James Joseph Magennis VC Frances Elizabeth Clarke Stewart Parker Samuel Beckett Sam Hanna Bell William Carleton John Hewitt Rosamond Praegar Bernard (Barney) Hughes

W.F. Marshall (1888 - 1959):
Cleric, Presbyterian and poet


Rev. W.F. Marshall

William Forbes Marshall was born at Drumragh, Omagh on 8 May 1888 the second of three sons of Charles Marshall. He received his early education in the primary school at Sixmilecross, where his father was principal. He went on to Royal School, Dungannon, Queen's College, Galway, and the Presbyterian College, Belfast. In 1910 he obtained a degree in law and in 1916 he was ordained a Presbyterian minister in Aughnacloy but moved to Castlerock, Co Londonderry, twelve years later. In the year he was ordained he married Susan McKee of Belfast. From 1932 he held a lecturing post in Magee College Londonderry.

Marshall's publications include a novel, Planted by a River (1948), and Ulster Sails West (1944) (a history of 18th century Ulster emigration to the United States), as well as four books of poems, all of which have the name of his native county in the title; not surprisingly he was dubbed "the Bard of Tyrone." The poems include one that became the school song of the Royal School; many are in Ulster dialect and include the famous Me An' Me Da: "I'm livin' in Drumlister/In clabber to the knee."

Marshall's interest in Ulster dialect was life-long; he wrote a dialect version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream which was broadcast by the BBC, and spent many years compiling a dictionary of Ulster dialect which was unfortunately torn to pieces by his dog. Marshall was a Member of the Royal Irish Academy and died in 27 January 1959. He is buried at Tullyneil, Co. Tyrone.



Born: 08 May 1888
Died: 27 January 1959
Wesley McCann