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Thread: War Memorial Richhill Co Armagh

  1. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Ormskirk, Lancashire

    I've looked again at the War Diary for the 150th Field Company, RE. It's noticeable that, between their arrival in France and the date of Sapper McKee's death there is not a single mention of enemy action and certainly nothing to suggest that shellfire was a threat where they were working. On the other hand, the CO does comment about shortages of materials (timber, stone) and labour, as well as the wet conditions. Taken together with the fact that the word "killed" next to Spr. McKee's name is clearly crossed out, it does lead me to suspect that the version published in the Armagh Guardian is an example of "news management" or "spin". I don't doubt that he died in a trench collapse (or similar mishap during the building of the new rear defences) but have to question that the cause was a German shell. No doubt some officer responsible for sending news home about casualties decided that blaming a "German shell" would be better for morale at home than any suspicion of an avoidable accident, especially as Spr. McKee was the first Co. Armagh volunteer to die.

    Wonder if you've come across anything similar?


  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Hi Bryan
    I have come across completely false newspaper reports and misleading information, reference war diaries information can be sparse all depending on conditions and the time factor also who is writing the war diary, single OR,s deaths some times don't get a mention particular in infantry Battalions.
    I have checked local papers for both wars, spent hours going through them. Keeps me occupied in retirement.


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