1820 Sergeant Robert Smyth (or Smythe)
Http://northernbankwarmemorials.blogspot.com.au/ records another Ballymena man. He was the son of George Rock Smyth and Elizabeth Smyth. At the time of the 1901 census the family were living at 11, Cullybackey Road Ballymena; they had moved to 16, Cullybackey Road by the time of the 1911 census.
Robert Smyth volunteered and enlisted in 1916 into the 1st Bn. Welsh Guards. His service number was 1820. He would have been 40 at this time. He served in France from 26th September 1916 until April 1919 as a Corporal, Lance Sergeant and then a Sergeant. Following his demobilisation, he applied for an Army Pension and in Section 7 of the application document, he records his employer before joining the army as being the Northern Banking Company Limited, Belfast.
Death of a Ballymena Sailor
Eighteen year old merchant seaman Robert Andrews, Wireless Operator on the SS Vienna, a 4,170 grt merchant steamer, died on the 11th September 1917 when his ship was torpedoed by the U49 some 340 miles from Ushant; the ship was en route between Brest and New York. Though the vessel belonged to Gow, Harrison and Co., Glasgow and he is listed as the son of Hugh and Agnes Andrews, Kennishead Road, Thornliebank, Renfrew, the family were from the Ballymena area. They had moved to Scotland some considerable time before the outbreak of the World War One. They are not mentioned in the 1911 Irish census but appear in that for 1901. Two year old Robert is there listed as living with his father, a general labourer, and his mother, 47 and 45 respectively, and his brothers and sisters, Maggie (aged 12), Agnes (aged 10), Minnie (aged 8) and brother John (aged 5). Another daughter, Bella Magowan, a 26 year old dressmaker, and her 1 year old son John are also listed as living in the family home.
Robert Andrews is named on the Tower Hill Memorial.
(Thanks to Wesley Wright & friends for their help.)
Down by the green bushes of Bonnie Woodgreen
Where me and my true love so oftimes have been
As the days they rolled onward so happy were we
Ah, but never she thought that a soldier I'd be.
It was early one morning as the lambs they did play
'Twas off to Kells Barracks, I there made my way
To enlist in the army and fight for my King
And I bid my farewell to Bonnie Woodgreen.
Our ship at Larne Harbour sat ready to sail
And mothers were weeping and sisters looked pale
There was singing and dancing all happy and gay
Ah, but little they thought of the lads far away.
It was 'way out in Flanders at the back of the line
They were talking of sweethearts they all left behind
When one Irish soldier says, "I have a queen,
And she works in John Ross' of Bonnie Woodgreen."
It was early one morning while facing the foe
A shot from the enemy this young lad laid low
He called for his comrades, it was a sad scene,
"Say good-bye to my Nellie and Bonnie Woodgreen."
So if ever to Ulster you chance for to stray
There's a neat little fact'ry near Ballymacvea
Where there's weavers and winders all rosy and clean
And they all wear white aprons in Bonnie Woodgreen.
(John Ross had a linen weaving factory in Kells, Co Antrim, a few miles south of Ballymena. Ballymacvea is a local townland.)
Samuel Mawhinney, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, died a POW at Cambrai of wounds received on the Somme
Rifleman Hugh Connaghty
James McGall, DCM from Portglenone. Picture kindly passed on by John Burrell, a member of the Great War Forum.
See 'Virtual Memorial' for more details and Weekly War for newspaper items.
Rifleman David Wright
Rifleman David Wright of Laymore, Ballymena, killed in action at the Battle of Cambrai.
Thanks to Allie Wright for this excellent picture of his ancestor.
He seems to be 12th Royal Irish Rifles Transport Column - note bandolier and spurs.
Rifleman Samuel Herbison of Ballymoney Street, Ballymena.
He was wounded in action 1st July 1916.
Thanks to Dr. Herbison for these pictures.
Rifleman Ronald Waterman, was originally from Cullybackey. Waterman, seen here with his sisters, like many young men of the time had moved to Belfast to seek work. He was killed on July 1, 1916 at the Battle of the Somme.
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-19 wrongly says he came from Ballywater, Moy, Co Tyrone. He was from Ballywatermoy, Craigs, Co Antrim.
The family grave that records his name is in Craigs Parish Churchyard.
Military Cross Awards