Thomas Wright Lannigan

Gunner Thomas Wright Lannigan was born in Belfast, Co. Antrim and died in Middlesex, United Kingdom on 16th November 1940. He fought at Dunkirk that summer.


Thomas Wright Lannigan


Thomas Lannigan Wright was one of five brothers who served in the forces during World War Two. The young gunner from the Shankill area of Belfast, Co. Antrim saw action on the beaches of Dunkirk.

Gunner Thomas Wright Lannigan (1475147) served in 21st Battery, 8th (Belfast) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery during World War Two. Born on 22nd September 1906, he was the son of Robert John Lannigan and Jane Stranaghan Lannigan (née McCullough) of Belfast, Co. Antrim.

Robert and Jane had five children, Andrew Lannigan born in 1904, Isabella Lannigan born in 1908, Robert Lannigan born in 1911, Daniel Lannigan born in 1912, Hugh Lannigan born in 1915, and Thomas. Thomas also had at least one half-brother, Wallace Jordan Ferguson born on 12th June 1923.

On 2nd April 1911, the Irish Census records Thomas and his family living at 24 Disraeli Street, Shankill, Belfast, Co. Antrim in the house of Hugh McKay and Isabella McKay. During the Second World War, three of Thomas’ brothers served in the British Army and one brother served in the Royal Air Force.

On 16th October 1933, Thomas married Isabella Todd in St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, Co. Antrim. Isabella died two years later on 26th June 1935. He later married 22 year old Alma Reynolds in St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, Co. Antrim on 16th December 1935.

In July 1939, Lannigan joined the territorial army in Belfast, Co. Antrim. After training, he joined 8th (Belfast) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. In 1940, 21st Battery fought in the rearguard during the retreat from Dunkirk. The Belfast-born Gunner died as a result of enemy action in Middlesex, England on 16th November 1940 aged 34 years old.

A funeral took place on 20th November 1940 in a burial plot belonging to Mary Anna Todd Fee. At his time of death, Thomas’ given address was 23 Disraeli Street, Belfast, Co. Antrim. He spent leave time there with his mother Jane Ferguson six weeks before he died.

Gunner Thomas Wright Lannigan’s grave is in Glenalina Extension, Section Q1, Grave 162 of Belfast City Cemetery, Belfast, Co. Antrim. His headstone bears the inscription:

Gone where all is silence.