Lieutenant Ernest Henry Hewitt - died 15 or 16/6/1915

4th Kings Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)

Ernest was born on 5th November 1885, the second son of Mr and Mrs James H Hewitt and Jeannie D Hewitt of "Altamont", 97 Mornington Park, Bangor, County Down. In addition to Inst, he was also educated at Bangor Grammar School, St Judes' School, Belfast and Queen's University, Belfast, where he was a member of the Officer Training Corps. He was also vice-captain of the North of Ireland Rugby Football Club and was a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force. His father James was a well known local figure, being the local manager in the Workshops for the Blind.

He offered his services to the War Office the day after the war was declared, being gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in August 1914, Lieutenant on 1st December 1914, and proceeding to France in April 1915.

He was killed, aged 29, on either the 15th or 16th June 1915, when taking part in the attack on the enemy near Festubert. He was described as "being seen to fall on his left side, apparently mortally wounded, while heroically leading his men between the second and third German trenches, and not heard of since. He is officially reported missing." He was later mentioned in dispatches by Field Marshall Sir John French for "gallant and distinguished service in the field."

Ernest's commanding officer later wrote:

"Lt Hewitt, since he joined us, has become the most popular officer in the battalion. He was a splendid soldier."

Ernest is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial (panel 5), Pas de Calais, France. He is also commemorated on the Bangor War Memorial, and, together with his brothers Holt and William, is commemorated on a brass memorial tablet in St Comgall's Church, Bangor (see below).

Lieutenant Holt Montgomery Hewitt - died 1/7/1916

109th Machine Gun Corps

Holt was born on 11th June 1887, the third of four sons of Mr and Mrs James H Hewitt and Jeannie D Hewitt of "Altamont", 97 Mornington Park, Bangor, County Down. After attending Inst, he served an apprenticeship as an accountant and worked as a manager in a coal merchant, and played rugby half-back for Bangor and the North of Ireland Rugby Football Clubs. He was also a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force, serving 2 years with the North Down Battalion in Bangor. His father James was a well known local figure, being the local manager in the Workshops for the Blind.

After enlisting in Bangor on 14th September 1914 with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, and being commissioned on 30th September 1914, he sailed to France on 4th October 1915. He subsequently transferred to the 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, alongside his brother, William, and then to the 109th Machine Gun Company on 24th January 1916.

He was killed aged 29 on 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, as part of the Ulster Division attack at Thiepval Woods. His brother William also died on this day. The war diary for the 109th Machine Gun Company reports that "Teams 1, 2, 3 and 16 under their officers Lt H Hewitt and 2nd Lt N Edinborough were completely wiped out in No Man's Land." At the time they were heading for a position known as Lisnaskea Trench.

The Adjutant of the 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, E W Crawford, wrote "Poor Holt- the most lovable and cheerful of souls! His Sergeant says he was killed outright. He was one of my closest friends and although he had gone to the Machine Gun Corps, we of the 9th Innikillings considered him one ours."

Holt is buried in Mill Road Cemetery (ref XIX D 9), Somme, France. He is also commemorated on the Bangor War Memorial, and, together with his brothers Ernest and William, is commemorated on a brass memorial tablet in St Comgall's Church, Bangor (see below).


Second Lieutenant William Arthur Hewitt - died 1/7/1916

9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

William was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs James H Hewitt and Jeannie D Hewitt of "Altamont", 97 Mornington Park, Bangor, County Down. Before the war, he, along with his brothers, were members of the Ulster Volunteer Force and played Rugby for the North of Ireland Club. His father James was a well known local figure, being the local manager in the Workshops for the Blind.

He was killed aged 23 on 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, as part of the Ulster Division attack at Thiepval Woods. Sgt Galvraith was reported as saying:
 
"I know a young fellow in No 3 Company called Pte Cosnett and he saw this officer killed. He said he saw Mr Hewitt in the early morning of the second coming back and crawling accompanied by another officer and then he saw a shell burst close beside them which killed them both. This was close to the wire in the Sunken Road near our first line. He was evidently making for the dressing station. He thinks he was wounded."

Lt Col Ricardo also commented, in a letter to William's parents -

"Your little lad Willie led his platoon over the parapet, and the last I saw of him was his happy smile as I wished him luck. They got across to the German trenches in front of which they came under an appalling machine-gun fire. Your lad was hit and Serjeant Lally, who is now in hospital wounded, as with him when he passed over"

The Adjutant of the 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, E W Crawford, wrote :

"Willie led his platoon fearlessly over the top. One of his mean told me that he was wounded but still carried on, but had to stop - from loss of blood. He was a grand boy, one of the finest characters I have seen. He acted as asistant adjutant to me, and no more conscientious and better boy ever lived."

His brother Holt also died on the same day.

William is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial (pier and face 4D and 5B), Somme, France. He is also commemorated on the Bangor War Memorial, and, together with his brothers Ernest and Holt, is commemorated on a brass memorial tablet in St Comgall's Church, Bangor. The only surviving Holt son was the Reverend J M Hewitt, vicar of St Marks, Haydock, Lancashire.

Lieutenant Arthur Carson Hollywood - died 1/7/1916

9th Royal Irish Fusiliers

Arthur was born on 29th December 1891 in Ballymacarrett, Belfast, the son of James and Elizabeth Hollywood, of "Bayswater", Princetown Road, Bangor and later of Red Gorton, Helen's Bay, County Down. James was a property broker and insurance agent.

As well as Inst, he was and old scholar of Friend's School, Lisburn, from September 1903 to July 1906. He joined the Royal University of Ireland in September 1909, and served as the company commander of F Company of the Willowfield Battalion of the Ulster Volunteer Force in 1913 and 1914. He was working in his father's business on the Albertbridge Road, Belfast, as a rent agent, and living in Helen's Bay, County Down, when he joined the 108th Field Ambulance, part of the 36th (Ulster) Division, on 12 September 1914, as a Staff Sergeant.

Arthur was commissioned into the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers on 19 April 1915, and joined the 9th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers in January 1916, being posted to A Company,. He was subsequently appointed Lieutenant on 29 February 1916.

He was killed on 1st July 1916, at the age of 24, during the Ulster Division attack on the west bank of the River Ancre. Sgt Whitsell stated:

"The first wave of men left the British trenches followed by the second wave to which Lt Hollywood belonged. I followed them with the 3rd wave of men. I saw Lt Hollywood jump into the German trench. I was then wounded and saw no more. Before this attack, Lt Hollywood showed me the rips in his steel helmet where he had been hit, but seemed to be all right then."

Private Stewart and Private Coppleton both stated that they saw Arthur being killed at Hamel, just after leaving the 1st line German trench about 13.00. Private Cobain wrote that he saw Arthur being "hit by a machine gun bullet during the advance".
 
It was reported that Private Nelson, who was wounded in the attack, lay beside his body for a night.

Sgt Slater reported that he saw the body being brought in, and that it was buried in the Hamel village graveyard, but Arthur now has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial (pier and face 15 A), Somme, France. He is also commemorated on the Bangor War Memorial.

The telegram announcing his death arrived one day apart from that announcing the death of his brother.


Second Lieutenant James Hollywood - died 1st July 1916

18th Royal Irish Rifles, attached 12th Battalion

James was born on 16th April 1893, the son of James and Elizabeth Hollywood, of "Bayswater", Pricetown Road, Bangor and later of Red Gorton, Helen's Bay, County Down. James Hollywood Senior was a property broker and insurance agent.

As well as Inst, he was a scholar of Friend's School, Lisburn from September 1904 to July 1906. He spent one year in the Young Citizen Volunteers, and six months in the Ulster Volunteer Force. He left employment with Ross Brothers Linen Merchants in Linenhall Street to join the 18th Royal Irish Rifles on 14th September 1914 as a Corporal, being appointed Company Quartermaster Sergeant on 14th October 1914 and subsequently being gazetted 2nd Lieutenant with the 12th Battalion on 5th May 1915.

He was killed at the age of 23 on 1st July 1916, the same day as his brother Arthur above, as part of the Ulster Division attack at Thiepval Woods. His body was found later in the year by men of the 2nd Hants Regiment but was subsequently lost. The telegram announcing his death arrived one day apart from that announcing the death of his brother.

James is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial (pier and face 15 A and 15B), Somme, France and is also commemorated on the Bangor War Memorial.