Sammy Devenny

remembering sammy devenny

The Limavady and the First World War exhibition opened on Saturday 8 September and one gentleman in attendance was a Mr. Bobbie Forrest (Jnr).  Bobbie’s father, also called Bobbie, served in the First World War and his photograph is on display in the exhibition. Bobbie brought along a photograph of his father’s best friend, Sammy Devenny, to the opening of the exhibition and had a truly moving story to tell about him:

“On a Saturday morning in the summer of 1954, a knock came to our front door at 15 Roemill Road, Limavady. I myself opened the door and was approached by a stranger with an accent which I later learned was a Belfast one. He was looking for my father to ask where he could find Sammy Devenny; someone had told him that Sammy and my dad were buddies and as Sammy was homeless maybe my father could tell him where he could find Sammy. Apparently Sammy had carried this man who had been badly wounded off the front line to safety under fire during the First World War. Under the guidance of my father they eventually found Sammy and the man contacted the relevant people and got Sammy a little house beside the old war memorial building that had been used as a cobbler’s workshop shortly before by a cobbler called Dan McAleese who had recently died and the man himself purchased a bed and some furniture for Sammy’s new home. Sammy used to sleep below the Roe Bridge under the dry arch beside the old police barracks or among the bales of cotton in the shamble’s yard behind the old Regal Cinema and occasionally local louts painted his face while he was asleep. I think that they would not have been very proud of their actions if they had known that they had defiled a true “war hero”. Sammy’s final resting place is the graveyard at Drumachose Presbyterian Church. No headstone marks where he now resides. A true unsung forgotten war hero, some day before my demise I would like to place a stone to mark his grave.” – Bobbie Forrest (Jnr), September 2012

This entry was posted on September 11th, 2012 at 3:49 pm by admin

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