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 (née Rutherford). At the time of the 1911 Census 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 and 25 November 1914 (No. UD/198). On 6 October 1915 he embarked for France with his squadron, which was then serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division.

In June 1916 the Inniskilling squadron joined 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. In August-September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and its men, following training at the 36th (Ulster) Division Infantry Base Depot at Harfleur, were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Morrison, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt. Morrison 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 25 May 1918. It is not known when or where he sustained the wound, but it would have been between 9 April and 25 May on the Ypres front. He is buried in the Gwalia Cemetery, Ieper, West-Vlanderen, Belgium, grave II.C.29. The gravestone inscription reads:

25TH MAY 1918 AGE 22

                                    BY THEE


His name is included on the Brookeborough War Memorial, County Fermanagh (see images below).


Private Morrison's older brother John was killed in action at Thiepval on 1 July 1916 while 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 (NIH) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers.


Brookeborough War Memorial


Brookeborough War Memorial


Image of Morrison sourced from from the CWGC's site For Evermore: Stories of the Fallen. Gravestone kindly provided by Richard Evans (see his website Nelson, Glamorgan and the Great War. Brookeborough War Memorial images sourced from the Irish War Memorials site.


This page last updated 22 March 2024..