Private Robert Hamilton is remembered in two plaques in County Monaghan. The first, as mentioned earlier, is in St Dympna’s Church of Ireland church in Ballinode. The stone mason for the memorial was Lendrum of Clones, whose name appears in the bottom left. He seems to have made several other such memorials in the area.
It is also interesting that Private Hamilton is listed as one of the local Orange Order members from Monaghan who gave their lives in the Great War. There is a plaque in a former hall on which his name appears along with six of his contemporaries who were killed. Two of them were also in the 9th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers. They are Private Fredrick J. Welsh (17933), died March 1918) and L/Cpl Andrew Moorhead (16121) who was apparently killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
The names of nine soldiers who survived are included, making a total of fifteen, two names having been added below the original stone. A picture of this memorial also appears in Kevin Cullen’s County Monaghan Book of Honour 1914-18. In the church in Ballinode there are two other memorials to soldiers who served in Canadian regiments and who died in 1916 and 1917.
The first, very similar to the one above and also crafted by Lendrum of Clones, is to the memory of Vivian Hartley Church Abbott of British Colombia, of the 29th Canadian Infantry. He was killed at the Battle of Lens, August 22nd 1917. His father was the Archdeacon of Clogher and was the Rector in Ballinode for many years. A separate plaque commemorates his service to the parish.
The second memorial is a bronze plaque dedicated to Francis Wright Hazlett, who also served in the Canadian Infantry. His father Mathew Hazlett was from Killygavna and he joined up in Vancouver. He was killed in action, also in France, on June 12th 1916.
Searching through extracts from the Northern Standard in the library in Monaghan I picked up one of the death notices books for the period and quite by chance the first page I came to contained a report about the unveiling of this plaque. In the newspaper files we also found the obituary of Private Hamilton and two in memoriam notices which had been placed by his mother Mary on the first and the fifth anniversaries of his death.
Lendrum of Clones were the stonemasons….I am trying to trace this business to establish the details of commission for a headstone in Carrigallen Church of Ireland, Leitrim. Any clues as to what happened the business or any present-day contact would be appreciated.