BALLYMENA 1914-1918

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Ballymena Men in the AIF

All were born in Ballymena: some were first generation emigrants and had parents or family living around Ballymena; others had long established roots in Australia, their only connection with Ballymena being that they were once born there.  Some died in the war, many were wounded, most returned to Australia.


Terms


AWL Absent Without Leave

HT or HMAT His Majesty's Australian Troopship

RMS - Royal Mail Steamer, SS - steamship

Soldiers are 'Marched In' or 'Marched Out' of camps, units, etc.  They are 'taken on strength' and are then part of the fighting unit.

Field Punishment Number 1 consisted of the convicted man being shackled and secured to a fixed object for up to 2 hours in each 24, and not for more than 3 days in 4, or for more than 21 days in his sentence. Field Punishment Number 2 was similar except the man was shackled but not fixed to anything.

CB Confined to Barracks

AIF Australian Imperial Force

BEF British Expeditionary Force

WIA Wounded in Action

KIA Killed in Action


2685 Private Samuel Hugh Adams, who gave his address as Toogoolawah Esk Line, lived near what is now the route of the Brisbane Valley Highway in Queensland, Australia; Toogoolawah and Esk are both towns lying west of Lake Wivenhoe. However, he came originally from Broughshane.  He enlisted on 21 October 1916  and he eventually became one of the 5th Reinforcements to the 41st Battalion.  He was then 25 years and 6 months old, a single five foot eight and one half inch tall farmer.  He weighed 134 lbs and he had fair hair and blue eyes. He gave his next of kin as his mother, Mrs Mary Adams of Broughshane


The 1911 census records Mrs Mary Adams, then 67 years old, living at house 42 Upper Broughshane, Broughshane, and Samuel H, listed as her 18 year old son, lives with her.  The age, however,  does not tally with the age Samuel Hugh gives on his enlistment. The 1901 census shows Mary living in house 6 in Rathkeel, Broughshane.  She gives her age as 51, and lists the other occupants as Samuel (23), Rachel (30) and Samuel H (8).  The latter is described as her nephew.  There was another Samuel H Adams, 10 in 1901 and living in Ballyloughan, near Broughshane, and 20 in 1911 and living in 4 Albert Street, Ballymena.  His mother was Jane Adams. Despite the problem with ages recorded, I incline to the view that the first family is the right one.


Samuel Hugh was attached to the 11th Training Battalion, AIF from 30 October until the 16 November 1916, but he transferred to the 5/41 Bn on the latter date and left Australia on the HMAT Kyarra from Brisbane.  The ship docked at Plymouth (Samuel had been ill during the voyage)  and, after another spell with the 11th Training Battalion, he left Southampton bound for France on the 14 June 1917.  He went straight to Rouelles and was taken on strength with his battalion on the 12 July.  He was wounded in action, a slight injury caused by a gunshot to the left leg, and he was transferred to hospitals at Wandsworth and then Dartford in London.  He recovered and was given leave from 5 - 19 October 1917 before he reported to No1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny, Salisbury Plain (his record is marked AWL - absent without leave - 'in error'; no punishment is recorded). He went back to Rouelles, France via Southampton and was with his battalion after the 22 November.  He was again ill in June 1918, this time with influenza, and was granted leave to return to England for a time.  He came back to France in October but took ill with 'parolitis' (mumps), rejoining his unit only on the 22 December.  He was brought back to the Agricultural Training Unit, Sutton Veny and granted leave from 3 July - 3 September 1919.  A Department of Rehabilitation and Demobilisation document shows he was sent to farm with a  T H Adams, The Grange, Brentwood, Essex, perhaps a relative. This was suddenly cancelled, he was then put on pre-embarkation leave, and he soon returned to Australia on Ajana. He landed in October and was discharged immediately afterwards.


7204 Private John Aickin (sometimes incorrectly Aicken), claimed to be born in Cullybackey on 20th September 1867 - he was applying in 1948 for a new copy of his discharge papers - though he claimed to be 44 years old on his application to join the army in 1916!  He was 5' 8" tall and was of a fair complexion and had blue eyes.  He weighed 142 lbs. and was a labourer. He was a Unitarian.


He enlisted in Black Boy Hill, Perth, NSW and gave his address as Geraldton, a coastal town about 250 miles north of Perth.  He listed his brother as his next of kin but could not initially supply an address for him. He was allowed to enlist on the 10 November 1916 despite admitting that he had on another occasion been rejected previously on account of his varicose veins; this probably refers to the Boer War. His period of service is given as 10 November 1916 until 25 September 1918.  He served in England and France between 29th January 1917 and the 11 September 1918.


He had left Freemantle on the 29 January 1917, disembarking in Devonport about two months later.  He left Southampton for France on 16 July 1917 and was only 'taken on strength' of the 11th Bn (24th Reinforcements) in France on 4 August 1917.  He went sick with varicose vein problems on 8 May 1918 and sent back to England and various hospitals therein.  He saw no further military service and was repatriated to Australia and honourably discharged on medical grounds and because of his age on 25 September 1918.


His later years were spent in the area north of Sydney, NSW.  His address in the late 1950s was c/o Mr E H Barwick, Gleneath, Gravesend, NSW.


4131 Private John Alexander joined the AIF on the 27 September 1915 and gave his address as Bogan Gate, NSW.  This is a remote settlement that lies midway between Condobolin and Parkes, due south of Trundle.  He was, however, an Ulsterman and came originally from Coreen, Broughshane.  His father was Archibald Alexander, a farmer. The 1911 census records Archibald (68) and Elizabeth (62) living with son Archie (32), Hanagh sic (24 and a retired Nation School teacher, and Samuel (19).  A larger family is shown in 1901. Archy and Lizzie have 5 children John (20) and Maria (18) being recorded. Hanagh is Hannah in 1901!


John Alexander was 34 years and 5 months old when he enlisted and he described himself as a 'railway gauger'.  He was just over 5' 6" tall, weighed 152 lbs and he had fair hair and blue eyes.


February 1916 saw him being taken on strength with the 2nd Battalion in Tel El Kebir, Egypt, from the 13th Reinforcements, but he immediately transferred to the 3rd Pioneer Battalion. He left Alexandria and arrived in France via Marseilles in March 1916.  He served throughout the war with the unit, his record showing he was granted only two spells of leave, 31 July - 10 August 1917 and 23 August - 13 September 1918.  He was promoted to Driver in December 1918 but the demoted before being transferred to England for repatriation in March 1919.  He returned from Devonport to Australia on 'Soudan', arriving home on 30 June 1919.


1509 Sapper Hugh Anderson, who enlisted on 3 January 1917, gave his address as 6 Railway Reserve, Mayne Junction, Brisbane, but he was from Ballymena, his father Robert Anderson living at 149 Queen Street, Harryville (the 1911 census shows Robert & Lizzie, 6 children, 1 relative, 1 boarder and 1 infant living at 95 Queen Street).  They were Christian Brethren.


John was 22 years and 5 months old when he enlisted and he said he was a railway employee, a locomotive fireman.  He also indicated he had served 5 years with the Army Service Corps in Brisbane, presumably as a reservist.


He left Melbourne, Australia on 11 May 1917 on board the 'Shropshire' and disembarked in Plymouth, England, joining the 4th Railway Section, AROD (4th Australian Broad Gauge Railway Operation Company)  He went overseas to France via Southampton on 4/5 October 1917 and on the 16 May 1918 he transferred to the 9th Bn.  He sustained a slight wound to his left ear on 27 May 1918 but was fit to return to duty on 2 June. He was granted UK leave in October - November 1918.  He transferred back to the 4th Bn before being returned to Australia on the Prinz Hubertus in July 1919.


His career in the AIF was probably typical of many young men.  He was sick a number of times, amongst his ailments scabies.  He was AWL (absent without leave) once, and was fined once for having five bottles of spirits in camp.


1991 Private James Bell from Drummaul, Randalstown enlisted on 28 September 1915 and was a member of the 14th Reinforcements to the 7th Bn, Australian Light Horse Regiment.  His father, also James Bell, described himself as a 'surface man' (maintained roads and verges) in the 1901 census and as a 'labourer' in 1911 version.  The family was living in house 29 Magherabeg, Shanvogues, Randalstown in 1901 and James (34) and his wife Sarah Anne (32) listed five children in their household: William (11), James (9), Robert (7), Agnes (4) and Marget sic (2).  In the 1911 census report the family were living at 5 Farlough, Shanvogues and James and Sarah, now 44 and 42 respectively, list six children: Margaret (12), Mary (9), Sarah J (6), Elizabeth (4), John (2) and George (8 months)..  The family had ten children in total -  the older children were not present for the census and were probably working. They attended the local Church of Ireland.


James was 23 years and 5 months old and weighed 146 lbs in September 1915.  He was 5' and 8" tall, had blue eyes and sandy coloured hair.  He was single and said he worked as a 'stock rider', an Australian cowboy. 


He enlisted in Sydney, NSW and left it on the 16 March 1916 on board Malakuta. He landed at Tel el Kebir, Egypt and joined the 2 Bn Australian Light Horse on 24 April 1916.  He was taken on strength with the 2nd Double Squadron on the  6 July but moved again and was taken on strength with the 4th Imperial Camel Corps on 2 November.  He went to the 17th Company of the ICC in February 1917.  Having been ill with tonsillitis for a period after 19 July, he was transferred again to the 4th Battalion.  He was ill again, this time with septic sores and an itch at Jaffa, Palestine,  but went back to his unit on the 6 December 1917.  He was wounded in action on the 27 March 1918 but the gunshot wound to his head was so slight he was discharged to his unit the same day.  More postings followed and he went eventually to the 12th Australian Light Horse on the 31 July 1918. 


He left Port Said on Caledonia for the UK on the 1 May 1919 and via Sutton Veny Camp, was returned to Australia on the Ajana.  He was discharged from the AIF on the 2 November 1919.


4144 Corporal Henry Clarke Black, MM, was born in Ballymena but the family had been in Australia for some considerable time.  His father Robert lived at Childers, Queensland when his son enlisted on the 24 August 1915.  He became one of the 13 Bn Reinforcements for the 9 Battalion AIF.


H C Black was 26 years old in 1915 and he was single, just less that 5' 8" tall and weighed 164 lbs.  He was a draper by trade, and he indicated he had served his apprenticeship with Mr G B Black; there is a Gordon Black (39), Woollen Draper living at 38 High Street, Ballymena in 1911 with James (34) and Agnes (49). In the 1901 census they appear as Gordon (33), Drapery Trade, James (28) and Agnes (40), Dressmaker.  This could be the family.


Henry Clarke Black left Australia on Kyarra on 3 January 1916 bound for Alexandria, Egypt.  He moved on to Marseilles, France on the Transylvania, arriving there on 29 March.  He moved immediately to Steenweeke, Belgium and was taken on strength with the 9th Battalion, AIF


He was admitted to hospital on the 2 July 1916 with a severe would to his cheek, later said to be a wound to the lower jaw.  He was transferred to 14th Stationary Hospital, Boulogne on the 6 July and then taken to England. He had recovered by the 29 August and was sent on furlough. 


He sailed aboard the 'Princess Clementine'  to reach Etaples, France via Folkestone on the 16 January 1917  and was taken on strength with his unit on 20 January. He was appointed Lance Corporal, 4 February 1917, and sent on an intelligence course thereafter. He rejoined his unit on 17 July but again was sent on a course, this time on the 9 September to a Lewis Gun programme in Belgium.  He returned to his unit, was appointed a Corporal, but was again wounded in battle on the 7 October 1917.  He appears to have sustained shrapnel injuries to his right arm and a leg; one report also mentions a neck wound. He was transferred by the 3rd Australian Field Ambulance to 2nd Casualty Clearing Station, transferred to the 3rd Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne and then taken onwards to England. He spent some time in the Ontario Military Hospital, Orpington and the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford before being discharged to leave,  3 - 17 January 1917.


He returned to Australia on board HT Borda, disembarked at Sydney for an onward trip to Brisbane on 21 July 1918. He was discharged from the AIF on the 4 July 1918.


Corporal H C Clarke had been awarded the Military Medal for his actions at Bullecourt on 6/7 May 1917 when it was said he showed 'conspicuous courage and devotion to duty in establishing and maintaining communications'.


16576 Driver Josias Alec Donnelly Black enlisted in November 1916, stating that he had previously discharged from the AIF owing to poor eyesight and because of 'reduction of establishment'.  He gave his next of kin as James Black, Ballymena and said he had served 6 months of an apprenticeship there in the 'linen line' with a Mr Pridy.  


He left Melbourne on 10 May 1917 and was sent to the 2nd Squadron, Field Engineers, Australian Mounted Division on the 27 August 1917.  He spent much time on sick leave towards the end of 1918, start of 1919.   He was returned to Australia on Burma and discharged 1 October 1919.  Mrs W Davidson, 26 Ashton St, Waverley, NSW got a ticket for his return buffet on the basis that she was his only relative in Australia, but a Miss G Hutchinson, Box 1, Brewarrina, NSW was looking for him in November 1919. The replying officer referred to him as being in the Driver J A D Black,  5th Light Horse Signal Troop. 


He wrote to the army in 1936 to claim medals and gave his address as 'Kia Ora', 23 MacArthur St, Parramatta, NSW, stating that he had a total service of 2 years and 202 days.


52 John McClelland Boyd - 5th Light Horse, was born in the Gloonan, Ahoghill.  The 1901 census records William Boyd (43), linen finisher, and his wife Eliza Jane (40) living there with their children: William Lowry (13), John McClelland (11), Norman Howard (5), Edith (8) and baby Walter Herbert (9 months).  In 1911 Elizabeth is a widow living in house 51 on Princes Street, Ballymena with her children, Edith (18), Norman Howard (15), Elsie (12), Walter Herbert (10) and Harold (7). His father dead before WW1, he gives his next of kin as E(lizabeth) J(ane) Boyd, Victoria Terrace, Ballymena. 


He enlisted on 19th September 1914, rose rapidly through the ranks,  and was a temporary SSM by the time he was posted to Gallipoli in May 1915.  He was severely wounded in November 1915, a bullet wound to the head, and only returned to service on 4 January 1916. He was made 2nd Lieutenant in February, a Lieutenant in May; he was promoted to Captain in October 1917. He went to the UK on leave in January 1918 and about that time was for the first time 'Mentioned in General Allenby's Dispatches'; he was mentioned on a second occasion later.  He returned to active service in April 1918 and was awarded the Military Cross in August. He was to spend some time on sick leave in late 1918 because of trachoma and a corneal ulcer.  He went back to active service and was soon promoted to Major. He was finally sent home on the Madras and discharged from the army in Brisbane on 23rd September 1919.


1459 Private Norman Howard Boyd, 15th Battalion, was the younger brother of the above, and was likewise was born in the Gloonan, Ahoghill and listed his mother, E J Boyd, as his next of kin. He enlisted on 2nd January 1915 and left Australia for Gallipoli on the 13 February 1915.  He was wounded at 'Quinn's Post' on the 15 May 1915, sustaining gunshot wounds to his ankle, thumb, right shoulder and scalp, and was not back on duty until 27 April 1916. He was soon transferred to France and spent the rest of the war in France and England.  He returned to Australia and was discharged on 12 April 1919.


He lived at 6 Maeve Road,  Albion, Brisbane.


7456 Private William John Bradshaw was born in the Craigs, Cullybackey.  He was 5' 7" tall, weighed 147 lbs and had light brown hair and blue eyes.   He was single and described himself as a station hand. He lived at 'Yaralla', Terang, Victoria, this the address of Mr Joseph Bradshaw, JP.  His next of kin and father was Mr R H Bradshaw, Glarryford. The 1911 census shows Robert Hugh and Jane Bradshaw living at house number 22 in Ballywatermoy, Glarryford with five children: William John (21), Mary (19), Maggie (17), Robert Hugh (10)  and Joseph (7).  They were of Presbyterian farming stock, though Mary worked in millinery and sales.


William John Bradshaw enlisted on 25 July 1917 and left Melbourne on board ship for Glasgow and from there to France via Southampton.  He was 'taken on strength' on the 16 February 1918 and five months later was wounded in action on 11 July 1918; it was a slight wound and he remained on duty.  On the 9 August he received a much more serious gunshot wound to his face (He seems to have has other lesser wounds to his right knee and left shoulder, though it is not clear in which wounding these were sustained.)  He was eventually transferred to England on H S Brighton and initially the military hospital in Chatham. After several different hospitals he was released to Command Depot on 8 September 1918; he reported sick again on the 9 September and was not returned to duty until 1 October 1918.  He had AWL (absent without leave) charges against him dismissed, maybe something to do with his head wound, and he was returned to Australia medically unfit on H T Mahari and discharged on 27 March 1919.


3464 Driver William John Brady, husband of Edith Florence Brady, is associated with Moonbi, Tamworth, NSW.  His attestation papers seem to suggest that he was born near Ballymena, Ireland, but his writing is so illegible at this point that one cannot be sure; in any event he was clearly domiciled in Moonbi, NSW for some time.


He was 27 years and 9 months old and married to Edith Florence; they has two children, Muriel Elaine and Patrick John, when he enlisted on 15 September 1915.  He was just over 5' 3" tall, with grey eyes and brown hair, and he described himself as a labourer. 


He left Australia on 17 December 1915 and joined the 54th Bn in Egypt, being 'taken on strength' of the 14th Field Artillery Brigade and he was posted to the 56th Battery; he was transferred to the 53rd Battery in May 1916. 


On the 20 June 1916 he was moved to the BEF and sent to Marseilles, France.  He was 'taken on strength' of the 25th Field Artillery Brigade in July 1916, but transferred to the 13th Field Artillery Brigade and was then posted to the 51st Battery in January 1917.  He was granted furlough from the 11 June until 25 June 1917 and returned to this unit. 


He was severely wounded in the abdomen in September and eventually got to Bethnal Green Hospital for treatment.  He recovered somewhat and on the 25 November 1917 was taken aboard HS Karoola for repatriation to Australia.  He disembarked in Sydney and was discharged medically unfit on the 4 July 1918.  Remarkably his disability is given as arising from a gunshot wound to the left foot; it is described as 'still discharging' and the injury is said to be 'permanent' and causing total incapacity.


1234 Private James Burnside was born in Ballymena and gave his next of kin as his father James, originally in Ballymena but later in WW1 living at 42 Rathlin Street, Belfast (The 1918 Belfast Street  Directory shows Hannah Burnside at that address). James was single, nearly 30 and a farmer (elsewhere a 'timber getter'). He was 5' 10" tall, weighed 146 lbs and had  blue eyes and brown hair. 


The 1901 census would suggest he was the son of farmer James (45 in 1901) and Ester (43 in 1901) Burnside, Kildrum, Kells.  There were six children in the family: Lizzie was 24, Hannah was 22, Aggie was 18; all two eldest were described as linen weavers and the youngest as a dressmaker. James (15) was the oldest boy, William being 13 and Robert 11.


He enlisted in autumn 1915 in Miles, Queensland and left Sydney, Australia on the SS Hawkes Bay in October 1915 with the 6th Reinforcements for the 11th Light Horse Regiment.  He spent much time training and moving between units, notably the Imperial Camel Corps and 11th Light Horse.  While with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in April 1918 he received a gunshot wound to the left thigh. He contracted malaria in October 1918 and was for a time described as 'dangerously ill'.  Thereafter he medically assessed, deemed 20% disabled and was put on HT Somali for a three month rest in Australia.  He disembarked at Melbourne en route for Brisbane.  The war ended in November 1918 and he was discharged from the AIF medically unfit owing to malaria in April 1919.


2282 Private David Cathcart, born Ballymena, enlisted on the 17 June 1916 in the AIF.  He was 24 years and 9 months old, 5' 11" tall and weighed 155 lbs. He had blue eyes and light brown hair. He was married, had no children, and he and his wife Isobel lived at Rockbourne, Upper Paddington, Brisbane.  He worked as a 'lengthman', someone maintaining a stretch or road or railway line.


The 1901 census shows David (50) and Agnes (Agnus sic, aged 46) living in house 27 in Tullaghgarley (now Tullygarley) with their eight children. David worked on the railway.   His children were Maggie, 18, and a winder in a factory, William, 16 and a cabinet maker, Jeanie (14), Alexander (11), David (9), Robert (6), John (4) and James (1). The 1911 census finds David, 62 and still working on the railway, Agnes (57), Maggie (28 and now a linen weaver), David (now a railway labourer), John (14) and James (10) living in house 4 in Tullygarley; since the form states that all eight of the family were alive, the others were not present at the time of filling in the form.


David left Brisbane with the 4th Reinforcements on Boonah and arrived in Plymouth on 10 January 1917.  He went to Etaples, France on the 19/20 April 1917, was at the front on the 7 May, and was 'taken on strength' with the 41 Bn. on the 10 May 1917. He was WIA about the 2 October and was treated for face wounds in Rouen and Trouville, France.  He rejoined his unit on 8 November 1917.  He was granted leave in England but was again wounded, this time in the left arm, and was taken to England in HS Ville de Liege.  He spent time in hospitals in Birmingham and Dartford before returning to France via Folkestone; he reached the front on the 29 September 1918.  He was eventually returned to Australia on Themistocles and discharged shortly after August 1919.


7716 Private William Rea Cathcart

photograph courtesy of Nigel Henderson

7716 Private William Rea Cathcart, 4th Reinforcements and 16th Bn Australian Infantry, died at No 3 NZ Military Hospital, England on the 25th November 1917.   He was aged 30, the was the son of Thomas Cathcart, a 65 year old carpenter, of Windsor Terrace, Ballymena; in the 1901 census he lived at 55 Queen Street with his wife Margaret (then 50), and his children: Mary, a dressmaker, was 25, Thomas was 20 and a tenter, William was 14, Elizabeth 11 and James 10.  The 1911 census finds them at 9 Kinhilt Street, but only Thomas, Margaret and Minnie (Mary) were listed.  His sister Elizabeth, his first named next of kin, lived at 36 Mount View Street, Belfast at the time he enlisted.  The youngest brother, James, also Windsor Terrace, Ballymena attended Willim's funeral. Private Cathcart is buried in Codford St Mary New Cemetery, Wiltshire, England and named in Ballymena New Cemetery, Cushendall Road, Ballymena.


Cathcart, single, was almost 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighed 150 lbs.  He was a bookkeeper by trade.  He lived at 605 Murry (sic) Street,  Perth, Western Australia and enlisted there on 27 May 1917.  He sailed from Sydney on HMAT Medic on the 1 August 1917, landed in Liverpool on 3 October 1917 via Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Medical notes show that he took ill during his transport to the UK and that he was initially admitted to Australian Group Hospital on the 9th November with gastritis but was transferred to the NZ hospital on the 22 November 1917 with diabetes.  He was described as 'very weak', 'emaciated' and 'constantly drinking'; there was rapid deterioration on the 23rd and he was given morphine for pains in his arms and legs, these being severe on the 24th.  He died after 1 am on the 25th November 1917.


His funeral was held on the 28th and he was buried in an elm coffin with brass fittings in grave 99 of the military cemetery at Codford.  The service was conducted by Chaplin W R Clarke of 13 Training Battalion after it became clear he was not a RC as wrongly entered on his papers.


His father was sent his personal effects: 1 shirt, 2 hair brushes, 2 shaving brushes, 2 combs, 1 jack knife and lanyard, 2 razors and badges.


12704 Private John Chesney joined the AIF on 10 January 1916.  He was then 28 years and 8 months old and he was a farm labourer.  He was just over 6' 1" tall, weighed 199 lbs, and he had grey eyes and dark brown hair. He gave his mother as his next of kin; she was Sarah Chesney, Largy House, Portglenone.


John Chesney left Australia on the 31 May 1916 and arrived in Devonport, England before going on to France via Southampton. He was in hospital from 25-29 December 1916 and was again ill with varicose veins in June 1917.  This time he was sent back on H S Brighton to England for treatment.  He was granted leave from 14 - 28 August, given some training in September and returned to France on October 1917.  He was again unfit in July 1918 but joined the 2nd Australian General Hospital on 4 August 1918.  He was sick with a poisoned thumb from 1 - 4 October 1918.  He got leave in the UK from 13 - 28 October. He was again sick 14 - 28 December.  He was marched out on 25 March 1919 for return to Australia and reached camp at Sutton Veny on 3 April. He had to do a short spell of duty in England before being sent on the Ajana to Australia. He disembarked on 9 October and was discharged on 5 December 1919.


592 Private Joseph Stuart Christie enlisted in Cairns, Queensland on 21 August 1916.  He had fair hair and blue eyes, was 5' 11" tall and weighed 171 lbs.  He came originally from Ballyweeney, Cloughmills and said he was a farmer.  He initially gave his father, James (Jack), of Ballyweeney as his next of kin but later, presumably because his father had died, he nominated his mother, Mrs Jane Christie, Ballyportery, c/o Culcrum P. O., Cloughmills. The 1911 census listed James (60) and Jane (50) and three daughters: Margaret Jane was 28, Mary Anne was 22 and Emly (sic) Elizabeth was 10.


Joseph was moved from the 11 Battalion Depot to MG Reinforcements and left Melbourne on RMS Osterley on the 4 February 1917.  He attended the Australian MG Training Depot, Grantham and was eventually 'taken on strength' with the Australian 13th MGC from the 10th Reinforcements. On the 5 June 1917 he went to France via Folkestone. He appears to have had some leave in England thereafter as he was AWL (absent without leave) from 23 to 30 October 1917 and lost 8 days pay as a consequence.

He transferred to the 4 MG Battalion on 1 April 1918 and was WIA near Villers Bretonneux, Somme on about the 28 April, the records showing he had  four small shell shrapnel wounds to the left side of the face and concussion; a later medical report noted that he occasionally suffered headaches. He was moved through various hospitals and then to England on 29 April 1918.  He went AWL again, something he did on several occasions!) during 10/11 November 1918 and was fined 9 days pay.  He was demobilised in England on 5 July 1919 because it was his intention to go home to Ballyportery, Culcrum Cloughmills.  He had served 2 years and 319 days, 2 years and 142 days of that outside Australia.


384 and 5071 Private Edward John Cochrane was born in Ballymena [one paper said Ballymena, Down, Ireland.] and enlisted in the forces twice!


384 Private Edward John Cochrane was 34 years and 6 months old when he enlisted on the 18 November 1914.  He was 5' 8" tall and weighed 136 lbs.  He had a dark complexion and had blue eyes and dark brown hair.  He said he was a clerk.  He nominated his father to be his next of kin and gave his details as Mr Thomas Henry Cochrane, 13 Glen Road, Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, South Africa.  He claimed to have been in the Field Intelligence Department, South Africa for 2 years and 9 months and to have been with the Somaliland Burgher Contingent for 9 months. Another copy of his 1914 paper says he was in Royston's Horse Zululand Company. 


He ended up in the 3Bn N & M Forces, Tropical Unit.  The Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) was a small volunteer unit formed under Colonel Legge; it was separate from the Australian Imperial Force and its role was to destroy German radio stations in German New Guinea.  The bulk of the force left Sydney on HMAS Berrima.


The record of the soldier confirms military career and his presence there.  He was absent without leave for 29 hours from Liverpool Camp circa 8 January 1915 and was fined again for causing a disturbance in the camp and breaking away from his guard on 13 January.  He was drunk at Rabaul in German New Guinea on 4 March 1915, caused another disturbance on the 5 March, used obscene language to an NCO on the 8 April, and on the 2 June 1915, was drunk and  caused a disturbance in his barracks.  The June 2nd escapades got him seven days imprisonment rather than a fine.  On the 5 October he was in Herbertshöhe, Neu Pommern (now known as Kokopo) and he was arrested for drunkenness, absence from duty without leave and forgery.  He was fined and returned to Australia for official discharge on 31 December 1915; 'unsatisfactory' was written on his paper.


5071 Private Edward John Cochrane enlisted in the AIF on 30 December 1915 and on 1 April 1915 embarked for service abroad. His ship stopped at Suez and he was 'taken on strength' of the 57th Battalion; he then left Alexandria for Plymouth, arriving there on the 23 June 1916. He left the 15th Training Battalion  for France on the 11 November 1916 and was soon 'taken on strength' of the 60th Bn.  He was soon back in England being treated for bronchitis and remained in various hospitals until his discharge to furlough on 26 January 1917.  He soon transferred to the 65th Battalion.


He appeared before a District Court Martial at Perham Downs Camp on 5 July 1917.  He was charged with 'conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline, when acting as Corporal of the 65th Bn guard, left the guard without orders from a superior officer. (2) Drunkenness'. He was stripped of his rank, transferred to the 60th Bn, and sent to France on 14 October 1917. There he transferred to the 58th Bn.


He was sick on the 2 May 1918. The 14th Field Ambulance sent him to the CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) and he went from there to hospitals in Rouen and  England where he was treated for influenza and boils.  He was discharged  from hospital and granted leave.  He returned to No 4 Command Depot but was again sick from the 2 to 8 August 1918.  He was also fined for missing a dental parade in September.  He was assigned to the Overseas Training Brigade on 6 November 1918 but went AWL (absent without leave) on the 14th and 15th November. 


The AIF sent him to the A A Postal Corps at the start of 1919 and granted him leave in May of that year.  He spent a short time in AIF Headquarters War Records in London before being demobilised there on the 30 November 1919. He said he was returning to South Africa, to stay c/o Mr W A Cochrane, PO Box 1, Milleite, Randsfontein, Transvaal.  There was no mention of Lillian Florence Cochrane (nee Elliott), 6 Princes Buildings, Bath, whom he had married on the 8 March 1917 while he was at Perham Downs Camp, Andover.            

6000 Private David Currie, part of the 19th Reinforcements for the 15th Battalion, AIF enlisted in Brisbane, Queensland on the 24 March 1916. He was 5’ 9” tall and had grey eyes and grey hair and he said he was a 44-year-old labourer.

Currie said he was from Castlegore, Moorfields, near Ballymena. He said he was married to Ellen and the 1911 Irish census shows the family there. Ellen was 41 and a farmer, and she said she had been married for 17 years and that she and her husband had had five children; they were all alive in 1911.  They were William John (16), Martha (15), Samuel James (13), David (8), and Elizabeth Boal (6).

He left Brisbane, Queensland on HMAT Itonus on the 8 August 1916 and should have remained with the vessel all the way to Europe but he failed to rejoin the vessel after a stop at Capetown, South Africa. He was subsequently placed in detention for 7 days with loss of pay for breaking quarantine, being drunk and ‘being in South Africa when it was his duty to be elsewhere’. He finished his journey on HMAT Itria and on arrival in England went to the 4th Training Battalion.

David Currie was to serve in the AIF for 1 year and 160 days, but he never served in a war zone. Though his conduct in service is recorded as ‘Good’, the AIF discharged him in London, England on the 30 August 1917 as being ‘permanently unfit for war service’ or ‘permanently unfit for general service’ because he had injured himself in training, his record stating that he fallen in a trench and injured his back.  This left him permanently weak. He said on discharge that he intended to return to his family at Moorfields.

David Currie died soon after on the 11 November 1917.  He was a Presbyterian and the family headstone in Connor New Cemetery reads as follows:
Currie
1917
Erected by Ellen Currie, Castlegore, in loving memory of her husband David Currie, who died 11th Nov. 1917, aged 49 years.
Also the above-named Ellen Currie, who died 29th Jan. 1963, aged 95 years.
Also their son David, who died 21st August, 1985, aged 83 years.

2957 Trooper William Frew Dalrymple was born in Kells, Ballymena and enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) on the 24 January 1916.  He was then 30 years and 5 month old.  He was 5' 10" tall, weighed 154 lbs and had blue eyes and light brown hair,  He said he worked for the Water Conservation Commission.  He listed Sarah Dalrymple of Kells, his mother, as his next of kin.


The 1901 census gives  some details of the family.  They lived in house 17 in Kells and James (47 yrs), the father, was a teacher, the mother, Sarah, also 47, was a draper. There were five children listed: John McK was 8, Samuel R was 11, Alex A E was 5, William Frew was 15 and Thomas J, a grocer, was 19. In 1911,  now living in house 33,  the father was still teaching,  John McK was a farm labourer and Samuel R was a clerk in a cotton mill. Agnes E Dalrymple appears on the listing; she was 27 and was absent from the home on the day the 1901 census was taken.


William arrived at Suez on board Mooltan and went straight to the 1st Light Horse Training Battalion, but after a short interval he was sent to the training school for machine gunners at Zeitoun.   Thereafter he spent most of his engagement with the 1st Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron. He was wounded in action towards the end of 1917, sustaining gunshot wounds to the back and hip,  and he was not recovered until January 1918.  He got some leave, did a number of training courses and, apart from some sickness in early 1919, the rest of his war was thankfully uneventful.  He returned to Australia on the Norman in July 1919.               

Private Douglas Edward Davidson, born in Ahoghill, enlisted in the Australian Army Medical Corps in Sydney, NSW on the 3 May 1915.  He was 35 years and 1 month old, was almost 5' 7" tall and weighed 144 lbs.  He had a dark complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.  He was married to Vine and they lived at Gallop House, Arthur Street, Ashfield, Sydney, NSW.  He said he worked in the printing trade.  He had been a soldier in the Boer War in South Africa, claiming two and a half years service with Kitchener's Fighting Scouts, a well respected unit.  However, he stayed in the AIF for just six months.  He asked to go home, writing as follows:


Sir

I respectfully beg to ask permission to withdraw to Home Defence, my reason being that I am a married man and that my wife is not in too good health.


His request was granted, the Principal Medical Officer adding:  'Major Holman has a few vacancies on the Home Service Staff, and Private Davidson could be enlisted for that.  He is a reliable man.'     

  

Davidson left the army  on the 12 December 1915.  

     

5008 Private Samuel Devlin, born Ballymena, enlisted in the AIF on 27 April 1917 and became one of the 14th Reinforcements for the 30th Battalion.  He was 42 years and 11 months old (some records show him 1 year older), just over 5' 10" tall, and he weighed 146 lbs. He had blue eyes, brown hair, and he was a Presbyterian. He was a labourer. His stated next of kin was his brother: Mr Robert Devlin, Ballymena, later 61 Mayo Street, Belfast.


He embarked from Australia on Marathon on 10 May 1917 and arrived in Devonport, England on the 20 July.  He was sent to the 8th Training Battalion at Hurdcott but his military career was to be short.  He failed a medical and was discharged from the AIF on grounds of 'senility and varicose veins'. He was returned to Australia on the Anchises.  He went AWL in Capetown, South Africa, was fined for the escapade, and then completed his journey home on Miltiades.


350 Private Richard Donaghy enlisted in the AIF in Townsville, Queensland on the 1 February 1915.  He said he had been born in Kirkinriola (Kirkinrolar sic), Ballymena.  He was then 31 years and 4 months old, a single man and a labourer.  He was a RC.  He gave his mother as his next of kin, Mrs Mary Donaghy, Glenmanus, Kirkinrolar, Ballymena.


The 1901 census return shows Terence Donaghy (60), a former RIC Sergeant, living with his wife Mary Teresa (47) in Albert Place, Ballymena with their family: Terence Joseph (21), a woollen draper, Patrick James (14), Mary Teresa (8) and Frances B sic  (7, a son); Annie Reid (18), a servant, was there too. In 1911 they were in Suffolk Street, Ballymena.  The husband and wife listed four offspring that day, Terence Joseph (30 and a draper's assistant), John Alexander (29 and a chemist), Richard Quigley (27 and a horse dealer) and Francis B (17 and a scholar).  Richard must have gone to Australia soon afterwards.


Richard had a long and interesting military career.  He left Brisbane on Aeneas on 29 June 1915 and on the 4 September he sailed from Alexandria for the Gallipoli Peninsula; his record shows a fine, the soldier having been AWL and drunk. He was treated by 7th Field Ambulance for unspecified problems from the 30 October - 4 November 1915. He returned to his unit next day but was soon on the move again; HMAT Honorata took him to Marseilles, France, the soldier arriving there on the 19 February 1916.  He was drunk and fined in Marseilles on the 21 March 1916.


He was wounded in action near Armentieres on the 28 April 1916, receiving a slight injury to the head.  However, he was back with his unit on the 2 May.  He was again wounded on the 29 July, this time a shrapnel injury to the right arm, and he was eventually sent back to England for hospital treatment and convalescence.  He recovered and also got leave from 4  - 24  October 1916, returning then to join the 7th Training Battalion at Perham Downs on the 29th November.  He was soon in trouble for going AWL from 3 - 19 December 1916.  The episode cost him 16 days Field Punishment No 2 and a substantial fine.


He took ill again at the start of 1917, this time with swollen glands, and recovered, but  he was in hospital again with a more serious recurring problem from 24 March - 12 April 1917.  He recovered and went overseas, rejoining his unit on the 2 May 1917.  However, he was sick again after the 7 July with severe trench fever and was sent back to England and various hospitals for treatment. He recovered and went on furlough from 5 - 19 September 1917.


He returned to duty to prepare for going overseas again, but he went AWL from the 5 - 15 December 1917.  He had had to be 'apprehended' this time and was given 20 days Field Punishment No 2.  The AIF sent him onwards to France on the 27 December and he rejoined the 25th Battalion on 24 January 1918.  He was with them until transferred to the 28th Battalion on the 12 October 1918.  He spent little time with them.  His old problems returned and he was in various hospitals in England for 116 days, not marching in to No 1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny until 8 April 1919.  Again he went AWL, 2 May - 5 June 1919 but the case was dismissed. The AIF decided to return him to Australia on Chemnitz on the 7 July and he left the army in November 1919.


He wrote to the army to get a copy of some lost papers and gave his address in 1934 as 14 Jacob's Place, Wellington, New Zealand.

5007 Private Samuel Dunlop enlisted at Warrnambool, Victoria on the 7 February 1916 and became part of the 13th Reinforcements for the 21st Battalion, AIF, and he was to serve with both the 21st and the 24th Battalions. He was said to be 38 years and 3 months old, and the single Presbyterian was just 5’ 6” tall.  He had blue eyes and brown hair. He was an ‘agent’ by calling. Samuel Dunlop was a son of County Antrim and named his next of kin as William Dunlop, Dromore, Glarryford.

The Dunlop family were farmers and the 1901 Irish census recorded the family at Dromore.  Private Samuel Dunlop’s father was 70-year-old Samuel Dunlop, who was to die on the 7 January 1906, and in 1901 he lived with his sister Martha (80 – she died 2 February 1904) and his children Rose (32) and William (30). Samuel (Snr) had been married to Mary, nee Bradshaw, but she had died on the 16th April 1889. Rose was a twin and born on the 13 August 1870; her sister Mary died on the 21 February 1900. William was born on the 28 June 1872. Another daughter called Martha, born 18 December 1874, had died on the 15 August 1889. Samuel, not on the census, had been born on the 15 October 1877. Other family members, if they existed, are not known.

William, unmarried in the 1911 census, had inherited the farm and is recorded as living with his sister Rose, also unmarried, and a servant girl.

Private Samuel Dunlop left Melbourne aboard HMAT Ayrshire on the 3 July 1916 and reached Plymouth on the 2 September. He went overseas to France and the 21st Battalion via Folkestone aboard the SS Victoria on the 12 November 1916. He served without incident until admitted to hospital with chronic rheumatism and was there from 16 April 1917 until released on the 3 May 1917. He returned to the unit but later transferred on the 13 October 1918 to the 24th Battalion, AIF. His health was always fragile and his early return to Australia was always likely, but he was not to go home aboard HMAT Lancashire until 7 February 1919.

The family headstone is in the cemetery of 1st Killymurris Presbyterian Church.

2323 Private Thomas Dunn enlisted in the AIF in on the 10 May 1916 and eventually ended up being sent with the 4th Reinforcements to the 44th Battalion of the AIF.  He was born in Ballymena and was 44 years and 5 months old.  He was almost 5' 8" tall and weighed 133 lbs.  He had blue grey eyes and brown hair.  He was unmarried and listed his brother as his next of kin, giving his address as Toolibin, East Narrogin, Western Australia.   He described himself as a bush worker.      

 

Dunn left Freemantle on aboard Port Macquarie on 13 October 1916 and arrived in Plymouth on 12 December.    He was admitted on the 30 December 1916 to Fargo Hospital on Salisbury Plain from the 11 Training Battalion, initially with influenza.  He was released but then immediately returned and diagnosed seriously ill with pneumonia. He died on the 7 February 1917 and was buried in Durrington Cemetery, Wiltshire.   His brother Charles got his medals and personal effects after explaining that their father and mother was dead, that Thomas was single, and that their eldest brother was presumed dead, the family having not had contact with him for years.

4792 James Falls was the son of John and Maggie Falls, and his military records says he was born in Belfast and that both his parents were dead.  The 1901 Irish Census shows him, then aged 6, living in Henry Street, Harryville, Ballymena with Dr William Hay (actually Henry) Walker McWhirter; his brother John, aged 9, and his sister Sarah, aged 3, are also listed as staying with their uncle. In 1911 Dr McWhirter (40) was living at Killyfast, Toome (Killyfast is a townland in Duneane and lies between Randalstown and Toome/Toomebridge).  He had married and he and his wife, Lizzie Evelyn McCalmont McWhirter (aged 30), had by then had three children, two of whom were still alive: John Cecil was 9 years old, William Henry Walker was aged 3 years. James McFall, then 16, lived with them. Soon after this he appears to have moved to Australia, where his brother and sister were perhaps already domiciled.


James enlisted in Perth, Western Australia on the 28th October 1915, stating that he was 22 years and two months old. He was 5' 6" tall and had blue eyes and brown hair. He said he was a motor driver, and he gave his address as Gibletts Coast Road, Manjimup, W. A. He was accepted even though he said he had previously rejected on grounds of eyesight.  He was sent to the 3rd Training Battalion and eventually left Freemantle aboard the Uylsses.  He reached Alexandria on the 25th April and left there eventually for Marseilles. He went in the end to the 51st Battalion on the 21st August 1916, though he had originally been part of the 14th Reinforcement to the 11th Bn. His very short military career ended when he was reported wounded and missing on the 3rd September 1916, and his fate was not fully known until his body was found and buried some months later; his ID Disk, 'somewhat impaired by long exposure', was sent as a memento to his brother John at Pemberton, Western Australia on the 8th May 1925. During the period his fate was unknown his sister Sadie, a form of Sarah, sent a letter seeking information about him. She gave her address as C/O Mrs McTaggart, Downing Street, Brighton, South Australia.

2641 Private Robert Francey enlisted on the 29 December 1915 and attested on the 2 January 1916.  He became one of the 18th reinforcements for the 6th Australian Light Horse.  

Francey was 5’ 6” tall and had grey eyes and brown hair. He was a Presbyterian and his name appears on the memorial record of Kells and Eskylane Presbyterian Church. He said at enlistment that he was single, about 25-years-old and that he was a farm labourer. He is associated with Mackay, Queensland, though he gave his address at enlistment as Bathurst Street, Sydney.  He nominated his father as his next of kin, giving his details as David Francey, Kells, Co Antrim.

David Francey had married Sophia Kernohan in Connor Presbyterian Church on 14 April 1879, the couple both stating that they came from Carnaghts, Kells, near Ballymena. The 1901 Irish census records the family at Ross, Connor. David was 46 and a railway labour, his wife Sophia 45 years old. The couple listed seven children as being present on the day of the census. Annie, a warp winder in a linen mill, was 19, James was 18 and a linen beetler, John was 15 and a message boy, Agnes was 13, Bob (Robert) was 11, Minnie (Mary) was 9, and David was 7.

The 1911 census also records the family at Ross, Connor.  David was 58 and still a railway labourer.  He was also a widower, Sophia having died on the 13 December 1908. The 1911 document also lists Annie, 23 and a warp winder in a linen mill, Agnes was 23 and a dressmaker, Mary was 18, and David was 16 and a linen beetler. Agnes Blevins, 28 and a married niece, was also present.

Robert Francey left Sydney on the A20, HMAT Hororata on the 2 May 1916. He went to the 2nd Australian Light Horse Training unit at Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt on the 28 June and then to the 6th Australian Light Horse on the 5 August 1916. He subsequently transferred to the Army Service Corps and after the 4 June 1917 was attached to the HQ ASC, Anzac Mounted Division. He became a driver on the 13th August and after 20 August 1917 he was serving with 995th Company ASC Mounted Division Train. He served in other ASC roles throughout the war and appears never to have left the Egypt/North Africa area and the Egyptian Expeditionary Force until he set out from Kantara, Egypt aboard HMAT Essex for return to Australia.  He was discharged there in 1919.

Robert’s brother James contacted the AIF in an attempt to contact his brother.   James gave his address as Childers, Queensland.

The family headstone in Kirkhill Cemetery, Connor reads:
1936
God is love
In loving memory of David Francey, died 9th May 1936.
His wife Sophia Francey, died 13th December 1908.
Their daughter Jeannie, died in infancy.
His grandson William McKee, died in Ceylon, 3rd Jan. 1943.
Mary McKee, died 28th April 1951.

525935 Warrant Officer William McKee, the 26 year old who died in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) on the 3rd January 1943, served in 205 Squadron, Royal Air Force. He was the son of William and Mary McKee and husband of Grace Fraser McKee, of Overpool, Cheshire. He is buried in Colombo (Liveramentu) Cemetery.

3378 Private William John Hunter said he was born in Cullybackey (Cullachbackie sic) but the family must have left the area well before World war One. None of the mentioned links can be identified on the 1901 or 1911 census returns.  He listed his mother as his next of kin and gave her details as Mrs Dilly (sic) Hunter, Manor House, Kilrea. An address update is as follows: Mrs Tilly Hunter, C/O Mr A Hunter, 58 James Street, Newtownards, Co Down.  Internet research shows that the A Hunter referred to at that address, a brother of W J Hunter, was a grocer, and a gravestone in the town lists his mother Matilda (Tilly) as dying on 28 December 1929.  Andrew Stinson Hunter died in 10 September 1933. (http://www.newtownards.info/family-hunter.htm). Another brother, George Hunter, lived at 269 Parramatta, Sydney, NSW.


William John Hunter enlisted on the 26 January 1916, stating that he was a station hand. He was 21 years and 8 months old at the time, and he had blue eyes and fair hair.  He left Sydney on Honorata on the 25 May 1916.  He took ill with the mumps and remained in various hospitals in Egypt until 14 July. Thereafter he moved to Europe, joining the Franconia at Alexandria for the purpose.  He arrived in England on the 11 November and was attached to the 8th Training Battalion, AIF at Larkhall Camp.  He was transferred by the SS Golden Eagle to France and taken on strength with the 56th Battalion on 18 November 1916; he lost a day's pay almost immediately for 'neglect of arms'!


From the 1 April - 16 April 1917 he was at Etaples, a major Australian Base Camp, but returned to his unit on 19 April.  He was wounded in action on the 24 May and was treated for minor damage to his face and legs, but he returned to duty the next day. He got leave in the UK from 24 September - 26 October 1917 and from the 29 September - 11 October 1918.  Most of his time was clearly spent with the 56th Battalion, though he was sent to Le Havre to do escort duty between the 3 - 8 November 1918, and on the 1 January 1919 he was detached from his unit to the Brigade Guard.  He was 'marched out' to England on 16 April 1919 and soon returned to Australia via Devonport on Beltana. He was home on 19 July 1919.


16891 Sapper John Hyndman, was born in Rasharkin and enlisted in Sydney, NSW on 23 October 1916.  He was 31 years and 4 months old on enlistment. He was marginally over 6' in height and weighed 172 lbs.  He had brown eyes and black hair.  He was an ironmonger by trade. He was married to Alice Maud Hyndman and he lived with her and his adopted son, Victor Louis Beaver, at 'Boronia', Bay Street, Rockdale, Sydney.


He left Sydney on RMS Osterley on the 10 February 1917, landing in Plymouth on 11 March that year. After a spell with a training battalion he went to France via Southampton and arrived at Rouelles on 27 June 1917; he was 'taken on strength' with 11 Field Company Engineers on the 6 July.  Things were normal until he had his foot accidentally crushed on 31 August  through no fault of his own while unloading a limber.  He was in hospital in St Omer until 15 September. He rejoined his unit on the 22 September and served without incident until February 1918.  He then went sick with problems affecting his left knee: these kept him in hospital until 23 March.  He recovered and thereafter got extensive leave, some of it in England.  He was taken out of service on the 24 April 1919 and returned to Australia some time after the 19 May on Ajana.  He was officially discharged on 17 November 1919.


1680 Private Robert Jackson was raised in Co Antrim and enlisted in the AIF in Dubbo, NSW on 18 December 1915. It was close to where he was living in 1937 in Wallaby Park, Narromine when he applied for a duplicate Returned Soldiers' Badge, the original having been lost when his house burned down circa 1927.


Robert Jackson, a labourer, said he was 29 years and 1 month old when he applied to join the AIF.  He was single, 5' 8" tall and 147 lbs in weight.  He had grey eyes and dark brown hair.  He listed his next of kin as his father, Mr William Wallace, Magheraboy, Newtowncrommelin, Cloughmills. The 1901 and 1911 census returns both show the family living at house 2 Magheraboy, Newtowncrommelin, hardly surprising as his father is a farmer. William, 61 in 1901, his wife Maria (45), and Robert (15), Catherine (9), Joseph (5) and Sarah (3) are listed. William is said to be 76 in 1911, his wife 51.  The family are recorded as William (32), Catherine (20), Joseph (14) and Sarah (12). On his Returned Soldiers' Badge application Robert gives his birthday as 30 October 1887 and states that William Wallace is his stepfather; Robert had reverted to his own surname.


Robert left Australia on the 14 April 1916 and disembarked from the Ceramic in Suez, Egypt.  He boarded the Arcadian in Alexandria and arrived in Southampton England on the 9 August.  He went to Etaples, France on the 9 September and was taken on strength with the 54th Battalion on the 26 September. He served with them until he got leave in England from the 15 - 24 August 1917.  He returned to France and did not get prolonged leave until 1918, from 3 - 22 March.  He was wounded in action on the 1 September 1918, sustaining a gunshot injury to his left eye.  This required care in various hospitals and he was not 'marched out' to duty until 22 October 1918; he also transferred to the 3rd Battalion, AIF on the 29 October 1918. He 'marched out' to England on  10 April 1919, disembarking in Southampton. The decision to return him to Australia was made on 31 May 1919 and he disembarked from the Aeneas on 12 July 1919.


The one black mark on his record came at the end of his service.  He went AWL from 30 April - 6 May 1919, probably to see England before he returned to Australia.  He was punished quite severely (if I am reading his illegible record correctly!), being subjected to 16 days Field punishment No 2 and the loss of 22 days pay. Field Punishment Number 1 consisted of the convicted man being shackled and secured to a fixed object for up to 2 hours in each 24, and not for more than 3 days in 4, or for more than 21 days in his sentence. Field Punishment Number 2 was similar except the man was shackled but not fixed to anything.


4087 Private Frederick (sometimes Fredrick) William Kane was born in Ballymena and served in the 31 Battalion, AIF, arriving there by way of the 10th Reinforcements.  He had enlisted in Brisbane on 16 June 1916.  He was then 25 years and 10 months old, just over 5' 3" in height and weighed 140 lbs.  He had brown eyes and black hair, though he had poor teeth and had previously been rejected for general service.  He was married to Mildred Kane and they lived at the time of his enlistment at 'Kia Ora', 102 Melbourne Road, North Williamstown, Melbourne, Victoria. The motor mechanic and his wife had no children.


The 1901 census has the family living in house 46 Bridge Street, Ballymena. David Kane (42), an engine fitter in a foundry, was married to Hesse (41), originally from Co Down,  and they had seven children: David (17), an engine fitter in a foundry, Emily (16), Maud (14), Albert (11), Fredrick (9), Madeline (5) and Hessie (3).  They were Baptists. 


The 1911 census finds them living in house 9 Skegoniel Avenue, Duncairn. David (50) is a foundry engineer, and he and Hessie (49) list six children: Emily is 25 and a saleswoman in a drapery store, Maud is 23 and a book keeper in a drapery store, Fredrick is 19 and a grocer's assistant; the remaining children, Madeline (15), Hessie (13) and Alexander (8), are scholars. They are now Methodists.


The family had moved to Belfast some years before WW1.  The Belfast Street Directory volumes for 1908, 1910 & 1918 show 'Essy Kane' (Hessie) living in 4 Skegoniel Avenue, Duncairn. There are no Kanes living there in 1907, though they could have been elsewhere in the city.


Fredrick had medical problems throughout his engagement in the AIF.  He left Brisbane on Boonah on 21 October 1916 and arrived in Plymouth on 1 January 1917.  He was sent to the 8th Training Battalion at Hurdcott but was ill on the 14 January.  He was treated for myalgia and discharged on 2 February. On the 10 April he went overseas via Folkestone and arrived at Etaples, France; he was discharged to duty on the 1 June and reported to the 5th Australian Division Base Depot on the 3 June.  He reported sick on the 19th and was treated for scabies before being discharged on 25 July 1917.  He was taken on strength with the 31st Battalion of the AIF on 11 August but he reported sick with an ingrown toe nail on the 24 September.  He seems to have developed otitis media (inflammation of the inner ear) at this time and treatment for both conditions eventually meant he was returned to England on the 19 November 1917. He was released to leave and then reported to No 1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny; they transferred him to No 2 Command Depot in Weymouth and on 15 April 1918 it was decided, after a medical said he had 'chronic suppurative media', to return him to Australia. He returned on Marathon, arriving in Australia on 12 June 1918.  He was discharged from the AIF on the 30 July 1918. 


Fredrick died in 1937. Mildred, who had had to sell her home, was hoping to buy a smaller one in 1962.  She wrote to obtain a copy of Fredrick's records so that she could apply for a War Service loan.


2889 Private William Lamont, 39th Battalion, (alias Private William Robinson. The declaration of his true name was made on 29 October 1917) was born in Ballymena and enlisted in the AIF in Black Boy Hill, Perth, Western Australia on 6 April 1916.  He was 37 years and 1 month old at the time of his attestation and he is describes as being 5' 9" tall. He weighed 161 lbs and had blue, eyes and brown hair, and he was an insurance agent.  He said his permanent address was Pingelly Hotel, Pingelly, W.A.  He later declared himself married and evidence was provided that he was married to Martha, nee Taylor of Ballymena, in Ballymena by the Rev. David McMeekin on the 8 July 1891.  Martha's father was Robert Taylor, a labourer.  She lived at 39 Coolfin Street, (off Donegall Road) Belfast; the 1918 Belfast Street Directory gives William Lamont as the occupier.


Lamont left Freemantle on Persic in December 1916 and arrived in Devonport in March of the following year.  He was stationed in various barracks for short periods and finally left the 2nd Training Battalion, Fovant on the 10 February 1918; he was 'taken on strength' by the 39th Battalion on 18 April.  He was ill from the 26 - 30 June 1918 at Parkhouse Hospital and on release was sent to No 2 Command Depot, his medical status given as C1.   No indication of the problem was given, though it was noted on his attestation papers that he had varicose veins.  He was officially discharged on 6 December 1918, his paper marked 'medically unfit'.


He does not appear to have served in any zone of hostilities during his 2 years and 31 days in the AIF.


1539 Driver John Mairs, 8th Australian Army Service Corps, was born near Ballymena and enlisted in the AIF on 28 September 1914.  He was 24 years and 5 months old, was 5' 8" tall, and he weighed 140 lbs. He had blue eyes and brown hair. He was single and worked as a shop assistant.  He gave his address as 'Glen View', Commercial Road, Sydney, NSW.  He nominated his father as his next of kin and said he was Mr A Mairs, c/o Craigs PO, Belfast, Ireland.


The 1901 census shows Archey (sic) Mairs, aged 40, and his wife, Anie J (sic), aged 43,  living in house 219 in the Craigs, Cullybackey.  They were farmers  and listed their family as follows: Archie (16), Lizzie (14), Minnie (12), John (10), Annie (8) and James A (6); 82 year old John (senior) lived with them.  The 1911 census finds the family in house 97 in Dunminning, Craigs. Archie and Annie J were still living with all the children except John, presumably already in Australia.


John Mairs left Australia on HMAT Ceramic on 22 December 1914.  He was transferred to the 17th Ammunition Sub Park (Motor Transport), was promoted to Driver, and he then landed at Avonmouth, England from the SS Saba on 12 July 1915. Soon after he found himself in Rouen, France and was transferred to the 23rd Ammunition Sub Park on 28 August 1915.  He got leave between the 3-11 April 1916 in France and then returned to his unit.  However, he found himself moved to the 2nd Canadian Tunnelling Company for the period 14 September 1916 to 24 October 1916.  Around this time he was made Lance Corporal but was returned to Driver at his own request.  He was granted leave in England on the 30 June 1917 and was transferred to the Australian Motor Transport Service on 18 January 1918.  He was given seven days CB (Confined to Barracks) for failing to salute a senior officer on the 27 January, that being his only offence while in the AIF.  He was returned to Australia in October/November 1918 and discharged from the service on the 25 March 1919.


5172 Private Ernest McAfee was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Melbourne, Victoria on 21 August 1915.  He was then 34 years and 11 months old and barely 5' 3" tall. He was a painter by trade and was married to Kate, the pair living at 2 Holroyd Street, Coburg, Melbourne.


He left Australia on the 14 March 1916 and marched into a training battalion in Tel el Kabir, Egypt on the 15 April that year. He was soon 'taken on strength' by the 46th Battalion, AIF and travelled to the front via Alexandria and Marseilles.  He served without incident, save for being fined 7 days pay for gambling, and got leave from 27 December 1917 until 22 January 1918.  He has no recorded further leave until 26 December 1918 - 9 January 1919. He was returned to England via Weymouth in March 1919 and was returned to Australia on 'Leicestershire' in May 1919.


3412 Private Daniel McAuley (elsewhere McCauley) said he was born in Glenravel when he applied to join the AIF on 26 July 1915. He was then 24 years old, stood just over 5' 7" high and weighed 131 lbs.  He had blue eyes and dark brown hair. He was an employee of the Q G Railway. Various names are given for his next of kin. One record shows the AIF thought his brother Felix, Lisnamammy (Lignamanagh sic), C/O Martinstown P O should be contacted, but he proved untraceable; another lists a brother, J McAuley, Q G Railway, Beaudesert, Queensland, and he initially could not be found.  All was made clear by Miss Florence Beatrice Caswell, initially State School, Manyung, Kingaroy Line, Queensland and later Cook Street, Oxley, Queensland. She pointed out that the family had links in Belfast and that J McAuley had enlisted 'last year', i.e. 1916.  He was 10191 Thomas James McAuley or McCauley, 5th Bde, Australian Field Artillery.


Daniel McAuley left Australia on the 21 October 1915, initially as part of the 11th reinforcement for the 9th Battalion.  He disembarked in Egypt in February 1916 and soon transferred from the 3rd Training Battalion to the 49th Battalion, AIF. He left Alexandria aboard the Arcadian and landed in Marseilles on the 12 June 1916.  Three months later on the 3 September he was WIA, sustaining injury to a finger on his left hand. He didn't rejoin his unit until the 25 October 1916.  Some of the delay before his return to duty was caused by his punishment for being drunk in Etaples on the 26 September, a 'crime' for which he was given 14 days Field punishment No 1. He was given a further 7 days Field Punishment No 2 for 'urinating on hessian' around latrines on 9 November.


He was WIA a second time on 5 April 1917, this time a 'mild' wound to his right side.  He was nevertheless eventually transferred by HS St Andrew to England, getting furlough only on the 7 June and with orders to report to the Training Depot,  Perham Down.  He then moved to the Overseas Training Brigade at Longbridge Deverill, onward to Southampton and to France.  He rejoined the 49 Bn on 21 February 1918.


He was wounded a third time, a severe face wound, on 25 April 1918, and for a time this impaired his ability to open his mouth.  He was moved to hospital in Rouen and then, by HS St David, to England.  He recovered and gained leave from 11 - 31 May, reporting eventually to No 4 Command Depot, Hurdcott and being returned to France. 


He rejoined his unit on the 7 October but was taken ill to hospital on the 15.  He was diagnosed with Broncho-pneumonia and he died in No 41 Stationary Hospital, Port Remy.  He was initially buried in Dury Hospital Military Cemetery, Dury-les-Amiens by the Rev. J C Parker, the RC Chaplain, but his remains are now interred in Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery.


5381 Private John McAuley was born in or near Ballymena and enlisted in the AIF in Brisbane, Queensland on the 3 February 1916.  He was a 23 years and 10 months old RC who stood over 5' 6" tall and weighed 140 lbs.  He had blue eyes and black hair, and he worked as a railway porter. He gave various addresses for his next of kin: John McKeown, his cousin, c/o Mrs Hildreth, Wellington Road, Red Hill, Brisbane, and Mr A Richmond, c/o Clough Mills (sic) P O, Co Antrim.  There is another address, 10 Norfolk Street, Glen Road, Belfast, possibly a new address for Mr Richardson.


The 1911 census return for house 31 Lisnamammy, Newtowncrommelin links  McAuley and McKeown.  John McKeown (31) is listed as a farmer and he shares the house with Isabella Murry sic (27), his sister, John Murry (2.5 yrs), his nephew, Bella Murry (6 Months), his niece, and John McAuley, his cousin and a farm labourer.


John McAuley left Brisbane on Itonus on 8 August 1916 with the 14th Reinforcements and arrived in Plymouth on the 18 October. The SS Victoria out of Folkestone took him to France slightly wounded in the leg on the 4 October 1917 and eventually returned to England for treatment.  He had leave after his discharge from medical care from 12 - 26 November 1917 and then spent time training in England before returning to France via Southampton and rejoining his unit on the 24 March 1918.  He was wounded again on the 16 July 1918, this time receiving wounds to his arm and thigh; a medical report says he was buried for about an hour and was unconscious.  It also refers to bruising of his eye.  This appears to have happened around Villiers Bretonneau. He was taken to England for treatment and after release was granted leave from 28 August to the 11 September before being required to report to No. 4 Command Depot.  He went AWL from the 11- 19 September 1918 and was fined 9 days pay as a consequence.  He next appears in No 2 Group Hospital with influenza, later pneumonia, and he died on 6 November 1918.


He was given a full military funeral. His elm coffin was draped in the Australian flag and it was carried on a gun carriage to the cemetery in Tidworth Camp. He was buried by the RC Chaplin, Father  C G McDonnell, his coffin carried the graveside by two officers and several 'Other Ranks'.  There was a firing party from the Australian M G Corps Training Depot and the band of the 6th Reserve Cavalry played. Miss F Noel and Miss A Hobbs of 3 Crosby Road, Clifton, Bristol attended and the former provided a large floral wreath. 


His personal effects went to Miss Lily Woodcock, Latrobe Terrace, Paddington, Brisbane (later 2 Churchview, James Street, Valley, Brisbane), as requested in his will, and a Miss Meta Mounsey, Roma Villa, Thompson Street, Mayne, Brisbane also sought information about him.


1929 Private George McBride, 3 Reinforcement/47th Battalion, was born in Ballymena but had not lived there for some time.  The 1911 census suggests that the family were living in house 16 St Ives Gardens, Cromac, Belfast and the 1910 Belfast Street Directory confirms D McBride, a despatch clerk, living at No. 16.


They were a big family.  David McBride was 54 in 1911 and his wife Jane Jackson McBride (referred to as Jeannie on next of kin listing) was 50.  They had seven children: William Thomas, Fredrick Charles, George Edgar (25), Alfred E (22), Gertrude A (17), Robert Willington (14) and John Albert (12). David was born in Co Armagh, his wife and 5 of his children in Co Antrim and the remaining two children in Belfast, this telling us something of how long the family had departed Ballymena.  David McBride says he is a clerk, that George is a commercial traveller, Alfred is a bookkeeper and Gertrude is an apprentice draper.  He gives no information about his two eldest children, and refers to the youngest as scholars. They were Methodists.  George McBride gives Mrs Jeannie McBride as his next of kin on his enlistment and names his father David on German papers when he was taken a prisoner of war. On both occasions they were living at Rochester Terrace, Normanby, Brisbane. It would seem the family emigrated to Australia after 1911 and before 1916.


George McBride was 28 years and 1 month old when he enlisted on the 12 January 1916.  He was just over  5' 5" tall and weighed just 122 lbs.  He had brown eyes and brown hair.  He was a postman in Brisbane and he made a troublesome soldier.


He left Australia on the 1 May 1916 and landed at Alexandria, Egypt, spending time in the 12th Training Battalion before going onward to Europe on 30 September 1916.  He went AWL (absent without leave) from 2 pm to 9 pm, presumably to miss his departure slot. He was given 168 days detention and fined 8 days pay for the escapade. He only arrived at the Australian Division Brigade Depot in Etaples, France on the 1 October 1916.


He appeared before a District Court Martial on 18 December 1916. He was charged with escaping from confinement on the 8 November 1916 and having to be apprehended by the Military police at Grateley on the 10 December, with leaving camp without a pass, and with impersonating a military policeman.  He was given a sentence of 9 month detention and a fine of 40 days pay; the confinement was reduced by 90 days at a later date.


He appeared before a District Court Martial on the 27th February 1917, this time for going AWL after 'being warned to go overseas', this time to France, and was awarded  six months imprisonment with hard labour; it was later remitted to 90 days. 

He had spent 15-19 May in Fargo hospital with ear problems, but he went overseas to France via Southampton on 5 September 1917 and was 'taken on strength' with his unit on 16 September 1917. He was detached from his unit to the Australian Forestry Company from 22 January to the 5 February 1917.  He rejoined his unit but he was reported 'Missing in Action' some two months later and it was soon confirmed that he was a prisoner of the Germans.


McBride's POW form shows that he was held at Munster II Stammlager, and that he was captured at 'Dourancourt' (near Albert, France) on 5 April 1918.  He was repatriated to Ripon, Yorkshire on 30 November 1918, granted leave to report to No 2 Command Depot.  He went AWL for five days and was fined.  He was transferred to Australian HQ in London, returned to Australia on Nevasa on the 5 March 1919, and disembarked there on 24 April 1919.


794 Lance Corporal Patrick Joseph McCauley said he was born in Ballymena but had not lived there from a long time.  His parents, suggested by the 1911 census,  appear to be Patrick (54 years) and Rose (59), both born in Ahoghill, Ballymena, Co Antrim.  They are living in 4 Cupar Street, Falls, Belfast in 1911 and listed two offspring on their form: Mary Ann (22) and Patrick Joseph (18).  They said they had another surviving child but this, not being present in the house at the time of the survey, was not listed. Patrick laboured in an ironworks, Rose was a reeler in a flax mill, Mary Ann was a rover in a flax mill, and Patrick Joseph was an oiler in a spinning mill.


Patrick Joseph enlisted on the 20 November 1914 when he was nearly 20 years old (born 1/8/1894), and he became part of the 3rd Reinforcements for the 1st Light Horse Regiment.  He said he was a farm labourer.  He was just under 5' 5" in height, he weighed 140 lbs and had blue eyes and brown hair.  He was a RC.  He gave his next of kin as his brother, Thomas McCauley of Lockhart, NSW; Thomas was the third surviving member of the family.


He was sent to Gallipoli but arrived back in Egypt on HS (Hospital Ship) Delta on the 8 August 1915; he had a bayonet wound to his left knee.  After treatment in hospitals he was released to Zeitoun for rest and was eventually restored to the 1st Light Horse in Gallipoli on the 29 September 1915.


He was troubled by tonsillitis and  it put him in hospital from 19 October 1916 to 28 October 1916, and from 11 - 18 January 1917. Disaster struck in February 1918 when he fractured his left leg playing football.  He spent 10 days in hospital before getting to rest camp.  However, he was re-admitted to hospital in Port Said, Egypt as he was having problems with the same injury.  They treated him and gave him a B2 fitness rating.  On release he was returned to the Light Horse but was fit only for administrative duties.  He was sick again in September 1918 and was released to the rest camp at Moascar (Moascar was situated just off the main Ismailia-Cairo road, 10 kilometres by road from Ismailia. There is now a war cemetery near the site.), rejoining the Light Horse only on the 6 February 1919. He was returned to Australia on Ulimaroa on 24 April 1919 and discharged from the AIF on 23 June 1919.


10191 Driver Thomas James McCauley (or McAuley), 2nd Reinforcements to 5th Field Artillery Brigade, enlisted on 31 August 1915.  He said he was born Glenarm; he was the brother of 3412 Private Daniel McAuley (elsewhere McCauley), who said he was born in Glenravel. T J McCauley was single, a RC, 29 years and 2 months old, and he was a labourer.  He was almost 5' 10" tall, weighed 168 lbs and had blue eyes and light brown hair.


McCauley left Australia on the 17 December 1915 and went to Egypt, initially joining the 2nd Divisional Ammunition Column from the camp at Zeitoun; he transferred to the 5th Field Artillery Brigade on the 8 March 1916. Thereafter, he left Alexandria in Egypt and travelled via Marseilles to join the BEF.  He was with the 5th Field Artillery Brigade after the 13 May 1916.


He was involved in an accident of some kind on 10 November 1917, initially described as a 'bruised ankle'.  He was transferred through various medical establishments to Etaples on the 11 November and then taken to England. After the 19 November he was being treated in the East Sussex Hospital, Hastings for a fractured Fibula and a bruised ankle.  He was well enough to go AWL on the 5-6 January 1918, for which he was fined two days pay, and he was granted leave from 15 -29 January 1918. He returned to No 2 Command Depot but was soon transferred to Australian HQ in London, the decision having been made to return him to Australia.  He did so on the Matalua, disembarking on the 15 August 1918.


Lieutenant Robert John McCaw was born in Ballymena on 9 April 1878 but had clearly not been living there for a long time. He was a professional soldier with a long career under arms with the Royal Irish Rifles, some 15 years and 3 months, then with the AIF, and 1 year 1 month as an instructor with senior cadet forces.  He was tall, almost 6', and weighed 156 lbs.  He had light blue eyes and light brown hair and he wrote 'Protestant' for his religious denomination.  He was married, his wife being Beatrice Alice.  She supplied four different addresses, all in Adelaide, South Australia, namely Prospect Terrace, Prospect, Adelaide; 64 Kermode Street, North Adelaide; Little Archer Street, N. Adelaide; and 7 The Marines, Grange, South Australia.


38 Robert John McCaw, 3rd Light Horse Regiment,  first enlisted in the AIF on the 9 August 1914 and embarked for Gallipoli on 22 October that year.  He reached the fighting zone on 9 May 1915 and was wounded in action on the 16 of that month, the bayonet wound to his right arm keeping him away from Gallipoli until 5 November 1915.  He was sick from 18 - 21 November 1915 and after his return he was sent to the machine gun school; his record is marked 'distinguished'.


He was sent to Alexandria, Egypt and 'taken on strength' with 1 Light Horse Regiment, transferred to the 47th Battalion in March 1916, and was made a 2nd Lieutenant; he was formerly a Staff Sergeant Major. He was sick for a month, then travelled to Alexandria and onward to Marseilles, France. He was wounded in action on 6 July 1916, one report saying he had damage to his face, right leg and left side; another just mentions the leg wound.). He was sent to England for treatment but was back at Etaples in France on 11 September 1916. He was 'taken on strength' with the 4 Divisional Brigade Depot, appointed Lieutenant,  and was then posted to the 12th Training Battalion.


In July 1917 he was taken ill and though the records initially show NYD (not yet diagnosed) it is clear that he was having the kind of problems we would associate with shell shock.  He was sent to Australia and landed in Adelaide on the 9 November 1917 but, surprisingly, he re-embarked from Melbourne on the 7 January 1918 and went to London. He was 'taken on strength' with the AIF there but, failing a medical, he was returned to Australia.  A letter of the 29 December 1917 says he was 'now fit for active service' and he went to Mitcham Camp and joined 'Instructional Staff' helping to train senior cadets.  He was finally discharged from the AIF  on 1 July 1918 and he died on the 19 January 1928.  He is buried in the AIF Cemetery, West Terrace, Adelaide.

3097 Corporal George Sterrett McCloy was born in Glenarm and lived there. He was the son of John and Sarah McCloy, but lived at Glenarm, Co Antrim with his aunt, the 1901 Irish census recording her as Mary Rogers, The Vennel, Glenarm. She said she was then aged 59 and that George was 3 and her nephew. George, aged 23, is recorded in the 1911 Irish census as living at Mark Street, Glenarm, and only he was listed on census day. Registration of births shows that both given ages, and indeed the age at death, are wrong.  He was registered as being the son of John McCloy, a schoolmaster, and Sarah, nee Sterrett, a schoolmistress, and he was said to be born in Glenarm on the 22 May 1890. He was an Anglican, not a Roman Catholic, as one record states.

The Vennel, Glenarm, the place where George S McCloy lived with his aunt.

John McCloy and Sarah Sterrett (or Sterritt), both schoolteachers in Glenarm and the children of local farmers, were married in Tickmacrevan Parish Church, Glenarm on the 11 August 1886. Records show they had at least five children. Henry Edward was born on the 20 August 1887, George Sterrett on the 22 May 1890, John on the 6 October 1892, Francis on the 14 January 1895 and Lucy on the 1 March 1896; all were born in Glenarm. Sarah McCloy, aged 36, also died there on the 14 March 1896, apparently of consumption.







Tickmacrevan Parish Church, Glenarm stands on the riverbank close to Glenarm Castle.

One record states George allegedly went to Australia when he was aged 9 years old and this is clearly wrong. He said at enlistment that he had served in the Light Horse for 3 years (Citizen Military Forces). He was in Australia an accountant, the husband of Elizabeth Mabel McCloy, of 33, Trafalgar St., Stanmore, New South Wales, formerly of 'Bonnevie', Slade Street, Naremburn, New South Wales.

He enlisted on the 6th October 1916 at Show Grounds Camp, Sydney, N.S.W and he left Australia as one of the 7th Reinforcements for the 35th Battalion, Australian Infantry. The unit had been raised in an around Newcastle, NSW and the Mayor of Newcastle had written to the Minister of the Navy, Mr Jensen, on the 20th April 1916 requesting that the Newcastle troops should embark at Newcastle. He said, ‘it would be a very gratifying compliment to the residents of this city and district if you could make arrangements for the embarkation of troops at present in camp here, especially the 35th Battalion, “Newcastle’s Own“, from Newcastle, on leaving for the seat of war."

He embarked from Sydney aboard HMAT Anchises on the 24 January 1917 and disembarked at Devonport, England on the 27 March 1917. He marched into AIF Details camp, Fovant, and went to the 9th Training Battalion, Durrington on the 7 April 1917. He was taken on strength with the permanent cadre of 2nd Training Brigade Headquarters, Fovant on the 7 November 1917 but returned to 9th Training Battalion, Fovant on the 27 January 1918. He proceeded overseas to France on the 30 January 1918, to the Australian Intermediate Base Depot, Roulles on the 31 January 1918 and then went to the 35th Battalion on the 8 February 1918. He served with the 35th Battalion Australian Infantry until killed in action on the 8th August 1918.  

The 35th Battalion, part of the 9th Brigade of the 3rd Australian Division, fought in the Battle of Amiens that began on the 8 August 1918. Haig’s plan called for a limited offensive at Amiens, on the Somme River, aimed at capturing the Amiens railway line stretching between Mericourt and Hangest. The British attack, unfolding after the morning August 8, 1918, was led by the British 4th Army under the command of Sir Henry Rawlinson. The Germans' 20,000 men were outnumbered six-fold by Allied forces, British, Australian and Canadian. These attackers employed some 400 tanks in the attack, along with over 2,000 artillery pieces and 800 aircraft.

By the end of August 8, 1918 - dubbed “the black day of the German army” by Ludendorff - the Allies had penetrated German lines around the Somme with a gap some 15 miles long. Though the Allies failed to continue their easy success in the days following August 8, the damage had been done and the Hundred Days Offensive that would end the war was underway. “We have reached the limits of our capacity .... The war must be ended”, Emperor Wilhelm II told General Ludendorff.

George McCloy was killed right at the start of the operation. The Reverend Osborne had spoken to him in the Regimental Aid Post but he was dead by the time he reached the Casualty Clearing Station.  He was originally buried at Vaire Wood, the service overseen by the Rev. H S Pugh.


He had been previously wounded in action by gas on the 17 April 1918 and had been admitted to 55th Field Ambulance and to 55th Casualty Clearing Station. He was taken to 11th Stationary Hospital, Rouen on the 19 April 1918 and to the 2nd Convalescent Depot, Le Havre on the 1 May 1918.  He was well enough to be transferred to 1st Australian Convalescent Depot, Le Havre on the 2 May 1918, and he was discharged to Australian General Base Depot, Le Havre on the 8 June 1918. He was back with his unit on the 13 June 1918.
 
He was  supposedly aged 33 years at time of death, though he was actually 28 years old. He is now buried in Villers Bretonneux Military Cemetery, France.

17213 Driver Samuel McCombe, 3rd Field Company, Engineers, enlisted in Lismore, NSW on the 6 June 1916.  He was 22 years and 11 months old and he described himself as a farmer/farm labourer who came originally from Cullybackey.  He gave his next of kin as his mother, Mrs Katherine (sic) McCombe, Cullybackey, Co Antrim.


The 1901 census record shows Hugh (31), a flax dresser, and his wife Catherine (30) living at house 29 Dunnygarran (now Dunnygarron), Cullybackey with their five children, Malcolm (9), Samuel (7), Charlotte (5) Matthew (3) and Hugh (1).  The 1911 return indicates the family had moved to house 8 in Dunnygarran. Hugh (43) is a water bailiff and Catherine (42) had seen her family has grow: Charlotte is 15, Matthew is 13, Hugh is 11, Thomas M is 8, David is 7, William J is 5, James is 3,Roberta is just 4 months old.  The family also have a lodger; James Given (44) is described as a farmer.


Samuel McCombe was just over 5' 6" tall and weighed 143 lbs.  He had hazel coloured eyes and light brown hair, also a deformed forefinger on his left hand.  He was, like the rest of his family, an Anglican.


He left the 11th Depot Battalion, Melbourne on the 10 May 1915 to travel to England, and having served 72 hours detention for 'breaking ship' in Freemantle, arrived in Plymouth on 29 July 1917.  He moved to a camp at Brightlingsea before being shipped to France from Southampton on 8/9 January 1918.  He was sent to the 3rd Field Company, Engineers and taken on strength with them on 22 January.


He was in hospital from the 4 September being treated for scabies, was discharged to No 2 Command Depot on the 8 September, moved to Base Depot on the 30 September, and then as sent back to his unit on the 20 November 1918. He got leave in the UK from 27 December 1918 - 18 January 1919.  He returned and served a short detachment, 9 February - 17 February 1919, moving horses to Le Havre.  He rejoined his unit thereafter but was back in hospital soon afterwards with scabies. About the same time a decision was made to return him to Australia and he left England on the Ormonde on 25 April 1919.  He landed in Australia in 4 August and was discharged on 3 September 1919.


984 Private James McConnell , 8 Platoon, B Coy. 11th Bn Australian Infantry, was KIA on the 19th May 1915. He was born in Australia, raised in Ballymena and attended Ballymena Academy. The 28 year old RC was an engineer's machinist and lived at Bay Rd, North Freemantle, Western Australia. He had enlisted on the 10th September 1914 and had left Australia on HMAT Ascanius from Freemantle on the 2nd November 1914.  His uncle, Mr Charles McConnell, Brookville, Galgorm Road, Ballymena,  was given as his next of kin, and James named Margaret McKinney, Broughshane Street, Ballymena, a nurse, as main beneficiary of his will. Later, however, it emerged he had a half-sister, Miss Rose McConnell (Box 161, GPO Sydney) who allegedly learned of his death in 1922 from a newspaper, though he had apparently visited her before he left Australia.


McConnell was 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighed 141 lbs, and he had blue eyes and dark coloured hair.


He went to Gallipoli on the 2 March 1915 aboard HMT Suffolk, presumably from Alexandria. He was buried by Father Fahey near Anzac Cove in Brown's Dip Cemetery, Monash Valley but his remains were later removed - the graves were being destroyed by winter floods and erosion along the valley - and he is buried now in Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli.


18902 Gunner William Clinton McCreight said he was born in Craigywarren, Kirkinriola, Ballymena. The 1901 census shows his widowed mother Margaret Jane (53), a farmer, living in house 19 Craigywarren, with twin daughters Maggie and Lizzie, aged 17, and son John, aged 23.   Others were not present for the census.  They are found at house 3 Virginia Street, Cromac, Belfast in the 1911 census.  The widowed Margaret Jane (65) lists her children as follows: Annie Mary (37), tailoress, William Clinton (30), labourer in engine works,  twins Lizzie and Maggie (27), tailoresses, Sarah (25), tailoress, and Robert (6), scholar. Had she moved away from Craigywarren because she of an illegitimate child?  The 1907 Belfast Street Directory shows her already the resident in 3 Virginia Street.


William McCreight said he was 36 years and 8 months old in 1915, not quite the same as the census. He was 6' tall, weighed 166 lbs and grey eyes were beginning to better match his black hair which was also greying.  He said he was a labourer, that he had served two and one half years as an apprentice whitesmith (tinsmith), and that he had previously served twelve years in the Royal Marine Artillery. 


He enlisted in the AIF on 15 December 1915 and left Australia for Europe on 11 May 1916. He moved via Southampton to France soon after and joined the 7th Field Artillery Brigade in January 1917; he also served in other units from time to time.   He was ill and suffering from myalgia, muscle pain, from 2 November 1917 to 28 January 1918  but rejoined his unit in February.  He was detached in July to serve as a batman, officer's servant, with the 1st Australian Divisional Artillery for a time and got leave in England on the 29 July 1918.  He came back to France in August 1918 and was reattached to the artillery.  However, he was sick on the 7 April and admitted to hospital NYD (not yet diagnosed) but erythema (redness of the skin that results from capillary congestion. Erythema can occur with inflammation, as in sunburn) is written beside it.  He was eventually sent to England and onward to Australia on board Aeneas.  He landed on the 12 July 1919 and was discharged from the AIF on 28 August 1919.

Sergeant James Alexander McCullough, Ballymena Weekly Telegraph, January 1918
photograph courtesy of Nigel Henderson

162 Sergeant James Alexander McCullough was the second youngest son of Robert and Isabella McCullough, of Rocky Creek, Millmerran, Queensland and formerly of Kilgad Cottages, Kells. The family of two adults and at least eight children had emigrated about 1907 when James was just 10 years old and he lived at Punch's Creek, Millmerran, Queensland.  He was single, 21 years old, weighed 144 lbs, and he was 6 feet tall. He was a farmer/farm labourer. He enlisted on the 11th November 1915 in Toowoomba and sailed to Europe on HMAT Borda on the 5th June 1916.


HMAT Borda left Sydney and reached Southampton on 23rd July and James landed in France on 26th November 1916.  He was accidentally wounded, a shot in the left leg, and only returned to duty on the 16th July 1917. He was appointed Sergeant (Temporary) with the 42nd Australian Infantry (Machine Gun Section), A.I.F  with which he served. However, he was KIA near Zonnebeke, Belgium on the 4th October 1917.


James is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate), Belgium. He had two brothers in Australian forces, 3593 Private Robert McCullough and 238 Private John McCullough.


238 Private John McCullough joined the army in Toowoomba on 11 December 1915.  He moved from the 10th Depot Battalion to the 35th  Battalion and then served in 'A' Coy, 41st Bn after 22 February 1916. He was the third youngest son of Robert and Isabella McCullough, of Rocky Creek, Millmerran, Queensland and formerly of Kilgad Cottages, Kells.   He was about 20 years old in 1915, weighed 146 lbs and he had brown eyes and dark brown hair. He was single, a Presbyterian and a farm labourer.


He left Sydney, Australia on the 17 May 1916 and arrived in Plymouth on 20 July, travelling on to France via Southampton on 24 November 1916.


He won the Military Medal on 28th September 1917.  The statement on his file is almost illegible but says in part as follows: July - August 1917 he was 'living under the most arduous conditions' and was 'the man in charge of the lamp at the forward post and almost continuously for sixty hours and positioned in a most exposed position under very heavy enemy fire' he succeeded in ' keeping the lamp ... successfully maintaining communications throughout that period with Battalion HQ',


He was sick between 11 -18 January 1918 with scabies, and again ill with the same from 26 January - 7 February 1918.  He was gassed on 26 May 1918 and was eventually transferred on board the HS Gloucester Castle to Denmark Hill Hospital, London, England.  He was subsequently discharged from the army. He got leave from the 3 - 17 September 1918 and then went to No 1 Command Depot. He did some training with the 9th Training Battalion of the Overseas Training Brigade, but was selected for repatriation.  He was returned to Australia on Ascanius, reaching home on 26 May 1919.


3593 Private Robert McCullough was 30 years old when he enlisted in February 1916 and he was the oldest of the McCullough family.  He was 5 feet & eleven inches tall, weighed 154 lbs and he had grey eyes and black hair.  He was a farmer/farm labourer.

He embarked from Brisbane on 19 August 1916 on 'Boorara' to go to Plymouth, arriving there on the 13 October 1916.  He was fined 20 days pay for being AWL and failing to report for a 'city picquet' while on board ship. He travelled onward on 17/18 December 1916 from Folkestone to Etaples, France on board the 'Golden Eagle'.  He joined his unit, the 31st Battalion,  on the 26th December 1916.


He was wounded in the left shoulder in autumn 1917.  He was treated in Reading War Hospital at 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford before being discharged to No3 Command Depot, Hurdcott.  On the 15 January 1918 he was sent to No 2 Command Depot, Weymouth and returned to Australia aboard RMS Osterley.  He was discharged on 16 May 1918. 


2490 Driver Thomas McCullough who enlisted in Sydney, NSW on the 18 May 1916 was born in Broughshane.  He was the son of Robert McCullough, Ballylig, though he then lived at 384 Kent Street, Sydney.


The 1911 census return shows Robert (64), a farmer, living at house 16 in Ballylig with his children: Robert G (20), Martha (18), Thomas (14) and Ina Eveline (6).


The 1901 record shows Robert and his wife Annie (39) living at 13 Rathskerry, Broughshane and gives their family as follows: Samuel H (18), Aggie (16), Maggie H (12), Robert G (10), Martha (8) and Thomas (4).


Thomas McCullough was single, 19 years and 10 months old, was about 5' 8" tall and weighed 142 lbs, and he had grey eyes and dark brown hair. He was a Presbyterian.  He said he was a tile layer and claimed to have served three years of an apprenticeship with Mr Walker of Sydney. Thomas could not have been in Australia for much longer than that and must have emigrated when he was about 16.  He also claimed to have served in the 27th Infantry, some kind of  local militia, for one year.


He left Australia on the HMAT Wiltshire on the 22 August and disembarked in Plymouth 13 October 1916.  He was taken on strength at No 3 Command Depot the same day.  He went AWL from Bovington Camp from 25-26 October and lost two days pay for the offence.  He marched in to the Pioneer Training Battalion at Perham Downs on the 9 November, went AWL from the 26 - 28 December and was confined to camp for seven days and fined four days pay, and was on his way to France via Folkestone on the 'Princess Clementine' on the 16 January 1917; there he joined the 1st Pioneer Battalion. 


He was on leave in the UK from 13 January - 4 February 1918, came back to France and served a number of stints outside his own unit.  He was detached to the 1st Australian Division HQ from the 25 -27 May and served with the 64th Australian Artillery Brigade from 29 May - 2 June and from 4 June - 1 August 1918. He was transferred to the 1st Australian Divisional Train and promoted to Driver on the 11 October 1918. 


He was sent to England on the 15 May 1919 and granted leave from 19 January - 2 February.  He was to be returned to Australia, initially on the 'Persic', but something happened and the records shows 'did not embark'.  A note in the file explains all. It says as follows: "arrest person illegally embarked on 'Persic' and with the paybook number 33604 belonging to 2490 Driver T McCullough, 1st Company Army Service Corps. Latter did not embark." Thomas embarked on the HMAT Ceramic instead. He disembarked in Australia on the 3 October and was discharged on the 17 November 1919.


1997A Sergeant Michael McFerran's original grave marker.
Image P04249.002, courtesy of Australian War Memorial
Public Domain Mark 1.0

1997A Sergeant Michael McFerran,  joined the AIF on the 20th January 1915.  He initially served with the 5th Reinforcements/13th Battalion, AIF but was eventually to transfer to the 37th Battery, 10th Field Artillery Brigade.  He was born near Rasharkin and said he was a farm labourer.  He named his mother as his next of kin and said she was Mrs Katherine McFerran (Later Mrs Henery sic Doherty), Crushybracken, Glarryford.


McFerran was 24 years and 1 month old (some records say 22 and may be more accurate) when he enlisted.  He was just over 5' 10" tall and weighed 146 lbs; he had grey eyes and dark brown hair.  He was a RC.


He joined his unit, the 13th Battalion, AIF in Gallipoli on the 13 July 1915 and was on H S Delta going back to Egypt on the 7 August.  He had sustained a bullet wound to his left hand.  He spent time in No 2 General Hospital and the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital before being released to light duties at Zeitoun, Egypt.  He wasn't finally fully released to duty until the 19 October, rejoining the MEF on the 21st and his battalion at Mudros on the 31 October.  He found life difficult and was returned to Egypt in January 1916 on HS Tunisia, his records showing he had still problems with his hand and his 'nerves'.  He was discharged to Zeitoun on the 13 February and rejoined his battalion. In March and April he transferred to the 4th Division Artillery, 10th Field Artillery Brigade, 37th Battery; he was also promoted to Bombardier despite a reprimand for 'neglect of duty'.  The unit transferred to the BEF on the 5 June  and went to France via Marseilles.


McFerran was then in hospital with non-battle related sickness for about seventy seven days  and was only taken on strength with his unit on the 23 March 1917.  He was wounded in action again, this time a severe gunshot wound to the right buttock, on the 7 April and he was quickly moved to England on HS Aberdonia for treatment.  He recovered well and got leave from 28 May to 12 June before he reported to Perham Downs Camp.  Soon thereafter he was shipped from Folkestone to Rouelles, France, rejoining his unit on the 8 July.


He was again wounded on 29 August but this time the wound was superficial and he remained on duty.  He was appointed Sergeant on the 12 January 1918.


He was killed in action on the 5 April 1918.  He was buried by the Rev R Finigan, attached to the 4th Brigade HQ, at Warloy-Baillion Military Communal Cemetery Extension, 5 miles 'west north west of Albert'.

Joseph Hughes McIlwaine, from Ballymena Weekly Telegraph
photograph courtesy of Nigel Henderson
1145 Private Joseph Hughes McIlwaine, 'B' Company, 8th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, died while aboard HS Royal George on the 13 May 1915 of head wounds, recorded as 'GSW skull', received at Dardanelles and was interred in Chatby Cemetery, Egypt.  The family had lived in Leongatha, Victoria, Australia but the 24 year old was born at Castlegore, Connor, Co Antrim.  

Joseph Hughes McIlwaine was the son of John McIlwaine, born Carnmoney, and Sarah Jane McIlwaine, nee Hughes. The 1901 Irish census records 34-year-old Sarah at Castlegore and she listed Joseph (10), William (9), Cathern (sic) (5) and infant Sarah as being present at the time of the survey. They do not appear in the 1911 Irish census and were presumably all in Australia by then. His sister Kathleen also told the AIF that both parents were living with her in Australia at the time of his death.

McIlwaine was a 5’ 8” tall and had brown eyes and black hair. He said he was a labourer and single when he enlisted on the 1 October 1914. He was then a Presbyterian.

1101 Private James McKay, 59th Railway Company, probably came from Ballymena.  He gave his address and it was written down as Ballyming (sic),  Co Antrim, Ireland.  He was married, his wife being  Mrs Olivette Margaret McKay, 533 Harris Street, Ultimo, Sydney, New South Wales.  He was nearly 39, just over 5' 8, and weighed 190 lbs when he enlisted on 16 January 1917.  He was said to have grey eyes and dark hair. He was an Anglican, a granger (farmer) by trade.


James McKay embarked from Adelaide on HMAT Militades on the 24 January 1917 and disembarked in Devonport, England  on 27 March 1917,  He marched into 3rd Section Australian Railway Operating Division, St. Lucia Barracks, Borden on 27 March and proceeded to France through Southampton with 59th Company in May 1917. He was in France from the 12 May and was selected to be promoted to rank of T/Corporal on the 26 August.  He was promoted to rank of 2nd Corporal on the 26 November 1917.


He was detached from unit from the 3 June 1918 - 10 July 1918, probably to the Depot,  and went leave in England on 11 July 1918, rejoining his unit on 27 July.  He again proceeded to England on leave on 11 March 1919, rejoining his unit on 26 March 1919. He moved out from Australian General Base Depot, Havre, 1 May 1919 and was marched into No 3 Group, Codford, 2 May 1919.


He started his return to Australia on HT Konigin Luise on 21 June 1919 and disembarked at Sydney, 16 August 1919. He was discharged from the AIF in Sydney on the 23 September 1919.

127 Private Thomas McKay was the son of Samuel McKay, a farmer, from Drumrankin, Cullybackey.  The 1901 census records him, his wife Rosey (sic), and his five children, William (24), James (20), Maggie (18), Thomas (13) and Rosemary (11), living at house No. 30 in Drumrankin. The 1911 return has Samuel and Rosie sic living with William (34) and Rosemary (23); the others have been absent for the census,  married or moved on. Thomas may already have been in Australia.


Thomas McKay was just over 5' 6" tall, weighed 148 lbs and had brown eyes and black hair.  He was a Presbyterian, a labourer by trade.  He enlisted on 5 April 1915, originally in the 26th Battalion, AIF, but he transferred to the 2nd Pioneer Battalion on the 13 March 1916.


McKay was sent first to Gallipoli.  He was sick for a time with diarrhoea, was evacuated to Egypt,  but he returned to the 7th Brigade and 26th Battalion in Gallipoli on 5 October 1915. 


He joined the BEF on 19 March 1916 and was discharged from his ship at Marseilles on the 26 March.  He trained for a time with at the 2nd Australian Division School before joining his unit on the 24 April.  He was wounded in action, a severe bullet wound in the left thigh, on the 15 September and was in hospitals at Rouen and Buchy (probably No.11 Convalescent Camp), France until the 12 November 1917.  He was taken on strength with his unit on the 14 November.


He was granted leave in Paris from 8 - 13 February 1918 and returned to duty. He was detached from the 2 Pioneer Battalion on the 8 April 1918 as a 'runner', presumably an indication that his leg was completely healed.


He was detached to the CRE 2nd Division on the 1 July 1918, granted leave in England from 3 - 22 September 1918, and returned to France.  However, he was selected for return to Australia, moved to England and left for home on Warwickshire on the 5 April 1919.  He disembarked in Australia on the 29 May 1919.

2036 Sergeant Samuel McNeilly, enlisted on 24 March 1916 in Sydney, NSW, initially becoming part of the 6th Reinforcements.  He was the son of Mr Samuel McNeilly, Liminary, Kells, Ballymena. The 1911 census records Samuel (59) and his wife Mary (49) living in house 52 in Liminary, Ballyclug, Ballymena with eight children: Samuel (29), Sarah (19), Thomas (18), William John (16), Duncan (13) Charles (9), Alex (8) and Henery sic (7).  The 1901 return, filled in when Samuel was not present, shows Mary, her mother Mrs Sarah McLaughlin (76), farm servant Andrew Gilmour (40) and the first six children.  The family were Scottish in origin. Sarah McLaughlin, Samuel and Mary McNeilly were all from Renfrewshire and their first six children were all born there.  Only Alex and Henery are said to have been born in Co Antrim.  Indeed, Samuel McNeilly says on his enlistment that he was born in Millport, Isle of Bute, Renfrewshire, Scotland.  This also explains why younger brother Duncan enlisted in Glasgow and served with the Seaforth Highlanders. He died of wounds in London and is buried Kells and Connor New Cemetery.  He is commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church (wrongly designated AIF), as is his brother.


Samuel McNeilly was 32 years and 9 months old when he enlisted and he was a farmer.  He was 5' 10" tall, weighed 168 lbs, and he had blue eyes and brown hair.


He left Sydney, Australia on RMS Osterley on the 10 February 1917 and landed at Plymouth, England on 11 April.  He went to No 3 Camp Parkhouse, then transferred to the 63rd Battalion at Perham Downs Camp.  He was ill with pleuro-pneumonia and in hospital in Wareham in June of that year but, fully recovered by August, he was sent overseas via Southampton to Rouelles France; there he became a reinforcement for the 36th Battalion and was taken on strength on the 1 September 1917. 


He was wounded in action on the 12 October, receiving a severe wound to his right buttock, and he was moved on the 16 October to England on the HS St Denis.  He was in the 1st Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge from the 17 October 1917 to the 21 August 1918, and he was then transferred to the 1st Auxiliary Hospital.  He got leave from the 5 - 19 September  1918, then reported to No 2 Command Depot.  He got a C2 medical rating and was selected for return to Australia.  He disembarked from Gaika on 29 December 1918 and was discharged from the AIF on the 5 February 1919.


Private Arthur Mills, joined the AIF in Liverpool, NSW on the 19 February 1915 and was to be one of the 4th Reinforcements for the 19th Battalion.  He is described as being from Lowtown, Glenwherry, Ballymena, and he also gave that address for his mother, Mrs  Margaret Mills.


The 1911 census return shows Margaret Mills (57), living with her son-in-law William McClean, 25 and a farm servant, and his wife Eliza (26) at Skirrywhirry, Glenwherry. John McClean (5), William's step-son lived with them, as did Maggie Arthur, a niece. William could not read.


Mills was just under 5' 6" tall, weighed 148 lbs, and he had blue eyes and brown hair.  He was 29 years and 3 months old at the time of his enlistment.  He never became a fully fledged soldier because he was 'discharged at his own request' 'prior to embarkation' on 10 March 1915.  A letter written by him on 15 January 1946, when he requested a replacement badge to show that he had volunteered for military service, said he was 'medically unfit'; indeed, his attestation paper does refer to an 'open scar hernia, right side'.  He gave his address at that time as 169 Castlereagh Street, Redfern, NSW, but his records include an envelope with that address dated the 29 January 1946 and it is marked 'Return to Sender'.

64 Driver Charles Connor Moore, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, enlisted in Brisbane, Queensland on the 21 August 1914.  He stated that he was born in Ballymena and gave his mother as his next of kin, giving her name and address as Jane Moore, 90 University Street, Belfast; the 1918 Belfast Street Directory confirms this.


Moore was 34 years and 11 months old when he enlisted and he stated that he was a farmer.  He was almost 6' tall, weighed 168 lbs and was said to have greyish eyes and fair curly hair.  He also said he had served in the Imperial Yeomanry from 16 January 1900 to 15 June 1901, in the Cape Police (South Africa) from 4 January 1902 to the 4 April 1903.


He left Australia on the Star of England on the 29 September 1914 but spent little time in the AIF. A telegram of the 16 March 1915 noted C Moore's 'appointment sanctioned, Lieutenant, Essex Regiment, White City, London' and enquiries after World War 1 found an Orderly Room Sergeant who remembered Moore leaving for Alexandria and England.  A nominal Roll was found showing that Moore had sailed from Suez on Kanowna and returned to Australia for discharge. Another source said he had joined Kanowna at Malta.


Enquiries in England showed that C C Moore had returned to England, got his commission  as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Essex Regiment, and had served with them from 12 November 1915 to November 1918 - see Supplement to the London Gazette, 10 May 1915 (page 4523) which records: The Esssex Regiment, 12 Battalion, Charles Connor Moore, to be Temporary Lieutenant, Dated 15 April 1915)  The AIF was told his last known address was c/o Sir W H Horrocks, KCMG, CB, 'Birchmead', Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England.


William Heaton Horrocks graduated in medicine in London in 1883. For a time he was resident at the Brompton Hospital for Chest Diseases and then went to the Guildford Hospital.  He was commissioned Surgeon-Captain on passing out of Netley on the 5 Feb 1887. While in India, he married Minna, daughter of the Rev J C Moore, of Connor, County Antrim. He had a son, Brian Gwynne, later 'Jorrocks' of WW2 fame,  and a daughter, Jean Moore. Jane Moore that was Charles Connor Moore's mother was presumably wife of the Reverend John Charles Moore. Moore's brother, Capt D M Moore served in the Royal Irish Rifles.


REA (or RAE),  William,  4915, Private, 58th Australian Infantry, died of wounds received in action on the 14th August 1916. He was the son of William and Joyce Rae (Rea on headstone, Rae on his enlistment papers) of Tullygarley, though he had been living in Australia since his 18th birthday. He was aged 51 (Age given as 47 yrs on CWGC/Australian records. He gives his age as 43 years & 7 months at his enlistment.) and he was a baker, his address being Leura Villas, St Alban's Rd, East Geelong, Victoria. He enlisted on the 28th July 1915 and sailed from Melbourne on HMAT Wiltshire on 7th March 1916. He joined the 58th Battalion at Etaples, France on 22 July 1916 and he was wounded on 14th August 1916.  These wounds were described as a compound fracture of the skull and a fracture of the knee, and the record shows he died of gunshot wounds at 1 Australian Casualty Clearing Station.  He is buried in Estaires Communal Cemetery, Nord, France, and commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church and in Ballyclug Old Cemetery. His brother Alexander also lived in Australia.

2933 Private William John Reid was born in Portglenone but had probably been living in Australia for a long time. He was  almost 42 years old when he enlisted and he is described as being a labourer, just over 5' 7" tall and 154 lbs in weight, and as having brown eyes and brown hair. He was a Presbyterian. He nominated his cousin as his next of kin - Mr William Reid, Rome Street, Newtown, Toowoomba, NSW.  A much later letter, written after his death by his wife, says she was Emily Reid, 23 Hillview Street, Tamworth, NSW.


Reid left Brisbane on Marathon on 27 October 1916, one of the 7th Reinforcements for the 47th Battalion, AIF, and he arrived in Plymouth, England on the 13 January 1917; he went immediately to the 12th Training Battalion in Codford Camp.  He went overseas via Southampton to France on the 29 May 1917, spent a short period at the depot in Havre and then joined the 47th Battalion on the 21 June 1917.


Reid was wounded in action on the 29 September 1917, receiving wounds to his left arm and neck.  He went via the usual routes to hospital in Rouen on the 30 September and was then transferred by ship to England.  He was in the 2nd Southern General hospital in Bristol from 7 October 1917 until the 22 October; he was then moved to No 3 Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford. He left there for the No 2 Command Depot at Weymouth on 2 November, a a medical there resulted in his record being marked 'otitis media' (inflammation of the middle ear).  He was told he was to be returned to Australia and left England on Euripides on the 30 January 1918.  He arrived in Australia on the 21 March and was discharged from the AIF in Brisbane on 9 June 1918.

RENNIE, 1619 Private David, 2nd Bn. Australian Imperial Force, was killed in action on the 9 April 1917.  He was the son of John Rennie, a farmer, and his wife Mary Jane, nee McClarty, of East Torr, Culfeightrin, a townland about half way between Cushendall and Ballycastle. He joined the AIF at Liverpool, NSW on the 19 November 1914, left Sydney aboard HMAT (A49) Seang Choon and was part of the ‘permanent beach party’ at the Dardanelles, Turkey. He served on ‘kit bag escort’ to Cairo and later went to Marseilles, France as part of the ‘baggage escort’. He was still with the 2nd Battalion when he served in France and it was while with them that he was killed. He is buried in Hermies British Cemetery, ‘8 miles east of Bapaume’, France. He had at least three brothers, Charles, Samuel, and John Rennie, the latter at East Torr, Ballyvoy, Ballycastle.

2387 Trooper William Charles Ritchie enlisted on the 19 March 1917 and became part of the 19 Reinforcements for the 12th Light Horse, AIF. He said he was born in Broughshane and nominated his father, Mr James Ritchie, Rathkeel, Broughshane, as his next of kin.  The 1901 census return finds James Ritchie (43), farmer and harness maker, living in house 16 Rathkeel with his mother Eliza (77), and his children; William C is 15, James is 13 and Elizabeth Jane is 11; other family members may not have been in the house when the form was filled in.  The 1911 form shows them in house 15 Rathkeel.  James (57) is with two of his children, Elizabeth Jane and Thomas.


William Charles Ritchie said he was 32 years and 5 months old when he enlisted in 1917, and he described himself as a share farmer from Gunnedah, NSW.  He was just over 5' 2" tall and weighed 126 lbs, and he had blue eyes and brown hair.  He was a Presbyterian.


Ritchie's papers show he enlisted on the 19 March 1917 but his recorded military career shows him embarking for England on the Commonwealth from Melbourne on the 2 November 1917; a considerable gap exists. Two fragments of paper in his file shed some light on the matter.


He apparently embarked from Sydney on 11 June 1917 aboard the Port Lincoln but then disembarked on the 19 June and was sent into isolation at the Isolation Camp, Ascot Vale (Ascot Vale Isolation Camp was at the Melbourne Showgrounds, near Seymour Training Camp, Victoria).  He was there from the 21-26 June, and he was then transferred to hospital and stayed there from 27 June to 11 August 1917; the note here refers to the 'Port Lincoln detail', suggesting the entire ship's complement may have been affected. Further isolation followed and he did not return to Seymour Camp until 6 September 1917.


Ascot Vale Isolation Camp was a response to the prevalence of infectious diseases, such as measles, mumps, etc, spreading through the Army's ranks. The Isolation Camp was established to quarantine soldiers who had been exposed to a disease or who had contracted a disease. Often whole units would be in isolation at Ascot Vale for three weeks at a time, but this record would suggest that Ritchie was actually ill.


William Charles Ritchie did finally reach Suez and was marched into Moascar Camp on 10 December 1917.  He joined the 4th Light Horse Training Regiment on the 31 January 1918 and was taken on strength with the 12th Light Horse on the 1 February.  Further training between 11 July and 13 August followed, but he was soon ill.  He was sent sick to Alexandria on the 28 October, spent further time in No 19 General Hospital and elsewhere, and was not discharged from care until 18 December 1918.  He was at the Moascar Depot from the 18 December 1918 until 30 January 1919, joining the 4th Training Battalion on that latter date.  He was back in hospital on the 6 May 1919. 


The decision to return him to Australia was made about then and he was to board Morvada at Kantara, Egypt in May 1919.  He was discharged from the AIF on 10 December 1919.


His Majesty's Australian Hospital Ship No 2 - 'Kanowna'
Out of Copyright - Item is held by John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

13986 Sapper William Ross
, Australian Engineers, enlisted on the 4 January 1916, had his medical at Brisbane and attested at the School of Military Engineering at Moore Park in Sydney, and was to serve with various units, notably the 12th Field Company and the 5th Field Company.  

William Ross, 5’ 8” tall and with grey eyes and fair hair, came originally from Ballymena, and his name is associated with Wellington Street Presbyterian Church, though his record says he was an atheist.  He listed his cousin, a Miss M J McClung (or McLung), 11 Toome Road, Ballymena, as his next of kin, and he, a fitter, said he has served an apprenticeship of 6 years with ‘Cain Brothers’ (sic on record) – Kane’s Foundry was adjacent to Harryville, Ballymena.

Ross was to leave Sydney aboard HMAT Hororata (A20) on the 2 May 1916. He went overseas from Folkestone aboard the SS Princess Victoria.  He was originally attached to the 12th Field Company, Engineers, part of the Australian 4th Division, but transferred to the 5th Field Company, part of the 2nd Division, on the 12 February 1917. He was wounded while serving with them on the 3 May 1917, presumably at the Second Battle of Bullecourt, part of the Arras Offensive. One author has described the event thus:
The Second Battle of Bullecourt began at 3.45 a.m. on 3 May with eight successive waves of infantry, this time supported by artillery fire. The Australians broke through the partially destroyed barbed wire entanglements, passing many of their comrades killed the month before (1st Battle of Bullecourt) and still lying in the mud. The 5th Brigade, cut to pieces by machine gun fire, was forced to withdraw before crossing the barbed wire and this brought to a halt the following waves of infantry‘ - http://www.remembrancetrails-northernfrance.com/history/battles/the-two-battles-of-bullecourt-april-and-may-1917.html

Ross, sustaining shrapnel damage to this abdomen, was badly injured and he was described as ‘dangerously ill’.  No 3 Australian Casualty Clearing Station put him on 31 Ambulance Train and he went to 10 General Hospital at Rouen on the 6th.  He went to England aboard the HS St George on the 11th May and was at the University War Hospital in Southampton on the 12th. He wasn’t transferred to No 1 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, Middlesex until 30 June 1917 - Harefield Park House was used as the No. 1 Australian Auxiliary Hospital from December 1914 until January 1919. He remained very ill and nominated for return to Australia on the 19th July 1917. He was transferred to Australia on No 2 HS ‘Kanowna’.  HS Kanowna sailed from London on 25 August 1919, stopped briefly at Durban, South Africa on the 24 September 1919 and arrived at Sydney on the 27 October 1917. Ross was discharged ‘medically unfit’ from the AIF at Brisbane on the 8 November 1917.  He had served for 674 days and spent some 500 of those days overseas. His fate is not known, though he survived and he was applying for a new copy of his discharge certificate in 1950, sadly because he wanted to go to a military hospital for treatment.

3918 Private Hugh Scullion, born in Ballymena, enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne, Victoria on 9 July 1915 and became part of the 12th Reinforcements for the 8th Battalion.  He was then 32 years and 4 months old, just under 5' 5" tall, and he weighed 150 lbs.  He had brown eyes and dark brown hair.  He described himself as a RC, a widower and a labourer; elsewhere he is described as a storeman.  He nominated his brother as his next of kin, namely Mr Lewis Scullion, Butler Street, Belfast.  Later he gave the address of his mother: Mrs Scullion, 30 Brookfield Street, Belfast; the 1918 Belfast Street Directory shows a Mrs B Scullion residing there.  He gave his own address as 113 Charles Street, Prahran, Melbourne, Victoria but in 1918 changed this to Glenferrie Road, Glenferrie, Melbourne, Victoria.


Hugh Scullion was the son of Hugh and Maria (Kennedy) Scullion.  There were at least five children in the family: Agnes (1868), Hugh (1873), Lewis (1876), Bernard (1879) and Elizabeth (1885).


He enlisted on the 7 July 1915 and eleven days later was at Acton Vale Depot in Melbourne; on the 4 November, with some basis training behind him, he transferred to 12th/8th Battalion.  He embarked on 29 March 1916 on Transylvania to Alexandria, Egypt, travelling on with her to Marseilles, France on the 4 April.  He joined his battalion on the 29 July 1916 but was wounded in action on the 18 August, the record showing a gunshot wound to chest and shoulder.  A fuller medical report described the wound thus: 'while in the trenches he was struck by a piece of shell which entered above the left clavicle fracturing it and emerging 3 inches lower down from the pectoralis major muscle of left breast. The movements of the shoulder are limited and left arm is weak.'   The record states it was caused by 'gunshot wound to left neck and chest'.


He was treated at 20 Casualty Clearing Station, moved to Etaples, then onward to England on HS Newhaven. He was admitted to No 2 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, St Marylebone School, South Road, Southall, Middlesex on the 24 August 1916 and he recovered well, eventually being discharged to No 2 Command Depot, Weymouth on 31 October.


He subsequently transferred to the 65 Bn from the 8th Bn, one record stating that he was taken on strength with the former on the 25 March 1917.  However, he was admitted to Tidworth Military Hospital on the 26 June 1917, his record marked NYD (Not Yet Diagnosed).  However, it soon became clear he had a major health problem, one which had clearly affected him during all his time in the AIF. For five years, he admitted, he had had pains in the stomach that led to vomiting.  He had even noticed blood in the discharge.  He said the attacks happened once a month on average and that they would last several days.  He was discharged to his unit on the 30 July but he had a gastric ulcer and chronic gastritis. Other incidences of illness followed and he was clearly unfit for military service. The decision was made to return him to Australia.  He transferred back to the 8th Battalion and embarked on Persic in December 1917.  He was discharged from the AIF on 28 April 1918.


He died in the 11th Australian General Hospital, Caulfield, Melbourne on Saturday, 29 May 1920 from broncho-pneumonia and heart failure.  He is buried in Brighton Cemetery, Melbourne.

2842  Private Robert Shannon, 4th Australian Infantry Battalion, was killed in action on the 6th May 1917 in France and is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneau Memorial.  Aged 36, he was the son on Samuel and Agnes Shannon (nee Henry), Montalto, Newtowncrommelin and he was the second of seven children.  He was five feet six inches tall, with a dark complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair.  He was educated at Tullybane School, Cloughmills and worked in Mr A Turner's shop in Cloughmills before emigrating to Australia when he was about 25 years old; two of the Turners also emigrated to Australia and Robert died in WW1.  His eldest sister, Sarah, lived in Narrabri, New South Wales and worked as a draper in a clothes shop.


According to Thompson (Robert Thompson, Ballymoney Heroes, 1914-18), he enlisted in 1915 but his arrival in the fighting zone was delayed because he contracted mumps and required prolonged medical attention.  Having embarked from Sydney aboard Euripides on the 2 November 1915, he arrived at Tel el Kebir, Egypt and was transferred to the 4th Battalion. He then boarded HT Simla for onward transport and he finally arrived at Marseilles on the 30th March 1916.


On 24 July 1916, he sustained bullet wounds to the head and left foot (one record says thigh) and he was taken 1 Australian Field Ambulance to 44 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) and immediately transferred to No 19 Ambulance Train. In July he arrived in 1st Australian General Hospital at Rouen. After three days here he was moved to Le Havre and taken on board the H.S. Marami and to 3rd Western General Hospital in Newport, Monmouthshire. He arrived there on the 30th July and was there until the 17th October, when he was moved to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Orchard Hospital, Dartford, Kent; he was later moved to the 3rd London General Hospital,  Wandsworth where he spent another week before being granted two weeks leave. He reported to No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs and on 13 December he left Folkestone, England on S.S.Arundel. He landed next day at Etaples and on 20th December rejoined the 4th Battalion. He was killed in action on 6 May 1917 and a report states that he was buried in the vicinity of Bullecourt.


He is commemorated in Killagan Parish Church, Cloughmills.  He gave only his mother's name as next of kin when he enlisted. His sister Sarah wrote to the AIF as follows: 'his mother is still alive. But considering her state of health and what the news of his death caused her. I think it advisable that she receives no medal as it could only revive the past and give her more pain and suffering than pleasure. (Sic)' Sarah took the medals.  Her words remind us of the  pain World War 1 caused.

SMITH, Samuel Lyle, 28326, Gunner, 10th Field Artillery Brigade, AIF, died of wounds on the 23rd May 1918. Smith was said to be aged almost 26 (actually born 26 June 1890 at Tollymore, Broughshane) and was just over 6 feet in height, and he joined the army on 29th May 1915.  He was the son of Samuel and Margaret Smith, and his mother, nee Stevenson, was dead by the start of the Great War.

He travelled from Melbourne to Plymouth on 'Ulysses', arriving in England on 28th December 1916. He was almost immediately admitted to hospital with influenza and was not released for duty until 14th February 1917.  He then travelled to France via Folkestone and was finally 'taken on strength' on the 20th June 1917.  He was admitted to No.5 General Hospital on the 9th May 1918 with gunshot wounds to the left hip and the right leg and died there in Rouen on the 23rd May.

He was formerly of Tullymore Cottage, Broughshane. He appears to have had sisters, Mary Elizabeth Lyle Smith and Susan are mentioned in connection with 19, Wolsey Street, Belfast. He is buried in St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France and commemorated in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church. His sister Roberta S Smith died while serving with the US Army Nursing Corps.

299 Private James Smyth was born in Rasharkin and enlisted in the AIF on 25 January 1915.  He was 32 years and 1 months old at the time and listed his mother as his next of kin.  She was Mrs Margritta (sic and probably should read Margretta or Margueritta), 2 Mount Easton, Cliftonville, Belfast; the 1918 Belfast Street Directory confirms that Mrs M. Smyth did live at that address, though the house was vacant in 1910.


Smyth has virtually no military record.  One note says he was in a military depot from 25 January to 5 August 1915 and that he transferred to the 30th Battalion on the 16 August 1915; an ink stamp on the record says 'no further record available' and is dated 16 March 1920.

340 Sergeant Archibald (Archie) Smyth (Smythe), 10th Australian Light Horse, B Squadron, was 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighed 140 lbs and had grey eyes and dark brown hair when he enlisted on 20 October 1914.  He was aged 23 years and 6 months, and he gave his next of kin as Robert Smythe, Ballymena; this was later overwritten to read c/o Mr A Watt, Bridge Street, Ballymena. 


He left Australia on HMAT Mashobra and was sent to Gallipoli, arriving in October 1916. He left Gallipoli, going from Mudros to Alexandria and on to Serapeum Camp in late 1915 and early 1916.   He sustained gunshot wounds to his right leg on the 19 April 1917 and was in No. 14 Australian General Hospital, Abbassia until June 2 and then in Montazah Hospital from the 2 -15 June 1917.  He also sent time at Moascar and a rest camp at Port Said. 


He was sick again and in hospital at Beersheba on the 27 October 1917 with urinary problems and was not discharged until 11 December 1917.  He went to the 10th Light Horse Regiment thereafter and spent time in a rest camp in Jerusalem.  About this time he was selected to go to Officer Cadet School in Zeitoun. However, he went sick in Zeitoun on the 18 November, was diagnosed with severe pneumonia and he died on 2nd January 1919 .


He was aged 27 and unmarried, though apparently engaged to Miss N Bowden, 405 Bulwer Street, Perth, W.A. He was the labourer son of Robert Smyth, Crumkill, Ballymena; this spelling and address was given by his father when he certified receipt of his son's effects. His brothers were Robert Smyth (DCM) and Hugh Smyth, wounded. He is buried in Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

Lt Thomas Tennant, from Ballymena Weekly Telegraph, March1917
Photograph courtesy of Nigel Henderson

Lieutenant Thomas Tennant,  5th Coy. Australian Machine Gun Corps , was killed by a shell while leading an attack.   He was 26 years and 7 months old when he enlisted on 12 March 1915 in Port Kembla, New South Wales, and he sailed from Australia on HMAT Ceramic on the 25 June 1915.  He was rapidly promoted from Private (12/3/15 - 16/5/15) to Sergeant (17/5/15 - 10/3/16) and then to 2nd Lieutenant (10/3/16 - 4/9/16) and Lieutenant (4/9/16 - KIA); this may have been helped by the fact that he had previously served for 4 years in the Royal Marines Artillery. 


He was KIA on the 14th November 1916 while serving with the 19th Battalion, 5th Machine Gun Coy. He was initially posted as missing in action but his body was found and it was identified by Captain Hamilton on the 27 February 1917.  Tennant had seen service in German New Guinea, Gallipoli and the Western Front.


He was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Tennant, 3 Francis Street, Ballymena, and  husband of  M. Tennant, of 4, Lothair Avenue, Belfast, Ireland. In Australia prior to enlistment his address was c/o Mrs James, Port Kembla, NSW.   He was buried 1 mile east of Le Sars, 3 miles SW of Bapaume but was later reinterred in Warlencourt Military Cemetery, France.

21109 Bombadier James Thomson was born in Kells, Ballymena, and enlisted on the 8 October 1915 in Toowoomba, Queensland.  He was then 24 years old and 5 feet 10 inches tall, and he had blue eyes and black hair. He was a labourer and single at the time, and he gave his father as his next of kin, Mr Samuel Thomson, Kells, Ballymena. He married Miss Jemima  G Armour on 31 October 1916 in Agnes Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast.  Thereafter she is his next of kin and the address given for her is Mrs J Thomson, Edenvale Mill, Antrim.  The 1911 census suggests she was the youngest daughter of Grace Armour and that she had a sister Maggie (15) and two brothers, William John (19) and Robert (17). She was just 14 years old in 1911.


Thomson left Sydney, NSW on the 11 May 1916 and arrived in Devonport on the 10 July that year.  He went to the 3rd Division Trench Mortar, Larkhill, having been transferred from the 35 Battery, 9th Field Artillery Brigade.  He went overseas on the 23 October 1916 with them, but he served a detachment with 3rd Division Artillery Column from 14 March - 20 August 1917. 


He got leave in the UK after the 19 January 1918 and remained there until early February.  He returned to France and Belgium but was sick with influenza in late November 1918 and was transferred to Rouen, then Dartford, being finally released to No 1 Command Depot.  There he failed a medical. 


He went AWL from the 11 - 16 March 1919, was fined five days pay and transferred on 2 April 1919 as a permanent guard to Sutton Veny Camp.  He was returned to Australia soon after on HT Canberra, the record for the 23 July noting that he was travelling with his wife.  He was discharged from the AIF on 8 November 1919.


1787 Private James Thompson was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Newcastle, NSW on 26 May 1915.  He was then 38 years old, stood 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 126 lbs.  He had brown eyes and black hair. He said he was married to Jeanie Thompson, actually Elizabeth Jane, Armidale Street, Abermain, Victoria and that he was a coal miner.  His wife later moved to Third Street, Weston, NSW; in 1918 the family lived at Government Road, Weston.  It is probable that they had lived in Australia for some considerable time.


James Thompson left Australia on the HMAT Ionian on 28 July 1915 and reached Alexandria on the 11 September that year.  He was taken on strength with the 17th Battalion in Gallipoli on the 17 September, but he received a gunshot wound to the head on the 14 October.  He was sent out of the Gallipoli area on HS Valdivia and spent time in hospitals in Alexandria and Cairo, ending up eventually on No 3 Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis.


His records are vague but it appears that he was wounded by a shell exploding close to him.  He received little physical damage, some 'abrasion' to 'side of head', but he was mentally scarred.  Medical reports speak of 'shell shock', 'neurasthenia' (nervous debility and weakness), 'anergic stupor (mental state characterized by quietness, listlessness, and lack of resistance), 'some abnormality in gait', 'tremor' in gait; he 'looks dull' and has 'blunted intelligence'.  He went to No 1 Australian General Hospital and his medical earned him a Class C grade. He was invalided back to Australia on HMAT Kanowna and disembarked in Sydney in March 1916.  He was discharged from the AIF on the 15 July 1916, being unfit for service and suffering from 'nervous disease'. He was a casualty of war who would probably carry his scars for life.

32 Lance Corporal John Dinsmore Torrens enlisted on the 24 August 1914 in Sydney, NSW.  He was 21 years and 2 months old, was 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 163 lbs.  He had brown eyes and fair hair, and he said he was an agricultural student.  John L Torrens, Kells, Ballymena was listed as his next of kin.


John Lusk Torrens, according to the 1901 census, was the local GP in Kells.  He was 44 in 1901 and lived with his wife Jane (30) and their two children, John Dinsmore (5) and Rosanna Kathleen (4),  at house number 37 in the town; Maggie McKee, a servant, resided with them. In 1911 John Lusk and Jane lived alone.


John Dinsmore Torrens was in Gallipoli by May 1915 and served with the 1st Light Horse Field Ambulance.  He was ill with diarrhoea and influenza during October 1915 but was back with his unit on the 3 November.  He was sent to Alexandria on HT Karroo and on the 18 January 1916 was sent on detachment to Wadi el Natrun.  On 22 May he fell ill with pneumonia and went, via the CCS at El Kantara and HS Niagara to the 15th General Hospital at Ras el Tir, diagnosed with pleurisy.  He was ill from 14 June - 5 July 1916 and only returned to his duties on 14 July.  He was briefly with the 1st Light Horse Field Ambulance at Romani but was soon detached to the 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance and found himself in the Jordan Valley and later Mazar.  He returned to the 1st Light Horse Field Ambulance on 12 March 1917 and was soon granted three weeks leave in the UK; he travelled on Teasowe Castle.


He re-embarked at Southampton, joining the Light Horse at Moascar, Egypt in April 1918.  He was sent to the 4th Training Battalion and isolations camps, probably as a medic rather than as a patient, and then joined 3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance.  On the 23 December 1918 he was sent to Australia on HMAT Argyllshire, his war over.  He was discharged from the AIF on the 15 April 1919.

1842 Corporal Robert Turner enlisted in Liverpool, NSW where he lived on the 28 December 1914.  He was then 25 years and 6 months old, was 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 154 lbs. He had grey eyes and ginger hair.  He hadn't been in Australia long and described himself a single and a draper.  He was the son of Alexander and Rose Turner of Cloughmills.  The 1911 census shows Alexander (54), his wife Rose (50) living in Drumadoon, Killagan with their seven children: Herbert William (20), Mary E (18), Alice (16), Thomas (14), Lawson (13), Jane (11) and Frederick (8).  Two staff are also listed, John and Catherine Morgan, a ploughman and domestic servant respectively. Alexander was a merchant and owned a shop in Cloughmills.


Thomas left  Sydney on HMAT Argyllshire on the 10 April 1915 and, despite being technically AWL for overstaying leave and being fined 15 shillings (75p), was promoted to Corporal.  He went to Gallipoli but stomach pains turned out to be appendicitis.  His surgery was successful but the wound was slow to heal and he was returned to Australia on HMAT Honorata to recuperate.


He re-embarked from Australia on the 15 January 1916, this time on HMAT Osterley, and went back to Egypt. He was, however, sent by HMAT Transylvania to Marseilles, France in March/April.  He immediately went to hospital and spent 37 days receiving treatment for pre-existing problems. After this he was taken on strength with the 2nd Battalion, AIF.


He had his toe badly crushed in a ration wagon accident in August and was again in hospital for some time at Camiers. He was again fit in September and was sent to 54th Battalion.  He was killed in action on the 25 September and shortly afterwards buried in Menin Road South Military Cemetery Belgium.


His brother Thomas (7188, Rifleman, 8th Royal Irish Rifles)  died on the 20 June 1917 of wounds sustained in the fighting around the Messines Ridge), as did his father's employee Robert Shannon.

Private Samuel Wallace

Photograph from Ballymena Weekly Telegraph, November 1917

courtesy of Nigel Henderson


2684 Private Samuel Wallace enlisted in the AIF on 21 September 1916 and was to serve for just fourteen months. 


He was 27 years and 9 months old at the time of his enlistment, was 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed 130 lbs.  He had blue eyes and fair hair.  He was single and described himself as a labourer, though he indicated he had served  two years of a tailoring apprenticeship.  He gave his next of kin address as that of his father, Mr Samuel Wallace, a farmer, of Cromkill, Kells, Ballymena.  His local address was c/o D Adams, Middlebrook.


The family appear in the 1901 and 1911 census returns.  In 1901 Samuel Wallace (44), lived with his wife Mary J (33), his sister Letitia (50) and six children: Hugh, an apprentice carpenter, was 18; John, a woollen draper, was 16; William (14); Samuel (12); David (3) and Robert (1). In 1911 Samuel and Mary Jane lived with David (13), Robert (11), James (9), Thompson (7) and Henry (4). Letitia still lived with them, as did Agnes Green (47), a sister-in-law.


Samuel Wallace sailed from Sydney on the HMAT Port Napier in November 1916 and arrived in Devonport, England on the 29 January 1917.  He joined the 9th Training Battalion at Durrington the next day, seemingly fit though he had spent 22 days in hospital while at sea.  He was quite severely punished for going AWL on the 8/9 February, being awarded five day Field Punishment No 2 and the loss of six days pay. On the 3 May, his training done, he went to join a unit in France via Folkestone and Etaples.  He was taken on strength with the 34th Battalion on the 21 May 1917.


Wallace was gassed on the 7 June 1917 but was able to rejoin his unit on the 12 June.  However, he was reported missing in action in Belgium on the 12 October and later named as killed in action on that date. His original grave was about ½ mile east of Hooge, though he is now buried in Hooge Crater Cemetery, Belgium.

6114 James Alexander Wasson, born in Ballymena and probably absent from the district for many years, enlisted in the AIF in Blackboy Hill, Western Australia on the 8 March 1916.  He was then 42 years and 6 months old, a widower, and he gave his occupation as engine driver.  He named his sister as his next of kin, a Mrs Julia Spence, 910 East Westmorland Street, Philadelphia, USA; he gave his local address as c/o W H Trustees and Executors, Barrack Street, Perth, WA.


He left Freemantle on the 9 August 1916, reaching Plymouth, England on the 24 September.  He went to a training battalion at Perham Downs Camp and from there to France via Folkestone on the Princess Victoria on the 5 December.  He was taken on strength with 'A' Coy, 11th Battalion on the 17 January 1917.He was in hospital from the 30 January - 16 February, and on the 1 March he was transferred to the 2nd Australian Sanitary Section.  He got leave in the UK from 12 November -1 December 1917, and again from 23 November - 7 December 1918.  During his latter leave he attended a medical and was deemed 'unfit for general service' and he was to return to Australia.  He opted to travel on the Baltic to the USA and then travelled onward to Australia from San Francisco on the SS Ventura.

53310 Private Thomas Watson enlisted in Townsville, QLD on 4 March 1918.  He stated that he was born in Ballymena and living at Rita Island, Ayr, Queensland.


Thomas Watson was 28 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighed 120 lbs.  He had brown eyes and dark brown hair. He was single and named his mother as his next of kin, Mrs Annie Watson, 5 Bryan Street, Ballymena.


The 1911 census return shows Thomas Watson, a 60 year old tinsmith, living in house 4 Bryan Street with his wife Annie (58) his son Thomas  (20) and three grandsons, Thomas Watson (16), William Dunseith (13) and James Dunseith (11). Thomas Watson (20), Thomas (16) and the elder Dunseith were all mill workers. The 1901 census shows other members of the family in house 8. There was a daughter Catherine, 19 and a spinner in the mill, David, 16 and a machine boy in the mill, and two further grandchildren William (3) and James Watson (1). Thomas, his son, was also there.


Watson served in the AIF for a total of 1 year and 37 days and never saw action; indeed, he never reached France of Belgium, his intended goal.  He departed Brisbane on HMAT Osterley on the 8 May 1918, was ill with influenza during the voyage, but reached Liverpool on the 10 July.  He went to the 1st Training Battalion next day but had been transferred to the 1st Australian General Hospital in Sutton Veny on the 29 January 1919; he was suffering from PUO (pyrexia, Unknown Origin).   He was discharged to No 2 Command Depot, Weymouth on the 28 February but was again sick in hospital there.  He was transferred to HQ, London and discharged from the AIF in London on the 9 April 1919. It is not known if he returned to Australia.

703 Private David Weir
Photograph from Ballymena Weekly Telegraph, December 1917

703 Private David Weir enlisted in Melbourne on the 24 February 1916 and said he had been born in Ballymena.  He was then living in Swan Hill, Victoria with his wife Sarah and family, two daughters later named as Mary S and Edith.  He was a labourer. Weir was 25 years and 8 months old at the time of his enlistment.  He was just 5 feet 4 ¼ inches tall and weighed 140 lbs.  He had blue grey eyes and black hair and he was an Anglican.


He left Melbourne for Plymouth aboard Runic on the 20 June 1916, arriving in England on the 10 August that year. He left the 2nd Training Battalion in September and was assigned to the 38th Battalion, but he was transferred to the 7th Battalion when he moved overseas to France.  He soon found himself in Belgium.  It was there that he was reported wounded in action on the 10 April 1917; this was soon changed to killed in action.


Mrs Weir brought her children back to Lisnafillan after the death of her husband. Her husband was the son of Hugh and Mary Ellen Weir, Lisnafillan, Gracehill.  The 1911 census return says there were eight surviving children from the marriage, but  only five were listed as being present on the day of the census: Hugh (18), Alex (15), Matthew Boyd (13), Henry (10) and Sam (5). The father and eldest boys are described as farm servants. The 1901 return adds the names of two more children, Martha (13) and David (10).  Alexander Nicholl, his wife's father, was also living with them at the time.

1774 Private Samuel Weir enlisted in Brisbane, Queensland on the 1 June 1915 and left Australia for overseas service on the 20 August that year.  He was sent initially to Gallipoli with the 25th Battalion, being discharged from Honorata at Mudros on the 9 January 1916.  He was then moved to the BEF and arrived at Marseilles France on the 19 March 1916.


Samuel Weir was born in Ballymena, his father being Alexander Weir, a blacksmith.  He gave his mother as his next of kin in 1915 and said she was Mrs A Weir, 18 Lipton Avenue, Toronto, Canada.  He said he had served a four year apprenticeship with Mr J Bonnar of Ballymena, and he considered himself a boot maker.  He married Mary Jane Gordon in 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Church on the 27 August 1919.  Her father was James Gordon, a labourer.  For a brief time the newly weds lived at 145 Queen Street, Ballymena.


Weir was 24 ½ years old in 1915, weighed 160 lbs and he was 5 6 ½ inches tall.  He had grey eyes and dark coloured hair.


He joined the 25th Battalion on 12 October 1915 and remained with it until being transferred to the 26th Battalion in October 1918.  His record shows no evidence of leave until he was granted leave in England on 7 January 1918, thereafter  rejoining his unit in France on the 24 January. He got leave in England with the 26th Battalion from 14 - 28 December 1918 and rejoined his unit on the 1 January 1919.  He got leave in Paris from the 22 March until the 4 April 1919 and about a month later he was marched into Sutton Veny Camp in England.  He was in hospital for a time but was granted indefinite leave on the 17 September 1919.  He was returned to Australia, presumably with his new wife whom he had married on the 27 August 1919,  on the Konigin Luise on the 18 December 1919; he was discharged from the AIF on 7 February 1920.


The family continued to live in Queensland. Mary Jane Weir gave her address as Churchill Street, Childers, QLD, and a son, Stan Weir, wrote to the army about the time of his father's death in 1967, giving has address as 8 Franklin Street, Bundaberg, QLD.

406 Pioneer Andrew Whyte enlisted in the AIF on the 7 February 1916 and stated that he was born in Ballymena. He was a carpenter by trade and he was 41 years and 9 months old at the time. He was only 5' 3" tall and weighed just 126 lbs.  He had brown eyes and dark brown hair, and he was a Presbyterian. He was probably resident in Australia for many years and gave as his next of kin a brother, a Mr A A Whyte, N..., Bega, NSW.


He was really too old to be in the AIF and his record confirms it. He was sent on active service on the 20 February 1916 and arrived in Marseilles, France on the 5 May. He joined the 1st Anzac Entrenching Battalion and was a Sapper with the 1st Tunnelling Company from 24 December 1916 to 6 May 1917.  He was then transferred to the 2 Pioneer Battalion, his record marked 'unfit for tunnelling'.


He was sick on the 31 August 1917 and was sent via 6th Australian Field Ambulance to the 58th General Hospital in St Omer; his record is marked 'general debility'.  They sent him on HS St Dennis (sic) to Bethnal Green Hospital in London and then 3 Auxiliary Hospital, his record showing he was there because of his 'advanced age and general debility'.  He got leave from the hospital and transferred to No 2 Command Depot for return to Australia.  He travelled to Melbourne on Persic, arriving there on 12 February 1918, and he was discharged from the AIF on the 22 March, his record marked to show medical discharge due to 'chronic gastritis'.

722 Private Andrew Wilson enlisted in the AIF in Geraldton, Western Australia on 11 March 1915, but he came from Munie, Glenarm. He was the son of Robert Wilson, named as his next of kin.


Robert Wilson was a 44 year old farmer at the time of the 1901 census. His wife was Elizabeth (38) and he listed nine children: Thomas (16), John (15), Andrew (14), Margret sic (11), Robert (7), Hester (5), Elizabeth (4), James (2) and baby Alexander.  The 1911 return shows other members in the household: Ester (17), Catherine (7) and Agnes (5).  There was also a grandson called Andrew (3).  Robert and Elizabeth had then eleven children surviving from the twelve who had been born.


Andrew was probably in Australia by the year 1911.  He was 26 when he enlisted and described himself as a miner.  He was 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighed 170 lbs, and he had brown eyes and dark brown hair.  He was single and a Presbyterian.  


Andrew had a short career in the army.  He left Freemantle, W A on the 9 June 1915 and arrived at Suez on the 2 July.  He left Alexandria with the rest of the 28th Battalion men on HT Ivernia on the 4 September and was wounded in action at 'main sap, apex' on the 10 October 1915.  He had been hit by a shell fragment in the 'sacral region' (lower back).  He was rushed by 7th Field Ambulance to the 16th CCS and onward to HS Formosa on the 12 October.  He died at sea at 4 am and his body was put ashore at Mudros.  He was buried by either (records conflict) the Rev S A Marsh or the Rev. R M Cole-Hamilton in East Mudros Military Cemetery.