Diamond War Memorial Project

Private Joseph McCafferty

6th Battalion Royal Irish Regiment (Irish Brigade). Regimental Number 2494
Born: ---- Died: 1916-05-02 Aged: 20 Enlisted: Derry.

Interred in Dud Corner Cemetery, Loos, Pas de Calais, France. Name commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Son of Mr Robert (born 1866/67, died June 14, 1924, and was buried in Derry City Cemetery) and Mrs Mary Ann McCafferty (born 1868/69), Harvey Street / 28, Waterloo Street, Derry. Brother of Kathleen (born 1899/1900), who married Edward Columbia (Collie), third son of Mr and Mrs William Brady, clothier, 5a, Waterloo Street, Derry, on September 25, 1923, at St Eugene's Cathedral. Also brother of John James (born 1887/88); Robert (born 1889/90); Mary (born 1891/92); Ellen (born 1893/94); and Margaret (born 1899/1900).

Private Joseph McCafferty, whose father was a tailor by trade and a member of the Irish National Foresters (Aileach Branch), was well known in local football circles. At the time of his death he had a brother serving with the colours. Shortly after his death, a friend, Private D. Watson, of Waterloo Street, wrote to Joseph McCafferty's parents saying:- 'I am very sorry to say Joe has died of wounds. He and I and two others were on duty together in a sap when a rifle grenade came into the trench on top of us. Joe and the other two chaps were hit, and I escaped with a few scratches. I lifted Joe and took him down to the firing line, and went for stretcher-bearers to get him bandaged up. He was quite sensible, and was speaking all the time. His last words were ?God bless you all, boys.? One thing I can say, he was as brave as a lion. He stood his wounds very well, and hardly complained at all. The other two chaps also died; one of them belongs to Rosemount, and the other to the South of Ireland. I was the only one of the four to escape. It will be a severe blow to you, but Joe died a happy death. He was at Holy Communion along with me on Easter Sunday morning. Since we came out here Joe and I have attended our duties regularly. All the boys here are very sorry about him, as he was always merry and bright. We would all like to see our parents and the Green Isle before dying, but poor Joe didn't get that chance. He was buried here in a village, and a cross put over his grave.'

On the second anniversary of the death of Joseph McCafferty, members of his family had the following lines placed in a Derry newspaper:

'Though far away your grave to see,

Yet not too far to think of thee.

Sacred heart of Jesus, have mercy on him.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, intercede for him.

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for him.'