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Coghill, J.T., Cpl., 1915

North Eastern Railway Magazine page 258

Medal Index Card

Shields Daily News Friday 30/04/1915

In Boulogne Eastern Cemetery is the Commonwealth War Grave of 7/2001 Corporal John Tait Coghill, serving with the 1/7th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers who died 11/05/1915.

John Tait Coghill was born in 1891, the son of Joseph and Margarite Coghill, of 43, Stratford Road, Heaton, Newcastle-on-Tyne. Native of Scotland.

John was educated at the Berwick British School. His father had been a signal man at Berwick employed by the N.E.R., He was employed at Central Station as a District passenger agent, by the North Eastern Railway, and enlisted into the 1/7th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. He went to France aboard the S.S. Invicta and disembarked on the 21st April 1915. Then transported by train to Cassell, then marched eastwards to Ypres.

John was wounded at the Battle of St Julien and was sent back to the no 7 Base Hospital at Boulogne, [Hotel Christol], due to his wounds.

John died of his wounds on the 11th May 1915 at this hospital.

A blue granite memorial [Saturday 28th August 1915], was erected in his memory in Heaton Cemetery by the N.E.R. Passenger Department which reads:
"In remembrance of Corporal John Tait Coghill, 7th Northumberland Fusiliers, who fell fighting for his country in Flanders, 12th May, 1915, aged 24 years. Erected by his colleagues on the staff of the District Passenger Agents Office, North Eastern Railway, Newcastle upon Tyne".

On August 28 there was unveiled at Heaton Cemetery, Newcastle, with full military honours, a granite memorial to Corporal J.T. Coghill, who, as recorded on the stone, "fell fighting for his country in Flanders, 12th May, 1915, aged 24 years.
The unveiling ceremony was performed by Mr. E.F. Wilkinson, who spoke of the brave part railwaymen had taken in the defence of their country. "Their sorrow at the death of a friend" he said, "was tempered by knowing that he died on the field of honour."

A firing party attended consisting of eight men of the 1/7th Northumberland Fusiliers who were wounded in the same engagement as that in which their comrade lost his life, Sergeant H. S. Gargett, an office colleague of Corporal Coghill and of the same battalion, was also present, he, too, having been wounded at the front.

Mr Joseph Coghill, father of Corporal Coghill, spoke of his son's fate in noble and touching terms: They gave him up without a grudge, he said, and remembered that he fell in the service of his country. Whilst they mourned his loss, they would not wish that it might have been otherwise..

Source : North Eastern Railway Magazine page 258.
Heaton Presbyterian Messenger No. 269 Sept. 1915.

John Tait Coghill is remembered on the N.E.R. Roll of Honour Memorial, at Alnwick in A11.59, at Byker on B95.08 and in Heaton on H91.24 and H91.25

The CWGC entry for Corporal Coghill

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk