The first volunteers to enlist in the Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps left Canada on the S. S. Herschel on 10thJune 1915. Among them were two men who gave the address of their next-of-kin in Tyrone:
No 545 Joseph Dougherty who enlisted in Toronto with next-of-kin as Mrs Lizzie Dougherty at Bready P.O. Co Tyrone.
His parents William Doherty and Jane Thompson, both of Cloghogle, were married in 2nd Donagheady Presbyterian Church on 20th August 1868.The witnesses were Samuel Scott and Thomas Roden. Joseph was born on 28th September 1879 at Tully, and attended Rossnagalliagh school from 1887 to 1895. By 1901, Joseph was the farm labourer on the Smyth farm at Clampernow, while his parents lived in a house of Isabella Hall’s at Upper Tully. His future wife, Lizzie, was listed as a domestic servant in the household of Rev Caskie at Magheramason.
On 9th August 1904, Joseph married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Rodden, daughter of David Rodden of Tamnakeery, in Ebrington Presbyterian Church. The witnesses were Annie Rodden and James Orr. In 1911,Joseph Dougherty and Lizzie were living in Tamnakeery, with their 4 children, William, Jeanie, David and Annie, next door to David and Elizabeth Roden. Another daughter, Josephine was born after the 1911 census. At some point after that, most likely in 1914, Joseph left his family and went to Canada. Once he was settled, they would have followed.
On 5th May 1915, he enlisted in Toronto with the Canadian Overseas Construction Corps with the Regimental No 545, and sailed from Canada on 10th June 1915 on the SS Herschel as part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was wounded on 29th September 1917 and taken to No 53 Casualty Clearing Station then to No 53 General Hospital in Boulogne with wounds to his left leg. Subsequently he went to the Auxiliary Military Hospital at Frodsham but then transferred to the Military Hospital at Fazakerley ,Liverpool where his leg was amputated. His condition deteriorated and he died died on 4th January 1918. His body was repatriated to his family and he was interred in Grange. Lizzie was left with 5 children when he died. She emigrated to Canada in 1929 with the younger children with descendants still there today. The older children remained in Co. Tyrone where their descendants live today.
Sources: 1901/1911 census; 2nd Donagheady and Magheramason Churches for marriages; Rossnagalliagh, A Country School 1839-1977 by Ruth Olphert, for Joseph’s education and PRONI Valuation Revision books for where the family were living when he emigrated; Library & Archives Canada for info about his wounds.
No 137 Private Andrew McCaine who enlisted in Winnipeg with next-of-kin as John McCaine at Castle Warren, Duncinane (Donemana). After the war, Andrew returned to Winnipeg where he founded McCaine Electric Ltd. This company has grown into a very large commercial electrical contractor in Manitoba. Their website (http://www.mccaine.com) states:
McCaine Electric Ltd. was established in Winnipeg following the First World War in 1918. Incorporated in 1942, McCaine has grown to be the largest independent electrical contractor in the Manitoba and North Western Ontario market. The key to our success has been our service, our on-going commitment to customers, and our ability to offer a wide range of services.
McCaine Electric Ltd. provides electrical installation, maintenance and services to a large number of clients in the industrial, institutional and commercial markets. Our teams are well trained to provide on-going support to meet our customer requests promptly and professionally. All senior team members are Gold Seal Certified which indicates their commitment to excellence in the construction industry.Our experience includes projects involving high voltage work to 25 KV distribution and pole line installations, plant renovations and shutdowns, process and instrumentation control applications, and water treatment and control plant upgrades and expansions. We excel in both new construction and in renovation work. In addition, McCaine Electric has extensive Design Build experience and is the leading electrical firm in Manitoba doing design builds work today. This work is in addition to the normal electrical work completed on a day-to-day basis as a leading electrical contractor in the Manitoba market.
Among a number of other men from Ireland who enlisted in the Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps were:
No 393 Private Dennis B McFeely with next-of-kin Daniel McFeely at Cumber-Claudy, Londonderry close to Donemana.