24 March 1917:  2nd Lieut. Richard Patrick Hemphill

Born Birr, King’s Country. 17 March 1894

To parents Rev, Samuel and Flora (née Delap). The family lived at Townparks, Birr Urban, King’s County, Ireland. 

Cumberland Square (now Emmet Square) c.1880-1900. The statue was removed from the pillar in 1915

Educated at Chesterfeild School and St Columba’s College, Rathfarnham, Dublin and Campbell College, Belfast.

Trinity College, Dublin

‘Pat’ was a member of the OTC and a medical student a Trinity College, Dublin. He was an active member of the Student Volunteer Missionary Union and in 1914 volunteered for missionary work.  He was gazetted 2nd Lieut 6th Bn The Leinster Reg 10 December 1914.

A British soldier catches up with the latest war stories from 'Balkans News', the official organ of the British Salonika Force. It was published from November 1915 until May 1919.

Richard served in France from 19 May 1915 (six months) and in Salonika from November 1915 (for over a year) where he was Machine Gun Officer and for a short time in charge of the company.

Air views of Palestine. Flight from Gaza to Cairo via Ismalieh. Heliopolis. A general view showing the aerodrome of the Imperial Airways, Ltd

Having been accepted to train as a pilot, he became attached to the RFC in Egypt in February 1917 and  was accidentally killed at Heliopolis Cairo, 24 March when he fell from his plane. He was buried in Old Cairo Cemetery.

By the end of 1916 one his his four sisters, Betty and his two brothers Robert and Alexander were serving ‘King and Country’. 

The Hemphills serving The Leinester Reporter 23 December 1916.

Betty Hemphill was a VAD at the General Hospital, Boulogne. 

Captain. (Temp Lt-Colonel) Robert Hemphill was commanding 107th Field Ambulance, France and had been involved in the Retreat from Mons and brother 2nd Lieut. 

Alex W Hemphill RFA, was recovering in hospital having sustained injuries on the Somme that October. He returned to the front and survived the war staying with the army and rising to the rank of Major. 

6th (Service) Bn The Prince of Wale’s Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians) attached to the RFC.

Died 24 March 1917

Sources: Du Ruvigny’s, Irish Records Index, Dublin Daily Express 28 March 1917, The Leinester Reporter 23 December 1916.