Major Thomas Joyce Atkinson. B Coy. 9th Bn., Royal Irish Fusiliers. who died on Saturday 1 July 1916 Aged 38. Additional Information: Son of Wolsey Richard and Alice Atkinson. M.A., LL.B., T.C.D. A Solicitor of Eden Villas. Portadown. Cemetery: ANCRE BRITISH CEMETERY, BEAUMONT-HAMEL Somme, France Grave or Reference Panel Number: VIII. A. 5. Portadown News; August 1916: The Charge of the 9th RIF Grand but awful A Portadown man, a sergeant in the 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers., writing to his parents on 10th July 1916, regarding the first day on the Somme 1st July, says: I suppose by now through the medium of the Press you have read a description of the bombardment and the battle afterwards, also of how our Division faced the music; hence I need scarcely go into the details. Suffice it to say it was grand but awful while it lasted. As I mentioned before our casualties have been very heavy, but it is all in the game. I am sure you will be very sorry to hear that we lost some of our finest officers, viz, Major Atkinson, Captain Johnston and Lieutenant Montgomery, in fact we lost nearly all our officers, but I have just mentioned the names of these few Portadown men whom you will know. There is no doubt every battalion in the Division was hard hit, but we had the finest officers that ever went over the parapet, and I must say the boys all followed them until they were bowled over. The price was heavy, but it was worth it. How I managed to get out of it is more than I can tell, because a pal and I were almost buried five or six times by the earth thrown up by bursting shells. It ended up with the other chap having to leave me with a slight touch of shell shock. With me it was a case of sticking it to the bitter end, and I am very thankful to say that through the Almighty's goodness I am able to write this letter in my billet today. Our thanks to Richard Edgar for this photo and Additional Information