Joseph Herbert Withers was 11 years old when he died on 22nd October 1941. He passed away in the Armagh County Infirmary.
A tragic accident was the cause of the schoolboy’s death. Joseph Withers from Corkley, Tassagh, Co. Armagh was on a farm helping an elderly man Nathaniel Weir carry corn across the fields. William Russell, a local farmer, observed the scene on Aughnagurgan Mountain near Keady, Co. Armagh.
An explosion on the farm
Russell heard an explosion and saw a plume of smoke rise into the Co. Armagh sky. Archibald Withers, the boy’s father was nearby working in another field. He also heard the explosion as workers brought in the harvest.
Joseph Withers remained conscious after the explosion. He told witnesses that he found a bomb on the hill and it exploded as he threw it down the hillside.
Remembering Joseph Herbert Withers
An inquest followed the incident. The Ulster Gazette and Armagh Standard newspapers both carried the story on 31st October 1941. Withers’ name features in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s list of civilian casualties.