Mid-Ulster Mail – Saturday 23 September 1916
Sergeant WT Mitchell, Coagh
As already briefly mentioned, Sergeant WT Mitchell, RIF, has been killed on 9 September. His parents have received the following letter –
Dear Mr Mitchell,
I deeply regret that I have to inform you of the death of your son, Sergeant WT Mitchell. He was killed today by a German sniper when on duty in the trenches. He was a gallant soldier and a good comrade, and was one of the best of my Sergeants. His death is a great loss to my company, and I will never get another man who will carry out his duties more cheerfully or more promptly. He was always very bright, and set such a fine example to his men under the most trying circumstances. He is mourned alike by the officers and men of his company, who all join in sending you our heartfelt sympathy in your sad bereavement.
JB Anderson, Lieut. OC, No 3 Company, RI Fusiliers.
His commanding officer, Lt-Col Ricardo, also writes –
This letter is to tell you very bad news. I deeply regret to inform you that your son, Sergeant WT Mitchell, of my Battalion, was caught by a German sniper on the 9th and was killed instantly. He appeared to suffer no pain, whatever. He was one of the best non-commissioned officers in my Battalion, and was most popular with all ranks, and with the men in his own platoon in particular. His loss is very keenly felt in the Battalion, in which he has served so long, and with such a good record. Please accept my sincere sympathy in the heavy blow you have sustained.
The late Sergeant William T Mitchell, who was only 22 years of age. Volunteered in August 1914 and was one of the first from Coagh to answer the call and join the Ulster Division. While in Randalstown Camp he was promoted to the rank of corporal, and in France, in June last, he was further promoted to the rank of sergeant. He was a very popular fellow, and a wide circle of friends in Coagh and district have sadly learned of his early death. Prior to enlistment he was a popular member of the Coagh section of the UVF, also a member of Drumconvis LOL No 794. Great sympathy is felt for his grief-stricken parents, who have also two more boys in the war-swept zone at present.
At a meeting of Drumconvis LOL No 794, held in Coagh Orange Hall, Br Blackstock in the chair, a vote of condolence was passed to the relatives of deceased, who had made the supreme sacrifice for King and country. The motion was passed in silence, all members standing.