2493 RIFLEMAN MALCOLM McFADDEN
12th Bn Royal Irish Rifles
No Known Grave. Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial
Malcolm McFadden enlisted at Ballymoney on the outbreak of hostilities and did most of his training at Clandeboye. He was allowed home on leave on a number of occasions while he was at Clandeboye but once he went to Seaford it was a different matter and leave wasn’t so easy to come by. There they had to settle and get on with their training. When this was finished they were taken to France and the area around Mesnil and Martinsart. The French had been taking a batter- ing at Verdun and the French Commanders were clamouring for the British to do something to take the pressure off and to force the Germans to send troops to another area. It was agreed that the British would engage the Germans further north to draw troops away from Verdun. The area north of the River Somme was chosen and so plans were drawn up for what was to become known as the Battle of the Somme. By June 1916 plans were almost complete and the date of 28th of June set for the battle, but bad weather at the end of June forced a change of plan and the battle was postponed for three days. On the morning of the 1st of July the troops went over the top for the first time and into a maelstrom of rifle and machine-gun fire. Highly trained machine-gunners at St.Pierre-Divion could see them clearly and they were just mowed down. A heavy load of equipment didn’t help matters, a load that many of them would never need. Malcolm was killed in this advance across No Man’s Land and was never seen again. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.