Savage, Joseph Cosgrove (No 12417)

Savage, Joseph Cosgrove (Joseph)


No. 12417, ‘B’ Company, 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Sunday 2 July 1916 (aged 42)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)

Holywood and District War Memorial

Family grave headstone in Holywood Cemetery

Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour

Uncle of Driver James Savage (No. T/26056)

Uncle of Rifleman William Savage (No. 13/18737)


Joseph Cosgrove Savage was born on 26 December 1873 in Stewart’s Place, Holywood and he was a son of James and Eliza Savage (nee Agnew) who lived in Stewart’s Place and High Street, Holywood.  James Savage worked as a general labourer and he and Eliza had at least seven children:

William Thomas (born 3 May 1866 in Holywood)

Susanna (born 22 January 1868 in Holywood)

John (born 3 December 1869 in Stewart’s Place, Holywood)

Robert Charles (born 28 February 1872 in Stewart’s Place, Holywood)

Joseph (born 26 December 1873 in Stewart’s Place, Holywood)

Anna (born 26 August 1876 in Stewart’s Place, Holywood)

Elizabeth (born 21 May 1878 in Stewart’s Place, Holywood)

Their mother, Eliza Savage, died of pneumonia on 16 October 1911 (aged 73).

Joseph Savage worked as a tailor and he and Annie Roberts were married on 24 May 1897 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church.

Joseph and Annie Savage (nee Roberts) lived in Holywood, in Downshire Road; in Strand Street and in Trevor Street, and then in Belfast, at 29 Martin Street, at 37 Harvey Street, in Epworth Street and at 34 Thistle Street.

Joseph and Annie Savage (nee Roberts) had at least eight children:

Sarah (born 26 September 1897 in Downshire Road, Holywood)

Elizabeth Agnew (born 6 March 1899 in Strand Street, Holywood)

Blanche Beatrice (born 13 May 1901 in Trevor Street, Holywood)

Joseph Cosgrove (born 8 August 1903 at 29 Martin Street, Belfast)

Annie Isabella (born 19 January 1905 at 37 Harvey Street, Belfast)

James Edward (born 13 January 1907 at 41 Epworth Street, Belfast)

Robert (born 1 January 1909 at 34 Thistle Street, Belfast)

Margaret Ida (born 31 March 1912 at 31 Epworth Street, Belfast)

Joseph Savage enlisted in Belfast, he served with the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and in the CWGC Debt of Honour it is recorded that he died on 2 July 1916.  In the heat of battle the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles did not make a casualty return on 1 July 1916 and many military historians agree that those 8th Battalion casualties listed on the 2 July return were killed in action on 1 July.  Rifleman Joseph Savage was 42 when he died and he has no known grave.

Rifleman Joseph Savage is commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, France; on Holywood and District War Memorial and in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 573).