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Remembered Today - Pte James Nulty, 9th RDF


Stephen Nulty
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Remembering today my great uncle, Private James Nulty, 13130, “A” Company, 9th Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, who died on 9th September 1916 at Ginchy, aged 36.

James was married to Bridget Nulty and lived at 6, Hill Street, Prescot, Lancashire (now Merseyside). They had no children. He was the eldest son of the late Patrick Nulty and Catherine (nee Skelly). James was my grandad’s “big brother”, and had joined the Royal Dublin Fusiliers as his father, Patrick, was originally from Dublin. His name is recorded on the war memorial behind St Mary’s Church, Prescot. Ironically, this war memorial was unveiled in Prescot on the same day that James died by Lieut.-Col. Sir Henry Webb, Bart., M.P., for the Earl of Derby.

Following the capture of Guillemont on 3rd September 1916, the Battalion had moved on to Ginchy.

Extract from the War Diary

“9th September 1916

The battalion was in the support trench which it had dug. On the morning of 9th September the disposition of the units of the 48th Brigade for the assault on GINCHY which had been ordered were as follows.

In front trench with orders to take the first objective and consolidate it. 7th R. Irish Rifles, 1 section T.M. Battery, 1st R. Munster Fusiliers, 1 section T.M. Battery. In support trench with orders to take the second objective and consolidate. 9th R. Dublin Fusiliers, 1 section M.G Coy. 1 section 156 Coy, R.E., 8th R. Dublin Fusiliers, 1 section M.G. Coy, 1 section 156 Coy R.E..

At zero (4.45pm) the line advanced under the artillery barrage on the first objective, each battalion assaulting with 4 companies in the front line, on a frontage of one platoon, platoons at 40 yards distance.

First Phase. Right Battalion (1st R.M.F.). At the onset very heavy Officer casualties were suffered. The right company experienced considerable opposition owing to the inability of the 8th R.M.F. to advance. This company was therefore wheeled to the right and dug in. Owing to the shortage of officers the other companies lost direction and went on beyond their objective. Left Battalion (7th R.R.R.) closely followed by 7th R. Irish Fusiliers reached the first objective with slight resistance & with very few casualties.

Second Phase. Right Battalion (8th R.D.F.) advanced to the second objective at 5.25 p.m. and gained it without encountering very serious opposition. Left Battalion (9th R.D.F) advanced to the second objective at 5.25pm but suffered very heavy officer casualties in doing so. Captain W. J. MURPHY (commanding) being killed as the battalion reached GINCHY. The battalion owing to the loss of officers carried on beyond the second objective and had to be brought back and owing to the fact that 55 Division had not come up. The left flank had consequently to be brought back slightly. The line gained was then consolidated.

The battalion lost 52 officers and men in the attack on Ginchy. The second objective, in which James died, was a German support trench.

James Nulty lies in Villers-Brettoneaux Military Cemetery.

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