BALLYMENA 1914-1918

Click here to edit subtitle


The Ulster Division parades past Belfast City Hall prior to leaving for France

PRIVATE Samuel W. Maxwell, formerly of Killyless, Cullybackey, and of the New Zealand contingent, is at present on a visit to his  friends in Ireland, after being treated for wounds received at the Dardanelles (Gallipoli). Private Maxwell and his parents emigrated to New Zealand some seven years ago and, at the outbreak of war, he volunteered his services and accompanied the main body of the first NZ Contingent to Egypt where he finished his training.


His contingent was called to the Dardanelles at the opening of hostilities and he was wounded early in September 1915 by shrapnel in the back. He was taken to hospital in Cairo and was afterwards transferred to a London hospital  from where he came to Ireland on a short furlough. He is a nephew of Mr. Joseph Maxwell, Dagusville, Ballymena.


(11/202 Samuel White Maxwell had been born at Killlyless, Cullybackey, but was working as a labourer in NZ when the war started.  He was just 20 years and 8 months old when he enlisted in August 1914, and he was to serve 5 years and 101 days in the army before being discharged on the 28 November 1919.  He finished his training in Egypt in 1914-15, was at Gallipoli in 1915, and was with the Egyptian Exp Force in 1916.  He transferred to the Western Front in 1916 and remained there until the end of the war. During leave in Ireland in 1918 he stayed with Miss E Gregg, Killyless, Cullybackey.  He died on the 14 May 1968. 


The 1901 census records Maxwell as a 7 year old living with his widowed aunt Mary J Gregg (Grigg sic), a farmer,  and her family.  They were  Jane,Sarah A, Alexander, Mary E and John, a blacksmith. They are recorded in 1911.  Mary Jane was living with her children Sarah A, Alexander and Mary E, a dressmaker.  The last was presumably the E Gregg with whom he was staying in 1918.)

Photograph courtesy of Sarbena Maxwell

1916

This week's recruiting:


20th Royal Irish Rifles: Rifleman David McConnell, Railway Street; William Gordon, Robert McAuley, Ballymarlow; Robert Foster, Dunnyvadden; W, J. Bankead, Ballee; Samuel Gamble, Kells. 


4th Royal Irish Rifles - Hugh Gribben, Alexander Street; 


10th Royal Dublin Fusiliers - David Kernohan, Ballymena.


SERGEANT J.H.J. Carson, Crumkill, of the Inniskilling Dragoons, brother of Mr. George Carson, Carnaughts, has  been promoted to the rank of Squadron Sgt. Major and Warrant Officer. SSM Carson was nine years in India with the Dragoons and is now with the Indian Expeditionary Force.

January 7, 1916


CARMICHAEL Robert, S/7056, L/Cpl. 2 Black Watch. DOW January 9, 1916. Buried Amara War cemetery, Iraq. Born Ballymena, enlisted Kirkintilloch, Scotland. Aunt at Tannybrake, Kells.


65th list - 1,379 Patriotic Men


North Irish Horse - Trooper Edward McClure, Gracehill; 


20th Royal Irish Rifles - Robert Gillen, Crebilly; Norman Irwin, Clonavon, William Lennon, Craigs. 


Irish Guards - John Forsythe, Castle Street; 


Army Ordnance Corps - George Lyttle, William Street; 


Connaught  Rangers - John McAllister, Duke Street.


PRIVATE J.C. McDowell of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (perhaps one of the most famous  'colonial' battalions of the war. Ed.) has written home to his relatives who reside at Windsor Terrace, Ballymena,  from the 2nd Field Hospital, stating that he had been wounded on the right hand and that he is improving.


MRS. McCann, Creagh, Toomebridge, has received a letter from her son, Private Patrick McCann, Royal Munster Fusiliers saying that he has been wounded in the recent retreat in Serbia and is now in hospital.


Trooper Robert Burnitt of the North Irish Horse, at present on active service, formerly assistant clerk to Mr. Charles Johnson in the Ballymena Workhouse, acknowledges with thanks the receipt of a parcel of cigarettes received from the employees of Messrs. John Wilson and Son, Harryville Factory, which were much appreciated by him and his comrades


PRIVATE Joseph Curry of the New Zealand Contingent, who has just recovered from an attack of enteric fever which he developed at the Dardanelles, is at present on leave with his mother and father, Mr. and Mrs William Curry of Ballynacaird, Lisnamurrican. Private Curry, who is in his 25th year, emigrated to New Zealand in the year of 1912 where he joined the Volunteer Force, and when war broke out he volunteered for active service on August 8th 1914.


After three months' training in New Zealand, the contingent embarked for Albany where they joined the Australian Force. The training of the New Zealanders was completed in Egypt. Early in the New Year they were called up to meet an attack made by the Turks, which they easily repulsed.


In this encounter they had their first casualties. The battalion in which he was a machine gunner, was amongst the first to land at the Dardanelles on April 25th 1915. Curry had many narrow escapes at the landing. He was in the trenches for three months when he took ill and was sent to hospital at Malta. later he was transferred to a hospital in Birmingham and at present is on six week's leave.

Ballymena Observer January 14. 1916


BARCLAY, James, 9802, Private. 1 Gordon Highlanders, KIA, January 17, 1916. Buried La Clytte Military Cemetery, Belgium. Born Kells, enlisted Aberdeen. Commemorated in Connor Presbyterian Church.


66th List 1,383 Patriotic Men


Our 66th list shows a big falling off in recruits in the Ballymena District when compared with the figures for the corresponding period of last year. During the past week, four men joined the colours and for the 3rd week in January 1915 there were 18. If Ballymena's fine record is to be kept up there will have to be more active steps taken in promoting recruiting in the district.


4th  Royal Irish Rifles - James Donnelly, Ahoghill; 

18th Royal Irish Rifles - C. Simpson, Waveney Cottages; 

20th Royal Irish Rifles:Samuel McKee, Crevillyvalley; 

Cameron Highlanders, Duncan McNeilly, Liminary (Actually died serving with the Seaforth Highlanders).


COLONEL J. Barnett Wilson, of Knowehead, Broughshane, who, in the early months of the war was in charge of Shorecliff Military and several other detached hospitals on the south coast and has also been for some time in command of the Medical Staff of the 12th Division in France has been appointed District Director Medical Services of the 16th Army Corps. He will therefore be in command of the staff having medical surveillance of 120,000 men.


A Clough Soldier's Story - 'Dispatch Rider's Ordeal'


TWO thrilling incidents are related by Gunner Whiteside Royal Field Artillery, in a letter to his friends in Clough, Co. Antrim. 


He writes:


It is really marvellous how our airmen go for the Germans and in nine cases out of ten come off best. It is very exciting to watch as many as six machines  battling away, thousands of feet up in the air.


I have seen several Taubes (A German aircraft) come down head foremost and there was precious little value in them when they landed.


One evening I was sent with a message to the trenches and was sitting in the dug out with the telephone operator when the enemy took it into their head to make a surprise attack. You can imagine my feelings when, hearing the commotion, I popped my head round the corner and saw the Germans clambering over our parapet. You bet I was soon on my hind legs and looking for a rifle. I soon got one and just by good luck there was a bayonet on the end of it.


Tumbling out, I soon came to the first German who was looking for trouble. As, perhaps you know, an artilleryman knows precious little how to use a bayonet, but I knew if I didn't get him he would very soon have me.


My luck was in and I got him fair and square, but in my excitement I must have overdone it, as I couldn't get the bayonet out again. He took the rifle and all out of my hands as he fell. Before I had time to recover, I saw another Hun making for me at top speed. I though it was all up with me , and, as a last desperate resort I scooped up a double handful of mud and flung it right in his face.


This had the effect of making him drop the rifle and do a bit of a goose-step, all the time howling with the pain of his eyes. I lost no time and was soon sitting on his chest, choking the Hunnish life out of him. By this time the boys had mopped up the lot and here we are waiting for some more fun.


On another day we were sitting round the gun having an easy spell when suddenly we spied a cyclist coming bumping along as hard as he could pelt. When he was about 30 yards away we heard the whistle of a shell which let right in front of him. For a minute or so we saw nothing; then out of the smoke came the cyclist, spitting and swearing with the front wheel around his neck.


We started to laugh at the figure he cut but as he came staggering towards us we were hushed for we saw that his left hand was cut clean off and only a shattered bleeding stump was left. He stagged up to our major, handed him a dispatch, saluted and collapsed at the major's feet. He was barely 18


AMONGST the officers who have reached England with Canadian troops is Captain W. A. Adams, who has arrived in Belfast on a visit to his relatives. Captain Adams is a native of Ballymena and he is a barrister-at-law, in practice at Que Appele, Saskatchewan.

PRIVATE Adam Lynn of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, who was wounded in action some time ago at the Dardanelles has been home on leave. His parents reside at James Street, Ballymena and his father, who is an old soldier holds the King's and Queen's Medals for the South African War.
PRIVATE Thomas Colvin, Princes Street,  of the 12th Royal Irish Rifles, who was wounded on the right hand by the explosion of a shell early in January, is at present home on furlough in Ballymena. He is looking fit and well but his hand is slightly painful yet.

Ballymena Observer, January 21 1916.

Above: Ulster Division soldiers in their 'winter warfare' coats made from sheepskin. The caption is inaccurate and actually shows members of the 16th (Pioneers) Royal Irish Rifles with which both the Ballymena men mentioned saw service.
67th list - 1390 Patriotic Men


20th Royal Irish Rifles - Robert N. Kyle, Glebe Cottages, Rasharkin; Charles Irwin, Larne Street; Joseph Reid, Mount Street.  

Inniskilling Dragoons - Wm. Robinson, Ballinacaird.

Joined since the outbreak of war: 

Royal Engineers: Pte. Walter Henry, son of Mr. James Henry, Urban Councillor, Rural District Councillor, Mill Street, Ballymena. 

Canadian Contingent: Pte Robert Ross, formerly of Ballymena; Pte Samuel Finlay, son of Mr. and Mrs. William  Finlay, Queen Street.


INTIMATION has been received by his friends in Ballymena that Pte. Patrick Bonar, Flag Lane, 2nd Leinsters, is at present in St. Helen's Hospital in England suffering from an old gunshot wound to the arm.


Mr. Samuel Wilson, Ballydugenan House, Toomebridge, has received a postcard from Private Joseph McCartney, 7th Leinsters, stating he has been wounded and is in hospital in France.


RECENTLY Private Robert Ross, Canadian Contingent, brother of Mr. Matthew Ross, High Street, Ballymena, was home on a visit to his friends in Ballymena, after being treated for wounds received in an action in France. He is an old soldier who served in the Royal Artillery for 12 years and at the outbreak of the present war he offered his services to King and Country.


Lance Corporal Dan Lorimer, Ballymena, of the 2nd Btn Royal Irish Rifles who was recently mentioned in dispatches and was later awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (actually 'Mentioned in Despatches'), is at present home on ten days leave following a nasty bullet wound in the hand. This is the third time Lance Corporal Lorimer has been wounded.

Ballymena Observer, January 28, 1916


February 


68th list - 1,408 Patriotic Men


This week's recruiting:- 


18th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles - Allan McClean, Coreen, Broughshane; J. McGrath,  Alexander Street; Hugh Stewart, Laymore; Charles Reynolds, Clonavon.


Joined since the outbreak of war:

Royal Scots - Corporal Isaac Kerr and Private W. Kerr,  Newtowncrommelin (both KIA); 

Highland Light Infantry - Private Robert Falconer, Skerry East; 

Scottish Rifles (Cameronians): Signaller John Scott, Newtowncrommelin; 

Gordon Highlanders - Lance Corporal W. McCartney, Legagrane, Cargan; 

Royal Navy - Robert John McIntyre, HMS Fox, Newtowncrommelin.

Canadian Contingent - Pte Matthew Anderson, son of Mr. Matthew Anderson, Omerbane; Pte Tom Aicken, from Omerbane. 

18th Notts and Derby - Pte Robert McCartney, late of Bridge Street.


MRS. J. Stewart, Glenwillow House, Toomebridge, has been notified by the War Office that her son, Lt. Dr. John Stewart, RAMC, has been severely wounded on the chest and arms by shell fire in France and is now in hospital. Dr. Stewart who is second son of the late Mr. John Stewart and grandson of the late Rev. Hall Stewart, for many years Pastor of Grange Presbyterian Congregation, had a distinguished college career, shortly after the completion of which he volunteered for service in the RAMC.


Private William Telford, 1st Btn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, has been wounded and is in hospital in Egypt. He is 22 years of age and a son of Mrs. Telford, Alexander Street, Ballymena, who has another son, Rfn. James Telford serving with the 12th Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division) in France.


SEMPEY James, 19751, Corporal, 12th  Royal Irish Rifles, KIA on the 10th February. 1916. Aged 29, he was born in Ballymena, the son of Hugh and Isabella Sempey. He lived Ballyclare. His former wife, Sarah McNeill (f. Sempey), lived at Main Street, Ballyclare. He is buried Mesnil Ridge Cemetery Somme.


McWILLIAMS Herbert, Rifleman, 8th Royal Irish Rifles, KIA on the 10th February 1916. Service no. 17/1344. Aged 19, born Ahoghill, enlisted Belfast. Son of Ellen McWilliams, 9 Abingdon Street, Belfast. He is buried in Auchonvillers Military Cemetery,  Somme.


69th list - 1,408 Patriotic Men


This week's recruiting:-


18th Royal Irish Rifles - Joseph Knox, Greenvale Street; William Turtle, Springwell Street;  William Harvey, Alexander Street. 

4th Btn, Royal Irish Rifles, James Laverty, Alexander Street.

Joined since the outbreak of  war -

Canadian Contingent - Private Andrew Murphy, formerly of Greenvale Street.







Mrs. A. Gordon, Station Road, Cullybackey, has received official notification that her son, 17/785 Rifleman James Gordon, 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (East Belfast Volunteers.) has been wounded in France. Rifleman Gordon, who was a member of the Cullybackey UVF, enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war and was previously an employee at the Maine Works, Cullybackey.
Private James Neeson, 7th Royal Munster Fusiliers, second son of Mr. Thos. Neeson, Ballylummin, Ahoghill, is reported wounded and missing at Gallipoli. Numerous inquiries have been made through various channels but all have failed to trace him. He was 22 years of age and prior to enlisting was employed at Ballyclare Green.


Squadron Sergt. Major D.A. Cathcart, an experienced non-com of the Royal Scots Greys, has, for service in the field, been specially promoted to a commission as 2nd Lt. in the Royal West Kent Regt. and joins the 1st battalion. He is a grandson of the late Mr. James Cathcart of Slatt and  a brother of John Cathcart of  Alfred Street, Ballymena.


Signaller Harry Walsh, Waveney Road, Ballymena, came home from the front recently on a short leave. He is looking remarkably fit and states that all the boys out there are in the best of spirits.

Ballymena Observer, February 11. 1916


70th list - 1,410 Patriotic Men - 'Only two local recruits this week!'


18th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles - Constable Edward Copeland, R.I.C.; 

Irish Guards, John Greer - Alfred Street.

REV. George Clenaghan, C.C. Glenravel, Ballymena, has been appointed an army chaplain and takes up duty in about three weeks.


Mr. W. H. Davison, Mayor of Kensington, who is the son of Mr. R. Davison, Beechfield, Ballymena, on a recent  visit to the front at the invitation of the war office, came upon Captain Orr's grave in a peaceful little spot near the firing line. It was covered with fresh green sods and daffodils were growing at the root.


Lt. R. M. Pryde, second son of Mr. James Pryde, Leighinmohr, Ballymena, who is attached to the 15th Btn.  Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division) is home on a well-earned rest from the trenches. Before the outbreak of war, Lt. Pryde was closely connected with the Ulster Volunteer Force and was commanding officer of B coy. 1st Btn. North Antrim Regiment.


Sgt. Major John Wright, Carniny, of the 12th Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division) has returned to the front after a few days leave from the firing line. Sgt. Major Wright was an enthusiastic Ulster Volunteer and was one of the local commanders.

Lieut. Charles Gage Stuart presented with the DSC


LT. Charles Gage Stuart, RN, was presented on Wednesday, by the King, at Buckingham Palace, with the Distinguished Service Cross for 'meritorious service in connection with the sinking of the German Cruiser 'Dresden' on March 14th, 1915.'


Lt. Stuart is a son of Mr. William Stuart C.E. of Mount Earl, Ballymena and a brother of 2nd Lt. W. G. B. Stuart of the 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (Central Antrim Volunteers), and 2nd Lt. Stuart, North Irish Horse. He is also a nephew of the late Rear Admiral Leslie Stuart, CMG, and served with that officer in HMS Vengeance on the China Station during the Russo-Japanese war. Lt. Stuart's seniority as Lieutenant dates from 1st April 1909. When the war broke out he was serving on the cruiser Glasgow, on the south-east coasts of America. He was in the action with Von Spee's squadron on November 1 in which the 'Good Hope' and the 'Monmouth' were sunk. (Battle of Coronel was an Imperial German Naval victory over the Royal Navy on 1 November 1914, off the coast of central Chile. The East Asia Squadron of the Imperial German Navy led by Vice-Admiral von Spee met and defeated the British West Indies Squadron commanded by Rear-Admiral Cradock.) The 'Glasgow' got away damaged on that occasion but lived to fight another day and Lt. Stuart had the satisfaction of being on board his ship in the engagement in which the Dresden was sunk on March 14th. (The Battle of the Falkland Islands was a decisive British naval victory over the Imperial German Navy on 8 December 1914 and revenge for the Coronel defeat. The British hunted down Admiral von Spee, then commanding the German squadron of two armoured cruisers, SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, the light cruisers SMS Nürnberg (1906), Dresden and Leipzig, and three auxiliaries, who attempted to raid the British supply base at Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands. A British squadron, consisting of the battlecruisers HMS Invincible and Inflexible, the armoured cruisers HMS Carnarvon, Cornwall and Kent, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Macedonia and the light cruisers HMS Bristol and Glasgow, had arrived in Stanley the day before. It was a decisive British victory. Admiral Spee and his two sons were among the German dead and of the German force of eight ships, only two escaped: the auxiliary Seydlitz and the light cruiser Dresden.  Dresden hid for three months before she was cornered by a British squadron (Kent, Glasgow and Orama) and sunk the on 14 March 1915. )


Ballymena Observer, February 18, 1916

71st List - 1,413 Patriotic Men

The falling off in recruiting has been noticeable during the past two months. For the eight weeks of January and February, 1915 there were 54 recruits and for the same period this year there were only 34.


This week's recruiting


North Irish Horse,  - Trooper J.D.Martin, Bradford (formerly of Waveney Avenue, Ballymena); 

18th Btn  Royal Irish Rifles - John Craig, Ballygarvey; 

19th Btn,  Royal Irish Rifles - 2nd Lt. David Fleck, Greenhill, Ballymena.


PRIVATE William Murphy, Greenvale Street, of the Royal Irish Fusiliers, is at present lying in hospital at Salonika  suffering from a severe ankle sprain. Private Murphy took part in the operations at the Dardanelles and was, before  enlistment, a prominent figure in local football circles playing for Summerfield Strollers and later Summerfield FC.






MR. Thomas McKeown, Finkiltagh, Portglenone, has received information that his son, Private Robert McKeown of the 1st Seaforth Highlanders, was wounded on January 7, at the Persian Gulf. Private McKeown volunteered shortly after the outbreak of war and went to Belgium in January 1915. He was one of the unfortunate victims to suffer from the first gas attack at Hill 60. After his recovery from this he was went with a draft to the Persian Gulf Expeditionary Force.








IN a section of the 12th Btn Royal Irish Rifles there is a bantam cock that accompanied the battalion from Larne to France as a mascot. Soldiers on furlough from the regiment state that the mascot has become wonderfully cute.


A Ballymena man's experience at the Dardanelles and Serbia


LANCE Corporal Samuel Law, son of Mr. W. J. Law, Alfred Street, who is only 19, was formerly employed in the  Braidwater Mill, and joined the army prior to the outbreak of war. He was attached to the (censored) and sent to Dublin to complete his training. Subsequently, he was ordered to the  Dardanelles. Many and varied were the experiences he had there with the wily Turk.


On one occasion, his Division - almost certainly the 10th (Irish) Division - had to go without food for two days, as it was difficult owing to the desperate way in which the Turks harassed them for the commissariat to keep in touch.


From the Dardanelles, the battalion was sent to Serbia (the ill-fated Salonika expedition) to reinforce the French and  stem the tide which was sweeping the Serbians from their native land. Many were the hairbreadth escapes he came  through.


At times he thought his Division was lost, but they rallied and dealt some fine knock-out blows to the Bulgarian-German troops (Bulgaria had joined Germany, Austria and Turkey against the Allies).


Times without number they attacked and hoped to carry the day but at last the order came to withdraw and his Division had to bear the brunt of covering the main army when retreating to Salonika.  At length, when all was clear, they were ordered to run for it: 


You should have seen us go, he writes. Leaping to  the parapet of our trenches we took to our beaters (Ballymena slang for 'feet') for the hills, which we reached in safety. Then, under cover, we prepared to make ourselves comfortable and enjoy a well-earned rest after our long spell in  the trenches.


Our rest camp, he says, is christened 'Devil's Hollow'. I haven't seen any white women for months on end. One  seems to be in the heart of Africa. It is most depressing at times. One doesn't realise the exhilarating joy which comes  from seeing a white woman in these desolate and wild hills.


More woman nurses are badly needed. I think they would only be too glad to make haste and offer their services  and come out to cheer us and make our lot a little brighter. You haven't seen our Division mentioned much in the papers in the fighting in and around Serbia but I may tell you they were a credit to the (censored), for the way in  which they carried the burden of the last few days before leaving Salonika.


Young Law has so far come through without a scratch. He was a member of  St. Patrick's Church. He was also a member of Harryville Unionist Club.

Ballymena Observer, February 25 1916

WATT Robert John, 19818, Rifleman,  11th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles Service, died on the 29th February, 1916. He was struck by shrapnel while in a billet behind the lines. Aged 30, he was the son of Agnes, and husband of Elizabeth Ann Watt, Portglenone. He is buried in Mesnil Ridge Cemetery, Somme, France.


The Observer reported, March 17 1916 - Mrs. Agnew Watt, Portglenone, has received intimation that her son, Rifleman Robert John Watt, 11th Btn., Royal Irish Rifles, has been killed in action. Deceased joined the army at the outbreak of the war and prior to that he worked at Antrim, where he was a member of the UVF. His wife resides at Portglenone and he has a brother at the front.



GRIBBEN Samuel, 19419, Corporal, 11th (S) Highland Light Infantry, died in Lincoln Hospital of wounds received at Loos. Date of death 29th February 1916. Aged 31, he was the son of James Gribben of The Race Course, Broughshane. He enlisted in Coatbridge, Scotland, and was the husband of Agnes Gribben, Ronald Road, Coatbridge. He is buried in Lincoln Newport Cemetery & commemorated in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church.



Corporal Samuel Gribben
March 


72nd list - 1,417 Patriotic Men


This week's recruiting-


4th Btn, Royal Irish Rifles - Nathaniel Dunlop, Loan, Cullybackey; John Barr, Springwell Street; 

8th Hussars -  James Morton, 16 Patrick Place; 

Royal Garrison Artillery - Constable Richard Spratt, late of RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary), Cullybackey.


DOCTOR John Cathcart, son of Mr. James Cathcart, Kells, has received a commission on the RAMC and has gone  to Limerick for training. Dr. Cathcart was professionally engaged at the Sanitorium, Whiteabbey.


CONSTABLE Edward Spratt of the RIC  has obtained permission from the authorities to enlist in the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was popular with the Cullybackey residents and carries with him the best wishes of all for  success in his new sphere of labour.

Ballymena  Observer, March 3, 1916

Lance Corporal Samuel Beattie 


BEATTIE, Samuel, 18860, Lance Corporal, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on March 7, 1916. He is buried Hamel Military Cemetery, Somme. Aged 35, he was born and enlisted Ballymena. He had kin at Prospect Place and his wife Maria lived at 91 Queen Street, Ballymena.


The Observer reported, March 17 1916 -  Mrs. Beattie, Prospect Place, Ballymena has been informed of the death of her husband, Lance Corporal Samuel Beattie of the 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (Central Antrim Volunteers), through the following letter from Lt. W. B. Stuart of the same battalion which was received by her on Tuesday morning last.


Dear Mrs, Beattie,

 

I deeply regret that it is my duty to inform you of the death of your husband. I quite realise that I can do very little towards redeeming this great sorrow for you, at the same time I should like you to know of the high esteem in which Major Dixon and the officers and men of C company held your husband.


He was a great section commander of my platoon and a more capable and reliable NCO for the post I never had. It may possibly be some comfort to you to know that he suffered no pain, his death being instantaneous. He was shot through the head. He is the first man of C company to give his life for his country and,as such, he will always be remembered by everyone in the company. 


Yours sincerely, 

W.B.Stuart


Lance Corporal Beattie was an old soldier, having been eight years in the army, seven of which were spent in India. On the outbreak of war when the call came to the manhood of the nation to stand to arms, he volunteered and joined the 12th Royal Irish Rifles.


Prior to his enlistment he was van man to Messrs. Gordon and Esler of Broughshane Street and he was held in the highest esteem by his fellow workers. His brother, Private James Beattie, an employee of the Braidwater Mill, joined the colours at the outbreak of war . The sincere sympathy of the townspeople goes out to Mrs. Beattie and her two children, who are left to mourn his loss.

73rd list - 1,420 Patriotic Men


This week's recruiting


8th Hussars - D. Robinson, Ballinacaird; 

18th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles - James Campbell,  Broughshane; 

10th Liverpool Scottish -John Wylie, Waveney Crescent.


INFORMATION has been received by his relatives, who reside at Kinhilt Street, Ballymena that Private Hugh  McDowell of the 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers is at present in hospital suffering from trench feet.


MR. John Wylie, managing clerk to Mr. Robert Boal, solicitor, High Street, Ballymena, has joined the Liverpool Scottish (Territorials) this week and commences training on Saturday at Blackpool. Mr. Wylie is a popular vocalist  and his presence will be missed on many concert platforms.

Ballymena Observer, March 10, 1916


74th list - 1,421 Patriotic Men

Only one recruit was attested at the local office during the week , and in the corresponding period last year, 11  men joined the colours. The fall off in recruiting continues.


This week's recruiting -


18th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles - Robert McFall, Garfield Place.

Right: Bob Thompson acquired the name 'Stick' as a result of his injuries. He was for many years associated with the Braidwater Mill


PRIVATE Bob Thompson, son of the late Mr. John Thompson, whitesmith (tinsmith), Henry Street, who had his left leg amputated as the result of severe wounds received on the 25th September 1915 arrived home in Ballymena this week  after being discharged from the army.


He is looking healthy and well after his trying times and his many friends in the town were glad to see him home again;  and also to know that he can manage to walk about with the artificial leg that the authorities fitted him with, and with  the aid of a stick. Private Thompson, who was six years in the army, was in India prior to the outbreak of war for a period of three  years and when the war broke out was called to France to serve with his regiment, the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. He was wounded at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle and, after his wounds were treated, was home on a short furlough. He  returned to France and on 25th September 1915, was wounded again, and had two bones broken in his left leg, the result being that his leg had to be amputated. He has two brothers serving with the army.


Today (Friday) is St. Patrick's Day. Half a ton of Shamrock was dispatched from Belfast on Saturday for distribution  amongst the Ulster Division.

Ballymena Observer March 17, 1916


FOSTER Allen, 3749, Rifleman, 11th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles,  died of  wounds on the 17 March 1916. He was born in Ahoghill and enlisted in Randalstown. He was the husband of. M. Foster, Cloghogue, Ahoghill. He is buried in Mesnil Ridge Cemetery, Somme.

WILSON Andrew, 571, Rifleman, 12th Battalion,  Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 18th March 1916. Aged 32, he was the son of Jane and the late Andrew, Prospect Place, Ballymena. He is buried in Auchonvillers Military Cemetery, Somme and commemorated 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.

Lance Corporal R. Kirkwood


KIRKWOOD Robert, 19049, Lance Corporal, 'C' Company, 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds at Southwark Military Hospital on the  21st March 1916. He was aged 24 and was born in Kells, the son of Nat and Maggie Jane Kirkwood, Kells. He is buried at Nunhead, All Saints Cemetery and commemorated in Connor Presbyterian Church.


The Observer reported, March 24 1916 - 


We regret to hear of the death of Lance Corporal R. Kirkwood, 12th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles, son of Mrs. Kirkwood, Kells, which took place at Southwark Military Hospital on Tuesday.  


Young Kirkwood, who was an employee at the Old Green Woollen Mills, joined the 12th Royal Irish Rifles shortly after the outbreak of war and went to the front with the Ulster Division on October last. He was invalided to a base hospital a few weeks ago. Lance Corporal Kirkwood was a good soldier and highly popular with his comrades in the 12th.


75th list - 1,425 Patriotic Men


This week's recruiting: 


4th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles - J. Buchanan, formerly Broughshane Road; 

18th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles - J.  Millar, Springwell Street.


Joined since the outbreak of war

8th Btn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers -  Charles Sinclair, Railway Street; 

RAMC Canadian Contingent - Pte. Christie Montgomery, formerly of High Street.


WANTED: A melodeon.

We have received numerous letters from men at the front wishing us luck and prosperity. Driver A. Scott, Royal  Engineers, formerly of Pound Cottages Ballymena, writes stating that there are a number of Ballymena men in his company, and that as a little bit of music is very cheering out there, they would be much obliged if some old friend  would send them a melodeon. If any of our readers would like to send Driver Scott an instrument they can have his full address on application to the 'Observer' office.


Dear Sir 


Just a few lines to thank you and the workers of the Raceview Woollen Mills for their useful present of smokes, which I received alright and I am to tell you they were very useful to me and my chums. When the parcels arrived we were having a hard time with frost and snow. I have met a number of boys from Ballymena in the trenches.


I wish every success to the factory and the workers belonging to it. Go on the Blues! - 


Yours sincerely,  

Rifleman Patrick Thompson, 'C' Coy., 8th Btn, Royal Irish Rifles.



Private Charles Sinclair, 8th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Ulster Division), who is a son of the late Mr. Andrew Sinclair, Railway Street and a nephew of Mr. Charles Sinclair, James Street, has been wounded in an engagement in France. Private  Sinclair, who only celebrated his sixteenth birthday last Sunday, was an employee of the Braidwater Spinning Company. He joined the army in 1914 and went to the front with the Ulster Division last autumn




Private James Winnington, 17 Moat Road, Ballymena, of the 6th Btn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, is at present home on  leave after recovering from frostbite received while in Serbia. Pte Winnington was seven months at the Dardanelles and was in hospital in Lemnos suffering from dysentery.  He was removed from there to Serbia where he remained for four months. He was attacked by frostbite and afterwards was taken to a hospital in Plymouth. He has a brother serving with the colours.



Private Joseph Morrow, Ballee, of the 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles is at present home on leave after recovering from an illness  contracted while serving in France.


ANOTHER local soldier home on leave this week is Private John McDowell, formerly of Kinhilt Street, Ballymena, of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Pte McDowell joined the Canadian contingent shortly after the  outbreak of war and, after training in Canada and England, proceeded to the front in July last. He is a mounted machine gunner and has been in charge of a machine gun crew for some time past. He has been wounded several times but not seriously. He is a brother of  Pte. Hugh McDowell of the 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


MR. J. Buchanan, a third son of Mr. A. Buchanan, Jeweller, Ballymena, who was carrying on a jewellery business in  Hamilton, near Glasgow, has been called up under the 'Derby Group' system and has joined the 4th Royal Irish  Rifles. ( Volunteering faltered and by May 1915 it had became clear that voluntary recruitment was not enough. The National Registration Act of July 1915 was a means of discovering how many men between the ages of 15 and 65 were engaged in each trade. All those in this age range who were not already in the military were obliged to register, giving details of their employment. It showed there were almost 5 million males of military age who were not in the forces, of which 1.6 million were in the "starred", i.e. protected, high or scarce skill jobs. 


Men who attested under the Derby Scheme, who were accepted for service and chose to defer it were classified as being in "Class A". Those who agreed to immediate service were "Class B". The Class A men were given a grey armband with a red crown as a sign that they had volunteered; they were transferred into Section B Army Reserve and were sent back to their homes and jobs until they were called up. This also protected men from being  given the 'white feather' or being called 'shirkers'.)

Ballymena Observer, March 24, 1916


Lance Corporal Hugh McNally (McAnally)


 Ballymena Observer, March 24.1916 - 


OUR readers will be sorry to note this week the death of Lance Corporal Hugh McNally of the 6th Battalion, Connaught Rangers, Irish Brigade, which sad event took place in Bellahoustin Military Hospital, Glasgow.


L/Cpl. McNally was amongst the first batch of recruits from Ballymena to join the Irish Brigade in November 1914. After training in Fermoy, he was transferred to Aldershot and then went to France with a draft. He was about six months in France where he was promoted to Lance-Corporal and was invalided to the hospital in Glasgow some time ago suffering from an internal illness.


A wire reached Mrs. McNally, who resides at Galgorm Street, on Monday night from the commanding officer stating that her husband was seriously ill and asking her to go over to see him. She crossed to Scotland on Wednesday night and the sad news reached Ballymena yesterday morning (March 23).


Lance Corporal McNally was a son-in-law of Mr. Phil McKeown, Castle Street, and he leaves his wife and three sons to mourn his loss. Prior to his enlistment he was in the employment of Mr. H. Lancashire, Church Street.



McNALLY Hugh (McAnally), 6/2795, Lance Corporal, 6th Connaught Rangers, died of wounds in Bellahoustin Military Hospital, Glasgow. Aged 34, born, he enlisted and lived in Ballymena, and his wife Sarah at lived at Railway Place, Ballymena. His parents John and Margaret McAnally lived at Cullybackey. He is buried in St. Mary's (Aughnahoy) Cemetery, Portglenone.

76th List - 1,427 Patriotic Men


The continual slackness in recruiting in the district has been more marked during the past few weeks than in  any other period. One local man enlisted during the present week and for a corresponding period last year eight joined the colours. If the 1,100 per week recruits which Lord Wimborne asked for from Ireland is being reached, Ballymena District has not done its share. (Lord Wimborme became Lord Lieutenant for Ireland or Viceroy in February 1915.)


This week's recruiting:

18th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles - John Wilson, Killyfleugh.


Joined since the outbreak of war

Canadian contingent -Pte John Bell Gibson, formerly Broughshane Street,  108th Bn. Canadian Expeditionary Force.  




LANCE Corporal Alex. Winnington, whose brother was recently home on leave, enjoyed a nine-day furlough in  Ballymena. Lance Corporal Winnington, of 17 Moat Road, was fifteen months in France. He served eight years in the army, six  of which were spent abroad and on the outbreak of war he was called up as a reservist and volunteered out of his  own battalion for active service with the 1st Royal Irish Rifles.




MISS Jean Gilmer, NZ Army Nursing Service, only daughter of the late Dr, Robert Gilmer, Ballymena, is one of the military sisters selected by the New Zealand Health Department for service under the Imperial Authorities, left Wellington, NZ on January 26th. Miss Gilmer was for some months senior sister in Trentham Military Hospital and for the past six  months was in charge of Victoria Military Hospital, Wellington.

March 31, 1916


April

McBRIDE Thomas, 19633, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 4th April 1916. Aged 25, he was born at Randalstown, lived in Antrim, and was the son of John and Ellen McBride of Muckrim, Toome. He is buried in St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen and commemorated in Grange Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, April 14, 1916 - Mr. John McBride of Muckrim, Toomebridge, has received official intimation that his eldest son, Private Thomas McBride, Royal Irish Rifles, has been killed in action. Deceased, who was 25 years of age and most popular in the Toomebridge District, enlisted in the Ulster Division in September 1914. 


 Rifleman Thomas McBride


WYLIE, David, 20446, Lance Sergeant, 7th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died of wounds on the 5 April 1916. He was born at Ballymena and enlisted in Glasgow. He is buried in Bethune Town Cemetery.

WILSON Robert, 58104, Private, 20th Canadian Infantry Regiment, died on the 5 April 1916. Aged 35, he was the son of Samuel and Eliza Kennedy Wilson, Main Street, Cullybackey. He is buried Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium and commemorated in Cuningham Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cullybackey.


Ballymena Observer, April 21, 1916 - MRS. Wilson, Main Street, Cullybackey, has received official intimation that her son, Private Robert Wilson, Canadian Infantry, has been killed in action. He was a son of the late Mr. Samuel Wilson, Cullybackey and enlisted in Canada shortly after the outbreak of war. He was resident for upwards of 12 years in Canada and was employed in the firm of Messrs. Eaton, Toronto. Prior to emigrating he was a member of LOL 696 Cullybackey.


THIS was a blank week for recruiting in Ballymena. For this week last year there were ten local men joined the army.


MR. W. Stuart. Mount Earl, Ballymena, has received official notification that his youngest son, 2nd Lt W.B.Stuart of the Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded. Later particulars from Padre Clifford stated that a bomb (grenade)  exploded prematurely and, as a result, 2nd Lt. Stuart had been slightly wounded in the arms and legs. Mr. Stuart who had just passed through his course in the drawing office of Denny Shipbuilding Yard, Dumbarton, joined the army in  the autumn of 1914 and went to the front in October 1915. He has two brothers on active service - Lt Cdr C.G.Stuart, DSO, and 2nd Lt. L I Stuart, North Irish Horse.


NEWS reached Cushendall by telegram on the 24th inst. that Rifleman Denis Humphries, Royal Irish Rifles had died that day at  the 6th Stationary Hospital, Havre, as a result of severe influenza. Prior to enlistment, Denis spent his entire 19 years at the Layde. When the call came to him from his King, true to the loyal traditions of his family (his eldest brother who was doing well in Canada, gave up his employment and came home with the Canadians and is now at the front) he gladly gave his service at earliest date.





Mrs. Montgomery, Doury Road, Ballymena, has received information that her son, Private Bertie Montgomery of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers is in hospital suffering from gas poisoning and wounds. Prior to joining the colours, he was a  member of the Ballymena Ulster Volunteer Force, the Church Lad's Brigade and was an employee of the Ballymena  and Harryville Co-Operative Society.

Rifleman John Knox


KNOX, JOHN, 641,  Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 8th April 1916. Aged 20, he was born at Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast. He was the son of Hugh and Kane Knox of 19 Greenvale Street, Ballymena. He is buried Forceville Communal Cemetery, Somme, France and commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church, Ballymena.


Ballymena Observer, April 14, 1916 - Mrs. Knox, Greenvale Street, Ballymena, has received information that her son, Rfn. John Knox of the Royal Irish Rifles, has been killed in action at the front. A letter from Capt. John E. Jenks, received by her on Wednesday morning stated that he had been wounded but a further communication from the same officer, received by her yesterday morning, intimated that he had died as a result of his wounds.  


The following are the letters:


Saturday, April 8, 1916.


Dear Mrs. Knox. 


I much regret to inform you that your son, NO.641, Rfn John Knox was wounded this afternoon. He was working in the trenches when a shell exploded close to where he was and a piece of it struck him on the back of the head. I was unable to find out exactly how serious the wound was, she he was not working with our own battalion this afternoon. but from what I learn, I fear it was serious. I will write again when I can get any further particulars. "  


And then:


Sunday, April 9, 1916. 


Dear Mrs. Knox


Further of mine yesterday - it is my sad duty to inform you that your son, Rfn. J. Knox died last night as the result of the wound he received in the trenches. You have my deepest sympathy in your sad loss, as the boy was a general favourite and a good soldier and in the days to come it may be some consolation to you to remember that he did his duty well and died for his country.


Prior to enlistment, Rfn. Knox was an employee of Messrs. Workman and Clarke, Belfast. He had a large circle of friends in Ballymena who will be sorry to hear of his death. He was the son of the late Hugh Knox of Ballymena.


77th List - 1,428 Patriotic Men


This week's recruiting: 

Royal Scots - Private William Harvey, Alexander Street



SERGEANT J.M. Boyd, son of Mrs. Boyd, Kinhilt Street, Ballymena, who joined the 5th Australian Light Horse at the outbreak of war, has been promoted to 2nd Lt. in the same regiment. Mr. Boyd was in hospital for some time in Malta suffering from a fractured skull, but has now rejoined the Australian Forces. He has a brother also with the  Australian Forces. (Anyone who has seen the film 'Gallipoli' starring Mel Gibson will realise this is the unit featured  in the film. Another film, 'The Light Horsemen' was also made to celebrate the achievements of the famous regiment.)


HAMILL Alexander Rifleman, 20th Royal Irish Rifles, died at home on the 21st April, 1916. He was the son of John and Nancy Hamill, Taylorstown. Buried Grange Corner Presbyterian Church and commemorated likewise. 







Mrs. Gihon, Lisnafillan House, has received an acknowledgement from Driver A. Scott, Royal Engineers for the melodeon which she forwarded in answer to his appeal.

IN the last letter received from Private John Weir, Royal Irish Fusiliers, by his wife, who resides in Galgorm Street, Ballymena, he acknowledges the receipt of photographs from home and states that he is enjoying the best of health. Private Weir, who was a postman in Ballymena, has been a prisoner of war since the retreat from Mons in 1914.

Ballymena Observer, April 14, 1916


78th list


This week's recruiting:


18th Royal Irish Rifles - Private John Finlay, Mounthamilton, Cloughmills; 

8th Hussars: Private  Andrew Linton, Killycowan, Glarryford.


MR. Allan Shafto Adair, only son of R. Shafto Adair Bart. Ballymena Castle and Lower Berkeley Street, Portman Square, London, has been given a commission in the Grenadier Guards. (Later to become Major General Sir Allan Adair, last of that line, who was a commander of the Guards Armoured Division in World War 2)


WE have a letter from Private P. Thompson of Broughshane, acknowledging a parcel of cigarettes from the employees at Raceview (Mill), forwarded through the Observer Tobacco Fund. He would appreciate very much if some of our readers would send a football which would help his comrades to enjoy their spare time when not in the trenches.

Ballymena Observer, April 21, 1916


MONTGOMERY Henry (Harry), S/7697, Private, 2nd Black Watch, MIA/later KIA on the 22nd April 1916. He was born at Killyfleugh, Ballymena and was living in Broxburn, Scotland. He is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, Iraq and in 2nd Ballymena Presbyterian (High Kirk) Church.


CAREY, John, 23154, Private, 8 Royal Irish Fusiliers, DOW April 27, 1916. Named on Loos Memorial. Born Ballymena, enlisted Belfast.


79th List


This week's recruiting:

18th Royal Irish Rifles  - Private David Wright, Laymore; Constable King, High Street  Barrack, RIC, Ballymena).


INFORMATION has been received in Ballymena that Private Arthur Orr, son of the late James Orr, formerly of  Ballymena, who enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force shortly after the outbreak of war, has been wounded. Private Orr was formerly employed in the dentistry establishment of Mr. Waide, Ballymena and was a member of the local Church Lads' Brigade.


MR. E. Lodge, gardener at Craigdun, Ballymena, has been notified that his son, Private R.E. Lodge of the Canadian  Contingent has been wounded. Private Lodge was formerly employed as gardener to Lord O'Neill at Shane's Castle and was in Canada at the outbreak of war when he enlisted. His father had been in the army and a brother is also serving with the colours.

Ballymena Observer, April 28, 1916


TAGGART,  Robert, 21392, Private, 7th Royal Irish Fusiliers, died of wounds on the 2 May 1916. His father lived at 42, James Street, Ballymena. Private Taggart is buried Lillers Communal Cemetery.


Ballymena Observer, May 26, 1916 - MRS. Taggart, James Street, Ballymena, received official intimation on Friday last of the death of her son, Private Robert Taggart of the Royal Irish Fusiliers, which occurred at the West Riding Casualty Clearing Station on May 2, 1916. His death was due to wound and gas poisoning received in action.  Private Taggart, who was an old soldier, rejoined the colours in August last, when the Royal Irish Fusiliers band visited Ballymena on a recruiting tour. Prior to his enlistment he was employed in Messrs. D. McCartney and Son's, Ballymoney Street. He came through the South African campaign and received several medals. 


80th list


This week's recruiting

18th Btn Royal Irish Rifles - F. W. McMaster, Upper Buckna; Wm. Boyd, Upper Buckna.


MR. Robert Millar, Ballymoney Street, Ballymena, has received information intimating that his son, Sergt. R. W. Millar of the Canadian Mounted Rifles was wounded and is at present in St. John's Hospital in France. By the same post Mr. Millar received a letter from his son stating that he had received a bullet wound in the shoulder. Sgt. Millar is the second son of Mr. Millar to enter the forces. He emigrated to Canada two years ago, where he was employed by Eatons of Toronto. He joined the Canadians in June 1915 and went to the front in January of 1916. His brother Lance Corporal Reginald Millar has been at the front since October of last year with the Royal Irish Rifles.


INFORMATION has been received by Mrs. Molloy of 5 Duke Street, Ballymena, that her husband Private John Molloy of the Royal Irish Regiment has been slightly wounded over the left eye and is now in hospital. Private Molloy who is a tailor by trade was employed by Mr. Davison, Wellington Street, Ballymena and joined the army in September 1915.

Ballymena Observer, May 5, 1916


81st list


This week's recruiting:- 

18th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles - F.S. McKibben and T.G. McKibben, Glenwherry; John Glenholmes, Ballycowan.


SERGEANT Robert Shaw, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, has received a bullet wound in the right wrist and is now in the Red Cross Hospital, Christchurch, Hants. He is the eldest son of Mr. Robert Shaw, Ferniskey, Kells, Co. Antrim, whose youngest son is also on active service with the Royal Engineers.


THE Editor writes: We shall be much obliged if readers will forward to us for publication in our columns any information they may receive as to casualties occurring amongst local men in the army or navy, together with home address and any personal details. Photographs of local men who have lost their lives or who have been wounded while serving with the colours will also be welcomed with a view to publication.

Ballymena Observer, May 12, 1916


McKEEVER, Bernard Hugh, 71655, Acting Sergeant, Royal Garrison Artillery, died at Mirzapur India on 12th May 1916. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted at Allahsbad, India.





LAMONT, John, 2nd Lieutenant, 7th King's Own Scottish Borderers, was killed in action on 12th May 1916. Aged 26, he was the son of John and Lillie Ann Lamont, Skerry West, Newtowncrommelin. He is buried in Vermelles Military Cemetery, France, and commemorated in Clough Cemetery, Co Antrim.

Private Harry McCarey


McCARRY (or McCarey) Harry, W/958, Private,  13th Cheshire Regiment, was killed in action on the 15th May 1916. Aged 25, he was the son of Jane McCarey, 7 Warden Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.


Ballymena Observer, May 26, 1916

INTIMATION has been received by Mrs. McCarey, Warden Street, Ballymena, that her son Private Harry McCarey of the Cheshire Regiment has been killed in action. The sad news was received on Saturday last in the following letter from an officer of his battalion:  


Dear Mrs. McCarey, 


I am very sorry to have to write to tell you that you son, Harry, has been killed in action. He was one of the best men in my platoon and in the company. He did very well once in a small attack when he was specially chosen. I don't think he knew what fear meant. He was always bright and cheery and kept the men around him so. He is a great loss to us all.

 

Private McCarey enlisted immediately after the outbreak of war, and after training for 12 months in England, he proceeded to the front where he has been for the last nine months. Before his enlistment he was an employee of Messrs. Lever Brothers, Port Sunlight, England.

Rifleman W. Allen


ALLEN, William, 6530, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds (leg wounds) on May 13th, 1916. He is buried in Forceville Communal Cemetery, France. He was born at Ballyclug and enlisted in Ballymena.  He was the 19 year old son of Sam and Ellen of Dunnyvadden, Kells.


Ballymena Observer, May 26, 1916

MR. Samuel Allen, farmer, Dunnyvadden, Kells, has received official notice that his fourth son, Rifleman W. Allen Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division) died of wounds on May 17


The first intimation received on Saturday from Capt. J. E. Jenks, was as follows:


In the field, May 13. 


Dear Mrs. Allen, 


I much regret to inform you that your son, No. 6530, Rfn. W. Allen, was rather severely wounded in the leg this afternoon. He was sentry in the front line trench when a heavy high explosive shell struck close to where he was standing, a fragment of it striking him above the ankle. I am afraid I shall not be able to give you any news of how he is getting on as once a man is sent back from the line we don't know to which hospital he is sent and can't communicate. 


I am very sorry to lose him, even if it is only for a time. He was a quiet, good lad and always did his work well."


This letter was follows on Monday by a second letter from Capt. Jenks dated 17th inst, which was as follows:


Dear Mrs. Allen, 


I deeply regret to inform you that your son, 12/6530, Rfn. W. Allen, who was wounded on the 15th inst., has since died. Although his wounds did not at first appear grave, it seems they were and combined with the severe shock of the bursting shell, he succumbed to their effect. I deeply sympathise with you on your sad loss.  


Your boy was a great favourite with the others of his platoon and a good soldier - which, after all is the best one can say of anyone in these trying times and is the proudest way one can live, or die if need be. I am so sorry to be the bearer of this ill news.


Rfn. Allen joined the army 12 months ago and went to the front with the 12th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles in the Ulster Division. Prior to his enlistment he was employed on his father's farm. He was a member of the local company of the UVF. Mr. Allen has two other sons with the colours, Private Samuel Allen and Private Robert Allen, who are at present training with the Canadians. Rifleman Allen was highly popular in the district and much sympathy is felt with his relatives in their bereavement.


82nd List - 1443 Patriotic Men


This week's recruiting: 


4th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles - George Dunseath, Fernacushog, Clough; Alexander Linton, Dougry, Clough; John Cameron, Ballymacreigh, Shankbridge; Samuel Meeke, Slatt. 


18th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles - Robert Elder Patterson, Carncoagh; 


Scots Guards - Robert Moore, North Street.


CONFLICTING reports have been received as to the whereabouts of Rifleman William Kearns, whose home address is 26 Larne Street, Ballymena.


The first information, which evidently is the true story, comes from Pte. Kearns himself, stating that he is a prisoner of war in Germany. A fellow soldier wrote home that Private Kearns was killed and in the casualty list of Monday he is reported as missing. 


We give below the details of the several reports:

Miss Martha Kearns of Larne Street has received a letter from Pte. William Kearns of the Royal Irish Rifles stating that he is in a POW camp at Giessen, Germany.  Rfn. Alex Connor of Larne Street had written home saying that Pte Kearns was killed in action.


PRIVATE John Hamilton of Clonavon, who is with the Royal Irish Fusiliers, has been gassed and is now in an English Hospital. Private Hamilton joined the army about six months ago. He is a well known Ballymena man and some years ago was a prominent footballer.


PRIVATE Thomas Service, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers was wounded on 4th inst, in the neck. He is a son of the late Mr. William Service of Glenwherry, Ballymena and half brother of Mrs. Francey, 21 Paxton Street, Belfast. This is the second time he has been in hospital as he was shot in the body in the Dardanelles Campaign.


MESSRS. T.D. and N.S. McKibben, brothers and former members of the UVF left Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, B.C. where they had settled and returned to their old home at Glenwherry, Ballymena to enlist in the Ulster Division. Both were engaged as school teachers in Nanaimo and the esteem with which they were regarded was shown in a practical way before they left by the members of the Presbyterian Young People's Guild, with which they were connected. They are now in training at Clandeboye Camp.

Ballymena Observer, May 19, 1916


McKENDRY (CWGC says McKenzie), Daniel, 18/754, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 19th May 1916. He came from Upper Buckna, Broughhane, and he is buried in Authille Military Cemetery, Somme.


LENNOX, Andrew, 17333, Private, 10/11th Highland Light Infantry, was KIA on the 23rd May, 1916. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Lanark, Scotland.

Drummer Hugh McDowell


McDOWELL, Hugh, 13882, Private & Drummer, 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died of wounds in No.2 Stationary Hospital, Abbeville, France on the 26th May 1916. Aged 24, he had kin at 1 Windsor Terrace, Ballymena, and he was the son of the late Hugh McDowell, Ballymena and brother of J. C. McDowell, Canadian Forces. He is buried in Abbeville Military Cemetery and commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church, Ballymena.


Ballymena Observer, June 2, 1916 - 

A fortnight ago we intimated in this column that Drummer Hugh McDowell of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Ulster Division) has been seriously wounded by shrapnel on the shoulder, muscles of the arms and knee, while serving in the trenches and we regret this week to record his death as the result of his wounds which took place on Friday evening last in No.2 Stationary Hospital, Abbeville France.  


The sad news was contained in a telegram which reached his relatives who reside at Kinhilt Street, Ballymena on Monday morning. A letter from a nurse in the hospital received on Tuesday stated that his position became worse and he died somewhat suddenly at 9.45 pm and that he was such a good patient and seldom complained of pain.  


Drummer McDowell enlisted in September 1914 and after training in Ireland and England he proceeded to the front with the Ulster Division. Prior to his enlistment he was employed in the dressing shop of the Phoenix Weaving Factory, Ballymena and he was a popular member of the Young Conquerors Flute Band. He was a member of Wellington Street Presbyterian Church and was a prominent figure in the choir. 


His brother Corporal John C. McDowell is serving at the front in the machine gun section of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

83rd list - 1444 Patriotic Men


This week's recruiting: 

Army Service Corps (Mechanics) - Pte G. Wilson, Summerfield, Ballymena.


THE latest casualty list contained the name of 2nd Lt. G.M.S. McAlister who is reported wounded. He is the son of  Captain Daniel A. McAlister, Cushendall and a cousin of Mr. D. McAlister, JP, CC and Mr. Arthur McAlister, Cushendall. He was serving with the Northumberland Fusiliers and was recently commended for gallantry. 


We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Norman E. McClelland (son of the late Mr. Wm. McClelland, Arno, Ballymena) as chief surveyor of the American Bureau of Shipping.

Ballymena Observer, May 26, 1916


JOHNSTON, David, 21527, Private, 8th Royal Irish Fusiliers, was KIA on the 2nd June 1916. Aged 18, he was born in Broughshane and enlisted in Larne, and he was the son of the late Hugh Johnston of Cloughmills. He is buried St. Patrick's Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

MAYBIN/MEBAN, Richard, 106392, Private, 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles, died on the 2nd June 1916. Aged 21, he was the son of Margaret Meban/Maybin, Lisnamurrican, Broughshane. He is commemorated on Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate) and in 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church.  

This article appeared  East Antrim & Ballymena Times on Friday 04 November 2016


Poignant tribute to fallen pipe


A poignant ceremony marking the supreme sacrifice of a World War One piper was held in Broughshane last week.


Private Richard Maybin, who was originally from the village, had travelled to Canada to find work in the years before the outbreak of the war.


He was among many emigrants who enlisted into the Canadian Army. Richard was killed on the 2nd June 1916 aged 21 years, during a major German assault in The Ypres Salient, where 80% of his regiment became casualties on one day. Private Richard Maybin is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium and at 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church.


After his death, his personal effects and bagpipes were returned to his mother, Mrs Margaret Maybin who lived in the townland of Lisnamurrican, where they remained in a trunk in the attic for more than half a century before being discovered and restored by Mr Harold Bennett of Carricklongfield, Dungannon.


The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch, (RSPBANI) decided to participate in the Living Memory project, a project which remembers the “forgotten front” - the 300,000 war graves and commemorations in the UK.


To mark the Battle of the Somme Centenary through the Living Memory Project, the RSPBANI Branch held a Slow Air/Lament Pipe Tune Composer’s Competition in July of this year and felt it fitting that the tune should be named in memory of Private Richard Maybin.


The winning tune was composed by Iain Bell from Dumfries, Scotland and was played at 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church on November 2 by RSPBANI Branch Project Manager, Ian Burrows on the pipes that belonged to Private Maybin. A framed copy of the tune was also presented to George McMullan, Clerk of Session, 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church by RSPBANI Branch President Winston Pinkerton. Members of Broughshane and District Pipe Band also attended the commemoration and presentation.


84th List - 1,449 Patriotic Men


This week's recruiting: 


3rd Btn. Royal Irish Rifles: Joseph O'Neill, Springwell Street; 


18th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles: W. J. Erwin. Tullygarley; John Wilson, Dunfane; 


19th Royal Irish Rifles: A.S. Calderwood, Ballywatermoy; 


North Irish Horse: William Gillespie, Ballycraigy.


MRS. T.A. Carroll has received a postcard from her husband Lance Corporal T. A. Carroll, who is a chef attached to the Ulster Division, stating that he is in a Scottish Hospital. No information is given as to whether he is wounded or sick. He enlisted as a chef in the home camps in the 36th Ulster Divisional Cyclist Corps and when the Division went to the front he volunteered for service with the unit.


OFFICIAL intimation has been received by his relatives in Cushendall that Private Patrick  McAllister, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, has been wounded by shrapnel and is now in a base hospital. He is a brother of Messrs. D. McAllister J P and A. McAllister.


Staff Sergeant Major R. J. McCaw of the Australian Light Horse, has been given a commission in an Australian Infantry regiment. Lt. McCaw is a Ballymena man and was engaged for some time in the post office, subsequently  joining the Royal Irish Rifles with which he served through the South African war. He proceeded with his regiment to India at the conclusion of hostilities. He was settled with his family in Adelaide when the present war broke out and at once volunteered, coming to Europe with the first contingent of the Australians. He was wounded in the landing at Suvla and for some time recuperated with friends in Ireland before again proceeding to the front.


DR. Andrew Gaston, third son of Mr. Andrew Gaston, Carnbeg, Cloughmills, has received a commission in the RAMC and has received orders to proceed to Dundalk. Dr. Gaston was educated at Ballymena Academy, Queen's University and Edinburgh, where he qualified in November last. His elder brother James is also in the medical service.

Ballymena Observer, June 2, 1916


Chief Stoker Peter Kennedy


KENNEDY, Peter, 1836U, Chief Stoker HMS Queen Mary, lost his life in the sinking of his ship at Battle of Jutland. He was aged 33, and his wife Jane Kennedy lived at 23, Ritchie Street, Belfast. He was the son of the late Frank and Jane Kennedy of Larne Road, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial and in Harryville Presbyterian Church.  


Ballymena Observer, June 16. 1916

CHIEF Stoker Kennedy was lost with HMS Queen Mary in the recent naval battle off the Danish Coast (Jutland). His mother, who resides in Larne Street, Ballymena, has received official intimation from the Admiralty that it is feared he has gone down with his ship. Stoker Kennedy was a reserve man and prior to being called up was a head fireman in Workman, Clarke & Co's North Yard. He was a native of Ballymena and served for 15 years in H M Navy. Deceased, who was an enthusiastic member of Cavehill L.O.L. 1956 and the RBP 181, leaves a wife and five children who reside at 26, Ritchie Street, Belfast. He has two brothers and a brother-in-law on active service.


KING, James, 2894, Lance Corporal, 7th Gordon Highlanders, died on the 8th June 1916. He came from Randalstown, Co. Antrim, and he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.


 85th List - 1451 Patriotic Men


This week's recruiting:  

North Irish Horse - Trooper James Russell, Patrick Place; 

New Zealand Rifles - Private Robert Galbraith, Carnlea.


THE latest casualty list included the name of Lt. Fritz R. Webb, Royal Irish Rifles, who is reported wounded. He is a son of the late Mr. C.J. Webb, J.P. of the Old Bleach Linen Company, Randalstown. He obtained a commission in the South Antrim Battalion of the Ulster Division on 14th September 1914 and was promoted to Lieutenant on 1st February 1915.

Ballymena Observer, June 9, 1916


BROOKS, Andrew, 19550, Private, 167th Machine Gun Corps (MGC), formerly 17/960 Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on June 11, 1916. He is buried in Authuille Military Cemetery,  Somme. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast.

Private George Francey



FRANCEY, George, 404342, Private, 14th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regt.), was KIA between 12 June 1916 and 13 June 1916. Aged 25, he was formerly of Kells, the son of John Francey. He is buried in Bedford House Cemetery and commemorated in Connor Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, August 4 1916

Private George Francey, previously reported missing, has now been returned as killed in action between 12th and 13th June (1916). Deceased who was a son of Mr. John Francey, Kells, Ballymena, emigrated to Canada about three years ago. He was in the Ottawa train disaster shortly afterwards and was instrumental in saving the lives of the two children of a Ballymena lady, Mrs. McNeilly. Before emigrating he was Deputy Master of Connor LOL 555 and a Sir Knight of RBP 271, Kells and Ferniskey.


GRIBBEN, Robert, 23/1393, Rifleman, N.Z. Rifle Brigade, 1st Battalion, died of wounds on the 17th June, 1916.  Aged 28, he was the son of James Gribben, of The Race Course, Lower Broughshane, Ballymena, Co. Antrim. He is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery, Nord, France and commemorated in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church.


Miss R. Gribben, Racecourse Road, Broughshane, Ballymena, has received official intimation that her brother, Rifleman Robert Gribben, New Zealand Rifle Brigade, has died of wounds. The deceased emigrated to New Zealand about seven years ago and joined the colours in September last.

Ballymena Observer


There were no recruits from Ballymena this week.






MR. John Taylor, 42 Springwell Street, Ballymena, has received official notification that his eldest son, Private W. Taylor, Royal Highlanders, has been admitted to No. 1 Stationary Hospital, Rouen suffering from gunshot wounds to the chest. Pte. Taylor who is 23, left Ballymena to work at the Uphall Oil Works, Broxburn, Scotland and joined  the colours in June of last year.

INFORMATION has been received in Ballymena that Private S. Wallace, Canadian Contingent, has been wounded by shrapnel in the right eye and is at present in No 1 Canadian Field Hospital, France. Prior to emigrating to Canada he resided at Corbally, Galgorm.


INFORMATION has been received in Ballymena to the effect that Bombardier Joseph Francey, Royal Field Artillery, son of Mr. William Francey, Queen Street, Ballymena, has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

INFORMATION has been received in Ballymena to the effect that Bombardier Joseph Francey, Royal Field Artillery, son of Mr. William Francey, 108, Queen Street, Ballymena, has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Bombardier Francey has been at the front since the outbreak of war and has about three and a half year's service. He enlisted in Scotland. (His two brothers also served. Gunner James Francey served in the Royal Field Artillery, and Alexander Francey, invalided home from France in 1916, served with the Highland Light Infantry.)


SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 21 JUNE,1916.


69141, Bombadier J. Francey, 71st Battery, 36th Bde., R.F.A: - For consistent good work since the commencement of the campaign: On one occasion,though not a signaller, he mended wires under heavy fire, and restored communications at a critical moment. He has proved himself a most reliable and fearless N.C.O., and has set a fine example.


Ballymena Observer, June 16, 1916

Private James Erwin


ERWIN (sometimes Ervine), James, 10621, Private, 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, attached the 96th Brigade, Machine Gun Corps, died of wounds received 10 June 1916 on 19 June 1916. Aged 20, he was the son of John and Maggie Erwin, and he was born Ballygarvey, Ballymena, and he enlisted and lived at Ballymena. He is buried Puchevillers British Cemetery, France.


Ballymena Observer, June 30, 1916

OFFICIAL intimation has been received by Mr. John Erwin, Ballygarvey, Ballymena to the effect that his son Private James Ervine (Erwin), Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, has died of wounds received in action. Private Ervine (Erwin) enlisted shortly before the outbreak of war and was only nineteen years of age.

86th List


This week's recruiting:


North Irish Horse: Samuel Wallace, Kilnacolpagh; 

Royal Irish Fusiliers: John McCambridge, Church Street; 

Royal Garrison Artillery: Adam Gilmer, Ballygarvey; 

3rd Royal Irish Rifles: Henry Richmond, Drumcon, Rasharkin; 

Connaught Rangers: John Madden, Suffolk Street; 

Royal Flying Corps: Dan McConnell, Colleen, Ballymena; 

Motor Transport Service: George McConnell, Colleen, Ballymena.


Joined since the outbreak of war - 

Pte. W. J. McBride, Coreen, Broughshane.


SERGEANT John McDowell, who is in the Machine Gun Company of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, is at present home on a short leave with his relatives who reside at Kinhilt Street, Ballymena. For bravery in the field in the recent heavy engagement at Ypres in which the Canadians took part, he has been recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal and was granted special leave. His brother, Private Hugh McDowell of the Royal  Inniskilling Fusiliers, died from wounds recently in a French Hospital.

Ballymena Observer, June 23, 1916


MILLAR, John, 1574, Battery Quartermaster Sergeant (actually Quartermaster Serjeant Saddler), 13th Brigade Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery, Indian Contingent, died of heatstroke on 29 June 1916.  Aged 38, he was born in Ballymena, and was the elder son of late Samuel Millar. He enlisted in Belfast, and his wife Annie lived at 26, Parkmount Street, Belfast. He is buried in Mesopotamia's Amara War Cemetery, Iraq.


87th List


This week's recruiting:-


Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders - Pte David Watson, Henry Street; Pte Charles  Tweed, Railway Street; Pte John Kearns, Larne Street;

Army Service Corps - Pte. Jas. W. Thompson, Wellington Street.


SECOND Lieutenant John Bell, King's Own Royal Lancashire Regiment, who is reported wounded, is the fifth son of Mr. James Bell, Grovehill, Ballymena and brother of 2nd Lt. Samuel A. Bell, Royal Irish Rifles, who was wounded on the head by a shell on Sunday, 26th September 1915 at Loos. Prior to the war 2nd Lt. J. Bell was parish minister of Carlton Church, Uddington, Scotland. He volunteered for service in 1914 and has been at the front since 1st June, 1915.


Intimation has been received by Mrs. James Armstrong, Allison's Hill, Ballymena, that her nephew Rfn. John Rodgers, 12th Royal Irish Rifles has been wounded.

Ballymena Observer, June 30, 1916


The entire month of July 1916 is almost entirely given over to news of casualties from the 1st July advance of the 36th (Ulster Division) at the Somme. Due to the scale of casualties resulting from that attack,  it has been decided that the first day on the Somme requires a separate chapter in the history.


Ballymena's bloodiest day - 1st July 1916


ANDERSON, William Henry, 19376, Rifleman,  11th Royal Irish Rifles, KIA, July 1, 1916. He is buried in Contalmaison Chateau Cemetery, Somme. He was born in Broughshane and enlisted in Antrim. Aged 21, he was the son of James and Mary Anderson, Shane's Cottage, Randalstown.

Rifleman David Anderson  




ANDERSON, David, 4932, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on July 5, 1916. He is buried in Puchevillers British Cemetery, Somme. Aged 39, he was born and enlisted Ballymena, son of Adam and Jane, sister Martha at 9 Bridge Street Place.


Mrs. Anderson, Bridge Street, Ballymena, has received information that her son, Rifleman David Anderson of the 12th Royal Irish Rifles (originally reported as wounded) has died of wounds. Rifleman Anderson enlisted about 14 months ago and went to the front with the Ulster Division. Before joining the army he was an employee at the Braidwater Mill and was a member of the Braidwater LOL, Ballymena. 



BARR, John, 7859, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on July 7, 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme. Aged 38, he was the son of Duffin Barr, Crumkill. His wife Ellen and six children lived at 159 Queen Street, Ballymena. He enlisted in Ballymena and is commemorated in Wellington St. Presbyterian Church.


Mrs. Barr, Queen Street, Ballymena, has received notification that her husband Rifleman John Barr, Royal Irish Rifles has been killed in action. Rifleman Barr enlisted in November 1915 during the last recruiting campaign in the district and he had been at the front since March. Before joining the army he was in the employment of the Midland Railway Company (NCC). He leaves his wife and six young children to mourn his loss. 


BLAIR, James, 69, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on July 1, 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Ballyclare. Aged 20, he was the son of William Blair, Millvale, Ballyclare.


BONNAR, John, 6293, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on July 1, 1916. He is named on the Thiepval Memorial. He was born at/had kin at Rocavan/Racavan, Broughshane. He enlisted in Ballymena and lived in Ballyclare. He is commemorated in Buckna Presbyterian Church.


Information has been received by his sister that Rifleman John Bonnar, 12th Royal Irish Rifles (Central Antrims), has been killed in action on July 1. Rifleman Bonnar enlisted in May 1915 prior to which he was in the employment of Mr. James Currie, Rocavan. Rifleman Bonnar, who was only 18 years of age, was a son of the late Mr. James Bonnar, Rocavan


BOYD, William. 11894, Rifleman, 15th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on  July 1, 1916. He is named on the Thiepval Memorial. He was born in Drummaul, Co. Antrim, enlisted in Belfast, and was the husband of A. Hoy (formerly Boyd), Drummaragh, Doagh.


BROWN, George, 17678, Private, 108 Coy, Machine Gun Corps, was KIA on the July 1, 1916. He is buried Connaught Cemetery, Somme. He was born in Randalstown.


BROWN, William, 7905, Rifleman, 16th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on July 1, 1916. He is buried Hamel Military Cemetery, Somme. He was born at Portglenone, enlisted in Ballymena, and his wife and daughter at Culnafay, Toome.


Rifleman William Brown (Pioneer), Newferry, whose wife and young daughter reside at Culnafay, has been killed in action on July 1. He was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. William Brown of Newferry. He had emigrated to America three years ago and returned in Christmas 1914, joining the army in the early spring of 1915 and went to the front with the Ulster Division (16th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles). 


Rifleman Brown is the only recorded fatal casualty of the 16th (Pioneer) Battalion on July 1. However, the unit was to remain in action well after the remainder of the Division were relieved on July 3. 

Sergeant Samuel Coleman Caldwell 


CALDWELL (Calwell), Samuel Coleman, 17396, Sgt. 12th  Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on July 3, 1916. He is buried in Puchevillers Cemetery, Somme. He was the son of Robert Torrens Caldwell and Mary Elizabeth Calwell, of Ross Lodge, Kells, Co. Antrim. He enlisted in Ballyclare and is commemorated in Kells Presbyterian Church.  


Mr. R. T. Caldwell, of Ross, Kells, Ballymena, has received notification that his eldest son, Sergt. Samuel C. Caldwell, 12th Royal Irish Rifles (Central Antrim Volunteers), has died of wounds received in action on July 3. Deceased, who was 27 years of age, was unmarried.

Sergeant William Grant 


GRANT, William, 19003, Sergeant, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, KIA on 1st July 1916. He was born at Galgorm and enlisted in Ballymena.  He lived at Railway Cottages, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in 2nd Ballymena (High Kirk) Presbyterian Church. Headstone in Cushendall Rd New Cemetery, Ballymena.

Lance Corporal Robert A. Campbell 


CAMPBELL, Robert Alexander, 18961, Private, 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was  KIA July 1, 1916. He is named on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme. He was born at Connor/Galdanagh and enlisted in Belfast. He lived in Maryhill, Glasgow.


The Ulster movement in the Maryhill Division of Glasgow has lost one of its foremost workers by the death in action of L/Cpl Robert A. Campbell, of the Inniskilling Fusiliers (Ulster Division). Deceased, who was a native of Galdanagh, Kells, removed to Maryhill along with his parents a number of years ago. He took an active interest in furthering Ulster's interests in Maryhill, and among the many Ulstermen in the district he was highly respected. He was one of the first members of the Glasgow UVF and had been with the Ulster Division since January 1915. The deceased was a bomber and in the afternoon of 1st July while taking part in the offensive, he, along with many other good Irishmen, was killed. His parents who are well known in the Galdanagh District and who now reside at 14 Campbell Street, Maryhill, Glasgow have received a letter of sympathy from his officer, in which it is stated: "Bobbie was one of the best men I ever had. He was a fearless and upright soldier and I can assure you that everyone in the battalion will mourn his loss."  L/Cpl. Campbell was also a member of both the local Orange and Masonic Lodges. 


His older brother, William, who is in the Cameron Highlanders, was wounded at Loos last year. He is now serving in Salonika. Aug 4 1916

CAMPBELL, William John, 17356, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on July 1, 1916. He is buried in Ancre British Cemetery, Somme. He was born in Kells and was the husband of Margaret Jane, 36 Waterloo Road, Larne.
William Campbell's family allegedly knew of his death before they had been officially informed. A unknown neighbour,a soldier on leave, had been with William when he died.

Lance Corporal Thomas Cooke 


COOKE, Thomas Haslett, 19441, Lance Corporal, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the July 1, 1916. He is named on the Thiepval Memorial. Aged 19, he was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast. He was the son of Alex Cooke, 22 Larne Street, Ballymena and he is commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.


MR. Alexander Cooke, Larne Street, Ballymena, received a letter from a Presbyterian Chaplain yesterday to the effect that his son, L/Cpl. T. Cooke, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed on July 1. 


Lance Corporal Cooke enlisted in September 1914 prior to which he was an employee in the Braidwater Spinning Mill. He was only 19 years of age. He has two brothers with the colours, Rifleman Alex Cooke, who is in training with the 18th Royal Irish Rifles at Clandeboye and Private James Cooke, Royal Engineers. 

COOPER, Robert, 18917, Rfn., 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on July 1, 1916 (having been MIA from that date, body found in 1917). He is buried in Ancre British cemetery, Somme. Aged 22, He was born in Kellswater and enlisted in Ballymena. He was the son of James Cooper, Tullynamullan, Kells. He is commemorated in Kells Presbyterian Church, Co Antrim.


COULTER, James, 7263, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the July 1, 1916. He is named on the Thiepval memorial. Aged 19, he was the son of Robert and Ellen, Drumanaway, Randalstown.


COULTER, Robert, 14250, Private, 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was KIA on the July 1, 1916. He was born Aughlurch, Co. Fermanagh, but in lived Ballymena.


COULTER Thomas, 13869, Private. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was KIA on the July 1, 1916. He is named on the Thiepval Memorial. He was born in Ballymena and lived on the Moat Road, Harryville. He is commemorated in Wellington St. Presbyterian Church.


Official information has been received by his relatives who reside at Moat Road, Ballymena that Private Thomas Coulter, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, is missing since 1st July. Private Coulter enlisted in October 1914, prior to which he was in the employment of Messrs. Kane Bros, Ballymena. 


CRAWFORD, Samuel, 17378, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 1 July, 1916. He was born at Lisnafillan, Ahoghill and enlisted in Larne. His father Archie lived at Lisnafillan, Ballymena and his wife and son were at Circular Road, Larne. He is buried Ancre British Cemetery, Somme and commemorated in Ahoghill Church of Ireland.


Official information has been received of the death in action of Rifleman Samuel Crawford, 12th Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), a native of Lisnafillan, Ballymena and whose wife and young child reside in Circular Road, Larne. Rfn Crawford, who was the second son of Mr. A. Crawford, Lisnafillan, was formerly employed by Mr. D. Weir, Straid, Gracehill and by Mr. Robert Moore, Bridgend. Prior to going to Larne he was in the employment of Ballymena gas works. In Larne he was employed by the Aluminium Works. He was a member of the UVF in Larne and a member of Galgorm LOL, Ballymena. He enlisted in the autumn of 1914 and went to the front with the Ulster Division. 

Andrew Dinsmore Davison

DAVISON, Andrew Dinsmore, 17714, Private 108th Company Machine Gun Corps, formerly 18942, Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916.  He was born and lived/son of Sam and Elizabeth Davison, Bridge End, Galgorm. He enlisted in Ballymena, and he is buried in Mesnil Communal Cemetery, Somme. He is commemorated in Ahoghill Church of Ireland.


DAWSON, Samuel, 14860, Private, 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on 1st July 1916.  He was born at Portglenone, enlisted in Belfast, and lived in Glasgow. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.


ELLIS, Samuel, 19472, Lance Corporal, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born at Mossend, Scotland, enlisted in Antrim, and lived at Toomebridge. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

FENTON, James, 17629, Lance Corporal, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born and lived near Dunloy. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.


FOSTER, John Barkley, 3734, Lance Corporal, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916.  Aged 28, He was born in Drummaul, enlisted in Randalstown, and was the son of William and Betty Anne Foster, Randalstown. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Randalstown Old Presbyterian Church.


FRANCEY, William, 17697, Private, 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Hamilton, Scotland He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.

Lance Corporal William Furgrove 


FURGROVE, William, 6362, Lance Corporal, 12th Royal Irish Rifles was killed in action on the 1st July 1916.  He was born in Moneymore, enlisted in Ballymena, and was the only son of William Furgrove of Cullybackey. He is buried in Ancre British Cemetery, Somme, and commemorated in Cuningham Memorial Presbyterian Church.


Mrs. Furgrove, Cullybackey, has received information of the death in action of her son, Corporal W. Furgrove, Royal Irish Rifles (CAV) which took place on the 1st July. The secretary of the Ancient Blue Masonic Lodge, Cullybackey, has written to Mrs. Furgrove and family conveying sincere sympathy. 

Ballymena Observer

Rifleman Frank Gamble 


GAMBLE, Frank,18993, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. Aged 21, he was born in Connor, enlisted in Ballymena, and was the son of Mr. & Mrs. John Gamble, The Moat, Kells. He is commemorated on theThiepval Memorial and in Connor Presbyterian Church.


MR. John Gamble, The Moat, Kells, received intimation yesterday that his son Rfn. Frank Gamble 12th Royal Irish Rifles has been killed in action. He enlisted in September 1914 prior to which he was a turner in the woollen Mill of Messrs. John Dinsmore and Son, Old Green. Rfn. Gamble was a member of the local company of the UVF. He is a brother of Mr. Lockhart Gamble, ticket collector at Ballymena Railway Station and caretaker of the Masonic Hall.


GIBSON, David, 1004, Rifleman,  14th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born and lived at Kellswater and enlisted in Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.

Corporal David Glendinning


GLENDINNING, David, 1290, Corporal, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. Aged 22, he was born in born Randalstown and enlisted in Lisburn. He was the son of David and Mary Glendinning, at one time living in Glarryford, and he had lived with his wife and child at Ballyronan. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. 


David Glendinning was the son of David, a labourer, and Mary Glendinning. David was born in Randalstown about 1894, and the family is associated with Glarryford, but David later lived in the Ballyronan area. David Glendinning had married Ellen Smyth in Antrim on 19th March 1915. Ellen and his daughter lived at the time of his death in The Cottage, Ballyronan, Magherafelt. May, his daughter, was born in Ballyronan on 4th January 1916.

Corporal David Glendinning 


The 1901 census lists David as age 7, living with the family at house 9 in Ballyriff, Loop, Moneymore. His father was a labourer. David (Sen.) and Mary list their children as:  William James Glendinning (born about 1892), David Glendinning (born about 1894), Annie Glendinning (born about 1896), Thomas Glendinning (born about 1898), Minnie Glendinning (born about 1900), Samuel Glendenning (born about 1902), John Glendenning (born about 1905).


GOURLEY, Thomas, 17742, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born in Ahoghill and enlisted in Larne. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.


GRAHAM, William, S/3674, Private, 2nd Gordon Highlanders, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. Aged 25, he was bornin Broughshane and was the son of Sarah, 131 Watsonville, Motherwell.


GRANT John, 19005, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was from Galgorm and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in 2nd Ballymena Presbyterian Church.


INTIMATION was received yesterday by Mr. John Grant, Galgorm, that his son Rifleman John Grant, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, has been killed in action. Rifleman Grant enlisted in September 1914 and before joining the colours was in the employment of the late Mr. John Young 


GRANT, William, 19003, Sergeant, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born in Galgorm and enlisted in Ballymena. He lived at Railway Cottages, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in 2nd Ballymena Presbyterian Church.


Information was received yesterday that Sergeant William Grant of the 12th Royal Irish Rifles has been killed in action. He was the son of Mr. William Grant of Railway Cottages, Ballymena, and prior to his enlistment in September of 1914 was a tailor in Messrs. Barclay and Crawford , Church Street, Ballymena.  Sgt. Grant was a prominent member of the Harryville Company of the UVF. The Rev. Alfred McFadden of High Kirk (2nd Ballymena), to which Church he belonged, made a touching reference to him last Sunday. 


HAMILL, Thomas, 19531, Rifleman, 9th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born in Ballymena and  enlisted in Belfast. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.


HARPER, James, 3252, Rifleman, 15th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born at Ballycraigy, Carnanee, Templepatrick, enlisted in Belfast and  lived at Templepatrick. He was the son of Thomas and Rose Harper, Carnanee, Templepatrick. His sister lived at Ticloy, Aughafatten.


HARPER, Joseph, 880, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles. was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born at Carnmoney. He was the son of Thomas and Rose Harper, Carnanee, Templepatrick. His sister lived at Ticloy, Aughafatten (see above).

Lt. Thomas Greenwood Haughton 




Mr. T. G. Haughton, JP, Hillmount, Cullybackey, yesterday received the sad official information that his youngest son, Lt. Thomas Greenwood Haughton, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, had been killed on 1st July. Mr. Haughton, who was 25 years of age, was educated at Edgbaston Preparatory School, Birmingham and at St. Edmond's School, Oxford. He had been a popular and enthusiastic officer in connection with the Ulster Volunteers and was commander of E Coy. 1st Battalion,  North Antrim Regiment.


When war broke out he offered his services, securing a commission in the Central Antrims, the 12th Royal Irish Rifles, going to the front in October 1915. At his coming of age on 2nd June 1912 the employees of the family firm, Messrs. Frazer and Haughton, Cullybackey, made him a presentation of a gold watch and chain as a token of the respect in which he was held. 


(photograph courtesy of Our Heroes, South Dublin Libraries)

Corporal George Ireland 


IRELAND, George, 17923, Corporal, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was the son of James Ireland of  Ballygarvey. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church.


Information has been received by Mr. James Ireland, Ballygarvey, Ballymena, that his third son, Cpl. George Ireland, 12th Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), has been killed in action. Cpl. Ireland who was 29 years of age enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war and went to the front with the Ulster Division. Prior to joining the army he was employed by the Midland Railway Company. He was a member of the UVF and Loyal Orange Institution. His brother, Pte John Ireland, 204th Btn. Toronto Rifles, is in training with the Canadians. 



KENNEDY, Robert James, 630, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles died on the 1 July 1916. Aged 28, he was the son of James and Jane Kennedy, Hillmount, Cullybackey. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Cullybackey United Free Church.





Rifleman Robert James Kennedy

Rifleman James King


KING, James, 19046, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born at Carnmoney, but lived and enlisted in Ballymena. His wife Maggie King lived at 10 Springwell Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in 2nd Ballymena Presbyterian Church.



Rifleman J. King (dead) 

Mrs. King, 108 Springwell Street, Ballymena has received a letter from the Chaplain of the 12th Royal Irish Rifles (Central Antrims) informing her that her husband, Rifleman J. King has been missing since 1st July. Before joining the forces, he was an employee of Mr. Bernard O'Neill, boot and shoe manufacturer, Mill Street, Ballymena. 

Ballymena Observer, Aug 4 1916

LINTON, David, 6186, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. Aged 19, he was the son of Robert John and Mary Linton of Artnacrea, Clough, Co. Antrim. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Clough Presbyterian Church.


Official intimation has been received by Mr. Robert Linton, Cloughmills that his son, Rifleman David Linton Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division) was killed in action on July 1. 





Rifleman David Linton

LOGAN, Joseph, 18103, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Larne. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.


MAGILL Robert,  6205, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916.  Aged 18, he was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Magill, Randalstown. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Randalstown Old Presbyterian Church.


McCALMONT, David, 305, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was bornat Glenwherry and he enlisted in Ballyclare. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.


John (Ross) McCart


McCART (Ross), John, 818, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles,  was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. Aged 20, son of George and Margaret McCart, 14 Castle Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.







McCARTNEY John, 17848, Private, 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast. His kin lived at 11, Alfred Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

Rifleman Robert McCartney

McCARTNEY, Robert, 6357, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916.  He was born in the USA, enlisted Ballymena. He lived at Hillmount, Cullybackey. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Cuningham Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cullybackey.

 

McCLEAN, John, 2216, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born at Kirkinriola and enlisted in Lisburn. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.


McCLENAGHAN, Thomas, 22878, Private, 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born in Ballymena and he enlisted/lived Belfast. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.


TELFORD, William, 4262, 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was the son of Mrs. John Telford, Alexander Street, Ballymena. He had been involved previously in much heavy fighting during the Dardanelles Campaign, His brother James was slightly wounded on the Somme while serving in the 12th Royal Irish Rifles the same day that William was killed. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.

McCOLLEN (or McCollam), Andrew, 655, Rifleman, 8th Royal Irish Rifles, was originally listed MIA, missing in action, on the 1st July 1916; the date of his death is given as 2nd July). He was born in Craigs, Cullybackey and he enlisted in Ballymena. He lived on Main Street, Cullybackey. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Cullybackey United Free Church (now Methodist Church, Cullybackey). 
 

Private William Telford
Thomas McCollum/McCallum

McCOLLUM (McCallum on CWGC), Thomas, 370, Lance Corporal, 13th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born at Carnmoney, enlisted  in Ballymena, and his parents resided at 16 Parkhead, Ballymena. He is commemorated in 2nd Ballymena Presbyterian Church.


McCRACKEN (McCrackin), Robert, 487, 13th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was the son of Mrs. R. McCracken, Station Road, Cullybackey. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Cuningham Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cullybackey.



McFarland Grave Marker 

listing James and His Brother George


McFARLAND, James, 18728, Private, 10th Machine Gun Corps, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. Service He was born at Shankhill and the family lived in Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and named on a grave in Ballymarlow Church of Ireland (Parish of Kilconriola and Ballyclug)





McGOWAN John, 19687, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the Somme on the 1st July 1916.  Aged 20, he was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast. He was the son of William  & Jane McGowan, 4 King Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Theipval Memorial.

McGOWAN James, 6190, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. Aged 18, he was born in  Bushmills, son of William & Jane McGowan, 4 King Street, Ballymena (brother of John above). He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.


NEWS was received yesterday by Mr. William McGowan, King Street, Ballymena, that his two sons, Rifleman James McGowan and Rifleman John McGowan of the 12th Royal Irish Rifles, have been killed in action on July 1. 


John enlisted in September 1914 prior to which he was in the employment of Ballymena Urban Council and James enlisted in May 1915 before which he was an employee in the Braidwater Spinning Mill. Both went to the front with the Ulster Division. It is understood that one brother went to the assistance of the other and they were both killed fighting together. 





McMASTER Samuel, 19626, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. Aged 21, he was born in Ballymena, and his wife and child lived at Railway Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, and in 2nd Ahoghill Presbyterian Church.

Rifleman W. J. McMullan 


McMULLAN William John,19657, Rifleman 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on 1st July 1916. Aged 27, he was the son of Daniel and Margaret McMullan of Queen Street, Ballymena. He is buried in Ancre British Cemetery, Beaumont Hamel, Somme.


Mr. Daniel McMullan, 82 Queen Street, Harryville, has been officially informed that his son William John McMullan (Central Antrim Volunteers) has been killed in action. He had previously been reported missing since 1st July. 


Rfn. McMullan enlisted in September 1914 and went to the front with the Ulster Division last Autumn. He had the distinction of being the first Ballymena man in the 12th Royal Irish Rifles to be wounded. This was in October 1915 when he was slightly wounded in the foot. Prior to enlisting Rifleman McMullan was employed in Greer's tailoring establishment, Church Street, Ballymena. 

Ballymena Observer, Aug. 11 1916 


McMURRAY, George, 19120, Lance Corporal 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born in and lived at Tannybrake, Kells, and he enlisted in Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial  and in Connor Presbyterian Church.


McNEICE, William John, 4869, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916.  Aged 23, he was born and lived in Ballymena. He was the son of Wm. John and Maggie McNeice, Tullygarley, and his wife of Jeannie lived at 64 Moat Road, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.

Rifleman Daniel McNiece 


McNEICE, Daniel, 19627, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was the son of John McNiece of Queen Street. He left three daughters, the eldest of which was 10 in 1916. His sister Sarah was the wife of James Thompson, also killed in action. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church.


MR. John McNiece, Queen Street, Harryville, received a letter from a chaplain yesterday stating that his son, Rfn. Daniel McNiece, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on July 1. Rfn. McNiece enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war and was formerly in the employ of Kane Bros. He was a member of the UVF and of Ballykeel LOL. He leaves three children. 


MILLAR Thomas, 6862, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. Aged 18, was born at born Drummaul and enlisted at Clandeboye, Co Down. He was the son of James and Sarah Millar of Caddy, Randalstown. He is commemorated in Randalstown Old Presbyterian Church.

Rifleman Samuel Millar 


MILLER, Samuel, 240, Lance Corporal, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 1st July 1916. Aged 27 and born at Ballyclay, he was the son of Alex and Mary Miller of 32 Larne Street, Ballymena. His wife Jeannie lived at Castle Lodge. He is buried in Forceville Communal Cemetery, Somme and is commemorated in Harryville Presbyterian Church.


Mrs. S. Millar, Castle Grounds, Ballymena, has received official notification to the effect that her husband, Rifleman Samuel Millar, Royal Irish Rifles, has died of wounds. Rifleman Millar enlisted in June 1915 and has been at the front nine months. About five weeks ago when he was home on leave he was married. He is a son of Mr. Alexander Millar, 59 Larne Street, Ballymena. His brother Rifleman Lockhart Millar is on active service. (He was Lance Corporal at the time of his brother's death) 

Rifleman Alex. Montgomery 


MONTGOMERY, Alexander, 580, Rifleman, 13th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He lived with his wife and six children at 13 Hope Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.


Mrs. Montgomery, Hope Street, Ballymena, has received official notification that her husband, Rifleman Alexander Montgomery, Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division) is missing. Rifleman Montgomery enlisted in October 1915 before which he was an employee in the Braidwater Spinning Mill. 

Ballymena Observer, Aug 11 1916 


On February 9, 1917 Mrs. Montgomery was informed that her husband had, indeed, been killed in action on July 1, 1916. 


MONTGOMERY, Robert, 19499, Private, 107th Machine Gun Corps (Inf) was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born at Moorfields and enlisted in Belfast. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.




PARK, John James, 22890, Private, 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Machine Gun section) was missing in action, later deemed killed in action, on the 1st July 1916. He was aged 24 and had enlisted in Glasgow. He was the son of John and Elizabeth Park of Carnlea, Glarryford, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Killymurris Presbyterian Church, Glarryford.

Left: Private John Reid


REID, John, 27147, Private, 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He came from Knockans, Finvoy, Rasharkin and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.He was 36 years old, had previously serves in the Boer War and was the husband of Mrs. Sarah Reid, of Knockans, Finvoy, Ballymoney, Co. Antrim.


RICE, William, 27692, Private, 10th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action  on the 1st July 1916. He lived at Craigs, Cullybackey and enlisted in Ballymena. His parents lived at at 29 Glu Street, Paisley. He is buried in Connaught Cemetery, Somme.



RITCHIE, David Lynn, 376, Sergeant,  9th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. Aged 46, son of Charles Ritchie of Ballylig, Broughshane and husband of Jane Ritchie ,Carncairn, Broughshane. Comm. On Thiepval Memorial and 1st Broughshane Pres. Church. Son of Charles Ritchie, of Ballylig, Broughshane; husband of Jane Ritchie, of Carncairn, Broughshane, Ballymena, Co. Antrim.


ROBINSON, Edward, 3745, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born at the Grange and lived in nearby Taylorstown. He was the son of John Robinson of Kilvillis, Toomebridge. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Grange Presbyterian Church.


SMYTH, James, 50, Lance Corporal, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. Aged 19, he was the son of Thomas and Margaret Smyth, Caddy, near Randalstown. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Church. 


SMYTH, James, 19211, Corporal, 12th royal irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was the son of John Smyth, Craigs, Cullybackey and he lived at Cullybackey. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.


THOMPSON, James, 19231, Rifleman, 13th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. Aged 20, he was bornin Ballymena and lived at Kircubbin, Co Down . He was the son of William and Margaret Thompson, Kirkistown, Co Down.  He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.


TORBITT, William, 18840, Lance Corporal, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born in Ballymena and lived in Larne. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

WALLACE, Alexander, 19242, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916.  He was the husband of Amy Wallace, Gilmore Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.


MRS. Wallace, Gilmore Street, received information yesterday from a chaplain at the front to the effect that he husband, Rifleman Alex. Wallace, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on July 1. Rifleman Wallace, who was a member of Harryville Unionist Club and the UVF, enlisted in September 1914 and went to the front with the Ulster Division. Before joining the army he was in the employment of Messrs. Morton and Simpson Ltd. He leaves a wife and two children to mourn his loss. He was a son of Mr. John Wallace Queen Street. 

Ballymena Observer

Cpl. James Watson

WATSON, James, 19297, Corporal, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died on the 1st July 1916. He is associated with Broughshane Street, Ballymena. His cousins were Wm. J. and Charles Watson also wounded  on same day. Comm. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.

Official information has been received of the death in action on July 1st of Corporal James Watson, 12th Royal Irish Rifles (CAV). Cpl. Watson was an employee at the Braidwater Spining Mill and he was among the early UVF to train at the Clegan Camp. He was a son of the late Mr. Andrew Watson, Broughshane Street, and he resided with his sisters at that address. Two years ago he lost a finger in an accident at the mill. 
Ballymena Observer

WATERMAN, Ronald, 210, Lance Corporal 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 1st July 1916. Aged 19, he was born at Ballywatermoy, Cullybackey (not 'Ballywater, Moy', as stated in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Roll of Honour, 1914-18), and he lived in Belfast.  He was the son of Samuel and Elsie Waterman, 8 Glencollyer Street, Belfast. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme and on the family headstone in Craigs Parish Churchyard, Craigs, Cullybackey.
Captain O.B. Webb 

WEBB, Oswald Brooke, Captain, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 3rd July 1916 from wounds received in 1st July. Aged 37, he was the son of late Charles J. Webb of  Randalstown. He is buried Waroy Baillon Communal Cemetery Extention,  Somme.
 

Official information has been received that Captain O. B. Webb, Randalstown of the Royal Irish Rifles (South Antrims) died on Monday as a result of wounds received on Saturday, July 1. Captain Webb, who joined the Ulster Division shortly after the outbreak of war went to the front in October. He was a member of the firm Old Bleach Linen Co. He was a staunch unionist and took an active interest in the formation of the Ulster Volunteers of which he was a company officer. 

Lisburn Standard, Friday, 7th July 1916

Captain Oswald B. Webb, Royal Irish Rifles (South Antrim Volunteers), killed in action, was a son of the late Mr. Chas. J. Webb, J.P., founder and for many years principal of the Old Bleach Linen Company, Randalstown. He was a brother of Mr. W. H. Webb, J.P., a well-known member of the Ulster Unionist Council, and of Lieutenant F. R. Webb, Royal Irish Rifles (South Antrim Volunteers), who was wounded recently. The late Captain Webb was a prominent member of the Ulster Volunteer Force. His cousin, Captain G. W. Webb, Royal Flying Corps, is reported missing. Writing to a Lisburn woman the week before last, consoling her on the death of her son, Capt. Webb said there was no more glorious death than dying for one's country.
WHITE, Joseph, 19819, Rifleman 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was the son of John, 7 Galgorm Road, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
 ... received official notification - Mr. John White, Galgorm Road, Ballymena, has received official notification that his son, Rifleman Joseph White 12th Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), has been killed in action on an unknown date but most probably July 1st. Rifleman White enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war, prior to which he was in the employment of the Braidwater Spinning Company and for a number of years was Messrs. Eason's newsboy at Ballymena Railway Station. He was at the front for seven months. He has two Uncles serving with the colours, both of whom have been wounded, Rifleman James Campbell, Royal Irish Rifles, and Private Joseph Campbell, Royal Scots. Rifleman White was only 18 years of age. 
WILSON, John H, 19327, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916.  He was the son of Mary, Wilson, Magherafelt, and he lived at Church Street, Ahoghill. He was a marathon runner and played for Ahoghill FC. He is commemorated in  Ahoghill Church of Ireland.

Rifleman J. Wilson (missing) 
Mrs. Mary Wilson, Church Street, Ahoghill, has received a letter from the Rev. Andrew Gibson, Presbyterian Chaplain, informing her that her son, Rifleman J. Wilson (Central Antrim Volunteers) has been officially reported as missing since the day the Ulster Division went into action. Continuing, the Rev. Gibson says: - "I wrote to offer you our deepest sympathy in your suspense and anxiety and to express the hope that you may have heard of him from some reliable quarter. It is to be feared that many of the ?missing? have laid down their lives on the field of battle. Today there are many homes in Ulster where sorrow is, and many hearts prostrate with grief. Ulster?s sons fought a great fight and covered her name with glory. We are confident that you at home will meet these losses bravely and will walk the hard path with unwavering faith as those who have fallen would wish us to do." 
Ballymena Observer, Aug. 4, 1916 

WILSON, Thomas, 604, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. Aged 21, he was born at Rasharkin and was the son of John and Lena Wilson, Duneany, Glarryford. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Killymurris Presbyterian Church.

WYLIE, Thomas, 22467, 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born and lived at Ballywatermoy, Cullybackey. He is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial.
WYLIE, William, 4402, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was the son of William and the late Ellen, Tullygrawley, Cullybackey. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Killymurris Presbyterian Church, Glarryford.




Some of the Men Wounded July, 1916

Rifleman McKay  - was from Springwell Street, Ballymena and served with the 11th (S) Btn. Royal Irish Rifles which attacked the Schwaben Redoubt on July 1 1916

Lt. William Ellis, Royal Irish Rifles (South Antrims) was wounded on July 1st and is at present in hospital in England. He is the only son of Mr. William Ellis, Toomebridge. He was an active member of the UVF being in the South Antrim Regiment. 

2nd Lt. Jack Crawford, Royal Irish Rifles, second son of Mr. Robert Crawford, Ashville, Ballymena was wounded in the Ulster Division's advance. We understand that he is in hospital in France and is progressing favourably from his wounds which he states himself are only slight. Mr. Crawford who is just 21 years of age, was with the YCVs (Young Citizens Volunteers). He has another brother in the Rifles, 2nd Lt. Rollie Crawford. He was educated at the Model School Ballymena Academy, Foyle College and Trinity College, Dublin where he was studying for the ministry. In the early spring of 1915 he joined the Rifles as a private and later became attached to the cadet corps, from which he gained a commission. He went to the front during the first week of February 1915 

Mrs. Vint, Waveney Road, Ballymena, has received a telegram from the War Office that her son, 2nd Lt. F. W. Vint, Royal Irish Fusiliers, has been wounded. The injuries are described as gunshot wounds to both arms. 2nd Lt. Vint was educated at Ballymena Model School, Ballymena Academy and Queen's University from the OTC of which he obtained his commission in August 1915. His brother 2nd Lt. J. Vint M.A. is serving at the front with the Royal Garrison Artillery. 

2nd Lt. Mervyn Palethorpe, Royal Irish Rifles, is badly wounded. He is a son of Captain A. H. Palethorpe, Army Service Corps, formerly of Pentagon House, Ballymena. He was educated at Ballymena Academy and obtained his commission in the 17th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles on January 28, 1915 and was subsequently posted to one of the line battalions at the front. 

Later found to be a POW - Mr. Wilson Kirkpatrick, Craigs, Cullybackey, has been officially notified that his son Rifleman Wilson Kirkpatrick, 12th Royal Irish Rifles (CAV) has been killed in action. Rifleman Kirkpatrick, who resided with his parents, was an employee at Messrs. Frazer and Haughton's Hillmount Works. He joined the army a year ago and had been at the front for six months 

Rifleman Alexander Marcus, RIR (Ulster Division) has been wounded. He is the son of the late Mr. Samuel Marcus, Henry Street, Harryville, and prior to joining the army was in the employment of the Railway Company at Antrim Station. Rifleman Marcus, who had served in the army prior to the war, was attached to a trench mortar battery. 

Mrs. John Steele, Galgorm Street, received a letter on Monday last from her son, Rifleman John Steele, Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division) stating that he was wounded by shrapnel in two places on the right leg and on the right arm. He was in the bayonet charge on July 1st when he got wounded and had to lie for 48 hours before he could get attended to. Rifleman Steele stated that they took 600 prisoners. He is at present in hospital in Bury St. Edmunds and is doing well. Prior to enlistment he was engaged at the York Street Spinning Mill, Belfast. 

Mrs. McDowell, Galgorm Street, received a letter from a chaplain on Monday morning last which stated that her brother Rifleman Israel Lindsay, Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division) had been wounded and was in hospital in France. Before joining the army he was in the employment of Mr. Samuel Hood JP, Mill Street, Ballymena. 

Rifleman Hugh Mullan, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, has sent a field post card to his father Mr. T. Mullan, Queen Street, on which he states he was wounded. Rifleman Mullan enlisted in September 1914 and proceeded to the front with the Ulster Division last autumn. He was an employee of the Midland Railway Company.

Rfn. Robert Caldwell, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, who has been wounded, is a son of Mr. Samuel Caldwell, Upper Tannybrake, Kells. Before enlisting he was in the employment of Mr. John Moody, Tannybrake Dye Works. 

Rifleman William McClean, Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division), who is suffering from shell shock is a son of Mr. Samuel McClean, Kells, Ballymena. It is understood that he arrived in Belfast along with a small company at the UVF Hospital, Botanic Avenue on Saturday night. 

Rifleman Jack Anderson, 12th Royal Irish Rifles is wounded and in hospital in Sheffield, England. He is a son of Mr. John Anderson, Princes Street, green-keeper of Ballymena Bowling Club. He was employed in Messrs. Kane Bros. Foundry, Harryville and after enlisting was orderly to the late Lt. T.G. Haughton, Cullybackey. He has a brother in the North Irish Horse.


Signaller R. Parke (Jnr.), Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Tyrone Volunteers), who is wounded is a son of Sergeant R. Parke (Sen)  who is at the front with the Army Service Corps. Signaller Parke, whose mother resides at 8, Park Street, Ballymena was employed in Messrs. Wolseley's, Cullybackey Road before joining the army. 


Rifleman Johnston McGall, 12th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles (C.A.V.) whose wife resides at Fair Hill Lane, Ballymena, is wounded and in hospital in Cardiff. He was formerly employed as a shoemaker with Messrs. A & C Robinson, Ballymena. He enlisted in September 1914 and went to the front with the Ulster Division. His brothers, Riflemen Thomas McGall and James McGall have also been wounded. Their mother resides at Portglenone. 
Rifleman James Armstrong (photo right), 12Bn. Royal Irish Rifles (C.A.V) is wounded. He belongs to Hillmount, Cullybackey. He enlisted in October 1914 prior to which he was a tailor in Mr. Hepple's Wellington Street, Ballymena. 

Mr. Sands, Ballyconnelly, Cullybackey, has received information that his son, Rifleman Thomas Sands, Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division), has been wounded. Rifleman Sands was a member of the UVF and was formerly employed by Dr. W. R. Dick. 


Information has been received by Mrs. Leith, Cullybackey, to the effect that her son, Rifleman Hugh Leith, Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division), has been wounded and is at present in hospital in England. He was a member of the Cullybackey Company of the UVF and prior to enlisting was employed in the Maine Works, Cullybackey. 
The father of Rifleman James Duff, Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division), who resides at Hillmount, Cullybackey, has received information that his son had been wounded in the right eye. Before joining the colours, Rifleman Duff was employed in the Hillmount Works and was a member of Hillmount UVF. 

MR. Samuel McIlroy, Clonavon Road, Ballymena, has received an official telegram from the war office informing him that his brother, Rifleman Robert McIlroy, Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division) is at present in King George Hospital suffering from shell shock. Rifleman. McIlroy who enlisted about a year ago, was a member of the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) and the Loyal Orange Institution. Before joining the army he was an employee in the boot and shoe factory of Messrs. W. Clarke and Co. High Street, Ballymena. 

MR. Robert Watson, Alexander Street, has received information that his son, Rifleman William Watson, 12th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles (C.A.V.), had received a gunshot wound on the right arm on Saturday, 1st July and is at present in a general hospital in Colchester. Rifleman Watson enlisted in September 1914 and proceeded to the front with the Ulster Division. He was in the employment of the Braidwater Spinning co.



Rifleman James Telford, who has been wounded on the left leg, is a son of Mr. John Telford, Alexander Street, Ballymena. Rifleman Telford, who is in the 12th Bn Royal Irish Rifles (C.A.V.) is at present in Edmonton Hospital, England. He enlisted in May 1915 and went to the front with the Ulster Division, prior to which he was employed by Mr. Robert Beaumont, Ballymena.


Mrs. W. Nelson, Market Road, has been notified that her son, Rifleman William Nelson, 12th Royal Irish Rifles (C.A.V.) has been wounded in the thigh and is at present in hospital in Scotland. Rifleman Nelson enlisted in September 1914 prior to which he was employed in Mr. David Christie's Foundry, Harryville.
Rifleman James McAuley, Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), wounded, of Millview Place did four years at the moulding in Messrs. Kane Bros. Foundry and was a popular player with the Harriers Football Club. He went to the front with the Ulster Division. His father Rifleman Joseph McAuley is at the base in France and he has a brother in training at Clandeboye.

Rifleman Andrew McDowell,   Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), wounded, is a son of Mr. John McDowell, Galgorm Street, Ballymena. He was an employee in the Braidwater Mill. He enlisted in 1914 and went to the front with the Ulster Division. 

Rifleman George Hanna,  Royal Irish Rifles (CAV),  wounded,  is a son of Mr. George Hanna, James Street, Harryville, He was an employee in Kane's Foundry and was a member of the Harryville  UVF.
Rifleman William Dempster, Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), wounded, is a son of Mrs. Dempster, Galgorm Street. He enlisted in September 1914 and has been at the front since last autumn. He is wounded in the leg. 

Rifleman John Bell, Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), is a son of Mr. John Bell, Queen Street. He was buried by an upheaval of earth, caused by an explosion of a shell and is suffering from bruises. Rifleman Bell was an employee of the Midland Railway Co. and he was formerly a fitter in Messrs. Kane's Foundry. 

Rifleman Andrew McQuiston, Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), is a son of Mr. Samuel McQuiston, Queen Street, Harryville. A letter from his Uncle Lt. Andrew McQuiston stated that Rifleman McQuiston was wounded slightly on the leg. He was a painter employed by the Midland Railway Company. 

Mrs. Watson, Gilmer/Gilmore Street, Harryville received notification that he son Rifleman Charles Watson of the Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division) has been slightly wounded in the arm and foot and is in hospital in England. Rifleman Watson enlisted in July 1915 and has been at the front for six months. Prior to joining the army he was an employee in the Braidwater Spinning Mill, Ballymena. He has a brother serving at the front with the 12th Royal Irish Rifles (CAV).

News has been received by Mr. William Barr, Queen Street, Harryville that his son Rifleman Robert Barr of the 12th Royal Irish Rifles (CAV) has been wounded on the shoulder and leg and is in a casualty clearing station in France. He enlisted about the end of June 1915 and has been at the front eight months. Before enlistment he was a fitter in Mr. David Christie's Foundry and was a member of the Harryville UVF. 

Mrs. W. McGuinness of Salisbury Square, Ballymena was notified in a letter that her husband Rifleman William McGuinness, 12th Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), has been wounded and is in No.3 Casualty Clearing Station, France. 



Mr. Samuel Herbison, Ballymoney Street, Ballymena, has received information from a hospital in France stating that his son Rifleman S. Herbison, 12th Royal Irish Rifles (Central Antrim Volunteers), has been wounded. Rifleman Herbison joined the army in April 1915 and prior to his enlistment was an employee of the Braidwater Weaving Factory, Ballymena.




Mrs. Thompson, Clarence Street, Ballymena, has received field postcard from her son Rifleman John Thompson, Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), stating that he has been wounded. Rifleman. Thompson enlisted with the first big batch of recruits in September 1914. 

Mrs. Kennedy, Galgorm Street, Ballymena received intimation on Wednesday last from a Presbyterian Chaplain that her husband, Rifleman James Kennedy of the Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division) is at present in No.44 Casualty Clearing Station, France, suffering from shell shock which has affected his speech. Rifleman Kennedy has been at the front seven months. He has a brother with the forces in Mesopotamia and another brother, Stoker Peter Kennedy went down with HMS Queen Mary in the Battle at Jutland. He is a son of Mrs. Kennedy of Larne Street, Harryville, who has eight nephews serving at the front. Rifleman Kennedy was a member of the Harryville Company of the UVF.
Mr. Robert Millar, Ballymoney Street, Ballymena, has received a letter from his third son, Lance Corporal Reggie Millar, Royal Irish Rifles (Pioneer Bn), stating that he has been wounded by shrapnel in the leg and that he is in Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow. Lance Corporal Millar joined the Rifles in May 1915 and went to the front with the Ulster Division. He has two brothers with the colours, Sgt. Robin Millar, Canadian Mounted Rifles who was wounded several weeks ago and Pte Richard Millar, currently in training with the Canadians at Niagara. 

Mrs. Courtney, High Street, Ballymena, has received intimation that her son Lance Corporal Robert Courtney, Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division), is at present at hospital in Rouen suffering from wounds. Lance Corporal Courtney enlisted in November 1915 and was formerly in the employment of Messrs. W. McClelland and Son, Church Street. 

Mr. Robert Montgomery, Castle Street, Ballymena has received information that his son, Rifleman Allen Montgomery, Royal Irish Rifles (YCV), has been wounded. Rifleman Montgomery enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war and went to the front with the Ulster Division last autumn. He was formerly a traveller with Messrs. Young and Anderson, Belfast and was a member of the Masonic Order.
Rifleman David Taylor, son of Mr. James Taylor, Galgorm Parks, who is in the Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), was wounded on July 1st. He joined at the outbreak of war, prior to which, after serving his time with Mr. James Armstrong, Draper, Mill Street, he was employed in Messrs. James Lindsay and Co., Ulster Arcade, Belfast. He was a member of the UVF. His brother 2nd Lt. John Taylor is serving at the front with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Tyrone Volunteers). 

Riflemen James Rodgers (South Antrims) and his brother Rifleman John Rodgers (Central Antrims) both wounded, are nephews of Mr. William Kennedy, Factory Street, Whiteabbey. Both are natives of Kildrum, Ballymena.



Rifleman James Logan, Royal Irish Rifles, wounded, is a son of Mr. James Logan, Cullybackey. He is now in hospital in England.
Rifleman Samuel Watt, Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), wounded, belongs to Harperstown, Cullybackey. He was formerly employed in the firm of Messrs. Frazer and Haughton, Hillmount, Cullybackey. 

Rifleman Henry Watt, Royal Irish Rifles Machine Gun  Section, who is seriously wounded on the head, is the husband of Mrs. Watt, Hillmount Cullybackey. He was a member of the UVF and he is a brother of Rifleman Samuel Watt, who is also wounded (see above). He was an employee of Frazer and Haughton. 

Private Alexander McMaster, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, wounded, is a son of the late Mr. Samuel McMaster, Killyless, Cullybackey and a nephew of Mr. John Millar, Craigs.





Rifleman W. J. Strange, Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), who is wounded resides with his father at Dromona, Cullybackey. 
Mr. James Luke, Ahoghill has received official information that his youngest son, Rifleman Willie (William) Luke, 12th Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), aged 19 years, was wounded on July 1st. Rifleman Luke was an employee of Lisnafillan Green prior to joining the Ulster Division. 

Mr. Luke's second son, Rifleman Alex. (Alexander) Luke (Central Antrims), whose wife lives at 37, Springwell Street, was killed on July 1st. 

His eldest son, Rifleman Archibald Luke of the Royal Irish Rifles (South Antrims) came through the same action. In a letter home he states that he was one of the lucky ones. 

Mrs. Alex Luke, who is a daughter of Mr. W. Turtle, Springwell Street, has a brother at the front, Rifleman John Turtle, who came through the landings at Gallipoli at which he was wounded.
Rifleman David Rock and Rifleman Ben Millar, Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), belonging to Harperstown, Cullybackey, are both ill in hospital. They took part in the attack on July 1st. 

Grave doubts were held as to the safety of Company Sergeant Major Norman Henry, 12th Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), son of Mr. Samuel Henry, Bridge Street, Ballymena, whose name appeared in the Belfast press on Monday as amongst those killed. We have been informed by Mr. Henry that he received a postcard from his son, dated Saturday, July 8th stating that he is well. Mr. Henry has another son with the Royal Irish Rifles, Sergeant Samuel Henry, who was formerly headmaster at Eden National School, Portglenone. 

Mr. James Mairs, Parkhead, Ballymena, has been notified that his son Rifleman William Mairs, Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division), has been wounded in action and is at present in hospital. 

Rifleman William John Cathcart, Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), who is wounded in the right arm, is a son of Mr. Cathcart, Castle Street. He is at present in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley. His brother Rifleman James Cathcart, is serving with the same regiment.
Private Arthur Kerr, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Ulster Division), who was wounded on July 1st is a son of Mr. D. Kerr, Culnafay, Newferry. Prior to joining the colours he was employed the drapery department of Messrs. Dunlop and Carson, Church Street, Ballymena. 

Mrs. Craig, of 33 Albert Place, Ballymena, has received a postcard from her son Private William Craig, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, stating that he has been wounded and is now in Southport Hospital. Private Craig served in the Dardanelles Expedition and he has a brother in France with the North Irish Horse. Both worked in Messrs. Kane's Foundry before enlisting. 

Information has been received by his relatives who reside in John Street, Ballymena, that Rifleman John Scullion, Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division), has been wounded. Rifleman Scullion was a well known Ballymena footballer and prior to enlistment was an employee in the Braidwater Mill. 

News has been received by Mr. John Greenwood, Broughdone, Cullybackey, that his son Private William Greenwood, Highland Light Infantry, has been wounded in action. Private Greenwood was formerly employed in the Maine Works, Cullybackey but was in Scotland at the outbreak of war where he enlisted.

Information has been received that Private J. Nelson, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, whose wife resides at Alfred Street, Harryville, Ballymena, has been wounded. He enlisted at the opening of hostilities and was at the Dardanelles where he was wounded. Afterwards he saw service in Egypt. Prior to joining the colours he was in the employment of Messrs. Cosbie and Co. Ballymoney Street. He is an old soldier and came through the South African War. Private Nelson was a well known local footballer connected with the Southend Rangers Club and a member of Ballymarlow LOL and of the UVF. He has two brothers and many cousins serving with the colours.
Mr. James Johnston, Hillmount, Cullybackey has received information that his son, Rifleman Hugh Johnston of the Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division), has been wounded in action. Before joining the colours he was an employee in the Hillmount Works and a member of the UVF and Dunminning LOL. 

Rifleman Robert Glass, wounded, is a son of Mr. James Glass, Main Street, Cullybackey . Rifleman Glass was employed in the Maine Works, Cullybackey and was a member of the UVF. 

Private William N. Bonnar, New Zealand Contingent, who is wounded and in hospital is a native of Broughshane, Ballymena. He emigrated to New Zealand some years ago with his family. He joined the army in 1915 and was in training in Egypt for six months before going to the front. 

Information has been received by Mrs. Erwin, Springwell Street, Ballymena, that her husband, Private Alexander Erwin, Royal Irish Regiment, has been wounded. Prior to enlisting Private Erwin was in the employment of Messrs. Spence and Co. Broughshane Street, Ballymena. 

Mr. Thomas Stewart of 26 Larne Street has been notified that his son Lance Corporal Thomas Stewart, 12th Royal Irish Rifles (CAV) has been wounded and is in the hospital at Etaples. Prior to enlistment he was in the employment of the Braidwater Spinning Co. Ltd. and he was a prominent player for Springfield Football Club and also a member of the Harryville UVF. His brother, Corporal Stewart, also wounded, and in hospital in Glasgow was a member of the West Belfast Volunteers and was formerly in the employment of Messrs. Workman & Clarke, Belfast. His wife and child reside at 9 Severn Street, Belfast. 

Mr. David Gillen of 12 Douglas Terrace, Ballymena, has been informed that his son Private. J. Gillen, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, has been wounded and is in hospital in England. 

The relatives of Rfn William Ramsey, who reside at Cullybackey have received word that he has been wounded. Rfn. Ramsey was in the Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division) and prior to joining the army was an employee of the Maine Works. He was a member of the Cullybackey UVF and of Galgorm LOL. 

Mrs. Crawford, Waring Street, Harryville has received intimation that her husband Sapper John Crawford, Royal Engineers (Ulster Division) is at present in hospital suffering from shell shock. Prior to joining the colours he was employed as a stone mason by Mr. John Carson, builder and contractor. 

Mr. Samuel McMurray, Tannybrake, Kells has received official notification that his son Rifleman George McMurray, 12th Royal Irish Rifles (CAV) has been wounded and is now in a French hospital. He was formerly an employee of Mr. Robert Millar, Ballymoney Street. 

Rifleman James Overend, 12th Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), Casement Street, Ballymena was wounded on 1st July and is at present in an English hospital. Rifleman Overend joined the army 12 months ago, a few days after the death of his wife. 

Mr. Samuel McCaughey, Rasharkin, has received intimation that his son, Private James McCaughey, 12th Royal Irish Rifles (CAV), has been wounded. Private McCaughey was well known locally, being a member of the UVF and LOL No. 694 and prior to enlistment was in the employment of Mr. W. M. Hunter, Blacksmith. 

Rifleman Alexander Hughes, Royal Irish Rifles, wounded on 1st July, and now in hospital in England, is a son of Mr. William Hughes of 3, Warden Street, Ballymena. He was formerly in the employment of the Braid Water Mineral Company. 
Mr. Alexander H. Greer, Mill Street, Ballymena has received post card from his only son Rifleman Alex Greer, Royal Irish Rifles (South Antrims), stating that he is a prisoner of war and is at present in Lazarette Camp Hospital, Westpahlia, Germany suffering from wounds received in the famous charge of the Ulster Division on 1st July. He enlisted shortly after the opening of hostilities prior to which he assisted his father in the cabinet making business. Rifleman Greer, who is 23 years of age was a member of the UVF and was formerly assistant librarian at the YMCA Hall, Ballymena. Aug 18 1916 

Mrs. Stevenson, 15 Railway Street, Ballymena, has received a postcard from her husband, Rifleman William Stevenson, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, informing her that he is a prisoner of war and wounded. 

Mrs. Millar of 40 Albert Place, Ballymena, has received intimation that her son, Lance Corporal Hugh Millar has been wounded in action on 10th July. Lance Corporal Millar has been through the Dardanelles and prior to enlisting was employed by Messrs. Harrison and Sons, coal and timber merchants, High Street. He has a brother, Cyclist John Millar serving in France with the Ulster Division.
Daniel McFall

McFALL, Daniel, 626, Rifleman, 8th Royal Irish Rifles was killed in action on the 2nd July 1916. Aged 28, he was born in Ballymena and had kin at kin at 3 and/or 16 Garfield Place. He was the husband of Matilda McFall of William Street Square, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church, Ballymena.
  


HARBISON James, 17891, Lance Corporal,  2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 3rd July 1916. Aged 19, he was the son of Robert Harbison, Main Street, Cullybackey. He enlisted in Glasgow, and lived in Antrim. He is buried in Connaught Military Cemetery,  Somme and commemorated in the Cuningham Memorial Church, Cullybackey.

MORRELL, Robert, 666, Rifleman,  16th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 4th July 1916. He was born in Ballymena, enlisted in Lurgan, and lived in Belfast. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.
McLAUGHLIN William, 14530, Lance Sergeant, 10th Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment, was killed in action on the 5th July 1916. He was the son of the late William McLaughlin of 15 Springwell Street, Ballymena. He enlisted in Huddersfield, and he is commemorated on Thiepval Memorial.
Ballymena Observer, July 1916 - Lance Sergeant William McLoughlin, West Riding Regiment, killed, was a son of the late Mr. William McLoughlin, 15 Springwell Street, Ballymena. His sister, Mrs. T. McIlveen, lives at 110 Spamount Street, Belfast. Deceased, who was a member of Summerfield FC was a former employee of Messrs. D. McCartney and Son, Ballymena. A brother is serving with the Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division).

HAMILL, Samuel George, 584, Rifleman,  13th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 6th July 1916. Aged 21, he was born at Connor and enlisted in Ballymena. He was the son of Margaret and late William John of Legland Street, Belfast. He is buried in Doullens Communal Cemetery Extension No 1,  Somme.
McDONALD Thomas,  67686, Gunner, Royal Garrison Artillery, 101st Siege Battery. died of wounds received on the 2nd July 1916 and passed away 7th July 1916. Aged 19, he was the son of Mrs. Lila McDonald of 7, Larne St., Ballymena, Co. Antrim. He is buried in Carnoy Military Cemetery.

DICKSON John, 972,  Rifleman,  16th Royal Irish Rifles, died on the 7th July 1916. He was born and lived in Ballymena, and was the 3rd son of George Dickson, Craigywarren. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Cloughwater Presbyterian Church.

Ballymena Observer, March 2, 1917  - Information has been received that Rifleman John Dickson, third son of Mr. and Mrs. George Dickson, Craigywarren, Ballymena, was killed in action on July 7,1916. Deceased was formerly reported missing and grave fears were held as to his fate and the above news was not entirely unexpected. Rifleman Dickson joined the forces shortly after the outbreak of war and went to the front with the 16th Royal Irish Rifles (Pioneers) of the Ulster Division. He was 20 years of age and prior to enlistment was employed by Mr. Wallace, farmer of Bally, Ballymena.

Editor's note: The 16th Btn. RIR was a specially constituted pioneer unit of the 36th Division. It remained in action in and around Thiepval for some time after the remainder of the Division had been relived in the area on July 3.

DEMPSTER, John (MM), S/13801, Private,  58th Coy. Machine Gun Corps, Argyll &Sutherland Highlanders, died of wounds 7/8th July 1916. Aged 28, he was the son of Francis and Margaret, Stewartfield, Broxburn. His father was formerly of Broughshane, and his wife Elizabeth at 84 Springwell Street, Ballymena. He is buried in Becourt Military cemetery, Somme, and commemorated in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church.

Ballymena Observer August 18, 1916 - WE intimated in this newspaper three weeks ago that Corporal John Dempster, Machine Gun Corps, formerly of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, had been wounded in action and information has since been received by his wife who resides at 84 Springwell Street, Ballymena, that he has died as a result of his wounds. 

He was a son of Mr. Francis Dempster, formerly of Broughshane, and now of Broxburn, Scotland, who has already had another son, Pte. James Dempster, Seaforth Highlanders, killed in action. A third son of Mr. Dempster's, Pte. Francis Dempster, Seaforth Highlanders, has been wounded and missing since 25th September 1915. The fourth soldier son, Private William Dempster of the Scots Fusiliers, was transferred into the Machine Gun Corps the day after his brother, John, died.   

Corporal Dempster, who was an employee of the Raceview Woollen Mills, Broughshane, joined the forces in October 1915 and went to the front in January 1916.  

Mrs. Dempster has received a letter from her brother-in-law, Private William Dempster, stating that he had seen his brother's grave and telling her that the officer of the Machine Gun Corps had said that before being wounded, her husband had performed a very gallant deed and had won the Distinguished Conduct Medal (actually the Military Medal).  

Mrs. Dempster has received two letters from the Commanding Officer of the section, the first one telling of her husband's gallantry, of his wounds and winding up with:
"He was one of the finest fellows in action that one would wish to be with."  
In the second, he tells of her husband's death but emphasising the fact of Corporal Dempster's bravery in the field and offering the deepest sympathy from the machine gun corps.  

The following are the contents of the letters:
"11/7/16 
Dear Madam, 
I must introduce myself as the officer in command of the machine gun section of which your husband was corporal. He was given this rank just before he went into action. I may tell you also that, for his bravery, he has been recommended for the DCM. However, during a second battle, he was working his gun when he became wounded. We were able to get him quite safely to the clearing hospital from which he is probably removed to England by now. He is one of the finest fellows in action one could wish to be with and we all hope he will be able to re-join us when well again.  
Yours Sincerely, 
Lt. J. C. Bromhill.

The second letter is as follows:-
21/7/16 
Dear Mrs. Dempster
Since writing to you saying that your husband was wounded we have been out at rest and news travelled to us very slowly. I deeply regret to have to tell you that our latest news was very depressing from the field ambulance and only this morning we were also intensely grieved to hear that your husband died of his wounds. He was one of the bravest of our soldiers and a born leader of men. The whole company join me in asking you to accept our deepest sympathy for your grief which we share to a great extent. Your husband's brother has joined us and visited your husband's grave this morning. I hear that he passed away quite peaceably, in no pain.
Yours very sincerely, 
Lt. J.C. Bromhill.
Lance Corporal James McFall 

McFALL, James, 682, Rifleman, 16th (CWGC says 19th Bn) Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds at home 8th July 1916. Aged 20, he was the son of Annie Moore of Galgorm Parks, Cullybackey, Ballymena. He is buried in Kensal Green (St. Mary's) RC Cemetery, London.

Mrs. McFall, Galgorm Parks, Ballymena has received notification of the death from wounds of her son Lance Corporal James McFall, Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division) which took place in a military hospital in London. Rifleman McFall who was 20 years old, enlisted in January 1915 prior to which he was an apprentice millwright in the Maine Works, Cullybackey. 

CAMPBELL, Robert, S/8176, Private. 7th Seaforth Highlanders, was killed in action on the July 10, 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. He came from Fernagh, Rasharkin, and his sister is Mrs. William Kirkpatrick, 12 Albert Place, Ballymena.

MOORE William Alfred, 7295Corporal, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 10th July 1916. Aged 18, he was born and lived in Randalstown. He is buried St. Soulet British Cemetery, Nord, France.

KELLY, William, 996, Rifleman, 8th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 11th July 1916. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

HARBISON, John James, 23538, Private, Royal Army Medical Corps, died on the 14th July 1916. Aged 37, he was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Croydon.  He lived in Winnipeg, Canada. He was a brother of Sam Harbison, Cabragh, Ballymena. He is buried in Amara War Cemetery, Iraq and commemorated on the West Church Memorial and in Kirkinriola Cemetery.

CRAWFORD, James, 3852, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 16th July 1916. He was born in Ballymena, enlisted at Ballykinlar and he lived in Belfast. He is buried in Ovillers Military Cemetery, Somme, France.
Private Robert Templeton
TEMPLETON, Robert Miller, 5555, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, aged 34, died on the 18th July 1916. He was the son of George and Agnes Miller Templeton, Moat Road, Ballymena. Grave ref. I.F.28 (GF) Puchevillers British Cemetery.  

Ballymena Observer, August 4 1916 - MR. William Templeton, residing at Moat Road, Ballymena, has been informed that his brother, Rifleman Robert Templeton, Royal Irish Rifles, has died of wounds. Private Templeton was an old soldier and at the outbreak of war immediately volunteered for service. He was previously employed in one of the Belfast Foundries as a moulder. Another brother, Rifleman James Templeton, Royal Irish Rifles, was killed shortly after the commencement of the war and another, Private George Templeton is with the colours serving in Greece.

SMYLIE, Robert Stewart, Lieutenant, 7th Royal Scots Fusiliers, attached to the 1st Bn., was killed in action on the 14th July 1916. He was raised on Linenhall Street, Ballymena by mother and sisters and linked with Bridgend, Galgorm. He was headmaster of County Grammar School, Sudbury, Suffolk.  He is buried in Flatiron Copse, Mametz, Somme.

Captain Robert Stewart Smylie, Royal Scots Fusiliers, killed in action, was a son of the late Mrs. R. Smylie, Bridge End, Ballymena. He was educated at Ballymena Model School and Mr. T. Ferguson's Intermediate School, Ballymena and took his degree at the University of London. Before the war he was head master of the County Grammar School, Sudbury, Suffolk. His wife and three children reside at Sudbury.  
2nd Lt. David Andrew Cathcart

CATHCART, David Andrew, 2 Lieutenant,  7th Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment, died of wounds on July 15 1916 at Malcourt, France. He was aged 33. His brother John lives at Alfred Street, Ballymena and his father, was the late James of Slatt; his sister lived at Slatt. He is commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.

Ballymena Observer, July 28, 1916 - SECOND Lieutenant D. Cathcart, Royal West Kent Regiment, officially reported wounded and missing, believed died of wounds, was a grandson of the late Mr. James Cathcart, Slatt, and brother of Mr. John Cathcart of Alfred Street, Ballymena. He was in the employment of Mr. Robert Boal, Slatt, when he enlisted in the Royal Scots Greys fifteen years ago.  

The London Gazette, Publication date: 24 December 1915, Issue: 29417, Page: 12845

War Office, 24th December, 1915, REGULAR FORCES. The undermentioned Warrant and Non-commissioned Officers to be Second Lieutenants for service in the Field:— ... The Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). Squadron Serjeant-Major D. Cathcart, from 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys). Dated 1st December, 1915. ...


He rose to the rank of Squadron Sergeant Major in that regiment and in December 1915 was promoted to a commission in the Royal West Kents for services in the field. Mrs. Cathcart, who resides in Maidstone, has been officially informed that her husband was wounded by shrapnel on the 13th July and believed died from his wounds. Two of the deceased's brothers are in the service - one in the Scots Guards and the other in the Royal Marines.  

David Andrew Cathcart was the son of Robert Cathcart and Nancy Bell and he was married to Emma M. Weeks.  The couple lived at The White Lodge, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent.

RAE, Richard, 15910, Private, 12th Royal Scots, was killed in action on the 15 or 18th July 1916. He was the son of James and Sarah Rae of 12 Waveney Avenue. His wife resided in Newtownards. He is buried in Quarry Cemetery, Montauban, Somme.
 
Ballymena Observer, August 25 1916 - INFORMATION has been received in Ballymena that Private Richard Rae, Royal Scots, was killed in action on 18th July. He was a well known Ballymena man and for a number of years was in the employment of Messrs. McConnell and Sons, Hill Street. His wife resides at Newtownards and his mother at 12 Waveney Avenue, Ballymena.

Corporal Samuel Mawhinney

MAWHINNEY, Samuel, 547, Lance Corporal, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds while a POW (rec. July 1) on 19th July 1916. Aged 22, he was born at born Ahoghill and was the son of Mrs. Rachael Mawhinney, Bridge View Kells. He is buried in Le Cateau Military Cemetery. He is commemorate in Kells Presbyterian Church.
 
Ballymena Observer, November 24, 1916. - Mrs. Mawhinney, Shankbridge, Ballymena, has been notified that her son, Lance Corporal Samuel Mawhinney, Royal Irish Rifles, has died of wounds while a prisoner of war in Germany. Prior to enlisting, he was an employee of the Ballymena Goods Yard in Harryville, where he was most popular.

FARANGHAM, Thomas Henry, Sergeant,  23rd Manchester Regiment, was killed in action on the 20th July 1916. He was born at Cullybackey, enlisted in Manchester and lived in Oldham. He was the son of W.J. Farangham, Chadderton, Oldham. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

O'RAWE, Felix, 23248, Private, 2nd Royal Scots, was killed in action on the 22nd July 1916. He was born at Glenravel and lived in Bathgate, Scotland. He is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial.

McKEE, William, 22246, Private,  2nd King's Own Scottish Borderers, was initially said to be missing in action but was declared dead on the 23rd July 1916. He was born at Connor/Tannybrake, Kells. He is commemorated in Kells Presbyterian Church.


William McKee, KOSB



McWHIRTER (or Mewhirter), Williams, 8798, Private, 2nd Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) was killed in action on the 24 July 1916. He was born at Craigs, Cullybackey, enlisted in Hamilton and lived in Motherwell. He is buried in Chambrin Churchyard Extension, Pas de Calais, France and commemorated in Cullybackey United Free Church.
McMANUS, Charles, 3093, Private, 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died of wounds on 24th July 1916. Aged 25, he came from Robert Street, Ballymena and he is buried in Crebilly Churchyard.
  
Ballymena Observer, July 28, 1916 - 
PRIVATE Charles McManus, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who was severely wounded in action, has since died from wounds in an hospital in England. He was a son of the late Mr. John McManus, Robert Street, Ballymena. His body arrived for burial in Ballymena by the 11.10am train when it was conveyed to his relatives' residence in Alexander Street and later in the evening interred in Crebilly Burying Ground. A large and respectable concourse of townspeople followed the remains on each occasion.

CALDWELL, James, 2863, Private, 1 Otago Regiment, was killed in action on the July 27, 1916. He is buried in Cite Bonjean Cemetery, Armetieres, France. Aged 35, he was the son of James Caldwell of 1 Clonavon Road and kin at Monaghan, Ballymena.

Ballymena Observer, August 18, 1916 - OFFICIAL intimation has been received by Mr. James Caldwell, Monaghan, Ballymena, that his son, Private James Caldwell of the Otago Infantry Battalion, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, was killed in action on the 27th July. Private Caldwell emigrated to New Zealand some six years ago and, like many other brave Ulster lads in the colonies, laid down his life in defence on King and Empire.
Private Thomas Colgan

COLGAN, Thomas (jnr.) 4291, Private, 1/5 Seaforth Highlanders, died from wounds received on July 30, 1916. He is buried Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme. Aged 19, son of Thomas and Catherine of Galgorm Street, Ballymena. 

Ballymena Observer, August 11, 1916 - MRS. Colgan, Galgorm Street, Ballymena, has been officially notified that her son, Private Thomas Colgan, Seaforth Highlanders, has died from wounds received in action, in No.45 Casualty Clearing Station, France. Information to this effect was also received from the Rev. S. Hamill Wilkinson, Chaplain to the forces, who stated that he was unable to talk with the deceased as he passed away shortly after being admitted to hospital. Rev. Wilkinson said he was all the more sorry for he himself was a native of Co. Antrim and used to go to school in Ballymena. Private Colgan enlisted in May 1915 and he was at the front since November 1915. His father, Rifleman Thomas Colgan, is serving at the front with the Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division)

CRAIG, Daniel, 3/6483, Private, 8/10 Gordon Highlanders, was killed in action on July 30, 1916. He is named on the Thiepval Memorial. He was born in James Street(?) and enlisted Leith, Scotland.

Private R. Owens

OWENS, Robert S, 10716, Private,  2nd  Highland Light Infantry, was missing in action, later killed in action on the 30th July 1916. He was the son of William and Jane Owens and the husband of Elizabeth Owens, of Broughshane St., Ballymena.  He enlisted in Glasgow.  He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

Ballymena Observer, September 1 1916 - Mrs. Owens, Broughshane Street, Ballymena, has received official intimation that her husband, Private R. Owens, Highland Light Infantry, has been missing since 30th July. Private Owens has been in the army five years and went to the front with the first Expeditionary Force. He was gassed fourteen months ago and after treatment returned to the front in June. The last letter Mrs. Owens received from her husband was written on June 27 and she is anxious for any further information concerning him. 
 
His brother Private William Owens of the same regiment has also been at the front since the beginning of the war. Mrs. Owens, whose maiden name was Lorimer, has four brothers with the colours, one of whom has had his left leg amputated and is at present home in Ballymena.

KILPATRICK, W, 53433, Driver, 76 Bty. Royal Field Artillery, died on the 31st July 1916. He was aged 27 and had enlisted in Newcastle Upon Tyne. He was the son of William and Jane Kerr of Tullynahinion, Portglenone. He is buried in Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery. Iraq and commemorated in 1st Portglenone Presbyterian Church.
August

We continue the time trail through 'Items about or local soldiers' on August 4, 1916

HAMILTON, John Stanley, 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died of wounds on the 1st August 1916. Service no. 13655. Aged 22 born Ballymena and enlisted at Finner Camp.

Mrs. Millar of 40 Albert Place, Ballymena, has received intimation that her son, Lance Corporal Hugh Millar has been wounded in action on 10th July.Lance Corporal Millar has been through the Dardanelles and prior to enlisting was employed by Messrs. Harrison and Sons, coal and timber merchants, High Street. He has a brother, Cyclist John Millar serving in France with the Ulster Division.

Mrs. Browne, Sunnymead, Ballymena, has been notified that her son Private H.V. Browne, Royal Scots (Territorials) was wounded on the head during a British attack. He is now in Queen Mary's Military Hospital, Whalley, Lancashire. Private Browne who was a Provincial Bank Clerk, joined the colours last Autumn and has only been at the front for a short time. He is an old Ballymena Academy boy and a member of the local cricket, golf and tennis clubs.

Private Dick Donaghy, Australian Forces, has written to his father, Mr. Terence Donaghy of Glenmanus Place, Ballymena: 'Arrived in England today after six days terrible fighting; fractured right arm.'  

Private Donaghy emigrated to Australia four years ago and joined the Australian Imperial Forces at the outbreak of war. He took part in the Egyptian campaign and came through the Dardanelles fighting and for the past few months he has been with the Anzacs in France. He is a brother of Mr. John Donaghy, Chemist, Ballymoney Street.
Ballymena Observer, August 4, 1916.
Rifleman Alexander Luke 

LUKE, Alexander, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds at No 9 Clearing Hospital, Rouen (rec. 1st July) on the 8th August 1916. Aged 23, he was the son of James and Mary Luke, Ahoghill. He enlisted in Ballymena and his wife Agnes Luke lived at 37 Springwell Street, Ballymena. He is buried inSt. Sever Cemetery and commemorated in 2nd Ahoghill Presbyterian Church.

Mrs. Luke, 37 Springwell Street, Ballymena received a letter from a Church of England Chaplain on Monday last stating that her husband Rifleman Alexander Luke of 12th Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division) had died in No9 General Hospital from nervous shock and a wound. Rifleman. Luke enlisted in May 1915 and proceeded to the front with the Ulster Division.  Prior to joining the army he was employed by the Midland Railway Co. at Ballymena Station. He was a son of Mr. James Luke, Ahoghill. Mr. Luke has a brother with the forces at Salonika.  

LYNCH, Michael James, 3/6872, Private, 1st Somerset Light Infantry, was killed in action on the 9th August 1916. He was born in Belfast, enlisted in Cardiff and lived in Ballymena. He is buried  Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium .

Ballymena and District Men with the colours.

The following three recruits joined the colours during the past fortnight:
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers: Pte. Daniel Laverty, Alexander Street; 
18th Royal Irish Rifles: George Gills, Ballinacaird, Broughshane; 
5th Royal Irish Rifles: Pte Wm. Currie, William Street.

Joined since the outbreak of war

Royal Irish Fusiliers: Private John Hood, son of Mr. John Hood, Belfast, formerly of Ballymena; 
Royal Highland Regiment (Black Watch): Private Matthew Bell, formerly of Bryan Street, Ballymena; 
198th Bn. Canadians: Sgt. John Kennedy, Ballylesson House.

Private Robert Carmichael, Black Watch, has been reported missing since 7th June, after an action at the Persian Gulf. His brother Private John Carmichael, Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders reported wounded on the 23rd July is at present in hospital in England. Their aunt Mrs. Esther Carmichael, Tannybrake, Kells, Ballymena, is anxious to hear of their whereabouts.

Mr. W. D. Hamilton, Ballycowan House, Ballymena, who enlisted in the 18th Reserve Battalion Royal Irish Rifles on August 2nd 1915 has received a commission and has been attached to the 19th Royal Irish Rifles at present stationed in Newcastle. 2nd Lt. Hamilton was educated at Ballymena Academy. He is a son of Mr. Samuel Hamilton who for a term of years was a rural district councillor and a guardian at Ballymena workhouse.
Ballymena Observer, August 11, 1916

AUSTIN, Hubert Morrell, 2 Lt. 12 Highland Light Infantry, missing/later killed in action, on August 13, 1916. He is buried in Adanac Military Cemetery. He was the son of Hugh Austin, Belfast, formerly of Ahoghill.

REA (RAE), William, 4915, Private, 58th Australian Infantry, was killed in action on the 14th August 1916. He was the son of William and Joyce Rae (Rea on headstone) of Tullygarley, Ballymena. He was aged 51 (given as 47 on CWGC). He is buried in Estaires Communal Cemetery,  Nord, France, and he is commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church and in Ballyclug Old Cemetery.

BRICE, Robert, 24049, Private, 13th The King's Liverpool Regiment, was killed in action on August 16, 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial. He was born at Taylorstown, enlisted Manchester, and lived at Taylorstown.

BURBY (Busby) William, S/5140, Private, 11th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, was killed in action on August 21, 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme. He was born at Craigs, Cullybackey and is commemorated in the Cuningham Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cullybackey.
Rifleman Robert Walker

WALKER, Robert, 371, Rifleman, 13th Royal Irish Rifles, aged 21, died on the 17th August 1916. He was the son of Robert and Mary Walker, Parkhead, Ballymena . He is buried in Ration Farm, La Plus Douve Cemetery.

Ballymena Observer, September 1 1916 - Mr. Robert Walker, Parkhead, Ballymena, has received a letter from Lt. J.G. Ellison, Royal Irish Rifles, informing him that his son, Rifleman Robert Walker, Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action whilst on patrol work. Rifleman Walker enlisted about a year ago, previous to which he was in the employment of Messrs. Smith and Co, Thomas Street, Ballymena. He was a member of the Ballymena UVF and Ballee LOL. 
 
In his letter, Lt. Ellison paid a high tribute to the deceased, stating that,"He was one of the best of our men, a splendid soldier, keen and tireless in his work and never showed the least fear, even when engaged in such dangerous work as patrolling no-man's land. Last night, I was ordered to take a patrol out into no-man's land to examine the enemy's positions and your son and ten others came with me.  

Such work as this is very difficult and even the bravest might be excused flinching but I am glad to say honestly that your boy was one of the coolest of the party. Just about midnight the enemy suddenly opened heavy machine gun fire on us and your son was hit, the bullet passing through his spine.  

His death must have been absolutely painless as such a wound produces absolute loss of feeling. Immediately he was hit I crawled over to him and he just had time to whisper 'I'm dying, sir' before all was over. We were all at that time about 200 yards from our own lines and under heavy fire. I called for three volunteers from the party to help me carry him in, and it speaks splendidly for the esteem in which he was held that every man in the party wanted to help though it meant crossing 200 yards of open ground, under heavy fire.  

I selected three of the men to help me carry him and with great difficulty got him into our own lines and I consider it almost miraculous that we did so without being killed. I assure you that you have the deepest sympathy of myself and all the other officers of the battalion in your terrible loss, which we feel most keenly ourselves. God's will be done and I pray that He may see fit to comfort you in your hour of need.  

If there is any way in which I or my brother officers can be of any assistance to you, or any more information that we can give you, please write and I shall do all I possibly can to help you."
Rifleman James Lennox 

LENNOX, James, 1925, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds (rec. July 1) on the 22nd August 1916. Aged 24, he was born in Ballymena and enlisted at Clandeboye. He was the son of James and Sarah of Edward Street, Ballymena. He is buried in Etretat Churchyard, Seine Maritime, France and commemorated in1st Ballymena Pres. Church.

Mr. James Lennox, 14 Edward Street, Ballymena, has been officially informed that his son, Rifleman James Lennox, Royal Irish Rifles (Central Antrims) has died of wounds in No. 1 General Hospital, Etretat. Rifleman Lennox was wounded in the advance of the Ulster Division at Thiepval after which he was reported as dangerously ill. He enlisted in October 1914, prior to which he was in the employment of the Phoenix Weaving Co. Ltd.  See separate page on Lennox.
Ballymena Observer, September 1 1916 

There was only one recruit for the district this week:  

18th Royal Irish Rifles:  Edward Maternaghan, formerly of Clonavon, Ballymena.

2nd Lieutenant R. J. MacIvor, Royal Irish Regiment (attached Royal Irish Rifles), who is suffering from shell-shock, received his commission in the 5th Royal Irish Regiment in November 1915, through the OTC, Queen's University. Prior to his entering the army, he resided at Markstown, Cullybackey. He is a brother in law of Lt. James Kyle, RAMC of Ballymena and his sister is on the nursing staff of the UVF Hospital, Belfast. 2nd Lt. MacIvor was recently attached to a battalion of the Ulster Division and received shell shock on 4th inst. but had remained on duty.

Private Robert J. Masterson, Irish Guards is at Wharncliffe War Hospital suffering from a gunshot wound to the arm. Prior to entering the army he was assistant teacher in Ballymena Boys National School. His brother, Patrick J, who was fomerly in the Royal Irish Constabulary, is also serving with the Guards while a third brother is a member of the RIC stationed at Toomebridge.
They are sons of ex-Head Constable P. Masterson, formerly of Ballymena.
Ballymena Observer, August 18, 1916

Rifleman Ferguson Kennedy

KENNEDY, Ferguson, 738, Rifleman,  16th Royal Irish Rifles. was killed in action on the 19th August 1916. Aged 23, he was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast. He was the son of Mary Ann Kennedy of Slatt, Ballymena. He is buried in Berks Cemetery Extension,  Ploegsteert, Belgium.

Ballymena Observer, September 1, 1916 - MRS. Montgomery, Slatt, Ballymena, has been informed through a letter from a chaplain at the front, that her son, Pioneer Ferguson Kennedy, Royal Irish Rifles (Pioneer Battalion) was killed in action on 19th August, 1916. Pioneer Kennedy enlisted in January 1915 prior to which he was employed as a farm servant. The following is the contents of the letter received:
"Dear Madam - I am sorry to tell that 738 Rfn. Kennedy, RIR, was killed on 19th August. He was in the trenches with a working party when the Germans began to fire. A shell killed your boy and one other and wounded four others. I was chaplain to the pioneers all winter and I knew your son well. He was a good fellow and earned the esteem of the officers and men of the regiment. They are all very sorry to hear of his loss and send you their deepest sympathy. We do not forget to pray for all the sorrowful ones at home and we are asking God to comfort you. You have every reason to be proud of your son. You have not lost a son but gained a hero and you will meet him again. His belongings will be sent to you as soon as possible. - Yours, J.G.Riton."

MULGREW, George, 163583, Pioneer, 12th Labour Coy. Royal Engineers, died on the 23rd August 1916 (at sea). He was born at Dungannon and lived at Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Dorian Memorial, Greece.

ADRAIN, William Kearns, 2nd Lieutenant, 5th Royal Irish Regiment (attached 1 Royal Irish Rifles), was killed in action on August 24, 1916. He is buried in buried British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Aged 20, he was the son of Robert and Jane Adrain, Ballyclare. He is associated with Barclay & Crawford's shop in Ballymena and 1st Balymena Presbyterian Church.

There were two recruits from the district this week:

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers: W. Norwood Cairns, Waveney Avenue; 
20th Royal Irish Rifles: Robert Linton, Glarryford.

Captain W. McMeekin Chesney, M.B., M.C., Royal Army Medical Corps Special Reserve, sons of Mr. David Chesney, Killcurry, Ahoghill, has been posted to the RAMC Training centre at Dundalk for duty.  Lt. G. Chesney, RAMC Special Reserve, son of Mr. George Chesney, Wellington Street, has also been posted to same the training centre for duty.

Miss Douglas, Whinfield, Clonavon, Ballymena, has received a postcard from her brother, Private William Douglas, South African Irish (3rd South African Infantry), informing her that he is a prisoner of war in Germany. He states that he is well treated and very comfortable but is in need of a parcel.  Private Douglas was home in Ballymena on leave last October and after being home on leave again at Christmas, he was sent to Egypt. He has been in France since Easter and came through the recent heavy fighting in which the South Africnas were engaged. Pte Douglas, who is a son of the late Mr. William Douglas, Harryville, holds a medal for participation in the Zulu War. He was resident in the Belgian Congo when the present war broke out and he instantly offered his service to the Empire coming through the whole campaign in German West Africa, with General Botha, without a scratch.
August 25, 1916

Sergeant R. Herbison

HERBISON, Robert, 19023, Sergeant, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 27th August 1916.  He was born at Clonavon, Ballymena and enlisted in Ballymena. he is buried at Ration Farm Cemetery Annexe, Ploegsteert, Belgium and commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church. 

Ballymena Observer, September 15, 1916 - MISS Herbison, 26 Hill Street, Ballymena, has been informed that her brother, Sergeant R. Herbison 12th Royal Irish Rifles (CAV) was killed in action on Sunday, August 27th. Sergeant Herbison was, prior to joining the colours, an employee in the Phoenix Weaving Factory, Ballymena.

He was a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force and of Ballykeel LOL 472. His brother, Lance Corporal James Herbison, Royal Irish Fusiliers, is serving at the front. A letter received from the Rev. A. Gibson, Chaplain to the Central Antrims, states that Sgt. Herbison was killed while out on duty in no-man's land. He states:

"He was a most excellent soldier and a very good NCO and the regiment will miss him very much. He had done very fine work when the battalion went into action on 1st July and I have heard from his officers how nobly he did his duty that day. He was buried in a little cemetery near the firing line."

Lt. W.B. Stuart writes:

"Dear Miss Herbison, I cannot tell you with what regret it is hat I am writing to tell you of the death of your brother. He was killed by a bullet passing through his brain so that I am glad to say that he suffered absolutely no pain.  

I have known your brother personally for nearly two years and I feel that I have lost a real friend as well as an excellent sergeant. I have never met anyone whom I trusted more than your brother. He was absolutely fearless and could always be depended upon to do anything.

Perhaps you have heard that he was recommended for bravery at the battle of the Somme, when, after three attempts had been made, he collected eight men of his platoon and was going to make another attack, when, luckily, he was stopped as the chance was hopeless. I was present at the funeral and he has been laid in a British cemetery just behind the firing line so there will be no difficulty in locating the grave after the war should anyone wish to do so."
Rifleman Joseph Peters

PETERS, Joseph, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 30th August 1916. Aged 27, he was the son of John and Anne Peters of Tullymore, Broughshane. He is buried in Pozieres British Cemetery, Somme and commemorated in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church.

Ballymena Observer September 22, 1916 - MR. John Peters of Broughshane, received official information from the war office on Friday last that his son Rifleman Joseph Peters, Royal Irish Rifles, has been killed in action. Rifleman. Peters enlisted on Tullymore Fair day in November 1915 in response to the strenuous appeal made for recruits. Mr. Peters has another son, Robert, also serving with the colours. By the death of the deceased this is the third young man belonging to the second Broughshane congregation who has given his life in defence of his King and country.

ELLIS, William, 4612, Corporal, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st September 1916. He was born in Grangetown, Yorkshire, enlisted at Clandeboye and lived at Creagh, Toomebridge. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate.

This week's recruiting:

 Army medical Corps - Lieutenant John B. McCutcheon, fourth son of the late Gilbert McCutcheon, High Street, Ballymena.
North Irish Horse - Trooper William J. Bones, Clarence Street; 
Army Service Corps - Private R. J. Calderwood, Carclinty, Craigs.

Private David Lorimer, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, has returned to his home at Alexander Street, Ballymena, having lost a leg in action. He is 19 years of age and has three brothers with the colours.

Lt. R. G. Orr, 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, has been gazetted to a special appointment, graded as a staff lieutenant and transferred to the general list. He is a son of His Honour Judge Orr KC, who is a native of Ballymena.
September 1, 1916

Mrs. Montgomery, Killyfleugh, Ballymena, has received information that her son, Private H. Montgomery, Royal Highlanders, has been missing since an engagement in the Persian Gulf on April 22, 1916. Private Montgomery joined the army shortly after the outbreak of war, prior to which he was employed in the Broxburn Oil Works, Scotland. He was wounded in France in September 1915 and went to Egypt in June 1916.
Mr. James Kennedy, Broughdone, Cullybackey, has been informed that another of his sons, Rifleman Arthur Kennedy, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded. One of his brothers, Rifleman George Kennedy, was wounded recently and another brother, Rifleman R.J. Kennedy is missing (see July 1 fatalities). Any information concerning whom will be thankfully received by his father.

Information has been received by Mr. William Francey, 108 Queen Street, Harryville, that his son, Bombardier Joseph Francey of the Royal Field Artillery is in hospital suffering from gas poisoning. Bombardier Francey, who was awarded the DCM in June, has been at the front since the outbreak of war and has about three and a half years service to his credit.  He enlisted in Scotland. Mr. Francey has two other sons with the colours, Private. Alex Francey in the Highland Light Infantry, who was 16 months in the trenches and is now on home service and Gunner James Francey who was through the Dardanelles Campaign and is now in France.

Second Lt. A. Lionel Gordon Kidd, Special List and Royal Flying Corps, has been awarded the DSO for conspicuous gallantry, skill and determination. On the occasion he dived his machine from a height of 7,500 feet to 900 feet and placed a bomb on the enemy's ammunition train which was set on fire, blocking the line.  He is a member of a very old Ballymena family and a son of the late James Gordon Kidd, Indian Army.
Ballymena Observer, September 1, 1916
Rifleman James Robinson 

ROBINSON, James  A, 719, Rifleman,  11th  Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st September 1916. Aged 24, he was born in Ahoghill, and he was the son of Robert and Martha Robinson, 49 James Street, Ballymena, and husband of Jane Robinson, 2 James Street, Ballymena. He was a father of two. He is buried in Ration Farm Annexe, Ploegsteert, Belgium.

Ballymena Observer, September 15 1916 - MRS. Jane Robinson of 49 James Street, Ballymena, has been officially notified that her husband, Rifleman James Robinson, Royal Irish Rifles (South Antrims), was killed in action on 1st September. Rifleman Robinson enlisted in November 1915, prior to which he was in the employment of Mr. J. Taylor, Harryville. He went to the front on February 1st, 1916.

Rifleman Robinson's platoon officer wrote: "He was one of those we could ill afford to lose and his loss to me is a personal one. He was always so cheerful and ready to do his duty - in fact it was at his post that he met his death most gallantly."

REA, James, 11302, Rifleman, 8th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 2nd September 1916. He was born in Ballymena and was living in Belfast, the son of James and Elizabeth Rea, 187 Beersbridge Road, Belfast.

FALLS, James, 4792, Private, 51st Bn. Australian Infantry, was killed in action on the 3rd September 1916 at Mouquet Farm. Aged 18, son of John and Maggie Falls, formerly of Ballymena. He is buried in Villiers Brettonneaux Cemetery, Somme.

KENNEDY, James, 9048, Private. 1st Scottish Rifles (Cameronians), was killed in action on the 3rd September 1916. He was born in Connor and enlisted in Glasgow. He is buried Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval, France.

SLOAN, Albert Edward, 21191, CQMS, 8th Royal Irish Fusiliers (formerly 2340 Connaught Rangers), was killed in action on the 5th September 1916. He was born in Craigs, Co. Antrim and enlisted in Belfast. He was the husband of  Catherine Sloan, Leeson Street, Falls Road, Belfast. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Rifleman. Robert Foster 

FOSTER, Robert, 5412, Rifleman, 7th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 7th September 1916. He was born at Ballyclug and enlisted in Ballymena. He was the son of Mrs. Margaret Foster, Ballymarlow. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. 

Mrs. Foster, Ballymarlow, Ballymena, has been notified that her son, Rifleman. Robert Foster, Royal Irish Rifles, has been killed in action on 7th September 1916. Before joining the colours. Rifleman Foster was employed for a number of years as a tailor by Mr. T. Harper, Springwell Street. He was only nineteen years of age and his death will be regretted by his many friends. The news of the death of Rifleman Foster was received in a letter from a chum. After paying a high tribute of respect to the deceased and telling of the great esteem in which he was held by all who knew him, he states that Rifleman Foster was killed through the explosion of a shell, which also killed and wounded several others who were on duty at the time.  

He finishes up with the following verse:

He is dead, ah! No, he only sleeps;  
His body wrapt in solemn gloom,  
Till God's last trumpet wakes him up,  
And calls him from the silent tomb.
 - His loving chum.
Private William Pennie

PENNY (Pennie), William, 460819, Private, 19th Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regt), was killed in action on the 8th September 1916. Aged 28, he was the son of James and Martha Pennie, Ballygarvey, Ballymena. He is buried in Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension, France and commemorated in Ballymena New Cemetery, Cushendall Rd, Ballymena.

Ballymena Observer, September 22, 1916 - Mr. James Pennie of Ballygarvey has received information that his son, Private William Pennie, has been killed in action. Private Pennie, who was a farm labourer, emigrated to America some years ago and when the call came for King and Country, he offered his services and joined the Canadian Contingent (19th Btn. Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario)) and has now laid down his life in freedom's cause. He belonged to the Orange Institution and was a prominent member in connection with a local lodge. Two of his brothers are presently employed in the Raceview Works.

McERLAINE, John, Private, 8th Royal Dublin Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 9th September 1916. He was born at Moneyglass, Toome. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

MURRAY, John Joseph, 21178, Private, 8th Royal Irish Fusiliers (formerly 2399 Connaught Rangers), died of wounds on the 7th September 1916. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast. He is buried in  Dive Copse Cemetery,  Somme.
Private Samuel O'Dornan

O'DORNAN, Samuel, 4301, Private, 6th Connaught Rangers, died of wounds on the 11th September 1916. He was born near Broughshane (The Braid), was a member of Irish Volunteers, and enlisted May 1915. His wife and two children lived at 11 William Street, Ballymena. He is buried in Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L'Abbe, Somme.

Ballymena Observer, September 22, 1916 - MRS. O'Dornan, William Street, Ballymena, has been officially informed that her son Private Samuel O'Dornan, Connaught Rangers, has died of wounds. Prior to joining the army, Pte O'Dornan was an employee of Messrs. W. McConnell and Co. Pork Merchants, Ballymena. Much sympathy is felt with his wife and two young children in their sad loss.

This week's recruiting: 

North Irish Horse - William Parke, Ballywatermoy; James Francey, Ballee; and William McCarley and George Marks, Casement Street. 

Mrs. J. Wallace, Patrick Place, Ballymena, has received notification that her husband, Rifleman J. Wallace, Royal Irish Rifles has been gassed and is at present in No.9 Red Cross Hospital.
Ballymena Observer, September 8, 1916

CARLISLE, Thomas, 306911, Private, 1/8 The King's Liverpool Regiment, was killed in action on September 11, 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. He was born at Ballytresna, Randalstown and he enlisted and lived in Liverpool.

RITCHIE, John, 23/2078, Private, Wellington Regiment, N.Z.E.F.,2nd Bn., was killed in action on the 15th September 1916. Aged 45, he was the son of John and Hannah J. Ritchie, of Carncoagh, Rathkenny, Co. Antrim, Ireland. He is commemorated on the Caterpillar Valley (NZ Memorial) Somme, in Clough Cemetery and in Cloughwater Presbyterian Church.

Ballymena Observer, November 24, 1916 - Official intimation has been received by the relatives of Private John Ritchie, second son of the late Mr. John Ritchie, Carncoagh, Ballymena, that he was killed in action on 15th September. Private Ritchie emigrated on June 25, 1900. He was a regular attender of Rev. Patton's Church at Cloughwater and he was a young man of excellent character and was making splendid progress in New Zealand. 

BLAIR, James, 108392, Sapper, Royal Engineers, died in East Africa, on September 16, 1916. He is commemorated on the Nairobi British and Indian Memorial. He was born at Cloughogue, the son of James and Margaret Ann Blair.  He enlisted in Litchfield, and his wife Isabella lived at 6 Copperfield Street, Belfast.

This week's recruiting
5th Royal Irish Rifles - Matthew Murray, Garfield Place; 
Gordon Highlanders - C. McMaster, Ballylummin, Ahoghill; 
ASC Mechanical Transport - W. J. Taggert, Craigywarren.

Lt. R. M. Pryde, Royal Irish Rifles, second son of Mr. James O. Pryde, Leighinmohr, Ballymena, has been promoted to the rank of captain. Captain Pryde joined the forces a few weeks after the outbreak of war and went to the front with the Ulster Division. Prior to joining the colours he was closely connected to the UVF, having command of  B Company, 1st North Antrim Regiment.

Mr. Jack B. Young, who has just been gazetted to a commission as a second lieutenant in the Royal Irish Fusiliers, is a son of Mr. J. B. Young and Mrs. Young, Alton Terrace, Ballymena. Second lieutenant Young was educated at the Ballymena Academy and matriculated at the Royal University, Edinburgh.

Captain James Gaston, RAMC, wounded on 3rd September, is the eldest son of Mr. Andrew Gaston of Carnbeg, Cloughmills. He was educated at Ballymena Academy and Queen's College, Belfast. He was attached to the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and has been at the front for a considerable time. His brother Lt. Andrew Gaston, RAMC, is also serving in France being attached to a Cavalry Division.

The relatives of Private Andrew McAleese, of the Connaught Rangers, who reside in Larne Street, have received information that he has been wounded and is in hospital in England. Private McAleese was formerly employed by Mr. C. Walshe, Ballymena.

Information has been received that Rifleman Thomas Larkin, son of Mrs. Larkin, Hill Street, Ballymena, has been wounded on 1st September. Rifleman. Larkin, who is attached to the Machine Gun section of the Royal Irish Rifles, joined the colours about a year ago, prior to which he was he was shop assistant in the firm of Messrs. Gilmer, Moore and Chestnut, Wellington Street. He was a prominent member of the Ulster Volunteer Force. In a letter to his mother he states that was wounded in the leg by shrapnel. He has a younger brother serving with the Cyclist Corps who has been in France since the Ulster Division went to the front.
Ballymena Observer, September 15, 1916
Rifleman William John Moore

MOORE, William John, 2577, Rifleman, 6th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 15th September 1916. Aged 18, he was the son of Margaret and the late Andrew Moore of 18 Clonavon Road, Ballymena. He died at Salonika, and he is buried in Struma Military Cemetery, Greece. He is commemorated in Ballymena New Cemetery, Cushendall Road.

Ballymena Observer, October 13, 1916 - Mrs. Moore, 18 Clonavon Road, Ballymena has received intimation that her son, RiflemanWilliam John Moore, Royal Irish Rifles, has been killed in action.  Prior to enlisting about Christmas 1914, he was employed in the Braidwater Spinning Mill, Ballymena. He was on active service for the last 16 months and took part in the Dardanelles campaign and the retreat from Serbia. He was a member of the UVF and was a son of the late Mr. A. Moore, Ballymena. His brother, Mr. A. Moore, is employed by the firm of Messrs. Morton and Simpson, Ballymena.
Private James McGowan

McGOWAN, James, 4550, Private, 1/5th Seaforth Highlanders, was killed in action on the 17th September 1916. He was the eldest son of James McGowan, Hillmount, Culybackey. He is buried in Cite Bonjean Cemetery, Armentieres and commemorated in Cuningham Memorial and Cullybackey UF Churches.

Ballymena Observer, October 6, 1916 - INFORMATION has been received by Mr. James McGowan, Hillmount, Cullybackey, that his eldest son, Private James McGowan, Seaforth Highlanders, has been killed in action. Prior to enlisting in September 1915 the deceased was in the employment of Messrs. Frazer and Haughton, Cullybackey. He was an accomplished violinist and was well-known in musical circles.

BRUCE, Robert, 124459, Private, 24 Bn. Canadians, is missing, presumed killed on the September 18, 1916. He is now named on theVimy Memorial. He lived at Duneane, Toomebridge.

KERR, Henry, 452004, Private, 58th Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario), was killed in action on the 20th September 1916. He was the son of Henry Kerr, Craigs, Cullybackey. He is buried in Courcelette British Cemetery, France and commemorated in Cuningham Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cullybackey.  

Dr. R. Davison, officer in charge of the Waveney Hospital has written acknowledging the receipt of a consignment of 20,000 Woodbine cigarettes and 20lbs of smoking tobacco sent through the Observer Tobacco Fund. 

The war charities concert promoted by Mr. John O'Loan of William Street, was a great success with hundreds being unable to gain admission. We understand the concert will be repeated at a later date.
Ballymena Observer, September 22, 1916.

WILSON, Robert, 10/3127, Private, 1 Wellington Regiment, NZEF, died of wounds on the 25th September, 1916. Aged 34, he was the son of James and Sarah Anne Wilson, Ballymena. He is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, France.

SMYTH (Smith?), Frederick Robert, 74122, Private, 28th Cananadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regt), was killed in action on the 28th September 1916. Aged 30, he was the son of Robert Smith, Portrush. His father is buried in Kirkinriola Cemetery, Bally Road, Ballymena and F R Smyth is named on stone (now fallen and destroyed).

CRAIG, Robert C, 114556, Private,  Borden's Motor Machine Gun Battalion, Canadians, was killed in action by shellfire on the 27 September 1916. He was born at Gracehill, his mother being Elizabeth Craig, Gracehill, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial.

Ballymena Observer, October 20, 1916 - Private R.C. Craig, Canadians has been killed by shellfire.He was the nephew of Mr. J.R. C. Craig, Gracehill. He emigrated to Canada six years ago and settled in Saskatoon. He worked on the Canadian Pacific and enlisted on 24 December 1914.

McMULLAN, Daniel, 8444, Guardsman, 2nd Irish Guards, was killed in action on the 29th September 1916. He was born at Rasharkin and had family at Rosnashane. He is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery,  Pas de Calais, France.

This week's recruiting
North Irish Horse - Wm. Kyle, formerly Ballymena; 
Royal Garrison Artillery - Patrick Higgins, Rasharkin, Alex Semple, Liminary : 
ASC Mechanical Transport - George Hall, Cullybackey, Robert H. Wilson, Ballygarvey Terrace; 
Irish Guards - Andrew Graham, Ballyreagh.

Joined since the outbreak of war
Royal Irish Rifles - David McClintock, Carncairn, Broughshane.

Mr. Robert Montgomery, Castle Street, Ballymena, has been informed by the War Office that his second son, Pte. D. R. Montgomery, Canadians, has been wounded and is in hospital in France. Before going to Canada he was well known in football circles having played for Celtic 2nds and Ulster Rangers. His brother, Rifleman Allen Montgomery, Royal Irish Rifles, was wounded on 1st July at Thiepval.

Rifleman James H. Jamison, Royal Irish Rifles, whose parents reside at Greenvale Street, Ballymena, was accidentally wounded on the leg on September 1st and is at present in hospital in England. Before joining the colours he was employed in the Braidwater Mill. He has a brother with the colours.
Ballymena Observer, September 29, 1916.

GORDON, Charles, 11232, Private, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regt.), 4th Bn, died on the 8th October 1916. Aged 23, he was the son of William and Martha Gordon, of Ballymarlow. Ballymena,  He is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial and in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.  

This week's recruiting
ASC - John Cathcart, Alfred Street; Alex. Murray, Queen Street. 
18th Royal Irish Rifles - James Dewey, Knockahollet.

Mrs. Keating of Church Street, Ahoghill, has been informed that her husband, Private P. M. Keating, Royal Irish Fusiliers, has been wounded in action and is now in Springburn-Woodside Hospital, Glasgow. Private Keating was wounded also in the retreat from Mons and after recovery returned to the front in March of 1916.

Rifleman Herbert Mitchell, Royal Irish Rifles, nephew of Mrs. Mitchell, of 10 Springwell Street, Ballymena, has been wounded in the eye and leg and is at present in a hospital in France. Before joining the army, Rifleman Mitchell was a popular member of Ballymena Brass Band.
Ballymena Observer,October 6, 1916

Mr. R. Fleck, Greenhill, Ballymena, has received information that his thrid son, 2nd Lt. David Fleck, Royal Irish Rifles, was wounded on September 30 but that his injuries are not serious. 2nd Lt. Fleck received his commission in the 19th Royal Irish rifles in February last.

Information has been received in Ballymena that Rifleman James Thompson, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded in action. Rifleman Thompson joined the colours in September 1914, prior to which he was employed in the Braidwater Mill, Ballymena. His brother, Mr. Bob Thompson was discharged from the army some time ago having one of his legs shattered and being supplied with an artificial one.

Private Dick Donaghy, Australian Forces, son of Mr. Terence Donaghy of Glenmanus Place, Ballymena, was home on leave during the week. It will be remembered that Pte. Donaghy was wounded in the right arm early in August last during the heavy fighting in which the Anzacs were engaged. Pte Donaghy emigrated to Australia four years ago and joined the Australian Imperial Forces at the outbreak of war. He took part in the Egyptian Campaign and later came through the Dardanelles fighting after which he was drafted to France. He is a brother of Mr. John Donaghy, Chemist, Ballymoney Street.
Ballymena Observer, October 13, 1916

WHITE, William, 8192, Private, 1st Irish Guards, was killed in action on the 15th October 1916. He was the son of Samuel White of Knockboy, Broughshane. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

Ballymena Observer, October 13, 1916 - Mr. Samuel White, Knockboy, Broughshane, has been informed that his son, Private William White, Irish Guards, has been killed in action on September 15th. Before joining the army he was a member of the UVF and was a farm labourer in the neighbourhood. His brother Rifleman Robert White, is stationed in Carrickfergus with the 5th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles.

DONNELLY, Thomas, 5298, Private, 1st Irish Guards, was killed in action by shellfire while carrying wounded on the 17th October 1916. He was born at Ahoghill, enlisted in Edinburgh and lived at Craignageeragh, Ahoghill. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

Ballymena Observer, October 6, 1916  - Mrs. Donnelly, who resides at Craignageeragh, Ahoghill, has received official intimation that her son Private Thomas Donnelly, Irish Guards, has been killed in action, It appears that Private Donnelley was engaged in carrying in wounded when he was struck by a shell. His death has occasioned widespread regret in his native district where he was well and favourably known. He was about 26 years of age and has two brothers serving with the colours, one being at present a prisoner of war in Germany.

This week's recruiting
Motor Transport- John Carson, Clonavon, Ballymena; 
3rd Royal Irish Rifles - Matthew Hill, Broughshane; 
18th Royal Irish Rifles - Wm. James Ervine, Frocess; 
20th Royal Irish Rifles - James McMillan, Drumcon, Rasharkin.
Military Medal for R. Letters

Amongst numerous other Ulster Division recipients of the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery in the field is Rifleman R. Letters, Royal Irish Rifles, who is a native of Cullybackey. Rifleman Letters enlisted in May 1915 and went to the front with the Ulster Division, where he was subsequently attached to a trench howitzer (mortar) battery. Prior to joining the colours he was in the employment of Messrs. Frazer and Haughton, Cullybackey. His father Private R. Letters Snr. is serving with the Royal Field Artillery at Salonika.

Rifleman John McCartney, Royal Irish Rifles, who has been wounded, and is at present in a hospital in Glasgow, is a son of Mrs. Jane McCartney of 11 Alfred Street, Ballymena. He originally served in the Engineers but was transferred to the Royal Irish Rifles and last January was wounded in the thigh and underwent an operation. After recovering, he returned to the front and took part in the big advance on 1st July.



Mrs. Agnes Millar, Moorfields has been notified that her husband, Rifleman John Millar, Royal Irish Rifles, was wounded in the right arm on 30th September and he is now in the City of London War Hospital. He is a member of the Tullygarley LOL and of the North-end Unionist Club and was for many years president of the Ballymena and Harryville Flute Band.


Private Robert McClintock, Royal Irish Fusiliers, who has been wounded and is in hospital, is a son of Mr. Patrick McClintock, Parkhead, Ballymena. His brother, Rifleman David McClintock, Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in the early days of the war.
Ballymena Observer, October 20, 1916
Rifleman Thomas Colgan

COLGAN, Thomas (snr.), 19418, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles,  died of wounds on October 22, 1916. He is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, France. Aged 45, he was the husband of Catherine Colgan, Galgorm Street, Ballymena. He left eight children.

Ballymena Observer, October 27, 1916 - Mrs. Colgan, Galgorm Street, Ballymena, received a letter yesterday morning from the Rev. Anthony F. Fenn, Chaplain to the forces, informing her that her husband, Rifleman Thomas Colgan, Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division) had died of wounds in No.8 Casualty Clearing Station on 23rd October.
The chaplain wrote:

Dear Mrs. Colgan, 

I am writing to tell you sad news. Your dear husband came in last night very badly wounded in the abdomen and back. I saw him about 9 pm when in bed. He was in great pain as I ministered to him in prayer and conversation and I left him, intending to see him again on my way home, but on going to him at 10.15 am, he had passed away. 
 
Rest had come to him. I asked him previously if he had any messages and he said 'I will tell you in the morning' so I said 'No, don't wait till the morning.'  

He then said, 'Give my love to my dear wife and God bless all my dear children.' I shall lay him to rest in our English cemetery at Baillieul in the morning.

Rifleman Colgan enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war, prior to which he was employed in the Braidwater Spinning Mill, Ballymena. He went to the front with the Ulster Division. His son, Private Thomas Colgan, Seaforth Highlanders, died from wounds received in action in July 1916 shortly after being admitted to No.45 Clearing Station. These are indeed serious and regrettable times and much sympathy is felt with Mrs. Colgan and her eight children in their sad bereavement.

REA, James H, 7828, Rifleman, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 23rd October 1916. Aged 20, he was the son of John and Susannah Rea, Carnalbanagh.  He enlisted in Paisley, Scotland. He is buried in Longueval Road Cemetery, Somme and commemorated in Carnalbanagh Presbyterian Church.  

This week's recruiting:

18th Royal Irish Rifles - John Caldwell, Ross, Kells; 
North Irish Horse - John Henry McKibben, Dunnyvadden.

Second Lieutenant Samuel Allen Bell, Royal Irish Rifles, who was wounded recently for the third time, is the sixth son of the late Mr. James Bell, Grovehill, Ballymena. During the four years previous to the war 2nd Lt. Bell was a Divinity Student at Glasgow University and had only to complete one year of his course when he joined the colours in August 1914. Previous to his studies he had served for seven years in the army and had been a non-commissioned officer. On rejoining he received promotion to 2nd Lt. When he received his first wound - a sword thrust - in February 1915, he continued to fight for another four hours and was finally wounded in the leg. When he was wounded for the second time, in October 1915, he refused to go out of action after having his wounds dressed and fought on for a further 11 hours until he was relieved. 

His elder brother, 2nd Lt. John Bell, King's Own Lancashire Regiment, who was formerly parish minister of Carlton Church, Uddington, Scotland, enlisted in October 1914 and was wounded in June 1916.

Second Lieutenant S. McCay, Royal Irish Rifles, wounded on October 16th, is a native of Clough, Ballymena and before the war was in the service of the Ulster Bank, Donegall Place Branch, Belfast. He received a commission in the RIR at Newtownards in January last and has only been a short time at the front.

Life in Mesopotamia

Lance Corporal Martin of Ballymena, writing to Mr. McNabney, Provision Merchant, says:

Very few people in the old country know the real truth about Mesopotamia. Troops who have been in France in the early stages of the war say that those in France are having a picnic compared to the troops out here.

One does not wonder at old Adam eating the forbidden fruit, can one? I myself would eat it if I thought they would drive me out of the garden (of Eden, which was supposedly located in Mesopotamia) and send me to 'Blighty' again. No hesitation whatsoever.

The Arabs are the cleverest thieves in the world and they do all their looting under the most difficult and daring circumstances. A few nights ago three of the blighters entered a tent in which were a few stores and a Tommy fast asleep.

Just as they were in the act of taking a kit bag from the tent, Wilson awoke and as they saw him moving under his mosquito net, one of them immediately rushed at him with a knife and cut him right open and his chums found him dead next morning.

The Arabs, however, did not escape as they were captured by the sentry and hanged the following day. An Indian sentry tells us that while on duty one night, he saw a few sheep coming up behind him , and amongst them he noticed one whose manner was rather peculiar and slightly different from the others. 

Naturally, his suspicions were aroused and he fired two rounds at this sheep, and on examination he found that he had not a sheep but an Arab in sheep's clothing. On many occasions they have crawled up behind the sentries and put them 'out of time'. I am on guard pretty often now. We managed to put one in the mortuary a few nights ago and wound several since and no doubt we are having exciting times. You ought to see their knives.
Ballymena Observer, October 27, 1916

BANKHEAD, Frank John, 424544, Private, 1 Canadian Mounted Rifles (Saskatchewan Regt.), died of wounds on October 29, 1916. He is buried in St. Catherine Cemetery, Pas de Calais. He was born in Pretoria, S. Africa and was the 25-year-old son of Sam and Elizabeth Bankhead, Ballymena. He is commemorated in St Patrick's Church of Ireland, Ballymena.

Ballymena Observer, November 24, 1916 - Mrs. Bankhead, formerly of Ballymena, has received information that her son, Private Frank John Bankhead, Canadian Mounted Rifles, was killed in action on October 29. Mrs. Bankhead and her son, who was only 21, lived in Ballymena for a considerable time and were members of St. Patrick's Church. The deceased, who was her only child, emigrated to Canada about five years ago and on the outbreak of war he immediately joined the Canadian forces and came to England to complete his training, afterwards proceeding to the front.

FISHER, Hugh, 13907, Private, 1 Royal Scots,died of wounds on the 30th October 1916. Aged 22, he was the son of Sam and Margaret Fisher, Old Green, Kells. He enlisted in Glasgow and is buried in Struma Military Cemetery, Greece. He is commemorated in Kells Presbyterian Church.

Ballymena Observer, October 20, 1916 - Private Hugh Fisher, Royal Scots, killed in action was a son of Mr. Samuel Fisher, Old Green, Kells, Ballymena and a brother of Mr. W. Fisher, 17 Baden Powell Street, Belfast.

JENKINS, James, 2020, Private, 10/11th Highland Light Infantry, was killed in action on the 31st October 1916.  Aged 19, he was born in Ballymena, enlisted in Hamilton and lived in Lanarkshire, Scotland.  He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

PARRY, William, 127, Rifleman, 15th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 31st October 1916. Aged 27, he was born  in Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast. He was a brother of John Parry, 105 Upper Canning Street, Belfast.