No. 4/7253, 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Friday 3 August 1917 (aged 20)
No known grave
Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium (Panel 40)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s)
Brother of Rifleman Robert John Corry (No. 9877)
Thomas Corry and his brother Robert John died in service during the First World War. Their brothers, David and Henry Corry, died in service during the Second World War. Thus, overall, four Corry brothers died in service in two world wars.
Thomas Corry was born on 1 January 1897 in East Street, Newtownards and he was a son of David and Margaret (Maggie) Corry (nee Irvine) who were married on 14 October 1893 in Regent Street Methodist Church, Newtownards. David Corry, a weaver from East Street, Newtownards, was a son of Robert Corry, a linen weaver. Margaret (Maggie) Irvine from Upper Movilla Street, Newtownards was a daughter of Samuel Irvine, a linen weaver.
The Corry family lived at 46 East Street and later at 6 James Street, Newtownards.
David Corry was a linen weaver and he and Maggie had at least nine children:
Robert John (born 14 February 1894 in Upper Movilla Street, Newtownards)
Mary (born 3 September 1895 in East Street, Newtownards)
Thomas (born 1 January 1897 in East Street, Newtownards)
Henry (born 29 January 1899 in East Street, Newtownards)
Annie (born 12 May 1901 in East Street, Newtownards; died of tubercular meningitis 24 May 1908)
William Morris (born 25 June 1902 in East Street, Newtownards)
David (born 17 June 1906 in East Street, Newtownards)
James Irvine (born 8 March 1908 in East Street, Newtownards)
Wyndham Wilson (born 22 February 1914 in East Street, Newtownards)
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Thomas Corry worked in a factory. In August 1914 he enlisted in Newtownards and he served with the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division. He went to the Front on 5 July 1915 and was wounded in September that year. In July 1916 he returned to the Front and was wounded in October 1916. In July 1917 he went to the Front for the third time and less than a month later he was killed in action while holding the line. He was 20 when he died. Lieutenant Kennedy, the officer who commanded Thomas Corry’s company, wrote to Thomas’s mother to express his sympathy and in his letter he outlined the circumstances of Thomas’s death. Thomas was on his way up to the trenches at night when an enemy shell landed in the middle of his platoon. Lieutenant Kennedy gave an assurance that Rifleman Thomas Corry’s death had been instantaneous.
Rifleman Thomas Corry had made his will on 3 July 1917 and his property and effects were received by his mother. His father, mother, sister and brothers placed a For King and Country notice in the Newtownards Chronicle, as did his sister-in-law, aunt, grandmother and cousin Minnie. The former insertion contained the verses:
Just as manhood days were dawning
On the lad we loved so well,
He was taken from amongst us,
To his heavenly home to dwell.
But the hardest part is yet to come,
When the heroes do return;
And we miss amongst the cheering crowd
The faces of our dear sons.
One by one the links are slipping,
One by one they went away;
Now the circle has been broken,
Will it be complete some day?
He fought for home and those he loved,
And for his country’s rights;
Until we meet in Heaven above,
Our darling son, good-night.
His father, mother, sister and brothers placed an Our Heroes – in Memoriam notice in the 3 August 1918 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:
When alone in my sorrows, and bitter tears flow,
There stealeth the dreams of the sweet long ago;
But unknown to the world, they still stand by my side
And whisper these words: ‘Dear Mother, death cannot divide.’
Thomas Corry’s brother Henry (No. 18/44, ‘D’ Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles) was captured and held as a Prisoner-of-War in Germany from 29 March 1918.
Rifleman Thomas Corry (No. 4/7253) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium; on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).