© Alex Watson 2017 All rights reserved.




Noteworthy Figure in Public Life

By the sudden death of Colonel John Knox McClintock, C.B.E., D.L.,. at his residence, Seskinore Lodge Omagh on Saturday morning last, County Tyrone has lost one of its most illustrious and highly honoured sons, and the whole province of Ulster a member of a family for generations distinguished in the service of the Province, and the public life of the county. The whole community is grief-stricken at the irreparable loss, for there was no gentleman within the county more dearly or on whom the public placed more implicit confidence.

As a member of one of the most prominent county families, as a former Commandant of a battalion of the local regiment - Royal lnniskilling Fusiliers—as County Commandant of the Tyrone Royal Ulster Special Constabulary and as a generous and kind-hearted country gentleman, who moved continually amongst the people, the late Colonel McClintock upheld the highest traditions of the gentry of Co. Tyrone, and occupied a position of great distinction and influence

His death is mourned throughout the whole Province of Ulster,


Colonel McClintock passed away with startling suddenness. Last week he spent an exceedingly busy time, being in his office in Omagh daily at tending to business for the splendid force which he had the honour to command, and on Tuesday, 20th inst, he spent the greater part of the night inspecting patrols of ‘B’ Specials along the Northern border of the county, from Bready to Agheyarran.

He was actively engaged in connection with his duties as County Commandant up to Friday, but on that evening, on returning to his lovely residence, felt somewhat indisposed and retired to bed earlier than usual.

There was, however, nothing to indicate that his end was so near, and the news of his demise on Saturday morning created a profound, shock, .not only in Omagh and throughout County Tyrone, but throughout the whole of Ulster.

Colonel McClintock was found dead in bed having apparently passed away in his sleep. His faithful dog was asleep in the same room.

Thus was brought to a peaceful and happy end a life well spent in the service of King and country, and in the service of his fellowmen. Col. McClintock was the personal friend of everyone, from those in the most exalted stations in the country down to the army private who formerly served under him, or the ‘B’ Special whom it was his great pride to command since he left Army life.


As already stated, Colonel McClintock’s life was crowded with service and activity. Born on 8th February, 1864, he was over 72 years: He was the eldest son of the late Col. George Perry McClintock, of Seskinore, who commanded the 4th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, from 1881 to 1887, and was A.D.C. to the late Duke of Abercorn and Earl Spencer when these gentlemen filled the position of Viceroy of Ireland; the late Col. McClintock was educated at Cheltenham College and Oxford Military College and joined the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers on Leaving college, when in his teens. he was gazetted a second-lieutenant, but inheriting all the traditions of his family in matters of a military character rose rapidly in the rank of officers until in 1906 he was promoted Colonel and appointed to succeed the late Colonel Henry Irvine, D.L., in the command of the battalion. During the Great War—Colonel McClintock having passed the years for active service— he commanded the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in Londonderry, but retired from army life on disbandment some time after the conclusion of the Great War.


At this period the country was in a very unsettled state owing to Sinn. Fein ruffianism. Murders and outrages were being committed almost daily, and attempts were made to overthrow the Government in Ireland. It was decided to re-organise the Ulster Volunteer Force which had been allowed to fall into abeyance during the war years. Colonel. McClintock then being free from Army obligations, threw himself whole-heartedly into the scheme and was supported by many officers, N.C.O’s. and men who had fought ‘throughout the war. He was appointed Co. Commander and rallied around him the whole loyalist manhood of the country. When the British Government passed the Government of Ireland Act in 1920, under which the Northern Government was established, and Lord Craigavon was asked to become leader of that Government, he found that he had already at his command in Co. Tyrone a, well- armed and efficient, force, with Colonel McClintock at its head, prepared to defend the Government and deal with the rebels who had been waging a criminal campaign.


This force was afterwards converted into the various classes of the Special Constabulary forces, with Colonel McClintock as County Commandant, a position which he held with distinction until his death. In those stirring years the Special Constabulary Force came frequently into conflict with bodies of organised Sinn Feiners. Colonel McClintock personally led many attacks and on two notable occasions routed massed formations of rebels. The first of these was a battalion review of Sinn Feiners near Dromore, and the second was during the truce period, when a training camp to which many Roman Catholic young men had forcibly been carried off, was broken up and all the leaders arrested, near Omagh. Within a comparatively short time the Sinn Fein menace passed away in the county, peace and good order was restored, and the Northern Government functioned stedfastly, and has been functioning ever since.

During those years Colonel McClintock gained and has ever since retained the confidence and good will of every member of the force and on numerous occasions the Northern Government has acknowledged their indebtedness to Colonel McClintock and members of the force in this county.


His Grace the Governor has sent the following telegram to. Mrs Willis (Col McClintock’s sister), Seskinore, Omagh

“Profoundly grieved; our truest sympathy. We de deplore loss of our very best friend.”

“(Signed) ABERCORN.”


On Saturday last, when Viscount Craigavon was informed of Colonel McClintock’s death, he sent the following telegrams to Mrs John Willis, sister of the deceased:-

“Have learned with profound grief of the death of our dear friend, the Colonel, and tender deepest sympathy to his relatives and to the County Special Constabulary who have lost a distinguished commanding officer and a devoted friend.”

Sir Dawson-Bates telegraphed:-

“Much regret to learn of the death of your distinguished brother. His loss will be deeply felt, especially by his comrades in the Special Constabulary, to which he rendered such splendid service. Please accept heartfelt sympathy of my wife and myself in your loss.- Dawson Bate

When His Grace the Duke of Abercorn was appointed Governor of Northern Ireland, Col. McClintock was appointed honorary senior A.D.C. and frequently officiated at State and Government functions.


Following the Jubilee celebrations last year Colonel McClintock - had the honour of entertaining his Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester; at Seskinore Lodge, while on the journey from Belfast to Londonderry.

The visit of a member of the Royal Family to Seskinore was regarded as a notable tribute to the deceased gentleman, and an honour to the whole county.

Colonel McClintock was appointed a magistrate for Tyrone in 1889 with power to adjudicate at Fintona and Sixmilecross Petty Sessions, and in 1891 he was High Sheriff for the County. In 1892 on the recommendation of the late Earl of Belmore he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Tyrone and he has frequently been sworn on the Grand Jury panel of the county.


 For over a quarter of a century Colonel McClintock was a member of Tyrone County Council as representative of the Fintona division, and on two occasions he fought elections against the Nationalist Party whom he defeated. He was popular with all creeds and classes and had a record of public service which it would be difficult to equal. He rendered valuable service as a member of the Tyrone County Hospital Committee, the Tyrone and Fermanagh Mental Hospital Committee and the Tyrone Library Committee. Since June last he held the appointment of Vice-Chairman of the County Council, and in all his public positions rendered the rate-payers and public excellent service. He took an active interest, in Unionist affairs, and was a staunch supporter of the Mid and West Tyrone Unionist Association. He was a representative of that Association on the Ulster Unionist Council, the meetings of which be rarely missed, and was a member of the Standing Committee of that body. He rendered conspicuous service in a hundred different directions to the Unionist Party.

A loyal and devoted Churchman, he contributed most generously to the maintenance and all the claims of the beautiful little Church in his lovely estate at Seskinore, and which forms part of Clogherney Parish. He filled all the offices of honour which the parishioners could bestow up him and was naturally deeply interested in religious matters. Everything that savoured of narrow-mindedness or intolerance was foreign to his disposition and that of his family, and he was equally as popular and highly respected by the Presbyterian community as he was by those of his own denomination. He was a member of the Select Vestry of Seskinore Church, and of the Armagh Diocesan Council

A keen sportsman, Colonel McClintock succeeded his father as Master of the Seskinore Harriers in 1886, and has held the Mastership since. The Seskinore Harriers were founded by the McClintock family about a century ago, and the Colonel was a particularly enthusiastic gentleman on the hunting field. Owing to his death the Harriers did not meet as arranged on Wednesday last nor will there be any meeting next Saturday

The Ulster Gun Dog League’s retriever trials, which were to have been held Aughentaine Castle, Fivemiletown, on Wednesday, have been postponed until Saturday, on account of the death.


The members of Tyrone County Council were greatly shocked on learning of the death of Colonel McClintock, and Mr. Rowley Elliott M.P., Chairman of the Council, forwarded the following telegram to Mrs. Willis, Seskinore

“On behalf of the members of Tyrone County Council, I tender you. sincerest sympathy on the death of our ‘Vice-Chairman. He was truly the friend of all and the enemy of none.”


At the meeting of Omagh Guardians on Saturday, Mr. W. J. McClelland, J.P., said the district had lost, one of its best known public men in the person of Colonel McClintock. He was a representative on the Tyrone County Council for one of the divisions of the union, and they all were grieved to hear of his sudden death. The loss of Colonel McClintock to the district was very heavy. Nearly all the members of that board valued him as a good personal friend and an exceedingly kind gentleman. He moved a resolution of sympathy to the relatives.

The Chairman (Mr. Robert Black) associated himself with the resolution, and said Colonel McClintock came of a very well-known and most respected family. He was greatly admired by everyone who knew him, and contributed a great amount of valuable service to the public boards of the county.

The motion was passed in silence, all the members standing.





Attendance of Prime Minister and

Members of the Cabinet




The funeral of Colonel McClintock on Wednesday afternoon afforded a striking if sad demonstration of the intense sorrow felt by his demise by all classes in the community, and the attendance was exceeding large and representative of every department of public life in the Province.

A gentleman of the prominent association of Colonel McClintock with the Army and police forces of the country for a period considerably more than half a century, it was natural that these forces should take a prominent place in his funeral procession.

Omagh Military Depot—The Royal Inniskilling -Fusiliers and The Royal Irish Fusiliers— with which the late Colonel McClintock had been so closely associated in early life furnished the firing party of two N.C.Os. and twelve men, the Pipe Band under Pipe-Major McCann, which play funeral music as the sad procession moved slowly along from the Seskinore Lodge to the churchyard, and the buglers. Major E. J. Moore, Officer Commanding, represented General Sir Travers Clarke, Colonel of the Inniskilling Regiment, as the following Officers were also present Captain G. W. McCarthy, Captain K. G.F Chavasse, Captain J. G. Connors, Captain R. E. F. Brabazon, M.C.; Lieut. H.S.P. Barstow, and Lieut. F. M. Cunningham. Captain R.J. Porter, an old Inniskillinger who represented the British Legion, and Major T. Maguire, M.C., Recruiting Officer for the North-West Area, were also in attendance. Sergeants’ Mess representatives of Omagh Depot were :—R.S.M. J.V. Meagher, D.C.M.; RQ.M.S. T. Vennard D.C.M.; 0/R Q.M.S. A. E. Robinson, and C.Q.M.S. H. Norton, M.B.E. All ranks from the Depot were fully represented.

Colonel Sargent -and Major Davies, fro Police Headquarters, Belfast, represented the Inspector-General.


There was a particularly large attendance of all ranks and classes of the police force. Contingents of R.U.C. came from every district area in the county, and the force was under the command of County Inspector R. R. Spears, M.B.E.

The following district-inspectors from Co. Tyrone were present—Major Parkinson Cumine, Strabane; Captain J.R. Moore, Omagh; Mr. Duffy, Dungannon; Mr. Coulson and Mr. A. A. Crawford, Clogher.

The R.U.C of County Fermanagh we represented by County Inspector Jennings and District-Inspector McNeill, Enniskillen. The District Commandants of the Special Constabulary for County Tyrone acted as pall bearers :—Major W. Stewart M.C., J.P (South Tyrone); Capt. W.H. Fyffe, M.B.E. (Omagh); Captain. J.C. Leeper (Cookstown); Mr. R. H. Todd. M.B.E., J.P. (North Tyrone); Mr. W.J. Hall, Dungannon; and Mr. A. J. Macfarlane, Newtownstewart.

By kind permission of his Grace the Governor, members of the Governor’s Guard acted as bearers.

There was an exceedingly large attendance of Special Constabulary, a fact which is not surprising when it is recognised how very close and intimate were Colonel McClintock’s association with this splendid force. Every Sub-District Commandant in the county numbering almost 80, was in attendance, and a splendid body of men they were. There was also a good turnout of the rank and file and the whole parade of Special Constabulary was under the command of Colonel R. C, Smythe, C.M.G., D.S.O. The County Armagh Special, Constabulary were represented by Captain Ensor County Commandant, while Derry City Special Constabulary were represented by the City Commandant, Mr. S.W. Kennedy. Deputy Commandant Mr. A. Phillips, M.B E. Adjutant, Capt. R. M Boyle, M.C.; S.D.O. Patterson. and a detachment of fifteen men. Colonel Charley represented the Special Constabulary Force of Belfast, and Colonel Macrory, the Special Constabulary Force of County Derry.

His Grace the. Governor of Northern Ireland a personal friend of Colonel McClintock was unable to be present but was represented by Capt. Martelli, M.V.O., M.C., A.D.C., who walked in the procession directly behind the chief mourners and estate employees.


Four members of the Cabinet of Northern Ireland was present a tribute to the feeling of sorrow and sense of loss the Government has sustained in the passing of one who did more than his share in laying deep foundations of good government in the North. The Prime Minister was one of the earliest mourners on the Government side to arrive. He passed into Seskinore Lodge and expressed his deep sympathy with all the relatives, many of whom he had previously met at Seskinore as a guest of the deceased. Next came Sir. Basil Brooke, Minister of Agriculture and Sir. Dawson Bates, Minister of Home Affairs also took the opportunity of tendering their sympathy, while the Right Hon. Viscount Charlemont, Minister of Education, drove direct to the church, Senator. J. Porter-Porter and Senator Sir Emerson Herdman, represented the Senate of Northern Ireland. Mr. R. Rowley Elliott, M.P., chairman of Tyrone County Council, was unable to be present but sent a message of sympathy and the County Council was represented by the following:- Messrs. John Glasgow J.P.; Hugh Duff, J.P; John Johnston, W.J. McClelland, J.P.; T Macgregor Greer, D.L., and J.J. Rea, while Mr. James F. Gamble. M.P., Mr. Samuel C. Colhoun, John Gray, and Major W. Stewart were with the S.D.C’s. of the “B” Special Constabulary, and Mr. Mervyn. Knox-Browne, J.P., with the chief mourners.

Government and County officials present were Mr. W. E. Orr, Clerk of the Crown and Peace; Mr. F. H. M’Coy. Under Sheriff; Mr. C. R. Hill, Secretary of Tyrone County Council; Mr. Arthur Coote, County Council Accountant-; Mr. W. H. Nelson, assistant surveyor representing Mr. B. G. L. Glasgow, County surveyor, who was engaged in a legal case in Belfast); Dr. A.H.M Paton, F.R.C.S., surgeon Tyrone County hospital; Dr. J. Moore Johnston, medical of Omagh District Mental and Mr. 0. L. Walsh, clerk of the same institution.


Mr. Thomas Johnston, JP. (chairman) and Mr. David A, Clements, J.P. (vice-chairman), represented Omagh Urban Council, but there were also in attendance many other members of the council who recognised in Colonel McClintock a close personal friend.

Other representatives of the public boards of Omagh district were:- Mr. J.K. Johnston, Mr. J.E. Johnston. Mr. John Hutton, B.A.; Mr. R.G. Clements, Mr. John Hutchinson, Mr Steen Anderson, J.P., etc.

The Seskinore Harriers were represented by Mr. Herbert Johnston, deputy master, and several other members.


Other prominent personalities in the funeral Procession were:—Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Archdale, M.P., former Minister of Agriculture; Mr. Butler, Castle Archdale; Captain J.C. Herdman, D.L; Mr. J.C. Crossle. Mr. Robert Newton, D.L., Captain Y.H. Burgess, D.L., Mr. J.D. Watson, J.P., Mr. John Clements (Omagh), Mr. D. McKenzie (Omagh), Mr. Empey, J.P., Mr. W. L. Crawford, Mr. Orr, Mr. Charles Anderson, Mr. John Anderson, Mr J. R. Sproule Mr. Robert Harvey, J.P., Colonel A. U. Gledstanes, Mr. W. B, Smyth, Major. General H. M. de F. Montgomery, C.B., C.M.G., Captain Irvine, Captain Boyle, Rt. Hon. M.M McCausland. H.M.L., Limavady; Captain Stronge, Tynan Abbey; Major Carleton,. Hugh .C. Cochrane, Major Redman, Mr. J. 0.H. Long, R.M., Mr. J. Kiernan, Manager, Northern Bank, Beragh; Mr. W.B. Baker, manager, Provincial Bank Ireland, Omagh; Mr. J.W. Moorhead, Manager, Belfast Bank, Omagh; Dr. Wilson, Dungannon; Dr. Wilson, Carrickmore; Captain. Thos McClay, D.C.M., Captain W.M. Scott, Dr. Chambers, Col. P. Galbraith, O.B.E., DL., Mr. George Smith, J.P Major A G. Moutray, Colonel F. C. Dobbs, C.B.E., D.S.O., Mr. F.E. Olphert Dr. Lagan, Mr. S. Jeffers, Mr. Joseph Wilson, Mr. Charles Anderson, Mr. R. –Waterson, Mr. Thos. Mansell, Mr. J Creighton, Dr. Hugh Watson Mr. Robert Bratton, Mr. John Ellison, etc.,


The clergymen who were robed and walked in front of the remains were Rev. R. Dougherty, rector of Clogherney and Seskinore; Rev. R W. S. Maltby, rector of Ballygawley, representing the Primate, who was unable to attend owing to the funeral of the Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava; and Rev. R. .Blackwell Smith of Castlecaulfield a former rector of Clogherney and Seskinore.

Other clergymen. present were :—

Canon Cullimore, MA., Omagh; Rev. W.J. McAskie, Presbyterian minister of Seskinore; Rev. W. B. Naylor rector of Fintona; Rev. S. J. Patterson, Fintona; Rev. T. F.Jackson, Dromore; Rev.N. St. J. Sides, Carrickmore; Rev. J.Cockrill, Sixmilecross; Rev, T. A. H. Moriarty. M.A., Leckpatrick; Rev. John Doyle, Donemana.

Many clergy and laity from the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe were unable to attend owing to the fact that the annual meeting of the Synod was held on the same day.

The coffin war conveyed in an open light carriage drawn by a single horse from Seskinore Lodge to the entrance to the churchyard and was borne. into the church by the Governor’s Guard, being placed in front beneath the folds of two old flags of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. These were the colours borne by the Royal Tyrone Fusiliers from1858 until the reduction of battalions at the close of the war, and they ere now deposited at the Officers’ Mess of the Depot.


The church was of course only able to accommodate a fraction of the huge cortege, but space was reserved for all the chief mourners and Constabulary officers. The service throughout was simple yet deeply impressive such a service as Colonel McClintock would have approved of had the choice been his. As the coffin was being carried into the church the choir rendered the hymn “Abide with me” and afterwards chanted the 23rd Psalm and the Nunc Dimitis. Mr. W. F. Wood, organist of Omagh Parish Church, played the music, and the choir was augmented by several members of Omagh Parish choir and the Methodist choir. Rev. B. Dougherty conducted the service and led in the prayers and Rev. B. W. S. Maltby read the lesson.


Addressing the congregation, Rev. B. Dougherty paid an eloquent and Impressive tribute to the memory of the deceased—a tribute which touched every heart, because everyone realised how very appropriate it was to the late Colonel McClintock. He said:—

We feel we cannot pass from here to-day without paying a farewell tribute to his memory. Words are inadequate to express what we feel or think. A great man has been taken from us and one who was a great friend to us all. He served his country as only a true and faithful son of State can. In his office he gave himself unsparingly for the protection and interests and welfare of the people, and in all his doings he took no thought for himself. For him the State truly mourns. We in this part, who lived with him and who knew him best, feel that our loss is great. To us he was a father. In all our perplexities we came to him, and to our minds it seemed that whatever our difficulty involved it was not too much for him to accomplish. To all who came to him he was accessible, and for many he did much. By the contact of his personal influence and his outlook on life, in which there was no fear, he unconsciously imparted hope and strength to others; and there are many today who owe to him all that one man can owe to another.

It has been his privilege to enjoy the sincere friendship and confidence of a wide circle of friends, and while he was always acutely responsive to their kindness he did not seem to lean upon them. He gave sympathy and help to all, but for himself he did not seem to need either.

In one way, if in no other, I am qualified to speak of him: he was my friend. I have been near death many times and witnessed its desolation and sorrow, and grieved for the grief of others. But this time death has come near to me, and I am not a witness of the sorrow of others, but one with them in grief.

His passing was not like death. Knowing how he thought of death, and the kind he desired for himself, I can think of no detail which was lacking to complete his wish. God gave him all his desire in the kind of death he should die.

From us a gentleman has been taken, but a son, a son of God, has arrived with his Father.


The National Anthem was sung at the close of the service, and Mr. Wood played Chopin’s Funeral March as the bearers carried the coffin from the church to the graveside within the neat little plot reserved, for the McClintock family, and where simple memorials have been erected to the deceased’s parents and the other members of the family who have passed away. The coffin was laid in a newly opened grave, nicely lined with moss and chrysanthemums.

Special Constabulary lined the railings of the burial plot to the right of the grave, while the chief mourners surrounded the grave during the brief committal service, while the Prime Minister, members of the Northern Cabinet, army officers, police officers and other distinguished mourners occupied positions within the plot.

The same clergymen officiated, and at the conclusion of the committal service, the firing party discharged three volleys over the grave and the buglers sounded the “Last Poet.”

With grief-stricken hearts, all mourners turned away from the graveside, and hundreds of the general, public, many with tears in their eyes, pressed forward to pay their last sad tributes of respect to one who was very dear to all for his thoughtfulness and natural goodness of heart.

For fully one hour afterwards crowds surrounded the graveside and made an inspection of the magnificent range of wreaths, which, for beauty and variety have never been equalled in this county.

Seskinore P.E. School, of which Colonel M’Clintock was manager, was closed during the week as a tribute, and Mr. and Mrs. Grier, the teachers, with the majority of the pupils attended the funeral.

There was deep mourning in the village and all blinds were drawn and business suspended during the funeral hours, while the same applied to Fintona and Omagh. Every household for many, miles around was represented in the huge cortege.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. W. T. Quigley, J.P, Omagh.


The following were the chief mourners:— Mrs. John Willis (sister); Colonel and Mrs. Audley Willis (brother-in-law and sister); Lieut.-Commander Hubert McClintock, R.N., and Mr. James McClintock (nephews); Major and Mrs. Denton Ray (nephew and niece); Mrs. W.I. Thompson and Mrs. Hugh Stewart (nieces); Miss Valerie Ray (grand-niece) Mr Hubert Ray (grand-nephew); Mr. and Mrs.. C A. M. Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Alexander, Mrs. Charles Finlayson, Major and Mrs. Cedric Scott, Colonel and Mrs. Dubs, Mr. Raymond Browne-Lecky, and Mr. Mervyn Knox -Browne, J.P. (cousins); R. T. G. Lowry, D.L. (relative). Mrs. Patrick Boyle (niece) was unable to attend the funeral owing to being sailing to India shortly.

Mrs. Amy H. McClintock (widow) was represented by Mr. R. F. Forbes Armagh, and Mrs. Joynson Wreford (daughter), who is abroad, was represented by Mr T. F. Maddock, London.[sic]