11 October 1916 : 2nd Lt William Robert McCann

Robert McCann was born June 1897, Antrim, Ireland

Location of Antrim in Ireland (cc OpenStreetMap)

William Robert McCann was the son of Mr and Mrs James McCann of ‘Fernagh', Whiteabbey, County Antrim.

At the 1901 Census, William only 4, was with his Parents James and Jane, siblings and a lodger  at 11 Lawterh Street, Duncairn War, Antrim. Ten years later he had another sister.

He went to the Western Front with the 1/7th Durham Light Infantry on 15 June 1916.

The 1/7th fought at the Somme as pioneers to the 50th Division.

Men of the 7th Pioneer Battalion Durham Light Infantry parading for the trenches; Reninghelst, near Ypres, 29th April 1916. © IWM Q 537

On 4th October the Division was relieved by the 23rd, but the Battalion stayed in the line for another 11 days working on repairing the roads and railways around Martinpuich. On the 10th shelling become particularly intense. It appears likely that William was wounded at this time and taken out of the line.

Bazentin-Le-Petit Communal Cemetery Extension CC BY SA 4.0 WernerVC

William is buried at Bazentin-le-Petit Communal Cemetery Extension. He was 19 years old.

Second Lieutenant William Robert McCann, 1/7th Durham Light Infantry

11 October 1916 died of his wounds

Research by David Tattersfield MA, WFA Development Trustee with additional notes from the 1/7th Durham Light Infantry War Diary


MacReady-McCann : Inst in the Great War

1/7th Durham Light Infantry. War Diary. Downloaded 11 October 2016.  

The National Archive of Ireland, Irish Civil Registrations Births, British Wolrd War I Army Medal Records.