In memoriam

Private Francis James Morrison

 

 

Francis James Morrison was born on 1 July 1895 at Cornakessagh, Brookeborough, County Fermanagh, the seventh of ten children of agricultural labourer Alexander Morrison and his wife Margaret Elizabeth (formerly Rutherford). By 1911 he was living at nearby Raw, Grogey, and working as an agricultural labourer on the farm of John Kidney.

Morrison enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron at Lisnaskea between 23 November 1914 and 9 February 1915 (No. UD/198). He embarked for France with his squadron on 6 October 1915. At the time they were serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division.

In June 1916 the Inniskilling squadron came together with C and F Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917 when the regiment was dismounted and most of its men transferred to the infantry. After a brief period of training at the 36th (Ulster) Division's Infantry Base Depot at Harfleur, Morrison was transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers on 20 September and soon after was posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. He was issued regimental number 41112. He probably saw action with the battalion during the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917 and perhaps also during the retreat from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918.

Morrison died of wounds on 15 May 1918. It is not known when or where he sustained the wound, but it would have been between 9 April and 15 May in the Ypres sector. He is buried at Gwalia Cemetery, Ieper, West-Vlanderen, Belgium, grave II.C.29. The gravestone inscription reads:

41112 PRIVATE
F. J. MORRISON
ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS
25TH MAY 1918 AGE 22

WE CANNOT LORD THY PURPOSE
                                          SEE
   BUT ALL IS WELL THAT'S DONE
                                    BY THEE

 

Private Morrison's older brother John was killed in action at Thiepval on 1 July 1916 serving with the 11th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Another older brother, Alexander, served with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, and was captured near St Quentin on 21 March 1918. His cousin Private John Morrison served with him in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons and 9th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

 

Image kindly provided by Richard Evans. See his website Nelson, Glamorgan and the Great War http://www.nelson-ww1-memorial.org.uk.