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