BALLYMENA 1914-1918

Click here to edit subtitle

Islandmagee War Dead.

There will be some overlap with the Glynn Memorial, but I hope it helps to have access to this far from comprehensive listing.

BROWNE, John was the 39-year-old Master of the ss Strathnairn, a vessel built by A. Rodger & Co., Glasgow in 1906 and in 1915 owned by Burrell & Son, Glasgow. On June 15th, 1915, ss Strathnairn, on a voyage from Penarth to Archangel with a 7000-ton cargo of coal, was sunk by a torpedo fired at 9.30pm from Bruno Hoppe’s U-22 submarine.  She sank 2 miles west from Ramsey Island and 21 persons lost their lives. Among them was Browne.
The second Officer, James Wood of Belfast recorded what happened. He said, ‘We left Cardiff at 8 o'clock on Tuesday night. The ship was struck by a torpedo without the slightest warning amidships, 25 miles north-east of the Bishops, Scillies. The force of it burst the boiler and soon the ship listed heavily to port. We never saw the submarine till after she had done the foul work. Then she went within 20 feet of the sinking ship. As soon as possible after the ship was struck the four boats were got out. Mine, however, was the only one to get clear away, for one was smashed, and the other two capsized on being cut clear of davits. The captain and other officers were in these. The submarine never offered to assist the solitary boat.’
Wood added that, observing the Strathnairn was not sinking quickly, [he] attempted twice to return to the vessel but he was prevented from doing so by the submarine.
John Nelson Browne was the son of Thomas Brown (sic) and his Mary McKee, and he was born at Ballystrudder, Islandmagee on the 24th February 1876; the family were later associated with Loughford House, Islandmagee, and Thomas and Mary appear at Ballystrudder in the 1901 census return. The family were still at Ballystrudder in 1911, but Mary (74) was a widow. He was the husband of Elizabeth Browne, of 2, Spring Gardens, Knock, Belfast. He is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial.
BUSBY, James, age 32, was Master of the ss Buffalo, a vessel built in 1866 by Thames Iron Works, London and operated by J. Little & Sons, Saltcoats, Ayrshire. The ship, a small coaster en route from Ayr to Dundalk with a cargo of coal, was torpedoed and sunk in the Irish Sea off Corsewall Point, Wigtownshire on 13th September 1918 by SM UB-64 (Ernst Krieger), and all ten of her crew were lost.
James Busby was the son of John Connolly Busby and his wife Isabella Collville, of Kilcoan, Islandmagee. He (14) and his brother Samuel (8) are recorded with their parents and siblings at Ballymoney, Islandmagee in 1901. He was the husband of Margaret Wilson, Whitehouse. James, his wife Margaret, and his daughter Sarah Isabella (1) are recorded at Kilcoan More, Islandmagee in 1911.

BUSBY, Samuel, age 26 and brother of James, was Mate on ss Buffalo and was lost in the same incident. Mariner Samuel had married on the 23rd May 1917 in 2nd Islandmagee Presbyterian Church, his bride one Anna Matilda Quaite. The couple were both from Islandmagee. Their son Samuel was born on the 30th March 1918 at Kilcoan, Islandmagee.
CALDWELL, Master Mariner Samuel, died age 40. He was Second Officer, ss Teelin Head, built 1883 by Workman, Clark & Co, Belfast and operated by the Ulster Steamship Co., Ltd. (G. Heyn & Sons), Belfast, which was torpedoed and sunk on the 21 Jan 1918 some 12 miles from Owers Lightship by UC 31 (Kurt Siewert). The vessel, carrying potatoes, was on a voyage from Belfast to France. All 13 of the crew perished.
Samuel Caldwell was the husband of Mary Davison, Ballykeel, Islandmagee. Samuel from Hanover Street, Stranraer had married Mary Elizabeth Davidson (sic) on the 20th June 1906 in 1st Larne Presbyterian Church.
Samuel Caldwell is buried in Portsmouth (Kingston) Cemetery.

CAMERON, James was Fireman Trimmer on board ss Bray Head, a steamer built in 1894 by C.S. Swan & Hunter, Newcastle and operated by Ulster Steamship Co. Ltd., (G. Heyn & Sons ) Belfast, which was en route from St. Johns, New Brunswick to Belfast with a general cargo when it was attacked on the 14th March, 1917 by U-Boat U44 (Paul Wagenfuh). The submarine apparently fired a torpedo and missed but it then opened fire with its deck gun on the steamer, which was defensively armed. Bray Head returned fire but lost the duel and the crew were forced to abandon ship. The ship sank some 375 miles from Fastnet. Twenty-one men died, James Cameron in one of the two lifeboats launched.
James Cameron was born on the 4th December 1882 at Castletown, Islandmagee and was the son of William Cameron and his wife, Ann Jane McMurtry, of Blackhead, Castletown, Islandmagee. The family were all living at Castletown, Islandmagee at the time of the 1901 census. James, however, became the husband of Lizzie Brennan, of Woodburn, Carrickfergus. James, recorded as a mariner of Islandmagee, had married Lizzie Brennan of Woodburn, Carrickfergus in 2nd Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 23rd September 1908. They later lived at Patterson's Row, Woodburn, Carrickfergus.

CAMERON, Fireman William, ss Glen Sheik (Glen Shesk, Glenshesk?), brother of James above, was supposedly lost when this vessel was sunk by mine or torpedo in English Channel on the 18th December 1917. The vessel, however, cannot be found, and a debate held some time ago on the Great War Forum concluded that William served but did not die in the Great War.
The 1901 census records William (42) and his wife Ann Jane (46) and their children, the boys being William (19), James (18), Thomas (13), John (11), Robert (9) and Hill (7); Sarah, the only listed daughter, was aged 5 years. The family indicated in 1911 that they had had eight children and that seven had survived, probably those named above. A list of those who served on the wall of the Islandmagee (Chester Avenue) Congregational Church in Whitehead records Thomas Cameron, William Cameron Snr, and William Cameron Jnr as having served and survived; regrettably, James who died is not mentioned, though he may have attended a different church.
Moreover, the Carrick Advertiser, Friday March 26, 1920, apparently hosts a petition demanding the continued employment of the local postman, Robert Cameron, who had held the post in a temporary capacity for seven years.
Submissions made in support of Robert Cameron describe his action, and that of his brothers, in enlisting during the Great War. These refer also to one brother being killed in action, while another was ‘incapacitated and was a wounded prisoner in the hands of the Germans for a considerable period’. This report would seem to put beyond doubt that fact that the family lost only one son. William, the son who married Rachel Hoggan (sic) or Haggan, of Ellis Street, Carrickfergus, in Carrickfergus Parish Church (St Nicholas) on the 29th March 1915, seems to have survived. The Carrickfergus Town Hall bronze plaque lists James Cameron as lost in WWI, and he the only Cameron so named.
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Roll of Honour 1914-1919, under the entry for the Congregation of Ballycarry, lists a William Cameron, AB, Mercantile Marine, who had been a ‘prisoner of war’, also Robert Cameron, AB, Mercantile Marine. They may, however, be from a different Cameron family!
CREIGHTON, Edward Henry, First Engineer, ss Garron Head, Mercantile Marine, died in the sinking of his ship.  He had been born on the 20th January 1884 at 8, Wesley Terrace, Cooke Street, Belfast, and he was the son of David Creighton and his wife Anna.  The couple, David from Whitehead, the accountant son of farmer Isaac Creighton of Templecorran, married Anna Edwina Stevelly of Carnbrock, Templecorran and daughter of farmer Edward Stevelly, according to the rules of the Presbyterian Church at the house of Nathaniel Alexander on the 27th September 1882. The family were at Bentra, Templecorran in 1901 and 1911.  The parents had had six children, and all were alive at the time of the 1911 census.
Son Edward Henry Creighton, then a marine engineer of Rosebank, Whitehead, had married Marie Evelyn Rankin, daughter of Hugh, 3, Balmoral Terrace, Whitehead at her house on the 17th August 1910.
Steamer Garron Head, built in 1913 by Irvine’s SB. & DD. Co., Ltd., West Hartlepool and operated by the Ulster Steamship Co., Ltd. (G. Heyn & Sons), Belfast, was originally thought to have struck a mine while on voyage from Bilbao to Barrow with a cargo of iron ore, but it is now confirmed that she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-103 (Commander Claus Rucker). Twenty-eight crew were killed, Ship's Master E. Suffern amongst them.
U-103 completed five tours of duty under Captain Claus Rucker and sank eight ships but on the 12 May 1918 as she prepared to sink the Olympic, Titanic's sister ship, then a troopship en route to France with US troops on board, the submarine was sighted on the surface and gunners opened fire as Olympic herself turned to ram the frail craft. A crash dive and evasive action did not save the submarine.  She was struck, her pressure hull ruptured. Nine of the crew perished immediately and the troop-laden HMT Olympic, for fear of further attacks, continued to Cherbourg and did not stop. The USS Davis subsequently found and took to Queenstown 35 German survivors.

CRESWELL (or Cresswell), Chief Engineer John Leonard died when the ss Huntsmoor was attacked in the English Channel, 20th February 1918. The ship had been built in 1901 by Flensburger Schiffbau Gesellschaft, Flensburg, Germany, and was originally a German operated vessel known as Rostock. The steamer was operated by Jenkins Brothers from 1915 to 1918 and was used to carry freight on behalf of the Admiralty's Shipping Controller. She was torpedoed and sunk around 23 miles from the Owers Lightship by submarine UB-40 (Karl Dobberstein). She had been travelling from Le Havre to Southampton. Twenty lives were lost, including that of the Master, 34-year-old Robert Stephen Bates, husband of Olivia Elizabeth Murray Bates, Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia. Also among the dead were Mersey Z/2738 Able Seaman George William Robinson, RNVR and 5258B Leading Seaman Ernest George Stringer, Royal Naval Reserve, confirmation that Huntsmoor was defensively armed.
John Leonard Creswell, born on the 29th November 1883 at St. John’s Place, Larne, was the son of locomotive engineer William James Creswell and Eliza Jane Thompson.  The couple, widower and engineer William James Creswell and Lizzie Thompson, both of St. John’s Place, had married in Raloo Presbyterian Church on the 19th June 1880. The family of the late William Creswell later lived at Craigmore, Kirkliston Drive, Belfast. They had lived at Curran Street, Larne in 1901 and at Upper Beersbridge Road, Belfast in 1911. At the latter date Elizabeth (53) was a widow and recorded sharing the house with her daughters Wilhelmina and Ethel.

DICK, William, A.B. (Boatswain), ss Daleby, Mercantile Marine, was lost when the vessel was torpedoed and sunk by submarine U-70 (Otto Wünsche) in the Irish Sea some 150 miles South-East of Cape Clear and circa 180 miles from the Fastnet. 25 crew including the Master were lost.
The ship dated from 1900 and was completed for Ropner & Son, and she was one of 27 steamships that Ropner’s of West Hartlepool lost during the First World War. Practically all were built at Stockton, and nearly all were sunk by enemy submarines. They were: 1914 – Selby; 1915 - Coleby, Gadsby, Glenby, Kirkby, Oakby, Scawby, Willerby; 1916 - Dromoby, Newby, Salmonpool, Thornaby, Trunkby; 1917 - Brookby, Burnby, Daleby, Martin, Rollesby, Teesdale, Teespool, Thirlby, Westonby, Wragby; and 1918 - Baldersby, Maltby, Mountby, Rockpool.
Dalby’s fate is documented in The Ropner Story by Ian Dear, published by Hutchinson Benham, London, 1986. It says, "Another victim of that terrible month of April 1917 was Daleby. Under command of Captain Charles Hord, she left Huelva 5th April bound for Garston with a cargo of ore (copper and silver) when she was torpedoed without warning off the coast of Ireland. Apparently she went down immediately taking her Captain and all but two of her crew with her. One of the survivors, Gunner Wilson, swam about for about two hours before he eventually found one of the ships boats and managed to scramble into it. He then searched among the wreckage strewn across the water and found another survivor, Fireman Davies, but no one else. They were both picked up eventually by a steamer which landed them at Avonmouth."
William Dick was the son of the late Thomas Dick and Elizabeth Taylor, Mullaghboy, and he was the brother of Mrs. Hugh Wilson, Ballymuldrogh (also Ballymuldrough), with whom he apparently resided. He had been born on the 7th December 1885 at Mullaghboy, Islandmagee. Farmer and widower Thomas from Mullaghboy had married farmer’s daughter Elizabeth of Gransha, Islandmagee in Larne Methodist Church on the 1st November 1882. He appears to have been the Thomas Dick who died from a heart attack while in a boat at sea and near Portmuck on the 29th January 1887. Elizabeth may have died a little later for in 1901 the two daughters of the marriage, Elizabeth, born at Mullaghboy on the 21st May 1884, and Margaret Isabella, born 8th May 1887 at Gransha, were boarders in the household of the McCalmont family at Ballymuldrough.
William Dick is remembered on the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for First Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee and on the Tower Hill Memorial.

DONALD, Able Seaman Edward, was the son of sailor Robert Donald and his wife Mary Dick and he had been born at Mullaghboy, Islandmagee on the 17th April 1917. Mariner Robert of Carnspindle, Islandmagee, the 23-year-old son of shoemaker Edward, had married Mary, daughter of farmer Thomas of Mullaghboy, Islandmagee, in Carrickfergus Methodist Church on the 26th July 1882. Edward was the husband of Jessie Smith, later of Kilcoan, Islandmagee, Co. Antrim.  The couple, mariner Edward from Mullaghboy and Jessie Smyth (sic) of Gransha, Islandmagee, had married in Whitehead Presbyterian Church on the 2nd April 1912.
Edward Donald died when the vessel Adriatic was lost on the 31st October 1916. According to C. Hockling's Dictionary of Disasters at Sea During the Age of Steam, 1824-1962 the ship was owned by W. H. Cockerline & Co. Ltd, Hull and that it had been built by Irvine's Ship Building & Dry Dock Co. in 1904. The book further notes that the ship, employed as an Admiralty collier, left Newport en route for Marseilles with a cargo of coal, but was not seen again. "Lloyd's War Losses" and the Stark-Schell files say it was lost on the 31st October 1916, though no-one can say what befell it.
Edward Donald is remembered on the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for First Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee and on the Tower Hill Memorial.
DONALD, Sailor Hugh, Mercantile Marine, died on the 29th September 1918 in the sinking of S.S. Nyanza (Glasgow). He was the son of Robert and Mary Donald, nee Dick, and hence the brother of Able Seaman Edward Donald (above). He was born at Mullaghboy, Islandmagee on the 25th November 1893. He was also the husband of the late Alice Elizabeth Donald, allegedly from Cardiff, Wales.
The 4000-ton British registered Nyanza had been built in 1897 by A. Stephen & Sons, Glasgow and was being operated by the ss. Nyanza Co., Ltd. (Maclay & McIntyre), Glasgow. The vessel, defensively-armed during the Great War, was torpedoed without warning by submarine UB 95 (Oscar Maaß) on the 29th September 1918 while on a voyage from Cardiff to Archangel with a cargo of coal. The ship sank with the loss of 13 lives some 14 miles from the Maidens; the ship’s Master was one of those who perished.

DONNELL (CWGC says incorrectly Donnelly, as does Soldiers Died in the Great War), 3444 Fusilier John, 7th/8th Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers, died at Cambrai on the 24th January 1918. He was born on the 12 September 1891 and was the son, the fourth of five children, of labourer Patrick Donnell and his wife Annie Gilliland, Temple-Effin, Islandmagee. The family were at Temple-Effin, Islandmagee in 1901 and 1911, though John is not recoded on the later date. He was also said to be the husband of Mary J Wallace of Ballytrudden (Ballytroddan), Blackwatertown, Co. Armagh.
He is buried in Ste. Emilie Valley Cemetery, Villers-Faucon, France.

DUFF, Able Seaman James, was lost on the Teelin Head. He was born on the 15th June 1892 at Ballymuldrough, Islandmagee and was the son of James Duff and Elizabeth Jane Wilson. The couple, mariner James Duff, of 25, Fleet Street, Belfast, son of sailor Samuel Duff, married Elizabeth Jane Wilson, daughter of farmer Hill Wilson, in 1st Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 31st December 1890. The 1901 census records the family at Ballymuldrough; that of 1911 shows them at Ballykeel, Islandmagee. At the latter date Elizabeth she had had four children and named them as James, 19 years old and a sailor, Jeanie (17), Mollie (13) and Samuel H (9).
Steamship Teelin Head, built 1883 by Workman, Clark & Co., Belfast and operated by the Ulster Steamship Co., Ltd. (G. Heyn & Sons), Belfast, was torpedoed and sunk on the 21 Jan 1918 some 12 miles from Owers Lightship by UC 31 (Kurt Siewert). The vessel, carrying potatoes, was on a voyage from Belfast to France. All 13 of the crew perished.
James Duff is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial and in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for First Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee.

DUFF, Stanley, is named in some listings for Whitehead Presbyterian Church as having been lost with his ship during the Great War, but his record and ship cannot be found.
Stanley Duff was born at Adam Street, Whitehead on the 17th March 1900 (it is recorded as the 23rd March, this amended to ‘seventeen’ in the margin), the son of Robert Thomas Duff and his wife Charlotte Eliza Stanley. Master Mariner Robert Thomas Duff of Islandmagee, son of Master Mariner James Duff, had married Charlotte Eliza, daughter of Alfred Stanley, naval pensioner of Whitehead, in the local parish church on the 10th March 1898.
The family were at Adam Street in 1901: Robert was aged 34, his wife 27 years, and their son Stanley was aged 1 year. Twenty-two-year-old Kattie Stanley, born Co Mayo, was recorded with them - her family also lived in Whitehead. The Duffs had moved to Windsor Avenue by 1911. Widow Charlotte Eliza, then 37 years old, listed her mother, Martha Eliza Stanley (66) and born at Weymouth, England, and her own family, Stanley (11), John (8) and Mollie (Mallie sic), aged 6.
Robert Duff, born circa 1866, had suffered heart problems and had died on the 26th July 1905 at Whitehead. He was just 39 years old.
Stanley Duff appears not to have died in the Great War. A family headstone in Islandmagee Old Church Graveyard, near Larne, County Antrim reads:
Erected by ROBERT DUFF In Memory of His Mother, MARY DUFF, Who Died 10 Oct. 1895, Aged 68 years.
Also His Father, JAMES DUFF, Who Died 27 Nov. 1895, Aged 73 years.
The above-named CAPT. ROBERT DUFF, Died 26 Jul. 1905, Aged 39 years.
And his brother, JAMES A. DUFF, Died 20 May 1941, Aged 83 years.
And His Son, STANLEY DUFF, Died in Australia 26 May 1954, Aged 54 years.
His Daughter, MOLLIE DUFF, Died 23 Jan. 1956, Aged 50 years.
Also MARY A. DUFF, Wife of JAMES A. DUFF, Died 04 Dec. 1965, Aged 87 years.
Also CHARLOTTE E. DUFF, Wife of Capt. Robert Duff, Died in Florida, U.S.A., 02 Mar. 1966, Aged 92 years.
His youngest Son, JOHN, Died 27 Dec. 1971.
DONLEAVY, Able Seaman William Stephen was born on the 18th March 1890 at 3, St Maur’s Terrace, Queenstown, Cork, the son of George Donleavy, a light keeper, and his wife Mary Catherine Greene. The couple, East Pier Light House keeper George, son of John, also of Irish Lights, had married lady’s maid Mary Catherine Greene of Kingstown in the Mariners’ Church, (Haigh Terrace, Dún Laoghaire) Rathdown, County Dublin, on the 15th October 1885. This event may have been triggered by the death is own mother Mary, widow of a lighthouse keeper, who had died from a heart attack on the 24th August 1882 at Old Head, Kinsale, George by her side.
Mary Catherine Donleavy was dead at the time of the 1911 census and George, aged 66 and originally from Co. Donegal, was a pensioner living at Ballylumford, Islandmagee with his daughter Mary (25) and a half-sister called Sarah Thompson (80). Other sources refer to him being formerly at Ferris Point Lighthouse, and then Ballylumford Cottage. They also state that he was the brother of Mrs. Barlowe, 24 Station Road, Larne. George died on the 3rd January 1917 at Ballylumford and aged 72 years. W. Donleavy (sic) was present at the death.
Able Seaman William Stephen Donleavy died on the 7th July 1918 on a ship which changed its name on occasions (It was again renamed Turnbridge shortly before loss) and is best researched under the title Ben Lomond. This vessel was built in 1906 by W. Gray & Co., Ltd., West Hartlepool and thereafter operated by British Dyes, Ltd. (H. E. Moss & Co.), Liverpool.
Steamship Ben Lomond, circa 3000grt, was during the Great War a defensively-armed British merchant ship. On the 7th July 1918 when on route from Seville to Ardrossan carrying a cargo of coal or iron ore, and while some 30 miles from Daunt’s Rock, Cork, Ireland, it was torpedoed without warning by German submarine U-92 (Günther Ehrlich).  Twenty-three lives including Donleavy were lost. Another local man was William Alfred McVeigh, twenty-four-year-old son of William and Lizzie McVeigh (Murphy), of Droagh, Larne.
Able Seaman William Stephen Donleavy is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial.
FERGUSON, Leading Signaller George, Royal Naval Reserve, died of illness.  He had been recalled to service on the outbreak of the Great War and he had volunteered to take part in the naval expedition to Antwerp. German troops then besieged a garrison of Belgian fortress troops, the Belgian field army and the British Royal Naval Division in the Antwerp area. He was taken prisoner and interned. On returning home his health was found to have suffered from confinement, but after a rest he joined the Mercantile Marine. He became ill on a voyage and was admitted to hospital at Wellington, N.Z.  He was subsequently transferred to Greenwich Naval Hospital, where he died on the 13th January 1922. He was buried at at Shooters' Hill Cemetery, Greenwich, London.
Based on material from the History of Islandmagee (Co Antrim) by Dixon Donaldson, 1927.
He is named on a headstone in Islandmagee Church of Ireland Graveyard:
FERGUSON
Erected by John Ferguson in loving memory of his beloved wife Jennie Kain who died 17 Jan 1903 aged 46 years. Also their daughter Sarah who died 08 May 1896 aged 9 months. Also their son John who died at Pensacola, 4 Oct 1911 aged 33 years. Also their son George who died 13 Jan 1922 aged 35 years, interred in Shooters Hill Cemetery, London. The above-named John Ferguson died 17 Feb 1928.…
George Kane Ferguson had been born on the 24th November 1886 at Ballystrudder, Islandmagee and was the son of John Ferguson (master mariner), son of mariner James Ferguson, and his wife, the late Jenny/Jane Kane/Kain, daughter of mariner George Kane. The couple, both from Islandmagee, had married in 1st Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 2nd January 1877.
HANVEY, Lance Corporal John, 12th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles was killed in action on the 1st July 1916 on the opening day of the Somme Offensive.  He was born at Ballykeel, Islandmagee on the 30th August 1891 and was the son of sailor William Hanvey and his wife Agnes McKay. William Hanvey, Gransha, Islandmagee had married Agnes McKay of Kilcoan, Islandmagee in 1st Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 18th April 1890.
The family were at Gransha, Islandmagee in 1901 and at Ballyharry, Islandmagee in 1911. The family said in 1911 that they had had six children and that all were alive at the time of the census. Agnes was a widow at the time of her son’s death.

HAY, Sailor William James, ss Garron Head, Mercantile Marine, died in the sinking of his ship on the 16 November 1917.
He was born on the 3rd November 1898 at 50, Upper Canning Street, Belfast, the son of clerk John Hay and his wife Helena. The couple, John of 47, Greenmount Street, Belfast, and daughter of a ship’s captain Helena Simm, 50, Upper Canning Street, Belfast, had married in St Anne’s Parish Church, Belfast on the 21st June 1894. John and Helena were at Whitehead in 1901 and listed sons John (5) and William J (2).  They were living at Balfour Avenue, Whitehead in 1911, and Helena said they had had three children by that date. All were then alive.
The ss Garron Head, a 1,933-ton steamer built in 1913 by Irvine’s SB & DD. Co., Ltd., West Hartlepool and operated by the Ulster Steamship Co., Ltd. (G. Heyn & Sons), Belfast, was originally thought to have struck a mine while on voyage from Bilbao to Barrow with a cargo of iron ore, but it now confirmed that she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-103 (Commander Claus Rucker). Twenty-eight crew were killed, Master E. Suffern amongst them. U-103 had completed five tours of duty under Captain Claus Rucker and had sunk eight ships, but on the 12 May 1918 as she prepared to sink the RMS Olympic, then a troopship, she was rammed and sunk by her intended target.
William James Hay is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial.

HAWTHORNE, Chief steward James, Mercantile Marine Reserve, was killed in action in an attack on MFA Whitehead (Mercantile Fleet Auxiliary) on the 15th October 1917.
He had been born on the 23rd December 1887 at Balloo, Islandmagee and was the son of sailor John Hawthorne and his wife Susan McIlwain. Mariner John of Ballymuldrough, Islandmagee, son of mariner Robert, had married Susan, daughter of farmer James McIlwain, Ballymoney, Islandmagee, in 1st Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 24th April 1883. They were later at Channel View, Mullaghdoo.
Whitehead had been built in 1880 for the Ulster Steamship Co. (G Heyn & Sons Ltd, Managers), Belfast by Harland & Wolff, and was torpedoed and sunk by submarine U-74 some 40 miles from Suda Bay, Crete, on October 15th, 1917. Fifteen men were killed, 8 made prisoners of UC 74 (as noted in her war diary), and 12 crew were rescued by destroyer HMS Renard. The captain, Thomas Heddles, Royal Naval Reserve, was among the survivors.
The ship had an interesting history. On the 17 March 1882 it collided off Lavernock Point with ss Alert from Cardiff. An enquiry later found that the Alert had sailed from Cardiff for Port Said with a cargo of coal, had run into think fog and had anchored. The Whitehead, also laden with coal, had sailed from the same port shortly afterwards. The Captain and the Pilot were on the bridge when she struck ss Alert just forward of the bridge. The crew of the Alert scrambled aboard Whitehead as ss Alert sank in shallow water. A later search revealed the body of one crew member in his bunk. The Court found that the then Captain of the Whitehead had committed a grave error of judgement by not anchoring.
On the 14 March 1887, entering Copenhagen port with a cargo of coal, Whitehead struck and badly damaged the Knippels Bridge. The ship holed two of her plates.
On the 13 September 1902, on route from Glasgow to Cronstadt, Russia, Whitehead ran aground near Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. The front hold filled with water and a salvage team had to be sent from Belfast.
Whitehead was requisitioned by the Admiralty in August 1914 and served as Government Store Carrier No 1 until the 27th October 1914. From the 30th October 1914 to 15 July 1915 Whitehead served as an Expeditionary Force Transport Vessel, then on the 16th July 1915 the vessel became a commissioned Miscellaneous Vessel on charter to the Government of Montenegro.
HILL, Able Seaman Nelson Reid died when the vessel Donegal was sunk by enemy action in English Channel on the 17th April 1917.
He was born at Kilcoan More, Islandmagee on the 18th September 1893, the son of farmer Thomas Hill and his wife Mary Ross. 25-year-old farmer Thomas, son of Thomas, had married 23-year-old Mary Ross, daughter of farmer Robert, in Larne Methodist Church on the 25 July 1878.
Donegal was built in 1904 by Caird & Company, Greenock as a passenger cargo vessel on behalf of the Midland Railway Company. She was operating as an armed ambulance transport for slightly wounded troops, not as a hospital ship as defined in international regulations, and she was torpedoed despite a Royal Navy escort by UC-21 (Reinhold Saltzwedel) in the English Channel on 17 April 1917 as she sailed from Le Havre bound for Southampton; the Germans has previously tried to attack the ship on the 1 March 1917 but the steamer managed to outrun the submarine. The ship sank quickly, taking 29 wounded soldiers and 11 of her crew to a watery grave. She was then about 19 nautical miles (35 km) south of the Dean light vessel.
U-21 was herself soon lost. She departed Zeebrugge for the Bay of Biscay and was lost for unknown reasons on or after September 16th, 1917 and all 27 crew members perished.

HILL, Private William, Australian Imperial Force, died at Sydney, N.S.W., on 21st April 1919 and aged 39 years from the result of wounds received in action. This statement is based on data from History of Islandmagee (Co. Antrim) by Dixon Donaldson, 1927. This cannot be corroborated by reference to CWGC or Australian records.
William Hill, however, had been born on the 30th September 1879 at Kilcoan, Islandmagee, the son of farmer William Hill and is wife Mary Templeton. Farmer William Hill and Mary Templeton, both from Ballykeel, Islandmagee, had married in 1st Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee on the 3rd November 1868.
He is also said to have been the husband of Alice Black.

HILL, Lieutenant Samuel George, RNVR, was killed in action when aged 39 in the Adriatic Sea area, Central Mediterranean on 13th April 1917, H M ‘Motor Launch 534’ apparently destroyed by fire. He is interred in the British Town Cemetery Extension at Taranto, and CWGC says he the husband of Evelyn Sturgeon Mills, of "Hillstead," Blessington, Co. Wicklow.
Italy had abandoned her Triple Alliance with Austria-Hungary and Germany and entered the Great War in May 1915 as a British ally. Taranto, Italy subsequently became a key port during WWI. Its location aided control of the central Mediterranean and provided docking and repair facilities for ships involved in the Otranto Barrage.
The Otranto Barrage, to which Britain provided more than 80 vessels, was after September 1915 the Allied naval blockade of the Otranto Straits between Brindisi and Corfu. It was meant to prevent the Austro-Hungarian navy gaining access to the Mediterranean Sea.  Its effectiveness is now debated but its efficacy was never doubted during the War.  Austro-Hungary launched a number of attacks upon it – most notably the Battle of the Otranto Straits in May 1917. It seems probable that Lieutenant Hill and HM Motor Launch 534, the latter ideal for submarine hunting, a mode of harassment frequently employed by the Austro-Hungarians, was caught up in this.
He was said by Dixon Donaldson in History of Islandmagee, Co. Antrim (1927) to be the son of the late Thomas Hill, formerly of Hillhead, Mullaghdoo, but Hill’s link with Islandmagee is weak and hard to discern. Samuel George Hill was born on the 1st November 1880 at 5, Brookvale Terrace, Belfast, the son of cashier Thomas Hill and his wife Annie Smith Vint. The couple, both from Belfast, had married by special licence at 52, Carlisle Street, Belfast on the 28th October 1875. Thomas was then described as a ‘writing clerk’.
The family appear in the 1901 census and lived at Percy Street, Belfast. Thomas was aged 75, a widower, and he was described as a ‘adjustor of wright’ (sic) on the census transcript; it should read ‘adjuster of weight’. He was then living with his daughter Elizabeth (36) and a female servant. He was to die in consequence of a cerebral haemorrhage on the 4th January 1903 at 44, Percy Street, Belfast.

HILL, Able Seaman James, attached to the Grand Fleet, died age 27 in hospital at Rosyth Naval base on 28th November 1918. This statement is based on data from History of Islandmagee (Co. Antrim) by Dixon Donaldson, 1927. This cannot be corroborated and a relevant entry in the CWGC record cannot be found. Donaldson said John and Margaret Hill (Mann), lived at Hillsport, Islandmagee.
What is known is that James Hill, son of sailor John Hill and Margaret Mann, was born at Mullaghdoo, Islandmagee on the 11th October 1891. John and Margaret, both from Islandmagee, had married in 2nd Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 10th April 1877. The fathers of John and Margaret, James and Thomas respectively, were said to be farmers.
John (50) and Margaret (51) Hill were living in Gransha, Islandmagee in 1901 and listed five children – Thomas (23), Margaret (19), John (17), Eleanor (14), and James (10).
They were at Ballykeel, Islandmagee in 1911 and listed as present on census day their sailor son James (19), and Annie Hill (11), a boarder.

HOY, John Curry, aged 41 and Master of the s.s. Bray Head, died when his ship was shelled and sunk by a submarine in the Atlantic, some 580 miles west of Blasket Islands, Co Kerry on 14th March 1917.
He was born on 26th June 1875 at Cloughfin, Islandmagee, the son of Joseph and Mary Isabel McLarnon. Sailor Joseph, from Port Davey, Islandmagee and son of farmer James, had married Isabella McLernon (sic), daughter of sailor William, in 1st Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 14th March 1870. John Curry Hoy’s grandmother was Jane Reid, and had married James Hoy in 1842 at the 1st Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee. John Curry (sometimes Corry) Hoy has been described as the brother of the Misses Hoy, Port Davey, and his known sisters were Jane, born 4th September 1870 at Cloughfin, Mary, born 23rd December 1876 at Cloughfin, and Elizabeth, born 18th September 1879 at Cloughfin.
Mariner John Curry Hoy, a Freemason, Castletown Lodge No. 181, was the husband of Margaret Brown Gibb. She, aged 24, was living with her widowed father Robert (63) and her teacher sister Lizzie (35) at Arkwright Street, Belfast in 1901.
Maggie, daughter of retired merchant Robert Gibb, and mariner John C Hoy of Whitehead were married by special licence at 56, Brookvale Street, Belfast on the 22nd June 1904.
Robert Gibb (68) is recorded on the 1911 census and Maggie Hoy (34) and her two children, Aileen (5) and Jack (2) were living with him. At the time of his father’s death Jack was an apprentice on ss Rathlin Head, and he and his sister still lived at Port Davey.
Margaret Hoy died of TB on the 5th November 1915 at Castletown, Islandmagee, her husband John C Hoy recorded as being by her bedside. The gravestone for Margaret Hoy is in Carnmoney Cemetery.
Bray Head was on voyage from St. John's, Canada to the U.K., and she was attacked at 6-30 o'clock on Wednesday 14th March 1917. The only gun carried by the armed merchant ship was a three-pounder, operated by two marines, but Captain Hoy personally took charge and served the piece until the ammunition ran out. The action had by then lasted for two hours: the ship was on fire, and following an on-board explosion, the 38 officers and crew took to the two life-boats. After the vessel sank they set a course for the Irish coast, the boats thereafter keeping in touch with each other until, on the second night, during a rising wind and sea, they became separated. The captain's boat, with its complement of nineteen men, foundered. The other boat, in charge of the chief officer, was picked up by HMS Adventure on the following Sunday morning after drifting and sailing for almost four days, and the survivors were landed at Galway. Two of the occupants of this boat had died from exposure. Amongst the survivors were the 3rd officer, William Henderson, of Cloghfin (Islandmagee); and the boatswain, William Wilson, of Mullaghdubh (Mullaghdoo).
An account recorded by crew member J Watson, says, that a German U-boat fired a torpedo at the steamer but missed. The U-boat then surfaced, and Watson’s diary reported as follows: ‘Our gunners assisted by crew fought the U-boat from 6.10 am on Wednesday morning until 8.15, when we hauled down the Red Ensign and hauled it up again upside down in a token of surrender. Picked up by HMS Adventure on Sunday morning at 6.30 am. Arrived in Galway at 11.50 am. We were unable to leave hospital for four days, all frostbitten. We sat in the sunken lifeboat (in water) up to the waist. My hands are still showing the frostbite scars” There is also a German report of the sinking by Capitain Wagenfuhr of U44, the submarine involved in the sinking.  U-44 was herself rammed and sunk by HMS Oracle the following August with the loss of all hands.
Further detail on what happened was given in a Dublin Court and reported in the Larne Weekly Telegraph, Saturday, June 16, 1917. It reads as follows:
THE LOST BRAY HEAD.
SUFFERINGS OF THE CREW TOLD IN DUBLIN LAW COURT

A pathetic and vivid story of the sufferings of the crew of the torpedoed Belfast vessel the s.s. Bray Head was told in the Probate Court, Dublin, in the matter of the goods of James McCauley Kane, late of Mullaghdoo, Islandmagee, County Antrim.
Mr William Beattie (instructed by Mr William L. Skelton) applied to Mr Justice Madden, on behalf of John Kane, for an order deeming the death of his father, James McCauley Kane, who had been fourth officer on beard the ss. Bray Head, which was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine on Wednesday, March 14th 1917, in the Atlantic, off the Irish coast.
Counsel moved on the affidavit of James McCartney, of 103 Alexandra Park Avenue, Belfast, chief officer on board the ss Bray Head, who stated - We fought with the submarine. The entire crew of 38 hurriedly left the ship in two boats, and the ship was subsequently sunk. There were only a few days’ provisions in each boat. One of the boats was in command of the master, John Hoy, and the other was in my charge.
Soon after the ship was sunk a gale commenced to blow, and increased in violence, until my boat was picked up on Sunday morning, 18th March. There were immense quantities of ship’s wreckage and cargo floating about all the time. Both boats after leaving the ship continued sailing together in a south-easterly course until in the evening of Thursday, the 15th March. As night came on the gale increased, and the sea became worse. Both boats were shipping water from the heavy seas, and food and water were running short. The master’s boat signalled by lantern occasionally through the night. On Friday morning, about three o'clock, matters became so bad in my boat that I had the sail taken down and the sea anchor put out, and we rode stern on to the waves until daylight. We had to bale all the time to keep the boat afloat. The men were becoming exhausted, and our fresh water ran short. I had the greatest difficulty keeping the men to their work and to prevent them from drinking sea water.
On Friday morning at daylight the master’s boat was not in sight. We then hoisted a sail and shaped a course to east-south-east.  We had to take the greatest care from running into the heavy wreckage which was floating about all around us. I kept a man. continually on the look-out, I rationed the water giving each man small quantity, and by the utmost care, vigilance, and persuasion of the men, I kept the boat afloat. One man died from cold and exposure, and had to be thrown overboard. The other men were exhausted to a greater or less degree. A second man died on Saturday night. On Sunday morning I gave the men a mouthful of water each, and reserved a small quantity sufficient to give them a mouthful that evening. On Sunday morning, 18th March, we were sighted by British cruiser and taken on board. The captain of the Cruiser said it was marvellous how we were able to hold on in such weather. … The affidavit further stated that it was believed the master’s boat foundered and all the crew perished. …

JACKSON, 730A Private John McCalmont, 25th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, was killed in action in 1918. He is buried in Underhill Farm Cemetery which is located 12 Kms south of Ieper town centre, on a road which connects Ieper (Ypres) to Wytschaete, Messines and Armentieres. 'Underhill Farm' and 'Red Lodge' were the names given to two buildings on the north-western edge of Ploegsteert Wood that were occupied by dressing stations. The cemetery which they used is close to the farm.
He was the son of master mariner James Jackson, Gransha, and his first wife, Esther Hill. Esther died aged 41 years of cancer on the 27th July 1909 at Ballydown, Islandmagee and James subsequently married widow Mary Alexander, father Robert McLenaghan, in 1st Larne Presbyterian Church on the 6th September 1916.
Sailor John Jackson enlisted on the 15th March 1917 in Brisbane, Queensland and left Australia aboard HMAT A39, the ss Suevic, from Melbourne on the 21st June 1917, finally reaching Liverpool on the 26th August that year. He completed his training with the 7th Training Battalion, was assigned to the 25th Battalion in July 1917, and went to France on the 27th December 1917. He didn’t reach his unit until the 4th January. One week later in Belgium he was killed in action on the 11th January 1918.
He left his effects to his sister Annie. Annie Jane Jackson had been born on the 16th April 1894 at Mullaghboy, Islandmagee and was at the time of his death Mrs Annie Hogan, wife of Martin Hogan, Bell Street, Red Hill, Brisbane. His record also mentions his brother James, born 31st July 1892 at Mullaghboy and formerly a soldier with New Zealand forces. Another brother, William, born 10th November 1890, is said to be living at Wiley’s Crossing, Taiera, Dunedin, New Zealand. A later letter from his wife Esther at 108, Surrey Street, Dunedin, said he died on the 22nd November 1918 of influenza during the pandemic.
John Jackson is remembered in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for First Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee.

JACKSON, 6/3051 Private James, 2nd Canterbury Infantry Regiment, died in the Military Hospital, Wellington, N.Z., on the 11th June 1927. He was the son of master mariner James Jackson, Gransha, Mullaghboy, Islandmagee and his first wife, Esther Hill, and he had been born at Mullaghboy on the 31st July 1892. He was the brother of 730A John Jackson, AIF.
Sailor James, then living at the Sailors’ Home, Lyttleton, enlisted in the army on the 15th June 1915 and he was eventually to serve 1 year and 212 days abroad. He was in Egypt at the Suez Reserve Camp between 18th November 1915 and the 8th March 1916, but he left Egypt for France on the 7th April 1916. He was wounded in action on the 21st September 1916, possibly gassed, and taken to England aboard the HS Aberdonian from No 3 Stationary Hospital. He went to No 1 New Zealand General Hospital, Brockenhurst, Hampshire for treatment. He was later released to the NZ Command Depot, but was soon designated ‘no longer fit for war service’ and eventually returned to New Zealand aboard the vessel Maheno. It would appear his health was destroyed by his war wounds and he died thereof, though he would not appear in any CWGC listing as a war casualty.
JOHNSTON, Sailor Alexander, was lost to enemy action in the Mediterranean in 1917 when the ss War Clover was sunk.
The ss War Clover was built in 1917 by Harland & Wolff, Ltd., Belfast and operated by The Shipping Controller (T. Dixon & Sons, Ltd.), London. The vessel was carrying a cargo of coal from Barry to Taranto, Italy when it sank on the 19 Oct 1917 after being attacked some 25 miles from Pantelleria, Sicily by submarine U 64 (Robert Moraht).
Alexander Johnston was the son of sailor George and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Johnston and he had been born at Ballykeel, Islandmagee on the 20th September 1901.  George Johnston, son of farmer William, and Lizzie Holmes, daughter of farmer Alexander, had married in 2nd Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 13th December 1899. The family were living at Ballykeel in 1901 in the home of 78-year-old William and were also there in 1911. They had had been married for twelve years by the latter date and said that all seven children born of the marriage were still alive. They listed Wilhelmina (11), Alexander (10), Mary (8), Robert (6), Georgina (4), Margaret Holmes (1) and Nelson Holmes (infant).
George Johnston was to be drowned in 1915 and Elizabeth was then living at Maple Cottage, Ballykeel, Islandmagee.
Alexander Johnston is remembered on Tower Hill Memorial and in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for First Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee.
JOHNSTON, Seaman George, then allegedly aged 47 years, was accidentally drowned at Drogheda on 15th April 1915. He was actually born on the 18th February 1870 at Ballykeel, the son of the late William Johnston and his wife Mary Laverty, Copeland View, Islandmagee. He was the husband of Elizabeth Johnston, nee Holmes, Maple Cottage, Ballykeel, and the father of Alexander Johnston above.

JONES, Fireman and Trimmer John Jones, died in the sinking of the s.s. Teelin Head. Steamship Teelin Head, built 1883 by Workman, Clark & Co., Belfast and operated by the Ulster Steamship Co., Ltd. (G. Heyn & Sons), Belfast, was torpedoed and sunk on the 21 Jan 1918 some 12 miles from Owers Lightship by UC 31 (Kurt Siewert). The vessel, carrying potatoes, was on a voyage from Belfast to France. All 13 of the crew perished.
John Jones was born on the 24th May 1888 at Ballymoney, Islandmagee and was the son of Andrew Jones and his wife Mary McCallister (also McCalister & McAllister). Andrew Jones, son of farmer Robert, had married Mary McCalister, daughter of labourer John, in 2nd Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 27th December 1882. The couple were at Ballymoney, Islandmagee in 1901 and also in 1911. At the latter date Andrew (72) and Mary (49) said they had had eleven children and that all were alive at the time of the census. (Andrew died on the 24th July 1913.)
John Jones is remembered on Tower Hill Memorial.

KANE, 4th officer James Macaulay, s.s. Bray Head, died after the sinking in the Atlantic of his vessel by U-Boat U44, commanded by Kapitanleutnant Paul Wagenfuhr, on the 14th March 1917. He perished on 15th March 1917 in Hoy’s lifeboat which foundered after leaving the ship.
Bray Head was on voyage from St. John's, Canada to the U.K. and she was attacked at 6-30 o'clock on Wednesday 14th March 1917. The only gun mounted by the armed merchant ship was a three-pounder, which was operated by two marines, but Captain Hoy personally assisted them until the ammunition ran out. The action had by then lasted for two hours: the ship was on fire, and following an on-board explosion, the 38 officers and crew took to the two life-boats. U-44 surfaced, sank the vessel with its deck gun, and Bray Head’s crew set a course for the Irish coast, the two boats thereafter keeping in touch with each other until, on the second night, during a rising wind and sea, they became separated. The captain's boat, with its complement of nineteen men, foundered. The other boat, in charge of the chief officer, was picked up by HMS Adventure on the following Sunday morning after almost four days, and the survivors were landed at Galway. Two of the occupants of this boat had died from exposure, one being Kane. Amongst the survivors were the 3rd officer, William Henderson, of Cloghfin (or Cloughfin, Islandmagee); and the boatswain, William Wilson, of Mullaghdoo (Mullaghdubh).
James was the son of master mariner John Kane of Mullaghdoo, Islandmagee and his wife Katherine (sometimes Catherine) MacAulay (sometimes McAuley or McAuley) and he was born on the 30th November 1896.  The parents, both from Islandmagee, had married in 1st Carrickfergus Presbyterian Church on the 7th August 1896. Both of their parents, John and James respectively, were farmers.
Dixon Donaldson in History of Islandmagee, Co. Antrim (1927) gave John Kane’s address as, "The Heughs," Mullaghdoo’. He was a widower by the time of his son’s death, Catherine Ann Kane having died aged 32 years and due to a post-partum haemorrhage on the 3 March 1904. James also apparently lived with his grandmother, Mrs. Sarah J. Macauley, Thornhill, Mullaghdoo.
James Kane is remembered on Tower Hill Memorial and in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for First Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee.
KERR, 18/1271 Lance Corporal David, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died in the military hospital, Boulogne, on 17th December and he is buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery. He had been posted to the 12th Battalion from the 18th Battalion. This had been formed in Holywood in April 1915 as a Reserve Battalion, and was made up from the depot companies of the 11th and 12th Battalions. It transferred to Clandeboye in July 1915.
After October 1914, Boulogne and Wimereux constituted an important hospital centre, and the medical units at Wimereux used the communal cemetery for burials, the south-eastern half having been set aside for Commonwealth graves. His burial there suggests David Kerr died of wounds some time after being injured.
David Kerr was born at Ballymoney, Islandmagee on the 17th April 1880 and was the son of mariner David Kerr and his wife Mary Ann McCalmont. The couple, both the offspring of sailed named James, were from Islandmagee and had married in 2nd Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 8 January 1875. They were living at ‘Vohmar’, Mullaghboy, Islandmagee at the time of their son’s death and had been there at census time in 1901 and 1911.  At the latter date they said they had had nine children, mainly girls, and that eight were still alive at that time.
David Kerr is remembered in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for Second Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee.
McCALMONT, Private Alexander, 18th Battalion (Western Ontario Regiment) Canadian Infantry, died in hospital at Boulogne on the 11th June 1918 from wounds received in action on the 10th June, 1918.
Labourer Alexander McCalmont and his wife Roseanna lived at Thamesville, Ontario.
Alexander enlisted in the 186th Bn, CEF on the 28th February 1916 at Chatham and trained in Canada before leaving Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 28th March 1917 aboard the ss Lapland; he is named on the regiment’s Nominal Roll. He arrived in Liverpool, England and went to the 4th Reserve Battalion at Bramshott for further training on the 7th April 1917. He was posted to France and Flanders on the 7th September 1917 and eventually went to the 18th Battalion, Canadian Infantry; he was with them in the field after the 23rd November 1917. He was wounded in action on the 10th June 1918 and moved to No 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital, Doullens for treatment of a wound to his right arm that had led to a compound fracture.  He died there on the 11th June and is buried in Doullens Communal Cemetery Extension No 2.
The War Diary of the 18th Battalion does not give much help in explaining what happened to him. The battalion were in reserve/support and were asked on the 9th June to relieve the 27th Battalion Canadian Infantry in the front line. This was done without problems and the unit found the trenches ‘in good condition as regards depth, width and fire bays. Wire on frontage of two front line Companies in good condition’. Later on during the 10th June Lieutenant McRae and four scouts made a daylight reconnaissance, but they appear to have returned unscathed. However, the entry ends by saying ‘1 OR (Other Rank) killed-1 OR wounded. Captain Jackson and 1 OR to hospital’. These do not appear to have been part of the patrol and were obviously hit elsewhere, probably during the kind of random shelling and strafing that was part of daily life in the trenches. The OR killed that day was 21-year-old George Henry Allsop, son of George and Annie Allsop, 209 Graham Street, Woodstock, Ontario. The wounded man was probably Alexander McCalmont.
Alexander McCalmont was born on the 1st September 1888 at Ballymoney, Islandmagee, the son of Alexander McCalmont, Portmuck, Islandmagee and his first wife, the late Eliza Jane Colville. Mariner Alexander McCalmont and Elizabeth Jane Colville, the children of farmers John and Samuel respectively, had married in 1st Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 27th April 1877. Eliza Jane died age 52 years on the 1st March 1904 at Ballymoney, Islandmagee. Widower Alexander subsequently married Margaret (Maggie) Hill in 2nd Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 25th January 1905. Alexander (Jnr) was the husband of Roseanna McManus, of Thamesville, Ontario, Canada.
McCAFFERTY (also McCafferey, McCaffrey, McCaffery), 4767 Rifleman Thomas, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action at the Somme, 1st July 1916, this according to History of Islandmagee (Co. Antrim) by Dixon Donaldson, 1927. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission says 4767 Rifleman Thomas McCaffrey (sic) of the 2nd Bn. Royal Irish Rifles was killed aged 33 years on the 5th January 1915. They state that he was the son of Bridget McCaffrey, of 7, Collyer St., Belfast; Donaldson says he was the husband of Annie McCafferty, Drumgurland, Islandmagee.
No local record of his birth can be found, and Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-1918 says McCafferey (sic) was born in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland; the Scottish National War Memorial agrees.
Belfast Street Directory, 1912 lists ‘McCaffery, Thos., saddler, 71 Collyer Street’ and the same entry appears in the edition of 1918. He may have been a relative of Bridget by marriage.
The 1901 census records widow Bridget McCaffrey (47) living on Collyer Street, Belfast and she listed three offspring as being present with her that day, namely Jeremiah (25), Charles (22), Josephine (17); a grandchild called Annie (1) was also present. The two eldest were born in Scotland. Widow Bridget McCaffrey (67) and born in County Cavan, appears in the 1911 census and she was still at Collyer Street, Belfast.  She listed two offspring, Thomas, a general labourer and born in Scotland, was aged 28 years, and Josephine, aged 26 years and a tobacco packer, was born in Belfast. All were Roman Catholics, and so cannot be traced through sources such as the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919. However, Thomas’s age in 1911 would make him 32/33 years old in 1915.
The child mentioned in the 1901 census entry, Annie, appears in the local record. She was the daughter of labourer Charles McCafferty (sic) and his wife Maggie McMullan, the former also mentioned in the 1901 entry, of 3, Collyer Street, Belfast, and was born at that address on the 15th July 1899.
Donaldson’s claim that 4767 Thomas McCaffrey was the husband of Annie McCafferty, Drumgurland, Islandmagee is also a problem. No record of such an Annie can be found in 1911. She could be the Mary Ann Somers, married in St Michael’s Chapel, Enniskillen to Thomas McCaffery on the 9th January 1913. They both gave their address as Dame Street. Thomas said his father was John McCaffery, deceased.
It seems that the story could be as follows: Bridget of Cavan moved to Fermanagh and married John (?). At some point they moved to Glasgow and a number of children were born there and Thomas (Jnr) was one of these.  They later returned to Ireland, to Belfast, and at some point Thomas (Jnr) married Annie (Mary Ann Somers in Enniskillen in 1913) and they later lived at Drumgurland, Islandmagee. It’s hardly a proven case!
MACAULAY, Robert, was Master of s.s. Glenarm Head and died when his vessel was torpedoed on 5th January 1918 in the English Channel and sank 20 miles E.S.E. of Ower's Lightship.
Glenarm Head was a British Steamer built in 1897 by Workman, Clark & Co., Ltd., Belfast, for Ulster Steamship Co., Ltd. (G. Heyn & Sons), Belfast.  The 4,000-ton defensively armed ship had been en route from Southampton to Boulogne with a cargo of ammunition when she was intercepted by submarine UB 30 (Wilhelm Rhein). Two of the crew died, one being Macaulay.
Captain Macauley had opted to remain aboard the stricken vessel and supervise the escape of his officers and crew. On seeing these safely ensconced in lifeboats, he was about to leave his bridge when an internal explosion took place and the ship vanished almost instantly.
Captain Robert Macaulay (McAuley on registration) was born on the 6 November 1874, the son of James McAuley and his wife Sarah Jane Johnston, Mullaghdoo, Islandmagee. The couple had married on the 13th May 1873 in First Islandmagee Presbyterian Church. He was the son of farmer Robert from Mullaghdoo and his bride the daughter of mariner William Johnston from Ballykeel.
Robert Macaulay, from Mullaghdoo, Islandmagee, was the husband of Margaret Jane Matier (HEADSTONE) of Gransha, Islandmagee, the couple having married on the 27th September 1905 in ‘the house of Mrs McGladdery’ by special licence and according to the manner of Presbyterians. His father James and her father John are named on the record. Prior to the wedding, as indicated on the 1901 census, she (26) was living at Mullaghdoo with his widowed mother Sarah Jane (49), her daughter Katherine Kane and her son James M Kane (4). The family was still there at Mullaghdoo with his mother (59) in 1911. His wife (34) and three children are listed: John M (3), James (2) and infant Robert. Robert had six sons at the time of his death: John Matier (1907), James (1919), Robert, William Edward (1913) and twins Cecil Hill and Norman Johnston (1916).
Robert Macaulay is remembered on Tower Hill Memorial and in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for First Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee.
MACREADY (MacReady), Captain Oscar Henry 16th Bn. (Pioneers) Royal Irish Rifles, died near Bapaume on 2nd December 1917, and he is interred at Grevillers Cemetery, near Bapaume. He had twice been ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ for gallantry.
Oscar Macready, born on 21st February 1896, the only son of the Reverend Henry Hugh Macready and Mrs Eva Mary Macready, born Eve Mary Kolkhorst. She was the daughter of Oscar, then a foreign correspondent, and Wilhelmina Kolkhorst, 3, University Street, Belfast. She was later of the Manse, Ballyharry, Islandmagee, County Antrim. Her son Oscar had been a member of the Officer Training Corps, and he then applied successfully for a commission with the Royal Irish Rifles on 23rd October 1914.
On 1st February 1917, Captain Macready married Kathleen, only daughter of the late William George Murphy, solicitor, of Bawnmore Road, Belfast, his wife living at 27 Cherryfield Avenue, Ranelagh, County Dublin. The marriage took place in the Dublin’s Drumcondra Parish Church, the couple both citing 10, Church Avenue, Drumcondra as their address. They later had a son together.
Inst in the Great War, website of the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, says he was in action during the Battle of the Somme on 2nd July 1916, leading 90 men as part of the successful 107th Brigade attack on the first and second lines of enemy trenches. They crossed the line of artillery fire three times, bringing up ammunition. The party were highly commended for the action, in which they suffered approximately 50% casualties.   They also record how he died, stating that on the 29th November 1917, the battalion were in camp south of Hermies, between Bapaume and Cambrai, carrying out work including transporting wire fencing up to the reserve line north of Flesquieres. At 11am, 2nd December 1917, they were heavily shelled, resulting in 27 casualties, including Oscar who was transferred to No 29 Australian Casualty Station. It was there he died on 3rd December 1917 and is buried in Grevillers British Cemetery.
Captain Oscar Henry Macready is remembered in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for Second Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee.

McKAY, Hugh John, Quartermaster on HM Transport Polandia, was lost, supposedly by mine or torpedo, on 10th March 1917, on voyage from Birkenhead to Cherbourg.
This vessel is missing from British Vessels Lost at Sea, but it is listed in Lloyd's War Losses. Polandia was formerly a German ship called Paul Woermann and was operated by the German East Africa Line (variously Woermann Line, Deutsche Ost-Afrika-Linie, Deutsche Africa-Linien & Woermann Linie). It was launched in 1898. She captured early in the war by HMS Cumberland in Douala and then managed by Cunard ss Co under the name Polandia.
What befell the ship is unclear. Lloyd's War Losses entry only a loss date of March 10, 1917, information that the ship was sunk by submarine, and that the ship was on a voyage from Birkenhead for Cherbourg with government material when lost. No position for the sinking is given and there is no claim for this sinking in German sources.
Polandia’s wreck position is now known and it seems the vessel went down in an area which had been mined by UC 47 (Kapitänleutnant Paul Hundius) on 8th March 1917. Polandia probably struck on of these and foundered.
CWGC adds to the confusion surrounding the ship’s loss. It lists Hugh McKay as being lost on the 24th November 1917. He appears to have been confused with crew member called Hugh McKay who died on s.s. "Sabia" when it was torpedoed by U96 off Lizard point on the 24th November 1917.
Hugh John McKay was born on the 29th June 1875 at Kilcoan, Islandmagee and was the son of farm servant Andrew McKay and his wife Eliza Barron.  Andrew, son of farmer James, had married Eliza, daughter of carpenter William Barron of Ballycarry, on the 24th June 1864 in Islandmagee Presbyterian Church. Andrew McKay died aged 65 years at Ballytober, Islandmagee on the 1st December 1899, his son Hugh at his bedside; Eliza died aged 57 years on the 10th June 1904 at Ballytober, Islandmagee, her daughter Mary in attendance. Mary Eliza McKay had been born at Kilcoan, Islandmagee on the 2nd October 1877.
History of Islandmagee (Co. Antrim) by Dixon Donaldson, 1927 says the family lived at "Ferndene," Kilcoan, Islandmagee, though the 1901 census shows Hugh as a lodger in the home of James Scott at Kilcoanmore, Islandmagee.
Hugh McKay is named in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for First Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee.

McKAY, Chief Engineer William, Mercantile Marine, died on the s.s. Sallagh, killed by gun-fire from submarine, off Bardsey Island, Wales on 10th February 1917.
Sallagh, built by A. Jeffrey & Co., Alloa in 1916 and owned at the time of her loss by Howden Bros., Belfast, was a small British steamer, a coal boat. On February 10th, 1917, Sallagh, on a voyage from Lydney to Larne with a cargo of coal, was sunk by the German submarine UC-65 (Otto Steinbrinck), off Bardsey Island.
One account of the incident, here paraphrased (Ajax, The German Pirate: His Methods and Record ) says that at 7 a.m. on the 10th February 1917, a shot was fired at Sallagh by U-65. The submarine then ordered the crew to "abandon ship," but while the lifeboat was being readied, the submarine fired again, killing McKay and wounding two other crewmen. Bombs were placed in the vessel by the Germans, and two further shots fired into her. The subsequent explosion sank the ship. The Germans provided bandages for the wounded men, rigged their craft with sails, and lingered a few miles away to wait for another victim. However, the ship's boat was picked up at 4.30 p.m. on the same day.
William McKay had been born on the 8th October 1869 at Ballytober, Islandmagee, the son of mariner William McCay (sic) and Jinney Wright (sic). William McCay (sic), son of labourer Duncan of Ballytober, had married Jenny, daughter of farmer Robert Wright, also Ballytober, in 1st Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 25th April 1864. William McKay (jnr) had also married in 1st Islandmagee Presbyterian Church. Seaman William of Ballyharry, Islandmagee had married Margaret Jane Jackson, daughter of Robert of Ballystrudder, on 2nd May 1902. History of Islandmagee (Co. Antrim) by Dixon Donaldson, 1927 says they lived at Erection Cottages, Gransha, Islandmagee.
William McKay is named in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for First Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee and on the Tower Hill Memorial.

McLARNON, Boatswain Patrick, died aged 36 years in the sinking of the s.s. War Clover, torpedoed off Bizarte, Mediterranean Sea, on 19th October 1917.
The ss War Clover was built in 1917 by Harland & Wolff, Ltd., Belfast and operated by The Shipping Controller (T. Dixon & Sons, Ltd.), London. The vessel was carrying a cargo of coal from Barry to Taranto, Italy when it sank on the 19 Oct 1917 after being attacked some 25 miles from Pantelleria, Sicily by submarine U 64 (Robert Moraht).
History of Islandmagee (Co. Antrim) by Dixon Donaldson, 1927 says he was the husband of Catherine Mateer, 4, Adelaide Avenue, Whitehead, but that he had lived at Cloughfin, Islandmagee. The 1901 census records him there, the nephew of the householder, a 74-year-old widow named Jane Lipton. Nieces Bella Henderson (44) and Maggie Nelson (10) lived there also.

McMASTER, Seaman John, Mercantile Marine, died aged 17 in the sinking of the British Steamer s.s. Inishowen Head, lost in the Bristol Channel on 14th February, 1917.
Inishowen Head, circa 3,000 tons GRT, had been built in 1886 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast, and it was operated by the Ulster ss. Co., Ltd. (G. Heyn & Sons), Belfast. It was sunk by a mine that had been laid by UC 65 (Otto Steinbrinck). It sank quickly at about 1.25 miles from Skokham Island. It had been en route from Dublin to St. John, N.B. and was in ballast.
The officers and crew had time to man the boats in safety, the only casualty occurring through the ship lurching as John McMaster dropped down the rope to reach his shipmates waiting in the boat below.
John McMaster was born on 4th July 1899 at Mullaghboy, Islandmagee and was the son of William and Jane McMaster. Mariner William McMaster, son of Joseph and of Gransha, Islandmagee had married Jane Ross Jackson, daughter of mariner James, in 1st Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 8th January 1885. Donaldson, ob cit, says they lived at Pointview House, Gransha. In 1911 the couple said they had had 11 children and that 9 were still alive at the time of the census.
John McMaster is named in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for First Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee and on the Tower Hill Memorial.
UC-65 was herself sunk on the 3 November 1917 when she was torpedoed by HM Submarine C15. 23 of her crew died, only 5 surviving the encounter with C15.
MAWHINNEY, 8841 Lance Corporal Andrew, 2nd Bn. Irish Guards, was killed at Ypres as the 2nd Battalion Irish Guards took part in the Battle of Pilckem (31 July – 2 August 1917) which initiated the Third Battle of Ypres. (Passchendaele).
The battle began at 3.50am on 31 July 1917, when 2,000 Allied guns fired on German lines. Fourteen British and two French divisions attacked along 15 miles of front. The most significant success was achieved across Pilckem Ridge.
French troops took Bixschoote and the British captured St Julien, Frezenberg, Bellewaarde Ridge, Hooge, and Sanctuary Wood. However, on the afternoon of 31 July, rain began to fall and over the area became a quagmire. After three days, the Allied advance was half of what had been planned, and the British Army had suffered some 27,000 casualties wounded, killed and missing. Many bodies were never recovered, Mawhinney’s being one. He is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
Andrew Mawhinney was born on the 20th October 1897 at Ballymuldrough, Islandmagee, the son of William McMaster and his wife Abby. In 1911 the couple said they had had 8 children and that all 8 were still alive at census time. Farmer William and Abbey Orr (sic), both fathers called William and from Islandmagee, had married in 2nd Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on 1st August 1894.
Andrew’s entry in the CWGC records him as the son of William and Abby Mawhinney, of Carnspindle, Islandmagee, Co. Antrim, and he is named in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for First Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee.
NICOL, 7367 Private Thomas Falconer, 2nd Highland Light Infantry, died age 23 years. He was killed near Richburg (Richebourg) on 18th May 1915. He was the son of James and Agnes Nicol, of Knowehead House, Kilcoan. The family were Scots, and the Scottish National War Memorial record says Thomas was born at Rothesay, Bute, Scotland.
The family do not appear on the 1901 Irish census but are recorded living at Kilcoan More, Islandmagee in 1911.  James (53) was a marine engineer and lived with wife Agnes (49), and the couple recorded four offspring present on the day of the census: labourer Thomas (20), Norman (14), Alexander (13) and Helen (9). They further stated that they had had ten children and that eight were alive in 1911.
The first British attack during the Allied offensive of 1915 was a disaster: at Aubers Ridge (9-10 May) the BEF suffered 11,000 casualties without gain. A French attack of 9 May had captured part of Vimy Ridge, but a counterattack pushed them back - Joffre demanded the British mount another attack. This new two-pronged assault was agreed. It would be made south west of Neuve Chapelle, the scene of the failure of 9 May.
This attack around Festubert was opened by a 60-hour artillery bombardment of over 100,000 shells, but large parts of the German lines remained intact.
The infantry assault began early on 15 May, and some British units captured the German front line. Over the first few days of the battle, the British captured more segments of the German front lines, but on 17 May the Germans simply pulled back to their second line, 1,300 yards behind the original front line, and from there halted the Allied advance.
After a series of failed attacks on 18 May during which Nicol died, the British rested and then replaced some units in the front line. However, it was hopeless and on the 25th May all further attacks were cancelled to save ammunition.
The British had suffered 16,000 casualties, most during the first four days of the battle. The British advanced up to 1,300 yards, but there was no massive breakthrough. The French attack in Artois continued into June, but again without achieving any significant successes.

NICHOLSON, 6357 Corporal John, 9th Divisional Cyclist Company, Army Cyclist Corps, was killed in action at Loos on 27th September 1915.
He was born on the 2nd November 1885, the only son of John Nicholson, printer, later of Church Lane, Belfast, and his wife Annie McCullough, Belfast. John Steele Nicholson was initially accidentally recorded as James Steele Nicholson, but the record was later amended.
He was the husband of widow Margaret Elizabeth Wilson, nee Alexander and daughter of artist Robert, Gransha, Islandmagee. The couple had married in Islandmagee Parish Church on the 28th February 1906. He had resided at Islandmagee some years before joining the Colours and is recoded living at Kilcoan More in the 1911 census returns. John (25) and a labourer in a limestone quarry, shared the home with Margaret (35) and his daughter, 4-year-old Mary Elizabeth.

ROSS, Chief Officer George, Merchant Marine, died in the English Channel on 21st January 1918. His ship, ss Teelin Head, built 1883 by Workman, Clark & Co., Belfast and operated by the Ulster Steamship Co., Ltd. (G. Heyn & Sons), Belfast, was torpedoed and sunk on that day some 12 miles from Owers Lightship by UC 31 (Kurt Siewert). The vessel, carrying potatoes, was on a voyage from Belfast to France. All 13 of the crew perished.
He is said to be the 31-year-old son of Mrs. Mary Ross and the late Robert Ross, formerly of Gransha, Islandmagee, and he was the husband of Essie Eva McKee, 82, Woodvale Avenue, Belfast. The couple had married in May Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast on the 8th July 1915. She was the daughter of the late George McKee, Belfast.
George Ross was the brother of Mrs. Samuel Shanks, Redhall. George’s sister Catherine, then 19, had married Thomas Cameron in 1st Carrickfergus Presbyterian Church on the 26th September 1900; both were from Ballystrudder, Islandmagee, the children of labourer Thomas Cameron and mariner Robert Ross respectively. Thomas died on the 28th June 1905 at Ballystrudder, and widow Catherine Cameron married labourer Samuel Shanks in Joymount Presbyterian Church, Carrickfergus on the 28th August 1908. He was the son of farmer Samuel Shanks of Red Hall, Ballycarry, and Catherine said she was from Loughford, Ballycarry.
ROSS, 232108 Private John Ross, 2nd Bn. London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), was killed in action near Arras on 28th March 1918, his life lost as the German Spring Offensive, started on the 21st March, unfolded.
He was the son born on the 9th August 1883 at Ballymoney, Islandmagee, the son of farmer Robert and Mary Jane Ross, Ballymoney, Islandmagee. The couple, seaman Robert from Ballymoney and son of farmer Andrew, married Mary Jane of Gransha, daughter of farmer James, in Larne Methodist Church on the 2nd January 1877.
They were living at Ballymoney Islandmagee in 1901: Robert (51), a farmer, and Mary Jane (52) listed five offspring: James (19), Maggie (15), Robert (13), Catherine (11), and Thomas (8). They said in 1911 that they had been married for 34 years and that seven children born of the marriage were still alive at that time. They listed Robert (23), Catherine (21) and Thomas (18).
Robert and Mary Jane Ross are sometimes said to have lived at Portmuck, Islandmagee, Co. Antrim, a short distance from Ballymoney townland.
ROSS, William Samuel Baird, 2nd Lieutenant, 15th Royal Irish Rifles was killed in action on the 21st March 1918, the date indicating that he was killed on the opening day of ‘Operation Michael’, the opening stage of the German Spring Offensive of 1918.
Operation Michael involved a massive attack along the front generally known as “the Somme” sector. The entire area had been wasted by the Germans when they withdrew from there in spring 1917; other parts of the area still bore the scars of the 1916 Somme battles. On 21 March 1918 the 36th Ulster Division was holding a sector of the British front line and Forward Zone south west of St Quentin. They took the full force of the initial onslaught. Their main defences consisted of a number of isolated redoubts, and in these the Ulstermen held on for several hours while under bombardment.   They were ultimately surrounded and cut off, overwhelmed by the tide of German forces, consisting of at least five German divisions opposite their positions.
He had been born on the 8th September 1895 at Portmuck, Islandmagee, the son of master mariner James Ross and Rebecca G, Baird. Sea Captain James Ross, son of farmer Samuel, had married Rebecca G Baird, Milk Isle, Leck, Letterkenny, daughter of farmer William Baird, on the 11th July 1899 in 1st Letterkenny Presbyterian Church, Donegal. Rebecca G. Ross (40) was living at Portmuck in 1901 and listed her children as Minnie Jemima (7), William James B (5) and Adam Alexander (infant). She was still there in 1911. Rebecca Gourley Ross (54) listed James, probably not present, and three children – Minnie Jemima (17), William S B (15) and Adam A (10).
William Samuel Baird Ross is named on the Pozieres Memorial and in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for First Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee.
STEELE, Lieutenant Robert George, Royal Naval Reserve, was lost in the sinking of the ss Polandia. HM Transport Polandia, was lost, supposedly by mine or torpedo, on 10th March 1917, on voyage from Birkenhead to Cherbourg.
This vessel is missing from British Vessels Lost at Sea, but it is listed in Lloyd's War Losses. Polandia was formerly a German ship called Paul Woermann and was operated by the German East Africa Line (variously Woermann Line, Deutsche Ost-Afrika-Linie, Deutsche Africa-Linien & Woermann Linie). It was launched in 1898. She captured early in the war by HMS Cumberland in Douala and then managed by Cunard ss Co under the name Polandia.
What befell the ship is unclear. Lloyd's War Losses entry only a loss date of March 10, 1917, information that the ship was sunk by submarine, and that the ship was on a voyage from Birkenhead for Cherbourg with government material when lost. No position for the sinking is given and there is no claim for this sinking in German sources.
Polandia’s wreck position is now known and it seems the vessel went down in an area which had been mined by UC 47 (Kapitänleutnant Paul Hundius) on 8th March 1917. HMT Polandia probably struck on of these and foundered.
Robert George Steele had been born on the 1st December 1874 at 3, Landsdowne Terrace, Belfast and was the son of ‘traveller’ (travelling salesman) Samuel Steele and his wife Annie Hill. Robert George Steele (26) was living at Mullaghdoo, Islandmagee with his brother Samuel Thomas (27) and Elizabeth H Steele (38), a retired millinery saleswoman, was the head of the household.
CWGC say he was the son of Samuel and Anna Steele, of Belfast, and the husband of Lilian Smith, formerly Steele. He is named on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.
STEWART, Albert Davison died in a lifeboat as a consequence of the sinking of the ss Bray Head. He was 16 years old.
Albert Davidson Stewart (sic) was born on the 4th January 1901 at Ballykeel, Islandmagee and he was the son of seaman George Stewart, Ballykeel and his wife Agnes. Seaman George Stewart, son of seaman Thomas, had married Agnes Davison, daughter of labourer John, in 2nd Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 25th November 1896. The couple were both from Islandmagee.
The family were living at Mullaghdoo, Islandmagee in 1901 in the household of Jane Kane (80). Agnes (31) listed son William John (1) and infant Albert. They were still at Mullaghdoo in 1911. Agnes (39) listed Albert D (10), Georgina (8) and Thomas (5). She said she had been married for fourteen years and that she had had four children. All were alive at the time of the census.
Bray Head was on voyage from St. John's, Canada to the U.K., and she was attacked at 6-30 o'clock on Wednesday 14th March 1917. The only gun carried by the armed merchant ship was a three-pounder, operated by two marines, but Captain Hoy personally took charge and served the piece until the ammunition ran out. The action had by then lasted for two hours: the ship was on fire, and following an on-board explosion, the 38 officers and crew took to the two life-boats. After the vessel sank they set a course for the Irish coast, the boats thereafter keeping in touch with each other until, on the second night, during a rising wind and sea, they became separated. The captain's boat, with its complement of nineteen men, foundered. The other boat, in charge of the chief officer, was picked up by HMS Adventure on the following Sunday morning after drifting and sailing for almost four days, and the survivors were landed at Galway. Two of the occupants of this boat had died from exposure. Amongst the survivors were the 3rd officer, William Henderson, of Cloghfin (Islandmagee); and the boatswain, William Wilson, of Mullaghdubh (Mullaghdoo).
An account recorded by crew member J Watson, says, that a German U-boat fired a torpedo at the steamer but missed. The U-boat then surfaced, and Watson’s diary reported as follows: ‘Our gunners assisted by crew fought the U-boat from 6.10 am on Wednesday morning until 8.15, when we hauled down the Red Ensign and hauled it up again upside down in a token of surrender. Picked up by HMS Adventure on Sunday morning at 6.30 am. Arrived in Galway at 11.50 am. We were unable to leave hospital for four days, all frostbitten. We sat in the sunken lifeboat (in water) up to the waist. My hands are still showing the frostbite scars” There is also a German report of the sinking by Capitain Wagenfuhr of U44, the submarine involved in the sinking.  U-44 was herself rammed and sunk by HMS Oracle the following August with the loss of all hands.
Further detail on what happened was given in a Dublin Court and reported in the Larne Weekly Telegraph, Saturday, June 16, 1917. It reads as follows:
THE LOST BRAY HEAD.
SUFFERINGS OF THE CREW TOLD IN DUBLIN LAW COURT
A pathetic and vivid story of the sufferings of the crew of the torpedoed Belfast vessel the s.s. Bray Head was told in the Probate Court, Dublin, in the matter of the goods of James McCauley Kane, late of Mullaghdoo, Islandmagee, County Antrim.
Mr William Beattie (instructed by Mr William L. Skelton) applied to Mr Justice Madden, on behalf of John Kane, for an order deeming the death of his father, James McCauley Kane, who had been fourth officer on beard the ss. Bray Head, which was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine on Wednesday, March 14th 1917, in the Atlantic, off the Irish coast.
Counsel moved on the affidavit of James McCartney, of 103 Alexandra Park Avenue, Belfast, chief officer on board the ss Bray Head, who stated - We fought with the submarine. The entire crew of 38 hurriedly left the ship in two boats, and the ship was subsequently sunk. There were only a few days’ provisions in each boat. One of the boats was in command of the master, John Hoy, and the other was in my charge.
Soon after the ship was sunk a gale commenced to blow, and increased in violence, until my boat was picked up on Sunday morning, 18th March. There were immense quantities of ship’s wreckage and cargo floating about all the time. Both boats after leaving the ship continued sailing together in a south-easterly course until in the evening of Thursday, the 15th March. As night came on the gale increased, and the sea became worse. Both boats were shipping water from the heavy seas, and food and water were running short. The master’s boat signalled by lantern occasionally through the night. On Friday morning, about three o'clock, matters became so bad in my boat that I had the sail taken down and the sea anchor put out, and we rode stern on to the waves until daylight. We had to bale all the time to keep the boat afloat. The men were becoming exhausted, and our fresh water ran short. I had the greatest difficulty keeping the men to their work and to prevent them from drinking sea water.
On Friday morning at daylight the master’s boat was not in sight. We then hoisted a sail and shaped a course to east-south-east.  We had to take the greatest care from running into the heavy wreckage which was floating about all around us. I kept a man. continually on the look-out, I rationed the water giving each man small quantity, and by the utmost care, vigilance, and persuasion of the men, I kept the boat afloat. One man died from cold and exposure, and had to be thrown overboard. The other men were exhausted to a greater or less degree. A second man died on Saturday night. On Sunday morning I gave the men a mouthful of water each, and reserved a small quantity sufficient to give them a mouthful that evening. On Sunday morning, 18th March, we were sighted by British cruiser and taken on board. The captain of the Cruiser said it was marvellous how we were able to hold on in such weather. … The affidavit further stated that it was believed the master’s boat foundered and all the crew perished. …
Albert Stewart is named in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for First Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee.
WILSON, 46968 Private John, was killed in action on the 5th April 1918 while serving with the 6th Bn. Northamptonshire Regiment, part of the 18th Eastern Division’s 54th Brigade. His date of death, 5th April 1918, is interesting: on that day General Erich Ludendorff formally ended “Operation Michael,” the first stage of the final major German offensive of World War I, the Kaiserschlacht (Kaiser's Battle).
The Spring Offensive occurred after the Germans transported large forces from the Eastern Front (The Russians had surrendered) and began offensives in the west. The first, Operation Michael, struck the British Fifth, of which Wilson’s unit was part, and Third Armies.
Operation Michael involved a massive attack along the front generally known as “the Somme Sector". The entire area had been wasted by the Germans when they withdrew from there in spring 1917; other parts of the area still bore the scars of the 1916 Somme battles.
By April 5 Operation Michael had allowed a German advance of almost 40 miles, inflict some 200,000 casualties and capture 70,000 prisoners. However, the Germans suffered nearly as many casualties and lacked reserves and supplies.
Other stages of the attack did unfold later, and it was to be on July 15th, 1918 that Ludendorff ordered the last German offensive of the Great War. It was a disaster – troops advanced two miles, but their losses were huge. Allied counterattacks soon followed, and the end of the war finally beckoned.
In the midst of it all, the Fourth, Fifth, and Seventh Corps had struggled hard to make a line from Arras to Albert and down to the Somme; it cost John Wilson his life. We even know how he spent his last days.
‘On the following day (March 31st) the Brigade was ordered forward to Gentelles (about four miles due east). The first task was to hold the high ground between Hangard village (held by the French) and Hangard Wood (held by the 53rd Brigade), and accordingly the 6th Northamptonshire Regiment was put into this part of the line. They were relieved by three companies of the 7th Bedfordshire Regiment on the next evening, but again took over the line twenty-four hours later, and continued to hold it for about a week. And not a pleasant week by any means. The troops were accommodated in slits, out of which Jerry shelled them at his pleasure; the weather was very wet, so that everyone was always wet through, and hot food and drink could only be got up to the line after dark.’
Extracted from 54th INFANTRY BRIGADE, 1914-1918: Some Records of Battle and Laughter in France, page 141, printed by Gale & Polden Ltd., Wellington Works, Aldershot, London and Portsmouth.
John Wilson, actually John Kennedy Wilson was born at Ballylumford, Islandmagee on the 5th March 1884 and was the son of labourer Marshall Wilson and his wife Margaret Jane Kennedy. Widower Marshall Wilson, age 27, of Gransha had married Margaret Jane Kennedy, also Gransha, in Larne’s Register Office on the 25th May 1883. The couple, Anglicans and 45 and 37 respectively, lived at Murray’s Row, Clifton in 1901, and they listed their 17-year-old only son John on the return. However, the 1911 census return recorded the family at Ballydown, Islandmagee, and daughter in law Margaret Wilson (28) lived with them. John Wilson, a seaman, had married Margaret Hamilton of Belfast in Sinclair Seamen’s Church on the 16th February 1911.
Some sources place the Wilson family at Millbay, Carnspindle, Islandmagee.
WILSON William Johnston, 2nd officer on M.F.A. Argus, died on 22nd October 1917, when his ship was presumed lost owing to a submarine laid mine and while on a voyage to Norway.
SS Argus was a British cargo ship, a collier, built in 1883 by the Barrow Shipbuilding Company Ltd.  The vessel left Lerwick for Tromso on 20th October 1917 and went missing with a cargo of coal and coke in the North Sea.
The body of the Captain, 56-year-old Henry Arthur Cooper from 73 Windsor Road, Penarth, Cardiff, was found and buried in Fredrikstad Military Cemetery, Norway.
William Johnston Wilson was born on the 23rd April 1891 at Ballymuldrough, Islandmagee and was the son of Hugh Wilson and his first wife Ellen Johnston. Farmer Hugh Wilson of Ballymuldrough had married Ellen Johnston on the 15th December 1885 in 1st Islandmagee Presbyterian Church.  Ellen died on the 11 June 1897 at Ballymuldrough, and Hugh, son of Hill Wilson, subsequently married Maggie Dick, daughter of farmer Thomas Dick, Ballykeel, Islandmagee in Whitehead Methodist Church on the 16th November 1910. Hugh (47) and his new wife Margaret (23) appear in the 1911 census return and they were living at Ballymuldrough.
William’s sister was Kathleen, Mrs. Thomas Hill, Ballykeel, and he lived with her family. She had been born on the 20th May 1887 at Bllymuldrough.
WOODSIDE, K/19058 David, Leading stoker H.M.S. Hannibal, was accidentally killed while the ship was at Alexandra.
The ship was a pre-dreadnought battleship, laid down at the Pembroke Dock in May 1894. Hannibal served with the Channel Fleet for a time, was refitted in 1906, which included adaptation to using oil, and she was placed in reserve from 1907. The vessel was mobilised in July 1914 and from August 1914 to February 1915 served as a guard ship at Scapa Flow. Later in 1915 she was disarmed and became a troopship, serving in this capacity during the Dardanelles campaign. From November 1915 to the end of the war, she served as a depot ship based in Alexandria, Egypt. She was scrapped in 1920.
David Woodside, brother of Thomas (Below), was born on the 18th August 1885 at Ballykeel, Islandmagee and was the son of labourer James and Sarah Woodside, of Ballykeel, Islandmagee. Labourer James, son of labourer William of Islandmagee, had married Sarah Stevenson, daughter of labourer John, in Ballycarry Presbyterian Church on the 25th May 1865.
David Woodside is buried in Alexandra (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, and he is named in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for First Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee.
WOODSIDE, 3681C Thomas, Royal Naval Reserve, perished when H.M.S. Fisgard II capsized off Portland Point on 17th September 1914.  He is said to have been the first from Islandmagee to lose his life in the Great War.
HMS Fisgard II, her engines removed, was being moved to be used as an accommodation vessel when she capsized off Portland on 17 September 1914. At the time, she had a crew of 64. Different totals can be found for the casualties: many were civilians, but Woodside was one of 3 men from the Royal Naval Reserve lost.
Thomas Woodside, brother of David (above), was born on the 6th April 1879 at Ballykeel, Islandmagee and was the son of labourer James and Sarah Woodside, of Ballykeel, Islandmagee. Labourer James, son of labourer William of Islandmagee, had married Sarah Stevenson, daughter of labourer John, in Ballycarry Presbyterian Church on the 25th May 1865.
He is named on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, and he is named in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for First Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee.
WRIGHT, 7953 Guardsman James, 2nd Bn. Irish Guards was killed in action in France on 9th February 1916.
He was born on 1st April 1878 at Ballytober, Islandmagee, the son of Robert Wright and Jenney (sic) McNeily. Robert Wright, son of farmer Robert Wright, had married Jenny McNeiley (sic), daughter of farmer James, in 2nd Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 30th January 1868.
Guardsman James Wright was married. James, then a seaman living in Belfast, married Isabella McBurney, daughter of Samuel of Belfast, in Trinity Parish Church, Belfast on the 20th June 1899. His family appear in the 1901 and 1911 census record. Isabella, living at Balloo, Islandmagee in 1911, listed James and then said she was 38 years old and had two children, Andrew (11) and Isaac (7). In 1901 the family lived at Mullaghboy, Islandmagee.
History of Islandmagee (Co. Antrim) by Dixon Donaldson, 1927 said Mrs. Wright was living at Whitey's Hill, Magheramorne after her husband’s death.
James Wright is buried in Aubers Ridge British Cemetery, Aubers, and he is named in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for First Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee.