Sergeant-Major and he was suffering from his war injuries.”
He later went on to serve in the Ulster Special Constabulary in Co. Armagh from 1922 until retirement in 1952, and was awarded the MBE in 1952.
He was awarded eight medals, ranging in date from 1914 to 1952
This summary of the War was written on a single piece of paper by John Adams:
- Born on 7th Dec 1892.
- Enlisted on the 24th Sept 1914 for Royal Irish Fusiliers. Landed in France 4th Oct 1915.
- Was wounded on the 1st May 1916 at Aveloy Wood (near Albert) in left hand (gunshot). Transferred to England in June through same wounded.
- Went back to France May 1917. Was wounded on the 30th Sept 1918 outside Dadzeele (near Ypres) in right thigh (shrapnel) [Read the War Office Telegram and an anguished mother’s response]. Transferred to England Oct 1918. Discharged out of Hosp (Roy Victoria Belfast) 17th Feb.
- Transferred to Army Reserve through Demobilization.