Doggart, James Neil (James)
No. 8496, 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 30)
No known grave
Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 4 D and 5 B)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s)
James Neil Doggart was born on 11 July 1885 in Wallace’s Street, Newtownards and he was the second son of Hugh Doggart (born 13 December 1857) and Agnes Doggart (nee McCullough) who were married on 23 March 1882 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s). Hugh Doggart from East Street, Newtownards was a son of Hugh Doggart, a weighmaster. Agnes McCullough (aged 23) was from Movilla Street, Newtownards.
The Doggart family lived in Newtownards, in Francis Street; in Wallace’s Street; at 46 East Street; in Movilla Street and in Ella’s Villas, Bangor Road.
Hugh Doggart was a house painter and decorator and he and Agnes had at least nine children:
Hugh (born 20 December 1882 in Frances Street, Newtownards)
James Neil (born 11 July 1885 in Wallace’s Street, Newtownards)
Thomas Maddock (born 8 September 1887 in East Street, Newtownards)
Adam (born 7 December 1889 in East Street, Newtownards)
Jemima (born 31 March 1892; died of phthisis 27 February 1902)
William (born 5 October 1893 in Movilla Street, Newtownards)
Mary Boyd McCullough (born 13 February 1896 in Movilla Street, Newtownards; died of phthisis 30 December 1901)
Alexander (born 6 June 1898 in Ella’s Villas, Bangor Road, Newtownards)
Agnes Beatrice (born 14 August 1901 in East Street, Newtownards; died of debility 11 April 1902)
The children were baptised in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Mark’s).
After their mother, Agnes, died of phthisis on 20 June 1904 (aged 45), their father, Hugh, married Eleanor (Ellen) Jane McChesney on 25 April 1908 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s). Eleanor Jane McChesney from Newtownards was a daughter of John McChesney, a labourer.
Ellen Doggart (nee McChesney) died of a bowel obstruction on 4 April 1914 (aged 44) and Hugh Doggart Senior died of bronchitis on 22 December 1915 (aged 56).
All six of Hugh Doggart’s sons were on active service during the Great War and three of them – James, Thomas and Alexander – were killed in action.
Bugler Adam Doggart served with the Royal Irish Rifles and was invalided out of service because of injuries; after that he worked as a motorman on Belfast City Tramways.
Rifleman Alexander Doggart served with the Royal Irish Rifles and he was killed in action on 18 June 1917.
Seaman-Gunner Hugh Doggart served on a Minesweeper.
Corporal James Neil Doggart served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and was killed in action on 1 July 1916.
Rifleman Thomas Maddock Doggart served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and was killed in action on 1 July 1916.
Private William Doggart served with the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
James and Thomas Doggart both died on the same day, Alexander less than a year later.
According to newspaper reports James Neil Doggart joined the Connaught Rangers around 1909 and was subsequently transferred to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. After the outbreak of the Great War he was recalled from India and, on 17 March 1915, went to the Dardanelles where he was wounded on 14 May 1915. He recovered from his wounds and, like his brother Thomas, Corporal James Neil Doggart (No. 8496) was killed in action on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. They have no known graves and are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Corporal James Neil Doggart is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial and on the Memorial Plaque in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).