BALLYMENA 1914-1918

Click here to edit subtitle


Ballymena Canadians: L - M


Canadian War Diaries: Available from Library and Archives of Canada - http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/Pages/war-diaries.aspx


4933 Private George Lamont, Canadian Army Service Corps (CASC), living on enlistment at 311, Colony Street, Winnipeg and working as a clerk, was actually from Broughshane, Co Antrim, and his wife Martha and children still lived there. George and Martha and their son, 2 year old Frankie,  lived in Upper Broughshane at the time of the 1901 census, and the family, then including surviving children Frankie (12), Katherine (9) and Martha (or 'Meta'), and George’s step mother Mary Ann (76) , lived in Broughshane town in 1911.  Another child, Aggie (5) had been born by the time of his attestation in June 1916. On both census documents George was listed as a car driver.


George Lamont was born on the 8 July 1876 and was relatively old, 39 years and 10 months old, at the time of his enlistment.  He was 5’ 5 ½” tall, of slight build, and he had blue eyes and brown hair.


George Lamont arrived in England on the SS Laconia on the 6 October 1916, and he went to the CASC Training Depot at Witley.  He earned a good conduct award in 1918, though none of his service was outside England.  He appears to have had medical problems that kept him from the fighting zone, but he served to the end of the war and he was discharged then from the army as ‘medically unfit for general service’ in 1919.  He left Glasgow on the 20th November and arrived at Halifax Nova Scotia on the 30th November 1919.  It is not known whether his family joined him there or if he returned to Ireland.

George Lamont's Will from his Pay Book

410343 Private Alexander Laverty, 38th Battalion, was married to Bessie and the couple lived at 74, Moscow Avenue, Toronto (later 171, First Ave, Toronto and elsewhere), but he was a Ballymena man, his mother, Mrs E Laverty, residing at Hillmount/Dunminning, Cullybackey.

The 1911 Irish census records Arthur (38) and Elizabeth (39) and eight children: William (16), Samuel (15), Arthur (14), James (12), Alexander (10) Mary (8), Sarah (6) and Robert (4). The 1911 census records Arthur (50 and a wash mill worker) and Elizabeth (50) and five children: James (23), Mary Elizabeth (19), Sarah (17), Robert (14) and Jenie sic (9).  The couple say in 1911 that they had had 11 children of whom 9 were still alive.

Alexander Laverty, a carpenter, had been born on the 12th April 1892, and he was 22 years and 11 months old when he enlisted on the 10 March 1915.  He was 5' 7" tall and had blue eyes and brown hair.

He left Canada on the 29 May 1916 aboard the SS Grampian and landed at Plymouth on the 9 June.  He finished training and went overseas and was at Le Havre on the 14 August 1916. His tenure in the army was short. He was wounded by gunfire on the 17/18th September in the right shoulder, right leg (buttock) and scalp and arrived via 11 Canadian Field Ambulance, 9 Casualty Clearing Station and 5 Army Train at 12 General Hospital, Rouen next day. He died there of his wounds on the 22 December 1916. Ironically the records of the 38th Battalion, then in the Ypres Salient at Kemmil, state that from the 15 to the 19 September it was 'quiet on both sides'.


Arthur Laverty's Will

159131 Gunner James Rowan Linton enlisted in Welland, Ontario where he was working as a labourer and where he had served in the 44th Battalion (Militia) on the 6th October 1915. He was a single man, had blue eyes and brown hair, and he was just 5’ 4” in height. He was then 22 years old, his birthday being 16 September 1893. He mentions that his father was T R Linton but nominated his mother, Mrs Hannah Linton, 4 Park Street, Ballymena, as his next of kin. He then lived at 33, Vermont Avenue, Toronto.

James R Linton left Halifax, Canada on the SS Olympic in May 1916 and soon arrived in Liverpool. He was initially with the 81st Battalion but transferred to the Canadian Field Artillery (CFA). He was in the field after the 16 June 1916 and he served for a time with the 2nd Division Trench Mortar Battery (Heavy) before joining the 5th CFA in November 1916. He was attached to the 1st Army School for a short time and was batman to Lt E W Neville, later to Lt P J Moran. He also spent some time in Ireland on leave in 1917, his pass being extended by 24 hours due to ‘delayed train service, Dublin’, but some four months after his return to France he was wounded.  This happened near Lens on the 12 January 1918 and it appears that the shrapnel caused severe damage to his left leg just above the ankle.

8 Canadian Field Ambulance dealt with him.  He went to 59 General Hospital, St Omer and eventually to Tooting Military Hospital, London.  His lower limb was amputated and he went eventually to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Bromley, Kent.  He moved onward to the specialist hospital at Buxton, Derbyshire and spent time at 5 Canadian General Hospital, Kirkdale before being invalided to Canada aboard SS Araguaya.  

His leg continued to give trouble and he was to undergo several bouts of surgery in Canada in 1919-20.  He was officially discharged on the 19 October 1920. He died in Canada on 21 October 1943.
157515 Sergeant William Gage Linton served in the CEF but came from Cloughmills, Co Antrim. Cloughmills falls within the Ballymoney area but William Gage Linton is named in Clough Presbyterian Church, hence he is linked to Ballymena.

The 1911 Irish census records the family at Drumadoon, Cloughmills. James, 43 and a shoemaker, was married to Mary, also 43.  The couple said they had been married for 18 years and had had 8 children. All 8 were alive in 1911. They listed William G, 17 and born in Scotland, Maggie J, 16 and born in Scotland, Robert, 11 (Born 8 November 1899), Isabella, 8 (Born on 22 July 1902), Sarah Helen, 7 (Born 5 November 1903), and Daniel, 5 (Born 19 February 1906). Widower Joseph Linton, father of James and aged 79, lived with them.

The family also appear in the 1901 Irish census. James 32 and a shoemaker, and Mary (31) listed four children present on the census day. Willie G (not Nellie G as transcribed) was 7, Maggie J was 5, Robert was 2 and the other child was 6 months old – her name is illegible and is rendered Maglor on the transcription.

William Gage Linton enlisted in the 81st Battalion, CEF on the 9 September 1915, shortly after it had been authorized on 10 July 1915. He had previously served in a local militia for about three years. He lived at 698 Manning Avenue and was in 1915 an assistant manager and salesman in a boot and shoe store in Toronto.  He had been born on the 23 July 1894 and was a single man who stood about 5’ 7” tall, and he had blue-grey eyes and dark brown hair.

He trained in Canada for a time and then travelled from Halifax to the Liverpool aboard the SS Olympic during the 1-6 May 1916. He transferred to the 35th Battalion and the 4th Reserve Battalion before being posted to the 18th Battalion for overseas service.  He was with the 18th Battalion in the field in early December 1917. He was wounded on the 14 April 1918 while serving with them, a shell peppering him with shrapnel on the back of the head, the right side of his face and and on his right arm and shoulder. He was to spend about eight months in hospital.

6th Canadian Field Ambulance and the Canadian Stationary Hospital at Doullens dealt with him before he was taken on HS St Patrick to England and he went onwards to No 9 General Hospital at Basingstoke; there he remained for 72 days. He then spent time at the convalescent hospital at Woodcote Park, Epsom and at 'Granville Canadian Special Hospital', Buxton; the latter had transferred from Ramsgate to Buxton's Palace Hotel during the war. He was returned to Canada aboard the SS Grampian in February 1919 and demobilised on the 12 February.  He returned to his home in Manning Avenue.

He died on the 23 December 1968.

The family headstone in Clough Cemetery reads:
1931
Erected by Mary Linton Cloughmills
In memory of her husband James Linton who died 11th February 1931, aged 63 years
Also above named Mary Linton died 27th Sept 1955 aged 87 years
Also their daughter Isabella died 18th January 1978

3034123 Private James Lynn of 64 Carlaw Avenue, Toronto was drafted on 18 March 1918 under the Military Service Act of 1917.  He was sent to the 1st Central Ontario Regiment, 1st Depot Battalion.

He was born in Ballymena on the 5 October 1893 and was a single man, a butcher by trade.  He was 24 ½ years old, stood 5’ 6” tall and he had brown eyes and light brown hair. He nominated his mother Martha as his next of kin and gave the same Carlaw Avenue address for her.

He left Halifax, Canada aboard the HMT Valacia on the 16 August 1918 and disembarked at Liverpool. He was taken on strength by the 12th Reserve Battalion at Witley and was then transferred to the 20th Battalion for active service on the 28 August 1918.  He was in France next day.

The war ended on the 11 November 1918 and he wasn’t needed thereafter. He was returned to Canada on the SS Caronia and was discharged from the CEF on the 24 May 1919 at Toronto.

171504 Lance Corporal Robert John Lynn of 64 Carlaw Avenue, Toronto was the son of William and Martha Lynn and he was the brother of 3034123 James (above).  He was born on the 10 October 1891 in Ballymena and was a 23 year old single labourer at the time of his enlistment in August 1915.  He was 5’ 8” tall and he had grey eyes and fair hair.


He joined the 10th Royal Grenadiers but left Halifax, Nova Scotia with the 83rd Overseas Battalion aboard the SS Olympic on the 24 April 1916 and he served with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles after the 6 June 1916. He was wounded in action on the 17 October 1916, the slight gunshot wound to a right hand finger keeping him from duty until the 16 November 1917. He stayed with the unit until returned to Canada from Liverpool on the SS Carmania in March 1919. He was demobilized on the 20 March 1919 and died on the 13 May 1924.

101316 Gunner Arthur Lyttle enlisted in the 66th Battalion, Canadian Infantry at Edmonton on the 30 September 1915. He said on his attestation papers that he was born on the 13 April 1881, that he was single and a clerk.  He was 5' 10 ½ “ inches tall and had hazel eyes and dark coloured hair.  He also indicated that he had previously served in the Royal Irish Constabulary and that he a native of Randalstown, Co Antrim. He nominated his sister Catherine Lyttle, Randalstown as his next of kin.

Birth records indicate that he was indeed born on the stated date and that he was the son of John Lyttle, a railway labourer, and Margaret, nee Allen, of Ballylurgan, Drummaul. Ballylurgan lies south of Ballymena and about half way to Randalstown. Catherine was an older sister and born on the 12 June 1873.

Arthur Lyttle sailed to England from Halifax aboard the SS Olympic inn April 1916 and served in England with the Canadian Postal Corps for a time before transferring to the siege artillery and eventually going to France and Flanders with 2nd Brigade, Canadian Garrison Artillery.  He served without injury, save for a knee injury that was the result of a motoring accident.

Lyttle was returned to Canada on HMT Northland and discharged from the army at Edmonton on the 11 July 1919.

201640 Sergeant Robert Magill was a single man when he enlisted in the 95th (OS) Battalion on the 15 November 1915, though he later married Helena and the couple had various addresses in Toronto. He was then 25 years and 11 months old, his birthday the 24 December 1889.  He was 5’ 9” tall and had brown eyes and dark brown hair. He was an Anglican and described himself as a motor cycle mechanic. He was living at 122 Sherbourne Street, Toronto.  He gave his mother’s name as his next of kin. She was Mrs Margaret Magill, 11 Hope Street, Ballymena.


The 1911 census shows the family at 11 Hope Street, a short row of houses that now ends against the wall of the War Memorial Park. His mother Margaret was then 47 and she said she had been married for 25 years and had had seven children, six of whom were still alive. All six are listed: Margaret (24), Robert (22 and a plumber), Sarah (20), Henry (18), William (13) and Ellen (11). 


In 1901 they lived at High Street, Ballymena. Henry and Margaret were then 38 years old, and all seven of the children Margaret said were born are listed: Maggie B (13 and a linen worker), Robert (12 & a messenger boy in a plumbing business), Sarah B (10), Henry (7), William B (2), Ellen B (infant) and Minnie B (4 – later died).


Robert Magill sailed from Halifax on the SS Olympic and arrived in England on the 8 June 1916. He went to the 3rd Battalion (Infantry) but due to a right knee problem in France was transferred almost immediately to the Canadian Corps Supply Column and attached to the HQ. He served with them until returned to England on the 18 May 1919 and subsequently returned to Canada from Liverpool aboard the SS Royal George.  He was demobilized in Toronto and lived there until his death in March 1960.


259664 Corporal Samuel Magill, 1st Depot Battalion, Saskatoon Regiment, was drafted under the Military Service Act, 1917. He joined the force in Regina, Saskatoon on 1st May 1918, and he appears to have served only in Canada. He was eventually discharged officially on the 20th December 1918.


Samuel Magill came originally from Galgorm Road, Ballymena.  His family are found in the 1901 and 1911 Irish census returns.  In 1911 Samuel’s father, an agricultural labourer, was 67 and his wife Agnes was 65.  The pair said they had been married for 41 years and that they had had nine children of whom seven were still alive.  The children named in 1911 are as follows: James (34), Wallace (29 and a postman), Rose (26) and William (8 - grandson). In 1901 Samuel and Agnes listed the following offspring: James (23, a gardener and domestic servant), Samuel (21 and a baker), Wallace (18 and a solicitor’s clerk), Rose (15, a machinist in shoe manufacturing) and Robert (13).


Samuel Magill gave his address as Box 422, North Battleford, Saskatoon and said he was a carpenter. He was at attestation 34 years and 11 months old, his stated birthday being 17 June 1884. He was 5’ 9” tall and he had brown eyes and dark hair.

25615 Lance Corporal Samuel Mann served in the 14th Battalion (Royal Montreal Regiment) of the CEF and must have been, given that he enlisted on the 21st September 1914 at Valcartier Camp, among the first to enlist in a unit set up that September. He was then a single man, a carpenter by trade, and he said he was born on the 10 March 1894.  He was on enlistment 22 years and six months old, stood 5’ 6 ½“ tall, and he had brown eyes and brown hair.  He said his military experience was limited to service in the Ulster Volunteer Force.

Samuel Mann came from Ballymena and gave his father John’s address as 14, High Street, Ballymena. The 1911 Irish census shows John, 57 and sexton of a local church, and Marria (sic) (56) and lists three of their children: Maggie, a spinner, was 22, Lizzie, a doffer (one who unloaded filled bobbins in a spinning mill, from the verb 'to doff'.), was 15, and Maria was 13; John, an infant grandson, and Lizzie Lamont (60), a lodger, are also named. The couple state that they had been married for 32 years by 1911. Twelve children were born and eight were still alive.

In the 1901 Irish census return they were shown as living in Queen Street, Harryville. John (46), a labourer, and Marria (44) list eight of their children alive at this time: Jane (20), Robert (18 and a tailor), Agnes (16) and a mill worker, Archie (14) and a boot cutter, Samuel (12), Maggie (9), Lizzie (4) and Marria (2).


Battle Honours of the Royal Montreal Regiment

Samuel Mann’s regiment saw much hard fighting, as the battle honours for the regiment testify.  His service record is missing and it appears he wasn’t wounded in the war. He was hospitalised for other reasons, including problems with his teeth.  However, towards the end of the war he had ‘debility’, nothing specific, but it may have been the product of absolute physical exhaustion. 

Samuel Mann survived the war and was, having sailed from Liverpool aboard the SS Metagama, demobilised in Canada in spring 1919.  By then he was married to Carrie. Her address was given initially as 82, Buckland Avenue, Dover, and the couple appear to have settled in Montreal.
2147682 Private Thomas Marcus was drafted under the Military Service Act, 1917 into the Depot Squadron, 34th Fort Garry Horse on the 15th January 1918 and went later to the (58th Draft) 205th Machine Gun Depot at Hamilton, Ontario. He gave his address as 5, Dagmar Street, Winnipeg and said he had been born on the 1 January 1894, actually the 31 December 1893 at Deer Park, Glenarm.  He was single, a Presbyterian and a locomotive fireman, and he was described as being 5’ 10” tall and having blue eyes and dark brown hair. He said his father was Thomas Marcus, Carnave townland, Glenarm.

Thomas Marcus is recorded in the 1911 Irish census.  He was a 45-year-old agricultural labourer living at Old Church townland, Glenarm. His wife Mary, sometimes referred to as Minnie, was 45 years old. They said they had been married for 19 years and that they had had 8 children. James (18), Thomas (17, an iron miner), David (11), John (8), Margaret (7), Henry (5), Joseph (3) and Samuel (1) lived with them in 1911.

Thomas Marcus Snr, an agricultural labourer of Tamybuck (Gaelic ‘Tamhnach Bhreac’. The townland was often referred to as being ‘Tamneybreak’, ‘Tamneybreck’ or variations thereof in the past and an old spelling is used on the marriage certificate), Broughshane married Mary Bell, Deer Park, Glenarm in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church on the 26 February 1892. Deer Park townland is 'down the road' from Tamybuck.

Thomas Marcus went overseas from Canada aboard the SS Nankin and arrived in Liverpool on the 15 August 1918. He was transferred to the Canadian Machine Gun Corps and was in France and Flanders after the 7 November 1918. He served there until returned to Canada and was discharged from the CEF on the 26 July 1919. He said he was going to 368, Simcoe Street, Winnipeg.

He died on the 29 October 1979.
624796 William John Mark enlisted at Coronation, Alberta in the 151st Battalion, CEF on the 12 February 1916 and gave his address as c/o P. O. Castor.  He said he was single, a Presbyterian and was a minister of religion.  He was the about 25 years old, stood 5’ 8 ½ “ tall, and he is described as having grey eyes and dark hair. He said he was born on the 1 June 1890 and that his father was Henry Mark, Ballyloughan, Ballymena.

Henry Marks (sic) had married Lizzie Russell in High Kirk Presbyterian Church on the 20 April 1888, and the Marks family appear in the 1911 and 1901 census record. The 1911 return shows 42-year-old Henry, a labourer, at Ballyloughan with his wife Lizzie (42) and five offspring.  The couple said they had been married for twenty-three years and that they had had eleven children. Seven were still alive in 1911 and on the day of the census they listed Maggie (22, a linen weaver), Lizzie (17, a linen weaver), James (10), Agnes (9) and Martha (1).

In 1901 Henry (32) and Lizzie (32) listed Maggie (12), William John (10, registered birth 1 June 1890), Lizzie (7) and James, an infant.

624796 William John Mark left Canada aboard the SS Olympic on the 20 December 1916 and soon arrived at Bramshott Camp in England to continue his training before going to France and Flanders.  However, he was dogged by ill health and was never to go the mainland Europe.

He was at Bramshott Military Hospital, later called 12 General Hospital, being treated for rheumatism from the 9th to the 15th May 1917. He was back at Bramshott Hospital on the 4th October 1917 and was then sent to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Bear Wood, Wokingham, Berkshire from the 9th – 23rd November. Medical treatment continued and he was at the Granville Canadian Special Hospital, Buxton, Derbyshire from 8th January 1918 to the 15th April 1918. He was again at 12 Canadian General Hospital, Bramshott on the 11th August 1918 and was then transferred to the Canadian Red Cross Special Hospital, Buxton.

The CEF decided he should be returned to Canada and he was sent to 5th Canadian General Hospital, Kirkdale, Liverpool in preparation for his removal.  He left for Canada on the 10 December 1918 aboard the SS Essiquibo and arrived at Halifax on the 20 December.  He said he was going to Wetaskiwin, Alberta.  He was for a time treated at Strathcona Military Hospital, Edmonton and he was discharged from the army on the 20 February 1919.

He married on the 15 January 1919, possibly to the friend he mentioned in his records, Miss Jennie May McRae, Coronation, Alberta.
1018087 Private Robert Marshall enlisted in the 232nd (Saskatchewan) Battalion, CEF, the unit based in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, on the 4 April 1916 and said he lived at Turtleford, Saskatchewan. He was an Anglican, a single man and a farmer.  His papers state he was 5’ 10” tall and that he had grey eyes and brown hair.  He said he was born on the 18 December 1896 and said his father was Isaac Marshall, Ardnaglass, Ballyscullion, Ahoghill.

Local records show that Isaac Marshall, a farmer of Culnafay, married Rosetta Montgomery of Gillistown, Ahoghill in Grange Parish Church on the 11 December 1889. The family appear in the 1901 and 1911 Irish census record.  Isaac was 52 years old and a farmer at Ardnaglass, Ballyscullion and his wife Rosetta was aged 47 years.  The couple said they had then been married for 21 years and that they had had 7 children. All were alive in 1911 and they named James (19), Isaac (14), George (12), Archibald (10) and Catherine (8) as being present at the time of the census.

They were at the same address in 1901. Isaac was 40, his wife 36.  They listed six children present on census day - James (9), John (8), Robert (6 – born 17 December 1894), Isaac (4), George (1), and Archibald (infant).

Robert trained in Canada and then left Halifax aboard the SS Olympic bound for Liverpool.  He arrived in England on the 9 June 1916 and went to the 15th Reserve Battalion next day.  He completed his training and transferred on the 24 November 1917 to the 5th Battalion for service in France and Flanders. He went immediately to France and was with his unit in the field on the 3 December.

Robert Marshall, having been in France and Flanders for about 5 months, was ‘dangerously wounded’ near Arras on the 18 April 1918.  He was struck by shrapnel that shattered his collarbone and injured his left hand and chin.  The worst injury was caused by a large metal fragment that smashed through his two leg bones below the knee.  He nearly bled to death before he reached 7 Casualty Clearing Station. A surgeon, possibly a Captain H W Symons, amputated his leg above the knee. He was subsequently moved aboard HS Princess Elizabeth to England and then to 1st Southern General Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham on the 2 May 1918. He stayed there until released on the 13 June to Granville Canadian Special Hospital, Buxton.

He was, since his injury precluded return to duty, sent back to Halifax, Canada on board the SS Neuralia after the 20 September 1918 to continue treatment and spent time at Whitby Ontario Military Convalescent Hospital and in Manitoba Military Hospital at Winnipeg. Return to any semblance of normality was slow and he remained in the army during treatment.  He was not discharged from the CEF and to 75 Hargrave Street, Winnipeg until 21 January 1920.

Robert Marshall died in North Battleford on the 10 December 1972.
925682 Robert Martin, Ratcliffe, Saskatchewan enlisted in the 152nd Battalion, Canadian Infantry on the 15 April 1916. He said he was Presbyterian, single and a farmer. He was described as being 5’ 8” tall and as having grey-brown eyes and light brown hair. He indicated that he had been born on the 1 May 1891 and that he was originally from County Antrim.   He nominated his brother William, Ernfold, Saskatchewan as his next of kin.

Robert’s will of 21 September 1916 says that in event of his death his property in equal parts was to go to his brothers, William John and Andrew Martin, Ratcliffe, Saskatchewan. This information, together with the appearance of his name on the record of service in Buckna Presbyterian Church, allows us to identify the family.

Mary Anne Martin, 40 and a widow, appears in the 1901 Irish census and she records four children as present on the day of the data gathering. David, born 3/1/1881, was 20 years old, William John, born 17/5/1884, was 17, Andrew, born 16/11/1888, was 12, and Robert, born 1/5/1891, was 10 .

David, aged 30, appears in the 1911 Irish census. He is married to Ellen (38) and they state they had been married for five years and that they had had two children. The couple list Ellen (4) and Robert (1), and also two children of Ellen’s former marriage. John McNeill was 12 and Arthur was 9.  Ellen, nee Alexander, from Owencloughy, Carnalbanagh had previously been married to John McNeill, Deerpark, Glenarm on the 26 July 1895 in Carnalbanagh Presbyterian Church, but he had died aged 33 on the 6 June 1903; she married David Martin in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church, Ballymena on the 29th March 1906.

The fate of Mary Anne isn’t known but David was at Ballynacaird, Broughshane in 1911 and appears to have inherited the family farm. The remaining three brothers, as made clear by the will of 1916, had emigrated to Canada.

Robert trained in Canada and then went to the UK on the 13 October 1916 aboard the SS Missanabie.  He arrived in Liverpool ten days later and transferred to the 32nd Battalion on the 1 October 1916 and then was moved again, this time to the 102nd Battalion on the 30 November 1916. He went to France with them on the 1 December 1916 and was with his unit in the field on the 22nd December.

Robert’s military service resulted in him wounded in the left arm and hand on the 9 August 1918.  He went to the 3 Australian General Hospital before being taken on Ambulance Train 34 to the coast and HS Stad Antwerpen for transport to England.  He went to the County of Middlesex War Hospital, to the outlying annex at Napsbury, St Albans, on the 13 August 1918 and later spent time at the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom. His wound was no too serious and his recovery was good, but he did not return to France.  He went to the 1 Canadian Reserve Battalion and was returned to Canada after the 25 January 1919. He was posted to Casualty Company and was to spend some time in hospital before being discharged medically unfit from the CEF on the 16 April 1919.

Robert Martin died at Edmonton, Alberta on the 30 September 1975.

800045 Private James Maybin of 7, Mark Street, Toronto enlisted in the CEF on the 2 February 1916 and went initially to the 134th Overseas Battalion before transferring to the 15th Battalion (48th Highlanders of Canada) on the 11 October 1916. He was born on the 20 January 1886, a single man, and worked as a teamster.  The 30 year old was 5’ 6 ½ “ tall and had brown eyes and dark hair.


James Maybin came from Liminary (Ballyclurg), Ballymena and his father Richard was a farmer. The 1911 Irish census records Richard (57) and his wife Maggie (57 – The name appears to be a transcription error. Annie is correct, and she was dead by the time James joined the CEF in 1916.)  The couple said they had been married some 33 years in 1911 and that they had had nine children; they had all survived. Six are listed: Maggie (32), Robert (27), Francis (25), Samuel (23), Annie (21) and Mary (17).


The 1901 Irish census lists the entire family (Mabin rather than Maybin spelling is used). Richard and Annie, both 47, listed their offspring as follows: Maggie (24), Jane (22), Joseph (21), James (19), Robert (17), Frank (16), Samuel (15), Annie (13) and Mary (8). Robert and Frank were said to be hardware apprentices.


James sailed from Halifax on 8 August 1916 aboard the SS Scotian and disembarked in Liverpool.  He went to France on the 10 October 1916 and was with the 15th Battalion after the 11 October.  He did not, leave excepted, return from duty in France and Flanders until the 23 March 1919.  He returned to Canada on the SS Baltic from Liverpool and was discharged from the CEF on the 10 May 1919.  He went back to 7, Mark Street, Toronto.


106392 Private Richard Maybin (Meban on headstone & census), 1 Canadian Mounted Rifles was born on the 16 January 1890 and was originally a farmer, though he appears to have been working as a locomotive fireman at the time of his enlistment at Saskatoon on the 28 December 1914. He was then 24 ½ years old and stood 5’ 6” tall, and he had grey eyes and black hair.


Meban or Maybin was from Co. Antrim, from the village of Broughshane.  His mother Margaret was already a widow at the time of the 1901 census.  She was a farmer and listed the following children, though whether they were the entire family is unknown: Maggie (24), Mary (22), John (20), Joseph (18) Agness sic (16) and Richard (12). In 1911 she stated she was 64, a widow and still farming. She listed three offspring: Mary (30), John (28) and Richard (21); all were single and it must have been shortly after this date that Richard went to seek his fortune in Canada.


Richard left Canada aboard the SS Megantic and reached England on 6 June 1915.  His unit was in France on the 22 September 1915.  The 1st CMR was with others manning the 3rd Division front east of Ypres (modern Ieper) in Belgium. An Allied advance was planned and troops moved forward, but the Germans struck on 2 June 1916 before the Allied plan could unfold.


The following Battle of Mount Sorrel involved fighting over this significant hill and the adjacent Hill 61 and Hill 62 (Tor Top). These overlooked Ypres and the Menin Road and offered an opportunity for the Ypres Salient to be captured. It saw the Germans launch the heaviest artillery barrage until then seen in the Great War; mines were also exploded below some allied trenches. This was followed by a huge infantry attack. The barrage devastated the forward Canadian positions and killed many, including the division commander, Major-General Malcolm Smith Mercer, the highest ranking Canadian officer to be killed in World War 1. German infantry then took Canadian positions at Mount Sorrel and on the two surrounding hills. A hastily organized counterattack on 3 June failed. Three days later, the Germans captured the village of Hooge. Ypres was at their mercy but the opportunity was not taken, and having lost the first two phases of the battle, the Canadians eventually achieved victory in the final operation.


The Battle of Mount Sorrel cost the Canadians 8,000 -11000 casualties, depending on how casualty is defined. Units like the 1st, 3rd and 4th CMR (The 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles at Armagh Wood was nearly wiped out — 89 per cent of the regiment's men were killed or injured. Of the 702 soldiers in the regiment who defended against the German attack, only 76 were unhurt by the end of the battle) had huge losses, among them Richard Meban. He was initially reported as missing in action on the 2/5 June, but later said to have been killed in action. His body was never found, his record saying only that he was lost in the ‘attack south east of Maple Copse’, and, having no known grave, he is listed on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate). The Canadian monument at Sanctuary Wood states only, ‘Here at Mount Sorrel and in the line from Hooge to St Eloi, the Canadian Corps fought in the defence of Ypres April-August 1916’ and it does little to convey the horror that unfolded around its position in 1916.


Richard Meban’s effects were returned to his mother in Broughshane, among them his bagpipes (The Canadian CMR units, 48th Highlanders of Canada,  had a pipe band and Richard was a piper.)  The instrument lay forgotten in an attic for many years but was recently rediscovered. The pipes were restored by Harold Bennett, Dungannon. The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch, subsequently decided to participate in a Living Memory project to mark the Battle of the Somme Centenary, and held a Slow Air/Lament Pipe Tune Composer’s Competition in July 2016. It agreed that the tune should be named in memory of Private Richard Meban (Maybin). The winning tune was composed by Iain Bell,  Dumfries, Scotland and was played in 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church on 2 November 2016 by Ian Burrows on the pipes that belonged to Private Meban. A framed copy of the tune was presented to George McMullan, Clerk of Session, 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church.

Mount Sorrel and Observatory Ridge, 1916, the approximate area SE of Maple Copse where Richard Meban perished. Image courtesy of Canadian war Museum
151095 Thomas Alexander McAleese enlisted in the 79th Battalion of the CEF at Brandon on the 16 August 1915 and later served in the Canadian Mounted Rifles.  He later gave his address as 430 Princes East, Brandon. He said at attestation that he was born on the 18th January 1885 (The registration of his birth cannot be found but that of his brother William can be and he was born in 17 December 1885. The likely date for Thomas is about 1882-83.), that he was single and a labourer.  He was a Presbyterian and he appears, correctly listed as serving in the Canadian Mounted Rifles, on a list for Buckna Presbyterian Church.  He was at attestation described as being 5’ 7 ½” tall with blue eyes and brown hair. He was originally from Co Antrim and nominated Mr Thomas McAleese, Racavan, Broughshane, his father, as his next of kin.

Local records show that Thomas McAleese had married Catherine Graham in Buckna Presbyterian Church on the 21 May 1875. The 1911 Irish census further records Thomas McAleese, 60 and a farm labourer, and his 52-year-old wife Catheren (sic) living at Racavan, Broughshane.  The couple said they had been married for 33 years and that they had had seven children.  All were alive in 1911. They listed Jane, a 31 year old dressmaker (born 5 May 1877 at Aughacully, Broughshane), Thomas Alexander (28), William (25, born 17 December 1885 at Carnstroan, Broughshane) Abraham (18) and Mary Lizzie (15).  The boys were labourers.

The 1901 census also records them. Thomas (50) and 43-year-old Cathren (sic) listed the children present as Jane G (23), William J (15), Rachel (12), Abraham (8), and Mary Lizzie (5). Thomas Alexander is listed as a farm servant working for Mrs Mary McNeill, Ballynacaird, Broughshane.

Thomas Alexander McAleese trained in Canada and then left Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the SS Lapland after the 24 April and arrived in England on the 4 May 1916. He transferred to the 1st Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles in June 1916 and was with them in France and Flanders thereafter until he was wounded at Vimy on the 9th April 1917, the first day of the attack on the ridge.

He was at the 26th General Hospital, Etaples on the 10th April and was being treated for a serious face wound.  A bullet or piece of shrapnel had passed through the area of his mouth, knocking out three teeth on the upper right and three on the lower left mandible. His gums and palette were damaged, and his left mandible was fractured. HS Brighton brought him to England and he was at King George Hospital, Stamford Street, London on the 12 April. He appears to have stayed there until moved to 16 Canadian General Hospital, Orpington, Kent on the 18th December. He was moved again on the 8 May 1918, this time going to Queens Hospital, Sidcup, Kent. The Queen's Hospital, Frognal, Sidcup performed plastic surgery of the face between 1917 and 1925, and it would seem that McAleese had two bouts of reconstructive surgery there. He was moved to 5 Canadian General Hospital, Kirkdale, Liverpool on the 13th December 1918, this in preparation for his return to Canada. The CEF had already decided that he was ‘medically unfit for general service’.

McAleese was returned to Canada aboard the SS Araguaya from Liverpool and discharged from the army on the 3 June 1919. He died in Canada on the 9 March 1960.
865632 Private Thomas Patrick McAleese enlisted on the 31 May 1916 in Brandon, Manitoba and was with the 181st & 222nd Overseas Battalions before being sent on arrival in the European theatre to the 44th Battalion, Canadian Infantry.

He was just over 28 years of age on enlistment, and stood just 5’ 4” tall, and he had grey eyes and brown hair.  The farm labourer was a single man, a RC, originally from Broughshane in Co Antrim. His father Bernard and mother Ann lived in Dunaird townland near the village. Thomas did however get permission to marry on the 30th September 1917, and he wed Louise from Sussex.  Her principal address was 14, St Paul’s Road, St Leonards, Sussex.

He had sailed from Halifax aboard the SS Olympic and arrived in England on the 20 November 1916.  He was in France on the 29 December 1916 and with the 44th Battalion, CEF from the 9 February 1917.  The 44th were part of the 10th Infantry Brigade, part of the 4th Canadian Division, and the 44th were already preparing for the assault on Vimy Ridge by the time he arrived. His unit were in the front line when he was first wounded on the 10 March 1917.  As the diary attached shows, the unit was involved only in routine maintenance, and it would seem that Thomas Patrick was the soldier wounded on the 9th, possibly just before midnight, for no casualties were listed on the 10th. 


War Diary: 44th Battalion activity at the time of McAleese's first wounding

9th March: Situation normal during day. Trench maintenance observed. Weather wet and snowy. Snow at night. Casualties - 1 OR (Other Rank,ordinary soldier) wounded. ...

10th March: Snow early in morning. Battalion employed at trench maintenance. Our trench mortars active at intervals. Enemy retaliation with HE (high explosive shells) on supports. ... Casualties - nil. ...

The shrapnel from one of the shells reported struck him on the right side.  One piece appears to have passed though his thigh without breaking any bones and it left a hole that turned septic.  Other bits of metal scarred his lower back above the hip and marked his arm. The wound was severe and he went to No 7 Stationary Hospital, Le Havre; there shrapnel, a ‘foreign body’, was removed and he was sent via HS Brighton to England.  He was to pass through the Red Cross Weir Hospital at Balham, London and 3rd General Hospital, Wandsworth, London before going to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Bromley, Kent and to Kendal for rest.  He wasn’t fully discharged until the 8 June 1917.

War Diary: Snowing during the day. Digging and wiring parties. ... Lieut D O'Brien and 6 OR (Other Ranks) accidentally injured in Transport Lines through explosion of grenade.

He was wounded accidentally a second time on the 7 January 1918.  His unit were at the Chateau de la Haie (or de la Haye), Villers au Bois and were engaged in the practice throwing of live grenades. One exploded prematurely, the incident noted in the diary (See above), and he was again wounded on the right leg, this time on the lower limb and ankle. It was a severe wound. He passed through the No. 6 Field Ambulance Depot and 18 Casualty Clearing Station before reaching 13 General Hospital, Boulogne on the 10th January.  He was moved aboard the HS St Denis to England for treatment. He stayed at the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Westcote Park, Epsom until the 31 July 1918.  


He was discharged in England from the CEF on 3 April 1919 and stated that he was going, presumably to work as a farm labourer,  to Mr Currie, Bratsell Farm, near Battle, Sussex. He gave his future address as that of his wife Louise, 14, St Paul’s Road, St Leonards, Sussex.


He died 17 January 1961.

43637 Bombardier William James McAleese enlisted in Rimouski, Quebec on the 30 September 1914 in the 1st Division Ammunition Column and served with the 2nd Battery, Canadian Field Artillery.

William James McAleese was a native of Broughshane, Ballymena, his father Bernard and mother Ann living in Dunaird townland. He was the brother of 865632 Private Thomas Patrick McAleese who enlisted on the 31 May 1916 in Brandon, Manitoba and was to serve in the European theatre with the 44th Battalion, Canadian Infantry – see above.

William James was born on 6 March 1891 and was a single man, a chauffeur by trade.  He was 23 years old on enlistment, stood 5’ 5” tall and he had brown eyes and black hair.

He went to England in February 1915 and was in France on the 1 August 1915.  He served there throughout the war and was not returned to England until 19 March 1919.  He left Liverpool aboard the RMS Baltic on the 29th April 1919 and was demobilised in Ottawa on the 9 May 1919.  He said he was going to Regina, Saskatchewan.  He died on the 8 February 1942.

McCarry Family Headstone, Glenariffe Bay RC Cemetery, Glenariff, Co Antrim
418800 Private Arthur McCarry enlisted in Montreal in May 1915 and was to serve with the 42nd Battalion, Canadian Infantry.  The 5’ 10 ½ “ tall farmer said he was Roman Catholic and single, and he was described as having blue eyes and black hair. He named his mother as his next of kin, and she was Ann McCarry, elsewhere said to reside at Kilmore, Glenariff, Co Antrim. Kilmore townland is close to Waterfoot at the foot of the glen.

Michael McCarry (24) married Ann Harvey (22), both of Kilmore, in Cushendall Roman Catholic Chapel on the 3 June 1873 and at the time of the 1911 Irish census they said they had had eight children, four of whom were still alive.  Only Ann (60) and Arthur (22) were present on the day of the recording.

Anne was said to be 50 at the time of the 1901 census and listed her husband Michael (49), and he children Michael (20), Catherine (16) and Arthur (12).

Arthur left Canada from Montreal aboard the SS Hesperian in June 1915 and was in England on the 19th. He went to France in October 1915 and served with the ‘A’ Company, 42nd Battalion until he was killed in action on the 16 September 1916.  The Circumstances of Death Register says he was ‘killed during advance by MG fire’ during an attack ‘west of Courcelette’, Somme.

The War Diary, summarised, says that the unit were in Farbeck Graben and the Sunken Road, both taken on the previous day with few casualties, and on the 16th they were to attack Zollern Graben. Lt S J Mathewson was leading McCarry’s ‘A’ Company and he led his men, the 2nd wave in the centre, forward against a trench where it was soon clear the artillery barrage had utterly failed; most of the barrage seemed to have fallen on trenches further right. Zollern Trench was lined shoulder to shoulder with Germans and no artillery or machine gun fire was available from the flanks to help the attackers. The first wave didn’t get 100 yards and the second wave was brought up to carry them through.

The fighting was furious and one hour later only 25% of the attacking force returned to Farbeck Trench. 266 men of all ranks from the 42nd Battalion answered their names at roll call the next day.

McCarry is named on the Vimy Memorial.
(Graben = Trench)

1816 Private Samuel McCartney enlisted in Toronto in the 17th Battalion, CEF (Nova Scotia Highlanders) on the 24 September 1914 and was transferred on the 16 December 1914 to Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

He was born on the 18 November 1893 and was 20 years and 10 months old at the time of joining the army.  He said he was a single man and a baker by trade.  He was 5’ 8½ inches tall and he had hazel coloured eyes and dark or black hair.  He was a Ballymena man and gave his mother’s name and address as Ellen McCartney, 155, Antrim Road, Ballymena. He married at some point during the war and gave his wife’s name and address as Mrs Grace McCartney, 230, John St. North, Hamilton, Ontario (later 286, Robert St, Hamilton).

The 1911 census return says Ellen McCartney, Queen's Street (Queen's Street becomes the Antrim Road beyond the Toome Rd junction.), 68 and a widow, had been married 43 years and that she had seven children; this appears incorrect, as are the ages given for children.

The 1901 census says James, 60 and a railway labourer, lived at Railway Place with his wife Eliza, aged 55. Eight offspring are named: Catherine, 32 and a linen weaver, Agnes, 30 and a linen reeler, Alex, 22 and a journeyman tailor, Robert, 20 and a draper's assistant, Samuel, 17 and a print compositor, Campbell, 16 and a draper's assistant, Ellen, 14 and a linen weaver and Rose (12); a 6 year old grandson called Alex Black is also recorded. The 1911 census return records Ellen, 68 and a widow, living in Queen's Street with son Hugh, 32 and a railway porter, Alex, 30 and a master tailor, Campbell, 24 and a woollen draper's assistant, Ellen (22) and Rose, 20 and a linen weaver.Two lodgers are also named. It appears, therefore, that Eliza/Ellen had at least nine children (Catherine, Agnes, Hugh, Robert, Alex, Samuel, Campbell, Ellen and Rose), their ages a little uncertain.

Samuel sailed to England at the end of 1914 and left Southampton for France with the PPCLI on 29 April 1915.  The PPCLI was one of the great fighting units of the Great War but no detail of his service with them is given.  We know that he was troubled by influenza and tonsillitis during the war and that he made at least one visit to Ireland in July 1917, probably to his mother in Ballymena, because his record states ‘Period of leave is extended 48 hours. Delay in train service Dublin’. There is no record on injury in his army record but his medical file states that he was gassed in 1917 and later developed ‘pulmonary fibrosis’.  This became the cause of him being certified ‘C3 - unfit for general service’ and brought about his premature demobilisation in Toronto on the 18 July 1918.

Samuel McCartney died in Northville State Hospital, Detroit, USA on the 2 December 1963, his wife Grace giving the then family address as 19230 Hershey Street, Detroit 3, Michigan, USA.

2498648 William McCaughey, who gave his address as 18, Luttrell Avenue, Toronto, enlisted in the CEF on the 24 September 1917.  He was single and 5’ 6 ½“ tall,  and he had blue eyes and brown hair.  He was Presbyterian and a railway employee. He said his father was James McCauley and gave his address as 13, Fountainwell Street, Springburn, Glasgow, but he said he himself was born at Randalstown, Co. Antrim on the 2 November 1887; local records show he was born at Tamlaght, Randalstown on the 2 November 1888, the son of James and Elizabeth McCauley, nee Herbison.  The couple, both of Kirkinriola, Ballymena/Broughshane had married at Ballymena Register Office on 11 August 1880.

William McCaughey left St John aboard the SS Grampian on the 18 December 1917 and was in England on the 31 December. He went to France after the 26 January 1918 and was sent to the 48th Company, Canadian Forestry Corps.  He served with them until he was discharged on the 11 April 1919.  He said he was going to 21, Winston Avenue, Kingston Road, Toronto.
34717 Sergeant John McCay, No 2 Mobile Veterinary Section, Canadian Army Veterinary Corps, attached 5th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery, enlisted in Winnipeg on the 22 August 1914 in the 10th Canadian Army Veterinary Corps and was for a time attached to the 19th Battery. He was with the No. 2 Mobile Veterinary Section from the 1 February 1915 and attached to the 5th Brigade, CFA from 5 October 1915.  He went to France on the 19 January 1916 and served there until he was returned to England on the 6 May 1919.  He left England for Canada on the 25 June 1919 and was demobilised in Winnipeg on the 5 July 1919. The only Canadian address in his record is 432, Balmoral Street, Winnipeg.

John McCay was born on the 27 March 1890 and was 24 years and 9 months old at the time of his enlistment.  He was single and a salesman. He was quite tall, 5’ 11”, and he had blue eyes and dark hair.  He had been injured at some time and had had the point of his 3rd finger on his left hand missing.

He was from a Ballymena farming family from Inshamph townland near Clough. The 1911 census records his father Samuel (71) and mother Hessie (Hester) Jane (57), and states the couple had been married for 37 years and had had 11 children; 10 were still alive.  Those named in 1911 are: Daniel (36), William (32), James (19), Robert (16) and Agnes A E (11); John McCaughey (15) was their farm servant.

The 1901 census return shows Samuel (61) and Hessie (47) and records the names of nine children: Daniel (26), Minnie (24), William (22), Margaret (20), Hessie (14), John (12), James (9), Robert (6) and Agnes E (1); Samuel Hamilton (15) was their farm servant. Also recorded was Mary McCay, Samuel’s mother and a retired farmer of 87 years.

Some of the family are interred in Clough Cemetery. Mary, born 1806, died aged 96 on 26 December 1902. John’s mother Hester (Hessie) died aged 89 on the 1 March 1942. Her husband Samuel, born 1839, died aged 74 in March 1913. Daniel McCay, John's brother, died aged 55 years on the 28 December 1929.

Bringing Forward Shells
Photograph courtesy of the Imperial War Museum and used here in accordance with their licence conditions.© IWM (Q 1467)

Horses at War

World War I was the twilight period for the use of cavalry and the cavalry, certainly on the Western Frant, fought mostly on foot, dismounted and in the trenches. The days of the offensive horse were ended because impenetrable barbed wire obstacles stopped charges and machine guns decimated men and horses alike. However, the conflict used horses and mules in great numbers for non-cavalry purposes, for transporting men, guns, materiel and supplies. Some six million horses served and substantial numbers died. In 1914, the British had only 20,000 horses, and the USA was obliged to supply the allied forces. In the four years, the US exported nearly a million horses to Europe, seriously depleting the number of horses in America. The American Expeditionary Force brought an additional 182,000 horses with them in 1917; 60,000 of these were killed and only a mere 200 were returned to the US.

British veterinary hospitals treated around 120,000 horses per year for wounds or diseases, and the military maintained, veterinary medics, ambulances and field veterinary hospitals to care for the sick and injured. 34717 Sergeant John McCay, No 2 Mobile Veterinary Section, Canadian Army Veterinary Corps, attached 5th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery was one such soldier dedicated to the care of horses.

Horse undergoing Surgery to Remove Shrapnel
Photograph courtesy of the Imperial War Museum and used here in accordance with their licence conditions.© IWM (Q 8729)
443032 William Crothers McClelland, 54th Battalion, formerly 23rd Battalion, CEF was born in Ballymena, Co Antrim, though he and his wife lived in Canada.  He gave his wife Isabel’s (elsewhere Isabella) address as Nelson, British Colombia, later as 1131, Pandora Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia.

He had been born on the 18 April 1882 and was a clerk.  He was 33 years and 2 months old when he enlisted on the 8 June 1915; he later attested at Vernon Camp. He was 5’ 9 ½” tall, had blue eyes and dark brown hair; he was an Anglican.

His unit sailed on the 22 November 1915 aboard the SS Saxonia and arrived in England on the 2 December 1915. He was attached to the 16th Brigade and employed as a batman for a time before being sent to work in the Canadian Record Office, London.  He was to spend his entire service in England and was employed solely on clerical work. He seems to have had health problems and suffered attacks of severe bronchitis and ‘debility’, this undoubtedly making him physically unfit for general service. He was eventually returned to Canada aboard the SS Carmania and demobilised on the 14 July 1919. He said his ‘proposed address after discharge’ was the Bank of Montreal, Quebec.

His record refers to Ballymena citizen H M Crothers, though the reason for doing so, other than that his middle name was Crothers, is unclear. Hugh M Crothers appears in the 1911 census.  He was a 47 year old clerk in a ‘wholesale barristers’ store’ and was living on the Cullybackey Road, Ballymena with his wife, 45 year old Helen.  The couple had been married for 19 years and had had six children; five were still alive in 1911. All five are recorded: William (18 and a clerk employed alongside his father), Mary (13), Hugh (9), Irene (7) and Kathleen (3). The 1901 census also records the family and four children. Winefred (sic - a variant of Winifred) was 4 and appears to have been the child who later died.

A headstone in Cushendall Road New Cemetery records among others the death of ‘Hugh Montgomery Crothers, 11th July 1940, his wife Helen, 21 October 1944.’

The McClellands also appear in the census returns of 1901 and 1911.  Lizzie, 40 and a widow, was living in Alexander Street, Ballymena in 1901. Daughter Sarah was 22 and a flax reeler, Hugh was 20 and a pork cutter’s labourer, William was 18 and a machine boy in a flax spinning mill, and Maggie was 12 years old. Sally (Lally sic) McKinley, 80 and a widow, was referred to as ‘mother’ and housekeeper.

The 1911 census recorded the 50 year old widow living in William Street (this runs parallel to what was Alexander Street): daughter Sarah was 31 and Maggie was 22 and a cotton weaver. A cousin, 15 year old Fanny Agnew, was also recorded that day.
288062 Private David McClintock, 221 Overseas Battalion, gave his address as 622, Balmoral Street, Winnipeg at the time of his enlistment on the 13 March 1916. He named his father as his next of kin and gave his details as Mr John McClintock, c/o Randwick PO, Dufferin County, Ontario; elsewhere John Joseph McClintock's address is given as Coady Street, Toronto.  He also said he had been born in Ballymena, Co Antrim, though the family had clearly been in Canada for some time; they cannot be traced on the Irish census records due to lack of useable data for the trace.

He said he was born on 14 May 1885, that he was single, a Presbyterian and a real estate agent.  He was just over 30 years old at enlistment and he stood 5' 5" tall and had grey eyes and dark brown hair.

He went to the UK but seems not to have served in the fighting zones, and he was returned to Canada on the 10 August 1917. He was finally discharged as 'medically unfit for further war service' on the 31 August 1917. It appears that he was hurt while not on duty and while wrestling.  His condition, which he had not reported until after his return from harvesting , was bad, as the medical report (below) makes clear.
We do not know what became of him.

Mechanisation of the Grain Harvest, troops giving Assistance.

This photograph of troops helping in the harvest is by courtesy of the Imperial War Museum and is used in accordance with their terms and conditions.© IWM (Q 9788)

Troops, as seen in the McClintock entry, sometimes assisted farmers, food being of crucial importance to an import-dependent country like the UK. Many farmers and farm labourers fought in the trenches, and many of the horses they used were requisioned by the War Office for military service. The UK faced a challenge feeding its people, especially as U-boats became more effective. 98,000 women in the Women's Land Army helped throughout WW1. 66,000 soldiers were even brought back from the front to help at one point.
45170 Sapper William John McCloskey was single, 33 years and 7 months old, and a carpenter when he attested at Valcartier in September 1914. He was a RC, 5’ 6” tall and had brown eyes and dark coloured hair. He was, having sailed from Quebec on the SS Zealand on the 4 October 1914, to serve in the 3rd Field Company, 1st Division Canadian Engineers throughout the war.

He was not injured badly during the war, though at one point he mentions having been gassed; the details are not in his record.  Recorded are his problems with varicose veins, both before and during the war, and influenza. He also seems to have been quite spirited and recorded is a District Court Martial imposed sentence of 15 days imprisonment for striking a superior officer.

He was born in Ballymena on the 2 February 1881 and said his mother was Margaret McCloskey.  The 1911 Irish census return records her, a 61 year old widow and fruiterer, living on Bridge Street, Ballymena with her daughter Lizzie, then single, 25 years old and a shop keeper. Margaret said she had been married for 34 years and had had 7 children; 5 were still alive in 1911. The Ulster Directory 1910 confirms that her shop was at 3, Bridge Street, Ballymena.

The 1901 Irish census records that Margaret McCloskey, then deemed to be 45 years old, was a fruiterer and confectioner married to Robert McCloskey, a 55 year old shoemaker. Three children are recorded: William was 20 and a carpenter, Lizzie and Jennie were 16 and were respectively said to be housekeeper and shopkeeper.

William John McCloskey was, having returned to Canada aboard the SS Regina from Liverpool, demobilised on 3 April 1919 and said he intended to go to Victoria, British Columbia.  He died on 21 December 1935.


Headstone in Crebilly Cemetery, near Ballymena.

304043 Gunner/Driver John McCloy, lived at 13, Kincaid Street Brockville, Ontario, with his wife Sarah and enlisted on the 28 October in his home town. He was to serve mainly with the 33rd Batteryof the 9th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery.

John McCloy was born on the 29 December 1883 in Cullybackey, near Ballymena and on his enlistment papers said he was an engineer. He was quite old at enlistment, 31 years and 10 months old, but he was healthy, and he was 5’ 9 ½ “ tall, with blue eyes and light brown hair. There is little to indicate where he came from as he does not name his parents, but he said he was from Craigs, Cullybackey. The 1901 census records various McCloys including George McCloy (48), his 48 year old wife Jeany (sic) and eight offspring: Jane, 22 and a linen weaver, Matthew (20 and a labourer in a dye works), John (18), Willie (14), Samuel (12), Alexander R (10), Rosena (8) and Minnie (6). They were living in the Craigs/Dunminning area.

The 1911 census records in the Craigs area George (59) and Jeannie (59) and some of their family: Samuel (22), Rosena (18) and Minnie (16); they also had a boarder, James Wilson.  The couple said they been married for 36 years had had 12 children; 11 of these were still alive in 1911.  The same census lists 26 year old John, then married to Sarah, also 26.  They had three children, William John (6), George (3) and Alexandria (1). It must have been soon after this John and his family moved to Canada. John’s brother William (23) was also married by 1911 and living in Cullybackey village. His wife Anne was 25 years old and two children are listed, Thomas Comron (sic) was three and George Alexander was an infant.

John McCloy had joined the 41st Battalion in Brockville and was transferred to the 33rd Field Battery of the Canadian Field Artillery (CFA) on the 29 October 1915.  He arrived in England aboard the SS Missanabie on the 29 December 1915 and, training completed, he was in France on the 15 April 1916. He was always in the 3rd Canadian Division with the 33rd Field Battery, Canadian Field Artillery but at various times served spells with divisional units, notably the the 3rd Division Trench Mortar Battery and also to the 3rd Division Ammunition Column; this would appear to explain him being referred to as Driver and Gunner in different parts of his record. He served, apart from some time in a reserve unit, throughout the war in France, leaves excepted, until returned to Canada on the 27 March 1919. He was discharged on 29 March and returned to his home address, 13 Kincaid Street, Brockville, Ontario.
 
The 3rd Division Order of Battle(main elements only) was as follows and where McCloy (in blue) served in the Division can be seen from the entries.

7th Canadian Brigade - Royal Canadian Regiment, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, 42nd (Royal Highlanders) Battalion, and 49th (Edmonton) Battalion

8th Canadian Brigade - 1st Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles, 2nd Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles, 4th Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles, and 5th Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles

9th Canadian Brigade (after Jan 1916) - 43rd (Cameron Highlanders) Battalion, 52nd (North Ontario) Battalion, 58th (Central Ontario) Battalion, 60th (Victoria Rifles) Battalion (Disbanded 30 April 1917), and 116th (Ontario County Infantry) Battalion.

9th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery - 31st Field Battery, 33rd Field Battery, 45th Field Battery, 36th Howitzer Battery.
10th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery - 38th Field Battery, 39th Field Battery, 40th Field Battery, and 35th Howitzer Battery

Divisional Units3rd Division Trench Mortar Battery,   3rd Brigade Canadian Engineers - 7th, 8th and 9th Battalion, 3rd Division Ammunition Column, 3rd Divisional Signal Company, 3rd Canadian Pioneer Battalion (Disbanded May 1917),  123rd Canadian Pioneer Battalion (later moved to 3rd Canadian Engineer Brigade.)

Canadian Machine Gun Corps - 7th Machine Gun Company, 8th Machine Gun Company, 9th Machine Gun Company and 15th Machine Gun Company. Later in the war the 3rd Canadian Machine Gun Battalion was formed for the 3rd Division.
2293673 Trooper David McClure was called up under the Military Service Act, 1917 and became part of the 10th Draft to Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) after the 15 November 1917.  He trained in Canada for about five months and then left Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the SS Melita, arriving in Liverpool on the 28 April 1918.  He transferred to the Royal Canadian Dragoons on the 10 August 1918 and was with them in the field by the 28th of the same month. His tenure was short. He was wounded on the 1 October 1918 and eventually returned to England and Canada.

David McClure attested in Winnipeg and joined the CEF because he was living at 77, Inkster Ave, Winnipeg and was working in Canada as a motorman on a street railway; his brother Thomas also lived in Winnipeg at 362, Chalmers Avenue. David was supposedly 29 years old, 5’ 10” tall, and he had blue eyes and dark hair. He was a single man, a Presbyterian, and he is named on the memorial record of Carnalbanagh Presbyterian Church. McClure said he had been born at Glenarm, Co Antrim, just on the margin of Ballymena’s territory, on the 16 November 1888.  His father was dead by the time of the Great War and his mother, according to details on ‘Particulars of Family of an Officer or Man Enlisted in the CEF’, had remarried.

David McClure Snr. married Mary McHenry in Glenarm Presbyterian Church on the 16 May 1881. He was 46 and an agricultural labourer at the time of the 1901 Irish census.  He said his wife was 47 and the couple listed six children as being present on the day of the census. John, born 9 June 1883, was 17, Mary, born 16 December 1886, was 14, William, born 15 March 1889, was 12, Jemima, born 21 October 1891, was 9, David, born 7 November 1894, was 6 and Thomas, born 22 February 1897, was 4. The stated ages are as they appear on the census and the birth dates are taken from the registration documents.

The 1911 Irish census records the family at Altmore Street, Glenarm. William was 22 and a clerk, Jamina (sic) was 19, David was 16 and a blacksmith, and Thomas was 14.

David McClure was wounded on the 1 October 1918 at Amiens, France. The records of the Royal Canadian Dragoons suggest he was not wounded while in battle but was injured when ‘bombs’ fell on an encampment or bivouac some miles behind the lines.


Caulaincourt Wood
1st October 1918: Continental time comes into effect. 1½ hours ‘stand so’ (abbreviation for ‘stand to arms’, meaning ‘stand ready for action’.) from 07.00. Bombed in Camp about 21.30. 1 OR (Other Rank, ordinary soldier) killed, 17 wounded. 4 horses killed, 9 wounded. (Casualties were in ‘A’ and ‘C’ Squadrons.)


There are no casualties on the following days and it seems likely that Trooper David McClure was one of those '17 wounded' in the bombing of the camp at Caulaincourt Wood. The soldier who died would appear to be 342 Trooper J F Vowles, now buried in Roisel Communal Cemetery Extension. He is named on the Nominal Roll, 1915 and was James F (Francis) Vowles,  'A' Squadron, a painter who had been born at Aldershot, Hampshire, England and who enlisted at Valcartier on 24th September 1914.  His mother Mary at the date of the Nominal Roll lived at 19A, Wotton Road, Cricklewood, London.

David McClure sustained shrapnel wounds to his right leg, right shoulder and right hand. The leg and shoulder healed rapidly, though some shrapnel seems to have remained embedded. The hand healed but took a long time to become fully functioning. He was dealt with by 48 Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) and No 3 Stationary Hospital, Rouen before being returned to the UK. He was sent to Wales, to 3rd Western General Hospital, Cardiff, then Newport Military Hospital, and later onward to the Granville Canadian Special Hospital at Buxton. He was subsequently transferred to the 5th Canadian General Hospital at Kirkdale, Liverpool. All told he was to spend about 6½ months in UK hospitals before being declared unfit for general service and returned to Canada aboard the SS Araguaya.  He went straight to Manitoba Military Hospital and was treated there for one month. He was eventually demobilised on the 14 June 1919 and went to 362 Chalmers Avenue, Winnipeg.

He died at Deer Lodge Hospital, St James, Winnipeg, Manitoba on the 7 February 1964.
192947 Private Hugh Patrick McCormick, joined the 92nd Overseas Battalion (48th Canadian Highlanders) in Toronto on the 26 August 1915. The 92nd Battalion (48th Highlanders), CEF, was an infantry battalion authorized on 30 July 1915, and it recruited in, and was mobilized at, Toronto, Ontario. It sailed to the UK on the 20 May 1916 and provided reinforcements to the Canadian Corps until 24 January 1917, when its personnel were absorbed by the 5th Reserve Battalion, CEF. The battalion disbanded on 1 September 1917.

McCormick said he was a machinist, a single man and a Roman Catholic, and listed John McCormick, Barrhead, Renfrewshire, Scotland as his next of kin.  He also said he was born in Ballymena on the 1 June 1872. He was 5' 6 ½ “ tall and he had blue eyes and brown hair.

McCormick was discharged on the 14 March 1916, his file marked ‘Deserter’.

781211 Samuel James McCosh, originally with the 128th Overseas Battalion, served in France with the 46th Battalion, CEF.  He gave Belfast, probably a generalisation, as his place of birth, but he was the son of David McCosh, Knockboy, Broughshane.

The 1911 census return shows David (58) and Lydia (55) McCosh, farmers, living in Knockboy, Broughshane.  They said they had been married for 32 years and had had 11 children; 10 were still alive. Four are listed on the return: Maggie (20), David (17), Robert (15) and Elizabeth S (13).

The 1901 census return shows the family living in Carncoagh, near Broughshane. David (48) and Lydia (46) listed 10 children: John and Agnes (21), Annie (17), Samuel (11), Martha and Maggie (9), David (7), Robert (5), Lizzie (3) and Isabella, and infant.

Samuel James McCosh said at the time of his enlistment in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on the 24 November 1915 that he was born on the 17 March 1889 and that he was single, a Presbyterian and a farmer. He came from Briercrest, Saskatchewan and was then 26 years and eight months old. He stood 5’ 8” tall and he had blue eyes and light brown hair.

He sailed on the 15 August 1916 from Halifax, Nova Scotia on the SS Grampian and landed in the UK on the 24th of the month. He was taken on strength with the 46th (Saskatchewan) Battalion and was in France with them when he was wounded - slight shrapnel damage to his right hand - on the 6 May 1917. He passed through No 2 Australian General Hospital, Wimereux, France, Edinburgh War Hospital, West Lothian, Scotland, No 5 Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Hillingdon House, and the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Red Cross Hospital, Ramsgate, Kent before being finally discharged for return to service on the 19 June 1917. He went back to his old unit, the 46th Battalion, which part of the 10th Infantry Brigade of the 4th Canadian Division from August 1916 to the Armistice. He was with them when he was killed on the 2 September 1918. (The 46th Battalion were nicknamed the ‘Suicide Battalion’ because they fought in so many big battles and suffered so many casualties. See - The Suicide Battalion by James L McWilliams & R. James Steel, published 1978).

The date is significant. The German Spring Offensive (1918) had failed and the Allied counter-attack had led to the victory at Amiens.  Though not as successful as the Allies had hoped it ended as a ‘Black Day’ for the German Army for, emboldened, the Allies launched the ‘Hundred Days’ (August-November 1918) to finally end the war. One of the first attacks was the attempt to capture the Drocourt-Queant Switch Line, the Canal du Nord and the town of Cambrai; success would see the Hindenburg Line outflanked and a forced German retreat.

The Canadians opened their assault on the 26 August 1918 and the final push to take the Drocourt-Queant Line began at 05.00 hours on the 2 September. The Canadian 1st Division attacked on the right to the south of the Arras-Cambrai Road, the Canadian 4th Division, of which McCosh was part, attacked the centre between Dury and the main Road, and the British 4th Division attacked south of the River Sensee.

The 46th Battalion War Diary gives clear details of the action in which McCosh was killed. They were to pass through the 47th and 50th Battalions ... and capture Dury, a key village, preparing the way for the 44th Canadian Infantry Battalion [to] ... capture Recourt and the Green Line. Elsewhere the War Diary gives insight into the unfolding of the task: - ‘5.00 Zero Hour. The barrage was excellent. At 8.20 an information was received that ‘D’ Company [Left Company] had withdrawn owing to heavy casualties and enemy attacking. At 1.45 the C.O. ordered ‘D’ Company to retake the position assisted by one Platoon of ‘B’ Company. Positions were retaken at 2.10pm.’

Samuel James McCosh probably saw little of this action.  The Circumstances of Death Register says, ‘He took part with his Battalion in an attack on the Hindenburg Line, near Dury, and shortly after leaving the ‘jumping off’ position, he was instantly killed by an enemy shell.’

He was buried in Dury Crucifix Cemetery, a cemetery begun by Canadian units (mainly the 46th and 47th Battalions) immediately after the capture of the Dury village, and it contained at the Armistice, according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, 72 graves (now in Plot I, Rows A and B); the large number of graves there now are the consequence of the consolidation of graves from around the area.
The McCosh family headstone in Kirkinriola Cemetery reads:    
1886  
Erected By Agnes McCosh, Knockboy.
In Memory of her Beloved Husband John McCosh, Who Died 29th Dec’r 1886, Aged 62 years.
Also of their son Robert,
And Daughter Maggie, Who Died in Infancy.

The Above-named Agnes McCosh, Who Died 24th October 1889, Aged 62 years.
And her Grandson who Died in Infancy.
Also her Grandson Samuel James McCosh, Who Died 2nd Sep. 1918, Aged 29 years
Also their Son David MCosh, Who Died 14th January 1934, Aged 80 years.
And his Wife Lydia McCosh, Who Died 27th August 1943, Aged 88 years.
David McCosh, Died 14th January, 1978.

46th Battalion War Diary - Entry for 2nd September 1918
A1344 Private Hugh McCrudden, 33rd Overseas Battalion, CEF – enlisted in London, Ontario on the 22 April 1915, stating that previously he had been in the Dufferin Rifles, Bruntford, Ontario; he also referred to the ‘Renfrew Militia’.

(The Canadian 38th (Brant) Battalion, Dufferin Rifles Regiment of Canadian Militia, originated in Brantford, Ontario. The regiment was created in 1866 as the Brant Rifles and was made up of 6 companies by 1873. During the Governor-Generalship of Canada, 1872-78 of George Temple, the fifth Lord Dufferin, first Earl Dufferin and Viscount Clandeboye (November 1871) the regiment was renamed as the Dufferin Rifles. Temple held high office in his diplomatic career and following his term as Viceroy of India, 1884-1888 was further elevated to the Marquessate of Dufferin and Ava. Clandeboye, near Bangor, Co Down, home to the Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava, is filled with memorabilia and provides a dramatic glimpse into his life.
 

The Volunteer Force, originally raised in 1853, was transformed into the Territorial Force in 1908. The 5th and 6th Battalions were raised in Renfrew, the 7th Battalion in Stirling and Clackmannan, the 8th Battalion in Argyll and the 9th Battalion in Dumbarton. These fed into the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and saw service in France or the Middle East during the 1st World War.)

Hugh McCrudden said he was born in Ballymena, Co. Antrim on the 1 June 1887, and that he was single, a machinist and a RC. He was 5’ 7” tall and had blue eyes and dark brown hair. He weighed 155 lbs. He named his brother as his next of kin, John McCrudden, Barrhead, Renfrew, Scotland.

McCrudden never served: he went AWL (absent without leave) on the 2 July 1915 and was declared ‘Deserter’ on the 26 July 1915.  His unit sailed without him on the 13 March 1916 and he was not pardoned until the general amnesty of the 20 December 1919.

The McCrudden family did live in Ballymena and are recorded in the 1911 census as follows: Margaret, a widow, was head of the household and lived at Castle Gardens, Harryville.  She listed her family as Hugh, 32 and a general labourer, Kate, 30 and a spinner, Daniel, 28 and a general labourer, Maggie, 13 and a spinning mill worker, Teressa (sic) Blaney, 8 and a granddaughter, and James Blaney, 4 and a grandson. Tillie Dagnan, 79 and a boarder, lived with them.

In 1901 the family were living in nearby James Street, Harryville. Margaret McCrudden, 48,was living with daughters Minnie (25), Kate (20) and sons Daniel (18) and Hugh (22). Maggie Jane Raddie, 4 and a granddaughter, lived with them. All the adults were mill workers, Hugh excepted; he is listed as a blacksmith.

It appears to me on the limited information that I have that A1344 Private Hugh McCrudden who enlisted in London, Ontario in the 33rd Overseas Battalion, CEF on the 22 April 1915 is 192947 Private Hugh Patrick McCormick (see above) who joined the 92nd Overseas Battalion (48th Canadian Highlanders) in Toronto on the 26 August 1915. There are minor differences in the details recorded in their Attestation Papers, notably date of birth, but both list John McCrudden/McCormick, Barrhead, Renfrew, Scotland as their next of kin, and religion, physical characteristics and handwriting are the same; one medical did not list the small scar on the hip. Both soldiers were never to serve, their records marked ‘Deserter’.
922697 Private Alfred McCullough was living at 113, Alexander Avenue, Winnipeg when he enlisted on 18 October 1916 in the 200th Battalion of the CEF.  He said he was single, an Anglican and a farmer, and that he was born on the 30 October 1894 in Randalstown, Co Antrim (local register of birth says 30 October 1893).  He was then said to be 22 years old and stood 5’ 7½“ tall. He had blue eyes and dark brown hair. He said he was the son of a farmer, Thomas McCullough; his father's name and address appears in the record as Thomas J McCullough, Clonboy House, Randalstown – Clonboy is a townland a short distance from the village. He, though born in the Co Down, was living at Clonboy House when he  had married Mary Nesbitt, then of Ballymoney, in Cookstown on the 31 May 1888.

The 1911 census return records Thomas James McCullough, a 58  year old Anglican farmer, and his wife Mary, 46 and originally from Co Londonderry, and four children: Earnest William was 19, John Alfred was 17, Leslie Grantham was 15 and Gerald Gibson was 11; Sarah Lizzie McCrorry (sic) was their servant.  The couple stated they had had seven children and that five of them were still alive.

The 1901 census record shows the couple, farmers aged 48 and 36 respectively, at Clonboy House and lists five children: Earnest William was 10, Herbert Thomas was 8, John Alfred (sic Alfonso) was 7, Leslie Grantham was 5, and Gerald Gibson was 1. Three servants are also listed: Mary Ann Drummond (20), Willie Rainey (20) and Dan Kennady  (15).

Alfred McCullough sailed from Halifax aboard the SS Megantic on the 5 May 1917 and was discharged at Liverpool. He was eventually transferred to the 27th (City of Winnipeg) Battalion, an infantry battalion that was part of the 6th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division. He was in France after the 7 September 1917 and with the 27th Battalion from 18 October. He served without mishap, other than a serious stomach upset in December 1918, until returned from France on the 16 January 1919.  He arrived back in Canada aboard the SS Caronia on the 5 April 1919 and was officially discharged from the CEF on the 10 April. Records show he was at Deerwood, Manitoba in 1921.
2006829 Sapper John McCullough, 12th Canadian Engineers, was drafted under the terms of the Military Service Act, 1917.  He was then living at 199, Seaton Street, Toronto.  He had been born on the 9 November 1895 and at the time of his enlistment on the 5 November 1917 he was a single man and working as a railway clerk.  

He was 22 years and 11 months old when called up for service in the CEF. He stood 5’ 10” tall and had blue eyes and fair hair.  He was originally from Ballymena, from Whaupstown (now usually Whappstown), near Moorfields, Connor. His record has reference to both his father John, dead by 1917, and his mother Mary. Whappstown is a townland east of Ballymena and just south of the Larne Road, and John McCullough is named on the memorial tablet in Glenwherry Presbyterian Church.

The 1911 census records John and Mary McCullough, both 53 and farmers in Whappstown, Connor, and four children: Esther (Easter sic) was 18, John was 16, Mary was 15 and George was 11; John's brother Samuel (51) lived with them.  The couple said that they had been married for 23 years and that they had had 7 children; 6 were still alive in 1911.

The 1901 census shows John and Mary McCulloch (sic), both 43 and farmers living in Whapstown (sic), with 7 children and John's bother Samuel (41).  The children were: Samuel S (12), Jane (10), Esther (9), John (6), Mary (5), James (2) and George (1).

John McCullough left Canada on the 1 February 1918 aboard the SS Missanabie and arrived in England on the 19 February. He was eventually sent to France and served without injury with the 12th Canadian Engineers. He was released for return to Canada and left Southampton aboard HMT Olympic, sister ship of RMS Titanic, and reached Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 12 June 1919.  He was discharged to 558, Crawford Street, Toronto on the 15 June 1919.
430321 Private George Scrimage McDonald, 29th Battalion, CEF enlisted in Victoria, British Columbia and listed his sister as his next of kin. She was Mrs Provist or Provest, West Port, Ontario. He had probably been in Canada for a long time but he did say that he was born in Ahoghill, near Ballymena, on the 15 April 1880. He was single and a miner when he enlisted on the 3 March 1915.

He was 5’ 6” tall and had grey eyes and black hair, the latter beginning to grey. He had served in the 107th Regiment in the pre-war period. He was declared medically fit and accepted into the CEF.  He sailed from Canada to the UK aboard the RMS Grampian on the 1 July 1915 and was in France by September that year.  He served with a trench mortar unit initially. He was gassed in May 1915 and stated at one point that he had actually been partially buried during the shelling. He said he had lain all night on his back in the trench before rescue in the morning, something he thought contributed to later pains.

His tenure in France was quite long.  Having served in Canada and England for five months each, the remainder of his time in the army, some two years and nine months, was in Europe; he served a total of 3 years and 255 days in the CEF. He was a competent soldier and was appointed a Corporal, but he later requested to be demoted and returned to the ranks.

Gassing aside, all his trips to hospital were related to general health issues, notably tinnitus and fever. He developed myalgia and this eventually contributed to him being sent home.  He was returned to England in June 1918 and then went to Canada aboard the SS City of Poona. He spent thereafter about a month in Esquimalt Hospital, Victoria and received treatment for his myalgia.

He died on the 28 April 1948.
222 Sapper John McDonnell, Canadian Engineers, was living in Ottawa at the time of his enlistment on the 20 January 1915 and the 6’ tall single RC said he was a civil servant, and he gave his father as his next of kin. He was Frank McDonnell, 106, Marlborough Ave, Ottawa. He gave 84, Marlborough Ave, Ottawa as his address at demobilisation.

McDonnell’s family had probably left Ireland well before WW1. He was born on the 4 June 1879 in Randalstown and he had light blue eyes and black hair, but at 35 years and 5 months old was probably not suited to life in the field. He went overseas aboard the SS Megantic the 10 May 1915 and in England was sent to the Crowborough, near Royal Tunbridge Wells, Sussex, England. He was taken on strength with 2nd Division Signals, Canadian Engineers on the 15 September 1915, and later, after 2 February 1917, he served with the 5th Division Signals, Witley.  His war service was in England, though he did go to France on the 18 November 1918.  This was possibly controversial and one card in his file reads: 'DM for wastage – proceeded to France after Armistice.' 

He was one of the thousands demobilised in 1919 and, having left Tilbury, London on the 6 September 1919, was discharged from the CEF on the 17 September.


1911 Irish Census Return


A11155 Captain John Chambers McDowell served with the 38th Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and the Machine Gun Corps.  He was born on the 27 September 1892 at Elm Bank, Dumbarton, near Glasgow, Scotland, but the immediate family lived in Ballymena, their address being 1, Windsor Terrace, Kinhilt Street, Ballymena.  John’s records mention Maggie McDowell and Sarah McDowell.

John C McDowell was 22 years and 8 months old when he enlisted on the 22 May 1915 at Niagara on the Lake.  He was 5’ 10” tall and had blue eyes and fair hair.  He said he was single and a Presbyterian, and put down ‘ministry’ as his occupation. He also said he had previously served in the Royal Irish Rifles.

He enlisted as an ordinary soldier and rose through the ranks, winning a military medal, before being commissioned in Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry on the 9 September 1916.  His record states he served in England and France at various times with the ‘38th Battalion, Canadian Infantry, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade Machine Gun Company’. He was also an Assistant Instructor for a time at the Canadian Bombing and Trench Mortar School. (A Machine Gun Company of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps was attached to each Canadian Infantry Brigade until the formation later of Canadian Machine Gun Battalions. The 7th Canadian Machine Gun Company was attached to the 7th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. It was organised in France in March and April, 1916 from the MG Sections of the Infantry Battalions of the Brigade.)

He was wounded, though details are scarce.  He suffered a slight wound to this right hand in December 1915, and a wound to his right shoulder in April 1916; a medical record also says he was gassed in 1915.  He may have suffered injuries that are not recorded in his papers.  The extract below is from the official War Diary and is dated 31st July 1917. It records an injury  to Lieutenant McDowell that is not noted elsewhere.

Ballymena Observer - Private J.C. McDowell of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry 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.

He also contracted diphtheria, and he caught and survived influenza during the epidemic of 1918. (The 'Spanish Flu' virus infected more than one-third of the world's population, and within months had killed at least 50 million people worldwide, usually the young and the fit.  That was three times as many people as were killed by World War I. A quarter of the British population were affected, and the death toll was 228,000 in Britain alone. Global mortality rate is not known, but is estimated to have been between 10% to 20% of those who were infected.)

John Chambers McDowell was returned to Canada on the SS Regina from Liverpool on the 12 September 1919 and discharged from the CEF on the 22 September. He said he was going to Toronto.

 He died on the 20 February 1959.

McDowell's Military Medal Award Notification - Edinburgh Gazette, 30 October 1916, Issue 13005, page 1974

J C McDowell had other family in the forces.  As seen in the 1911 census return posted above, Hugh was also part of the family at Kinhilt Street, Ballymena. He figured at least twice in reports in the local press in 1916.  The first said: 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.

Sadly the Ballymena Observer, June 2, 1916 reported: 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.

871698 Acting Sergeant William McDowell served in the 251st Overseas Battalion and 183rd Battalion of the CEF after enlisting in Winnipeg, Manitoba on the 30 March 1916.  He said he was born on the 16 May 1891 in Ballymena, Co Antrim and that he was then living at the Commercial Hotel, Winnipeg.  He was a Presbyterian, stood 5' 5 ½ " tall and he had grey eyes and light coloured hair. He was a clerk and single. He said his father Matthew and his mother Annie lived at 19, Kennedy Street, Winnipeg.

The family must have left Ireland well before the Great War.  The ‘best fit’ family appear in the 1901 Irish census living at Kirkinriola, Ballymena; they were farmers. Matthew was the 51, his wife Annie 50. They listed six children: Maggie (22), John Charles (18), Matthew Albert (16), William James (13), Thomas Joseph (11) and Edith (8); Maggie A Kerr (18) was their servant. (NB - The records of William McDowell never record his having a middle name, and the date of birth is not an exact fit, though the latter is not uncommon. His age on enlistment is given as 24, and exact fit if months are ignored.)

William married during the war, his wife being Bertha Swanson McDowell, and the couple gave their address as 106 and also 308 Breadalbane Apartments, Winnipeg.

William was discharged as medically unfit from the CEF on the 20 March 1917 and was later denied a War Service Gratuity on the grounds that he had served only in Canada and that for less than one year.
2379918  Lance Corporal William McDowell was drafted under the terms of the Military Service Act, 1917.  He was a single man, a Presbyterian farmer, living in Nesbitt, Manitoba. He said his father was Samuel McDowell, his mother Jane, and that they lived at Feehogue, Randalstown, and the place where he had been born on the 17 March 1890.

The 1911 Irish census shows Samuel, 48 and an agricultural labourer, living with Jane (50) at Feehogue, and they said that they had been married for 26 years and that they had had four children; three were still alive in 1911. Henry was 25 and a linen dresser, had been married for 5 years and had a 4 year old daughter called Catherine. William was 19 and a gardener/domestic servant. Samuel (17) was a linen weaver.

The 1901 Irish census shows Samuel, 40 and an agricultural labourer, living with Jane (42) at Main Street, Randalstown.  They listed no children.

William was 27 years and 9 month old on enlistment.  He was 5’ 9” tall and had blue eyes and light coloured hair. He trained in Canada, served in England, and eventually saw service in France with the 8th Battalion, Canadian Infantry.  He had arrived in the UK on the SS Missanabie from Halifax and was put ashore in Glasgow on the 3 April 1918. He passed through the 11th Reserve Battalion and the 43rd Battalion before reaching the 8th Bn. on the 5 September 1918. He was to spend only a short time in Europe, being returned to England on the 27 March 1919 and subsequently returned to Canada on HMTS Empress of Britain after the 26 April 1919.  He was discharged to Walker Ave, Fort Rouge, Winnipeg.

3234305 Gunner John McDowell was drafted under the Military Service Act, 1917 and associated with the 2nd Depot Battalion of the 1st Central Ontario Regiment before going to the 71st Battery, Canadian Field Artillery. He was quite old, born on the 20 April 1884 and 34 years old at enlistment in Toronto on 30 April 1918.  He said he was single, ‘Protestant’ and a blacksmith (Blacksmith is rendered furrier on one record, presumably a corruption of farrier).  His address was 295, Jervis Street, Toronto. He said he came from Cloughmills, Co Antrim (Clothmills sic).  He was 5’ 5” tall and had grey eyes and ‘medium’ hair.  He gave his mother Mary of Cloughmills as his next of kin. The 1911 Irish census records 68 year old Mary McDowell, Loughill (Lough Hill), Killagan, Glarryford (near Cloughmills).  She had been married for 44 years to 68 year old Daniel, an agricultural labourer, and the couple had had 10 children; 9 were still alive in 1911. The couple were Anglicans.

 

The 1901 census records 50 year old Mary McDowell and 50 year old Daniel, an agricultural labourer, Lough Hill, Killagan, Glarryford (near Cloughmills) and some of the family: Annie, a dressmaker, was 27; Lizzie was 22 and a housekeeper; Louisa F was 19 and a shorthand typist; John was 16 and a blacksmith; and Muie (sic – illegible. It is clear from 628920 CSM William Gage McDowell's record that John was his twin brother.  The scrawl rendered Muie is probably Wullie or Willie) was 16 and a shop assistant. Annie Linton McDowell, their 3 year old granddaughter, lived with them.

 

John McDowell’s file shows no service outside Canada.  He was in the forces from the 30 April 1918 but was discharged at Exhibition Camp, Toronto on the 20 December 1918, just over one month after the war’s end. He went to 698, Manning Avenue, Toronto, the address of his brother William and his wife Florence.

628920 Company Sergeant Major William Gage McDowell enlisted in Vernon, British Columbia on the 13 July 1915.  He was 30 years and 3 months of age when he enlisted, and he was Anglican, single and 5’ 7 ¼ “ tall (elsewhere 5’ 9”) with blue eyes and dark brown hair.  He was a clerk, though elsewhere he is designated a salesman (sailesman sic).  He said he was born on the 20 April 1885 (His twin brother John said 20 April 1884 on his enlistment) at Cloughmills, Co Antrim and named his father Daniel as his next of kin.  Elsewhere he named John, 295, Jervis Street, Toronto as his brother, and his financial record shows payments to his father Daniel and mother Mary, both being described as ‘dependant’.

The 1911 Irish census records 68 year old Daniel McDowell, an agricultural labourer, of Loughill (Lough Hill), Killagan, Glarryford (near Cloughmills).  He had been married for 44 years to 68 year old Mary, and the couple had had 10 children; 9 were still alive in 1911. The couple were Anglicans.

The 1901 census records 50 year old Mary McDowell and 50 year old Daniel, an agricultural labourer, Lough Hill, Killagan, Glarryford (near Cloughmills) and some of the family: Annie, a dressmaker, was 27; Lizzie was 22 and a housekeeper; Louisa F was 19 and a shorthand typist; John was 16 and a blacksmith; and Muie (sic – illegible. It is clear from 628920 CSM William Gage McDowell's record that John was his twin brother.  The scrawl rendered Muie is probably Wullie or Willie) was 16 and a shop assistant. Annie Linton McDowell, their 3 year old granddaughter, lived with them.

William Gage McDowell left Canada from Montreal aboard the RMS Missanabie on the 13 November 1915 and he disembarked in Plymouth on the 22 November. He went to the 47th Battalion, CEF and was at Le Havre, France on the 11 August 1916. He was wounded three months later, stuck on the head by a piece of shrapnel.  He was returned to England via No 23 General Hospital, Etaples, HS Dieppe, and he spent time at Barnett War Hospital, London and the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom, not being discharged until 29 December 1916.  Thereafter he spent much time as an instructor at the Canadian Trench Warfare Schools at Crowborough and Bexhill (The Canadian Military School left Crowborough for Bexhill on 12 March 1917 and the Canadian Trench Warfare School 10 May 1917.)  His record says he had only been in France for four months.  His presence in England helps to explain him being granted permission to marry in September 1918 for his wife gave her address initially as ‘Redford’, Collington Lane, Bexhill on Sea, Sussex. Elsewhere and later she is referred to as Mrs Florence McDowell, Vine Cottage, Brixworth, Northampton.

William Gage McDowell left England for return to Canada aboard the SS Grampian on the 4 March 1919 and was demobilised at St John, New Brunswick on the 16th March.  He said he was going to 698, Manning Avenue, Toronto, the same address as his bother gave.
201434 Private William John McDowell, served in the 3rd Battalion of the CEF.  This was originally created on 2 September 1914 with recruits from Toronto, primarily from the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, with additional drafts from the 10th Royal Grenadiers and the Governor General's Body Guard. McDowell had enlisted in the 95th Battalion, The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, on the 26 October 1915, and went later to the 3rd Canadian Battalion (Toronto Regiment) for his war service.

McDowell, one month over 29 years of age on enlistment, had been born on 1 September 1886 and was a single man working as a labourer.  He was about 5’ 11” tall and he had grey blue eyes and brown hair.  He belonged to the Brethren. He is mainly associated with 262, Bathurst Street, Toronto.

William John McDowell was a Ballymena man.  He was born in the Straid, near Gracehill, Ballymena and his family still lived there. The 1901 census return shows Arthur McDowell, a 65 year old farmer, and his wife Priscilla (50), and William J was one of their listed children -  Jeannie (24), Hanna A (22), William J (16), David C (14) and May (9).  By the time of the 1911 census Arthur was dead and his widow Priscilla, 64 and a farmer, listed Jeannie (34), David (24) and Mary (9) on the return. William John may already have been in Canada.

McDowell left Canada aboard the SS Olympic on the 31 May 1916 and was in England on the 8 June.  He went to the 3rd Battalion on the 21 September 1916 and was at Le Havre in France the next day. However, he was not taken on strength with the 3rd Battalion until the 9 October 1916.

His military career was short.  He was sustained multiple shrapnel wounds on the 30 November 1916, these while he was at Camblain L’Abbe and on a live grenade training course behind Canadian lines.  The 3rd Battalion War Diary (adapted) for November 30, 1916 says, ‘Camblain L’Abbe. Battalion parades morning and afternoon. Musketry and gas helmet inspection. Accident at Divisional school - 7 of our men wounded. Weather – fine.’  It appears that a Mills bomb, hand grenade,  with a faulty fuse exploded prematurely and McDowell, one of the seven of our men wounded,  caught much of the blast.  His left leg was mangled.

He went to 22 Casualty Clearing Station and was at the 1st Canadian General Hospital, Etaples by the 12 December.  They had moved him onwards by HS Cambria (The SS Cambria was built in 1897 for the Holyhead – Dublin run.  It was requisitioned by the Admiralty in 1914 as an Armed Boarding Steamer. In 1915 she was converted to a hospital ship)  to the Wharncliffe General Hospital, Sheffield by the 24 December, and he was later to go to Granville Special Hospital, Ramsgate, Kent. During this progression through hospitals he had undergone an amputation of his left leg at the thigh, and he had had other shrapnel removed from the sole of his right foot.  He was assessed as unfit for further military service and was removed to Canada for convalescence from Liverpool aboard the HS Letitia.  He was discharged on the 31 January 1918 and soon returned to 262, Bathurst Street, Toronto.

He died on the 29 December 1965.
1984 Corporal David McElroy enlisted in the Canadian Army Service Corps and served in the No 7 Divisional Train before transferring to the Canadian Engineers.  There he served in the 6th Field Company of the 2nd Division Engineers.

He was born in Ballymena on the 19 January 1884 and probably had long left his native Co Antrim for Canada. His records speak only of next of kin in Canada and the USA. He enlisted in Winnipeg, Manitoba on the 11 November 1914 and was then 30 years and 10 months old.  He was 5’ 5” tall and had blue eyes and dark brown hair. He was a Presbyterian and said he earned his living as a bridge builder, elsewhere as an iron worker.  He was married, he and his wife Dorothy Alice McElroy living at various addresses in Winnipeg during his war service, notably 47, Kate Street, and 731, Toronto Street.

David McElroy acquired the full complement of service stripes, one red for 1914 and 4 blue for 1915, 1916, 1917, and 1918, the maximum allowed. Three years and 4 month of his service was in France.  He was uninjured – at least his records shown no woundings – and his spells in hospitals of various sorts were for treatment for bronchitis, laryngitis and a carbuncle on his neck.

He had arrived in Europe on the SS Grampian in April 1915, was at Le Havre on the 16 September and joined his Canadian Engineer unit in the field on 12 October 1916. Leave excepted, he remained in the field until sent to Canada on the SS Belgic in March 1919. He remained in Canada until his death on the 11 March 1956.
679139 Private Thomas McElroy enlisted on 24 January 1916 in Toronto in the 169th Overseas Battalion and later served in 2 Pioneer Battalion and the 47th Battalion, Canadian Infantry in France.  He said he hailed from Ballymena, Co Antrim, that he was born on the 3 January 1891,  and he gave his mother as his next of kin, stating that she was Mrs Rachael (or Rachel) Coulter McElroy, Lisnafillon, Galgorm, Ballymena (Most locals would say Lisnafillan/Lisnafillon, Gracehill. Moreover, his mother was Rachel McElroy Coulter, the widow Mrs McElroy having remarried.)

The 1901 Irish census records Alexander Coulter, a 50 year old labourer in a bleach works and his wife Rachel (40). Son Alexander (16) and his brother Thomas (13) lived with them at Corbally, Gracehill.  They were Anglicans. In the 1911 census Rachel, 54 years old and a dairymaid/servant was a widow and she lived alone at Corbally, a townland adjacent to Gracehill village and Lisnafillan.  It would seem Rachel had lost two husbands, and it explains why she went to Canada.  Thomas McElroy’s address, 22, Clifford Street, Toronto, had become her address during WW1.

Thomas McElroy, 25 ½ years old and working as a groom, lived at 22, Clifford Street, Toronto.  He was 5’ 6” tall and had hazel eyes and light brown hair.  He was an Anglican.

McElroy sailed from Halifax, Canada aboard the SS Metagama on the 17 October 1916 and reached the UK on the 28 October 1916 (He was the SS Corsican for part of the trip). He went to France on the 13 December 1916, initially with the 2nd Pioneer Battalion and was with that unit after the 28 December.  However, he took ill for a time in April/May 1917 with pneumonia and spent time at No1 General Hospital, Etaples, France, Edmonton Military Hospital, London, and at Hillingdon House, Uxbridge before being discharged for duty on the 1 June 1917.

He was taken on strength at Bramshott Camp for a time (The WWI camp was established on the heath between Bramshott and Liphook and consisted of wooden huts for the men, a hospital and open air theatre. It was serviced from a parade of corrugated iron huts - cafe, bank, shop, cinema and various other entertainments.) and was then posted to the 4th Canadian Reserve Battalion on the 15 February 1918. He went from there to the 47th Battalion and was with them after the 14 August 1918. He was killed in action on the 28 September 1918. The Circumstances of Death Register says Thomas McElroy was killed during ‘attack on enemy trenches west of Raillencourt, shot through the heart by a machine gun bullet and instantly killed’.

The Battle of Canal du Nord was part of a general Allied offensive during the Hundred Days Offensive that followed the failure of the German offensives of 1918. The battle took place along an incomplete section of the Canal du Nord on the outskirts of Cambrai between 27 September and 1 October 1918.The assault was undertaken as part of a number of closely sequenced Allied attacks at separate points along the Western Front. It began one day after the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, one day before an offensive in the Flanders region of Belgium and two days before the Battle of St. Quentin Canal. Thomas McElroy was killed in the initial fighting that followed the crossing of the Canal du Nord, as is clear from the 47th War Diary.

47th Battalion War Diary  (adapted)

27th September 1918 - At 5.20 a.m., the barrage opened, being excellent and very heavy. The Battalion jumped off immediately in rear of the 44th Can. Battalion  ... The objective of the 44th Canadian Battalion was the CANAL DU NORD LINE, just in rear of the Canal, and the task of the Battalion was to leap frog them on the SUNKEN ROAD and go on to the capture of the RED LINE (MARCOING LINE). ... Progress was made to the Canal and the leap frog being completed successfully, the Battalion advanced to their objective, following the barrage. Little resistance was met with until reaching the vicinity of the Red Line when heavy machine gun fire was encountered but the position was captured ....The objective was gained at 7.15 a.m. and the Battalion re-organized and consolidated in depth in the vicinity of the RED LINE. ... At 5.00 p.m., the Officer Commanding attended a conference at Brigade H.Q. and received instructions regarding the continuation of operations on the following day.

28th September 1918  - the Battalion was to advance in conjunction with Battalions on right and left, supported by the 44th Canadian Battalion, attack and capture the villages of RAILLENCOURT and SAILLY and Railway Line ... Barrage opened at 6.30 a.m. ... Barrage was fairly heavy at first.... No opposition was met with until reaching the outskirts of RAILLENCOURT where machine gun fire became very heavy from the buildings on outskirts and from MARCOING LINE, which held the Battalion up for a short while, but the ... objective reached after stiff fighting.

Raillencourt village was captured by the Canadian Corps on 28th September 1918, but Private Thomas McElroy was one of the fallen. He is buried in Raillencourt Communal Cemetery Extension.
862725 Private James McFadden, 829, Carlaw Avenue, Toronto, who had enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on the 28th February 1916, was an Ulsterman and came originally from Broughdone, Cullybackey.  He was the son of James and Esther McFadden, farmers.

James and Esther McFadden and their family are listed in the 1911 Irish census, and the couple said they had then been married for 34 years and that they had had nine children, eight of whom were alive at the time of the census. James was then 64 years old, his wife 59. They listed seven of their family who were at home on the day of the census: Maggie (33), Agnes (24), Edward (22), Robert (19), James (16), and Thomas (14). In the 1901 census they listed Maggie, Lizzie, John, Sarah E, Agnes J, Edward, Robert, James and Thomas J.

The couple had married on the 12 July 1876 in the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Cullybackey. James, of Broughdone and a member of Cullybackey United Free Church, was 28 years old. His bride, Miss Esther Simpson, was 24 years old and from Drumrankin. Their fathers, John and Edward respectively, are noted on the record of their marriage.

James and Esther are buried in Cullybackey Reformed Presbyterian Cemetery. Their headstone amongst various McFadden graves reads:
1928
Erected by Esther McFadden, Broughdone
In memory of her dear husband James McFadden,
Who died 21st November 1928, aged 82 years.
Also the above named Esther McFadden,
Who died 23rd February 1945, aged 93 years.
Martha McFadden, passed away 29th July 1979, aged 75 years.
Thomas McFadden passed away 25th May 1983, aged 86 years.

James McFadden, son of the above, was born on the 3 May 1894. He was at enlistment 5’ 7 ½ “ tall and he had blue eyes and fair hair. He said he was single and a finisher, presumably in the textile industry.  He was a Presbyterian and his name is recorded in the listing for the United Free Church, Cullybackey.

James trained in Canada with the 180th Battalion after his enlistment on the 28th February 1916, and he left Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 13/14th November 1916 aboard the SS Olympic. He initially transferred to the 3rd Reserve Battalion in England for further training before going the 123rd Battalion (Royal Grenadiers) on the 2 February 1917. He was at Boulogne, France on the 10th March 1917 and subsequently transferred to the 29th Battalion on the 28 May 1917.

The 29th Battalion (Vancouver), known as "Tobin's Tigers", was authorized on 7 November 1914 and embarked for Britain on 20 May 1915. It disembarked in France on 17 September 1915, where it fought as part of the 6th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war. James was a replacement to the unit.  He suffered no injury during his military service and was returned to England after the 6 April 1919.  He went back to Canada via Liverpool aboard the SS Caronia. He was discharged from the CEF on the 24th May 1919.

135804 Robert McFadden, 829, Carlaw Avenue, Toronto, who had enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on the 23 July 1915, was an Ulsterman and came originally from Broughdone, Cullybackey.  He was the son of James and Esther McFadden, farmers, and brother of James McFadden – see above for family details. He too is listed on the roll of honour of the United Free Church, Cullybackey.

He was born on the 7 September 1891. He was single and a carpenter in 1915. He was 5’ 6” tall and had grey eyes and fair hair, and he originally enlisted in the 74th Battalion. The 74th Battalion was authorized on 10 July 1915 and embarked for the UK on 29 March 1916. It provided reinforcements to the Canadian Corps in the field, and on 30 September 1916 its personnel were absorbed by the 50th Battalion (Calgary), the 51st Battalion (Edmonton), the 52nd Battalion (New Ontario), CEF and the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles. It was disbanded on 15 September 1917.

Robert McFadden sailed from Halifax on the 29 March 1916 aboard the SS Empress of Britain with the unit as it moved to the UK and landed in Liverpool on the 9 April.  He went to Bramshott Camp to complete his training and then moved to France on the 8/9 June 1916. He was with his unit, now 1 Canadian Mounted Rifles, on the 12 June.

He appears to have suffered some sort of injury in January 1917. He went to the Divisional Rest Station, Dannes-Camiers on the 3 January but was moved to No 22 General Hospital on the 18 January.  He was then transferred aboard HS Brighton to England and was sent to the 3rd Northern General Hospital, Sheffield on the 23 January 1917. His medical record there says, ‘From France as GSW right hand, three weeks ago. Wound over back of meta carpo phelangeal joint of middle finger. About 1 square inch skin destroyed. Round it is an inflamed, mildly septic area, and he has had lymphnangitis, but not now. Movement of fingers painful.’ He wasn’t to transfer to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom until the 4 May 1917. He remained there until discharged to the 11th June and was not back with 1 Canadian Mounted Rifles until 25 March 1918. He had in the interval been attached to the 19th and 15th Reserve Battalions.  He was struck off strength with the 1 Canadian Mounted Rifles on the 12 February 1919 for return to England, ultimately Canada.

Robert McFadden was discharged from the CEF on the 28 March 1919 and said he was returning to 829, Carlaw Avenue, Toronto. He was to die at Oakville, Ontario on the 10 July 1967.

888018 Private Arthur Alexander McFarlane, Kamsack, Saskatoon said he was born in Ballymena on the 16 January 1897 and that he was the son of Robert J McFarlane, also of Kamsack, Saskatoon.  

The McFarlanes had long left Co Antrim.  The only Arthur McFarland (sic) on the 1901 Irish census is found at Deerpark Farms, Glenarm, Co Antrim. Arthur Alexander (65) and his wife Ellen (60) lived with their son Robert Alexander and two grandchildren, Ellen McFarland (6) and Arthur McFarland (4).  Arthur Alexander McFarlane, or McFarland, appears to be named after his grandfather.  Perhaps his own father, Robert J McFarlane, was already in Canada and was later joined by his son.  A headstone in Riverview Cemetery, Kamsack, Saskatchewan records Arthur A McFarlane, 1897 – 1975.  Accompanying details on the website say he was born Co Antrim and that he arrived in Kamsack in March 1909.
(see: https://www.findagrave.com/)

Arthur was 19 years old. 5’ 9” tall and had blue eyes and light brown hair when he enlisted in Kamsack in the 188th Overseas Battalion on the 18 December 1915.  He left Canada from Halifax aboard the SS Olympic on the 13 October 1916 and arrived in Liverpool on the 19 October. He was transferred to the 15th Reserve Battalion on the 4 January 1917 and went from there to the 19th Machine Gun Company on the 10 February 1917.

The unit was new. The War Diary of the 19th CMGC, CEF for February 1917 says (adapted) , "Following the announcement late in December 1916 that Canada would place a 5th Division in the Field, the Canadian Machine Gun Depot, then stationed at Crowborough, Sussex, was asked ... to select the personnel, ..., for three Brigade Machine Gun Companies to be attached to the 5th Division, then mobilizing at Witley Camp, Surrey. Shortly after this information was received that the proposal to, place a Fifth division in the field had been abandoned.

Toward the end of January 1917 further instructions  [said] the 5th Division was being proceeded with ..., and ... Officers and N.C.O.'s were warned on January 27th 1917, to hold themselves in readiness to proceed to Witley Camp, ...."  

What happened thereafter is not relevant here as McFarlane was transferred to the 202nd Battalion on the 27 March 1917 and then to the 50th Battalion Canadian Infantry on the 27 May 1917. This latter fought as part of the 10th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war. The battalion was disbanded on 30 August 1920.

Arthur McFarlane seems to have served without injury during the war.  His medical record shows he was in 11 Stationary Hospital, Rouen, 74 General Hospital, Trouville and later at 13 Convalescent Depot in August and September 1918, but this was for stomach problems. He was not to return to Canada aboard the SS Olympic until 1919 and was demobilised on the 16 June 1919.
2234 Sapper Robert Hugh McFarlane, 5th Battalion Canadian Engineers, was born in Ballymena and he gave his wife’s details as Hannah McFarlane, Ballylesson, near Ballymena (Ballylesson is a rural townland on the eastern edge of Ballymena); at one point Ballyeaston (village near Ballyclare) is also mentioned. The Irish census reveals that before this move to Ballylesson that Hannah lived on Queen Street, Harryville, Ballymena.  

The 1911 Irish census records Jane Alexander McCaw, 52 years old, a Presbyterian widow of Queen Street, Harryville, previously married for 33 years and who had had two children, living with Hannah McFarlane, a 28 year old Anglican.  Hannah had been married for five years and one of her two children born still survived. She was Jane McFarlane, aged 3 years.

The 1901 Irish census return records Alexander McCaw, 44 and a carrier, with his wife Jeannie (42) living with their two children. Robert was 20 and a carter, Hannah was 18.  William Burnside was 46 and their servant.

In short, Robert Hugh McFarlane married Hannah McCaw and she stayed with her mum on Queen St, Harryville with their daughter Jane while he sought to establish a new life for the family by working in Canada. She had moved to an address in Ballylesson by the time WW1 began.

McFarlane was born on the 2 December 1880 and was 34 years and 6 months old at the time of his enlistment in the Canadian Engineers in Winnipeg on the 2 June 1915.  He was employed there as a fireman.  He was 5 feet 7 ½ inches tall and had grey eyes and dark brown hair. His address as stated in his record was Apt. 4, Brandon Court, Brandon Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

McFarlane went overseas to Europe on the 29 June 1915 and was taken on strength at the Canadian Engineers Training Depot on the 9 July.  He transferred to the 5th Battalion Canadian Engineers on 19 February 1917 and served with the 13th Field Company.  He did not go to France until the 17 March 1918 and was to serve there without injury. He was promoted to corporal during the war but chose to return to the ranks. He was discharged from the CEF in Toronto in May 1919.  He appears to have returned to Manitoba and he died in Grace Hospital, Winnipeg on the 17 January 1964. His next of kin is given as Jean Sumner, presumably the 3 year old daughter on the 1911 census return.
718375 Jack (John) Maurice McGuigan lived with his aunt, Mrs Susan Ridings, 371 Kennedy Street, Winnipeg, and he enlisted in the CEF in January 1916. He was 5’ 4 ½ “ tall and he had blue eyes and light brown hair. He said he was born on the 6 April 1891 and local records agree.  He was a Roman Catholic and single, and was employed as a clerk.  He indicated he was born in Cullybackey and elsewhere that his parents were John and Mary McGuigan.

John and Mary McGuigan, nee McClurg, had married in the Roman Catholic Chapel in Ahoghill on the 16 February 1885. He was a carpenter living in Galgorm Parks, Cullybackey and she was a maid from Mount Davys. In 1911 they were in Cullybackey village.  John was 52 and a 'mechanic', his wife 53.  They said they had been married for 26 years and that they had had four children, all of whom were alive. They listed two as being at home on census day, Bridget (23) and James (21).

In 1901 John was 44 and described himself as a millwright, and Mary was 44. They list their four children: Rosina L (15), Bridget (13), James J (11) and John M (9).

Jack McGuigan joined the 107th Battalion (Winnipeg), then an infantry battalion, but the battalion was later converted to Pioneers and served in France and Flanders as the 107th Pioneer Battalion. He sailed from Halifax aboard the SS Olympic in September 1916 and disembarked in Liverpool. He went to France on the 29 March 1917 with the 107th and served with them at the front until May 1918. He then transferred to the 7th Canadian Engineers. He had risen through the ranks to become a sergeant but later requested he be returned to the ranks.

McGuigan was gassed by a shell while serving near Loos on the 19 August 1917. Canadian Field Ambulance sent him initially to 22 General Hospital, Camiers and he was later transferred to 9 General Hospital, Rouen. He was moved to the 1 Southern General Hospital, Birmingham on the 9 September and then to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom on the 26 September.  He was discharged on the 24 October 1917.

He was wounded by a bullet in his left arm on the 8 August 1918.  He went initially to 12 USA General Hospital, Rouen and was then moved on 19 Ambulance Train and HS Grantully Castle to England. He went to the 1st Birmingham War Hospital, Rednal on the 11th august and remained there until released to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom on the 10th September. He was discharged to sick leave on the 23 September and did not return to duty until the 5 October.

McGuigan was returned to Canada in August 1919 and discharged from the CEF on the 27th August.  He went back to his aunt’s address in Winnipeg.

Jack McGuigan died on the 8 December 1963 at Misericordia Hospital, Winnipeg.
2537462 Private James McIlroy, who served in France with the 58th Battalion, part of the 9th Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Canadian Division, said he was born in Cullybackey, near Ballymena on the 20 August 1886. The family had long since left the village and were living in Belfast, 45 Enfield Street, Belfast being the address he gave for his sister Mary, his registered next of kin.

Only a ‘best fit’ guess identification can be given for the family of James McIlroy.

Amongst the 1911 census returns there is a McIlroy family living on Enfield Street, Belfast.  70 year old Joseph, a ‘beetling engine man’ and a widower, lived with 4 of his children - 10 had been born but only 5 were alive in 1911. Margaret was 40 years old and a linen weaver, Mary was 38, John was 30 and a linen lapper and Robert was 28 and a labourer.  

The family were on Enfield Street at the time of the 1901 census. Joseph was 60 and said to be a ‘butler (linen)’, this a misreading of ‘beetler (linen)’, Margaret was a linen weaver, Mary was 28, John was 20 and an apprentice lapper, and Robert was an oiler in a factory. James is also listed and was 14 and a linen yarn bleacher; the age fits his date of birth, 20 August 1886 (The 1901 census was taken on 31st March 1901.)

(Ed: - Beetling was a finishing process for linen.  Beech bars were constantly raised and dropped by water or steam powered machines, beetling engines', on rolls of linen wrapped around a rotating beam and days later the cloth had a polished or shiny smooth surface.)

James had left Ireland and gave his address as 707, North Dearborn Street, Chicago, USA when he enlisted on the 26 July 1917 in Toronto, Canada.  The 5’ 7” Presbyterian had blue eyes and brown hair, and he said he was employed as a printer.

James McIlroy left Canada for the UK on the SS Scotian on the 20 November 1917 and went to the 2nd and 8th Reserve Battalions before transferring to the 58th Battalion on the 29 March 1918 for service in France.  He was ill with a fever in August 1918 and returned to duty on the 13 August only to be wounded on the 27 August.  He received a ‘GSW’, a gunshot wound, to his right leg.  It must have been relatively slight as he remained in France for all his treatment.  He spent time at 8 Stationary Hospital, Wimereux, 1 Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Boulogne, 10 Convalescent Depot, Ecault, and he was then discharged to 5 Rest Camp, St Martins.

McIlroy was discharged in Canada in March 1919 and said he was going to 3, Silver Street, Toronto. The other Canadian address he had given earlier was 646, College Street, Toronto.
214181 Thomas McIlroy lived in Detroit, Michigan, USA and he enlisted in the 99th Battalion, CEF in Windsor, Ontario on the 24th March 1916.  He said he was born on the 5 October 1894, a date confirmed by local records, and that he was single and machinist.  His papers also say he was 5’ 8” tall and that he has blue eyes and brown hair. He was a Presbyterian and he is named on a list for Kells and Eskylane Presbyterian Church, Kells.  This reflects the fact that he was born at Shankbridge, Kells in Co. Antrim and was the son of John McIlroy.

The 1911 Irish census records the family at Tullynamullen, Kells. John, 54 and a teacher, was married to Mary, nee Hill, 53 and a teacher.  The couple said they had been married for 21 years and that they had had four children. All were alive in 1911 and the family listed Thomas (16) as being present on the day of the census.

They also appear in the 1901 census. John, a teacher, was 44 and Mary was 43 and a teacher.  The couple listed all their children: Esther was 10, Rita was 8, Thomas was 6, and Mary French was 4.

Thomas left Halifax with his unit on the 31 May 1916 and arrived at Liverpool on the 8th June.  He went to the Canadian Machine Gun Depot, Crowborough on the 23rd June and, training completed, he went to France on the 8 February 1917 and was attached to the 1st Motor Machine Gun Brigade on the 22 April 1917.

Thomas McIlroy was seriously wounded at Loos on the 15/16 August 1917, some of his medical record to two 4"-6" gashes in his abdomen and right knee/leg.  He was taken to the 4th General Hospital, Camiers and remained there until well enough to be moved by HS Ville de Liege to England on the 5 September. He was treated at the King George Hospital, Stamford St, Waterloo, London and then after the 6 October at the Ontario Military Hospital, Orpington, Kent, later known as No. 16 Canadian General Hospital. He was released to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Bromley on the 17 October 1917 but was discharged two days later to a ‘hospital representative’.

McIlroy was somewhat recovered but the army medics said he had a ‘weakened abdomen and leg’ and was no longer fit for military service. He was returned from Liverpool to Canada after the 31 January 1918.  He was discharged in London, Ontario on the 28 February 1918.


809001 Private William McIlvenna of Hanna, Alberta

809001 Private William McIlvenna of Hanna, Alberta enlisted in the 137th Battalion of the CEF on 26 February 1916 and saw service in France with the 50th Battalion.  One document in his record says he had been in Canada for 12 years.  He was an Ulsterman by birth, his parents being William, and agricultural labourer, and Rose McIlvenna of Cloghogue, Gracehill, Ballymena.  In their 1911 census return the couple stated that they were 65 and 57 respectively and that they had had five children, all of whom had survived until 1911.

William and Rose appear in the 1901 census as McIlvena (sic) and are listed there as being 56 and 51 respectively.  Two of their children are also listed in 1901: Lizzie was 12 years old and Samuel J was 8 years old. William (Senior) appears to have been unable to write, as indicated below.

William McIlvenna was born on the 1 January 1886 and was a single man, a farmer, of 28 years and one month of age when he enlisted at Calgary, Alberta.  He was 5’ 11” tall and had brown eyes and brown hair.

McIlvenna’s military career in the field was short, very short.  He left Halifax aboard the SS Olympic on the 21 August 1916 and disembarked in Liverpool nine days later.  He continued his training in the 21st Reserve Battalion in England before going to France to be with the 50th Battalion after 22 April 1917. He was killed in action a few weeks later on the 3 June 1917 while ‘attacking from the S E of Aix-Noulette to S of Lievin’ (Circumstances of Death Register).

The Arras Offensive (9 April-16 May 1917) had included several battles in which Canadians were involved, notably the Battle of Vimy Ridge (9-12 April 1917).  There, though victorious, four Divisions of the Canadian Corps suffered 3,598 killed and 10,602 wounded. Nevertheless there followed other actions involving the Canadians in summer 1917.

There was an attack on La Coulotte (23 April 1917). The 2nd and 3rd Canadian Divisions participated during the 2nd Battle of the Scarpe on 23-24 April 1917, though the larger battle was primarily a British engagement. The Battle of Arleux (28-29 April 1917), by means of a combined British-Canadian attack on the villages of Arleux-en-Gohelle and Gavrelle, was fought to remove the German threat from the southeast flank of Vimy Ridge. It was successful, but no major breakthrough of the German lines followed. The 3rd Battle of the Scarpe (3-4 May 1917) saw the 2nd Canadian Battalion capture Fresnoy-en-Gohelle, 1.8 km east of Arleux, but it suffered over four hundred casualties and Fresnoy was lost a few days later.
 
McIlvenna arrived among the 50th Battalion amid all this activity on the 22 April 1917, and was soon with Canadian units that were involved in actions south of Souchez River (3-25 June 1917). The 3rd and 4th Canadian Divisions (The 50th Bn were in the 10th Brigade of the 4th Canadian Division) were involved in pushing the Allied the line forward from Souchez eastward towards Avion, which was on the outskirts of Lens-Liévin. As can be seen from the date, he was killed on the first day of the action along the Souchez River.

The War Diary of the 50th Battalion (here simplified and adapted) relates events in some detail.  On the 1st June it says ‘ ... we projected gas and apparently inflicted many casualties to the enemy who was seen in daylight ... carrying out his dead in fairly large numbers, some being evacuated from the generating station, one of our objectives in the coming operation ....’ On the 2nd June we are told of a ‘meeting of all the officers at 12 noon’ and the setting of the ‘attack time for midnight’.  It says ‘Brigade Orders called for an attack on La Coulotte, the Brewery and the central generating station and the trenches in the vicinity. The 44th Bn to attack on right and take La Coulotte and the Brewery... the 50th on the left, whose task would be the remaining objectives.’ On June 3rd: ‘The barrage opened punctually ... 15 Officers and 435 ORs (other ranks) “went over”' and ‘met opposition all the way’. It says in brackets ‘1 OR killed’, and presumably was referring to the period before the attack commenced.

Before dawn on the 3rd the 44th Battalion had been forced back to its start line. The 50th recorded at 8.30am that ‘we are in entire possession’ of given objectives, but ominously also that ‘fire from the enemy artillery and TMs (Trench Mortars) on this point very heavy’. They held their positions all day under this devastating shelling, only to withdraw early in the evening before a powerful counter-attack. The entry of 6.45 pm says ‘the enemy attacked all our positions simultaneously ... our men holding them until our supply of grenades was exhausted, when they jumped out of the trenches and with our wounded, withdrew overland to our old front line, suffering very few further casualties considering the amount of M G fire brought to bear on them.

The Canadian 3rd and 4th Canadian Divisions did, however, go on that summer to capture Avion, just outside of Lens-Liévin, and so helped to consolidate the gains won at Vimy Ridge. McIlvenna hadn't lived to see it and is buried in La Chaudiere Cemetery. Nearby lies Private John George Pattison of the 50th Bn who won the VC at Vimy Ridge and who was killed the same day as McIlvenna.
238211 Private William B McIlvennan, 54th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regt.), died of wounds on the 9th August 1918. A mechanical engineer by trade, he lived at 113 East 168th Street, New York, USA, and he enlisted in Toronto.  He was, however, the son of William B and Mary McIlvennan, of 27, Mount St., Ballymena, Co. Antrim, Ireland.

The 1911 Irish census records the Brethren family in Mount Street, Ballymena. William B was 66 and a ‘boot closer’ in a factory.  He had been married to Mary, also 66, for 45 years, and the couple had had 11 children; 7 were still alive in 1911. Three of the family were listed: Sarah was 33 and worked in boot sales, Roberta was 27 and a dressmaker, and Mary was 19 and a designer/embroiderer. The family had two boarders Agnes McKillop and Agnes Murphy, 78 and 74 respectively.

At the time of the 1901 census the family lived at Bryan Street, Ballymena.  Boot closer William and his wife Mary were 55 and listed 6 children: David was 27 and a solicitor’s clerk, Sarah was 23 and a machinist, Roberta was 17 and a dressmaker, Robert Stewart was 13, Edward was 11 and Mary was 9. Twenty one year old William may well have been in the USA or Canada.

William McIlvennan was born on the 10 January 1880.  Single and 37 ½ years old on enlistment, he stood 5’ 5 ½ “ tall, and he had brown eyes and hair. He left Canada aboard the SS Saxonia and arrived in England on the 7 April 1917.  He was transferred to the 2nd Reserve Battalion, Otterpool the next day, moved to the 125th Battalion on the 27 May 1917 and was posted to the 54th Battalion for overseas service on 27 February 1918.  He was with his unit in the field after the 4 March 1918 and served with them until wounded on the 8 August 1918. He was cared for by No 48 CCS but he died the next day.

The 54th Battalion had been in action on the 8th August.  They were pressing towards the Amiens – Roye Road and there was heavy fighting.  Their War Diary says, all objectives were gained, battalion’s headquarters being established in the captured village of Beaucourt.  It was here that McIlvennan was hit.

The Circumstances of Death Register gives full details of the incident. It says that ‘on  August 8, 1918 he was detailed for duty with a light mortar battery, and while passing through Beaucourt to report back to his Company, he was hit in the head and left thigh by shrapnel, and he died the following day at 48 CCS.’

He is buried Villiers-Bretonneaux Military Cemetery.
531695 James McKelvey enlisted in Canada in the 11th Field Ambulance in Edmonton on the 6 March 1916 and said he was a student at Robertson Theological College. (Robertson College had officially opened on October 18, 1911 as a theological college of The Presbyterian Church in Canada in Edmonton, Alberta. It later merged with other colleges and was re-named St. Stephen's College, which was incorporated in April, 1927. It still exists in Edmonton.) He was described as being 5’ 11 ½ “ tall and as having blue eyes and light brown hair. He said he was born on the 26 December 1888 at Dungall, , Kirkinriola, Ballymena and that his father was Robert McKelvey.

Robert McKelvey was a 64-year-old farmer at the time of the 1911 Irish census and his wife Mary was 52.  The couple said they had then been married for 29 years and that 7 of the 8 children born of their marriage were still alive. They listed Jeannie, 26 and a milliner, John (25), Lizzie (17), Annie (13), and Robert (12). They were Reformed Presbyterians, Covenanters.

They appear on the returns of the 1901 census. Robert was 50, his wife 34. They listed Sarah Boyd (16), John (14), James (13) Lizzie (7), Annie (4), and Robert (3).

James trained in Canada and went overseas to England after the 19 May 1916, trip of ten days aboard the SS Adriatic. He completed his training and went to France after the 10 August 1916.  He served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps until wounded by a gas shell near Ypres on the 31 October 1917.  He was treated at 8 CFA and 1st Australian General Hospital, Rouen, before being transported to England aboard the HS Warilda (HMAT A69). 

Photograph courtesy of Australian War Memorial -
Photograph HI 3972

SS Warilda, converted into a hospital ship in 1916, made over 180 trips with about 80,000 patients from Le Havre to Southampton. In February 1918 the vessel was struck by a torpedo which fortunately failed to explode. About a month the ship collided with the SS Petit Gaudet off the Isle of Wight. On 3rd August 1918 she was torpedoed by UC-49 and sank in about two hours. 801 persons were on board, 471 of them invalids, of whom 439 were bed bound. 123 people, wounded soldiers and crew, lost their lives.
He was then sent onwards to No 15 Canadian General Hospital, Taplow.  He was finally discharged from Taplow on the on the 21 December 1917 and went to the CAMC Depot at Shorncliffe Camp.  He does not appear to have returned to France and probably worked in one of the hospitals at Moore Barracks, Shorncliffe Camp until he was selected for return to Canada in 1919. He went there with ‘C’ Company on ‘escort duty’ as a medical helper aboard a ship filled with wounded who were being returned to Canada for further treatment.

He was discharged in Canada on the 1 May 1919 and said he was going to Westminster Hall, Vancouver, British Columbia. He was continuing his theological training as Westminster Hall, formerly a Presbyterian institution, was the first formal theological college in Vancouver, and classes there started in 1908, first at McGill University Vancouver (1907–1915) Campus, then in their own building at 1600 Barclay Street.
346894 Gunner Robert McKillen, one of the 2nd Reinforcements, Siege and Heavy Artillery who served in the 165th Siege Battery, the 5th Siege Battery and later the 2nd Brigade Canadian Garrison Artillery (The 5th Siege Battery and the 2nd Brigade Canadian Garrison Artillery appear to be the same unit redesignated), lived at 2121 Waverly Street, Montreal, Canada.  He was originally from County Antrim in Ireland and his father, listed as his next of kin, lived at Upper Tannybrake Cottage, Kells, Ballymena. He said on one document Robert said that he had been born in the townland of Cross, east of Ballymena and near Kells. The same form, dated 26 April 1916, states that his mother was dead.

The 1911 Irish census return records David McKillen, a 52 year old yarn store keeper and his wife Agnes, 49 years old, at Tannybrake, Kells.  The couple had been married 32 years and had had 8 children, 7 of whom were alive in 1911. Four are listed: John was 20 and a grocer’s assistant, Rachel was 17 and James was 14. Their daughter Elizabeth, 30 and married for four years, lived with them.  She was Elizabeth McKissick and her 29-year-old husband Gardner was a millwright.  They had a daughter, Elizabeth Agnes, who was 2 years old.

The 1901 census records 42-year-old David and his 40-year-old dressmaker wife and some children: Elizabeth was 20, Robert was 17 and a railway clerk, David was 14 and John was 10, and James Moorhead McMaster McKillen was 4.

Robert McKillen was born on the 24 December 1884 and, a single man, he was working as a railway clerk.  He was 31 years and 3 months old when he enlisted in Montreal on the 7 April 1916.  He was 5’ 6 ½ “ tall and had blue eyes and black hair.

He left Canada via Halifax, Nova Scotia and arrived in Liverpool on the 29 May 1916.  He left from Bristol to go overseas in September 1916 and he served in France and Flanders. He stayed with the unit for most of the time, though he was sent on a signalling course and was away at Corps HQ from the 3 March 1917 until rejoining his unit in the field on the 7 April 1917. He was gassed by a shell on the 28 May 1918 and thereafter spent some considerable time in various hospitals. He went to the General Hospital, Dannes-Camiers on the 29th May, was under  the care of the General Military Hospital in Colchester after the 2 June (He was actually at Finborough, Stowmarket, an outlying part of the hospital from 5 June to 13 July and had previously been at Suffolk Hospital, Ampton Hall, Bury St Edmunds from 31 May to 5 June - dates as per medical record), No 4 Canadian General Hospital, Basingstoke after the 14 July, and was at Princess Patricia’s Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Cooden Camp, Bexhill after the 12 September ,  and was discharged to duty on the 27 September 1918.

(Cooden Camp was used by various units for various purposes from 1914, but in January 1918 Cooden Camp was transformed by the arrival of the Canadian Engineers, who reconstructed the camp as a Canadian military convalescent hospital.)

The circumstances of the gassing are well documented in the War Diary of the 5th Siege Battery.  The entry for the 27 May 1918 says (adapted) ‘from 1.57 to 2.57 am Battery position and vicinity were subjected to heavy Gas bombardment of yellow and blue cross gas from 15cm and 10 cm howitzers and 77 mm guns.  The gas shells were freely mixed with 5.9 cm HEs (high explosive shells) ... all the gas shell holes were treated with chloride of lime and filled in ...’

28th May – ‘Hostile shelling was fairly heavy during the early part of the day ... 27 men were reported today as gas casualties.  These casualties were caused by the blast of the guns stirring up dust which had been contaminated with mustard gas during the recent bombardment.’

(The Germans placed a coloured cross on gas shells to show type. Diphosgene shells and others that contained killing lung irritant gas, which might dissipate quickly and was seen as non-persistent, were marked with a green cross.  Diphenyl chloroarsine shells were marked with a blue cross.  The shells were not made to cause cause death or injury per se, but were to penetrate the respirator filters using a fine particulate dust, causing uncontrollable sneezing and coughing which would force the enemy soldiers to remove their respirators and expose themselves to lethal diphosgene shell gas.  Mustard gas shells were marked with a yellow cross to indicate their persistency.  Mustard gas was seen as a defensive agent, used to poison areas of ground over which the Germans had no intention of attacking in the near future.)

Robert McKillen was lucky. A full dose of the mustard gas, as distinct from remnants of mustard gas in the dust, would probably have killed him.

He was told after his release from hospital to be at 2nd Canadian Corps Depot, Bramshott Camp on 9 October 1918. Soon afterwards he went through the usual discharge mechanism and was returned to Canada, stating that he would eventually go to 1894 St Urbain Street, Montreal, elsewhere 1611 Park Avenue, Montreal. He was discharged on the 26 February 1919.

He died on 2 December 1966.
174891 Corporal James McLean (He served as James McClean until admitting his true identity to the CEF on the 18 December 1918. However, he appears as McClean on the Irish census.), 86th Machine Battalion, enlisted in Hamilton, Ontario on the 2 September 1915.  He was a 5’ 7 ½” tall Anglican labourer and he had blue eyes and light brown hair.  He said he was born on the 20th May 1891 and that his mother was Mrs Mary Logan, 22 Mount Street, Ballymena. Elsewhere he gave his own address as 274 Cannon Street East, Hamilton, Ontario.

Mary McLean, a widow and mill worker, married Israel Logan, a shoemaker and widower, in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland on the 18 March 1902. Her first husband appears to have been Alexander McClean, a blacksmith living on Castle Street, Ballymena. He married Mary McCartney, a mill worker, on the 11 April 1887, also in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland.

The 1901 Irish census records the Logan family at Springwell Street. Israel was a 33-year-old widower and a shoemaker who lived with his mother Nancy A Logan, 76 and a widow, his sister Sarah, 25 and a spreader in a factory, and his daughters Jane (10) and Mary (9).

The 1901 census records Mary McClean living on Castle Street, Ballymena with her extended family.  Her mother, Agnes McCartney, a 51 year old widow, lived with her brother, 44 year old deaf mute George McKillop, her daughter Mary McClean, 32 and a widow, and her children.  They were Agnes McClean (11), James McClean (9) and William McClean (7). Also present was Ellen Parker (25, nee McCartney) and her child Robert (1). She had married Robert Parker, a plasterer, in April 1897. Catherine Service (23, nee McCartney) was also present with her husband George, 24 and a painter, and their infant Thomas. John McCartney (21), Jane McCartney (19) and Selina McCartney (17) completed the household. Jane McCartney married Alexander Rainey in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church on the 26 March 1913.

The 1911 Irish census shows the Logan family were still at Springwell Street. Israel was 47 and still a shoemaker and Mary was 44.  The couple said they had been married for nine years and that they had had five children.  They listed Jane (21), Mary (19), presumably from his first marriage, and Annie (6) and Sarah (4).  They also listed Annie McLean, a 21-year-old stepdaughter and linen weaver in a factory, and her brother Willie McLean, 17 and an iron moulder. He was born on the 4 November 1893.

James McLean trained in Canada and then left for Europe from Halifax aboard the SS Adriatic. He landed at Liverpool on the 29 May 1916.  He went to the Canadian Machine Gun Depot at Crowborough on the 15 June 1917 and then to the 15th Canadian Machine Gun Company on the 30th August.  This unit was absorbed into the 3rd Battalion Machine Gun Corps on the 19 March 1918.  He served without injury until returned to England for demobilisation and return to Canada in 1919.  He was returned from Southampton to Canada aboard the SS Aquitania and discharged from the CEF in Toronto on 27 May 1919.


Festubert Battlefield, May 1915
Image courtesy of the Canadian War Museum and here used in accordance with their stated conditions of reuse.

19754 James McMaster, 10th Battalion, CEF enlisted at Valcartier Camp on the 25th September 1914.  He was 5’ 10”tall and had blue eyes and brown hair.  He was a Presbyterian and a carpenter by trade, though at one time he says he was employed as an ironworker. He was single and had been born on the 5 November 1878 at Ballygelly, a rural townland, Broughshane, Ballymena.  Two of his brothers are named in his records, namely R H McMaster and Samuel McMaster.  

His parents, as recorded on his Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry, were Thomas A and Mary McMaster, both dead by the outbreak of the Great War, as this grave inscription in Racavan Burying-Ground, Broughshane indicates:

1881
Erected in memory of Thomas McMaster of Ballygelly who departed this life 5th November 1824 aged 76 years.
   Also his son Samuel, who died 19th August 1881 aged 73 years
And Margaret wife of Samuel died 22nd December 1893 aged 75 years.
Also Thomas Alexander McMaster died 17th April 1901 aged 59 years
Also his wife Mary McMaster who died 20th June 1911 aged 67 years.
And their grandson Alexander McMaster who died 17th November 1910 aged 12 Years.

The Irish census of 1901 records Thomas A McMaster, a 58-year-old farmer, and his wife Mary, aged 57, and six of their children: Mary (30), Alexander (26), Agnes (24), Lizzie (21), Annie (17), and Robert Hugh (12).

The 1911 census records 68-year-old Mary as a widow; she says she had been married for 49 years and had had ten children, all of whom were alive in 1911. Four of them are listed: Alexander (34), Lizzie (27), Annie (24) and Robert Hugh (23).  A granddaughter called Winnie (7) is also named, as are two visitors from Canada, Thomas Henry Seymour, a 39 year old clerk, and Agnes Seymour (29).

James McMaster sailed from Quebec aboard the SS Scandinavian with his unit on the 3-4th October 1914.  He had almost no military record but it is noted that he was presumed to have died on or since the 21 May 1915

The 10th Battalion, CEF served in the 1st Canadian Division throughout the war and took part in every major battle of the Great War in which Canadians fought, hence its fame as ‘The Fighting Tenth’. It was created from two existing militia units, the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles) and the 106th Regiment (Winnipeg Light Infantry), the latter being the one McMaster joined. The unit was assembled at Valcartier Camp in Quebec, and it sailed to the UK with the first Canadian contingent in late 1914 - McMaster’s name appears on the Nominal Roll. The unit trained on Salisbury Plain, and went into the trenches in France in early 1915 with the whole 1st Division. The date of his death indicates that McMaster was killed at the Battle of Festubert, 1915, this battle being fought twenty kilometres north of Vimy in an unsuccessful attempt to capture K5, a small hill and a series of trenches so designated on the troops’ maps.  The attack was halted short of the objective with heavy losses due to wet terrain, strong German defences, and little time to prepare.

The Battle of Festubert, 15-27 May 1915, was the second British contribution to the second battle of Artois, the major Allied spring offensive of 1915. The first British attack failed miserably at Aubers Ridge (9-10 May) and the BEF suffered 11,000 casualties.

Festubert itself was actually a series of poorly conceived attacks launched by British, Indian and Canadian troops on Flanders Front between 15 and 27 May 1915. The preliminary bombardment lasted three days and despite its intensity was relatively ineffective. It did not succeed in dislocating the German front and some casualties were even caused by ‘friendly fire’.

Two infantry divisions, mostly Indian soldiers, launched the assault on 15 May, and their attack achieved some tactical success in that the Germans fell back to their second line.

The second assault, this time entrusted to the Canadians, was launched on 18 May in torrential rain but failed because of the arrival of German reinforcements and the numerous losses caused by heavy shelling.

A third series of attacks between 20 and 24 May resulted in the capture of the ruined village of Festubert, and it was during this assault that McMaster went missing. The War Diary of the 10th Battalion says [adapted] regarding the 20th May:  the bombardment ... had been quite ineffectual ... the troops detailed for the attack were in open view ... [at one point]. Approach was through a narrow communication trench that was completely covered by the MG of the enemy. ... The OC ... discontinued the attack.’

They tried again the next day, the 21st, the day McMaster was presumed lost:  ‘Attack postponed from dawn until dusk ... our artillery ... put up splendid work. The attack was launched and 225 yards gained with small loss, a barricade improvised in a communication trench within 60 yards from enemy main trench. On the other hand, as J. A. Holland has said in The Story of the Tenth Canadian Battalion, 1914-1917, the attack developed and ‘The left party following a trench route had to cover the last hundred yards of the advance across the open, exposed to an unheard-of concentration of machine gun fire. They were swept away like leaves in an autumn wind.’ The War Diary says only, ‘progress here was impeded by heavy MG fire’. However,  Holland notes that ‘The right attacking party was more fortunate and succeeded in entering the enemy's line opposite "K.5" driving him back over four hundred yards’ and the War Diary says ‘a working party of engineers was ... put to work to consolidate the captured trenches’.

The effort failed, as indicated in the record of the 22 May: ‘At dawn and on three separate occasions during the day the enemy made attacks ... the position was subjected to a most horrific bombardment ... about 50 yards closest to the enemy was shelled so heavily that the parapets were flattened down, all occupants being killed, so that the position was abandoned.’

The fighting lasted twelve and the Allies advanced one kilometre on a narrow front. By the 27 May, Allied casualties amounted to 16,000 men and the operation had not relieved pressure on the French offensive at Vimy Ridge, initially a key reason for the action. Indeed, the whole affair, like so many WW1 battles, was a nightmare: the Canadians alone incurred 2,468 casualties. Adding to the carnage wrought by the shelling and the machine gun fire, many soldiers died in hand-to-hand fighting and some were drowned in the flooded trenches and drainage ditches which criss-crossed the battlefield. General French, complained of a ‘shell shortage’, Asquith’s government subsequently fell and was replaced by a coalition in which Lloyd George played a prominent role.

10th Bn CEF-Salisbury Plain
Imperial War Museum, photograph collection - used in accordance with Share and Reuse terms and conditions - © IWM (Q 53575)
225930 James McMaster lived at 2948 Yonge Street, Toronto with his wife Beatrice and, as he said in April 1917, two children. Timothy was then 3 ½ years old and Mary Louise was 14 months old. He said at enlistment on the 2 October 1916 that he was a street car conductor and he was described as being 5’ 9 ¼ “ tall with brown eyes and dark brown hair. He said he had served in the militia for fifteen months, specifically the Royal Grenadiers. He went to the Canadian Mounted Rifles Depot and eventually became one of the 8th Draft to that unit.

James McMaster came from Co Antrim and his papers eventually reveal that he was the son of Thomas and Jane McMaster, nee Morrow, farmers who lived at Killyless, Ballyconnelly, Cullybackey.  The 1911 Irish census records the family there and the couple revealed they had been married for 30 years and that 6 of the 10 children born of the marriage were still alive at that date. Thomas (50), his wife Jeanie (53) and children Annie (18), Henry (16) and James (14) were listed as present.
 
Thomas (40) and Jeanie (42) listed six children on census day in 1901.  They were Thomas (16), William (13), Annie (8), Samuel (6), Henry (5) and James (4). Thomas McMaster, the children’s grandfather (78) was also present, as was William McMaster (21), a boarder.

James left Canada aboard the SS Olympic on the 28 April 1917 and arrived in England on the 7th May. He went to the 8th Reserve Battalion and was, training complete, posted to the 102nd Battalion for service in France and Flanders after the 11 September 1917.

He was wounded in the left breast on the 9 August 1918 and was pass through the hands of 48 Casualty Clearing Station before going to 9th General Hospital, Rouen on the 9th August and later to 72nd General Hospital, Trouville on the 12th August. His wound wasn’t overly serious and he was released to 15 Canadian Convalescent Depot on the 23 August and returned to duty on the 21 October 1918.

He was returned to England and 2nd CORD (Central Ontario Reserve Depot) for return to Canada after the 21 March 1919, some documents saying that he would go to the Military Police Corps for a time. He was discharged from the CEF on the 22 May 1919.
502513 Sapper George McMeekin served principally with 9th Field Company, 3rd Division, Canadian Engineers and gave his address as 288, Wilton Avenue, Toronto; later addresses include 36, Seymour Avenue, Toronto and 428, Dundas Street, Toronto. He was, however, an Ulsterman and listed his mother as his next of kin.  She was Margaret Cooper, Ballymuckvea (now Ballymacvea), Kells, near Ballymena.

Margaret Cooper was unmarried, as she states on the census return, and had two children. The 1901 Irish census shows her, a 48-year-old linen weaver, at Ballymacvea, Kells, with her son George McMeckin (sic), 14 and an agricultural labourer, and her daughter Matilda Cooper, aged 10.

On the 1911 return she is recorded as a linen weaver, single and 56 years old. George McMeekin, 23, was then a traction engine driver, and Matilda Cooper, 21, was a linen weaver.

George McMeekin was born on the 6 July 1886 and he enlisted at Toronto on the 27 January 1916.  Almost 30 years old, he is described as being 5’ 7” tall with grey eyes and brown hair.  He was single, a Presbyterian and was employed as a steam engineer, later as a machinist.  He said his father was dead.

He travelled to the UK on the SS Metagama and transferred to the 9th Field Company, Canadian Engineers from the Canadian Engineers Training Depot (CETD), going to France with them on the 20 May 1916.  He went to the 3rd Division Supply Column for a time after 4 July 1916 but after the 15 July was attached to the 3rd Canadian Division. He also served an attachment with Chief Engineers Canadian Corps from 24 September 1916 until 27 March 1917.  He served in France until returned to England in February 1919 in preparation for return to Canada.  He was discharged from the CEF on the 30 March 1919.

He was wounded during his service, receiving a shrapnel or gunshot wound to his left arm in August 1917.  He was a No 6 CCS on the 24th, and was moved to No 1 Canadian General Hospital, Etaples on the 28th August.  He went to no 6 Convalescent Camp on the 31st August and was back with his unit on the 13 September 1917. The fact that he was not returned to England suggests the wound was not overly serious.
2293727 Private Alexander McMullan, 527, Spence Street, Winnipeg (later address was 3621, Chambers Avenue, Winnipeg) was drafted on under the terms of the Military Service Act, 1917 and became part of the 10th Draft to Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) after the 30 January 1918.  He joined the CEF against his will, there being a ‘Postmaster’s Receipt for Claim for Exemption from Military Service’, No 548439, amongst his record documents and it is signed by him.  His request was clearly overruled.

Alexander McMullan, working as a streetcar conductor in Winnipeg, hailed from Carnalbana or Carnalbanagh, near Ballymena.  He said he was born on the 20 July 1894, that he was single and a Presbyterian.  He was 5’ 5” tall and had brown eyes and light brown hair. He named his father as his next of kin.  He was Mr James McMullan, Carnalbanagh, Co Antrim; later financial records give his address is given as 43, Springwell Street, Ballymena.

The 1901 Irish census shows the family at Carnalbanagh. James, 45 and a farmer, lived with his wife Sarah, 42 years old. Five children are listed: David (17), A Jane (15), Helena (13), Elizabeth (11) and Alexander (6).

The family still lived at Carnalbanagh at the time of the 1911 census.  James said he was 32 and an general labourer and Sarah was 56.  The couple said they had had 8 children, 6 of whom were still alive in 1911: Lizzie (21), Alexander (17) and James (7) are listed.

Alexander McMullan went overseas on the 17 April 1918 and arrived in England aboard the SS Melita on the 28 April.  He was transferred to the Royal Canadian Dragoons August 1918 for service in France and Flanders.  He served without injury and was returned to Canada after the 9 May 1919.  He was demobilised in Toronto on the 2 June 1919, and he gave 35, Campbell Block, Main Street, Winnipeg as his abode when he claimed his medals.

20650 Private Archibald McNeice (sometimes MacNeice), who was to serve primarily in the 10th Battalion (Alberta Regt), CEF, enlisted at Valcartier Camp, Quebec on the 24 September 1914, and he stated that he had previously served for 2 ½ years in the 106th Battalion (Winnipeg Light Infantry).  He gave no address at the time of his enlistment, but he named his mother Agnes as his next of kin, giving her address as 21, Queen Street, Ballymena.

The 1911 Irish census records Archie McNeice, 55 and a railway porter, and his 44-year-old wife Agnes. The couple had then been married 32 years and they had had seven children; six were still alive in 1911. Two are recorded: Archie was 21 and a carpenter, and Mary Jane was 19 and a linen winder. The family had a lodger, 52-year-old Hannah McKelvey, a linen winder.

At the time of the 1901 census the family were living at Railway Place, Harryville, Ballymena. Archibald McNiece (sic) was 45 and a railway porter and his wife Agnes was 44. Six children are recorded: James was 22 and a railway clerk, Edward was 19 and was an engineer in a foundry, Alexander was 15 and a railway clerk, Matilda was 13 and a dressmaker, Archie was 11 and Mary was 9.

McNeice was born on the 6 December 1891 and was almost 24 years old at the time of his volunteering.  He stood 5’ 9 ½ “ tall, was single, and he had blue eyes and dark brown hair. He was a Presbyterian. He did not indicate his trade and gave no details of employment.

He left Quebec aboard the SS Scandinavian on the 3-4 October 1914.  He went to France and Flanders and was to spend long periods in hospitals suffering at various times from what are referred to as burns to his right foot, dental caries, neurasthenia (chronic physical and mental fatigue, weakness, and generalized aches and pains, now usually considered a psychological disorder. The term is no longer generally in clinical use.), general debility, colic, jaundice and influenza.  He was also wounded in April 1917, his record noting a slight wound to his left hand/fingers. He went to No. 3 Canadian General Hospital and was then moved to the 1st Northern General Hospital, Leicester. He later tranferred to the Canadian Military Hospital, Hastings before being discharged on the 25 June 1917.

His record also shows that in October 1915 he was brought before a Field General Court Martial for a trivial 'theft' of a ‘pay book cover’ on the 25 September 1915 from a comrade, Private George Gibbs, while at Camp 19, Rouelles, France, and that he was sentenced to six months incarceration.  This appears to have been served in the military prison at Le Havre, at one point referred to as ‘Old Fort Hutments, Havre’. He was not released from ‘Havre Prison ‘A’ until 6 April 1916.

Archie McNeice was wounded a second time on the 10 November 1917 and this time he died of his wounds at No. 47 Casualty Clearing Station.  His medical record indicates that he was struck by shrapnel from a shell burst, this leaving him with abdominal wounds and abrasions to his neck and head.

The date of his death tells us Archie McNeice was killed around Passchendaele.  There was really a series of battles that marked the Allied advance at Passchendaele between the 31 July - 6 November 1917, and the fighting, amid rain and mud, was intense as the Germans were entrenched on the high ground, the Passchendaele Ridge, and had transformed a naturally strong defensive position into a virtually impregnable one with concrete "Pill-boxes", machine guns and multiple belts of wire entanglements. Autumn rain and shelling by both sides had converted into a sea of mud the flat and naturally wet terrain lying before the German defensive line.

On October 26th, the final phase, the Canadians’ 3rd and 4th Canadian Divisions, and British and Australian troops, with unbelievable daring attacked, and by sheer courage and unheard of endurance drove the enemy back. Indeed, the battle was over on the 6th November, Passchendaele village being finally captured by the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions on that date. This meant that when the 10th Battalion moved into support on 10th November, they were participating in a limited action to remove the last enemy elements holding on with depressing obstinacy to a fragment of the Ridge, Hill 52. The Canadians were successful, though the Germans still held the northern end of the Passchendaele Ridge thereafter.

The 7th and 8th Battalions, CEF, had led the attack on the 10th November but were reported to be in difficulties and elements of the 10th Battalion, ‘The Fighting Tenth’ which fought with distinction in every major Canadian action, were called out of reserve to assist.  They passed through a heavy barrage, and though suffering many casualties, reached the front line on the 8th Battalion's left flank. Apparently believing they had been relieved, the 8th withdrew. The 10th Battalion realised the mistake, adjusted their line, and took responsibility for the entire area previously held by the 7th and 8th Battalions. Here they stood on what was left of the 10th November and during the critical day of November 11th.

It seems likely that McNeice fell wounded during that passage through the German barrage on the 10th November or in and around the trenches being held with such skill that evening.

Battle of Thiepval Ridge, 26-28 September 1916

British troops carrying ammunition boxes up to the forward area, passing German prisoners in Aveluy. Imperial War Museum, London - © IWM (Q 1343)
461499 James Hamilton McNeice enlisted in the 61st Battalion and later served in France and Flanders with the 8th Battalion (90th Winnipeg Rifles).  He was the husband of Jennie, and the couple lived at 419, Brandon Avenue, Fort Rouge, Manitoba.

He said on enlistment on 2 March 1916 in Winnipeg that he had been born in Ballymena on the 25 December 1887.  He was then 5' 11" tall and he had blue eyes and light brown hair.  The 27 year old McNeice said he was a Presbyterian and a fireman.

The 1901 Irish census shows his family at Tullygarley (sometimes Tullaghgarley), near Ballymena.  His father Samuel was 60 years old and a labourer, and Margaret A was his 50-year-old wife. They list four children: Bella was 27 and a weaver, William was 25 and a labourer, James was 14 and Robert J was 11.

The 1911 census shows 61-year-old Margaret Ann McNeice, a widow, living on Queen Street, Harryville.  She said she had been married for 39 years (Marriage details provided to the CEF on behalf of Robert John McNeice said she was married on 20 April 1871) and that 7 of her 10 children were still alive in 1911.  She was living with her daughters Isabella (Bella), 36 and a linen weaver, and Nellie, now 27 and Mrs Barr. The latter had had 4 children during her the 8-year marriage and they are listed as Samuel (7), John (6), William (4) and Robert (1)

He was therefore a brother of 461500 Private Robert John McNeice, 264 (elsewhere 267), Inkster Avenue, Winnipeg.

He left Halifax for the UK on the 1 April 1916 and arrived in Liverpool on the 11 April.  He transferred from the 61st Battalion to the 11th Reserve Battalion on the 6 July and then went to the 8th Battalion (90th Winnipeg Rifles) for war service on the 24/25 August 1916. He was reported missing on the 25 August 1916 but was then reported to be with No3 & No 5 Canadian Field Ambulance and suffering from a shrapnel wound to his fingers.  This wasn't seroius and he was discharged to duty the same day. He seems thereafter to have suffered no futher major injury and his service and medical record shows only influenza and a sprained right ankle.  That said, he does appear to have been wounded again in 1918 and suffered minor shrapnel damage to his nose and the back of his right leg.  It was so minor he did not report it at the time. It was mentioned when he was leaving the army and they made an attempt to find out what had happened; there is no record of what they concluded.

He left France for England and return to Canada on the 27 March 1919 and was returned to Canada on the SS Empress of Britain.
461500 Private Robert John McNeice, 264 (elsewhere 267), Inkster Avenue, Winnipeg, enlisted in the 61st Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Infantry on the 2-3 March 1916 in Winnipeg, and fought in France as part of the 8th Battalion (90th Winnipeg Rifles), 2nd Infantry Brigade,  1st Canadian Division. McNeice was, however, a Ballymena man by birth and a brother of 461499 James Hamilton McNeice.

The 1901 Irish census shows his family at Tullygarley (sometimes Tullaghgarley), near Ballymena.  His father Samuel was 60 years old and a labourer, and Margaret A was his 50-year-old wife. They list four children: Bella was 27 and a weaver, William was 25 and a labourer, James was 14 and Robert J was 11.

The 1911 census shows 61-year-old Margaret Ann McNeice, a widow, living on Queen Street, Harryville.  She said she had been married for 39 years (Marriage details provided to the CEF said she was married on 20 April 1871) and that 7 of her 10 children were still alive in 1911.  She was living with her daughters Isabella (Bella), 36 and a linen weaver, and Nellie, now 27 and Mrs Barr. The latter had had 4 children during her the 8-year marriage and they are listed as Samuel (7), John (6), William (4) and Robert (1).

Robert John McNeice was born at Ballymena on the 23 November 1890.  At the time of his enlistment he was single and said he was a farrier by trade. He gave his mother Margaret as his next of kin, and her address in Winnipeg was the same as his, 294 (or 297?) Inkster Street, Winnipeg. He was 5’ 11” tall and had grey eyes and fair hair.   He was a Presbyterian.   He trained in Canada and then left Halifax on the 1 April 1916, arriving in Liverpool on the 11 April.  He transferred from the 61st OS Battalion to the 11th Reserve Battalion and went from there to the 8th Battalion for overseas service on 24-25 August 1916.  He went to France immediately and was with his unit in the field after the 15 September 1916.  He was to have a very short military career.  He was killed in action of the 26 September 1916, the Circumstances of Death Register stating that he was taking part in action ‘west of Courcelette’.

The date and location tell us he was killed during the Battle of the Somme, specifically in a part of the battle known as the Battle of Thiepval Ridge, 26-28th September (some accounts say 30th September).  This action started 24 hours after the commencement of the 4th Army’s Battle of Morval and was fought on a front that stretched from Courcelette in the east to Thiepval and the Schwaben Redoubt in the west. Canadian Corps’ attack saw four divisions deployed along a 6,000-yard front, its aim to clear the Germans from Thiepval Ridge, a spur of high ground running north west from Courcelette, and to the north of Thiepval.

In short, the Canadians were a flank guard, the 1st Canadian Division there to attack three lines of German trenches, code named Zollern Trench, Hessian Trench and Stuff/Regina Trench. The action commenced at half-past midday on September 26th following a three-day bombardment by about 800 assorted heavy and field artillery pieces; this barrage somewhat unimpressive in terms of its outcome. However, at the prescribed hour the 5th and 8th Battalions led the 2nd Brigade attack, with some support from elements of the 10th Battalion. They took Zollern Trench and Hessian Trench, but not reach the Thiepval Ridge. Further elements of the 10th Battalion were moved forward during the course of the afternoon to help remnants of three Canadian battalions which held on in the face of murderous MG and artillery fire. The fighting raged into the next day, but any hope of securing Stuff/ReginaTrench was lost. Indeed, the position did not fall to the Allies until October.

Robert John McNeice died on the first day of the attack, and his death impacted on his widowed mother.  She must have left Canada and claimed his medals in 1920/21 while living at 5, Toome Road, Ballymena; the Toome Road leads from the end of Queen Street to Tullygarley, some 1.5 miles distant.
150166 Private Samuel McNeice, CEF, enlisted on the 27 July 1915 in the 79th Battalion in Brandon, Manitoba where he was working and stated that he was a fireman. He was Presbyterian, 5’ 11” tall and had grey eyes and fair hair. He said he was born on the 19 September 1883 and added that he was married, his wife Maggie, and three children aged 9, 11 and 16 years old at the time of his demobilisation, were still living in Ballymena.  A later document in his file specifies Tullygarley.
 
He left Montreal aboard the SS Corsican on the 25/26 September 1915 and landed at Devonport on the 5 October.  He went to the 11th Reserve Battalion and was subsequently transferred on the 2 November to the 8th Battalion (90th Winnipeg Rifles). He was then transferred to the Machine Gun Brigade.

McNeice never served outside the UK.  He took ill on 18 February 1916 with influenza and sent to Moore Barracks Hospital, Shorncliffe.  By the 29 February his illness is being recorded at Moore Barracks Hospital as ‘pleurisy with effusion’.  On the 5 February he was at Pinewood Sanatorium, his record marked ‘TB Pulmonary’ and he was afterwards transferred to 16 Canadian General Hospital, Orpington.  He was discharged from the hospital on the 6 February 1918. His medical condition was reviewed by the Canadian Expeditionary Force and it was decided that he was medically unfit for service.  Lt Col. Raikes had visited him in hospital at Orpington at one point and wrote that ‘he is totally disabled’ but he considered that ‘at present he will not require constant care’. Samuel McNeice knew the situation only too well and rated his own condition on a pension application as ‘poor’. He requested that he be demobilised in England, this despite him knowing it would cost him the bonus of three months pay given to those demobilised in Canada.  His wife wanted him home and assured the Canadians, who seemed genuinely concerned about his future, in a touching letter that she could look after him.

Mrs Maggie McNeice's Touching Letter.

Saturday, 6th Oct. 1917

Dear Sir
in reference to my Husband getting home I will look after him well and see that he wants for nothing as he will not be a burden on me nor the Public as I am fit to keep him I remain
yours truly
Mrs Maggie McNeice
Tullygarley


Samuel McNeice's fate is not known at this time.
3323437 Private Adam McNeill, 3, Kinburn, Ontario enlisted on the 8 June 1918 in the 2nd Depot Battalion, Eastern Ontario Regiment at Ottawa after he was called up under the Military Service Act, 1917.  He said he was born in Ballymena, Co. Antrim on the 19 August 1896 and said that he was single, a farmer and an Anglican. He was said to be 5’ 1” tall and he had grey eyes and black hair.   He nominated his cousin, Henry H McNeill, 121 Sammon Avenue, Toronto as his next of kin. Henry Hugh McNeill was the son of John and Margaret McNeill, nee Elliott, and Hugh had been born on the 7 June 1883. Hugh Henry, cousin, and brother Wilson, both of 121 Sammon Avenue, are mentioned on different versions of his will.

The 1901 Irish census return records Margaret McNeill, widow of William and 68 years old, living in Dunminning, Cullybackey.  (A headstone, partially legible, in Craigs Parish Church Cemetery, Cullybackey reads:

1832
McNeill of Dunminning

In loving memory of William McNeill, ( - )
His wife Margaret, (1832 - 1915)
Their son William, ( - 1941)
And his wife Margaret (1867 -  )

Registration of death records confirm the Margaret, the 68 year old of the 1901 census did indeed die of heart problems on the 10 October 1915.

She described herself as a farmer and linen weaver.  She recorded the following as being present on the day of the census: William Jamieson, her son in law and a linen beetler, and his 22 year old wife Isabella, nee McNeill and born on the 5 June 1879; daughter Margaret, aged 40; Rachel, aged 25; Adam, aged 4, born on the 24 August 1896 and her grandson; and Evelyn her 1 year old granddaughter.

Adam was the illegitimate son of 40-year-old daughter Margaret. His military papers also mention his brother Wilson.  Wilson too was the illegitimate son of Margaret and local records show that he had been born the 21 October 1886. The 1901 census return shows the 14-year-old working as a labourer on the farm of the Park family at Killycreen, Glenbuck. Evelyn was the illegitimate daughter of Rachel McNeill and was born on the 4 February 1900.

Adam was to serve only in England.  He had left Halifax aboard HMT Huntsend on the 4 August 1918 and was disembarked at Birkenhead, Liverpool. He transferred to the 6th Reserve Battalion, Seaford on the 15th August.

He  was struck down with influenza during the terrible Spanish Flu outbreak.  He was taken ill on the 25 April 1919 and ended up in 14 Canadian General Hospital, Eastbourne.  He remained there until the 17 May 1919. The CEF decided to return him to Canada soon after his hospital discharge and he left Liverpool aboard the SS Belgic on the 23 June 1919.  

He was discharged and appears to have gone to Carp, a noted farming area west of Ottawa.

135803 Arthur Henry McNeilly was born in Ballymena on the 23 March 1896, the son on Henry McNeilly, 'Inglewood', Broughshane Road, Ballymena, and his name is recorded on the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 entry for First Ballymena Presbyterian Church.

The 1911 Irish census records Henry McNeilly, 35 and a hairdresser, and his wife Lily (Lilly sic) Ann (30) living on Broughshane Road, Ballymena and the couple said they had been married for 17 years and had six children; four were still alive in 1911.  They were Carlyle, 16 and a hairdresser, Arthur (15), Herbert (13) and Maurice (5).  Maria Barr, a sister in law, who was single, 24 and a nurse, is also named. Annie Fife, a 24-year-old RC servant, is named, as are two hairdressing apprentices, namely Edward Eason (19) and William Dixon (16).

The 1901 census records the family at Church Street, Ballymena.  Henry was 27 and a hairdresser and his wife, recorded as Rennie, was 26. Carlyle was 6, Arthur (4) and Harbert (sic) was 2.

The family headstone in Ballymena (then) ‘New’ Cemetery, Cushendall Road, Ballymena reads ‘In loving memory of Henry Millar McNeilly, who died 4 March 1942, also Eileen and Cecil, children of the above named who died in infancy, also Lily Ann, beloved wife of the above who died the 8 September 1954. Their son Carlisle (sic) who died 18th ...

Arthur Henry McNeilly enlisted in the 74th Battalion, Canadian Infantry on the 23 July 1915 in Toronto.  He was then single, 19 years and 4 months old, and he stood 5’ 7” tall. He had dark grey eyes and dark brown hair.  He gave his address as 529, Markham Street, Toronto, and said he was a stock keeper (clerk).

He left Canada from Halifax on the 29 March 1916 aboard the SS Empress of Britain and arrived in Liverpool on the 9 April 1916.  He went for further training to Bramshott Camp but was recalled on the 6 June 1916 for service. He went to the Canadian Corps Siege Artillery at Horsham (i.e. Horsham Siege Artillery School, in West Sussex) and then to 2nd Canadian Heavy Artillery Group at Stowlangtoft on the 22 January 1917.  He went to France with them on the 28 March 1917, but was struck off strength on the 28 April 1917 to the 2nd Signal Company for service with the HQ staff of the ‘2nd Heavies’, 2nd Canadian Heavy Artillery Group.

McNeilly’s military career effectively ended on the 27 November 1917 when he reported ill to 19 Canadian Field Ambulance.  They took him to No 44 Casualty Clearing Station where he was diagnosed with nephritis, a potentially very fatal kidney complaint, and they moved him onwards to No 26 General Hospital at Etaples.  He was returned to England, apparently attached to the Canadian Engineers Reserve Depot, and treated at 2/1 Southern General Hospital, Dudley Road, Birmingham and at King’s Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Bushy Park, Birmingham. After some time it was decided to remove him to Canada and he left England aboard the HS Neuralia from Avonmouth in early June 1918.  He was attached to No 2 District Depot and was at Spadina Military Hospital in Toronto after 16 June 1918 (This was the Knox College building at Spadina Circle, which became the Spadina Military in 1916. The famous Amelia Earhart was working there as a VAD in 1918.).  He was not discharged until the 13 September 1918.

He was discharged, being medically unfit, from the CEF on the 23 September 1918 and said he was going to live at 452, Bathurst Street, Toronto. His fate is unknown.
700530 Private George McNeilly of 345 Elgin Avenue, Winnipeg enlisted in the 101st Battalion, Canadian Infantry in Winnipeg on the 31 December 1915.  He was 5’ 6½” tall and had blue eyes and fair light coloured hair. He said he was single, a Presbyterian and a labourer. He said he was born at Rokeel, now generally Rathkeel, Broughshane and he nominated his mother as his next of kin. She was Margaretta, more often Margaret, an agricultural labourer, Rathkeel.  Her 50-year-old husband George had died on the 15 December 1896.

The family appear on the 1901 Irish census. Margaret was 45 and a widow, and she listed three children present during the census: John was 12, George was 9 and Mennie (Minnie) was 6.

Elements of the family are listed on the 1911 census. George was 19 and a domestic servant working for the Leitch family of Lower Broughshane, and Minnie was 18 and a farm servant on the farm of the Frew family.

George McNeilly trained in Canada and then left Canada from Halifax aboard the SS Olympic on the 28 June 1916. He arrived in England in early July and was attached to the 17th Reserve Battalion to complete his training.  He was sent to the 85th Battalion (Nova Scotia Highlanders) for service in Europe on the 16 March 1917 and was in France the next day.

McNeilly was wounded three times in his military career.  The first wounding took place saw him injured on the knee.  He was treated by 13 Canadian Field Ambulance and released the same day, the 11 August 1917.

The second wounding happened on the 30 October 1917. A machine gun bullet struck him on the upper third of the left arm and shattered a bone. No 3 Australian Field Ambulance dealt with him initially but he needed substantial help.  He went to No 2 Western General Hospital, Manchester and probably also spent time at Jericho Hospital in nearby Bury before being sent to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom. He was discharged on the 11 March 1918.

McNeilly was injured a third time in September 1918, this time receiving a gunshot wound to his wrist. He was returned to England and to Horton (County of London) War Hospital, a general hospital for servicemen from all parts of the Empire, on the 5th September.  He was at the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom in October and released from it on the 6 November 1918.

Private George McNeilly, 85th Battalion - One Version of the FGCM Outcome
Courtesy and Archives Canada - http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/


The most interesting entry on Private George McNeilly’s papers is details of his court martial, [adapted].

In confinement awaiting trial 23 days.

Tried and convicted FGCM (Field General Court Martial) 26/9/17 ... deserting His Majesty’s service (Absent from 9 pm 9/8/17 till he returned to transport lines about 7.45 am 12/8/17 ... absent from 6 pm 15/8/17 till apprehended about 9 am 3/9/17.)

Sentenced to death 26/9/17 ... Sentence confirmed 3/10/17 by General H S Horne, Commanding 1st Army

Sentence commuted to 10 years PS (Penal Servitude) 3/10/17 by General H S Horne

Sentence commuted to 10 years PS (Penal Servitude) 3/10/17. Released under ‘Suspension of Sentence Act’ 3/10/17

[General Henry Sinclair Horne, 1st Baron Horne, GCB, KCMG (19 February 1861 – 14 August 1929) was a military officer in the British Army and one time Commander of the First Army.]

McNeilly was returned to the 85th Battalion and was wounded - See above.

Private McNeilly was returned to Canada from Liverpool aboard the SS Regina on the 13 July 1919 and arrived in Halifax on the 23 July.  He remained there and died on the 31 January 1943.
312875 Gunner Samuel McWhirter enlisted in the Canadian Field Artillery in Toronto on the 22 November 1915. He said he had been born on the 8 January 1891, that he was single and a clerk, and that he lived a 5 Willow Avenue, Toronto.  He also said that he had previous military experience, some three months service in the Army Service Corps. He was described as being 5’ 10 ¼ “ tall and having blue eyes and dark brown hair. He said his father was James McWhirter of Cullybackey near Ballymena.  Samuel McWhirter was a Presbyterian and his name appears on the memorial tablet in Cuningham Memorial Presbyterian Church in Cullybackey. (Many of the details here are identical to those associated with Gunner Ernest Getty – see entry – and suggests that the men were well known to each other and were probably friends.)

The McWhirter family lived at Galgorm Parks, specifically at Ballyclosh/Ballyclose townland, and at the time of the 1911 Irish census James McWhirter was a 68-year-old widower and farmer. He listed five of his family as being present on the day of the recording.  Agnes (30), Thomas J, 28 and a teacher, Elizabeth (25), William J, 22 and a farmer, and Samuel, 20 and a law clerk, are noted. (Thomas J McWhirter was a teacher at Balnamore National School, Ballymoney during the Great War.)

The 1901 census also records the family. James (55) and his wife Eliza (54) recorded Jane (22), Agnes (20), Thomas J (17), Lizzie (15) William J (12) and Samuel (9).

'Christ is Risen'
Erected by
James McWhirter in memory of his beloved wife Eliza McWhirter, Ballyclose who died 2nd November 1905 aged 58 years,

Also his daughter Elizabeth who died 29th March 1924 aged 38 years.
The above-named James McWhirter who died 13th January 1933 aged 89 years.


Family Headstone in 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Churchyard


McWhirter left St John, Nova Scotia aboard the SS Metagama and arrived in Plymouth on the 14 February 1916. He transferred from the 8th to the 11th Brigade on the 25 May 1916 and went to France with them on the 14/15th July 1916. A reorganisation of units saw him moved to the 8th Brigade on the 25 March 1917, and a subsequent and further reorganisation on the 5 May 1917 moved him to the 10th Brigade.

Gunner McWhirter was accidentally injured after the war’s official end on the 27 December 1918.  He was treated for burns to his left hand caused by picric acid [Great War Lyddite explosive, formerly called TNP or 2,4,6 trinitrophenol, is picric acid based and was used in shells that were of the high explosive type. It isn’t clear how McWhirter came into direct contact with the material]. He was taken to 14 Stationary Hospital and then 2 Australian General Hospital, both in Boulogne, before being moved aboard HS Jan Breydel to England.  He was then treated at 4 Canadian General Hospital, Basingstoke, eventually being discharged fully recovered from there on the 13 February 1919.

The decision was then made to return him to Canada. He departed England after the 25 March 1919 aboard the SS Scotian from Liverpool and arrived in St John on the 4 April. He was discharged from the CEF at Toronto on the 6 April 1919.
3106361 Private Robert Megaughan (elsewhere McGaughan), 319 Bold Street, Hamilton, Ontario enlisted on 3 November 1917 after being drafted under the terms of the Military Service Act, 1917. Since it was towards the end of the Great War, the Armistice being the 11 November 1918, he was to play no role in the fighting, though he did serve in France.  

He was born on the 2nd December 1895 and was single, a Presbyterian and a farm labourer.  He was just 5’ 4” tall and had brown eyes and brown hair.  He was an Ulsterman and said his father Aiken lived at Ballynafie, Portglenone (Portglenone is unique in Northern Ireland as the River Bann divides the village in two.  One part is in Co Londonderry, the other in Co Antrim.  Ballynafie is a townland in County Antrim and lies roughly mid-way between the villages of Ahoghill and Portglenone.)

The 1911 Irish census record Aiken McGaughan (sic) 46 and a farm labourer, and his wife Sara (44), and states that the couple had been married for 25 years and had had 13 children.  All were alive in 1911. Those listed as being present on the day of the census are David (20) James (19) and Robert (18), all agricultural labourers, Joseph (15), Eliza J (15), Andrew (10), Willie W (9), Sarah (6), Isabella (4) and George (3).

They were living at Ballynafie (Ballynafil sic) at the time of the 1901 census too. Aiken was 36 and described as a linen weaver, Sarah was 35.  The children listed were Thomas (13 and a linen weaver), James (10), Robert (8), Samuel (6), Joseph (5) and Andrew (1).  Martha McMellan (McMillan?), 27 and a linen weaver, is also listed and said to be a sister-in-law.

Robert trained in Canada with the 2nd Central Ontario Regiment, 1st Depot Battalion and left Canada aboard the SS Scandinavian on the 16 February 1918.  He transferred the 8th Reserve Battalion (It had been organized at Shoreham on 4 January 1917 and was formed by absorbing 110th and 147th Battalion. It absorbed 159th Battalion in January 1917, 227th Battalion on 22 April 1917, 248th Battalion on 9 June 1917, 119th, 125th and 164th Battalions on 16 April 1918 and 2nd Canadian Reserve Battalion on 15 February 1918. It also absorbed 126th Battalion. It reinforced principally the 58th and 119th Battalions and 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles. It moved to Shorncliffe before April 1917, to East Sandling on 11 February 1918 and to Witley on 9 April 1918. It was disbanded on 31 March 1919.). He later served in France with the 116th Battalion (Ontario County), part of the 9th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war, but Megaughan did not go overseas to them until 16 November 1918, five days after the war ended.  He was returned to England in February 1919 and sailed to Canada from Southampton aboard the SS Olympic in March that year.  He was discharged from the CEF in Canada on the 28 March 1919.
510062 John James Mehaffey, having enlisted in Toronto on the 26 July 1915,  eventually served in the Canadian Army Service Corps in England and France.

Mehaffey was born on the 6 December 1893 at Connor, Co Antrim.  He was a 5' 6" clerk with blue eyes and brown hair.  He said he was a Presbyterian and he is listed in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-19, correctly entered under Connor Presbyterian Church and stated to be serving in the Canadian Army Service Corps. There is address is given as 'Ross, Kells', Ross being one of the 28 townlands that make up the Parish of Connor.  He nominated his mother as his next of kin; she was Sara Mehaffey, 189, Major Street, Toronto (later addresses: 120, Essex Avenue, Toronto, and 202, Hullam Street, Toronto). There is no trace of the family in the 1911 census returns and one possible 'near fit' in the 1901 returns.  This suggests Mehaffey had been in Canada a long time, though the accuracy of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-19 entry suggests there was still kin living around Kells and Connor (Kells and Connor are often referred to together as the villages are essentially contiguous.)

No 2 Canadian Army Service Corps was his first posting after enlistment and he remained in Canada until the 1 October 1915. Thereafter he was transported to Plymouth, England aboard the SS Scandinavian.  He went to Bramshott Camp.  His record shows no entries until he was transferred from there to the Canadian Army Service Corps Training Depot at Shorncliffe on the 28 March 1917. He also spent a few days, 21-25 April 1917 with the 8th Canadian Salvage Depot. In 1918 he was a driver with the 5th Divisional Train in France an spent some time 'on command to the 13th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery'. He was returned to England on the 11 March 1919 and left England for Canada on the SS Scotian on the 11 June 1919.  He was demobilised from No 2 District Depot (Toronto) on the 23 June 1919.
3230374 William Mehaffey. W.H. Mehaffey’s name appears on the Roll of Honour of 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church and it is stated that he was a soldier in the CEF.  This entry appears to be incorrect.

There was, or had been, a W H Mehaffey living in Ballymena. William Herbert Mehaffey was born on the 3 February 1893 and he was a Presbyterian, the son of William and Rose Mehaffey, living at Greenmount Terrace, Ballymena at the time the birth was registered. The family appear in the 1901 Irish census and were then living at Waveney Road, Ballymena. They were living at Flexton (Flixton) Place, Ballymena at the time of the 1911 census, their surname then appearing as McHaffey in the transcript. Flixton Place is, though no longer so designated, adjacent to Ballymena Courthouse and William Herbert’s father was in 1911 was ‘Petty Sessions’ Clerk'.

No relevant W H Mehaffey is recorded in the CEF records, only William Mehaffey. William Mehaffey, born 8 October 1886, said he came originally from Belfast, Ireland, and that he lived at 189, Major Street, Toronto. He also listed his mother, Mrs Sarah Mehaffey, as his next of kin.

William Mehaffey’s birth is registered.  He was the son of Alexander and Sarah Mehaffey, nee Allen, Ross, Connor, and he was born on the 8 October 1886.  His father was a farmer. His mother’s address is the same one as was proffered by John James Mehaffey, making this William his brother.

At the time of the 1901 census the family were living at Clifton in north Belfast.  Alexander, a retired farmer, was 58 years old, Sara 47 years old. They listed five children as being present on the day of the census - David A. was 16, William was 14, Ellen was 12, Sara was 9, and John James was 7.

William Mehaffey was drafted under the terms of the Military Service Act, 1917, and he never served outside Canada. He was initially with the 2nd Depot Battalion, 1st Central Ontario Regiment, later with the 2nd Depot Battalion, C G R from 1 July 1917 to 9 June 1919.

Mehaffey was 5’ 7 ½ “tall and he had blue eyes and dark hair, a dark complexion overall.  He said he was a labourer. He attested at the end of 1917 but was not taken on strength until the 9 February 1918. He was demobilised on the 9 June 1919 and gave his address as 120, Essex Avenue, Toronto, one of the addresses also given by his brother.
311366 Robert Meneely, 3rd Canadian Division Ammunition Column, lived at 86, Benson Avenue, Toronto with his wife Mary.  He said he was from Co Antrim but no record of him can be found in the 1901 or 1911 census returns.  He does, however, appear in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the Connor Presbyterian Church entry. There he is named, correctly designated a Canadian soldier and said to hail from Kells.

Robert Meneely was born on the 15 July 1893 and was said to be 22 ½ years old at enlistment in Toronto on the 4 January 1916.  He was 5’ 8½“ tall and had hazel eyes and black hair.  He is described in error as a furrier, as he was a farrier, a blacksmith involved in shoeing horses.  He is, being designated a Shoeing Smith, correctly labelled on the Nominal Roll of the 3rd Canadian Division Ammunition Column, Canadian Field Artillery. He was in the No 2 Section.

The unit sailed to Liverpool, England from St John, New Brunswick aboard the SS Metagama on the 11 March 1916 and went to France on the 13/14 July 1916. Meneely was quite badly injured on the on the 14 October 1916 while in a camp near Albert when he was shoeing a mule. He said, his own words, the mule kicked me on the forehead and laid me out for some time’.  He was taken to No 1 General Hospital, Etretat and was back in England at the Lord Derby War Hospital in Warrington in November.  He went to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodecote Park, Epsom on the 16 January and was not discharged until the 9 February. Thereafter, he spoke of headaches and records show he was scarred on the forehead.

He returned to the 3rd Division Ammunition Column in March 1917 and appears, leave excepted, to have remained there until the decision was made to return him to Canada in March 1919.
400439 William Mewha enlisted on the 8 August 1915 in Vernon, British Columbia and initially served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps.  He said on enlistment that he was born on the 3 July 1892 at Kells, Co Antrim, and he gave as his next of kin his sister, a Mrs Jennie Cooper, Kells.

The 1911 Irish census records the Presbyterian farming family at Fernisky, Kells. James Mewha was a widower aged 52 and three of his family are also named: Jane was 22, William J was 17 and a carpenter and Mary Jane was 5.

In the 1901 census record James was also a farmer and widower and he named 5 children on his return.  They were Agness (sic) 17, James B, 16 and a carpenter, Jane (14) Samuel (12) and William J (8).

Mewha described himself on his attestation paper as a ‘turner’, lathe work a task that was an aspect of his carpentry, and he said he was single.  He married during the war, his wife after 26 August 1916 being Martha Allen whom he married in Ballymena, parish of Kirkinriola. Later addresses given were Moat Road, and 36 Casement Street, both Harryville, Ballymena. Mewha was 5’ 8” tall and had hazel eyes and fair hair.

Mewha’s record says he was in Canada from the 8 August 1915 until the 1 October 1915.  He went to Moore Barracks Hospital, Shorncliffe and from there to the CAMC Training School on the 6 March 1916.  He was recalled from there and after the 31 March 1916 and was ‘on command with the 55th Battalion for duty as “water detail”; he returned to his unit on 29 May 1916, and he later worked with the CAMC in Shorncliffe Military Hospital.  He transferred to the 16th Reserve Battalion on the 18 October 1917 and was taken on strength for overseas service with the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles in February 1918.  He was transferred to the 7th Battalion, Canadian Infantry in March 1918 and was wounded on the 18 August 1918 while serving with them at Warvillers, near Amiens, France.  The Battalion War Diary indicates his unit were in the front line but that nothing special was happening.  Mewha was just one of those hurt in the daily grind of war.

He had been struck on the left forearm by two pieces of shrapnel, one lodged in him and the other passed though his arm, smashing his radius as it went and severing tendons to his fingers. 11th Canadian Field Ambulance described the wound as ‘slight’ and, given the horror the medics saw daily it probably seemed so, but it was a bad wound. He was operated on at the CCS and was then sent onward to 10th General Hospital at Rouen, France. He was when stable transferred at different times to Bootle Borough Hospital, Bootle, Liverpool and to 1st Western General Hospital in Liverpool.  He later went to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Bear Wood, Wokingham, Berkshire.  He was then moved to the Granville Special Hospital at Buxton on the 17 December 1918 and was later returned to the 5th Canadian General Hospital, Kirkdale, Liverpool.

He was sent back to Canada and went to Esquimalt Military Hospital to continue his convalescence. He also spent time at Resthaven Sanitarium, Sidney, British Columbia.

Image [MSC130-2564-01] courtesy of the British Columbia Postcards Collection, a digital initiative of Simon Fraser University Library.


He was discharged as unfit for military service from the CEF on the 18 August 1919. His transit through hospitals and all his surgery had not brought about a full recovery. He had ‘limited movement and weakness of the left wrist and hand’ and the doctors said that he would never ‘resume [his] former occupation’, carpentry.

Mewha stayed in Canada and Martha joined him there.  He died at Douglas Memorial Hospital, Fort Erie, Ontario on the 1 February 1962.
144511 Private Robert William Millar, 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles, enlisted at Smith’s Falls, Ontario in the 77th Battalion, CEF on the 26 June 1915 and was eventually to serve in Europe with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles. (The unit disembarked in France on 24 October 1915, where it fought as part of the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles Brigade until 31 December 1915. It was then converted to infantry and became a unit of the 8th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division. The regiment was redesignated the 4th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles, CEF on 1 January 1916 and was not to be disbanded until 6 November 1920). Millar was promoted to be Acting Lance Sergeant while in England but reverted to the ranks on 16 March 1916 for overseas service.

Robert William Millar was born on the 21 April 1890 and had emigrated to Canada some time after 1911 and worked as a dry goods clerk and lived at 19, Aldwych Avenue, Toronto. He was 5’ 6” tall and he had blue eyes and brown hair.  He was a Presbyterian and is listed in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-19 in the record for West Church, his entry being ‘Millar R.W., Ballymena, Sergeant, Can. Mt. Rifles’. He was the son of Robert Millar who had a grocery store at 37, Ballymoney Street, Ballymena, as shown in the Belfast and Ulster Towns Directory for 1910 – see below. 37, Ballymoney street is also the address on Robert William Millar's will.

The 1911 Irish census records Robert Millar, 54 and a grocer on Ballymoney Street, Ballymena, and his wife Annie, 53 and originally from Co Armagh. 'Annie' appears to be a transcription error, the result of poor handwriting. A headstone in Ballymena reads:
In loving memory of Robert Millar, Ballymena.
Who died 23rd September 1919.
Also of his wife Minnie Erskine Millar,
Who died 29th March 1925.
"Their children arise up and call them blessed.
Mrs Millar is also referred to as Minnie Erskine Millar on the 1901 census return.

The 1911 return says the couple had then been married for 24 years and had had 4 children, all of whom were alive in 1911.  They were Richard, 23 and a grocer’s assistant, Robert, 21 and a draper’s assistant, Reginald (Reynold sic), 19 and a seedman’s assistant, and Mabel (17). Mary Kerr, 20, was their servant.

The 1901 census return gives a little more detail. Robert, 42, was still a grocer on Ballymoney Street, and Minnie Erskine, 40, was his wife.  The children are listed as Richard Allan (13), Robert (11), Samuel Reginald (9), and Mabel Lilian sic (7). Robert McClintock (16) was their apprentice and Pearl Adair (19) their servant.

Robert William Millar, his basic training in Canada complete, left Quebec aboard the SS Californian on the 23 October 1915 and arrived in England soon after. He was transferred to the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles in March 1916 and joined them in the field on the 20th of that month. He was slightly wounded by shrapnel while serving with them on the 25th/26th April 1916 (On some records this is recorded as 29 February 1916, before he was in the fighting zone!). He was at the St John’s Ambulance Brigade Hospital, Etaples on the 26th April and was discharged to base from there on the 6 June 1916. 

The War Diary of the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles places them at Railway Dugouts SE of Ypres around the date of the injury.  The entries, here abridged, read as follows and give a clear picture of the prevailing conditions when Millar was struck:

24th April 1916 - 'Artillery very active between 4.30 pm and 7.30 pm, shrapnel and H.E.of all sizes coming over in such quantities that it was impossible to classify them. ...'

25th April 1916 - 'At 11.30 am four 77 mm burst over Railway Dugouts but no damage was done. ...'

26th April 1916 - Between 11.00 am and noon about 100 rounds of 5.9H.E. were put into the vicinity of Transport Farm ...'

No further details of his service are given and we must presume he suffered no further injuries.

He was returned from Liverpool to Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the SS Carmania and demobilised in Toronto, the official No 2 District Depot form giving the date as the 20 March 1919.
475942 David Mitchell enlisted in the 3rd University Company on the 28th July 1915, went to the 11th Reserve Battalion, served in Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, was attached for a time to the Canadian Army Service Corps, and then left the CEF in England to join the Royal Air Force.

Mitchell enlisted in Edmonton, Alberta and said he was a single man and a teacher by profession.  He said he had been born in Glenarm, Co Antrim on the 21 July 1888 and that his father James lived at Gracehill, Ballymena. He was 5’ 7” tall and had brown eyes and dark brown hair.

The 1911 Irish census records James Mitchell, 55 and a teacher, and his wife Esther (58) living at Gracehill.  The couple said they had been married 25 years and had had 4 children. Three are listed: Eliza was 24, Esther was 20, and Thomas was 16.

The 1901 Irish census records James Mitchell, 44 and a teacher, and his wife Esther (45) also living at Gracehill.  Eliza Mitchell, 86 and mother of James, is named, as are two children, Eliza Jane (14) and Thomas (6). The 1901 census also records other elements of the family at their uncle’s farm at Deerpark Farms, Glenarm.

John Morrow, 57 and a farmer, lived with his brothers Robert (50) and David (45), also his sisters Catherene sic (52) and Eliza J (30); all were unmarried. They had two servants, Dan McGee (22) and Robert Shaw (17). Three others are recorded on the day of the census, nephew David Mitchell (12) and his sister Esther (10), and Esther Morrow (15), another niece.

David Mitchell had a successful and relatively uneventful career in the CEF.  He arrived in England on the 14 September 1915 and eventually went to Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.  He served in Europe without mishap, the only entry on his record relating to his being with 2/4th London Field Ambulance for three days in October 1916 because he was suffering from influenza.

He was struck off strength with the PPCLI and attached to HQ Canadian Corps Supply Column and then posted to Blandford Camp (Blandford Camp is a military base lying 2 miles north-east of Blandford Forum in Dorset in southern England. During 1918, the camp changed from being the depot for the Royal Naval Division to being an 'Intake Camp' for the Royal Flying Corps which was at that time being reformed as the Royal Air Force. At the end of 1919, however, the camp was closed.  It has since been reinstated and is now home of the Royal Signals.) in England pending his transfer to the RAF. He was subsequently given the rank of Acting Sergeant by the CEF and went to the RAF where he became 316004 Flight Cadet David Mitchell. Nothing more about him is known at this time.

15634, Lance Corporal Allan Montgomery, 14th Royal Irish Rifles and brother of Daniel, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917. He was aged 24 and had previously been wounded at the start of the Somme Offensive in July 1916.  He was killed in the slaughter that was the first day of the Battle of Langemarck, part of the Third Battle of Passchendaele, and without a known grave, he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial. He is also commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church, Ballymena.
529612 Acting Sergeant Christie Montgomery enlisted in the 68th Battalion, CEF at Indian Head, Saskatoon on the 16 September 1915 and was to serve throughout the war with the Canadian Army Medical Corps as part of 10th Canadian Field Ambulance.  He said his mother was Mrs T Yates, later identified as Theresa, Swift Current, Saskatoon.

Christie Montgomery, elsewhere Albert C Montgomery, was born on 8 June 1895 in Ballymena, Co Antrim. He was single, 5’ 6” tall and had grey eyes and brown hair.  He said he was a Presbyterian but his name is not listed in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-19 under the banner of any of the Ballymena churches. He was nevertheless from Ballymena.

The 1901 Irish census return records Christie Montgomery, 63 and a cabinetmaker, and his wife Eliza (60) living in High Street, Ballymena.  Their return also lists daughters Jane (32), Annie (30), Ellen (26) and Mary, the last 20 and a typist. Their grandson Christie Montgomery, aged 5, lived with them.

The 1911 return records Christie Montgomery, 73 and a retired cabinetmaker, and his wife Elizabeth (70) still living in High Street, but Robert Montgomery, 45 and a master cabinetmaker, is listed as the head of the household.  Also listed are Robert’s sister Jane (42) and his children present at the time of the census.  They were James (11), Elsie (10), Elizabeth (8) and Hugh (6).  Robert’s nephew, 15-year-old Christie, lived with them.

The Belfast and Ulster Towns Directory for 1910 also confirms the family living at 41-42 High Street, Ballymena, and refers to them as cabinetmakers.

Christie Montgomery left St John, N. B. in early March 1916 and arrived in England on the 12th of the month. He went to Bramshott Camp and one month later went to France, reaching Le Havre on the 8th April.  He served with the 10th Canadian Field Ambulance throughout the war and seems to have suffered little physical trauma during his war service.  He had scabies and was dealt with by 54th CCS and 12th Stationary Hospital, St Pol between the 5 June and the 16 July 1918, and he suffered an incision wound to his head in July 1918.  This was not serious and he was dealt with by No 2 Canadian Field Ambulance from 19th – 21st July 1918. A later ‘Entry Card, Royal Air Force’, on which he was described as Albert C Montgomery, refers to a G?SW wound (sic) and a scar (GSW = gunshot wound. SW = shrapnel wound. They seemed unsure.)

Montgomery was returned to England, granted the rank of Acting Sergeant and went to RAF, London as a cadet.  He wished to join the RAF at the end of the Great War but it seems that he may not have been successful. During 8-17th February 1919 he was sailing back to Canada aboard the HMT Princess Juliana.  He was posted to No 10 District Depot and discharged from the CEF on the 18 March 1919. 126, Sherbrooke Street, Winnipeg is written on his file and was probably his intended address after discharge.

442722 Lance Corporal Daniel Robert Montgomery enlisted in the 54th (Kootenay) Battalion of the CEF at Vernon Camp, British Columbia and was to serve in the European theatre with the 2nd Battalion (Eastern Ontario Regiment). He was born on the 3 March 1884 at Freemanstown, Donegore, Co Antrim (Not Donegal as stated on his Attestation Paper. Freemanstown is a townland that lies about halfway between Antrim and Ballyclare and SE of Kells along the Connor Road) and he was the son of Robert and Annie Montgomery.

The family were still living there at the time of the 1911 census, though they later moved to Ballymena to live at Castle Street, elsewhere The Cottage, Castle Street, Ballymena. Robert, 49 and a ‘practical tailor’, and his wife Annie E (52) said that they had been married for 32 years and that they had had 11 children, 10 of whom were still alive in 1911. Nine are named on the return.  They are John A, 29 and a linen yarn bundler, Daniel R, 27 and a linen yarn bundler, Ellen, 24 and a spinner, Mary A, 22 and a dressmaker, Allen (‘Alien’ in transcription - Allan), 18 and a draper’s apprentice, Annie, 15 and a reeler, Martha, 14 and a mill worker, Jennie M (11) and William (8). In short, most of the family who were employed worked in mills.

The family lived at Freemanstown townland in 1901 and the 1901 census records Robert, 39 and a tailor, Annie E (41), Eliza M, 20 and a drawer in a mill, John Andrew, 19 and a bundler, Daniel R, mill worker, Ellen, 14 and a doffer, Mary (Marry sic) Agnes (12), Allan (8), Annie (5), Martha (4), and Jane M, aged 1.

Daniel Robert Montgomery was a coalminer and some 37 ¼ years old at the time of his enlistment.  He was 6’ 0” tall and had hazel eyes and black hair.  He was a Presbyterian and he is named in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 – he is listed as Robert and his name is beside that of his brother Allen, incorrectly designated a Canadian soldier.

Daniel Robert Montgomery left Canada from Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the SS Saxonia and arrived at Plymouth on the 2 December 1915. He went to Bramshott Camp, completed his training, and there transferred to the 2nd Battalion CEF on the 18 June 1916.  He was in France the next day and with his unit after the 21 June.

He received a wound while serving in the Somme area on the 9 September 1916, this less than three months after his commencement of active service.  The 2nd Battalion were asked to take a German trench astride the railway leading to Martinpuich.  They did and held about 500 yards of front despite several counter attacks until they were able to link with the 15th Division.  The War Diary, heavily abbreviated, describes it thus:

Bapaume Sector, 9 September 1916 – ‘Moved up to relieve the 4th Canadian Battalion in frontline trenches ... Relief completed by 1.25 pm. Companies ... entered ”jumping off trench”... 4.45 pm barrage opened, men leaped (sic) over parapet, and advanced ... 4.48 pm, barrage lifted and our right Companies gained objective ... On left our men held up a few minutes by heavy  machine gun fire ... 5.27 pm message ... objective had been taken’.

Among the entries for the 10 September is the casualties – 3 Officers killed and  8 wounded (3 subsequently died), 73 OR (Other Ranks) killed, 172 wounded.  Daniel Robert Montgomery was one of the latter.

The bullet or shell shrapnel pierced the right side of his chest and it ended his military career.  He went to 49 CCS and only when stabilised was he moved to No 10 General Hospital in Rouen.  He was subsequently sent to England aboard the HS Lanfranc and taken in October to the 2nd South General Hospital in Bristol. He later transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Bear Wood, Wokingham, Berkshire, being discharged from there only on the 5 January 1917.  He was returned in March 1917 to Canada on the SS Metagama and went to Calgary General Hospital and to Ogden Military Convalescent Hospital.  He wasn’t discharged from hospital until 30 July 1918, and he was also discharged from the CEF as ‘medically unfit’ on the 17th August 1918.

The wound was below his right nipple and the material in the area, including part of his 7th and 8th rib had to be removed. Other surgery removed other bits of rib, and infection was caused at one point by the shrapnel.  He recovered but was deemed only 50% fit in 1917, though they thought he would have recovered 80% of his fitness in six months.

After his discharge Daniel Robert Montgomery went to the address he had given when he first enlisted, 2731 – 17th Street East, Calgary. He died on the 18 October 1961.
3230293 Henry (Harry) Montgomery was called up under the Military Service Act, 1917 and said he lived at 66 Moscow Avenue, Toronto.  He said he was born on the 14 October 1882, that he was a Presbyterian widower, and that he worked as a watchman. He said he had been born in Ireland and was the son of Elizabeth Montgomery, Slievenagh, Portglenone. He is named on the memorial roll for 1st Portglenone Presbyterian Church. He also indicated elsewhere that his sister Nellie lived at 75 Ballygomartin road, Belfast. He was said to be 5' 6" tall with brown eyes and dark coloured hair.

Henry's father is listed as an 89-year-old farmer on the 1911 census and he lived at Slievenagh, Portglenone with his wife, 65 year old Elizabeth.  The couple sid they had been married for forty one years and that they had seven surviving children from the nine born of the marriage. They listed as present on the day of the census Henry (27), Andrew (23) and a niece, Margaret Montgomery (47).

They were at Slievenagh in 1901. James (69) and Elizabeth (60) listed Henry (18), Andrew (13) and niece Margaret (35). Elen (sic) Jane Houston (97) was their lodger.

Harry Montgomery went initially to the 1st Central Ontario Regiment, 2nd Depot Battalion and then went overseas to Liverpool, England aboard the SS Pannonia after the 5 June 1918. He was transferred to the 12th Reserve Battalion to finish his training before being transferred to the 20th Battalion for service in France and Flanders. He went to France after the 29 October and joined his unit in the field on the 6 November 1918, five days before the war ended.  He was transferred to Canadian Corps HQ on the 15 December 1918.

He was returned to England after the 5 April 1919 and returned to Canada aboard the SS Caronia after the 14 May 1919. He was discharged from the CEF in Toronto on the 24 May 1919.

105104 Private James Montgomery served in the 68th Overseas Battalion, CEF and later the 28th Battalion Canadian Infantry. He was a farmer from Bengough, later Pleasantdale, Saskatchewan and he enlisted in Regina on the 30 October 1915. He said he had been born on the 10 February 1893 (local records say 20 February 1893), and he was described as being circa 5’ 7” tall with black hair. He indicated he was the son of James Montgomery, Glenarm, Co Antrim.

Widower James Montgomery, son of Randal, married Jemima McClure on the 18 September 1886 in Glenarm Presbyterian Church. They were living in Old Church townland in the Glenariff valley in 1911 and James (55) and Jemima (45) said they had been married for 24 years.  They indicated that they had three children, all of whom were alive in 1911.  They listed Randal (21 – born 8 Aug 1889) and James (18 – born 20 Feb 1892). In 1901 James (49) and Jemima (35) had listed all their children – Mary (14 - born 5 Sept 1887), (Randal (11) and James  (8).

James Montgomery sailed from Halifax aboard the SS Olympic and arrived in Liverpool on the 8 May 1916. He went to France and Flanders on 25/26 June and was with his unit in the field on the 14 July 1916. He was wounded at Passchendaele on the 15 September, and although the wound to his right leg was not considered serious, he was transferred to the 3rd Northern General Hospital, Sheffield. He was subsequently transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom on the 18 January 1917 and was not discharged until the 19 January.

He was wounded a second time, this time much more seriously, on the 6 November 1917. No 10 CCS dealt with him and he went to 20 General Hospital, Camiers. Shrapnel had shattered the lower part of his left femur and damaged his knee, and metal fragments were embedded in bones. He was admitted to Fort Pitt Central Military Hospital, Chatham on the 15th December, was released to Glover’s VAD Hospital, Sittingbourne, Kent in January 1918, but he did not go to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom until 20 March 1918. One week later he was in Granville Canadian Special Hospital, Buxton. Four months later he was sent to 5 Canadian General Hospital, Kirkdale, Liverpool pending his return to Canada, his record marked ‘medically unfit’.  

He went to Canada aboard the SS Neuralia in November 1918 and was discharged from the CEF on the 23 March 1919.
140 Thomas Mooney, born 16 January 1883, enlisted in Winnipeg on the 22/23 March 1915.  He was said to be 5’ 9” tall with brown eyes and hair.  He was an Anglican and a single man who said he worked as a foreman telegraph linesman. He named his mother as his next of kin and said she was Mrs Jane Mooney, 20, Larne Street, Ballymena.
    
Jane McFall of Craigywarren married Samuel Mooney of Bellee, the couple from contiguous townlands, on the 15 May 1875 and at the time of the 1911 Irish census they were living at Dunnyvadden and said their thirty-eight year long marriage had led to the birth of eleven children.  All were alive in 1911. Samuel, a 64-year-old agricultural labourer, listed his wife Jane (60) and three children - David (22), William (18) and Jane (16).  They also listed a grandson Samuel (2).

The 1901 census records the family at Liminary, Ballyclug. Samuel, 53 and an agricultural labourer, listed his wife Jane (50) and eight children.  Daniel (25), Samuel (19), Robert (16), James (14), David (12), Agnes (10), William (8) and Jeannie (6) were present.

Thomas Mooney is not listed in 1901 or 1911 but was a son, though his birth registration says he was born on the 17th January 1883 and not the 16th.  The family were then at Kinbally, close to Bellee and Craigywarren, in the Broughshane area. The misspelling of the name is the error of Registrar Dickson.
Thomas Mooney served with the Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps.  He trained in Canada and then left St John aboard SS Herschell on the 14 June 1915.  He was soon in England and went to Longmoor Camp for further training before going to France and Flanders from Southampton in August 1915. He was injured in October 1915 when a ‘stone lorry was upset’ and he was returned to England for treatment to a ‘scalp injury’.  He was at the Frensham Hill Military Hospital, Farnham from 16 October 1915 until released to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Wokingham on 11 November. He was discharged to duty on the 16th November. He served without further incident until returned to England in January 1919 and then to Canada in March 1919.  He was discharged from the CEF on 28th March 1919.

Mooney’s job as a foreman working as a telegraph linesman and the date of events relating to his career suggest he was one of 540 selected volunteers from the Canadian Pacific Railway from whom the original Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps was created. Recruiting had begun in Spring 1915 at the request of the Department of Militia and Defence and was completed in May 15, 1915. The resulting Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps proceeded to France in August, 1915. This nucleus gave birth to thirteen battalions of Canadian Railway Troops, three battalions of Skilled Railway Employees, Railway Bridging Companies and Railway Company drafts and depots. In the last year of the war, there were 8,000 men in active construction work and another 4,000 on repair duties. They built, repaired and operated all the normal and light railways around the Western Front that moved each day about 2000 tons of supplies to each mile of the front. They also moved men, made possible the ambulance trains, etc.
461360 Lieutenant David Morrow was one of three brothers who served in the CEF and who lived with their parents at 379 Chalmers Avenue, Winnipeg.  David, who had served in the Winnipeg Light Infantry militia (106th Battalion) for three months, enlisted as an ordinary soldier on the 17 January 1916, was single and worked as a cashier.  He was 5’ 9” tall and he had grey eyes and brown hair. He said he was a Presbyterian and that he was born on the 27 November 1892 in Glenarm, Co Antrim. Indeed, he and his brothers are listed on the memorial roll of Carnalbanagh Presbyterian Church.

The Morrow family appear in the 1901 Irish census. David (37) and his wife Mary Jane (37) of Drumcrow, Carnalbanagh listed Maggie (13), John (12), Daniel (11), James (9), David (8), Mary (6), Robert (4) and William (2) as being present on the day of the recording of data. They are not on the 1911 census records and so the entire family must have gone to Canada sometime between 1901 and 1911.

David, basic training complete, left Halifax aboard the SS Olympic on the 1 April 1916 and was at Bordon Camp, Salisbury Plain on the 11th April. He was serving with the 61st Battalion for a time but was soon taken on strength with the 44th Battalion (New Brunswick Regiment) and went over to France and Flanders with them after the 10 August 1916. He was slightly wounded in November 1916 but was away from his unit for one day only.  He was a good soldier and rapidly became Sergeant David Morrow. He also won the DCM (Distinguished Conduct Medal).

Morrow's Distinguished Conduct Medal.
London Gazette, Issue 31011, 15 November 1918, p 13465

This medal is awarded for gallantry in the field, a distinguished award for bravery for NCOs and soldiers of the British Army, second only to the Victoria Cross for other ranks.

Sergeant David Morrow was commissioned on the 23 November 1918 and went back to the 44th Battalion for his remaining service.  He was returned to England and later demobilised in Canada on the 28 August 1919.
523530 James Morrow, 379 Chalmers Avenue was an older brother, born 28 May 1891, of Lt David Morrow above, and like his brother he lived in the family home in Winnipeg.  He was single, a 5’ 8” tall clerk with grey eyes and dark brown hair. He named his mother Mary Jane as his next of kin and said he was born at Larne, though he like his brother he was actually born at nearby Drumcrow, Carnalbanagh.

James enlisted on the 21 December 1915, trained in Canada and then went overseas to the UK after the 13 March 1916 aboard the SS Scandinavian. He was taken on strength in the field in France and Flanders with ‘A’ Section, 1st Canadian Field Ambulance on the 6 August 1916, though for a short time after his arrival in Europe he had been attached to 7th Canadian Stationary Hospital. He suffered no battle wounds during his service but was ill with trench fever and myalgia and in various hospitals, notably 11 General Hospital, Camiers and 6 General Hospital, Rouen, and at convalescent areas between the 5 August 1917 and 30 September 1917.

He was returned to England on the 20 May 1919 and eventually returned to Canada aboard the SS Olympic from Southampton. He was discharged from the CEF on the 24 April 1919 in Kingston, Ontario and said he was returning to his parental home in Winnipeg.

Reception Tent


Canadian Field Ambulance - Soldiers unload stretchers carrying the wounded from a truck to a reception tent at a Canadian casualty clearing station. Wounded soldiers would have first undergone surgical procedures at a main dressing station before transferring to a clearing station. From there, they would be transported by rail to a general hospital in France, or, for the seriously injured long-term care, to England.
George Metcalf Archival Collection - CWM 19920044-811
2293666 Robert Morrow, born 27 December 1896 and a younger brother of Lieutenant David and Private James Morrow, was drafted under the terms of the Military Service Act, 1917 into Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) at Winnipeg on the 17 October 1917.  He was single, a 5’ 7 ½ “ shipping clerk, and he was said to have  brown eyes and dark brown hair.

He trained in Canada and then went overseas to England aboard the SS Melita on the 15 April 1918.  He arrived in Liverpool on the 28 April 1918 and remained training in England until going overseas to France and Flanders to join his Lord Strathcona’s Horse unit after the 10 August 1918. He served without injury until returned to England after the 17 April 1919 and was returned to Canada on the 21 May 1919.  He was discharged from the CEF on the 2 June 1919.
249040 Private William Alexander Mulvenna, 378, Woodbine Avenue, Toronto enlisted in the 208th (Canadian Irish) Battalion, CEF in Toronto on 6 March 1916.  He said he was from Co Antrim, but he gave no exact details of his birthplace or the names of his parents.  An examination of the 1901 Irish census returns suggests he was from Killyree (townland), Clough, the son of John A Mulvenna, aged 42 and a general grocer, and his wife Rachael. Some children are listed on the return.  William A was 20 and a labourer - the details correspond to his stated birthday of 6 June 1880 -, Lizzie, 18 and a dressmaker, Maggie, 16 and a maid, John (12), Samuel (10), Hugh (6) and Robert (2),

William Alexander Mulvenna states in his military record that his father died in 1907 and in the 1911 census record 53-year-old grocer Rachel (sic) is indeed a widow and living in Craigywarren, Kirkinriola near Ballymena. Lizzie is 28 and still a dressmaker, Maggie is 25, John (22) is a tailor’s assistant, Samuel (20) and Hugh (16) are iron ore miners, Robert is 12 and Andrew is 7.  William A is not listed, and on enlistment said he had been in Canada about 9 years before 1916, suggesting he emigrated around the time his father died in 1907. Rachael died in 1915, also recorded on his record.
.
William Alexander Mulvenna was a married man, without children, and an insurance broker.  He was 6’ tall, had light blue eyes and light brown hair.  He was a Presbyterian but his name does not appear on church lists in the Clough area.  His wife was called Alada Blackfan Mulvenna.

Mulvenna enlisted on the 6 March 1916, and basic training complete, he left Halifax, Canada aboard the SS Justicia on the 3 May 1917 and disembarked in Liverpool eleven days later.  The 208th Battalion, after sailing to England in May 1917, was absorbed into the 2nd and 8th Reserve Battalions on 3 January 1918. Mulvenna’s record shows this transformation - he went to the 2nd Battalion at West Sandling on the 11 January and then transferred to the 8th Battalion at East Sandling four days later. He was transferred to the 54th Battalion on the 15 February 1918 and was taken on strength with the unit soon after. However, he appears to have little of a military record, most documents in his file relating to illness.

He had been ill at Exhibition Camp, formerly Toronto's Exhibition Park,  with influenza from the 9th to the 21st March 1917 before he left Canada. He was ill on arrival in England from the 8 September to 1 October 1917, spending time at the Canadian Military Hospital, Bramshott and at the Canadian Military Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom.  He was suffering from ‘debility’. He was ill in France between 3 and 17 August 1918, receiving treatment from No 7 Casualty Clearing Station and 56th General Hospital, Etaples.

He appeared before a medical board in August 1918 and was struck off strength with the 54th Battalion on the 6 September 1918, and transferred to the Canadian Labour Pool, he then was attached for a short time at 7 Canadian Stationery Hospital, Camiers.  He was subsequently returned to England and progressed through the procedure for return to Canada.  He was moved to Canada on the SS Royal George and demobilised in Toronto on the 13 March 1919.  He said he was going home to 616, Woodbine Avenue, Toronto.
511533 Private Andrew Murphy, later Acting Sergeant, lived at 246, Kennedy Street, Winnipeg, and he served in the Canadian Army Service Corps during the Great War. Murphy was from Co Antrim and stated that his father, also Andrew, and his mother Sarah lived at 30, Greenvale Street, Ballymena.

The 1911 census records Andrew, 60 and a tailor living with Sarah (55) at Greenvale Street, and the couple said that they had been married 30 years by 1911 and that 7 of their 8 children still survived at that time. Four of the family were present on the day of the census: Cassie, 26 and a tailoress, Robert, 24 and a tailor, William, 20 and a tailor, and Andrew, 17 and a ‘printer compositor’.

The family had not always lived in Ballymena town.  The 1901 census records them living at Carncoagh, a rural townland in the Clough area.  Andrew, 50 and a tailor, and Sarah 45 and a machinist, listed their eight children: Maggie, 22 and a maid, James, 20 and a tailor, Esther, 18 and a dressmaker, Catherine, 16 and a vest maker, Robert, 14 and a tailor, Sarah Jane (12), William (9) and Andrew (7).

When they moved to Ballymena is not known, but the Belfast and Ulster Towns Directory for 1910 confirms the family living at Greenvale Street Street, Ballymena, and refers to them as tailors. By the end of the Great War they had moved again and were living at 11, Park Street, Ballymena.

Andrew was born on 21 November 1894, was single and was working as a print compositor in Winnipeg at the time of his enlistment on 15 December 1915.  He was 5’ 8” tall and had brown eyes and brown hair.  He was a Presbyterian and his name appears in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-19 under the banner of Harryville Presbyterian Church.

Andrew Murphy left St John on the 2 March 1916 and disembarked at Portsmouth.  He went to the CASC Training Depot at Bramshott and was transferred to Shorncliffe Camp on the 24 December 1916.  He served primarily in No 2 Company of the 3rd Divisional Train, though for a short time he had been in the 4th Divisional Train. He went overseas in early January 1917 and was sent to the Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion. He appears to have served there until he was returned to England at his own request so that he could seek enrolment in the RAF.  Cadet Murphy, so-called for a brief time, does not appear to have gained entry full entry, and Acting Sergeant Andrew Murphy returned to Canada aboard  the SS Scotian to St John and was demobilised in Canada on 8 April 1919.  He said he was going to 645, McDermott Avenue, Winnipeg.

A least one other of Andrew’s brothers served in the Great War.  Local press noted in 1916 that 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'. His name appeared again in the Ballymena Observer of August 2, 1918.  The paper noted that ‘Private William Murphy, son of Mr. A. Murphy, 11 Park Street, is at present home on leave after being on active service for three years and six months in the Dardanelles, Salonika, Serbia, Macedonia, Palestine and France.’