Private Reuben Lockyer

Private Reuben Lockyer (aged 20) of the 1st Battalion, King’s (Liverpool) Regiment (Mohanagh near Skibbereen)

Date of incident: 31 Dec. 1920

Sources: CCE, 1, 8 Jan. 1921; FJ, 2 Jan. 1921; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/list-1921.html (accessed 1 Oct. 2015). 


Note: While stationed in Skibbereen with other members of A Company, 1st Battalion, King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, Private Lockyer accidentally killed himself during the progress of a raid on the house of a farmer named Driscoll at Mohona on the night of 31 December 1920. A bullet from his rifle entered his neck and made its exit through his military cap. See CCE, 1 Jan. 1921.

His remains were removed from the Methodist church in Skibbereen on 5 January 1921 following a military inquest and were conveyed by rail to Cork city en route to Bootle, Liverpool, for interment. ‘The hearse bearing the coffin was drawn to the railway station [at Skibbereen] by a party of the deceased’s comrades, preceded by a party of military carrying arms reversed and followed by another party of soldiers and members of the local R.I.C. Rev. Mr. Clarke, Methodist minister, held a short service in the church prior to the removal of the remains, which had lain in the sacred edifice overnight, and also headed the solemn funeral procession, which was joined in by the Rev. F[lorence] McCarthy, Adm., Rev. E. Sikes, Rector, and a large concourse of townspeople representing all classes and creeds, whose unstinted sympathy went out to the military on the tragic death of one of their most popular comrades. As the train carrying the remains of Pte. Lockyer steamed out of the station, a bugler sounded “The Last Post” in the presence of a huge crowd, which then quietly dispersed. It may be added that the Methodist church was draped, and that all the shops in the streets through which the procession passed were closed as a token of respect to the memory of the dead soldier.’ See CCE, 8 Jan. 1921. Whether there was this much public sympathy in Skibbereen for Lockyer and his comrades is questionable. Private Lockyer was buried in Anfield Cemetery in Liverpool. 

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