The thoughts of the people of Fivemiletown and surrounding area on Remembrance Sunday will be very much on the men from the area who served their country with many of them giving their lives during the two world wars.

While their memories will have been highlighted in previous years, this year their names are inscribed on a new war memorial erected at the Royal British Legion Hall, on the Clogher Road.

The names and details of those who paid the supreme sacrifice are also detailed in a book, “Fivemiletown’s Fallen,” part of the Fivemiletown Community War Memorial Project chaired by Iain Lendrum.

Iain says the book will breathe life into every name as it tells their story.

He said he was immensely proud to be associated with the project, saying that the large amount of money raised for the war memorial, was a reflection of the community spirit within the locality and demonstrated the feelings for those who fought and died in two World Wars.

He said they came from all backgrounds, Protestant and Catholic, gentry and working class who were united in a common cause to defeat evil.

One of those recorded in the book is Private John McKnight, who died on May 16 1915 aged 26.

A son of Thomas and Margaret McKnight from Dernavogey, Fivemiletown, he served with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, joining before the First World War. His battalion was part of the original British Expeditionary Force and they landed at Le Havre, France on August 22 1914. He served in both Belgium and France but was killed in action during the Battle of Festubert. His brother, William, was also killed in action in 1918 serving with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

Private McKnight has no known grave but is remembered on Le Touret Memorial, France and also on the memorial to the fallen in Mullaghfad Parish Church and in Fivemiletown Methodist Church.

A few days later on May 24 1915, Private George Harpur, who came from Corcreevy, Fivemiletown, died in Netley Military Hospital, Hampshire.

An extract from the Impartial Reporter newspaper about the Trooper’s death was as follows; “His many friends at Fivemiletown, have learned with much regret, of the death of Trooper George Harpur of the North Irish Horse, a resident of Corcreevy, Fivemiletown at Netley Hospital, on May 23 from spinal meningitis.

“Deceased, who was only 19 years of age, went out to France at the beginning of the war, and was through the retreat from Mons and several other engagements before he took ill. He was formerly a member of Cavanaleck LOL 623 and Band and was a section leader in Cavanaleck Company UVF in which he took a great interest. The funeral took place with military honours, to the military cemetery at Netley, Southampton, on Friday. The coffin carrying the remains was draped with a Union Jack and drawn by a pair of black horses on a gun carriage. The military chaplain(Church of Ireland) officiated and the bugler sounded The Last Post over the grave. The chief mourners were deceased’s brother and sister, Wilie and Lily Harpur while a detachment of military also attended.”

Another of Fivemiletown’s fallen, Private James Hackett, who served with the 2nd Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment, is buried in Chungkai War Cemetery, Thailand.

His regiment was sent on overseas service during the Second World War, arriving in Singapore by ship on January 13 1942 in the middle of an air raid.

The Japanese had invaded the Malayan Peninsula and were heading towards Singapore, a major British naval and military base in the Far East. Over 100,000 British and Commonwealth personnel surrounded and became prisoners of war, suffering severe and brutal ill-treatment at the hands of their Japanese captors. Many thousands of them would die during the following years of enforced labour.

Private Hackett of B Company, died on February 1942 of dysentery, while working on the Thailand Burma Railway, as a Japanese Prisoner of War.