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23 March 2015
1096 Gunner Thomas Irvine of Deerness

Today is the centenary of the death of the first Orcadian Territorial to die in the Great War. Thomas Irvine, of Sandside, Deerness, died on 23rd March 1915 of flu and pneumonia. He was serving as a Territorial gunner in No 6 Company of the Orkney Royal Garrison Artillery. Thomas was then still a fortnight short of his seventeenth birthday and had been under age by 5 months when he joined up in November 1914. Thomas died in his lodgings in Kirkwall, at 23 Main Street - only yards away from the location then of the Balfour Hospital (now the West End Hotel), but he was not admitted there. A Word document with Thomas Irvine's story has been added to the Deerness section of the website, or it can be dowloaded direct as a pdf using the link below.

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