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Memorial service on Friday for drowned St Johnston pals

Brothers William, David, James and George Quigley. James died at the Somme while a year later, George drowned in the River Foyle.

FOUR friends who lost their lives in a drowning tragedy 100 years ago will be remembered at a memorial service in St Johnston this Friday.

Arthur James Dowds (9) and James Orr (9) along with their 13-year-old friends, George Quigley and Patrick O’Donnell drowned when they got into difficulty while enjoying a summer swim on June 30, 1917.

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The four children were swimming near a pool in the river known as ‘The Widgeon’s Hole’ when disaster struck. All four were from the village of St Johnston.

The stretch of the Foyle close to where the young quartet drowned.

This Friday, 100 years to the day since the tragedy, relatives of the four pals will gather in St Johnston for a cross-community memorial service.

The Service will be held beside the St Johnston Cricket Pitch at 6.30pm and will be led by clergy from both the Catholic and Protestant faiths. Among them will be Rev Craig Wilson, Monsignor Dan Carr, Rev Dr David Latimer and Canon David Crooks.

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