Private Matthew Hagan of Aghavey, Coagh
Died 17 October 1918, most probably at Lebwah in the Lebanon
Private Matthew Hagan, Staffordshire Yeomanry, son of William and Matilda Hagan, Aghavey, Coagh, who has died from malaria while serving.
The sad intimation was conveyed to his sorrowing parents on Monday in a wire from the Record Office, York, saying he was dangerously ill, and even then high hopes were entertained for his recovery, but the sad news came on Tuesday saying he had died of malaria on 17 October.
Deceased was only 24 years of age. He joined the North Irish Horse in the early months of the war and, after training at Antrim, he went to France where he took part in some heavy engagements for 18 months.
He was invalided, suffering from pleurisy. After spending some time in Hilden Hospital, Belfast, and a visit to his parents, he returned to his unit and volunteered for foreign service.
In January last he was transferred to the Staffordshire Yeomanry.
Before he enlisted he was employed by his brother John in the fowl and egg business in Coagh and made a host of friends, not alone in Coagh but all the district for miles around, who now extend their sympathy to his grief-stricken parents, brothers and sisters.
Matthew Hagan is commemorated on Coagh War Memorial.
Matthew Hagan is named on a memorial to the men of the North Irish Horse in the City Hall, Belfast.
Excerpts from the War Diary of the Staffordshire Yeomanry:
25 May 1918
Moved to north of Jericho
24 June 1918
Moved to bridgehead at Auja. Shelled by long range gun.
16 July 1918
Moved to Solomon Pools, Bethlehem.
1 August 1918
At Wadi Mellalah, advancing up the Jordan Valley. There are many patrols, fire fights, much sniping.
11 August 1918
300115 Lance Corporal E. Timmins DCM accidentally killed in Cairo .
16 August 1918
Moved to junction of Wadi Auja and River Jordan.
26 August 1918
Moved to Talaat ed Dumm.
28 August 1918
Moved to junction of Wadi Surar.
30 August 1918
Moved to Mejdel. Strength 19 officers, 363 other ranks, 466 horses and mules. Abnormal rate of sickness, 7 officers and 166 other ranks being evacuated in the month. “Without doubt due to trying climatic conditions”.
15 September 1918
Concealed night march to Ramleh, via Yebnah.
19 September 1918
Moved to 5 miles north of Hadreh. Moved to forward position of XXI Corps attack at 0430, and then cleared enemy as far as Tul Keram. 4 Cavalry Division pushed through and marched for Mejdel – Kakon area. Concentrated at Jelmie. In this advance, the regiment took over 1000 prisoners.
26 September 1918
A move began, to Shuni, (27) Remte, (28) Mexereib, (29) Dilli, 29 miles, (30) Zerikiye, 23 miles. Since 15 September, the regiment had covered 233 miles in all, and captured 3069 prisoners.
2 October 1918
Move continued, to Darajah, (6) El Hame, (7) Bar Elias, (16) Lebwe. The diary notes many men dying in hospital, presumably of sicknesses, at this time. The regiment remained at Lebwe for several weeks.
Yeomanry in Palestine in World War 1
The Beqaa Valley, Lebanon
Death notice of Private Matthew Hagan
Death notice in Mid-Ulster Mail – 24 October 1918
Obituary in Mid-Ulster Mail – 31 October 1918
In Memoriam – Mid-Ulster Mail – 20 October 1923
Coagh War Memorial