ALL YE WHO PASS BY REMEMBER WITH GRATITUDE THE MEN OF GLYNN, MAGHERAMORNE AND RALOO WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR, 1914 – 1918
BODLES, Robert, AB, SS Argus, is not listed on the CWGC or the Tower Hill Memorial (latter for Mercantile Marine men), though he appears as Robert Bodles (mistakenly Bowden in Larne Times or Bodel), A. B. (Able Seaman), SS Argus on the memorial in Glynn.
SS Argus, official number 83990, is somewhat of an enigma. She was apparently owned by Shamrock Shipping of Larne (Thomas Jack) which may explain the local men in her crew. The vessel was apparently involved in an unknown incident on 21 Oct 1917. CWGC records two Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve men (RNVR), Sussex 3/224 Leading Seaman Charles Ellis, and Sussex 3/104 Able Seaman Frederick H Wingard, as being aboard the ship and having died as the result of a collision on that date; other sources speculate that the ship hit a mine. The ship’s master, one Henry Arthur Cooper, aged 56 years, also died 21st October 1917. He was the son of James and Elizabeth Cooper and husband of Margery Cooper, of 73, Windsor Road, Penarth, Cardiff. He and one of the other RNVR men, Ellis, were originally buried at Fredrikstad Military Cemetery, Oslo, Norway, but even Cooper is not listed on Tower Hill Memorial. CWGC suggest Cooper's inclusion was an error and that none of the merchant seamen are entitled to inclusion.
See James McConnell (below), and Wm J Wilson (mistakenly Nelson in Larne Times) in 'Islandmagee Names' for the other known local man who perished.
Larne Times Report on the Incident - Notethe error in names of Robert Bodles & William Johnston Wilson.
BROWN, William, AB, was lost on the SS Pomeranian, and he died aged 45 on the 15 April 1918. He was born on the 17th August 1872 at Magheramorne, the son of sailor Samuel and Harriett Brown, nee Evans, of Glynn, Larne, Co. Antrim. He is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial. The couple, 20 and 19 respectively, married on the 10th September 1867 in Ballycarry Presbyterian Church. The Pomeranian was an elderly 4,364-ton ship, built in 1882 by Earle´s Shipbuilding Co, Hull and originally called Grecian Monarch by the Monarch Line (The Royal Exchange Shipping Co.). The vessel was sold to the Allan Line in 1887 and renamed SS Pomeranian. It was used for transatlantic journeys for a time but was in 1893 badly damaged by heavy seas; 12 lives were lost. She returned to Glasgow where she was rebuilt before resuming her across the Atlantic passenger service. After 15 April 1914 she was used chiefly for Glasgow-Liverpool-Philadelphia sailings. The ship was transferred to the Canadian Pacific Ocean Services in 1916, but was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine UC-77 near Portland Bill on 15 April 1918 with the loss of 55 lives; only one survivor, Second Engineer William Bell, was rescued after clinging to the ship’s mast for an hour. An enquiry by the Admiralty found the large loss of life due to the cold water and the lack of life rafts.
CLEMENTS, James, Captain, Mercantile Marine, was Master of the SS Gower Coast, and he died aged 42 years as a result of enemy action on Wednesday 4 April 1917. He is buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension, France (Grave II. E. 4) and commemorated on the Holywood and District War Memorial and the Glynn, Magheramorne and Raloo War Memorial, Glynn, Co Antrim. James Clements was born on 14 December 1874 in Pound Street, Larne and he was the eldest son of John and Margaret (Maggie) Paisley, the couple having married on 18 July 1873 in First Carrickfergus Presbyterian Church. John Clements, his 24-year-old father, was a sailor from Larne, and himself the son of James Clements, another seaman. Margaret Paisley, aged 21, as from Larne and was a daughter of James Paisley, a labourer. The Clements family lived in the townland of Magheramorne, Larne, Co. Antrim. There were at least five children in John Clement’s family: James (born 14 December 1874 in Pound Street, Larne), Margaret (born 5 January 1881 in Ballylig, Glynn), Annie (born 6 April 1883 in Ballylig, Glynn), Mary (born 5 June 1885 in Ballylig, Glynn), and David Paisley (born 18 May 1887 in Ballylig, Glynn). James Clements went to sea after leaving school, and later Master Mariner James Clements of Magheramorne and Rachel McCalmont were married in Belmont Presbyterian Church, Belfast on 1 October 1902. Rachel McCalmont from Alexandra Park, Holywood and was a daughter of James McCalmont, a clerk. The new Clements family subsequently lived in Downshire Road, Holywood and at 7 Churchill Terrace, Church Road, Holywood. They thereafter had at least two children: John (born 12 July 1903 in Downshire Road, Holywood), and Rachel McCalmont (born 6 September 1906 in Downshire Road, Holywood). During the Great War James Clements was Master aboard the SS Gower Coast. The 804 ton vessel had been by the Dundee Shipbuilders Company in 1899 for the Powell Bacon & Hough Lines Ltd. She left the Tyne loaded with coal on 31 March 1917 bound for Treport, France. The ship was last seen on 4 April 1917 and probably sank after striking a mine, probably one laid by German submarine UC-71 (Hans Valentiner). SS Gower Coast had a crew of 15 on board and all perished. The body Captain James Clements was recovered from the sea at Le Crotoy, and he was buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension in France.
FERGUSON, James, Carpenter, SS Bray Head, was lost at sea on the 14th March 1917. He had been born on the 29th June 1888 at Ballymena Road, Larne, the son of labourer John Ferguson, Ballymena Road, Larne and Annie Topping. John, then a Kilwaughter farmer and son of labourer James (Snr), had married Annie of Magheraban (sic), in Glenwherry Presbyterian Church on the 13th July 1887. Her father Thomas was also a farmer. The Ferguson family were living at Carnduff, Kilwaughter, Larne in 1901 and 1911. The vessel had been intercepted by a German submarine U-44 at a point 375 miles from Fastnet. It opened fire on the surface and sank the Bray Head, killing the captain and twenty crew. The vessel had been en route from St. John, New Brunswick, Canada to Belfast.
JOHNSTON, Charles McGarel was born on 3 May 1876 at Glynn and he was the son of George Birch Johnston, JP, and his wife Jane Waring Johnston, nee Evans. Charles Johnston had served as a trooper for the British South Africa Company during the Matabele uprising in Rhodesia in 1896, and during the Boer War he was a lieutenant in the 5th Rhodesian Volunteers. Charles died 4 October 1918. Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland, 4th Edition, records that he was on a vessel "torpedoed off Irish Coast en route to South Africa". He was probably a passenger aboard Hirano Maru, a Japanese steamer en route from Liverpool to Yokohama, which was sunk some 200 miles south of Ireland by the U91, Commander Wolf Hans Hertwig. The Japanese vessel (Japan was an ally) was part of Liverpool convoy OE23 which had left Liverpool on the 2nd October. 292 people were drowned. Charles McGarel Johnston had married Margaret Thompson, born circa 1881, on 2 November 1908. She was the daughter of Arthur Raine Thompson of Bedford, Bedfordshire, England. Margaret lived until 22 February 1970 and died in Pulborough, Sussex, England.
JOHNSTON, Midshipman Randal William McDonnell, Midshipman, Royal Navy, died aged 17 on the 9th July 1917 while serving aboard H.M.S. Vanguard. He was the son of Brig. Gen. T. K. E. Johnston, C.B. of Glynn, Co. Antrim, and Margaret his wife. He is commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial and on a headstone in St John’s Parish Church, Glynn. HMS Vanguard was commissioned in March 1910 at Barrow, was refitted at Sheerness in March 1914, and was still obsolescent in 1914. The vessel nevertheless frequently patrolled the North Sea and participated in the Battle of Jutland, hitting the disabled light-cruiser Wiesbaden and firing on German destroyers. She was not hit herself and suffered no casualties. On the 9th July 1917 HMS Vanguard blew up. She had carried out routine drills before returning to her berth at Scapa Flow. Several officers were attending a concert on board HMS Royal Oak and 50 other officers and men were on leave when at 11:20pm a flame of fire burst from Vanguard’s foremast and two violent cordite explosions followed. When the smoke cleared the Vanguard was gone, though the sea was littered with debris. Burning wreckage and twisted metal had been blown on the nearby island of Flotta. One account by Able Seaman Ernest "Mick" Moroney who witnessed the Vanguard explosion said, ‘all searchlights were switched on immediately but not a thing was to be seen. A trawler which was close by got smothered in blood and pieces of human flesh, and afterwards picked up half the body of a marine, the only body recovered up to date.’ Only three men survived the disaster, although one, Lt-Commander Duke, was to die from burns two days later. 843 men including Midshipman Johnston are known to have died. A few incomplete bodies were recovered and they were buried in the naval cemetery at Lyness, and Vanguard’s missing dead are named on the Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth Naval Memorials.
McCONNELL, James, AB, SS Argus, died at sea aged 27 years on the 21st October 1917. He had been born on the 21st June 1890 at Ballylig, Glynn, the son of sailor Robert McConnell and his wife Jemima Donald. He had lived at Shore Row, Magheramorne and he died in the same enigmatic incident that killed Robert Bodles (above).
BOYD, Private John B, 61st Canadians - not found on Canadian records or on any of the relevant local church listing. He appears to be John Boyd Gibb and is listed below.
BURNS, 1209 Rifleman John, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, died on the 1st September 1916 and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. The 11th Battalion War Diary would suggest he was caught up in a disaster involving gas. It says, 'Gas was released from Trench 140. After going for about 10 minutes it commenced to blow back. A great many men of ‘A’ Company were gassed. 108th. Brigade was informed of what had happened. Two Platoons of ‘B’ Company moved from FORT OSBORNE to assist ‘A’ Company to hold the front line. From 1.30am. enemy shelled our line, but from 2.00a.m. he was very quiet. 2nd. Lieuts. Connolly, Boomer, Ward, Jackson, Thompson, Marshall, and about 120 other ranks gassed. Royal Engineer Corporal discovered that 3 cylinders were still leaking. A good many men were gassed by these cylinders.'
Burns was born on the 6th September 1887 at Ballyhone, Glynn, Co. Antrim, the son of Alexander Burns, Magheramorne and his wife, one Mary Burns, Ballylesson. The couple had married in Glenarm’s 1st Presbyterian Church on the 25th June 1880.
John Burns' brother, 18/1133 Hugh Burns, Royal Irish Rifles, also served and was wounded by gas. He also 036047 of the Army Ordnance Corps, this a body responsible for the maintenance and repair of armaments and munitions. He is buried in Glynn Parish Church (St John’s) Cemetery. He had been born on the 9th June 1894 at Ballyhone, Glynn, Co. Antrim.
CARMICHAEL, 460262 Private James McNeill (McNiel on CEF record), 2nd Canadian Infantry after the 16th June 1916 and via the 90th militia, the 61st Battalion and the 44th Battalion, was killed in action on the 21st September 1916. He was the son of shoemaker William Carmichael of Glynn and his wife Jane (sometimes Jennie, Jenny or Jessie) McNeill, and he had been born on the 22nd (24th July 1880 on CEF record) July 1880 at Glynn. Private James Carmichael was single and a labourer and gave his widower father (‘Jenny’ died aged 38 on the 20th April 1895 at Ballysnodd, Larne) William Carmichael, Carnduff, Kilwaughter, Larne as his next of kin, though he also indicated that his brother John (born 17th October 1878 at Newlands, Glynn) lived at Swift Current, Saskatchewan). He had enlisted in Winnipeg, left Canada for Europe aboard the SS Olympic in April 1916, was in France after the 17th June 1916, and was killed in the 'vicinity of Courcelette' on the 21 September 1916.
CARMICHAEL, 905194 Private William, 10th Canadian Machine Gun Corps, was the brother of 460262 James Carmichael above, and he said he was born on the 25th August 1889, though actually born on the 15th August 1889 at Glynn. He enlisted at Lacombe, Alberta on the 23rd October 1916 and said he was a single man and a farmer; he gave his address as Box 145 Lacombe, Alberta. He nominated his brother Robert, then at Box 26, Swift Current, Saskatchewan, as recipient of his effects (His medals later went to R M Carmichael, Claybank, Saskatchewan) and said his next of kin was his father, William J. Carmichael, Larne. He trained initially with the 194th Overseas Battalion and then travelled to England aboard the SS Olympic between the 14th and 21st November 1916, going to the 9th Reserve Battalion and then the 10th Battalion for overseas service. He was in France and Flanders after the 22nd April 1917. He was killed in action on the 5th October 1917. One entry in his record mentions ‘hostile aircraft’ in relation to his death, but the Circumstances of Death Register says he ‘was on duty with No.2 Machine Gun Crew at a post in the Lens area, about 7.30 pm on October 5th 1917, when he was killed by the concussion of an enemy shell.’
CRAWFORD, 6303 Private James, 25th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, was the son of farmer Samuel Crawford, Raloo and his wife Jane Craig, and he had been born on the 23rd January 1886 at Raloo (His record says the 21st January 1886). He enlisted in Townsville, Queensland on the 30th October 1916 and left Sydney for England aboard HMAT (A64) Demosthenes on the 22nd December 1916, one of the 18th Reinforcements for the 25th Battalion. He trained with the 7th Training Battalion, went to France and Flanders on the 19th June 1917, and was with the 25th Battalion after the 7 July 1917. He was wounded by gas on the 9th November 1917 and a long recovery meant that he was not back with the 25th Battalion until 5th February 1918. He was then killed in action on the 10th June 1918 and initially buried one mile SW of Morlancourt, Department of Somme; he was later reburied in Beacon Cemetery, Sailly-Laurettte, France. His will left his effects to his father and his brothers Matthew, Stewart, William and Thomas. His father was later living at 26, Main Street, Larne. 6303 James Crawford is also remembered in Cairncastle Presbyterian Church –See entry on website for details of the action in which he was killed.
GRAHAM, 3711 Rifleman Martin, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the Somme on the 1st July 1916. He was the son of quarry worker, later farmer, John Graham, Altilevelly, Raloo and his wife Sarah Smith, and he had been born on the 14th June 1894. His mother died on the 22nd October 1898 at Raloo and his father subsequently married Mary Jane McClean, Tureagh, Raloo an the 13th May 1903 in Magheramorne Church. The family are recorded in the 1901 and 1911 census returns living at Altilevelly, Raloo, and Martin, age 16, was working as a railway engine cleaner in 1911. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme. He is also remembered on the Presbyterian Church In Ireland Roll of, 1914-1919 under the entry for Raloo Presbyterian Church.
HILL, 796 Rifleman & Battalion Signaller John, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was the son of labourer John Hill, Newlands, Glynn and his wife Mary Quin, and he had been born on the 15th July 1886. Labourer John Hill of Magheramorne had married carpenter’s daughter Mary Quin in Larne Roman Catholic Chapel on the 8th December 1872. Rifleman John Hill was killed in action on the 1st July 1916 on the Somme, and having no known grave, he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.
401 Rifleman John, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the
22nd November 1917 and he is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial,
Louverval, France. He was born on the 4th April 1891 at
Ballyedward, Glynn, the son of sailor Hugh Hunter and his wife Isabella
McClure. The couple, from Islandmagee and Magheramorne respectively,
had married in Ballycarry Presbyterian Church on the 29th December 1881.
The family, though not the parents, appear in the 1901 and 1911 census
records. John Hunter is named in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll
of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry the congregation of Magheramorne
John Hunter in his will left his effects to his uncle, Mr James McClure, Magheramorne, Co Antrim.
Photograph courtesy of Nigel Henderson
KIRKALDY, 69465 Private William James, 136th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, died aged 20 years on the 28th April 1917. He was the son of Scotsman and gardener George Kirkaldy, Ballylig, Glynn, Co. Antrim and his Scottish wife Jessie Beaton, and he was born at Ballylig on the 24th October 1896. The family appear in the 1901 and 1911 census records and these papers reveal that most of the children were also born in Scotland. At both those times the family were at Newlands, Glynn, and by 1911 George was a widower, his wife having died of bowel cancer on the 7th August 1903. William James Kirkaldy is named in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for the congregation of Magheramorne Presbyterian Church.
Lieutenant William McCluggage, Killed 1st July 1916, Somme
McCLUGGAGE, Lieutenant William of the 12th Bn., Royal Irish Rifles (Central Antrim Volunteers), was killed in action on the Somme on 1st July 1916. The 12th Bn. Diary records his deeds as follows: 'A' Company who were on the extreme left of the Battalion front, were in touch with the 29th Division. They left their new Trench before Zero and assembled along the Sunken Road. At Zero they began to advance, and at once came under very heavy Artillery and machine-gun fire. No. 4 Platoon led the attack, and were badly cut up, but what men remained entered the German front line. They were closely followed by No. 3, who at once reinforced them. The wire was well cut here but there were two machine-guns on each side of the gap and three or four In the Salient, as well as a German bombing party. Lieut. McCluggage at once collected his men and tried to rush on to the German second line but was killed in the attempt.’ He was the twenty-three-year-old second son of farmer Thomas McCluggage and his wife Annie Irvine of Ballyboley, Larne, and he was born on the 13th August 1892 at Ballyboley, Larne. The couple, Thomas from Ballyvernstown, Larne and Annie from Magheramorne, had married in Magheramorne Presbyterian Church on the 18th May 1883. The family appear in the 1901 and 1911 census returns and were living at Ballyboley. William McCluggage gained a B.Sc. (Civil Engineering) at Queen’s University, Belfast after leaving Larne Grammar School, and he played rugby for Queen’s University and Larne. He was a member of First Larne Presbyterian Church, Bridge Street, Larne, and his name appears in the church’s entry in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919. McCluggage was one of the officers of the Larne UVF. Lieutenant McCluggage is buried in grave VII. J. 3. in Serre Road Cemetery No2, Somme, France.
5941 Rifleman William Hugh, 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles and
cousin of Lt. William McCluggage, was killed in action on 7th March
1917. He was the son of farmer Robert McCluggage of Carnduff, Larne and
his wife Jane McDowell, and he had been born on the 20th February 1898
at Ballyvernstown, Glynn. The McCluggage parents, both from
Ballyvernstown, had married on the 5th December 1895 in Raloo
A harrowing account of McCluggage's death is found in a little book that is based on the diary of Larne soldier Robert McGookin. It reads:
When ‘A’ Coy and ‘D’ Coy had been about half way through relieving each other, the Germans started to send over trench mortars. The telephone line from our station to Battalion Headquarters was broken with the first two or three mortars, and two chaps, John Clarke from Kilwaughter and W.H. McCluggage from Ballysnod, went out to fix it and poor McCluggage never returned. When Clarke came back half an hour later he told me what had happened. He said that they went down a trench (Spring Walk) which led from the Bull Ring to Agnes Street, to find the break in the wire. They had been working on the wire when a platoon of men belonging to ‘A' Coy came out of Agnes Street to relieve a platoon of ‘D’ Coy, and when they were about the middle of Spring Walk, the Germans started a most serious bombardment with heavy shrapnel shells and trench mortars. The trench mortars could be seen coming through the air directly for Spring Walk and so all the boys started to take whatever cover they could get. The officer in charge of ‘A’ Coy platoon belongs to our town and he had some Dutch courage about him so he drew a revolver and threatened to shoot the first man who would run. I may explain here that, so long as the enemy was not making an attack, a man was entitled to move right or left for safety’s sake. As the mortars could be seen coming then one could have run along the trench out of the way of them. McCluggage had very little trench experience and he stood still when Clarke shouted at him to follow him. Clarke said that the officer with the revolver must have scared McCluggage for, instead of running out of the way of the mortar, he ran right into it and was cut clean in two halves. The trunk of his body was blown about thirty yards to the right and clean out of the trench and his legs were found about the same distance to the left of the trench. This was how he was picked up after darkness had settled down. Clarke always blamed the officer as the cause of McCluggage’s death.
Extracted from It Wasn’t All Sunshine: An Ordinary Man’s Account of the First World War, Catherine Minford, Page 65
is buried in grave II B 9 in St Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery and
commemorated in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour
1914-1919, under the entry for Raloo Presbyterian Church.
McKEE, Rifleman James McKee, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the Somme on the 1st July 1916.
He was the eldest son of farmer William McKee and his wife Margaret Hall, and he had been born on 21st March 1896 at Tureagh (sometimes Tureagh), Raloo, Larne. William of Toreagh had married Margaret Hall of contiguous townland Ballyrickard More in Raloo Presbyterian Church on the 22nd May 1895. The family appear in the 1901 and 1911 census returns (listed incorrectly as Turreagh, Raboo, Antrim).
10024 Private Robert Moore
Photograph courtesy of Larne Times
MOORE, 10024 Private Robert, 1st Highland Light Infantry, was born on the 3rd March 1888 at Ballyalbanagh, Ballycor, the son of railway labourer John Moore and his wife Margaret McConkey (She is wrongly entered as McCoubrey on the birth registration). Labourer John Moore of Ballybracken, Ballynure had married Margaret McConkey of nearby Ballygowan, Ballynure on the 6th November 1872 in Raloo Presbyterian Church. They appear on the 1901 Irish census and are living at Castletown, Ballynure. John is then aged 60 years and his wife is 50. Robert’s will of 13rd December 1916 places his mother at Ballygowan, Ballynure. Robert Moore was in the Reserves when war broke out and he enlisted Shotts, Lanarkshire. He had previously acted as a drill instructor for Raloo Company UVF. The 1st Bn. Highland Light Infantry was posted to Mesopotamia in December 1915, and in January 1917 they were transferred to the Tigris Defences. It was there that Moore was killed on 11th January 1917. He is remembered in Amara War Cemetery, Iraq and in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for Raloo Presbyterian Church. He is recorded on the family headstone in Raloo New Presbyterian Cemetery.
Left: 460235 Samuel Moore. The photograph from the Larne Times, courtesy of Nigel Henderson, identies the man as W. Moore of the 10th Battalion Canadian Infantry but this appears a mistake. William was his father and Samuel his son.
460235 Private Samuel, 8th Bn. Canadian Expeditionary Force, died, according to his entry in the official Canadian 'Circumstances of Deaths Registers', of
gunshot wounds to the head on the 1st March 1916 while under the care of
No. 2 Canadian Field Ambulance.
The text accompanying the newspaper photograph reads as follows: Writing to Mr. W. Moore, of Ballyvernstown, Raloo, Larne, with reference to the death of his son (Private W. Moore, 10th Canadian Infantry Battalion), the brigade chaplain says - 'I had the sad duty of performing the 1st office, when I laid to rest the body of your hero laddie in the military cemetery. Your son had been out on ‘listening post’ duty, and was coming in, having finished his tour, when he was shot through through the head by a sniper. He lived to be taken to the field ambulance dressing station, but was unconscious until he died. … I am glad to hear how highly he was spoken of by his comrades. He certainly died a hero’s death. Your sorrow is our sorrow, and our very real sympathy goes out to you and yours in this your sad bereavement. May God in His mercy be your strength.’ The forename and the battalion appear incorrect (The fact that those details are in brackets may indicate that they were added by a reporter.) , but other details are the same as on the Canadian Record.
He was single and a tailor at
enlistment on the 14th June 1915. He had been born on the 27th November
1889 at Altilevelly, Raloo, the son of shoemaker William Moore and his
wife Isabella Davidson. The couple, both from Altilevelly, Raloo, had
married in Raloo Presbyterian Church on the 27th January 1888. The
family appear in the 1901 and 1911 census returns and they are then
living at Ballyvernstown, Glynn. The parents said in 1911 that they had had
eight children; six were still alive at that date and 21-year-old Samuel
was already a tailor.
Samuel was a member of the 106th Regiment
(militia) before enlistment in Winnipeg in the 61st Overseas Battalion.
He trained in Canada and then travelled to England and the 17th Reserve
Battalion on the 20th September 1915, probably on the SS Metagama from
Montreal. He went to France and Flanders and the 8th Canadian Infantry
Regiment on the 21st January 1916. He joined his unit in the field on
the 4th January 1916 and was fatally wounded in action
on the 1 March 1916.
He is remembered in the Presbyterian Church in
Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for Raloo Presbyterian
Church. This record suggests his brothers Hugh and Archibald served in
the Royal Navy in the Great War. Samuel is buried in Maple Leaf Cemetery
which is located some 14 Kms south of Ypres (now Ieper) town centre.
O’NEILL, 7579 Rifleman John O’Neill, ‘A’ Company, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was a POW and he died on the 21 November 1918 in Merseburg Hospital, Germany and after the Great War ended and possibly because of the flu pandemic. He was born on the 12th November 1897 at Ballylig, Glynn and was the son of labourer Robert O’Neill and his wife Mary Milliken. The couple, both from Magheramorne, married in Magheramorne Presbyterian Church on the 19th May 1892. Robert was 25 years old and Mary Milliken was aged 19 years. She was the daughter of labourer John Milliken and his wife Elizabeth Bryson and had been born on the 8 December 1872. The family were still living at Ballylig, Glynn in 1911 and said at that time that they had had four children; three were still alive in 1911 – Agnes (15), John (1) and Robert (11). John’s will indicated that his effects should go to his sister ‘Cissie’, presumably Agnes, The Cottages, Magheramorne. John O’Neill is remembered in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for Magheramorne Presbyterian Church.
PIKE, 8908 Rifleman Herbert, 3rd Royal Irish Rifles and later 8th Royal Irish Rifles, was born in Bury, Lancashire circa 1899-1900 and he was the son of James Walter Pike, born Suffolk, and his wife Rachel Riley, born Kent. James was a ‘a callender man in a paper mill' - (He would have fed the web of paper between rollers to smooth it and to give it a more uniform thickness. The pressure applied to the web by the rollers also determines the finish of the paper.) The family, parents and the five surviving children of six in 1911, lived at Glynn, though they had been living at Bank Road, Larne in 1901. Maude (8) and Jane (2) had been born in Co Antrim, all the others in Lancashire. Three children were born after 1911 – Rachel (born on the 5 August 1906 at 2, Coronation Terrace, Bank Road, Larne & died 10 May 1907 at Back Lane, Larne), Mary Jane (born 8 May 1908 at Back Road, Larne) and Rachel (born 4 May 1911 at Glynn). Herbert’s will left £10 to his mother, £5 to Rachel and the rest of his effects to his father, and he gave their address in July 1916 as ‘Lough View House, Glynn’. Herbert Pike is buried in Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery and presumably died of wounds in one of the many hospitals in that area.
SHAW, 904005 Quarter Master Sergeant (He later asked to relinquish the rank and CWGC refer to him as Private J H Shaw) John Henry, Canadian Expeditionary Force, lived at 11922-93rd Street, Edmonton, Alberta, but he was the son of John Shaw, later of Larne. He had been born on the 1st August 1889 at Mounthill, Raloo, and his father was then described as a grocer; his mother was Mary Campbell. Shopkeeper John Shaw from Mounthill had married Mary Campbell of Ballylagan, Ballynure, in Ballynure Presbyterian Church on the 18th November 1886. The couple and their seven children were living at Ballyrickard Beg, Raloo in 1901 and 38-year-old John is described as a farmer. They were still there in 1911 and John (48) is described as a ‘farmer, auctioneer and grocer’. The couple then said they had had 12 children and that 10 were alive at the time of the census. John Henry Shaw was 21 and still living with the family. John Henry Shaw was single (He later married, and he and Mary Teresa Shaw lived at 12006-65th Street, Edmonton. She was after his death to give her address as Box 612, Portland, Oregon, USA.) and employed as a clerk when he enlisted in Edmonton on the 16th February 1916. He stated at that time that he had served four years in the North Irish Horse. He trained with the 194th Battalion in Canada and went to the 9th Reserve Battalion after his transfer to England aboard the SS Olympic in November 1916. He went to France and the 49th Battalion in October 1917 and was with his unit on the 13th. His career was very short. He was reported missing and then was presumed killed on the 30th October 1917. He has no known grave and his name is recorded on the Ypres (Menin Gate) memorial. He is remembered also in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for Raloo Presbyterian Church.
WOODS, Private William James, 10th Highland Light Infantry, was killed in action in France on the 25th September 1915 in fighting on the 1st day of the Battle of Loos. He had been born on the 15th June 1890 at Lough Morne, the son of labourer William Woods and his wife Maggie Barry. Loughmourne is to the north of Carrickfergus and on the ‘back road’ to Gleno. It is also somewhat west of the village of Ballycarry. There is no village, just a crossroads, a nearby church, and the lough. It is a rural area, and dotted with farms and houses. The Battle of Loos in September and October 1915 was the British Army's contribution to the major Allied offensive launched simultaneously with a French offensive in Champagne. The British were to advance into the coal mining area around Loos-Hulluch on Gohelle Plain. Haig assigned six divisions, most of whose men were exhausted by the fighting of the spring, and he supported them with artillery known to be short of shells. He believed that seven to one numerical superiority along a narrow front would win him the day. 250,000 shells over four days fell on German lines but had little real effect. The barrage was supplemented on the 25 September 1915 by the release of 140 tons of chlorine gas. However, a change in the wind direction blew the gas back into British trenches at some locations, caused seven deaths, and injured 2,600 soldiers. Nevertheless, 75,000 British infantrymen still went ‘over the top’. The southern end of the attack was initially a stunning success. Smokescreens helped troops take the village of Loos and Hill 70, and opened the way for an advance on Lens. Progress stalled later because of a lack of munitions and delayed reinforcement; the Germans to retook Hill 70. Elsewhere the advance was slowed by a vast complex of trenches, underground shelters and machine gun nests, the fearsome Hohenzollern Redoubt. Troops nevertheless managed to take part of the German front line in front of the redoubt, though the German machine guns had been especially deadly. 8,500 men fell that first day in the greatest single loss of life recorded since the beginning of the war, among them Private William James Woods, 10th Highland Light Infantry. The next day, on 26 September, German reinforcements arrived in great numbers. A further attack again resulted in a slaughter and forced the British to the abandon the ground it had taken the previous day. Sporadic fighting continued for several days, notably around the Hohenzollern Redoubt, but retreat was inevitable and ordered. Another offensive on 13 October was equally disastrous: the 46th Division lost 180 officers and 3,583 men in ten minutes in an attempt to take the Hohenzollern Redoubt. Total British losses at Loos ran to 20,000 deaths and 30,000 wounded; German losses were about half of this total. The brutality of the fighting during the Battle of Loos was such that only 2,000 of the 8,500 soldiers killed on the first day of the attack, on 25 September 1915, have a known grave. Woods’ body was one of those lost and he is remembered on the Loos Memorial.
WRIGHT, 7953 Guardsman James, 2nd Bn. Irish Guards, was killed in action on the 9th February 1916. He was the 37-year-old son of Robert and Jenny (sometimes Jennie) Wright. He had been born at Ballytober, Islandmagee on the 1 April 1878, the son of farmer Robert Wright and his wife Jenny McNeilly (rendered McNeeley on some records). The couple, both from Islandmagee, had married in 2nd Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 30th January 1868. James had married, but his wife Isabella was dead by 1916. James, then a seaman living in Belfast, had married Isabella McBurney, also of Belfast, in Trinity Parish Church, Belfast on the 20th June 1899. Isabella (24) and son Andrew (1) are recorded living at Mullaghboy, Islandmagee in 1901, and Isabella (38) and sons Andrew (11) and Isaac (7) are recorded in 1911 and are living at Balloo, Islandmagee. She recorded James in the census return as the head of the household in 1911 but gave no further details. August 1915 had seen the arrival of 2nd Irish Guards in France and they were then attached to the 2nd Guards Brigade. In September that year, both 1st and 2nd battalions had fought together for the first time in the Battle of Loos, which lasted from 25 September until early October, but thereafter the 1st and 2nd Irish Guards spent much of the remainder of 1915 and early 1916 in the trenches, and they were not to see battle again until the Somme Offensive began on 1 July 1916. It is probable, therefore, that Guardsman Wright was killed amid the day to day grind of trench warfare. James Wright is named in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 under the entry for the congregation of Magheramorne Presbyterian Church.
EXTRA NAMES - Glynn area but not on Memorial
Private David Barry
David's brother was with him when he died and he was remembered by the congregation of Ballycarry Presbyterian Church the Sunday after his death.
Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 12 December 2019), memorial page for Pvt David Barry (27 Jul 1893–21 Sep 1916), Find A Grave Memorial no. 106284842, citing Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield, Metropolitan Borough of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England ; Maintained by Stephen Farnell (contributor 47664179).
Photograph of Private David Barry courtesy of Laurin Espie
BARRY, 669845 (CWGC mistakenly says 660845) Private David, Canadian Infantry, was born on the 27th July 1893 Templecorran, Ballycarry, the son of farmer Robert Barry and his wife Mary. The couple, farmer Robert Barry, son of Robert Barry, Bellahill/Ballyhill, Ballycarry, had married Mary McWhirter, daughter of farmer David, Ballyvernstown, Glynn, in Raloo Presbyterian Church on the 20th November 1884. David, a single man and a teamster, was living at 36, Richard Avenue, Toronto when he enlisted in the Queen's Own Rifles, Canadian Expeditionary Force on the 24th February 1916. He went first to the 166th Battalion and he then transferred to the 83rd Battalion. He went to Liverpool, England with the latter aboard the SS Olympic after the 7th May 1916 and subsequently transferred to the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles (CMR) on the 7th June 1916. His career with the 5th CMR was short. He was wounded by shell shrapnel in the right shoulder and right arm on the 13th September 1916 while serving in the Pozieres area. It was a large and nasty wound. He was removed to No. 3 Stationary Hospital, Rouen and underwent surgery to clean and dress the gash before being evacuated to England aboard HS St Patrick. He was taken to the 3rd Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, admitted there on the 17th September, and he there received further treatment and surgery. The doctors could not stem the infection and he died at 4.40 am on the 21st September 1916.
The War Diary of the 5th Battalion CMR provides context for his wounding but no clear explanation of what befell him, though it is clear he was not killed in the heat of battle. It says:
Sept. 12th 1916 … We are to attack, in conjunction with a larger movement south of us, on the morning of the 15th, our objective being the enemy line in front of our sub-section, and the 1st CMR’s objective being Mouquet Farm, which is very strong, with very deep dug-outs. The Australians captured the farm a week or so ago but failed to hold it, chiefly it is believed on account of not ‘mopping up’ thoroughly. Their two waves went over all right, but the enemy emerged immediately, and turned machine guns on them in their rear. September 13th: Weather cloudy with occasional rain. Enemy shelled Road Forks occasionally with H.E. (High Explosive), wounding two ‘B’ Company cooks and riddled the Field Kitchen. The Regimental Sergeant Major’s batman was blown out of his dugout by one shell and badly shocked. Casualties: 114633 Pte Simmons, G, ‘C’ Company, shrapnel wound, right eye; 415252 Pte Relf, E, ‘C’ Company, shrapnel, right arm. September 14th: Weather fine and clear. Relief of 4th CMR Bn. completed by 4.30 am. It looks like he was either wounded in the shelling of the 13th or in the relief of the 4th Battalion CMR that took place during the night of the 13/14th September.
Private David Barry is buried in Sheffield (Burngreave) Cemetery and is remembered in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919, in the entry for the Congregation of Ballycarry.
DOBBIN, 18/876 Rifleman James, Kilwaughter and 14th Royal Irish Rifles, died on the first day of the battle of the Somme, the 1st July 1916. Dobbin cannot yet be positively identified but the best fit so far obtained is set out here. There are two James Dobbins who could be this man, but James, son of William and Agnes, born at Lealies, Kilwaughter on the 2nd April 1890, seems most likely. Farm labourer William Dobbin, son of the late farmer Roderick, of Headwood, Kilwaughter, had married Agnes Thompson, daughter of farmer William, in 1st Larne Presbyterian Church on the 33d July 1873. The couple and their family were living at Newington Avenue in Larne in 1901, and they were still there in 1911. ‘J Dobbin, 7 Newington Avenue’, the same house number given in the 1911 census return, appears in a list of Larne UVF men that Dr David Hume made available in the Larne Times, 6th June 2002. It is likely that this is James Dobbin, and that like many of his Larne UVF colleagues, he joined the army. An older brother John, 30 years old in 1911, was probably too old to be the ‘J Dobbin’ named, rather than his 20-year-old brother. The census says the Dobbin family were members of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church in Larne, but the church's memorial tablet does not name him. Moreover, one would have expected Dobbin to serve in the 12th Royal Irish Rifles rather than the 14th Battalion. It had been formed in Belfast in 1914. However, he could have been drafted to the latter unit as a reinforcement or he could have been living in Belfast before the war. The case is yet unproven. (James Dobbin is listed in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour 1914-1919, under the entry of the for the Congregation of Raloo.)
GIBB, 460076 Private John Boyd - Canadian soldier John Gibb’s name appears on the listing for Raloo Presbyterian Church.
He was born on the 4th December 1895 at Ballyedward, Glynn and was the
son of Archibald Boyd Gibb and his wife Rose. The couple, Archibald Boyd
Gibb, son of farmer William of Magheramorne, had married Rose Houston, a
minor and daughter of farmer Thomas Houston of Ballyboley, in Raloo
Presbyterian Church on the 9th March 1883. John
Boyd Gibb later became 460076 Private John Boyd Gibb of the Canadian
Expeditionary Force. He was single and employed as a paper hanger when
he enlisted in the 61st Battalion on the 4th June 1915 (His name appears
in their Nominal Roll). He was then living at 141, Horace Street,
Norwood Grove, Manitoba, and his sister Annabella Boyd Gibb, born 1st
September 1893 at Ballyedward, Glynn, also lived there. He had
previously been serving in a local militia, the 106th Regiment. He
trained in Canada, left Halifax aboard the SS Olympic on the 1st April
1916, and having arrived in England on the 12th April, went to the 44th
Battalion and Bramshott camp. He transferred to the 2nd Battalion for
overseas service and went to France and Flanders on the 17th June 1916.
He was with his unit in the field on the 19th June but only served a few
weeks with the 2nd Battalion. He died of wounds while in the care of 'No2 Canadian Field Ambulance' on the 24th July 1916. The
Circumstances of Death Register gives no further details of his demise,
though the 2nd Battalion’s war diary suggests he was killed amid the
day to day grind of trench life. His unit was being held in reserve and
did not receive orders to go into the trenches ‘to relieve the 5th Canadian Battalion in front and support lines of Hill 60 sector’ until the 27th July 1916. The only noted activity on the 24th July was the sending of ‘375 O.R. (Other Ranks) for working parties’. It would seem that he met his death while engaged on this work. John Boyd Gibb is buried in Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery, Belgium.
McKEE, 18/121 Serjeant David C, died on the 19th August 1917 while serving with the 16th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles. CWGC says he was the son of Robert James McKee, of Kilwaughter, Larne, Co. Antrim. David Craig McKee, son of labourer Robert James McKee of Rory’s Glen and his wife Maggie Lennon Craig, was born on the 24th February 1895. Robert James McKee, 22-year-old son of farmer James of Toreagh/Tureagh, had married 20-year-old Maggie Lennon Craig, daughter of farmer David of Ballyrickard More, in Raloo Presbyterian Church on the 29th May 1891. The family were living at Rory’s Glen, Kilwaughter in 1901 and 1911, and at the latter date the couple said that they had had 7 children; 4 were alive at the time of the census. David McKee was killed in fighting connected with the Battle of Langemarck (16–18 August 1917), the second stage of the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). The 36th (Ulster) Division had struggled to advance during their allotted task. Barbed wire entanglements and machine-guns trained on gaps made by the British bombardment stopped the advance of the 108th Brigade. The 109th Brigade, slightly further north, had to get across the swamp around the Steenbeek. The infantry got separated from the barrage and machine-gun fire forced them to take cover. Somewhere in all this McKee died. (David Craig McKee is listed in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour 1914-1919, under the entry of the for the Congregation of Raloo.)
Photograph by Terry James
McKEE, 107715 Trooper James, 2nd Bn. Canadian Mounted Rifles, formerly of 102nd Regiment (Rocky Mountain Rangers) died of illness on the 15th September 1915 and he is buried in Kamloops (Pleasant Street) Cemetery. McKee was a farm labourer and single when he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) on the 8th December 1914 at Victoria, British Columbia. He said he had been born on the 13th October 1878 and that his brother William at Ballycarry was his next of kin. Neither can be positively identified in the record. There is little detail in his military record but it does indicate that he was discharged from the CEF 'within three months of enlistment, found medically unfit for service'. He apparently lived at Armstrong, British Columbia, located between Vernon and Enderby, and his death was later noted in the Armstrong Adviser, 23rd September 1915. He is also commemorated on the Armstrong (BC) Cenotaph. He is also remembered in the Presbyterian Church In Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-1919, under the entry for the Congregation of Ballycarry.
Old newspaper photographs supplied by Nigel Henderson.