3212460 Private David Adams lived at Vendyne, Alberta and volunteered for military service in 1918. He was the son of John and Lizzie Adams, Lisnacrogher, Ballymena. The 1901 census records some of this Presbyterian farming family. John was then 48 and lived with his wife Lizzie (47), Mary Jane (22), Tom (20), John (16), Sam (14), Catherine (12), Lizzie (10), Robert (8), David (6) and Agnes (3). This was not the entire family. The 1911 census returns says there were ten children born to the couple and all had survived. The return of 1911 records only John, now 60 and daughter Agnes (14). Three servants are also recorded, Andrew (19) and David (16) McCartney and Maggie Moore (24).
David Adams was born on the 8 February 1893 and was recorded as being 25 years and 1 month old when he attested. He was single, a farmer who stood 5 feet 7 inches tall and who weighed 156 lbs. He had blue eyes and brown hair.
He does not appear to have served outside Canada. He went from the 1st Depot Battalion, Alberta Regiment to 13th Battalion Canadian Garrison Regiment. This unit of 13 battalions was formed in April 1918 to perform garrison duty in Canada's 13 military districts. He was with them after the 26 June 1918. He was sick from 31 July - 1 August 1918 and was thereafter posted to 'command duty' at Edmonton. He was sent on 'harvest furlough' (helping farmers harvest crops) from the 21 August - 30 September. He was again sick from the 2 - 13 November 1918. He was demobilised on the 24 February 1919.
David's name appears in the Presbyterian Church In Ireland Roll of Honour 1914-1919 in the listing for Cloughwater Presbyterian Church.
Captain William Alexander Adams lived in Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan and he was a barrister. He gave his next of kin as his father, Mr Thomas Adams, 52 University Avenue, Belfast. He was born on the 14 June 1884 in Ballymena but the family had resided in Belfast for many years.
The 1901 census return records Thomas Adams, 41 and a commission agent, living in University Avenue, Belfast, with his wife, Maggie T (37) and their three children, William Alexander, 16 and a law clerk, Matthew (14) and C R, a 12 year old son. The 1911 return shows them still there. Thomas Adams, 51 was a 'commission merchant and agent for tea, fruit and product and insurance agent', living in University Avenue, Belfast, with his wife, Maggie (53).
Adams had served in the militia before the war and stated he had spent one year in the 93rd Rifles and six years in the 22nd Battalion South Saskatchewan Horse and during the war he served with the 9th Canadian Mounted Rifles and the 1st Battalion the Western Ontario Regiment. He was Mentioned in Dispatches on 28 May 1918.
Adams was taken on strength with the Canadian Command Depot on the 7 February 1916 and was Acting Adjutant from 12 June - 30 August 1916. He was reverted to Lieutenant for the purpose of going overseas and joined the 1st Battalion Western Ontario Regiment on the 5 October. He was appointed Adjutant on the 17 October and made a Captain on 27 November 1916. He seems to have gone to France in June 1917 and was there, save for two spells of leave on England in July and November 1917, until transferred to England on the 30 January 1918 for return to Canada. This was granted on 'compassionate grounds' and soon after, despite promotion to Major on the 7 April 1918, he resigned his commission on the 8 May 1918. Other records say he was not officially struck off strength until 30 April 1919 as part of the general demobilisation.
[photo @ https://sites.google.com/site/greatwarbelfast/home/service-personnel-pictures-list-a---l ]
109191 Private Jack (John) Aicken was a street car conductor who enlisted in the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles in Toronto, Ontario in November 1914. He was also a local man and said he was from Portglenone. He was, however, from Tullynahinnion, Lisnagarran, near Cullybackey, his father Robert Aicken.
The 1911 census return lists Robert Aicken (68), a Reformed Presbyterian and a farmer, his wife Mary (49) and all seven of their family. William M was 22, single and a draper's assistant, John was 20, single and a farmer, Anna Maggie was 17, Thomas James was 15, Robert Andrew was 12, Mary Winifred was 10 and Eleanor E was 7. John Aicken (83) and a servant, Agnes Carleton (38) were also there on census day.
John Aicken was born on the 8 March 1891 and was about 23 years and 8 months old when he enlisted on the 16 November 1914 (his record says he attested on the 29 September 1914). He was about 5 feet 8 inches tall (some records say 5 feet 9 inches), and he had blue eyes and fair hair. He was single when he enlisted but he married on 27 September 1915 and his wife Minnie Aicken was living at Hazelwood, Clough until she moved to Canada at a later date. Her address then was 273 Withrow Avenue, Toronto.
Aicken was, as stated on attestation papers, already a part-time soldier and was serving with the Governor General's Body Guard (GGBG), a Canadian Army militia, Household Cavalry regiment. He went on to serve 4 years and 2 months in the regular forces and saw service in 'Canada, England and France'. The French component on the Western Front lasted 38 months.
He embarked (some records say 'arrived') for France on the 24 October 1915 with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles Regiment but was attached to 8th Infantry Brigade HQ from the 20 March - 3 August 1916. He returned to his own unit thereafter and appears to have remained with them. He got UK leave from 27 June - 10 July 1917, from 15 January - 1 February 1918, from 9 December 1918 - 5 January 1919. He was at Whitley Camp, Surrey on the 12 February 1919, an interesting and tense period in the life of this camp.
Between thirty thousand and sixty thousand Canadian soldiers lived on Witley Common, Surrey during the First World War. There had been rioting on Armistice Day and there was eventually further trouble. Those arrested were rescued by others who then wrecked the officer's quarters; the canteen was looted and alcohol stolen. Later, a number of shops known as "Tin Town" were looted, £9,000 worth of property being stolen.
A report of what happened was carried by the Calgary Daily Herald on Tuesday, 17 June 1919: The greater part of "Tintown" ... was burned to the ground, and a part of "Little Tintown" about half a mile away was also destroyed by fire. ... The trouble is believed to have arisen from irritation at delay in demobilising the men and shipping them home. The disturbance started when a large body of men assembled on one of the parade grounds to hold a demonstration against the delay. Whether the fire in Tintown was an accident is not yet determined. There seems no doubt however that the smaller fire was the result of a deliberate act of incendiarism. Many men strongly disapproved of the rioting and helped to extinguish the fires.
John Aicken was at Buxton Camp in March 1919. The role of this Canadian Command Depot (CCD), was to arrange the return of Canadian service personnel to Canada. The then Empire Hotel, now The Palace, served as Canadian Dispatch Depot (CDD) No. 1. This was a centre where soldiers returning from war were released from service Thereafter he was demobilised in St John, New Brunswick on 20 April 1919.
420047 Corporal Thomas Aicken lived in Winnipeg and was a farmer. He was single, 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighed 155 lbs. He had hazel brown eyes and red hair, and he was a Presbyterian. He had been born in Ireland on 20 September 1881 and his mother was Mrs Jane Aicken from the Cloughmills district; he also had a sister Mary Aiken (sic) living in Omerbane, Newtowncrommelin.
Thomas Aicken attested on 29 December 1914 and became a member of the 43rd Battalion, Canadian Infantry. He was with them in Canada from December 1914 to May 1915, and went with them to France when the 43rd Battalion set out for France. He was with them in France until July 1915 and he was then moved to the 16th Battalion. He served with them from July 1915 to the 9 April 1916. Thereafter he was attached to the Canadian Engineers and spent most of his time with the 3rd Tunnelling Company; he was with 2nd Tunnelling Company from 24 October - 8 November 1916, but then returned to 3rd Tunnelling Company.
2nd Canadian Tunnelling Company was formed in Alberta and British Columbia and then moved to France and into the Ypres sector for instruction. 3rd Canadian Tunnelling Company was created when the original mining sections formed in 1st and 2nd Canadian Division were withdrawn from their positions south of Ypres, and were reformed into this new Company at St Marie Cappel in January 1916. It then began work at Spanbroekmolen and other places facing the Messines ridge. Were at the Bluff in early 1916, and Hill 60 in August 1916, where they were relieved by 1st Australian Company in November 1916. They were forced to move from camp at Boeschepe in April 1918, when the enemy broke through the Lys positions, and were then put on duties that included digging and wiring trenches over a long distance from Reninghelst to near St Omer. After the Armistice, the Company repaired the town waterworks at Roubaix.
He was sent to Seaford Camp, England on the 14 April 1919 in preparation for return to Canada. He was demobilised and discharged at No2 District Depot on the 23 April 1919. He had been awarded a Good Conduct Badge on 1 June 1917.
22963 Corporal James Allen enlisted at Valcartier Camp on the 25th September 1914. He was about 35 years old and an old soldier. He said he had served in the Scottish Horse during the Boer War (Allen James, 107, Cpl. Shoeing Smith, enlisted 17/03/1901, Discharged M/U Johannesburg, Second number 2492) and had been in Royston’s Horse during the Zulu Rebellion of 1906. He held the King’s and Queen’s South Africa Medal and a decoration for the Natal Zulu Rebellion.
James Allen was from County Antrim and nominated as his next of kin Thomas Allen, 4 Ballymoney Street, Ballymena; another brother, J S (John Somers) Allen, lived at Charlemont Terrace, Dublin.
The 1911 Irish census records David (36) and Thomas Allen (45), tailors, on Ballymoney Street. The 1901 census records John Allen, 60 and a merchant tailor, and his 58-year-old wife Eliza and three children on Ballymoney Street, Ballymena. Their listed children were Thomas, 32 and a tailor, Elizabeth, 23 and a machinist, and David, 23 and a tailor.
Allen was 6’ tall and he had blue eyes and brown hair. He was a Presbyterian but he is not listed on records of local churches. He was working as a clerk in Canada just before the war and his record displays three Quebec addresses.
He sailed from Canada and served in England in the 12th Battalion, CEF and there is a reference to him being in the Divisional Cyclist Company, but he never went to mainland Europe. He was returned to Halifax, Canada aboard the SS Missanabie and discharged from the CEF on the 22 April 1915. There is some confusion in his record about what happened. In several places he was described as being ‘undesirable’ but elsewhere it says he was removed for being ‘medically unfit’. His being ‘medically unfit' is affirmed in a letter of 1921 that details his service. He died on the 13 January 1924.
6023 Private Samuel Allen, Lord Strathcona's Horse, attested in Sewell, Manitoba and said his father was James Allen, Ballymena.
The 1901 census return records James Allen, 30 and a grocer, living at Carnaughts, Kells with his wife Annie (30) and six children: Samuel (12), Thomas (10), Maggie (8), Edith (5), James (3) and Annie (1). Jane Finnley (33) was their nurse and domestic servant.
The 1911 return finds them still in Carnaughts. They said they had had nine children of whom eight were alive in 1911. The family as listed on the day the return was made was then James (46 & still a grocer), Annie (45), Samuel (21 and a mail car driver), Maggie (18), Edith May (15), James (13) and Annie (11), Hugh Campbell (8) and Mary Elizabeth (5). Robert Herron (19) was their farm servant.
Samuel was born on the 4 June 1889 and was a 26 years and 6 months old when he enlisted on the 2 December 1914. He was single (He got permission to marry on the 4 September 1918 and his wife is recorded as Mrs Lizzie Allen, Glenwherry, Co Antrim), 5 feet 10 inches tall and a Presbyterian. He had blue eyes and light brown hair.
He was taken on strength at the Canadian Cavalry Depot, Canterbury on the 10 July 1915 and on the 9 November he transferred from the Canadian Training Division to Lord Strathcona's Horse. He was in France at the Canadian Brigade Depot, Rouelles from the 10 November 1915 and joined his unit on the 15 November. He took influenza and was dealt with by the 3rd Canadian Field Ambulance and No 2 Casualty Clearing Station on the 21 December before going by train to the 23rd General Hospital, Etaples on the 24 December 1915. He was invalided to the Canadian Training Depot on the 19 January 1916 and was at Quex Park Hospital, Birchington (near Margate) on the 20 January 1916 suffering from nephritis, inflammation of the kidney. He went to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre, Bath, a centre where wounded were assessed for either further treatment or return to duty, on the 15 February, but he was at the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Monks Horton until discharged to duty on the 1 April.
He went to a Canadian reserve unit until appointed groom to General MacDougal on the 7 June 1916. On the 2 October, however, he was again admitted to hospital and was to spend three days there. He was suffering from 'contusion of the face', the bruising resulting from his having been thrown over the head of his horse after it shied 'at an engine' and 'tripped against the curb'. ('curb' is US spelling of 'kerb').
He was posted to HQ Sub-Staff on the 24 October and was then posted on the 8 November to Canadian HQ, Brighton, again as part of HQ Sub-Staff. He was taken on strength at HQ Witley in the same role on the 26 December but then went to the 5th Canadian Reserve Training Regiment, Bramshott, Hampshire on the 10 February 1917. He was back in hospital in Bramshott on the 20 June 1917, the injury 'contusion of the hip'. The injury was acquired when he was on duty and when his horse fell on him. He suffered damage to this hip and right side, and he had vomited after the incident. He was discharged after one week.
The record is sketchy thereafter. However, we do know he was at Shorncliffe Camp, Kent. This was used as a staging post for troops destined for the Western Front and in April 1915 a Canadian Training Division was formed there. Allen appears to have been with this training unit until he went to Bexhill for a time. He was then with the Canadian Reserve Cavalry Regiment at Kimnel Park, Rhyl (Wales).
He went to the Depot Centre at Witley in July 1919 and was demobilised in the UK on the 26 July 1919. He said he intended to go to High Street, Antrim, presumably to begin a normal married life with Lizzie.
871640 Corporal Samuel Allen, lived in Winnipeg, Canada and was married to Flossie Susan Allen. At the time of his enlistment, they had two daughters, Ellen Gertrude (4) and Audrey Florence (18 months). Samuel Allen was a Ballymena man by birth and came from Dunnyvadden, Kells and his parents were Samuel and Ellen Allen.
The 1901 census return records Samuel Allen, a 47 year old farmer and carpenter, and his wife Ellen (43) and nine children: John (16), Joice sic (14), Samuel (12), Ellen Jane (10), twins Agnes and Mary Elizabeth (7), Robert James (7), William (4) and infant George. They do not appear in the 1911 census.
Samuel was born on the 29 June 1888 and was about 28 when he enlisted in the Canadian Infantry. He was 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighed 155 lbs, and he had brown eyes and black hair. He was a grocer by trade and a Presbyterian.
He enlisted on the 30 March 1916 in Winnipeg and left Halifax, Nova Scotia for Europe on the 4 October, arriving in Liverpool on the 13 October. He was in the 183rd (Manitoba Beavers) Battalion (not it would seem the 203rd (Winnipeg Rifles) as it says on one record) and was then moved to the 100th Battalion while at Witley Camp on the 26 October. (After sailing to England in October 1916, the 183rd Battalion was broken up and its men transferred to the following units: 100th Battalion, 107th Battalion, 108th Battalion, and the 144th Battalion.) Allen remained with the 100th Battalion until transferred to the Canadian Army Service Corps on 12 November 1916. He was attached to the 5th Division Train on the 31 January 1917 and then moved to the 11th Reserve Battalion on the 5 March. He went to train at the Canadian Machine Gun Reserve and Base Depot in Crowborough, East Sussex, England on the 16 May 1917 before being sent to 5th Army Troop Company, Canadian Engineers on the 29 June 1917. He went to France with them the next day. He had two periods of illness, from 16 November 1917 - January 1918 and from 24 June 1918 - 18 July 1918 but was otherwise with his unit.
There is little other detail in his record. He was promoted to Corporal on the 18 February 1918 and got a good conduct award on the 30 March. He was granted 14 days UK leave on the 2 November 1918 and he finally returned to Seaford Camp, England for return to Canada on the 3 March 1919. He left Liverpool on the SS Belgic and arrived in Halifax on 23 April 1919.
Allen appears to have been in No 2 Section. You can see what he was doing in France by looking here - http://www.canadiangreatwarproject.com/warDiaryLac/wdLacP15.asp
862727 Private Thomas John Allen, was born on the 14 August 1888 and was the son of John Allen, a farmer, who lived at Shankbridge, Kells, Ballymena. Thomas's mother had died and John Allen appears as a widower in the census returns of 1901 and 1911.
Thomas was a carpenter and was single when he enlisted on the 28 February 1916. He was then 27 years and 6 months old and stood 5 feet 7 ¼ inches tall. He had blue eyes and dark brown hair, and he was a Presbyterian. He gave his address as 116 Hamilton Street, Toronto.
He enlisted in the 180th Regiment and served with it from 28 February 1916 to 6 January 1917. He became part of the 3rd Canadian Reserve Battalion on the 6 January and was with them to the 9 April 1917, before being transferred to the 123rd Battalion on the 10 April 1917. He stayed with them until the 29th May 1918, at which point he transferred to the 7th Battalion, Canadian Engineers. He remained with them to the end of his service on 8th April 1919. His early transfers reflect what was happening in the CEF.
The 180th (Sportsmen) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force was based in Toronto, and it began recruiting during the winter of 1915/16 in the city. After sailing to England in November 1916, the battalion was absorbed into the 3rd Reserve Battalion on January 6, 1917, as was Allen. The 123rd (Royal Grenadiers) Battalion, CEF was also based in Toronto. After sailing to England in August 1916, the battalion was redesignated the 123rd Pioneer Battalion, CEF, and throughout 1917 and into mid-1918, the 123rd Battalion absorbed large contingents of reinforcements, primarily from the 180th Battalion, 129th Battalion, 3rd Canadian Pioneer Battalion and 3rd Reserve Battalion, and others. Allen was one of them.
In many cases the 123rd Battalion served with front line troops, and in fact, in front of the front line troops, to install barbed wire, improve roads, and establish battlements, fortification and dugouts for the front-line infantry to use and occupy. One of their principal roles was to install bridge works and build plank roads to facilitate movement of troops, artillery pieces, and supply columns. When Allen transferred to the Canadian Engineers he would continue to do the same kind of work he had done in the 123rd Pioneers.
Allen was transported to England aboard the SS Olympic and went, via Thornham Camp, to West Sandling, near Folkestone, and the 3rd Reserve Battalion. He left there with the 123rd en route for France on 11 April and was taken on strength in the field with his unit on the 16 April 1917. He received a gunshot wound to the left eye at Vimy Ridge on the 28 April and was eventually taken to 24th General Hospital, Etaples for treatment. He was there until the 7 May and his release to No 6 Convalescent Hospital, Etaples. He didn't rejoin his unit in the field until the 24 May 1917.
Canadian Field Ambulance treated him for a minor eye problem on 24 June and he had no more problems until wounded at Passchendaele on the 16 November 1917. He was apparently near an exploding shell and suffered 'contusions'. He was sent to No 6 General Hospital and later to No 2 Convalescent Depot, Rouen in November and No 11 Convalescent Depot, Buchy in December. He went to the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp in February and did not rejoin his unit until 14 March 1918.
On the 30 May 1918 he transferred to the 7th Battalion Canadian Engineers and Sapper Allen got 14 days UK leave in July. He went back to Ireland and received a severe scald to his right foot. He was admitted to Belfast Military Hospital on the 6 August and went to the Massey Harris Convalescent Hospital, ' Kingswood', Dulwich, London thereafter. He got some dental treatment at Orpington Hospital and then went to the Canadian Engineers Regimental Depot at Seaford on the 26 August. He was, however, admitted to the 16 Canadian General Hospital suffering from nervous problems in November and December 1918 and was not discharged to duty until 31 January 1919. He stayed with the 3rd Reserve Battalion at Seaford until sent to Kimnel Park, Rhyl and return to Canada. He was demobilised on the 8 April 1919 and joined his wife Elizabeth, whom he married during the war, at 116 Hamilton Street, Toronto.
327960 Driver Robert Allen lived at Langside 316, Winnipeg, Manitoba but he was from Dunnyvadden, Kells, Ballymena, his father being Samuel Allen.
The 1901 census shows Samuel Allen, 47 and a farmer, carpenter and mason, living with his wife Ellen, 43, and nine children. They were: John (16), Joice (sic & 14), Samuel (12), Ellen Jane (10), Agnes (7), Mary Elizabeth (7), Robert James (5), William (4) and George (6 months). In the 1911 census return Samuel Allan (sic) and his wife Ellen are sharing their home with Ellen Jane (20), Agnes (18), Mary Elizabeth (18), Robert James (15), William (14) and George (10). Robert James is said to be a grocer's apprentice.
Robert was born on the 25 June 1895 and was 20 years and 9 months old at the time of his enlistment on 23 March 1916 . He was 5 feet 7 ½ inches tall and weighed 146 lbs, and he was described as having a ruddy complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. He was single and a grocery clerk. He was to serve until discharged on 29 March 1919 and he spent about a year and five months on the Western Front. He has initially joined the 59th Battery, 15th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery and went overseas with them on the SS Cameronia which left Halifax on the 11 September 1916, but he was posted to the 61st Battery, 14th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery soon after arriving in England on the 22 September. His record shows he was wounded at some point and refers to a 'scar on forehead, GSW (gunshot wound)' but gives no details. Elsewhere there is reference to a 'GSW scar on left hand, bridge of nose'.
said he was going to 125 Kennedy Street, Winnipeg on his discharge,
also the address he gives for his father and sister Joyce; his mother,
Ellen/Nellie is given as Dunnyvadden, Ballymena. He returned to Canada
on HMT Canada.
436980 Private Matthew Anderson stated he was born in Ballymena but had probably been long departed from the town. He was an engineer by trade and the 1901 census return records Matthew Anderson, apprentice engineer, living with his uncle Matthew McIlwaine (62) and his sister, Eliza Jane McIlwaine (43) in Springmount, Belfast. The McIlwaines were born in Co Down and the poorly written return seems to say that Matthew McIlwaine was living 'on pension - 80th Reg of Foot'.
Matthew Anderson, self employed engineer, enlisted on the 20 February 1915 in Edmonton. He had been born on 28 January 1882 and was then 33 years and 1 month old. He was 5 feet 6½ inches tall, had hazel eyes and brown hair, and he weighed 150 lbs. He was a Presbyterian and lived with his wife Margaret (30) and son (2½) at 312 York Street, Edmonton.
Anderson was in the 51st Battalion, Canadian Infantry and left Montreal with the second draft of reinforcements for the battalion aboard SS Metagama on the 11 September 1915. He went to Shorncliffe Camp, Kent. Shorncliffe Camp was used as a staging post for troops destined for the Western Front during World War I and in April 1915 a Canadian Training Division had been formed there. Anderson transferred to the 49th Battalion on the 30 September 1915 and went to France on the 9 October, He was attached for duty to CORC (Canadian Overseas Reserve Command/Camp?) from 15 February to 20 April 1916, but most of his record relates to illness.
He says he had trench fever for three weeks in September and spent about six days with 2nd Canadian Field Ambulance before he was sent to the 14th General Hospital, Wimereux on the 11 October 1916. He was transferred to England on the HS St Andrew to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre (CCAC), Shoreham (The CCAC maintained offices at both Brighton and Hastings, although there was a suggestion in August 1916 that both facilities could be concentrated at Shoreham.) and was in the 5th Northern General Hospital in Leicester on the 16 October 1916. He was discharged to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epson on the 11 November 1916. He was suffering from neuritis and influenza during this period but there was an underlying problem that has first surfaced, said Anderson, at the end of 1915, namely arthritis. He was sent to the Red Cross Special Hospital at Buxton (Canadian Special Orthopaedic Hospital (1917-19) , Buxton, Derbyshire.) on the 25 January 1917 and he remained there until 9 March. He was transferred to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre at Hastings on the 10 March and sent to the Canadian Discharge Depot (CDD), Bramshott on the 3 April. He was moved to the Alberta Regiment Depot thereafter but had been discharged as medically unfit on the 9 March 1917 and was returned to Canada on the 10 July 1917.
The area where Andrews was engaged at the time of his wounding.
Below Trench is seen on the top right of the image.
424544 Private Frank John Bankhead was born in Capetown, South Africa but he was the 25-year-old son of Sam and Elizabeth Bankhead, Ballymena; he is commemorated in St. Patrick's Church of Ireland, Ballymena.
In 1901 Elizabeth Ann Bankhead was 45, married and living on William Street, Ballymena with her son (9,) and she was running a boarding house. In 1911 she was a widow and domestic servant living in Church Street. George Beattie, a 24 year old grocer's assistant from Co Tyrone, was head of the house. Named as her son's next of kin in 1915, her address was c/o Martin, Victoria Street, Ballymoney. Her last given address was c/o Mrs Courtney, 32 High Street, Ballymena. Mrs Elizabeth Courtney had a boarder in 1911 and so Mrs Bankhead may have been boarding there in 1916.
Frank John Bankhead was born on the 25 June 1890. He was single when he enlisted in Brandon on 19 May 1915. He was 5 feet 7 ½ tall and had blue eyes and dark brown hair. He worked as a moving picture operator. He enlisted in the 45th Battalion (Manitoba), Canadian Infantry on 19 May 1915 and was not deployed to Europe until 1916 because he was ill with influenza in St Boniface's Hospital, Winnipeg from 9 - 14 December 1915. He then was granted leave from 15-19 January 1916 and from 16 - 21 February 1916, presumably to aid recovery.
He embarked for England aboard the SS Saxonia on 13 March 1916 and reached England on the 25 March. He transferred to the 1st Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles (The 45th Battalion provided reinforcements to the Canadian Corps in the field until it was absorbed by the 11th Reserve Battalion, CEF on 7 July 1916.) on the 5 June 1916 and left Shorncliffe Camp on 6 June to join them in the field. He was taken on strength on the 8 June. The only other entry on his record records that he was killed on the 29 October 1916. He had been shot in the head by a sniper while on duty in an Advanced Post. He is buried in St. Catherine Cemetery, Pas de Calais.
Company Sergeant Major Adam Barr, 3rd Canadian Machine Gun Corps, enlisted in the 54th Battalion, Canadian Infantry at Vernon, British Columbia on the 23 June 1915. His record says he was then single, 5 feet 7 inches tall, and that he was 28 years and 8 months old. He had blue eyes and sandy coloured hair. He was a Presbyterian and he worked as a 'phone man'. He said his next of kin was his mother, Mrs Jane Barr, Ballymena, elsewhere Kells, Ballymena.
The 1901 census return records Mrs Jane Barr (42), a farmer and a widow, living in Tannybrake, Kells with her family, William C (26), Jenny (24) James (22), Ada (20), Robert (18) and Adam (14). Mary Cathcart (76), an aunt, and Samuel McDowell, a grandson, lived with them. Jane cannot be found in the 1911 return, though the family were still in the area and are recorded. A headstone in Connor New Cemetery, Kells, erected for son James, confirms their presence.
in loving memory of James Alexander Barr, Tannybrake, died 29th March
1956, aged 77 years.
Also his wife Jane Eliza Barr, died 11th May 1974,
aged 89 years.
Also his mother Jane Young Barr died 7th April 1943, aged
His sister Ada Mary Barr, died 11th April 1942, aged 62
His grandson Trueman Wylie, died 27th March 1940, aged 9 months.
And his aunt Mary Cathcart, died 12th March 1912, aged 90 years.
his daughter Elizabeth Smyth, died 17th May 1974, aged 55 years.
Loves last gift - remembrance.
Adam Barr arrived in England on the SS Saxonia on the 25 December 1915 with the 54th Battalion, CEF and was transferred immediately to the 32nd Reserve Battalion. On the 1 April he was transferred to the 3rd Brigade, Canadian Machine Gun Corps, and to 7th Brigade, Canadian Machine Gun Corps on the 29 April 1916 He went back to the 3rd Brigade, Canadian Machine Gun Corps in March 1918.
He was ill at times with fever but he was a talented soldier and he quickly climbed through the ranks: he was made Lance corporal on the 28 August 1916, Corporal on the 19 September 1916, Sergeant on the 22 February 1917 and Warrant Officer, Second Class (WO2, Battery Sergeant Major) on the 19 March 1918. He was also awarded the Meritorious Service Medal on the 17 June 1918.
He went on one of his periods of leave on 12 July 1918 and returned on the 21 July 1917. On the 13 August he suffered a gunshot wound to his right knee. 4th Canadian Field Ambulance and 48th Casualty Clearing Station treated him until he reached 9th (USA) General Hospital, Rouen. The wound cannot have been too serious. He remained in France and was sent to No 2 Convalescent Depot, Rouen and No 11 Convalescent Depot, Buchy within a month and was discharged from care in September to return to his unit in the field.
He got more leave, 25 October - 8 November 1918 and was returned to England in March 1919 for return to Canada. He was officially demobilised on 28 March 1919 and said on the form he signed at Bramshott on the 13 March 1919 that he intended to go to Caithness, British Columbia.
400013 Private John Bartholomew, Canadian Army Medical Corps, enlisted, somewhat unusually, at Shorncliffe Camp, England on 25 October 1915. He said he was born in Crumkill (or Cromkill), Ballymena, and that his mother was Mrs Mary Bartholomew, Antrim Road, Ballymena; elsewhere she is referred to as Mrs G. Bartholomew.
The 1901 census return records George Bartholomew, 45 and an agricultural labourer, living with his wife Mary J in Ballee (the townlands of Ballee and Cromkill are contiguous). They list their family present on the day of the census as follows: Martha (24 & a winder in a textile factory), William (22 & a blacksmith), David (19 & a fitter), John (16 & a carpenter), Jane (14 and a weaver in a textile factory), Alexander (12), Lizzie (9) and Maggie (5). The family were Brethren
The 1911 census return records them as Presbyterians living in Queen Street (beyond Harryville, Ballymena this becomes the Antrim Road). George (58 & a factory worker) lived with wife Mary J (58) and Martha (34 & a factory worker), Jane (24 & a factory worker), Lizzie (18 & a factory worker), Maggie (15 and a dressmaker) and Alexander (21 & a tailor). They also stated that they had had ten children of whom eight were still alive.
John, single and a carpenter, gave his birthday as May 1884 and was said to be 31 years and 6 months old when he enlisted. He was 5 feet 9¾ inches tall and weighed about 145 lbs. He had grey eyes and fair hair. It is not clear whether he was already living in Canada, though he later gave his address as 638 Bathurst Street, Toronto.
John Bartholomew was taken on strength at Moore Barracks Hospital, Shorncliffe, near Folkestone on the 27 October 1915. Shorncliffe was used by troops destined for the Western Front and in April 1915 a Canadian Training Division was formed there. The entire 2nd Canadian Division was based there prior to embarkation for France in September 1915. Lower Dibgate Camp near Shorncliffe for much of summer 1915 was the home of No. 7 Divisional Train, Canadian Army Service Corps (CASC) and the Fort Garry Horse. The Canadian Army Medical Corps, in which Bartholomew had enlisted, had general hospitals there from September 1917 to December 1918 (but they must have had some medical facilities there before 1917!). The camp at that time composed five unit lines known as Ross Barracks, Somerset Barracks, Napier Barracks, Moore Barracks and Risborough Barracks. On three occasions there were German air raids which killed soldiers on the camp.
He didn't transfer to 14th Canadian Field Hospital, Witley Camp until 19 February 1917. It was there that he was struck off strength to the Canadian Army Medical Corps Depot on the 4 March 1918, and he left the CAMC Depot for France on the 20 March. He arrived at Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp (CARC) on the 23rd March and transferred to the 1st Sanitary Section on the 11 April 1918. He appears to have been with them until he got leave on the 20 February 1919, fourteen days, and permission to go to Ireland. He returned to France but was sent back to England on the 29 March for return to Canada. He left Liverpool on RMS Scotian and went to Montreal. He was ill with myalgia during the voyage and was to spend time in Montreal Military Hospital, Quebec and Whitby Military Hospital, Ontario. He had a some point developed bronchitis, some records say pneumonia, and was also in St Andrew's Hospital, Toronto for a time.
He was finally demobilised from the army on the 9 September 1919.
He had been 'brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable services rendered' and was awarded a Good Conduct Badge in October 1917. At least two of his brothers also rendered valuable service. Alexander served in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and was awarded a Military Medal and the Russian Cross of St George, and William served in the Machine Gun Corps. The three Bartholomew brothers are listed in the West Church entry of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-18.
799172 Private Samuel Dale Beattie, 19th Battalion, CEF, initially enlisted in the 134th (48th Highland) in Toronto and said he lived at 15 Gwynne Avenue in the city. He also said he was the son of Mrs Jane Beattie, Ballygarvey, Ballymena.
The 1901 census return records John Beattie, 57 and a farmer, and his wife Jane (43) living at Ballygarvey with seven children. They were John (16), Elizabeth (15), Samuel (12), Martha (10) Robert (8), Jane (6) and Annie (3). The 1911 return shows Jane (47), a widow and still a farmer at Ballygarvey, living with Robert (17), Jane (15) and Annie (13).
Samuel Beattie, a lineman, was born on 25 June 1888. He was single and was 27 years and 7 months old when he attested in Toronto on 14 January 1916. He was 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighed about 170 lbs, and he had blue eyes and dark brown hair. He was a Presbyterian.
His regiment, the 134th Battalion (48th Highlanders), was raised in Toronto in late 1915, and he was with it when it sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Europe aboard SS Scotian in August 1916. It docked in Liverpool on the 19 August. He went to Witley Military Camp, Surrey, England and there transferred to the 19th Battalion, CEF. He was with his unit on the 12 June 1916 and went to France soon afterwards.
He suffered a slight shrapnel wound to his chin on the 12 May 1918 and passed through 6th and 5th Canadian Field Ambulance hands and 43 CCS before reaching No 2 Canadian General Hospital, Le Tréport on the 15 May. He was sent to No 3 Canadian Convalescent Depot, Le Tréport on the 7 June and was at 2 Canadian Infantry Base Depot, Etaples on the 22 June. He went to the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp on the 14 July and rejoined the 19th Battalion on the 12 August 1918.
He was given fourteen days leave in Ireland on the 7 September, and having returned to his unit on the 29 September, he was wounded on the 12 October 1918. This time he had received a gunshot wound to the face. He passed through 33 CCS and was sent on 1 AT (Ambulance Train) to No 32 Stationary Hospital, Wimereux. Just over one month later, on the 30 November 1918, he was transferred to a convalescent depot, probably Terlincthun near Boulogne. On the 3 December he went to Canadian Infantry Base Depot, Etaples and was in the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp on the 8 December.
His tenure in France was soon ended. He was sent to England and No1 Canadian Corps Reserve Depot on the 12 January 1919 and transferred to the 3rd Reserve Battalion. He then went to Kimnel Park, Rhyl for return to Canada on the 12 March and finally embarked for Canada on the Empress of Britain on the 23 March 1919.
192181 Private John Blain, 42nd Battalion (Royal Highlanders of Canada), was born in Fernisky, Kells but had probably been absent from Co Antrim for some years. He was born on the 2 March 1882. He was 33 years and 4 months old when he enlisted and weighed about 160 lbs. He had blue eyes and fair hair and he was a labourer. He said he was married to Matilda Barnett Blain, records recording the marriage as being on the 31 June 1906, and he said they had two daughters, Agnes (9) and Sarah (7).
There are no relevant Blains listed in the 1901 or 1911 census returns, but Matilda Barnett does appear. She was 25 in 1901 and a wool weaver, the daughter of James Barnett, a 65 year old farmer from Tanneybrake, Kells. Her mother was Mary (63) (Marey sic) and she had two brothers, Joseph (23) and Samuel (22 and a beetler), and three sisters, Minnie (20), Jane (18) and Sarah (13). Mary Bell Barnett was 76 in the 1911 census return and living with Minnie (29), Jane (28) and Sarah (21), all single. She says in 1911 that she had had three children with James, though this seems unlikely. A headstone in Connor New Cemetery says James, aged 66, died on 14 December 1902, Mary Bella, aged 86, on the 6 February 1920. It also refers to their son William who died 2nd January 1891, aged 25 years.
John Blain enlisted in Toronto in the 92nd Battalion (48th Highlanders) and embarked from Halifax, Nova Scotia on the Empress of Britain with them on the 20 May 1916. He was transferred to the 42nd Battalion and then went to France with them in July 1916. He was engaged on 'police duties' at ports during October but was in sick with fever in November. Field Ambulance sent him to a convalescent camp and he was there until discharged to duty with the 3rd Divisional Salvage Company on the 1 December 1916. As their name suggests, these troops salvaged any materials, weapons, etc that could be recovered from areas where there had been fighting.
On the 12 August 1917 he transferred to the 3rd Divisional Employment Company. These troops, according to their war diary, were employed on 'sanitary work', were attached to 'baths and laundries', were attached to units 'as shoemakers', spent time 'cleaning up billets', were 'furnishing guards to dugouts', doing 'water patrol work', were attached to 'Salvage Company', 'were erecting huts for Field Ambulance', etc.
Blain was ill throughout October and the first half of November 1917, but recovered and remained in France/Belgium until transferred to the depot in England on the 18 December 1918. He was awaiting transfer to Canada and eventually left on the 23 March 1919. He was discharged at No 2 District Depot (Toronto) on the 1 April 1919. He had earlier told the army that he would be going to 71 River Street, Toronto.
John Blain died on the 2 June 1958.
766535 Harry Morrison Blair joined the 123th Battalion, (Royal Grenadiers) in Toronto, giving his address as 122 Sherborne Street, Toronto (later addresses were 64 Moscow Street, Toronto and 632 Pope Avenue, Toronto). He was a tailor.
He came from Ballymena and the 1901 census return records him living on Church Street. His mother was Annie Blair, a 40 year old widow and stationer, originally from the Co Down. His sister was Annie (19), an assistant stationer and born in Co Tyrone, his brother William (16) was a printer born in Co Antrim. Harry, born in Co Antrim, was 10 years old. Maggie Bell, born Co Antrim and 19 years old, was their domestic servant and Sarah McMullan (14) was an assistant stationer. They cannot be found in the 1911 return, but Harry (20) is recorded. He was an apprentice tailor and lived with his uncle on High Street, Ballymena. Uncle David Blair (38) was a master tailor and shared his house with his wife Isabella (39) and her mother, Jane Scott (66).
Harry Morrison Blair initially nominated his brother William as his next of kin and he was living at Birchcliff, Kingston Road, P O Ontario. He later opted to have his Uncle David take on that role.
Harry was born on the 31 October 1890. He was single, 25 ½ when he enlisted on the 8 December 1915 and 5 feet 6 ¾ inches tall. He weighed 121 lbs and had brown hair and brown eyes. He was a Presbyterian. He was to serve a total of 3 years and 5 months in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
Harry was ill for four days in Canada before his departure but he nevertheless embarked from Halifax, Nova Scotia on SS Cameronia with the 123rd Battalion on the 8 August 1916. He reached Liverpool on the 18 August and in England he was transferred to the 60th Battalion (Victoria Rifles of Canada) on the 5 December and sent to join them in the field. He was in the unit when they fought at places like Mount Sorrel, Courcelette and in the later stages of the Somme. He transferred to the 87th Battalion (Canadian Grenadier Guards) on the 23 April 1917, but was probably with the 60th Battalion at Vimy Ridge, 9-12 April 1917. The 87th Battalion were another great fighting unit and they distinguished themselves at places like Passchendaele, Amiens and Scarpe when Harry was attached to them.
He was on leave from 23 November -11 December 1917 and then returned to his unit. He was wounded by a gas shell on the 19 August 1918 and Field Ambulance, CCS et al got him to 10th General Hospital, Rouen on the 21 August. He was moved to 73rd General hospital, Trouville but was well enough to go to No 14 Convalescent Depot, Trouville on the 2 September. He was released from there to the Canadian Infantry Brigade Depot (CIBD) on the 29 September 1918. He was struck off strength with his unit on the 2 October 1918 and went to the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp. He got leave from the 25 October - 13 November 1918 and, presumably staying there thereafter, was sent to England on the 29 April 1919. He returned to Canada on the Mauretania and was at No 4 District Depot (Montreal) on the 31 May 1919. He was demobilised on the 9 June 1919.Harry Morrison Blair died in Canada on the 4 April 1937.
663235 Lance Corporal James Blair lived in Georgetown, Ontario with his wife Bessie Rachael Blair and said he worked as a papermaker. He was born on the 10 January 1882 and was 34 years old in January 1916 when he enlisted in the 164th Battalion (Halton and Dufferin) of the Canadian Infantry. He was 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 130 lbs, and he had grey eyes and black hair. He said he was an Anglican and he also said he was from Ballymena.
He must have left Ballymena many years before and there is no complete match for him in census returns. The 'best fit' for him is in the 1901 Census return. William Blair, 63 and a labourer, lived with his wife Sarah (60) on Henry Street, Harryville, Ballymena. They listed some of their family on the day of the census. Lizzie was 28 and a linen weaver, as was Annie (21). James (19) was a plasterer. His youngest sister Maggie was 7 years old. Campbell Ballentine, 22 and a smith's helper, and his wife Agnes Ballentine (née Blair, 23) lived with them and had an infant son called William. The family were still on Henry Street in 1911. William (73) and his wife Sarah (71) shared their home with daughters Annie (32) and Agnes Hanna (34). Three children were with them on census day, Annie Ballentine (3), George Hanna (4) and James Hanna (0). William and Sarah said they had had seven children, six of whom were still alive in 1911.
James Blair is the correct age in the 1901 return, given his stated birthday, and William, as stated by the CWGC record of his death, was his father. James was then a Presbyterian, however, not an Anglican as stated on his attestation form.
James' army career was short. He enlisted in January 1916 in the 164th Battalion and sailed from Halifax aboard the RMS Carpathia on the 10 April 1917 (RMS Carpathia was famous for its role in the rescue of Titanic passengers in 1912. On 15 July 1918, Carpathia departed Liverpool in a convoy bound for Boston. On the summer morning of 17 July she was torpedoed by submarine U-55 and sank.), reaching England on the 22 April. He as taken on strength with the 2nd Reserve Battalion, East Sandling on the 23 April but returned to the 164th Battalion on the 27 May 1917. He served two further short attachments with the 119th and 125th Battalions before returning to the 164th Battalion and then being struck off strength to the 116th Battalion on the 4 April 1918. He went to France with them and was at the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp on the 7 April and with his unit in the field on the 21 April. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 14 September, 681792 John Paton having been wounded, but was killed in action soon after on the 29 September 1918. The war diary for the days says:
29th. Weather fine. In accordance with Brigade operations order, the Battalion moved up, following closely behind the 7th Brigade, through Bourlon and assembled in the Railway Embankment in F.2.1 at 6:30 p.m. Orders were received that the 58th Battalion would attack the Marcoing Line in front of St. Olle, and that the 116th Battalion passing through would attack and capture St. Olle. Zero hour 7:00 p.m. ... Our casualties for the day were about 260 killed and wounded.
War Diary: The Logistical Summary for the 116th (Ontario County) Canadian Infantry Battalion's Sojourn in France, 43
James Blair is buried in St Olle British Cemetery, Raillencourt. St. Olle is a village in the Department of the Nord, 1 kilometre west of Cambrai on the main road towards Arras. Raillencourt was captured by the Canadian Corps on the 28th and 29th September 1918, in the Battle of the Canal du Nord. Blair was one of those who fell in the action.
624781 Private James Alexander Bleakly, 10th Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment), was KIA on 28 April 1917. Bleakly was 33 years and 10 months old at the time of his enlistment in February 1916. He was 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 168 lbs, and he had brown eyes and black hair. He was the fifth son of Robert John Bleakly of Seacon, Ballymoney.
The 1901 census return shows Robert John Bleakly (66) a farmer, and his wife Sarah Jane (52) and six of their children, John (26), William McKay (24), Samuel C (23), James Alexander (19), Sarah J (15), and Martha (12). The 1911 return shows Robert John Bleakly (73) a farmer, and his wife Sarah Jane (62) and three of their children, John (36), William McKay (35), and Martha (22). Their servant was Robert McGroggan (34). The couple said in 1911 that they had had nine children of whom eight were still alive.
James Alexander was a teacher and was a former Principal of Tardree and Cushybracken National Schools - these are near Ballymena - before he emigrated to Canada. There he was Secretary and Treasurer of Two Hills School, Alberta. He also said he was a merchant and a widower on his attestation form.
He enlisted in the 151st Battalion in Vegreville, Alberta in February 1916 sometime after the death of his wife. He left Halifax on the SS California on the 3 October 1916 and landed in Liverpool ten days later. He was transferred to the 9th Reserve Battalion at St Martin's Camp before transferring to the 10th Battalion on 12 November 1916. This battalion participated in every major Canadian battle of the First World War, and was known to its contemporaries simply as The Fighting Tenth.
Bleakly arrived in France on the 13th November and was taken on strength with the 10th Battalion in the field. He was attached to a Canadian Camp Pioneer Company and the 1st Entrenching Battalion for a short time but went back to the 10th Battalion in late April. The famous Battle of Vimy Ridge was over but an operation was launched on the 28th April to take the Arleux Loop. The operation was aimed at capturing a major German billeting area at Arleux-en-Gohelle. It went in over open ground and produced serious casualties. Bleakly was one of them and is named on Vimy Memorial.
The war diary for the 10th Battalion for that day reads:
Saturday, April 28, 1917 Weather: bright and clear
The Battalion launched an attack on the enemy positions capturing the village of ARLEUX- EN-GOHELLE and all its objectives in conjunction with the 8th Canadian Infantry Battalion. ... The work of consolidation was proceeded with immediately and by night fall the position was in a fairly good state of defence.
The enemy ... opened a barrage immediately on the Right Flank .... a barrage opened on the enemy positions [and] the enemy barrage then slackened .... The reinforcements were brought forward into the action to assist in consolidation and defence.
829213 Private Daniel Boyle, 44th Battalion, CEF, lived at 173 Chalmers Ave, Winnipeg and he described himself as a labourer. He also said he was born on the 7 June 1894 and was 24 years 5 months and old when he joined the forces. He attestation paper says he was 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 148 lbs, and he had blue eyes and brown hair. He was a Presbyterian.
Daniel Boyle said he was originally from Carnalbana, County Antrim. The family do not appear to have completed census returns in 1901 or 1911 and so we have only such details as are provided by the soldier's own papers and his CWGC entry. The later says he was the son of W. J. and Katherine Boyle, of Drumcrow; this is near Carnalbana. He listed his aunt as his next of kin and said she was Mrs Robert Young, Carnalbana, Broughshane. Earlier he had nominated his brother William as his next of kin, giving his address as c/o Mrs Esther Young, Co Antrim, Ireland. Robert, an agricultural labourer, and Esther Young and all eight of their children were living in Carnalbana in 1911. Another Boyle brother, James, is referred to in his record as the blacksmith in Carnalbana.
Daniel Boyle enlisted in the 144th Battalion (Winnipeg Rifles), CEF on the 30 November 1915 and left Canada from Halifax aboard the SS Olympic on the 18 September 1916. He arrived in Liverpool on the 25 September, completed his training, and was transferred to the 44th Battalion at Seaford on the 13 January 1917. He was at the main Canadian depot in France the next day and on the 9 February was taken on strength with the 44th Battalion in the field. He served with them until he received shrapnel wounds to his abdomen on the 29 October 1917. This probably happened in the aftermath of fighting at Decline Copse, a skirmish that was part of the Passchendaele action. He was rushed to 44th Casualty Clearing Station and died there. Somewhat ironically the diary for the day reads:
"Relief complete" sent in at 2.40 a.m. No casualties on way out to camp at POTIJZE, I.9.a.25.15. Battalion left YPRES Station at 1.00 p.m. by train, arriving BRANDHOEK about 1.45 p.m. Marched to ERIE Camp, G.11.c.
Transport moved from POTIJZE to ERIE Camp by march route. No casualties.
He is buried in Nine Elms British Cemetery. The cemetery was begun and used by the 3rd Australian and 44th Casualty Clearing Stations when they moved to Poperinghe (now Poperinge), from Brandhoek and Lijssenthoek respectively, in September 1917. Nearly all the burials in Plots I to IX came from these Casualty Clearing Stations, whilst they operated in this area during the 1917 Battle of Ypres, up until December 1917.
Extract from 144th Battalion Nominal Roll, 18th September 1916
830415 Private Joseph Brown, 44th Battalion, Canadian Infantry, lived at 304 Laura Street, Winnipeg, and enlisted in the 144th (Winnipeg Rifles) Battalion, a unit which began recruiting in late 1915 in that city. After sailing to England in September 1916, the battalion was absorbed into the 18th Reserve Battalion on January 12, 1917, as Brown's record indicates.
Joseph Brown said at his enlistment that he was born in Ahoghill on the 14 August 1892, and that he was a labourer. He was then 25 years and 5 months old and single. He was 5 feet 8 ½ inches tall and had grey eyes and black hair. He said his father was James Brown, also of Ahoghill, and in his will mentions his brother Robert Brown of Millquarter, Toomebridge. The family were Presbyterians.
The 1901 census return shows the family living on a farm at Aghavary, Ballyscullion, quite close to Ahoghill. James Brown was a farmer and widower aged 50 years. He listed seven children on the return: Rachel (19, linen weaver), David (18, linen weaver), John (17, farmer), Maria (12), Robert (10), George (9) and Joseph (7). James was still in Aghavary in 1911. He was supposedly 70 years old and Maria (20) and George (18) lived with him.
Joseph enlisted in January 1916 and, basic training over, he left Halifax on the SS Olympic bound for Liverpool on the 18 September 1916. He arrived there on the 25 September. He was transferred from the 144th (Winnipeg Rifles) Battalion and absorbed into the 18th Reserve Battalion at Seaford on the 12 January 1917 and then in February 1917 he transferred to the 44th (Manitoba) Battalion for transfer to France (The 44th Battalion recruited in and was mobilized at Winnipeg, Manitoba, but in August of 1918, the 44th (Manitoba) Battalion was renamed the 44th (New Brunswick) Battalion, CEF). He was at the Canadian Base Depot on the 19 February and was taken on strength with his unit on the 22 February.
He was wounded by a shell on the 10 May 1917, receiving shrapnel strikes to his right buttock, back and left ear. He went via 6th CCS and 2nd Australian General Hospital to England on the St Denis and was admitted to Whitecross Military Hospital in Warrington on the 15 May. He was at a military convalescent hospital in Holywood, Co Down in July and at the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Hillingdon House, Uxbridge in August. He wasn't released to the 1st Canadian Command Depot at Shorncliffe until the 24 August and they sent him to the 18th Reserve Battalion at East Sandling on the 9 October. He left them to return to the 44th Battalion on the 16 November, finally rejoining his unit in the field on the 23 November 1917.
His record tells us little of what happened thereafter, recording only that he died of shrapnel wounds to his left leg at 22 CCS on the 28 September 1918. He was buried in Bucquoy Road Cemetery, Ficheux, just south of Arras. From early April to early August 1918 this cemetery was not used but in September and October, the 22nd, 30th and 33rd Casualty Clearing Stations (CCS) came to Boisleux-au-Mont and extended it, hence Joseph's burial there.
3030887 Private Robert Brownlee, 31st Battalion, C E F, said he was born in Ballymena but that is at the moment the only definite evidence that he was. He and his wife Agnes lived in Sioux City, Iowa, USA, firstly at 1013 Grant Street and then 1306 Dace Street, and it was from Sioux City that he set out to join the Canadian forces in 1917.
He was born on 31 September 1886 and he was a labourer, He stood 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed about 150 lbs. He had blue eyes and brown hair, and he was an Anglican. He was 31 years and 1 month old when he enlisted in the 1st Depot Battalion of the 2nd Central Ontario Regiment at No 1 Central Ontario Regimental Depot in Toronto on the 30 October 1917.
He left Halifax a board the SS Scandinavian bound for Liverpool on the 3 February 1918 and arrived at his destination on the 16 February. He went to the East Sandling camp, was sent to the 2nd Central Ontario Regiment, but was then transferred to the 102nd Battalion for overseas service at the start of June 1918. He went to France with the 102nd Battalion but Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp transferred him to the 31st Battalion in August 1918 and it was with them that he saw active service in France. He served without incident for about nine months until granted a 14 day leave in the UK in March 1919. Shortly thereafter he was returned to Canada on the SS Caronia from Liverpool. He was discharged from No 2 District Depot, Toronto on 24 May 1919.
844127 Private John Burby was, according to his own testimony that was given when he enlisted in the 149th Battalion on the 11 March 1916 in Sarnia, Ontario, born in Ballymena. He also said his next of kin was his brother Joseph, then living in Philadelphia, USA.
Burby gave his date of birth as 14 April 1896 and said he was a labourer. He was then single, almost 20 years old and 5 feet 9 inches tall. He had blue eyes, brown hair and he weighed 155 lbs. He was a Presbyterian.
John Burby never served in the forces. He was 'declared illegally absent', a deserter, and struck off strength.
Burby is a rare name, especially around Ballymena. Only one family of that name occurs in the census returns and they lived at Carclunty (now Carclinty, Dunminning, Cullybackey. William James Burby, 48 and a labourer, was the head of the family in 1911 and Maggie (40) was his wife. They shared their home with Joseph Spence, 18 and a stepson, and John (14), Matilda (13) and William (11). M(ary) Ellan sic Davidson, his 62 year old widowed mother in law, lived with then too. They also appear in the 1901 return.
John's brother in Philadelphia appears to be his half brother. His brother, Private William, S/5140 of the 11th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, was KIA on August 21st, 1916. He is named on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme. He is remembered in Cuningham Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cullybackey.
2728022 Sapper Alexander Calderwood, Canadian Engineers, was living at 4102 West Carroll Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, USA when he enlisted in the Canadian Engineers, but he was the son of Alexander Calderwood, a stone mason and bricklayer, who lived at Duneaney, Glarryford, and his wife Eliza. Alexander Sen. was 43 in 1901, his wife 42. They listed six children on their census return. They were Matthew (16), Lizzie (12), William J (10), Sarah J (8), Alexander (6) and Agnes (3). The parents and Sarah J (17), Alexander (16) and Agnes (13)are listed in 1911, as is a new child, Martha Lowry Calderwood (8). The parents said they had had eight children, seven of whom were still alive in 1911
Alexander said he had been born on the 18 September 1894. He was single, 24 years old, 6 feet tall, and he weighed 162 lbs. He had blue eyes and brown hair and he was a Presbyterian.
The war was almost over when he enlisted on 28 September 1918 in Toronto, but he did go to the Engineer Training Depot, Brockville, Ontario. However, he saw no active service and was discharged from the Canadian Army on the 10 December 1918.
2529345 Trooper John Calderwood, Canadian Mounted Rifles, lived at 537 Springfield Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, USA when he enlisted in the Canadian Mounted Rifles on the 19 July 1917. He was originally from County Antrim and his parents were Matthew and Rachael Calderwood, Glenbuck, Glarryford, and he is named on the tablet in Cuningham Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cullybackey. The 1911 census indicated that his father, aged 40, was a shoemaker and butcher (he had been a farmer in the 1901 return), and that his mother Rachel (or Rachael) was then 43 years old and the mother of eight children, all of whom were alive in 1911. John (17) was the eldest child listed on census day and there were five younger children, Sarah (15), Agnes (11), Annie (7), Alexander (6) and Margretta (4).
John Calderwood was born on the 4 March 1894 and was 23 years and 4 months old when he enlisted. He was single, weighed 133 lbs and was 5 feet 7 ¼ inches tall. He had grey eyes and brown hair. He worked as a book keeper.
John Calderwood enlisted in the Canadian Mounted Rifles and trained with them but there is no evidence that he ever went on active service. He was at Canadian Army Mounted Corps (CAMC) Training Depot No 2 until transferred to the Canadian Garrison Regiment on the 1 August 1918. He was demobilised, struck off strength, on the 7 December 1918. His address at the time was 36 Gloucester Street, Toronto, Canada.
342380 Gunner Thomas Calderwood, 7th Battery, 2nd Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery, lived at 433 West 24th Street, New York City at the time of his enlistment (later 271 West 141st Street and 160 Manhattan Avenue), as did his next of kin Alexander Calderwood, his father. He was, however, born in Co Antrim and he is remembered on the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 in the listing for Killymurris Presbyterian Church, Glarryford.
The family are listed in the 1901 census return and they were living in Killydonnelly, Glenbuck. Alexander, then 47 and a widowed farmer, listed seven children, John (16), Sarah J (14), William (12), Hannah (11), Thomas (8), Mary E (6) and Smyth (3). They do not appear in the 1911 census returns and appear to have emigrated before then.
Thomas Calderwood was born on 12 July 1893 and he was 24 years and 7 months old when he enlisted in Toronto, Canada on the 11 February 1918. He was 5 feet 8 ½ inches tall and he weighed 144 lbs. He had blue eyes and brown hair. He was employed as a tin foil maker.
Thomas enlisted late in the war but went on active service. He was initially with the 71st Depot Artillery Brigade and left Halifax, Nova Scotia n the 9 April 1918 aboard SS Metagama, arriving in Liverpool on the 19 April. He was taken on strength at Witley Camp and went overseas to France on the 17 August 1918. He was at the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp on the 23 August and from there was posted to the 7th Battery, 2nd Brigade, Canadian Field artillery. He served with them to the end of the war and beyond, being finally sent to England for return to Canada in March 1919. He left Southampton aboard the SS Olympic in April and was discharged from the army in Montreal on 23 April 1919.
2528390 Private William Calderwood, 116th Battalion, enlisted in Toronto and initially gave his address as 2649 Orchard Street, Chicago, Illinois, USA, but he was the son of Alexander Calderwood, a stone mason and bricklayer, who lived at Glen View House, Duneaney, Glarryford, and his wife Eliza (Elizabeth). William was also the brother of 2728022 Sapper Alexander Calderwood, Canadian Engineers.
Alexander Sen. was 43 in 1901, his wife 42. They listed six children on their census return. They were Matthew (16), Lizzie (12), William J (10), Sarah J (8), Alexander (6) and Agnes (3). The parents and Sarah J (17), Alexander (16) and Agnes (13) are listed in 1911, as is a new child, Martha Lowry Calderwood (8). The parents said they had had eight children, seven of whom were still alive in 1911.
William Calderwood was born on the 21 August 1890 and was 26 years and 10 months old when he joined the army. He was single, about 5 feet 11 inches tall and he weighed about 163 lbs. He had grey eyes and brown hair. He worked as a bus conductor. He was a Presbyterian and he is remembered on the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 in the listing for Killymurris Presbyterian Church, Glarryford.
William Calderwood trained in Canada from July to October 1917 and then sailed on the 20 October from Halifax to England aboard the SS Scandinavian. He reached Liverpool on the 1 November and was taken on strength at Shorncliffe Camp next day. He was transferred to the 116th Battalion at East Sandling for overseas service and was soon in France. He was at the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp (CCRC) on the 1 March 1917 and with his unit on the 23 March. He served with them until the 12 August 1918.
He was wounded during the Allied counter attacks that followed the failure of the German Spring Offensive. These began with the Battle of Amiens on 8 August of 1918 and ended with the Armistice on 11 November 1918. This period of the War is often referred to as 'Canada's Hundred Days' due to the substantial role played by the Canadian Corps. Calderwood was hit by shell shrapnel while at Roye (near Amiens) just four days after the attacks began and was initially posted as 'Missing in Action'. It soon became clear he was wounded and a POW in Germany.
He was repatriated at the end of the war and went immediately to hospital, notably to Lewisham Hospital, No 11 Canadian General Hospital, Orpington, Kent and 5th Canadian General Hospital, Westminster Road, Kirkdale, Liverpool. He was returned to Montreal, Canada on the SS Megantic from Liverpool in June 1919, but was again hospitalised for a time at St. Anne's Hospital, Quebec . He was eventually discharged as medically unfit from the army at Montréal on the 10 December 1919.
The shell had exploded to Calderwood's right side. He had minor wounds to his right thumb and upper right arm, but the real damage was to his right leg, notably the section beneath the knee. He healed after several operations, the first two in Germany, but the records show the scale of the injury. He was described as having leg scars, 2 x ¾ inches, 8 x ¾ inches, 6 x 1 ½, 3 ½ x ½ inches, he had had fractures of both leg bones, some calf muscles showed signs of atrophy, there was backward bowing of the knee and he walked with a limp. His recovery would take a long time and some damage would have been permanent.
160496 James Cameron, 50th Battalion, Canadian Infantry enlisted in Calgary in the 82nd Battalion on the 6 October 1915. He was the son of James and Sarah Cameron, originally from Ballymena, and he gave his parents' address as 52 Brookhill Avenue, Cliftonville, Belfast.
The 1901 census return shows the family living in Antrim town. James, 38 and a power loom tenter, and his wife Sarah (38) had six children, Nellie (15), Jeannie (12), James (9),Margaret Service (7), Wilhelmina (4) and David Kennedy (1). The 1911 return shows them in Belfast. James, 48 and a foreman power loom tenter, still lived with Sarah (48) and their six children. Ellen ('Nellie') was 25 and worked selling millinery, Jane (22) was a telephone operator, James (19) was a shipping clerk and Margaret (17), Wilhelmina (14) and David (11) were scholars.
James Cameron, single, 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing 155 lbs, had blue eyes and black hair. He worked as an accountant.
He must have been among the first men to enlist in the 82nd Battalion. The 82nd Battalion was authorized on 10 July 1915 a embarked for Britain on 20 May 1916 where it provided reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field. On 18 July 1916 its personnel were absorbed by the 9th Reserve Battalion, CEF. The battalion was subsequently disbanded on 21 May 1917. Cameron's record corresponds. He left Halifax aboard the Empress of Britain with the unit on the 20 May and arrived in Liverpool on the 29 May. He transferred to the 9th Reserve Battalion with the rest of the men and was then transferred to the 50th Battalion (Calgary) for overseas service. He was with the unit in France on the 7 September 1916. It fought as part of the 10th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war.
He was reported MIA (Missing in Action) on the 19 November 1916 and later that day as 'wounded'. He passed through the hands Nos. 11 and 12 Canadian Field Ambulance and ended up at No 9 Casualty Clearing Station (CCS), but he had suffered no more than contusion, bruising to his back. He was back at his unit o the 29 November.
Cameron was a good soldier and rose through the ranks, reaching the position of Sergeant on 31 March 1917. He also won the Military Medal for gallantry. However, we know little of what happened to him thereafter. He was wounded on the 5 June 1917 and died of his wounds at No 6 CCS. He was buried in Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension, France.
The records of the 50th Battalion would suggest that the battalion was to be relieved from duty in the trenches and to go to their old quarters at Vancouver Dump, Chateau de la Haie. They were going to stop at Souchez Dump for a meal and would then be given transport for the remainder of their journey. During the withdrawal, which started with small parties leaving the line from about 10.30 pm on the night of the 4 June, ' 3 ORs' were killed and '16 ORs' were wounded. James Cameron was probably one of these ORs (Other Ranks).
13225 Regimental Sergeant Major Thomas Cameron, Canadian Army Service Corps, was the son of Mr James Cameron, Ballymena and was a single man working as a 'motorman' or mechanic in Canada when WW1 began.
Thomas Cameron had been born on the 30 September 1884. He was 5 feet 11 ¼ inches tall, weighed 165 lbs and he had grey eyes and black hair. He has been in South Africa and had served 18 months with the South African Constabulary prior to his arrival in Canada. He enlisted at Valcartier on the 23 September 1914 and was to serve until discharged medically unfit aged 33 and 10 months on the 3 July 1918.
He left Canada for overseas service with the 5th Bn Canadian Infantry and while with them was wounded in an attack at Festubert on the 24th May 1915. A bullet passed through his right arm just above the wrist and fractured his radius. He was moved by the usual routes to HS Dieppe and onward to England. He was treated at the Southern General Hospital, Birmingham, Orchard Military Hospital, Dartford, Kent and the Canadian Convalescent Hospital in Bromley. It was about this time, late 1915 when he was in hospital with influenza, that he began his transfer from the 32nd reserve Battalion to the Canadian Army Service Corps. He had also married by this time, his next of kin now being Mrs Alice Cameron, 9 North Road, Richmond , Surrey.
RSM Thomas Cameron and his wife returned to Canada and appear to have settled in Quebec.
461065 Sergeant Alexander Carlisle, enlisted in Winnipeg, Manitoba on the 28 June 1915, but he was originally from Tullynamullan, Kells. He was the son of David (52) and Lizzie Carlisle (45), farmers and grocers, and the 1901 census lists six children, Lizzie Graham (19), John (17), Rachel (16), Alexander (14), Matilda (8) and David (11); there was also a servant, Ellin (sic) Baeck (22). David and Elizabeth, 63 & 60, in the 1911 census, still lived with David (21), Tillie (18), and a servant called David McMullan (62).
Alexander was born on 4th July 1887. He had moved to Canada before 1914 and, a single men, was living in Winnipeg (He was demobilised to 1182 Garfield Street, Winnipeg, and is later associated with Elkdale, Manitoba) and working as a locomotive fireman. He was 5' 9 ½", 175 lbs and of a fair complexion, and he had blue eyes and brown hair. He was aged 28 and 11 months when he enlisted in June 1915, and training over, he arrived in England on the SS Metagama in September. He was soon in France and Belgium and was to serve with the 27th Battalion (He enlisted in the 61st) approximately 23/24 months on active service. He was promoted to Sergeant, won the Military Medal ('in the field', 13th May 1918) and was wounded three times. The first wound was a painful but slight GSW (gunshot wound) to the scalp, the second a slight shrapnel wound to his right arm and for this latter he was treated for 17 days at No 4 Stationary Hospital in Arques, St Omer. The third wound was serious. He was serving in the Ypres area at Passchendaele when he was struck on the right side by shrapnel, the damage, as recorded in Birmingham War Hospital, continuing from his right shoulder to his hip. He recovered well, though he had impaired strength in right leg and arm thereafter, and he was discharged in Canada on the 20th August 1918. He died in Canada on 1st May 1939.
59175 Lance Corporal Thomas Hill Cochrane, 21st Bn. (East Ontario Regiment), came originally from the Craigs, Cullybackey and was the son of John and Margaret Cochrane, Craigs, Cullybackey. John Henry Cochrane had been born in 1852 at Woodgrange, Downpatrick, Co Down, and Margaret, nee Taylor, was born at Ballycastle in 1850. John in the 1901 census is described as a coachman and domestic servant; four children are listed: Annie (24), Minnie (23), Emma (13) and Thomas (9), though there were perhaps ten or eleven children in the completed family.
Hill Cochrane had emigrated to Canada in 1910. He was a factory hand in a rubber enterprise when he married Bertha McDonald of Hope, Ontario in December 1912. The couple lived in Bowmanville, Ontario.
He had been born on 13th September 1891, and at the time of his enlistment on the 6th November 1914, he was said to stand 5' 7½" tall and to have had blue eyes and brown hair.
He arrived in England aboard the SS Metagama in May 1915, was promoted to Lance Corporal in June, and he sailed aboard St Seiriol from Folkestone in September 1915 to join the 21st Battalion. He had a short military career and died of wounds to his chest which had been inflicted by a German sniper while Cochrane was trying to recover a wounded comrade. He died while being treated by No 5 Canadian Field Ambulance on the 11th November 1915. The diary for the day reads:
Enemy artillery moderate, only 3 shells being sent over our lines. Bombing and Rifle fire also quiet. Extract from our patrol report: We went out to the enemy wire and continued working where we left off previous night ... Casualties 1 killed and 2 badly wounded.
Transcribed War Diary of the 21st Battalion CEF by Al Lloyd and John 'Sarge' Sergeant of the 21st Battalion Discussion group
Cochrane was one of the casualties and died later that day. The soldier who was killed instantly in the same incident was 60062 Private E. Wilkie.
brother was Sergeant John Harvey Cochrane, 18891, 12th Royal Irish
Rifles, whose wife Jeannie lived at 32, Harperstown, Craigs, Cullybackey. He was
KIA on March 24th, 1918 at St. Quentin, Somme - see Virtual Memorial entry.
Another brother was Lieutenant Hugh Henry Cochrane, Canadian forces. He was born on 15th April 1879 and was married to Mary Florence Cochrane. The couple lived in Athabasca, Alberta and he served in the Royal North West Mounted Police. He had previously spent fifteen years in the Scottish Yeomanry and had served in the South African Constabulary.
Bertha Cochrane remarried in April 1919 and became Mrs Bertha Sederquist, 972½ Queen's Street West, Toronto.
2595825 Private John Craig, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) was born the son of Robert and Eliza Craig, Gartnacory, Carnlough and he was living with his sister Martha Wells at 242 West 110th Street, Pullman, Chicago, USA and working as a street car conductor when he enlisted in the Canadian army.
The 1901 census records Robert (51) and Eliza (41) and seven children: Joseph (19), Maggie (17), Henry (16), Martha (13), Robert (11), John (9) and Eliza (7); there is no record for 1911 and it is possible the entire family was in the USA by that date. John was born on the 27th February 1893 and he was 26 years and 5 months old at the time of enlistment. He was 5' 9¼" tall and he brown eyes and light coloured hair. He was single.
He arrived in England on the SS Metagama in July 1917 and went overseas with the PPCLI. He was wounded on 27th August 1918, receiving a 'non-penetrating glance wound' to his right chest. He was evacuated to England aboard the HS Carisbrooke Castle, made a full recovery, and he returned to France on the 1st September 1918. He was back in England in late September and was returned to Canada. He left the army on the 17th February 1919 and had served just over a year and six months on active service in England and France. His demobilisation address was 4823 Palmer Street, Chicago, Illinois.
237361 Private John Craig, then living at 165 Carlton Street, Toronto, enlisted in the 204th Battalion and went to the 164th Battalion for active service. He was, however, originally from Fernisky, Kells, his parents being Samuel and Jane Craig. His father (40) was an fireman and engine driver in 1901 and he and Jane (37) listed eight children: Lizzie (17), Martha (15), John (14), Minnie (12), Maggie (11), Jeanie (9), Robert (6) and William (2). The 1911 census lists Samuel (50) as a stoker, Jane (48), Lizzie (26), John (23 and a farmer), Mary (22) and Sarah M (5).
John was born on 10th June 1886 and he was a single labourer of 29 years and 9 months when he enlisted. He was 5' 8 ½" tall and he had blue eyes and brown hair. He listed his mother as his next of kin but stated that his sister Minnie lived at 71 River Street, Toronto.
He arrived in England on the SS Saxonia in April 1917 and was posted to the 164th Battalion, but within two months he was in No 12 Canadian General Hospital being treated for asthma, something he had had since he was about twelve. He was deemed unfit for military service and returned to Halifax, Canada aboard the SS Llandovey Castle in May 1918. He was subsequently discharged on the 8th August 1919 from the forces to 7 Mark Street, Toronto.
He died on the 30th October 1937. His brother William lived at 89 Mountcollyer Street, Belfast.
114556 Private Robert Craig, 9th Canadian Mounted Rifles (& Borden's Machine Gun Battery), attested in Saskatoon, Canada, but he was originally from Gracehill, Ballymena. The 1901 census shows him living with Joseph (74 and a farmer) and Elizabeth (64) and elements of their family, notably Margaret (26) and John (24). Robert (11) and Elizabeth (18) were grandchildren. He named Elizabeth (Senior and designated 'mother') as his next of kin but elsewhere in his short military record he says his mother was Mrs Maggie Nicholl (Bicholl sic), Gracehill, Ballymena.
Robert was born on the 24th June 1890. He must have gone to Canada just before 1914 and he worked as a fireman. He was 24½ years old when he enlisted, and stood 5' 8 ¼ tall; he had blue eyes and fair hair, and he was single.
His military career was short. He arrived in England in December 1915, and on the 10 June 1916 he transferred to Borden's Machine Gun Battery for overseas service. He was with his unit after the 15th June and was killed in action while serving with them on the 27 September 1916.
335429 Private Robert Crawford, who served in Canada and England for a short time in the 64th Canadian Field Artillery and then the 2nd Tank Battalion, was the son of Thomas and Agnes Crawford, Tullymore, Broughshane .
The farming family are found in the census returns of 1901 and 1911. In 1901 Thomas Crawford (48) and his wife Agnes (46) listed seven children: James (18), Robert (14), Stewart (12), Margaret J (10), William (9), Samuel (7) and Mary E (5). In 1911 Thomas was 58, his wife 57 and five of the family are listed: Robert (24), Margaret J W (20), William (19), Samuel (17) and Mary E S (15). They also said they had had eight children, all of whom were alive. The remaining family member was 681631 Private Thomas Crawford, 15th Battalion, CEF who was killed in action in an attack on the Drocourt Queant Line on 2nd September 1918.
Robert lived at 1499 Hurlbut Avenue (now Street?), Detroit, Michigan, USA but enlisted in Windsor, Ontario, Canada on 4 May 1918. He had been born on the 7th November 1886 and described himself as a farmer. He was 5' 10" tall and he had blue eyes and brown hair. He left St Johns, New Brunswick aboard Minnedosa on the 4 October 1918 and arrived in England on the 18th October. He was demobilized in London on the 14 January 1919 and never reached any theatre of war.
512273 Private Robert Henry Dunlop Crawford, Canadian Army Service Corps, was born at Lisrodden, Portglenone, and he was the son of Henry Crawford, a 45 year old bricklayer, and his wife Annie (38). The couple had four children, two of whom survived. John Alexander was 10 in 1901, and Robert Henry Dunlop was then 4.
Robert Henry Dunlop Crawford, born 3rd May 1896, moved to Canada and he was living at 217 Shaw Street, Toronto when he enlisted in 1916 (he later moved to 112 Silverbirch Avenue, Toronto) . He was a 19 ¾ year old lathe hand (fitter). He stood 5' 7 ¼" tall and he had light blue eyes and fair hair.
He left Canada to go to England aboard the SS Metagama and arrived on the 5th May 1916. He was in the CASC and served in various Divisional Supply Columns, acquiring a Good Conduct Badge on the 29 February 1918. He was subject to a Field General Court Martial in 1919 for returning late from leave and for altering his pass to hide the crime. He was sentenced to 14 days Field Punishment No1 and fined two day's pay; this was later commuted to 14 days Field Punishment No 2. He returned to Canada on the RMS Scotian and was demobilized on 16th May 1919.
681631 Private Thomas Crawford, 15th Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment), was the son of Thomas and Agnes Crawford, Tullymore, Broughshane . The farming family are found in the census returns of 1901 and 1911, though Thomas (jnr.) does not appear in either.
In 1901 Thomas Crawford (48) and his wife Agnes (46) listed seven children: James (18), Robert (14), Stewart (12), Margaret J (10), William (9), Samuel (7) and Mary E (5). In 1911 Thomas was 58, his wife 57 and five of the family are listed: Robert (24), Margaret J W (20), William (19), Samuel (17) and Mary E S (15). They also said they had had eight children, all of whom were alive.
Thomas was born on the 20 February 1884 and was at enlistment living at 218 George Street, Toronto, and he worked as a machinist. He was then 32½ years old and 5' 9¼ " tall. He had blue eyes and light brown hair. He was a Presbyterian and had 'Erin go Bragh' [Ireland for Ever] and a harp tattooed on his left arm. This slogan had been prominent at the Ulster Unionist Convention, Botanic Gardens, Belfast in 1892.
Crawford joined the 170th Battalion and came to England aboard the SS Mauretania with them in October 1916, but soon left them to join the Machine Gun Depot at Crowborough. He was then assigned to the 15th Battalion for overseas service. He was wounded near Hill 70 by a shell in August 1917 and the damage to his left thigh took him to No 30 General Hospital, Calais and then the Canadian Military Hospital, Eastbourne. He recovered and was returned to the 15th Battalion in France. He was killed in action in an attack on the Drocourt Queant Line on 2nd September 1918, a fact recorded on the family tombstone in Broughshane.
His military record also records that he had family, possibly a brother, in the USA. S M Crawford lived at 1499 Hurlbut Avenue (Street?), Detroit, Michigan.
2138287 Private David Cupples, 31st Battalion, enlisted in Vancouver, British Columbia on the 14 January 1918, but he was the son of David Cupples (Sen.), Kells, Ballymena. His father, 45 years old in the 1901 census, was a linen beetler by trade, and he was married to Jane (42). Eight children are named in 1901: Sam (19), Robert (17), Jeannie (13), David (11), Thomas (9), James (7), Francis (5) and Howard (3). The 1911 census says eleven children were born, of whom eight were then alive. Thomas (17 & a grocer) James (17 & a beetler), Francis (14), Howard (12) and Samuel Wilson (8) are named with their parents.
David, born 8th January 1888, was 30 years old on the 14 January 1918, . He was single and stood 5' 6 ½ " tall, and he had blue eyes and light brown hair. He said he was a seaman and on one record mentions the SS Princess Sophia, a vessel belonging to the Canadian Pacific Railway (this vessel sank on 25 October 1918, after grounding on Vanderbilt Reef in Lynn Canal near Juneau, Alaska. All aboard were lost, for a total death toll of 343).
David left Canada from Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard HMT Scotian on the 16th April 1918 and landed in Liverpool on the 28th April. He went straight to the 1st Canadian Reserve Battalion at Seaford for quarantine (New arrivals were quarantined to help prevent the spread of contagious diseases like measles, mumps, etc.) and then transferred in September to the 29th Battalion for overseas service. He was in France on the 6th September, transferred to the 31st Battalion on the 21st September, and then went on duty. A shell exploded close to him on the 11th October and he sustained severe injuries to his left side. He died of his wounds while with No 9 Canadian Field Ambulance. He is buried in Queant Communal Cemetery Extension. The village is 25 kilometres south-east of Arras. It was just behind the Hindenburg Line, at the South end of the Drocourt-Queant Line, an area that had not captured by British troops until the 2nd September 1918.
799797 Sapper Thomas Cupples, 2nd Battalion, Canadian Railway Transport, enlisted on the 17th December 1915 in Toronto, but he was from Lisnevenagh, Randalstown.
The 1901 census shows Jeremiah Cupples, 37 years old and a blacksmith, living with his wife Margaret (36) and nine children: Samuel J, 17 and a blacksmith's apprentice, John C (14), Mary J (12), William (10), Thomas (8), Jeremiah (6), Elizabeth Mc (3), Robert (1) and Maggie (infant). Elements of the family are again listed In 1911: Jeremiah and Margaret, Mary J, a domestic servant, William, a blacksmith, Jeremiah, Elizabeth Mc, Maggie, Robert (Bertie) and Aggie (8). The family say ten children were born and ten were still alive in 1911.
Thomas, destined to serve in England and France, was born on 5th April 1895, and was single and a butcher in 1915. He gave his address as 123, University Avenue, Toronto, and later named John Whitmore, Pinegrove, Woodbridge, Ontario as a friend. He was then 20 years and 8 months old and was just 5' 5½ " tall; he had light hazel eyes and light brown hair.
Thomas had been in the militia, went to the 123rd Royal Grenadiers, but was then transferred to the 127th Battalion, CEF, this unit to be renamed the 2nd Bn, Canadian Railway Transport on the 10th February 1917.
He sailed on the 22nd August 1916 aboard the SS Olympic to England, landed on the 30th August 1916, and went onward to France after the usual delays, landing at Le Havre on the 13 January 1917. He served there until his return to Canada in 1919.
He was a bit of a character: he received 7 days Field Punishment No 2 for urinating in an outhouse in February 1917, a further two days of the same punishment for disobeying a 'lights out' order in September 1917, and, somewhat leniently, another two days of the same punishment for 'disobeying an order in the field' in December 1917. He spent most of 1918 in various hospitals being treated for non-combat problems, and he was returned to Canada on the 25th February 1919 from Liverpool. He disembarked from SS Megantic in Halifax on the 5th March 1919 and was demobilized on the 31st of the same month.
2379239 Lance Corporal John Davis, 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment, lived at 617 Union Bank [Building], Winnipeg, but he was originally from Ballynulto, Broughshane, the son of Archibald (Archie) Davis and his wife Margaret. Margaret (50) is shown in the 1901 census with seven of her family, namely James (26 and a watchmaker), Sarah (23), William (19), Archie (17), Martha (15), John (10) and Mary (7). The 1911 census lists Archie (61) and Margaret A (61) and three others, John (19), Isabella (22 and her daughter in law from Co Down) and Anna Margaret (infant granddaughter). Margaret said in 1911 that she had been married for 41 years and had had nine children, eight of whom were still alive.
John Davis was just over 30 years old at enlistment on 7th January 1918 and was therefore born around November 1878. He was single, 5' 10½ " tall and he had brown eyes and dark coloured hair. He said he had previously had military training with the UVF; he does not appear in the 1913 UVF list but his brother Archie does. John named his father at Ballynulto as his next of kin but gave all he owned to his brother Archie; he lived at 1711 ½ Howard Avenue [elsewhere 321 Broadway North], Seattle, Washington, USA.
John really had no military career. He was brought into St Boniface Hospital as an emergency case on the 14 April 1918 and underwent immediate surgery for a gangrenous appendix. It was removed and poison was drained but complications developed and further surgery could not save him. He died on the night of the 30/31st July 1918. His record is annotated 'appendicitis and suppurative peritonitis'.
77704 CQMS Joseph Doughan, MM, 15th Battalion, CEF, was born in October 1888 at Newferry, Toomebridge and was a single labourer aged just over 21 years old when he enlisted in Victoria, B.C. on the 9 November 1914. He was 5' 6 ½ " tall and had blue-grey eyes and fair hair. He named his mother Maggie at Newferry, Toomebridge as his next of kin.
Doughan (Joseph and not G. as mistakenly recorded on his press photograph) had served in the 102nd Bn RMR, militia, before the war and was enrolled in the 30th Bn after enlisting for war service. He sailed from Canada with the 30th Bn on the 23rd February 1915 but was to spend all but six months of his four year and nine month service with the 15th Battalion; the 15th Battalion was one of three battalions raised for service during World War I by the 48th Highlanders of Canada . He was taken on strength with them in May 1915 and, clearly a good soldier, moved rapidly up the ranks to become Acting Company Quartermaster Sergeant (CQMS) in February 1918 when CQMS Campbell was granted leave in Canada. Shortly afterwards his receipt of a Military medal was recorded in the London Gazette on the 12 March 1918. The record of his deed in 1917 is recorded below.
Operations for the Capture of Passchendaele Ridge:
During preparations for the above engagement, Sgt. Doughan was detailed to take charge of a party for work with the RFA on the 5th November 1917. The party was heavily shelled while proceeding to their work but owing to the cool courage and skill of Sgt. Doughan in leading his men through a difficult and dangerous situation, he undoubtedly saved many casualties. Sgt. Doughan has been with the Battalion for 28 months and has done excellent service at the following engagements:
Zillebeke, near Ypres, June 1916
Mouquet Farm, Somme, September 1916
Vimy Ridge, April 1917
Hill 70, north of Lens, August 1917.
Lieut. Col. commanding 15th Battalion, 48th Highlanders of Canada.
Joseph Doughan was granted permission to marry on the 9th August 1917 and he married Maggie, Margaret J Graffin, of Newferry, Toomebridge. He was transferred to the 12th Reserve Battalion and then discharged in Winnipeg on the 5th May 1919. The couple lived in Rossland, British Columbia, Canada after the family, now including a child, moved there in October 1926.
Lieutenant Andrew Warwick Duncan (MC), 38th Bn. Canadian Infantry (East Ontario Regiment), was KIA on 9th April 1917.
Born on the 6th May 1890, he was the son of Archibald and Margaret Duncan, Carnearney, Connor. The 1901 census return records Archibald, 51 and a farmer, his 44 year old wife Maggie, and six children. They were George (24), Francis (22) James (17), John (15), Andrew (10) and Stewart C (8). The 1911 return lists widower Archibald (62), George (32), Stewart Craig (20) and Mary, a daughter-in-law (40). Four of the family were in Canada (Stewart Craig in Vancouver, James W in Vancouver, Francis in Toronto and Andrew) when WW1 began, Andrew giving his address as Swastika, Ontario (Swastika was a remote mining town and Andrew was involved in that business; elsewhere he gave a postal address of 206, Grenadier Road, Toronto, Ontario); there are also references to Mrs J Duncan, sister-in-law, at 518 - 15th Avenue East, Vancouver, BC, and to Frank Warwick Duncan, 619 Avenue Road, Toronto.
Andrew Duncan, 6' 2" tall, was single and working as a broker when he enlisted in Haileybury, Ontario in January 1916. He had previously served in the 97th Algonquin Rifles, a militia unit, and was accepted for a commission in the 159th Battalion, CEF. He left Canada on the 31st October 1916 and arrived in England on November 11th. He transferred to the 38th Battalion, CEF in December 1916 and was with them in the field before the year's end. His military record is sketchy but it appears that he was KIA at Vimy Ridge just two months after attending a Platoon Commander's Course at 4th Division School.
The 38th Battalion was part of the Canadian 4th Division whose principal objective was Hill 145, the highest and most important feature of the whole of Vimy Ridge. Its summit allowed a full view of German positions on the Douai Plain; it also overlooked German positions on the Ridge itself. The Germans had fortified Hill 145, and there were dug-outs under its rear slope. The brigades of the 4th Division were hampered also by fire from the Pimple, the other highpoint.
Lt Duncan was killed early on the first day of the battle at Vimy Ridge, the 9th April 1917, as the official record of the battle (note the time) shows:
Duncan's record notes the award of a MC for 'gallantry in the field' (17th April 1917) and the award appears in the London Gazette - see https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30023/supplement/3689
He is buried in Villers Station Cemetery, Villers-au-Bois, Pas de Calais and also commemorated in Connor Presbyterian Church. Two of his brothers, James and Stewart also served in the CEF.
108340 Private James Duncan, 242nd Battalion, CEF (this later became part of the Canadian Forestry Corps and James was initially with the 22nd Company.) - was born at Connor, Co Antrim on the 25th June 1883 - see above. He was the son of Archibald Duncan and brother of Andrew Warwick Duncan, MC, above. He was 33 years old and stood 6' 6" tall, and he had blue eyes and light brown hair. He enlisted in Vancouver on the 28th August 1916 and gave his address as 25 - 8th Avenue West (later addresses 518-15th Ave East, Vancouver & 754-19th Ave East, Vancouver) and he named his wife Jane as his next of kin. He said he was a teamster.
James (25) had married Jane Wilson Reid (32) in Sydney, Australia on the 18th June 1909. He said he was a farmer and that his mother's maiden name was Margaret Warwick. Jane said her father, a farmer from the same area of Co Antrim (Dunadry?), was Hugh James Reid, her mother Ellen Mann. A son, Archibald Duncan, was born on the 9th September 1910, and the family were now living at 648, Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC. James was then a policeman.
James served in the CEF for a total of 2 years and 9 months - chronologically, 3 months in Canada, 3 months in England (UK), 15 months in France and finally 12 months in England.
He had left Halifax, Nova Scotia on HMT Mauretania on the 23rd November 1916 and landed in Liverpool on the 30th November. He was at Le Havre on the 4th February 1917 and was appointed Acting Lance Corporal, a position he relinquished at his own request on 10 October 1917. He developed severe eczema problems and was in hospital after March 1918, eventually being returned to England aboard HS Grantully Castle on the 25th May 1918. He returned to the Canadian Forestry Corps in November 1918. He was returned to England in May 1919, boarded HMT Saturnia in Glasgow and disembarked in Montreal on the 28th June 1919. He was discharged from the CEF on the 4th July 1919.
He died on the 31st December 1954 and his record says 'no dependants'; Jane, known as Jean, had died earlier, her tombstone in White Rock, a seaside town 30 miles south of Vancouver, is annotated 1877-1946.
523 Sapper Stewart Craig Duncan, was the brother of Andrew and James Duncan (above), and he listed James as his next of kin, giving James's address in February 1915 as 518-15th Avenue East, Vancouver.
Stewart Duncan enlisted in February 1915 in Ottawa and stated he was born on 12th August 1897. He was a locomotive fireman and single. He stood 6' 3" tall and had blue eyes and brown hair. He was to serve 57 months in the CEF, mostly with 6th Field Company, 2nd Division Canadian Engineers, joining them in England after disembarking from the SS Northland. He had been with them 7 months in Canada and spent 5 Months in England and 32 months in France with them before transferring for 10 months to the Anti-Aircraft Search Light Company. A final 3 months in England ended his service and he was transferred aboard HMT Saturnia to Montreal, Canada between 25th July and 4th August 1919. He was discharged from the CEF on 7th August 1919.
Stewart seems to have lived with his brother, using both 754-19th Ave East, Vancouver and White Rock, Surrey, Vancouver as his addresses.
487279 Pioneer James Esler, Base Company, 1st Pioneer Battalion, said he was born in Ballymena (He may not have been from the town itself) on his enlistment papers of 7th December 1915, though he was then living with his wife Esther at 648, Dallas Road, Victoria, BC; his later addresses were 1006, Fairfield Road, Victoria and 2637, Quadra Street, Victoria.
Esler, born 8th October 1886, was 5' 9" tall, and he had blue eyes ad brown hair. He said he was a carpenter, though elsewhere in his record he states he had worked as a driver for the Victoria Fire Department; he had served also in the 5th Regiment militia.
James Esler has little of a military record. He arrived in England on the 10 January 1916, transferred to the overseas battalion and reached Boulogne on the 9th March 1916. He was sent to the 1st Canadian Division Convalescent Company on the 22nd March, unfit for duty owing to severe problems relating to varicose veins. He went back to Canadian Base Depot, Le Havre in August, was given a 'C' classification, and he was returned to England. He was allocated duties as a masseur for a time but soon returned aboard SS Scotian to Canada. He was discharged medically unfit from the CEF on 10th April 1918.
279265 Sergeant John Esler, originally from Ballymena (probably from the Whappstown area) joined the 218th Bn, CEF in Edmonton, Alberta on the 13th March 1916 but went to the 8th Canadian Railway Troops when the 218th Bn and the 211th Bn were amalgamated to form the new unit. Ten CRT battalions were eventually formed and these men were responsible for the laying, repair, maintenance and operation of railway lines in France and Belgium. They were a vital part of the operations that made the fighting possible, making sure that soldiers got the reinforcements, equipment, ammunition, food and the other supplies that they needed; the wounded were evacuated on their tracks. Altogether, the Canadian Railway Troops laid 100% of the narrow gauge and 60% of the regular gauge tracks on the western front. They were officially non-combatants.
John Esler was born on the 3rd September 1873 and was 42 years old on enlistment on 13th March 1916. He was 5' 10 ½ " tall and he had grey eyes and black hair. He was married to Jean Alexandra Esler and the couple lived at 9829 - 88th Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta. John said he was an insurance agent working for Crown Life, though at one point in his record he is referred to as an accountant.
He joined the 218th Battalion, the Edmonton Irish, and left Halifax, Nova Scotia on 16 February 1917 aboard SS Southland for Liverpool, arriving there on the 27th February. He was transferred to the 8th Canadian Railway Troops and went to their depot at Purfleet, Essex before travelling to France in March 1917. He served with 8th CRT throughout the war, only leaving Liverpool aboard HMT Celtic for Canada on the 10th March 1919. He was discharged from service on the 23rd March 1919 and remained in Canada until his death on the 24th April 1938.
829240 Private Samuel Hanna Finlay, 8th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regt.), was killed by shellfire near St Emile (near Hill 70?) on 15th February 1918. He was the son of William and Mary Jane Finlay, 142, Queen St., Ballymena, though at the time of his enlistment he gave his address as Lombard Hotel, Winnipeg. He said he was a farm labourer.
Samuel, born on the 2nd October 1889, was just over 26 years old when on enlistment. He was 5' 7 ½ " tall and had blue eyes and brown hair. He was one of a large family, the 1911 census stating that the parents had then been married for 27 years and that they had ten children, nine of whom were still alive. That census record shows the family in Queen Street, Harryville. William was 49 and a sawyer; wife Mary Jane was 46. Six of the family were also listed: Maggie (18 and a dressmaker), William (16 and a post boy), Hugh Arthur (14 and an office boy), Mary (11), Agnes (9) and David (6). In the 1901 census the family were living at Ballee. William was again a sawyer, James was 16 and a shoemaker, John was 15 and a telegram boy, Samuel was 11; Maggie (9), William (6), Hugh Arthur (4) and Mary (1).
He joined the 114th Battalion, CEF and left Halifax, NS with them aboard the SS Olympic on the 18th September 1916. He landed in Liverpool on the 25th September. He was transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion in January 1917 and thereafter posted to the 8th Battalion for overseas service. The 8th Battalion (90th Winnipeg Rifles), CEF, fought as part of the 2nd Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division. [The 90th Regiment (Winnipeg Rifles) contributed to the 8th Battalion, CEF on its formation in September 1914, and later recruited for the 44th, 90th, 144th, 190th and 203rd Battalions, CEF, which provided reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field. The Rifles also contributed two companies as reinforcements to the 27th Battalion, CEF. The 90th 'Winnipeg Rifles' should not to be confused with the 90th Battalion, CEF.]
Samuel was at the Canadian Base Depot, France on the 8th February and with his unit in the field after 12th March 1917. He fell ill with influenza for a time and developed appendicitis in May, this necessitating his return to England for a month. He was back with the 8th Battalion after the 12th September, got a Good Conduct Badge in December and was killed in action on the 15th February 1918. He is buried in grave A. 2., Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery Extension and commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church, Ballymena. His named is mistakenly 'Findlay' in some records.
404342 Private George Francey, 14th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regt.), enlisted in Toronto in the 23rd Battalion on the 12th April 1915. He had been born on the 1st August 1889 and was a single man, a labourer. He stood 5' 10" tall and he had brown eyes and black hair. He was, moreover, the son of John and Jane Francey of Kells, Co Antrim.
The family are listed on the 1901 and 1911 census returns. All those of working age listed were on both occasions employed in the woollen and cotton mills around the village. John Francey was 53 in 1901, his wife Jane 52. Six children are listed in 1901: William (28), Lizzie (25), Hannah (23), Sarah (23) John (19) and George (10). Two other individuals were also present, grandson John (3) and a 55 year old sister-in-law, Eliza May Johnston. The 1911 census returns records John (66), Jane (65), Lizzie (33), John (26), George (23), grandson John (13) and Eliza May Johnston (70). The census also records that the Francey's had been married for forty years and that seven of their eight children were still alive in 1911.
George's military file records little. He sailed from Montreal aboard the SS Hesperian on the 17th August 1915, transferred to the 14th Battalion and was soon at the Canadian Base Depot (CBD) in France. He was with his unit after October 1915. All we know is that he was killed in action between 12th and 13th June 1916. He is buried Bedford House Cemetery in the Somme area and commemorated Connor Presbyterian Church.
The vessel that brought Francey from Montreal is itself interesting. It was torpedoed shortly after Francey's voyage by Schwieger and submarine U20 on the 4th September 1915, and it sank while under tow to Ireland on the 6th September. Schwieger had earlier sunk RMS Lusitania.
30307 Pte Thomas Francey, No 3 Company, 1st Divisional Train, Canadian Army Service Corps, was born on the 6th June 1892 and enlisted in Valcartier, Canada on the 24th September 1914, but he was a native of Ballee, Ballymena. His parents were James and Sarah Francey. James and his wife were 32 years old and James was a railway porter at the time of the 1901 census. They listed five children: Thomas (8), Duffin (7), James (5), Annie (3) and infant Agnes. In 1911 James was still a railway porter and listed five children: Thomas was 18 and an apprentice carpenter, Duffin was 17 and a railway clerk, James was 15 and a linen weaver, Ruth was 6 and Norman was 3. He said he had been married for 19 years and that he had had nine children, eight of whom were still alive.
Thomas Francey was 22 ¼ years old on enlistment and stood just 5' 6" tall. He had blue eyes and brown hair. He said he was single and a teamster. He served for 32 months in the CASC as a H T (Horse Transport) Driver in the 3 Company of the 1st Division Train, though he says elsewhere in his military record that he was a carpenter. He was injured or developed knee problems in late 1917 and had to be returned to England for treatment at 9th Canadian General Hospital, at Monk Horton Convalescent Hospital, and at Granville Canadian Special Hospital, Buxton, not being discharged from the latter until 19th December 1917. He went to the CASC Reserve and Duty Depot at Shorncliffe but other medical problems kept him from returning to France. He was even placed on restricted pay for five months from the 14th January 1918. The decision was eventually made to return him to Canada and he boarded HMT Saturnia in Glasgow for that purpose on the 25th July 1919. He was back in Canada on the 4th August 1919 and was demobilised on 7th August, stating that he was going to 14, Burlington Street, West Hamilton, Ontario.
418938 Private William Alexander Fulton, 42nd Bn. Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regt.), enlisted on the 21st May 1915 in Montreal, Canada, but he was a Co Antrim man. He was then 34 years and 3 months old, a single man who was working as a book keeper. He said he had been born in Belfast and his birthday is recorded as 24th February 1871, but this is obviously wrong, 1881 being correct. He was 6' tall and had blue eyes and dark brown hair. He gave Letitia Fulton, 34, University Avenue, Belfast, as his next of kin, and at other times mentions his niece Miss Jennie Jackson, 12, Oregon Street, Crumlin Road, Belfast, Anthony Jackson, Carleton, Egremont, Cumbria (later 7, Elm Street, Ipswich, Suffolk). His will, however, states that his mother Margaret lived at 30, Casement Street, Ballymena.
The 1901 census also records the family in Ballymena. They were in Paradise Avenue, Harryville. Alexander Fulton, his father, was a 60 year old gardener and his wife Margaret was 50 years old. William was 21 and described as a clerk. The 1911 census put them in nearby Casement Street. Margaret was recorded as a 70 year old widow, William Alexander was 31, and William's niece, 8 year old Jeannie Jackson, lived with them.
The 42nd Battalion left Montreal for Plymouth, England aboard SS Hesperian on 10 June 1915 and reached England on the 19th June. They were designated the Quebec Regiment, part of the 7th Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division, and went to Boulogne, France on the 9th October 1915. They were not to leave France until the 7 February 1919 and were not back in Canada until the HMT Adriatic docked on 1st March.
William A. Fulton has almost no military record as he died of wounds from an accidental discharge of his own rifle on 4th February 1917. He has been assigned to police duties at the St Eloy (Eloi) posts and there had been some kind of incident involving a contradictory statement and Fulton's arrest of 417968 Pte Sam Leogonsker sic (actually Semen Liagushkin), 3rd Pioneer Battalion, but this seemed settled and Fulton was on leave from the 9th-24th January 1917. His unit was around the time of his death alternating in the front line with Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI). The Quebec Regiment were in the front line on the 28th January and were relieved by the PPCLI on the 2nd February, Fulton's unit then going to the Divisional Reserve at Bois des Alleux Camp for a rest. They remained there until the 7th February.
A Court of Enquiry was held at Bois des Alleux. Sergeant G R Thompson said as follows: 'Pte Fulton W. A. met his death by a wound self-inflicted and accidental.'
His will gave his effects to his 'dear mother' and his niece Jeanne Fulton at 30, Casement Street, Ballymena. He is buried in Ecoivres Military Cemetery, France and commemorated Harryville Presbyterian Church.
862345 Sergeant John Gibson, 1 Bn, CEF was born on the 19th September 1887 and stood 6' 1" tall; he had hazel eyes and dark brown hair, and he was a policeman. He joined the 180th Battalion, CEF in Toronto, Canada on the 15th February 1916, initially giving his mother as his next of kin, but his files were later modified to show that he lived with his wife, Edna May Gibson, at 70, Landsdowne Avenue, Toronto.
John Gibson came originally from Broughshane Street, Ballymena. The 1901 census tells us that James B Gibson, 41 and Belfast born, was a spirit merchant, and that he lived with his wife Martha (41) and three children, John (14), Jane S (8) and Sarah (7). Annie Fay, a 21 year old domestic servant, lived with them. The 1911 census records the family still in Broughshane Street. James B is a 53 year old publican, his wife Martha is 53 and 18 year old Sarah lives with them. James states he has been married 32 years and that he has three children , all still alive. The family also appear in various Ballymena Town Directories, that of 1910 saying that James Gibson is a spirit merchant on Ballymoney Street and James B a publican on Broughshane Street.
John Gibson served a total of 3 years, 9 months and 2 days in the CEF. He left Canada aboard the SS Olympic on the 13 November 1916 and reached England on the 21st November. He transferred to the 3rd Reserve Battalion on the 6 January 1917 and the transferred again to the 1st Battalion on the 20th April 1917. He was in France next day.
Gibson received a gunshot wound to the chest on the 3rd May 1917 and went to No 22 General Hospital, Dannes-Camiers before being returned to England. He went to the Duchess of Connaught's Canadian Red Cross Hospital, Taplow (reorganized as 5 C.G.H. September 1917), then to Hillingdon House Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Uxbridge in September, to Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Epsom in November and finally back to the Duchess of Connaught's Canadian Red Cross Hospital, Taplow in December. He was back at No 2 Canadian Command Depot in March 1918 and transferred to 4th Reserve Battalion in April 1918. His record then shows that he went to Kimmel Park for return to Canada and that he returned there aboard SS Lapland in April. He was discharged from the CEF on the 12 April 1919 and went home to his wife in Toronto.
745998 Acting Lance Corporal James Giffin, South Oshawa, Ontario (east of Toronto) joined the 116th Battalion, CEF on the 13th January 1916. He was a single man working as a moulder at the time of his enlistment, and he stood 5' 8" tall, had blue eyes and dark brown hair. He had been born in Ballymena on the 9th January 1893 and listed his mother as his next of kin. She was Mrs Elizabeth Giffin, 2, Rosebury Terrace, Broughshane Road, Ballymena; Frank (Francis) Giffin was his father.
Giffin left Halifax aboard the SS Olympic on 23rd July 1916 and landed in Liverpool on the 31st July. He went overseas to Boulogne, France on the 11 February 1917. Just a few months later, on the 16th August 1917, he sustained a gunshot wound to his left arm while on duty. This was accidental. While acting as a marker on a rifle range he was one of four soldiers in the butts struck by fragments of a bullet that ricocheted from the target frame. He went to 8th Canadian Field Ambulance, 6th Casualty Clearing Station and No 22 General Hospital, Dannes-Camiers, No 6 Convalescent Depot, Etaples and No 5 Convalescent Depot, Cayeux, being finally discharged only on the 8th October 1917. He rejoined his unit in the field on 15th October.
On 14th September 1918 he contracted flu and was admitted to the 3rd Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne and later remained at No.10 Convalescent Camp, Ecault until 5th October 1918.
Giffin returned to England on 12th February 1919 and passed through the camps at Whitley and Bramshott before being 'discharged in [the] British Isles' on 24th March 1919.
Private James Giffin had been made an Acting Corporal (Bugle Band) on the 1st July 1916, and he was discharged as an A/Lance Corporal in 1919. He had also, somewhat amusingly, been fined £1-12-0 in March 1917 for 'mutilating government property (cutting great coat)'.
301419 Sergeant Robert Gillespie, 37th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery enlisted in Winnipeg on the 24th August 1915 and served in the CEF for 2 years and 7 months. He had been born on the 13 March 1879 and said he was a former clerk turned farmer. He was single and just 5' 5 ½ " tall; he had grey eyes and light coloured hair. He was a Ballymena man and listed as his next of kin his mother, Mrs Eliza Ann Gillespie, Mill Street, Ballymena.
The 1901 census return records Mrs Elizabeth A Gillespie, a 50 Year old widow born in Co Tyrone, as a housekeeper. She was living with her 28 year old daughter Leonore (sic) J, a saleswoman, and Annie T Irvine (20), a boarder and milliner. The 1911 return says 69year old Elizabeth A was now running a grocery business. Leonord (sic) Jane (41) and Alfred James (30), her children, lived with her. She also stated she had had nine children, seven of whom were still alive.
Robert Gillespie left St John, New Brunswick on the 26th February 1916 aboard RMS Missanabie bound for Plymouth, England. He reached there on the 12th March and spent four months there before going to France on the 13th July 1916. There is no information about his military service in the record, only that he reported ill with 'PUO' [fever] on the 26th June 1918, and that he was looked after by 10th and 5th Canadian Field Ambulance before being discharged to duty on the 1st July. He returned to the UK on the 20th February 1919 and was back in Canada on 19th March. He was discharged from the CEF on 15th April 1919, stating he was going to Viceroy, Saskatoon. Later correspondence shows him living in California, USA.
Like many other ocean liners, the RMS Missanabie that had brought Gillespie to England spent the WW1 transporting troops, and she was eventually torpedoed 52 miles off Daunt's Rock, Co Cork, Ireland by U-87 on the 9 September 1918 with the loss of 45 lives.
11232 Private Charles Gordon, 4th Battalion, CEF, was born on the 18th February 1891, the son of a farming family from Ballymarlow (sometimes Ballymarlagh), Ballymena. William Gordon (35) and his wife Martha (32) listed five children on the 1901 census return: Ellen (12), Robert (11), Charles (9), James (5) and William (2). In 1911 they stated they were 46 and 44 respectively, and they listed six children: Robert (21), Charles (18), James (16), William (13), Sarah (10) and Minnie (7). They said they had been married 24 years and that their seven children were all still alive.
Charles Gordon enlisted on the 22nd August 1914 in Valcartier, Canada. He was then 23 years old, stood 5' 9" tall, and he had blue eyes and brown hair. He said he was a single man and a painter by trade. He also indicated that he served in the 36th Regiment (militia from area north of Toronto).
He left Canada with the 4th Battalion, CEF on the SS Tyrolia from Quebec in autumn 1914, the regiment disembarking on 14 October 1914 with a strength of 44 officers and 1121 other ranks. They went to France on 11 February 1915 as a component of the Canadian Division (later 1st Canadian Division), serving in the 1st Infantry Brigade.
There is little detail in his military record but it does tell us a lot. He was injured on the 26th April 1915, sustaining damage to his ankles. He had been running with a message somewhere near the Yser Canal when he jumped into a trench and landed badly on uneven ground. 83rd CFA dispatched him via Boulogne aboard HS Carisbrooke to England and he arrived by train at the Duchess of Connaught's Canadian Red Cross Hospital, Taplow on the 29th April. He had fractured bones and after treatment spent about twenty days at the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Bromley before being moved to Monks Horton Convalescent Hospital on the 23rd May 1915. He was not discharged to his unit until 11th August 1915. He later had other health problems and was in hospital in England in June/July 1916.
Charles Gordon returned to France in 1916 and was killed in action on the 8th October 1916. He was killed near Courcelette, his unit taking part in one of the attacks on Regina Trench. Regina Trench was dug along the north-facing slope of a ridge running from NW of the village of Le Sars, SW to Stuff Redoubt, close to the German positions at Thiepval on the Somme. It was attacked several times by the Canadians during the Battle of the Ancre Heights. The 5th Canadian Brigade briefly controlled a section of the trench on 1 October but was repulsed by counter-attacks. An attack on 8 October, by the 1st Canadian Division and the 3rd Canadian Division on Regina Trench also failed, and here Gordon was killed.
However, local successes did not bring overall success. On 21 October, the 4th Canadian Division attacked again, this time the western portion of Regina Trench, as other units attacked the part further west. The Canadians the objective, as the II Corps divisions captured Stuff Trench in thirty minutes, giving control of the Thiepval Ridge. Three counter-attacks were repulsed by the Canadians. The east end of the trench was captured by the 4th Canadian Division during the night of 10/11 November.
The Gordon family probably did not rejoice to hear of the victory and more bad news was soon to arrive.
799154 Private James Gordon, 15th Battalion, CEF was the younger brother, born on the 4th August 1894, of Charles Gordon (above) and that he was a single man, a labourer, living at Mark Street, Toronto. He was 5' 9" tall and had blue eyes and brown hair, and he was 21 ¼ years old when he enlisted in the 134th Battalion on 15th January 1915; he said he then had been serving in the 75th Battalion for four months.
James Gordon left Halifax, NS with the 134th Battalion on the 8 August 1916 aboard the SS Scotian, and he landed in Liverpool on the 19th August. He transferred to the 15th Battalion and went over to France with them on the 10th/11th October 1916. He was ill with tonsillitis from 27th January 1917 to the 4th February, but the returned to his unit. He suffered gunshot wounds to his buttock and abdomen and died while with 3 Canadian Field Ambulance on the 2nd March 1917.
Two short reports of the day appear in the 15th Battalion War Diary for the 2nd March 1917. The first says:
The day passed quietly .... At 5.00 pm relief by 9th East Surreys commenced ... no casualties ... Battalion moved into Brigade Support at Calonne. ... the men rested, prior to moving back the next night.
Elsewhere, however, it records a report that day from No 2 Observation Post. It says, and this is probably when James was hit:
1.53 AM: Barrage began. An enemy machine-gun in action opposite Centre Company.
2.07 am: Situation appears favourable and five minutes after enemy machine guns, trench mortars and artillery in action, and ground flares were put out from enemy lines.
2.21 am: Hostile barrage slight but steady from this time on to about 2.42 am when only single shells were being fired.
2.42 am: Action dying down. Our machine guns and trench mortars still in action.
He is buried in Fosse No. 10 Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France and commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.
6218 Corporal Robert Gordon, 1st Battalion, Canadian Infantry, enlisted in the CEF on the 22nd September 1914 in Valcartier, Canada. He had been born on the 28th March 1890 and was 24 ½ years old when he joined up, also stating that he had previously served for two years in the Royal Irish Rifles. He was just 5' 5 ½ " tall and had blue eyes and fair hair. He was single and a labourer.
Robert Gordon was the son of Wilson and Agnes Gordon, Straid, Gracehill. Wilson Gordon was a 35 year old agricultural labourer in 1901, his wife a 34 year old linen weaver. They listed six children in the 1901 census: John, 14 and a agricultural labourer, Agnes (13), Robert (11), James (9), Jeannie (6) and Wilson (3). In the 1911 census Wilson (46) listed four children: Robert, 21 and an agricultural labourer, Jane (17), Wilson (13) and Timothy (6). He said he had been married 26 years and that six of their nine children were still alive.
The 1st battalion sailed from Quebec aboard the SS Laurentic on 4th October 1914, and Robert Gordon was rapidly promoted, to Lance Corporal on the 19th April 1915 and to Corporal on the 24th April. However, the next entry on his record says he was killed in action on 15th June 1916.
The War Diary of the 1st Battalion details the circumstances thus:
AM, June 15, 1915
Battalion preparing for action.
1.30 PM, June 15, 1915: Battalion marched via north side of canal to front trenches east of Givenchy and took up positions preparatory to advance against enemy's trench.
3.00 pm, June 15, 1915, Givenchy: Battalion in position.
6.00 pm, June 15, 1915, Givenchy: Advance against German front began. Forward Company reached German second line trench but owing to exposure of flanks were obliged to fall back before a violent counter-attack to original front line British trench. This movement was completed by 9.30 pm. Battalion remained in front line trench (British)
1.00 am, June 15, 1915, Givenchy: Battalion was withdrawn to Oxford Terrace from Hatfield Road eastwards and employed in carrying out wounded and burying dead. When all the wounded were evacuated with the assistance of the 3rd Canadian Bn and all dead buried, the battalion was withdrawn.
The report of the battle says the action left 10 officers killed, 8 wounded and 2 missing. 381 soldiers, other ranks, were killed, 218 wounded and 82 left missing. Robert Gordon was initially reported missing in action but was later assumed to have been killed.
The ship that brought Gordon to England was equally unlucky. SS Laurentic was a British ocean liner of the White Star Line built by Harland and Wolff. As she was in Montréal when the Great War began, Laurentic became a troop transport for the CEF. After conversion to armed merchant cruiser service in 1915, she struck two mines off Lough Swilly, Ireland on 25 January 1917 and sank within an hour. Only 121 of the 475 aboard survived. The ship was carrying about 43 tons of gold ingots and Royal Navy divers recovered all but about 1% of the ingots.
862164 Private William Gordon, 4th Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regt.), enlisted in Toronto on 7th February 1916 in the 180th Bn, CEF. He was born on the 8th August 1893 and was at that time 32 years and 5 months old. He was a single man, a carpenter, and stood 5' 9 ½ " tall. He had brown eyes and brown hair. He gave his address as 829, Carlaw Avenue, Toronto. He was, however, from Killybegs, Slatt, Ballymena, the son of Smyth and Nancy Gordon.
The 1901 census return shows Smyth, 56 years old and a farmer who was originally from Dunnygarron, Cullybackey, and Nancy (50) and seven children: Smyth (26 and a cloth tenter, Samuel (24), Willie (18), Lizzie J (16 and a linen weaver), Thomas (14), Sarah (13) and David (10). The 1911 return says Smyth is 64, his wife 58, and they list six children: Samuel (34), Willie (28), Lizzie (26), Thomas (24 and a clerk), Sara (23) and David (21). The couple said they had been married for 38 years and 8 of their 9 children were still alive.
William left Canada on 13th November 1916 aboard the SS Olympic and arrived in England on the night of the 12/13 November. He transferred to the 3rd Reserve Battalion on the 6th January 1917 and then to the 4th Battalion on the 16th January. He went as a reinforcement to Canadian Base Depot (CBD), France in March 1917 and was with his unit from the 25th March. He was ill for a short time but rejoined his unit on the 31st March 1917. He was killed on the 4th May 1917, allegedly by a shell at 10.30 am as he stood in his own line at Vimy Ridge on 3rd/4th May 1917. Nothing much was happening at the time and he appears to have been one of those who were randomly killed on a daily basis by shells, bullets, accidents, illness, etc. The absence of intense battle is certainly noted in the war diary of the unit, reference being made only to gas shells.
William Gordon is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial.
82112 Sergeant Samuel Gore, Canadian Army Pay Corps, has a very different military record. He enlisted in the 32nd Reserve Battalion, CEF at Shorncliffe Camp, England on 23rd May 1916. The 32nd Battalion, CEF, was originally an infantry battalion authorized on 3 November 1914 and sent to the UK on 23 February 1915. However, it became the 32nd Reserve Battalion, CEF on 18 April 1915 and on 4 January 1917 its personnel were moved to the 15th Reserve Battalion. The battalion disbanded on 1 September 1917.
Samuel Gore was born on the 28th August 1890 and he was a single man and a bank clerk. He was 29 years old on enlistment, just 5' 5" tall, and he had grey eyes and dark brown hair. He named his brother as his next of kin; he was Robert K Gore, 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, Enniskillen.
Samuel Gore was originally from Ballymena. The 1901 census shows the family living in Waveney Road. William Gore, 47 years old and a widower, said he was a master flax dresser, and he lived with his eight children: Matilda C, 22 and a school teacher, Robert K, 19 and a solicitor's clerk, James, 17 and a draper's assistant, Ellen (16), Samuel (14), Alfred F (13), Mabel E (6) and Harold (5).
The first family was scattered by time of the 1911 census. William, now 57 and still a flax dresser, lived at Mervue, Duncairn, and he had had a new wife for some nine years. She was Elizabeth (37), born in Malta and a JP. Harold (15) still lived with him, but four new children born in Co. Down are listed: Mary (8), Noel (6), Walter Wasmore (4) and John (1).
Samuel, now 24, appears to have been a cashier in a brewery and was boarding in Gallows Hill, Dundalk, and Mabel Edith (16) was probably boarding in Merrion Street, Dublin. The rest cannot be found.
By 1916 Samuel Gore was either living in England or he went there to enlist. His record shows he moved around and between units from time to time but in his own words said as follows: I 'enlisted in May 1916 and [was] sent to London Pay Office [the] same month and [I] was there until August 1918.'
The Canadian Army Pay Corps had been established in 1907 and during the First World War, each unit of the CEF overseas in October 1914 had on its establishment a Paymaster and a Pay Sergeant who were members of the units with which they served. The CAPC provided initially a Chief Paymaster, Command Paymaster, and Paymaster, for Canadian Troops in France, with six field cashiers. In 1917, all unit Paymasters and Pay Sergeants were transferred to the CAPC. Moreover, the establishment of the office of the Chief Paymaster grew to a strength of approximately 2,000 all ranks and civilians during the war, and Gore, one of these, gave his entire service in England. However, as a Canadian soldier, he exercised his right to go to Canada aboard the SS Belgic on the 13th August 1919 and he was discharged from the CEF in Vancouver, B. C. on the 28th September 1919.
1037112 Acting Company Sergeant Major Matthew Graham, 238th Battalion, CEF said on enlistment that he was from Glen Valley, British Columbia (later 550, Broadway West, Vancouver, BC) and he said 'sawmills' when asked his occupation; his records refer to him at various times as lumberjack, linesman and electrician. He said he had also been in the Irish Guards at a time. He said he was born on the 27th January 1881 (correct), but he gave his age as 30 years when he enlisted in July 1916! He was 6' 0" tall and had blue eyes and brown hair. He was married to Annie, and at one point said he had five children: Annie (10), Margaret (8), Matilda, Matthew and Charles James.
Matthew Graham also said he was born in Ahoghill, Co. Antrim and that his father Matthew Graham lived at Granagh, Rasharkin. Indeed, the 1901 census records Matthew, 52 and an agricultural labourer, living with his wife Margaret (53) and his son John, 22 and also an agricultural labourer. In the 1911 census return only 68 year old Matthew, still a labourer, is recorded, and he is a widower.
Matthew Graham had sailed aboard the SS Scandinavian from Halifax, NS to Liverpool between 11th and 22nd September 1916. The battalion was carried by three trains to Witley Camp, Surrey, where training and organization were continued. He was appointed A/CSM at Whitley Camp but reverted to Private at his own request after he was released from isolation hospital (20/12/1916 - 11/1/1917), Castle Douglas, Scotland.
Graham's presence in Castle Douglas tells us quite a lot about him. Scotland and England had been divided into three Forestry Districts, No. 2 District (later re-designated No. 52 District) being assigned to the 238th Battalion, the Headquarters of which were moved on 6th December 1916 to Orton Park, near Carlisle. In this District, operations were then being carried out at Dalston, near Carlisle; at Riddings Junction, on the Netherby Estate; at Castle Douglas, in Scotland; and at Whittingham, 35 miles north-west of Newcastle. Graham appears to have been one of the 4 officers and 156 other ranks who went initially to Castle Douglas, Scotland.
He was re-appointed A/CSM on the 7th March 1917, taken on strength from No 2 District, and he was with 17th Company at Carlisle on 1st May 1917. He went back to being a Private on the 19th October and spent periods with the 51st District, and with the 109th Company of 55th District at Kincardine on Forth, Scotland, before being made Acting CSM (with pay) at Stirling. He stayed there for a time but was, however, sent back to his base depot in late 1918 and was returned to Canada on the 23rd September 1918. He landed at Quebec on the 8th October 1918, his record showing that he was travelling onward to his wife at 2049, Semlin Drive Grandview, Vancouver. He had been discharged on medical grounds after being found 'unfit for general service', the key problem being arthritis of the knee.
Matthew Graham had served in the CEF for two years, four months and eleven days, two years and thirty days of it with the Canadian Forestry Corps in England and Scotland. The rest of the time was spent in Canada. He appears to have died at Langley, BC on 26th August 1963.
152774 Private Norman Graham [Norman Graham is listed as Nathaniel Graham on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site and appears under this name in Irish census records of 1901 & 1911. On his original Attestation Paper the name Nathaniel is scored out and he is referred to elsewhere on the paper and in his record as Norman], 13th Battalion, CEF enlisted in the 79th Battalion, CEF in Brandon, Manitoba. He listed his mother as his next of kin and named her as Agnes Graham, but elsewhere his record refers to his wife Annie Graham, Teenis, Ballynacaird, Broughshane; his father is elsewhere named as David and he may have been deceased before the end of the war. The family are in a different place, said to live in Ballyligpatrick and this location appears on census returns; the CWGC names his parents as David and Agnes Graham, Blackstown, Ballyligpatrick, Broughshane. Annie Graham (nee Annie Moore, later became Annie Allen), Teenis, Ballynacaird is Nathaniel's wife.
He was a single man and said he had been born on the 18th July 1891. He was at time of enlistment a fireman, 23 years and 5 months old and he was 5' 8 ½" tall; his eyes were grey and his hair brown. He stated that he had served in the 99th Manitoba Rangers for eight months.
The 1901 census says David Graham, 44 and a farmer, lived in Ballyligpatrick with his wife Agnes (41), his sister Lizzie (42) and eight children: Robert (19), Annie (17), John (15), William (13), Nathaniel (10), Mary (6), Agnes (4) and David (2). The 1911 return records David (55), Agnes (52), Annie (27), John (25), Nathaniel (20), Mary (16), Aggie (Agnes) (14), Margretta (9), David (12) and Martha (5). David said he had been married for thirty years and ten of his eleven children were still alive.
Graham's unit sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard RMS Lapland on the 24th April 1916 and reached England on the 5th May. He was at the Canadian Base Depot in France on the 6th July and with his unit, now 13th Battalion, on the 16th July. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 8th December 1916 and to Corporal on the 10th January 1917, but he reverted to Private at his own request on the 16th February 1917. He was attached to 3rd Brigade Baths from 24th April 1917.
Norman Graham took ill at the end of January 1919 and was attended to by 55 CCS. They got him to the 7th General Hospital, Wimereux on the 2nd February, and he was later moved to the 8th Stationary Hospital, Wimereux. There he died of Broncho-pneumonia on the 12 February 1919, a victim of the Spanish flu epidemic. The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than World War 1, somewhere between 20 and 40 million people, more than died in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351.
829666 Alexander Hamilton enlisted in the 144th Battalion, CEF on 7th December 1915 in Winnipeg. He said he was born on the 15th April 1888 and that he was single. He was then 27 years and 8 months old. He was 5' 10" tall and had blue eyes and brown hair. He was a plasterer by trade and gave his address as 262, Fountain Street, Winnipeg. He named his father as his next of kin and said he was Hill Hamilton, 11, Clonavon Terrace, Ballymena.
The 1901 census return shows Hill Hamilton, a 53 year old stonemason, living in Warden Street, Ballymena with his wife Mary Ann (54) and his six children: Jane, 26 and a dressmaker, Hill (24), Alex (22) and John (16), all plasterers, Mary (19) and David (13). They were in 11, Clonavon Terrace when the 1911 census was taken. Hill, 68 and still a stonemason, Mary Ann (67), Jane (34), Alex (31), Mary (28), John (25) and David, a 22 year old carpenter (mistakenly transcribed as 'Laird' Hamilton) shared the house. Hill senior said all of his six children born during his 36 year marriage were still alive. Hill, his other son, was then 31 and married to Jane (28) and the couple had just had a baby, Marion Elanor (sic). They lived in Mount Street, Ballymena.
Alexander Hamilton left Halifax, N.S. aboard the SS Olympic on the 18th September 1916 and arrived in Liverpool on the 25th September. He went to camp and was transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion on the 12th December. On the 1st February he transferred to the 52nd Battalion and was in France the next day. He didn't reach his unit in the field until the 24th April 1917. His records thereafter show only a few periods of leave and a Good Conduct Award. He returned to England on the 10th February 1919, boarded the SS Olympic in Southampton on the 17th March and returned to Canada. He was discharged from the CEF on the 31st March 1919 and returned to Winnipeg. He appears to have died there on 20th July 1963.
A23033 Richard Hanna, 44th Battalion, CEF, enlisted on the 12th April 1915 at Portage La Prairie, Winnipeg; he was sent to C Company. He said he was born on the 30th July 1893 and that he was a locomotive fireman. He was single, 5' 8" tall and he had blue eyes and fair hair. He was then about 22 years old and said he had served for eight months in the 99th Manitoba Rangers, a militia unit. He named his mother as his next of kin, Mrs Sarah Hanna, Shankbridge, Kells.
The 1901 census return shows George B Hanna, 61 and a dyer/finisher, living with his wife Sarah (47) and five children at Kildrum, Kells: Sophia (17), Elizabeth (16), George (13), Sarah (11) and Richard (7). George Boyle Hanna, 76 and still a finisher & dyer, was still living in Kildrum at the time of the census in 1911. Sarah H was 56, John was 31 and Sarah was 21. George's brother William (70) is listed, as is Martha Knox, a 32 year old domestic servant. George said he had been married for 40 years and that 10 of his 11 children were still alive.
Richard's regiment sailed for England on the 23rd October 1915, but Richard was not with them. He was discharged medically unfit on the 15th June 1915, his record marked 'not likely to become an efficient soldier'.
A/21026 Private Arthur Holmes, MM, 16th battalion (Manitoba Regt.), CEF, enlisted in the 43rd Battalion on the 18th February 1915 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The 24 years old labourer was single, 6' tall, and he had brown eyes and brown hair. Holmes had only begun a new life in Canada just before the war and he was originally from Co Antrim, the son of David and Jane Holmes. The family lived at Hugomont Villas, Ballymena at the time of his enlistment.
The 1901 census records the family living at Ballyclug/Crebilly. David, 38 and a gardener, and Jane (38) listed seven children on the day the census was taken: William George (13), Arthur (11), Jane (9), Mary & Lizzie (6), David (3) and Martha (0). In 1911 they were at the Moat Road. David was 55 and a gardener, Jane 54. William George (24) and Arthur (22) were labourers, Jane (20) was a linen weaver, Mary & Lizzie (Elizzie sic) (16) were dressmakers, David (18) and Martha (10). David said he had been married 26 years and that 8 of his 9 children were still alive.
Some local reports say he had been previously wounded by shells. His record certainly shows that he suffered a concussion from a shell. He was in No 3 Canadian Hospital, Boulogne being treated for shell contusion from the 7th - 11th September 1916, was at No 7 Convalescent Depot from 11th September to 8th November, and then at No 3 Large Rest Camp from the 8th - 17th November 1916.
On April 9, 1917, during the famous attack at Vimy Ridge, Arthur won the Military Medal while serving as a company stretcher bearer. The particular act of bravery which brought the award was described as follows:
'This man went forward as a company stretcher bearer. He displayed conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in dressing wounded men under shell fire. This work was so remarkably done that the most serious cases did not require a second dressing at the aid post.'
Just a few days after his exploits, Arthur Holmes was killed in action on the 30th April 1917 whilst tending more wounded men. The Holmes family later received a letter from Captain J. P. S. Cathcart, Medical Officer to the unit. It stated:
Dear Mr. Holmes, you have no doubt before this received notice of your son Arthur?s death. He was killed during the operations of April 28th while at his duty tending to the wounded. We had his body removed and buried along with some of his comrades in the left of a small village. His grave is marked and I think as soon as they receive the particulars the Record Office will inform you of the map location ...
Arthur was without doubt the best boy in my medical section. It may be of interest to you to know that he was recommended for a decoration for his wonderful work under heavy fire in the battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9th. Unfortunately he was killed before he received it. We all feel his loss keenly and I myself feel as if his position cannot be filled. I extend to you my heartfelt sympathy in your sad bereavement and also that of my section.
A letter from a soldier friend stated that Private Holmes had been killed in action by shell fire.
We did all we could for him but he only lived a few minutes. It is very sad news but it is my duty to inform you of his death. We all feel the loss of him very much and God help you to bear the sad news.
He is buried Orchard Dump Cemetery, Vimy Ridge. He is commemorated on the family headstone in Ballymena New Cemetery, Cushendall Road, Ballymena. His brother Private David Holmes was also killed on active service at the front with the Ulster Division.
The family were apparently living at 28, William Street, Ballymena at the end of the war.
256999 Private Archibald Thompson Hood came from Oxbow, Saskatchewan and his service with the 1st Depot Battalion, CEF is reckoned from the 10th January 1918. He had been born on the 1st January 1895 an was the 21 years and 11 months old at the time of enlistment. He was single, 5' 10" tall, and he had blue eyes and brown hair. He said he was a railroad foreman. Archie Hood was from Co. Antrim and said his father was James Hood, Racavan, Broughshane.
The 1901 census records James Hood as living in Ballygelly, Broughshane. He was a 60 years old labourer and widower. He lived with Mary Anne O'Neill, his 80 year old mother-in-law, and Minnie O'Neill, a 16 year old niece. Samuel (18), Clarke (9) and Archie (7) Hood also shared the home. The 1911 census records only James (74), Clarke (18) and Archie (16), the latter two being labourers. Archie tells us in his will that there were others in the family, a Jane Hood, also Oxbow, Saskatchewan, and George, the next entry, was a brother.
1069215 Private George Hood enlisted in the 249th Overseas Battalion, CEF on the 6th December 1916 and said that he lived at Swift Current, Saskatchewan. He named his sister Jane, elsewhere Jeanne, Hood, Oxbow, Saskatchewan as his next of kin, but he named his father as James Hood, Racavan, Broughshane. As stated in the previous entry, he was a brother of 256999 Private Archie Hood. The 1901 census records James Hood as living in Ballygelly, Broughshane. He was a 60 years old labourer and widower. He lived with Mary Anne O'Neill, his 80 year old mother-in-law, and Minnie O'Neill, a 16 year old niece. Samuel (18), Clarke (9) and Archie (7) Hood also shared the home. The 1911 census records only James (74), Clarke (18) and Archie (16), the latter two being labourers.
George was born on the 13th August 1879 and was 36 years old at the time of enlistment. He was single, 5' 10" tall, and he was a section foreman on the Canadian Pacific Railway. He had blue eyes and dark brown hair.
He did not leave Canada until the 24th March 1918 and the SS Scandinavian did not dock until 3rd April. He transferred to the 10th Reserve Battalion on arrival and then went to the 20th Reserve Battalion on the 22nd April. He was sent to the 42nd Battalion; The 42nd Battalion (Royal Highlanders of Canada), CEF, fought as part of the 7th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war. George was with the unit after the 31st August 1918 and remained with them until his return to England on 7th February 1919. He returned to Canada and was discharged from the CEF in Regina on 11th March 1919.
404859 Lance Corporal George Hood, 20th Battalion (Central Ontario Regiment), said he was born in Belfast, Ireland, and he nominated John Hood, 74, Moscow Avenue, Toronto, (72, & 74, Moscow Ave addresses appear in the brothers' papers, as does the later 78, Eastbourne Avenue, Coleman PO, Toronto. See 405307 Samuel Hood, MM below), as his next of kin.
There is no 'perfect fit' for him in the 1901 or 1911 census returns, but there is a fit that seems likely. The 1901 Census records Samuel Hood, 62 and a auctioneer and valuer, living in Mill Street, Ballymena (The Ulster Street Directory, 1907 gives him addresses in Mill Street and Galgorm Road. That of 1910 gives the address as 15, Mill Street) with his wife, 58 year old Charlotte, who was born in Queen's County (modern Laois), and their children: Thomas C C, 38 and an auctioneer, Annie (25), Eveline Ruth (21) and Samuel W (19). Living with them were their nephews and nieces: John (12), Mary (14), Maggie (10) George (8) and Samuel (5). It is not quite the right age for 405307 Samuel Hood, but it is not unusual for the age stated on a return to be wrong.
The Hood family were still in Mill Street for the 1911 census. Samuel was 72, Charlotte (68), Annie (35), Eveline Ruth (33) and Samuel Wesley (31). Mary Black, 32 and a servant, lived with them. Samuel said he had been married for forty years and that he had had ten children of whom six were still alive. The three nephews, George, John and Samuel, were in Toronto by 1911.
George Hood said on the 8th April 1915 at enlistment in Toronto that he was born on the 21st September 1892. He was a single man and a printer. He was just 5' 6" tall and he had grey eyes and light brown hair.
George Hood sailed from Montreal aboard SS Metagama on the 16 October 1915 and arrived in England with the 35th Battalion on the 25th October, the same voyage made by his brother Samuel. He transferred from the 35th Battalion to the 20th Battalion and was taken on strength with them in the field on 9th March 1916.
His record like that of his brother Samuel says he was disciplined on the 14th May 1916 for being in 'Reninghelst without a pass' and for having 'improper dress'; the 20th Battalion brothers had clearly decided to have some time together!
George, unlike Samuel, did not win any medals for valour, but he had a tough time in the 20th Battalion. About a month after his 'day off', at Zillebeke, Belgium on the 13th June 1916, he received a gunshot or shrapnel wound to his left leg about 4 inches above his ankle. He went to No 8 Stationary Hospital, Wimereux, and then onward on the 17th June to the 1st Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge, probably being transported on HS Newhaven. He went from there to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Epsom and was not discharged from there until the 17th August 1916. He remained getting fit in England for some time afterwards and did not rejoin his battalion until the 9th March 1917. He spent the 9th - 14th May 1917 in the care of No 5 Canadian Field Ambulance, this time be treated for 'general contusions' caused by having been 'buried' by a shell. Three months later, on the 20th August 1917, he received a gunshot wound to the left hand. He was returned to England aboard HS Princess Elizabeth, and he went to the 2nd Western General Hospital in Manchester. Thereafter he went to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Epsom, not being finally discharged until the 14th November 1917. He spent some time at No1 Canadian Command Depot, Sling and in the 5th Reserve Battalion before being reassigned to the 20th Battalion. He was not back with them in the field until the 15th February 1918.
George Hood was again hit. He was treated at the ADS but this time he died of his groin wounds on the 11th October 1918 while in the care of No 5 Canadian Field Ambulance. He is buried in Irish Ramillies British Cemetery, Ramillies, a village approximately 3 kilometres north-east of Cambrai.
405307 Private Samuel Hood, MM, 20th Battalion, CEF, said he was born in Ballymena on the 13th January 1893, but there are no further references to the area. He nominated John Hood, 72, Moscow Avenue, Toronto, later 78, Eastbourne Avenue, Coleman PO, Toronto, as his next of kin.
The 1901 Census records Samuel Hood, 62 and a auctioneer and valuer, living in Mill Street, Ballymena (The Ulster Street Directory, 1907 gives him addresses in Mill Street and Galgorm Road. That of 1910 gives the address as 15, Mill Street) with his wife, 58 year old Charlotte, who was born in Queen's County (modern Laois), and their children: Thomas C C, 38 and an auctioneer, Annie (25), Eveline Ruth (21) and Samuel W (19). Living with them were their nephews and nieces: John (12), Mary (14), Maggie (10) George (8) and Samuel (5). It is not quite the right age for 405307 Samuel Hood, but it is unusual for the age stated on a return to be wrong.
The Hood family were still in Mill Street for the 1911 census. Samuel was 72, Charlotte (68), Annie (35), Eveline Ruth (33) and Samuel Wesley (31). Mary Black, 32 and a servant, lived with them. Samuel said he had been married for forty years and that he had had ten children of whom six were still alive. The three nephews, George, John and Samuel, were in Toronto by 1911.
Samuel Hood was single and a printer, and he apparently worked for Beck's Cigar Co. (Beck was born in Baden, Ontario, the son of German immigrants. He worked in his father's foundry for a time, and later established a cigar-box manufacturing company in Cambridge, Ontario with his brother William. In 1885 he moved the company to London, Ontario, where it prospered and made Beck a wealthy and civic leader.) He was about 22 years old at the time of his enlistment in Toronto in the CEF on the 7th August 1915 (service reckoned from 19/8/1915). He was just 5' 6" tall and he had brown eyes and hair.
Samuel Hood sailed from Montreal aboard SS Metagama with the 35th Battalion on the 25th October and on the 16 October 1915 arrived in England. He went to the 20th Battalion, 2nd Canadian Division, went to France on 9th March 1916 and was with his unit from the 24th onwards. His record tells us just three things: he was on one occasion disciplined for being in 'Reninghelst without a pass' and for having 'improper dress', he was awarded the Military Medal on the 9th December 1916, and, he died of wounds at No 3 CCS on the 26th September 1916.
The action in which he died is recorded in the battalion diary.
20th Bn Operational Order No 33 September 25th 1916
In conjunction with operation of 2nd Brigade, the 20th Battalion, 4th Brigade, will move to TARA VALLEY commencing at 6.00pm today in parties of Companies & Units in the following order: No 1,2,3 & 4 Companies, with their attached Units; No 4 Company being clear of the BRICKFIELDS by 6.12pm.
Brigade is providing scouts on the ALBERT- BAUPAUME ROAD to conduct parties to their bivouac.
Great coats will be worn bandolier fashion and packs will be piled by companies & Units and covered by tarpaulins.
All men in Companies and Units who have returned from hospital and are not equipped will be left as a guard near kite x. Lieutenant Carbert will be in charge of this party.
(Captain Charles Molyneaux Carbert, MC, aged 22, 20th Bn. attached Royal Flying Corps, died on the 1/02/1917. He was the son of Dr. and Mrs. G. B. Carbert, of Campbellville, Ontario. He is buried in Moorseele Military Cemetery.)
Samuel Hood was killed after midnight or the next day as operations consequent upon these orders were carried out. He is buried in Puchevillers British Cemetery, France.
645820 Private (for a time Acting/Staff Sergeant) Thomas Houston enlisted in the 158th Bn, Canadian Infantry, and stated that he and his wife Sarah lived at 305 - 46th Avenue East, South Vancouver, BC, but he had been born at Gracehill, near Ballymena, Co Antrim, his mother being Mrs Sarah Houston. Thomas and Sarah had two children, a boy called Thomas Spencer and a girl called Jeanie.
He was born on the 15th July 1875 and was 5' 9" tall, with blue eyes and black hair, an he was a shoemaker by trade, though he had worked as a real estate broker at one time. At enlistment in February 1916 he said he had served ten months in the Canadian Army Service Corps as a reservist.
He left Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 14th November 1916 aboard the SS Olympic and arrived in England on the 22nd November. He was to spend the rest of his military service, November 1916 to August 1919 there. He seems to have been attached to the Canadian Army Medical Corps and referred to himself as an orthopaedic shoemaker. Thomas has a substantial medical file in his record that explains why he was never fit for front line service and why he was ultimately discharged as 'medically unfit' (his age of 44 years was also an issue) and returned to Canada.
Thomas Houston was probably the brother of NZ soldier 28883 Private David Houston, 2nd Bn Canterbury Regiment. He was the son of Thomas and Sarah Houston of Carmacmoin, Gracehill, Ahoghill.
Photograph from Ballymena Observer, June 1916 & courtesy of Nigel Henderson
237767 Private John Ireland, was the son of James and Sarah Ireland, Ballygarvey, Ballymena. James, 41 years old in 1901 and a mill carter/general labourer, and Sarah (40) had had all of their eight children by that time. Robert was 17 years old and a labourer, John (15) and George (13) were machine hacklers in a woollen mill, and Jane (11), Mary (9), James (7), Maggie (4) and Hugh (2) were scholars. In 1911 Robert and Jane were not listed but the rest of the family are. John has become a carpenter in the woollen mill, George is a labourer, Mary is a weaver, James a spinner and Maggie a winder in the woollen mill, probably Raceview Mill, Broughshane, and Hugh is still a scholar.
John moved to Canada some time after the 1911 census and gave his address as 5, Condor Avenue, Toronto when he enlisted in the 204th Battalion, CEF on the 8th May 1916. Born on 1st March 1885, he was then just over 30 years old and was earning his living as a carpenter. He was 5' 3 ½ " tall and he had blue eyes and brown hair.
He left Canada aboard the SS Saxonia on the 26 March 1917 and landed in England on the 7 April 1917. He went to East Sandling and the 2nd Canadian Reserve Battalion. He was transferred to the 125th Battalion and later the 8th Canadian Reserve Battalion at Witley Camp before going overseas to the 54th Battalion. He was taken on strength with them on the 16 April 1918, but he was transferred to the 50th Battalion on 15 August 1918. He stayed with them and seems to have enjoyed an very ordinary military career with them (He only ever suffered from sinusitis and measles) until his transfer to the 54th Battalion on the 9 September 1918. He was returned to Canada aboard HMTS Mauretania on the 31 May 1919. He went back to 5, Condor Avenue, Toronto and lived the rest of his life in Canada. He died at Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto on the 15 October 1962.
His brother was 17923 Corporal George Ireland, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, a former member of the Larne UVF, who was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme and 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church.
190204 Private Robert McCartney Irvine, living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, enlisted in the 91st Battalion, CEF in St Thomas, Ontario on the 3 April 1916. He was a military veteran and said he had served previously for two years in the Royal Navy and the 'Military Veterans Battalion'. He was, however, originally from the Hillmount area of Craigs, Cullybackey.
The 1901 Census shows the family living in Dunminning. Samuel, 50 years old and the night-watchman in the local bleach works, lived with his wife Anne (Annie), aged 43, and Martha, an 87 year old widow, and his sister Ellen, aged 52. The family of Samuel is recorded as follows: William John (13), Robert McCartney (10), Samuel (8), James Greer (5) and Thomas (1). The 1911 returns records Samuel and Annie were living with Robert (20), Samuel (18) James (16), all labourers, and Thomas, 11 years old and deaf. The form records that Samuel and Annie had then been married for 31 years and that six of their nine children were still alive.
Robert said he was 25 years old on enlistment, stating that he was born on 7 May 1890. He was 5' 11" tall and he had blue eyes and brown hair. He was an Anglican. He gave his address as 54, Boylston Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts (later records refer to 49a Lynden Avenue, Somerville, Massachusetts as his discharge address and to 8 Olive Avenue, Mass.) The former Royal Navy sailor said he was then employed as a tailor.
He sailed on the 29 June 1916 from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Liverpool, England aboard the SS Olympic, arriving there on the 6 July. He went to the 36th Battalion at West Sandling on the 15 July 1916 and then transferred to the 1st Battalion, (Western Ontario Regiment) on the 21 September 1916. He was with his unit in the field after the 9th October. He served as a Lewis gunner and while at Cambrai on the 23 December 1916 received a gunshot wound in the jaw. He went to No 1 Canadian General Hospital, Etaples, France before being returned aboard HS Carisbrooke Castle to 1st Western General Hospital, Fazakerley, Liverpool. He was released to Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom, and he was not discharged to service until 26 March 1917. He went to the 4th Reserve Battalion, Bramshott for a time and was not back in the field in France with the 1st Battalion until 15 August 1917.
Irvine was again wounded in October 1918. While serving in the area around Vimy Ridge he was struck by shell shrapnel on the right leg, a metal shattering bone some 8 inches above his ankle. He was treated at 56th General Hospital, Etaples, Herne Bay Military Hospital in Kent, 11 General Hospital (Moore Barracks), Shorncliffe and Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom. His wound healed, but he underwent a medical around this time and it was decided to return him to Canada for discharge as he was deemed medically unfit for military service. He had long-term problems stemming from the leg wound and he was partially deaf from exposure to shell explosions ('concussion deafness'). He landed in Quebec on the 3 June 1919 from SS Megantic and returned to the USA. He died there on 20 March 1967.
150964 Private Andrew Jackson enlisted in Brandon, Manitoba but was the son of James and Isabella Jackson, Cullybackey, near Ballymena. Andrew said he had been born in Gracehill, Ballymena but the 1901 census shows James, aged 52 and a linen finisher, living in Cullybackey, with his wife Isabella (50) and three children: Andrew (16 and a clerk), Sara (14 and a schoolteacher) and George (11). James and Isabella were still there in 1911, James then working as a butler. The children are not listed. The couple said they had been married for twenty seven years and that their three children were all alive.
Andrew was working as a driver at the time of his enlistment in the 79th Battalion CEF on the 18 August 1916. He was 5' 7 ½ " tall and had blue eyes and fair hair. He said he lived at 34b, Cork Ave, W. Kildonan, Winnipeg.
His unit sailed from Halifax aboard the SS Lapland on the 24 April 1916 and landed in England on the 5 May. He was transferred to the 1st Bn Canadian Mounted Rifles at East Sandling and was in the field with them by the 9 June 1916. He received a slight wound on his left leg on the 30 September 1916 and did not return to his unit until 4 November. The remainder of his military career seems to have been quite uneventful, the only course mentioned being for cookery, and he returned to England on the 13 February 1919. He returned to Canada aboard the RMS Olympic on the 17 March 1919 and went back to Winnipeg.
84629 Sergeant George Jackson, MM, enlisted in Winnipeg early in the war. He was the son of James and Isabella Jackson, Cullybackey, near Ballymena, and like his brother Andrew (See previous entry), said he had been born on the 15 November 1889 in Gracehill, Ballymena.
He was a carpenter by trade and was about 25 when he enlisted in the Canadian Field Artillery in November 1914. He was 5' 9" tall and he had blue eyes and brown hair. He gave his step-brother as his next of kin, Mr A. Anderson, 415, Alfred Avenue, Winnipeg; elsewhere his record shows some of his earnings were also being sent to his mother Isabella in Cullybackey.
He landed in Plymouth, England from the SS Metagama on the 18 May 1915 and was to serve with the 17th Battery of the 5th Artillery Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery. He moved to Havre, France on the 19 January 1916 and enjoyed a successful military career thereafter. He had been promoted to Sergeant by December 1917 and also won the Military Medal for bravery (London Gazette 30573, 1918). He returned to England in April 1919 and was returned to Canada, possibly on the SS Minnekahda. He was discharged and went to stay with his step-brother in Winnipeg. He died on the 24 August 1957.
207435 Lance Corporal John Johnston, who gave his address as Cecil Hotel, Calgary, enlisted in Toronto in the 97th Battalion, CEF, on the 4 January 1916, but he was a native of County Antrim and he said he was the son of Thomas Johnston, Castlegore, Moorfields, Ballymena.
The 1911 Irish census records the family at Castlegore, a townland just off the Larne Road at the Speerstown Road junction. Thomas, a farmer and aged 50, was married to Maggie, aged 49. The couple said they had been married for 30 years and that they had had 9 children, 7 of whom were still alive in 1911. They listed Hessie (or Jessie) (27), Catherine (15), George (13) and Ruth (10) as being present at the time of the census.
The 1901 census return records the family living at Cross, somewhat closer to Ballymena. Thomas was said to be 48, Maggie (37), Hessie (17), Robert (15), John (12), Maggie (10), Catherine (6) and George (3).
John Johnston said he was born on the 5 February 1889 - the registration of John’s birth confirms that he was indeed born on the 5 February 1889 and states that his mother’s maiden name was Hanna -, and that he was a labourer. He was 5’ 11” tall and he had blue eyes and red hair. He was a Presbyterian, and his name appears in the Connor Presbyterian Church listing in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour 1914-1919.
He left Canada aboard the SS Metagama in August 1916 and arrived in Liverpool on the 22nd August. He went to Crowborough Depot for training and then transferred to the 67th (Western Scots) Battalion for service in France. The 67th Battalion was an infantry battalion which was converted to a pioneer battalion on 15 May 1916. It served as part of the 4th Canadian Division in France and Flanders until 28 April 1917, when its personnel were absorbed into other units. Johnston’s record says his unit was named the 4th Pioneer Battalion, then the 5th Pioneer Battalion after the 7 November 1916 (the Connor Presbyterian Church listing says he served with the ‘5th Canadians’).
Johnston was wounded by shrapnel, sustaining damage to his right leg on the 27 September 1918, and he was at one point considered ‘seriously ill’. His record refers to three wound scars and medical notes refer to a 4” wound on his right shin, fractured bones, and a 6” wound on the lower calf. He was transferred on Army Train 30 to 20 General Hospital, Dannes-Camiers on the 30 September and then onward to England aboard the H S Denis on the 14 October 1918. He was to be treated at Princess Patricia’s Canadian Red Cross Hospital, Bexhill, 13 Canadian General Hospital, Hastings, 11 Canadian General Hospital, Shorncliffe, Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epson and the 5 Canadian General Hospital, Kirkdale, Liverpool. He was transferred to Canada in July 1919 and was treated in St Andrew’s Hospital, Toronto. He was discharged as ‘medically unfit’ in Toronto on the 15 December 1919.
John Johnston died on the 8 June 1963.
250095 & 250142 Private William Keenan
250095 Private William Keenan, lived at 54, Sparkhill Ave, Toronto, and he enlisted in the 208th Battalion in Toronto in March 1917. He was, however, originally from Cullybackey and the family apparently attended the United Free Church of Scotland in the village. The 1911 Irish census return records James Keenan, 42 and a producer/merchant of eggs, potatoes and butter, and his wife Annie, 39 and from Co Londonderry, and six of their family of seven children: William (15), Annie (13), Mary (10), Isabella (8), Frederick (6) and Margretta Hamell (3). James, Annie, William, Annie and Mary are also recorded in the 1901 census returns.
250095 William Keenan said he was born on the 10 February 1896, that he was single, and that he was a telephone employee. He named his mother Annie as his next of kin and gave her address as 54, Sparkhill Ave, Toronto. He was then 21 years and 1 month old and he stood 5' 6" tall and he had grey-blue eyes and fair hair.
250095 William Keenan was in the forces only briefly. He had officially enlisted on the 28th March and been accepted, but he failed a medical in April 1917 and was dismissed 'medically unfit'; this related to a somewhat deformed rib cage and spine. His 'Proceedings on Discharge' form is dated the 23rd April 1917.
250142 Private William Keenan again enlisted in the 208th Battalion on the 24th April 1917 and gave the same details as 250095 Private William Keenan. This time things progressed normally and he left Halifax aboard HMT Justicia on the 3 May 1917, arriving in Liverpool, England on the 14th May. He went from the 208th Battalion to the 8th Reserve Battalion at Shorncliffe and then onwards to the 58th Battalion at Sandling. He went to France on the 16th February 1918 and was with his unit in the field on the 23rd. He remained with the 58th Battalion and was killed in action on the 28th August 1918. The record of the circumstances of his death states the he was 'killed in the attack at Artillery Hill, North East of Boiry', this indicating that he was killed during the action known as the Battle of Scarpe, 26th -30th August 1918. This was part of a very large attack on the Hindenburg Line.
Other addresses given for the family are James and Annie Keenan, 637, Christie Street, Toronto, Ontario, and Mrs Annie Keenan, Lorne Park, Peel County, Ontario.
279048 or 466547 Private John Kennedy was a butcher, a married man living at 11817, 89th Street (elsewhere Gerald St), Edmonton, Canada with his wife Elizabeth Jane. This Ballymena man was just 5' 4¼" tall, and he had grey eyes and dark brown hair.
There are two attestation papers in his file but no military record. Those for 466547 are dated the 15th July 1915 and state he was 44 years and one month old. 'Proceedings on Discharge' documents show 466547 was discharged as 'medically unfit' on the 31st January 1916 from the 63rd Overseas Battalion.
279048 John Kennedy attested on the 26th February 1916 and was assigned to the 218th Overseas Battalion. However, 'Proceedings on Discharge' documents show 279048 was discharged as 'over age' on the 9th February 1917. His medical history records state he was 54 years old and that he was born in 1863.
316923 Gunner John Kernohan, 48th Battery, 12th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery, lived at 537 Logan Avenue, Toronto (Elsewhere 143 Riverside Avenue) and was a single man and a clerk when he enlisted in January 1916. Born on the 12th September 1886, he was 27 years and 4 months old at attestation, and he was said to 5' 7 ½" inches tall with grey eyes and fair hair.
He was the son of John Kernohan of Cullybackey. The 1901 census return shows John, 48 and a fireman, living with his wife Annie (37) and nine children: Agnes was 18 and worked in the linen industry, Samuel was 16 and a beetler, Mary was 14, John was 12, Lizzie was 10, Sarah was 8, William was 6, Alexander was 4 and Henry was 1 year old. There is no record for the family in the 1911 census, though John Kernohan's service with the CFA is recorded on the list of those from Cullybackey United Reformed Church who served in WW1.
John trained at Petawawa Camp, Ontario and sailed from Halifax, N.S. for England on the SS Cameronia on the 11th September 1916. He arrived in Liverpool on the 22nd September. He transferred from the 16th Bde to the 15th Bde at Witley Camp and went to France on the 20th March 1917 with the 81st Battery, CFA. He seems to have been in France for about 25 months. His service was, war excepted, uneventful and he was discharged from the army in September 1919. His record does however note that he married Lily on the 19th April 1919. Her address was Portsmouth Road, Milford, Surrey, and we can assume he met her when he was stationed at Milford Camp, the artillery section of Witley Camp.
452004 Private Harry Kerr, 58th Bn, CEF, previously in the Governor General's Body Guard, a local militia, enlisted in Toronto on the 24th July 1915. He was a single man, a conductor, who had been born on 14th October 1890. He is described as being 5' 7 ½ " tall and having grey eyes and red hair. Harry (Henry) Kerr had been born in Ireland, and he said his father was Henry Kerr, a widower, and he listed his sister Annie M Kerr as his next of kin.
The 1901 census return shows Henry Kerr, 39 and a farmer, and his wife Margaret (35) living in Millquarter, Ballyscullion with four children: Harry (10), Anna M (8), Maggie (6) and Robert J (3). The 1911 census return shows the family had moved to the Dunminning area of Craigs, Cullybackey. Henry, 49 and still a farmer, was a widower, and he said he had been married for 21 years and that he had eight children: Harry (20), Annie Mary (18), Maggie (16), Robert James (13), Agnes (11), William (9), Samuel Barris (7) and Alexander Gordon (5).
Harry Kerr embarked for England from Halifax on the 22nd November 1915 aboard the SS Saxonia and arrived there on the 2nd December. He went overseas to France on the 20th February 1916 with the 58th Battalion, CEF. 'The Fighting 58th' fought as part of the 9th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war. He appears to have been in 5 Platoon, B Company. He was deemed 'Missing' and then 'Killed in Action' on the 20 September 1916.
His death occurred during the Battle of Flers/Courcelette (15-22 Sept. 1916), part of the Battle of the Somme. The Anglo-French attack of 15th September began the third phase of the Somme Offensive, but by its end on 22th September, a decisive victory had not been achieved. Kerr was killed near Courcelette during the fighting on the 20th.
Harry Kerr's body was found later and he was buried in Courcelette British Cemetery.
2650656 James Knox, 28th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, was mobilized late in the war on the 20th December 1917 and he spent only a short time in France.