H - L
N. B. 'Commemorated' means that he is remembered in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-19, on a tablet or plaque in the church named or that his name is on a family headstone in the churchyard. Place names may refer to an area, e. g. 'Cullybackey' often means 'from the Cullybackey area' rather that from the village itself.
Hamill Family Grave in Grange Presbyterian Church: Shepherd and Alexander are Listed
HAMILL, Alexander, 3736, Rifleman, 20th Royal Irish Rifles, died in the Military Hospital, Belfast of pneumonia on 21st April, 1916. He was the son of John Hamill and Nancy (Agnes) Nicholl, Grange Park, Taylorstown and brother of Shepherd (below). John, a weaver from Ardnaglass and Nancy from Grange Park, had married in Ballymena Register Office on the 16 January 1883. Alexander is buried in Grange Corner Presbyterian Church Cemetery and commemorated there. His brother Robert George Hamill served in Canadian forces - see relevant section.
HAMILTON, 1293 Corporal James, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on 10th August 1917. He was aged 20 years. He was born at Duneane near Randalstown and enlisted in Lisburn, and he was the son of John Hamilton of Ballymatoskerty, Toomebridge. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
The 11th Royal Irish Rifles arrived at Plum Farm east of Ypres on the 7th August 1917, nine days before the Battle of Langemarck, a phase of the Battle of 3rd Ypres (Passchendaele). The area was already dangerous - Plum Farm actually being heavily shelled as they arrived. The enemy again ‘opened an intense bombardment’ on the evening of the 8th, shelled it again on the 9th,, obtaining ‘a direct hit’ on Plum Farm. That evening the War Diary recorded that there had been ‘steady fire all day by hostile heavies on line Square Farm-Plum Farm’, and there was renewed shelling of Plum Farm in the evening. Ironically though, the War Diary says that on the 10th, the day Hamilton was killed, that the ‘Battalion was relieved by the 12th Royal Irish Rifles’ and they ‘moved on relief to Uhlan Farm’ that evening, a safer area. It was, however, also noted that ‘the enemy shelled Uhlan Farm’ at 9.00pm on the 10th August.
No casualties were recorded on any of the above days and we do not know if Hamilton was killed in the trenches, during the relief or at Uhlan Farm that evening, but a document entitled ‘Narrative of Operations East of Ypres on the 16th August 1917’ gives interesting insight into the period.
The 11th Royal Irish Rifles were in ‘Reserve to the 108th Brigade’ on the 16th August, and the document says ‘the Battalion consisted of Battalion HQ and three Companies only, ‘C’ Company having lost so many men whilst holding the line from the 8th - 12th August that it could not muster a platoon. Sixteen Other Ranks were attached to ‘D’ Company.’ Many of the men had been lost in a gas attack on the 11th August, but it is interesting to note that the whole period, 8th to 12th August, was identified as being a difficult one.
Private John James Harbison, Royal Army Medical Corps & attached 3A Base General Hospital.
HARKNESS, George 8252, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, died on the 3rd December 1914. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted there. He is buried in Le Mans West Cemetery, Sarthe, France (The CWGC have 8252 Harkness listed as D Harkness. St. Matthew's Parish Church, Glenavy lists H Harkness as the casualty of December 1914, as does the press photograph attached. St. Matthew's Parish Church magazine says in a 1915 issue that Hugh Harkness, Pte, RIR, died December 4th at Stationary Hospital, Le Mons (sic), the result of a railway accident. No. 5 Stationary Hospital was at Le Mans from Sept. 1914 - Dec. 1914, hence burial in Le Mans West Cemetery. George is probably incorrect.). Hugh was the brother of Alexander who died. George probably served in the Royal Engineers and survived the war. If you can clarify the issue, please contact the site.
Left: HASLETT (MC), Lieutenant Thomas Sinclair, 10th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 22nd November 1917 during action at Cambrai. The 10th RIR diary says they were NE of Havrincourt, and that they 'moved up to Hindenburg Support in rear of 15th RIR who were to clear the trenches north of Cambrai-Bapaume Road as far as the Canal du Nord ... progress was stopped by strongpoints'. It was here that Haslett was killed.
He was born at the 1st Ballymena Presbyterian manse on Castle Street on the 30 March 1897 and he was the son of the Rev. Thomas Haslett and Mary Edith Sinclair. The couple, Thomas originally from Co Monaghan, and his bride, a merchant's daughter from Belfast, had married at Howard Street, Belfast on the 11 June 1896. They were still at Castle Street in 1901 but were living at Brocklamont, Galgorm Road in 1911. Thomas Sinclair was the eldest of the five children they had had by 1911. He is commemorated on Cambrai Memorial and in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church. The church still has a communion cup that was presented by the parents as a memorial to their son.
Thomas Sinclair Haslett's MC award citation in the London Gazette (Issue 29837, 24th November 1916, page 11537) reads as follows: For conspicuous gallantry in action. He led a daring raid with great courage and skill, himself killing the enemy sentry and capturing three prisoners. He set a splendid example to his men.
HAUGHTON, Lieutenant Thomas Greenwood, was the son of Mr Thomas Wilfred Haughton J.P, a linen merchant, and Catherine Isabel Gillmor, and he had been born at Malone Road, Belfast on the 2 June 1891. He was educated at Edgbaston Preparatory School, Birmingham, and St. Edmund’s School, Oxford before becoming a director in the firm of Messrs. Frazer and Haughton, Hillmount, Cullybackey. He was active in the pre-war anti-Home Rule movement and was the commander of 'E' Company, 1st Bn. North Antrim Regiment of the U.V.F. On the outbreak of war he got his commission in the 12th Royal Irish Rifles (Central Antrims) and went to the front in October 1915. Many of the local UVF, some of them his own employees, went with him to war. He was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the 1 July 1916, and on the on the 16th July 1916 a memorial service in his memory was held in the Craigs Parish Church. Later a brass mural tablet and a brass book rest was presented to the Craigs Parish Church, the place where the family worshipped. The inscription reads:
To the glory of God, and in memory of Thomas Greenwood Haughton, Lieutenant, 12th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles, who was killed in action July 1st, 1916, near Thiepval, in the battle of the Somme, France, aged 25 years. When killed he was leading his men in a most gallant manner towards the German trenches. This tablet is erected by the employees in Hillmount Bleach Green.
He is buried in Hamel Military Cemetery, Beaumont Hamel, Somme, France.
Thomas Greenwood Haughton (Above and Below - First photograph courtesy of Our Heroes, South Dublin Libraries)
HENRY, 17794 Rifleman Hugh, 17794, 'C' Coy., 13th Royal Irish Rifles, died of a cerebral haemorrage in the hospital at Victoria Barracks, Belfast on the 22nd July 1916. He was born on the 12 February 1872 at 2.10am in Limnaharry, Ahoghill; his twin brother John had been born at 1.30 am. He was the son of Robert Henry and Ellen Torbitt. He lived in Ballyclare and was the husband of widow Agnes O'Neill, formerly Nelson. The couple had married in Woodburn Presbyterian Church on the 20 May 1902. He enlisted in Ballyclare and his wife lived at Lee, Ballyclare at the time of his death. He is buried in Ballyclare New Cemetery.
Right: HERBISON, 19026 Serjeant Robert, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action in trenches SW of Messines on the 27th August 1916, 'an unusually quiet day', though machine guns were 'much more active last night ... there was no TM (trench mortar) fire today'.
He was born on the 5 July 1892 at Clonavon, Ballymena and he enlisted in Ballymena. He was the son of Robert Herbison and Maria McCloy, the couple living at North Street, Ballymena in 1901. On that date the family recorded children Mary (14), James (12), Robert (7) and John (5). Mary, James and John were his named beneficiaries. He is buried at Ration Farm Cemetery Annexe, Ploegsteert, Belgium. He is commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church
HILL, 65453 Gunner Alexander, HQ staff, 93 Bde. Royal Field Artillery,
was killed in action on 16th March 1916. He was born on the 24 April 1897 at Doagh, Doagh Grange, the son of shoemaker John and his wife Sarah Mullan. They had married Kilbride Presbyterian Church on the 6 June 1890. Alexander enlisted in Glasgow. The 1911 census shows them in Doagh and they were said by the CWGC to live at Kilbride
Road, Doagh. He is buried in Ferme-Olivier Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium and commemorated in Kilbride Presbyterian Church.
Captain J F Hodges, MC, 2nd Royal Irish Fusiliers
J F Hodges went to the front in December, 1914, from
India, where he had been with his regiment for two years prior to the
outbreak of war. He was mentioned in Sir John French's despatches and awarded the Military Cross.
Photograph courtesy of Our Heroes, Irish Life, South Dublin Libraries (D Moore) - http://ourheroes.southdublinlibraries.ie/
Right: HOLMES (MM), Arthur, A/21026, Private , 16th Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regt.) was killed in action on the 30th April 1917. He was the second son of David Holmes and Jane Fleck, married in St Patrick's Church on the 13 March 1884, later of Hugomont Villas, Ballymena. They were at Crebilly in 1901 and at Moat Road in 1911. Arthur was the elder brother of David. He is buried Orchard Dump Cemetery, Vimy Ridge. He is commemorated on the family headstone in Ballymena New Cemetery, Cushendall Road, Ballymena.
Private Holmes, a farm labourer born on the 4 April 1889 at Broughshane, began a new life in Canada just before the war. On April 9, 1917, during the famous attack at Vimy Ridge, Arthur won the Military Medal while serving as a company stretcher bearer. The particular act of bravery which brought the award was described as follows:
This man went forward as a company stretcher bearer. He displayed conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in dressing wounded men under shell fire. This work was so remarkably done that the most serious cases did not require a second dressing at the aid post.
Just a few days after his exploits, Arthur Holmes was killed in action whilst tending more wounded men.
The Holmes family later received a letter from Captain J. P. S. Cathcart, Medical Officer to the unit. It stated:
Dear Mr. Holmes,
you have no doubt before this received notice of your son Arthur's death. He was killed during the operations of April 28th while at his duty tending to the wounded. We had his body removed and buried along with some of his comrades in the left of a small village. His grave is marked and I think as soon as they receive the particulars the Record Office will inform you of the map location ...
Arthur was without doubt the best boy in my medical section. It may be of interest to you to know that he was recommended for a decoration for his wonderful work under heavy fire in the battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9th. Unfortunately he was killed before he received it. We all feel his loss keenly and I myself feel as if his position cannot be filled. I extend to you my heartfelt sympathy in your sad bereavement and also that of my section.
A letter from a soldier friend stated that Private Holmes had been killed in action by shell fire.
We did all we could for him but he only lived a few minutes. It is very sad news but it is my duty to inform you of his death. We all feel the loss of him very much and God help you to bear the sad news.
He had been previously wounded and on three occasions had been buried by shells. His last leave was spent at home 12 months before his death. His brother Private David Holmes was also killed on active service at the front with the Ulster Division - see below.
Holmes Family Grave, Ballymena New Cemetery, Cushendall Road.
Left: HOUSTON (sometimes Huston), P/5516, Joseph, Acting Lance Corporal, Mounted Branch, Corps Military Police, formerly 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, died on active service in Germany of pneumonia on the 14th February 1919. His birthplace cannot be identified with certainty but he appears to have been born on the 20 January 1881 at Duneany, Glarryford and to have been the son of John Huston and Martha Ann Rea. He had married Annie Patterson of Ballymena in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church on the 20 May 1908 and was living with his Patterson in-laws in Ballymena in 1911. Joseph and Annie then had two girls, Annie and Sarah. His wife later lived at Fountain Place, Ballymena. He is commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.
Houston was physically powerful and 6' 2" tall and he was a professional soldier. He had served for some fourteen years in the 4th Royal Irish Dagoon Guards and had participated in the Boer War, receiving two medals to recognise his service. Indeed, he had spent some time as a Boer prisoner after being captured at Bloemfontein.
He returned to Ballymena after the war and was employed at one time as the caretaker and commissionaire of the Ballymena Picture House on Mill Street.
The outbreak of the war in August 1914 saw him offer his services to his country, even though his time in the reserve forces had expired. He went to Tidworth, Salisbury Plain and rejoined the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards and then, possibly because of his age, he was posted to Mounted Branch, Corps of Military Police. He was to spend almost the entire war in France, save for a short furlough in Ballymena. He was after November 1918 part of the forces occuping Germany, and it was in Germany that he died, a victim of the 'Spanish flu' epidemic. He is buried in Cologne.
Right: HUGHES (MM), 2727 Private James, 6th Connaught Rangers, was killed on 21st March 1918. He was the son of the late Michael Hughes and Mary Rock (sometimes recorded as Rocks). Michael, a clerk, of 1, Crumlin Street, Belfast had married Mary Rock, 5, Craig Street, Belfast in St Peter's RC Church on the 26 August 1891. The couple had at least five children together and in 1911 they were Ellen (Nellie - born 5 June 1892 at Cypress Street, Belfast), James (born 13 November 1893 at 35, Conliffe Street, Dublin), Bridget (born 16 October 1895 at Ballymoney Street, Belfast), Mary (born 21 May 1899 at Dungloe, Donegal) and Mary Theresa (born 4 May 1901 at Dungloe, Donegal). Mary Hughes died and widower Michael Hughes married Bridget O'Donnell in St Peter's RC Church, Dungloe on the 20 September 1905. The couple were living at 7, Suffolk Street, Ballymena, Co. Antrim by 1911, and all Michael's children lived with them. James is buried in Ste. Emilie Valley Cemetery, Villers Faucon, France.
HUNTER, 776 Lance Corporal Robert Alexander, 8 Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 2 July 1916 on the Somme. He was born on the 29 August 1897 at Cross, Ballyclug, Ballymena and was the son of Edward Hunter and Maggie Marshall, both from Burnside. The couple had married on 18 April 1881 in Muckamore Presbyterian Church.
Left: IRELAND, 17923 Lance Corporal George, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, a former member of the Larne UVF, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was the third son of James Ireland, Ballygarvey, and Sarah Craig, Lower Broughshane. The couple had married in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church on the 12 January 1883 and had eight children together by 1911. All were then alive. George was born on the 9 May 1887 at Raceview, Broughshane and in 1901 and 1911 was at Ballygarvey, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme and 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church. His name is also on the Larne War Memorial because he lived there before the outbreak of the war.
His 30 year old brother, a carpenter by trade, was 237767 John Ireland of the Canadian Infantry. He lived at 5, Condor Ave, Toronto.
IRONS, John, Craneman, SS Garmoyle (Glasgow) died on the 10th July 1917 when his ship, a 1,229 ton defensively armed vessel, was torpedoed without warning by the U57 some 14 miles off Mine Head, near Waterford, S E Ireland. He was 67 and one of 20 men who died that day. This group includes the ship's master, 39 year old Hugh MacDonald, whose name appears on the Iona war memorial.
Irons was born in Ballymena, the son of the late Samuel and Agnes Irons, and married a local girl called Margaret Strain on the 29th January 1876, but John Irons had long left Ballymena by the time WW1 began. He was living at 7, Sheuchan Street, Stranraer in 1881 and was then a labourer. Some 10 years later he was a spirits salesman and was living at 107, Rose Street, Govan, Glasgow; by the turn of the century he was ships stoker and was living at 27, Caledonia Road, Govan, Glasgow. His last employer was the Clyde Shipping Company and it was on their ship that he died in 1917. The family then resided at 264, Thistle Street, Govan, Glasgow, and Mrs Irons appears to have remained there until her death at about 65 years on 23rd November 1918. Relatives now live in Australia.
U57 was built by A G Weser, Bremen (Werk 212). She was ordered in October 1914, laid down in August 1915 and launched in August 1916. Her captain at the time of the sinking of the SS Garmoyle was Carl-Siegfried Ritter von Georg. She survived the war and surrendered to the French in November 1918. She was scrapped at Cherbourg in 1921.
Right: JAMISON, 657 Rifleman David, 14th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917 at the start of the Battle of Langemarck. This was fought near Ypres and was a phase of the 3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele).
Jamison's unit, part of the 36th Division's 109th Brigade, struggled to advance that day. They had to get across a marsh around the Steenbeek. This delay meant the infantry lost the protection of the barrage and machine-gun fire from Pond Farm and Border House forced them to take cover. An insight into the general situation is found in the 8pm summary in the War Diary. It says, ‘During the whole day the Bosche never ceased his bombardment of our line - we have had to shift our Headquarters … news came dribbling in that we were having heavy casualties and wanted reinforcing, but reinforcements could not be found’. Units did 'dig in' and held on as best they could but as the summary later noted 'the whole thing has been a miserable failure'. The report also said, 'our men did all that was asked of them'. The 14th were relieved on the 17th August and at that time believed they had suffered 10 officers killed, wounded or missing; 222 of the men were also killed, wounded or missing. They had advanced about 400 yards.
He was the son of Robert Jamison and Margaret Anderson, both from Bellaghy, near Glarryford, who had wed in 1st Killymurris Presbyterian Church on the 1 August 1888. David was born on the 6 January 1892 at Moylarg, Cullybackey. The family was at Moylarg in 1901 and at Greenvale Street, Ballymena in 1911. He is named on Tyne Cot Memorial and commemorated in Harryville Presbyterian Church.
Left: KANE, 46355 Lance Corporal Joseph Edward Adams, 2nd Auckland Regiment, NZEF, was killed in action near Bapaume, France on the 30 August 1918. He was born on the 21 January 1889 at Galgorm Parks, Ballymena, and he was the contractor son of Elizabeth Kane, nee Adams, and the late James Kane, of Galgorm Parks, Ballymena, Co Antrim; NZ records record him as the son of Mrs E Kane, 14 New Bond Street, Kingsland, Auckland, NZ. He left NZ on the 26th April 1917 with the 25th Reinforcements Auckland Infantry Regiment, A Company and travelled to Europe on the troopship Tofua. He is buried in Bancourt British Cemetery.
His brother Alexander Millar Kane was also killed. He was a plumber, and 16894, Private Alexander Millar KANE, 3 Bn. Canterbury Regiment, NZEF who was killed in action at Messines on 19th December 1917 and who is buried in Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood, was born on the 14 June 1895 at Frocess, Dundermot, Glarryford. His father James declared at the recording of his son's birth that he was originally from Ballyclare; his mother was Elizabeth Adams. He had left New Zealand on the 7 December 1916 with the 20th Reinforcements Canterbury Infantry Battalion, C Company aboard the troopship Port Lyttelton. He is listed by the CWGC as the son of James & Elizabeth Adams Kane, Paerata, Auckland; NZ records show his mother as Mrs E Kane, 14 New Bond Street, Glenmore, Auckland, NZ. See Ballymena New Zealanders.
3794 Rifleman Alexander Kennedy, 11th Royal Irish Rifles
3794 Rifleman Alexander, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 8th
August 1917. His unit had moved into the Wieltje area and taken 'over the 2nd line from the West Yorks'. They remained in the support role until on the 5 August they relieved the 15th Royal Irish Rifles in the front line. They were there until the 7th August and were themselves relieved in a 'bad relief' by the 9th Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers. They went into camp on the that day and did not return to the 2nd line a support role until the 12th August. The 8th, 9th and 10th August were days 'devoted to interior economy'. There is no mention of casualties at this time, though the diary does record that the trench tour, 2nd -7th August had cost them 7 officers and 167 other rank casualties, ie killed, wounded or missing. It is probable that Kennedy was killed in the 'bad relief' which took place at night on the 7th August and which did not see the men back in camp until 5.30 am on the 8th August.
He was born on the 9 April 1885 at Killane, Ahoghill, and he was the son of James Kennedy and Eliza Kelly. The family were at Cullybackey Road, Ahoghill, probably Buick Row. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial and in 2nd Ahoghill Presbyterian Church.
Dear Mr. Kennedy,
I am very sorry to tell you that your son Rifleman A. Kennedy, Royal Irish Rifles, has been reported missing since August 16th. Unless you may have heard from him or of him from some reliable source it must be concluded that he is either killed or a prisoner of war. Sincerely hope he is not killed and I feel for you because of the suspense and anxiety that will be yours for some time to come.
In six weeks to two months time we hope to hear who are prisoners and I can only ask you to have patience till then and bear up as bravely as you can.
Left: KENNEDY, Ferguson, 738, Rifleman, 16th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 19th August 1916. A letter told his mother, Mrs Montgomery that, 'He was in the trenches with a working party when
the Germans began to fire. A shell killed your boy and one other and
wounded four others'.
The War Diary of the 16th Bn in part blames British troops for the death. It says, 'Without previous warning our artillery started bombardment, Bosche retaliated & killed two men' Others were wounded. 738 Ferguson Kennedy and 51 H Moorhead were the two 16th Bn men killed.
Aged 23, he was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast. He was the son of Mary Ann Montgomery of Slatt, Ballymena. He is buried in Berks Military Cemetery, Ploegsteert, Belgium.
Ferguson Kennedy is an enigma. The 1911 census shows him as a 17-year-old living with his widowed mother Mary Ann Montgomery at Slatt, Ballymena, and the 1901 census records Ferguson Kenney, the d in his name omitted, as a 7-year-old at Slatt and living with his mother, widow Mary A Montgomery. They live in the household of 71-year-old Esther Nevin; Ferguson’s mother is her daughter. Daughter Hessie Nevin (25) also lived there. There were three named grandchildren: David Montgomery (11), William Steele (7), and Ferguson Kennedy, the last already noted.
Records show Mary Ann Nevin, Slatt, had married James Montgomery, Little Ballymena (near Ballyclare) on the 1 March 1886. The wedding took place in 3rd Ahoghill Presbyterian Church. He had obviously died relatively soon after the marriage.
Records, however, do not record the birth of Ferguson Kennedy. They do record on the 17 December 1893 the birth of Ferguson Nevin, son of Mary Ann Nevin, Slatt; no father is recorded. Ferguson Nevin had changed his name to Ferguson Kennedy by 1901. This may have been his natural father’s name.
Left: KENNEDY, 630 Rifleman Robert James, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, brother of Arthur (above) died on the 1st July 1916 on the opening day of the Somme Offensive. He was born on the 27 October 1888 and was the son of James Kennedy and Jane Reid, Broughdone, Craigs, Cullybackey. The couple had married in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church on the 28 April 1886. His brothers George and Joseph also served and survived the war. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Cullybackey United Free Church.
KERNOHAN (Kernaghan & CWGC Kernahan), 11661 Private David, 6th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died of wounds on the 4th May 1918. He was born on the 14 September 1880 at Craigs, Cullybackey. He was the son of Robert Kernohan and Mary Ann Kilpatrick, the couple, both from Craigs, Cullybackey, having married in Ballymena Register Office on the 2 September 1876. David married Elizabeth Laverty on the 25 June 1902 in 3rd Ahoghill Presbyterian Church and had moved to Scotland. He enlisted in Hamilton and he lived at 27, Hunthill Road, High Blantyre. He was killed, as stated on cover note with his will, in Syria and is buried in Jerusalem War Cemetery, Israel.
1271 or 18/1271 Lance Corporal David, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died of illness in
France on the 17th December 1916. He was born at Islandmagee on the 17 April 1890 and he was the son of mariner David Kerr and Mary Ann McCalmont,
both of Islandmagee. The couple had married in 2nd Islandmagee Presbyterian Church on the 8 Jamuary 1875. He is buried in Wimereux Military Cemetery, France. 1271 David Kerr never, as some contemporary sources claim, lived in Ballymena as far as is known.
There was a soldier called David Kerr living in Greenmont Terrace in 1901 and 1911 and he was wounded. The Ballymena Observer of August 24, 1917 reported, 'Information has been received by Mr. David Kerr, Greenmount Terrace, Ballymena, informing him that his son, Lance Corporal David Kerr, Royal Irish Rifles, has been reported seriously wounded in the head and shoulder. He has also had his right arm amputated in hospital'. The Ballymena Observer, 31 August 1917 said, 'Nursing staff have informed the family that Lance Corporal Kerr's left arm has been amputated'. He probably did not die and he certainly had not been killed in December 1916. He appears to have been the son of David Kerr, Springwell Street and Agnes McNeill, Alfred Street, who had married on the 25 December 1882 at St Patrick's Parish Church, Ballyclug.
Right: KERR, 276045 Private Isaac, 7th Royal Scots, was killed in action on the 19th April 1917. He was born on the 17 June 1890 at Skerry East, Newtowncrommelin and enlisted in Edinburgh. He was employed in coal mining at Westrigg Colliery, United Collieries Limited and was a piper in Blackridge Pipe Band. His parents were Alex and Sarah Kerr, later Skerry East, Newtowncrommelin. Alex of Ballytaggart, near Ballymoney, had married Sarah Mary Dobbin, Kilraghts, Ballymoney in 2nd Ballymoney Presbyterian Church on the 1 January 1883. He is buried in Gaza War Cemetery, Israel. He is commemorated in Newtowncrommelin Presbyterian Church. Isaac was the brother of William (below) and they had both joined the 3/6th Battalion, Royal Scots but went to different battalions for active service.
Left: KERR, 352450 Private William John, 9th Royal Scots, was killed in action on the 21st April 1917. William John Kerr was born on the 8 May 1886 at Ballyweaney, Cloughmills, lived in Blackridge, Linlithgow, and enlisted in Edinburgh. He was employed in coal mining at Westrigg Colliery, United Collieries Limited and was a piper in the Blackridge Pipe Band. His parents were Alex and Sarah at Skerry East (see above). He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Pas De Calais, France and in Newtowncrommelin Presbyterian Church.
KILLOUGH, George, 20989, Royal Irish Regiment (formerly 2363 North Irish Horse, later posted to the 6th Royal Irish Rifles, 10th Irish Division, and subsequently to the Royal Irish Regiment, May 1918), died of disease, either dysentry or pneumonia, in Palestine on the 24th October 1918. He was 27, born at Moneyleck, Rasharkin on the 24 July 1892, the son of Andrew Killough and Mary Jane Wilson. He was the husband of Annie Lavinia Killough, nee Wilson, of Granagh, Rasharkin; the couple had married in Killymurris Presbyterian Church on the 3rd April 1917. He is commemorated in Rasharkin Presbyterian Church and is buried in Deir-el-Belah War Cemetery, Israel.
The Larne Times, 19 August 1916, has the above photograph
of 2894, Lance Corporal Jim King, Gordon Highlanders, who died on the 8th June 1916, and the caption says that he had
prior to the Great War worked at Breda Nurseries and that he came from
Randalstown. The Northern Whig of 24 July 1916, a Belfast newspaper, notes "Sergeant
Jim Beaton and Corporal Jim King, killed, were formerly in the employment of Mr
J. T. Lindsay, Breda Nursery. Deceased who were both serving in the Gordon
Highlanders, enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war. Beaton was a native of
Banchory, Scotland (2789 James Beaton, 1/7 Gordon Highlanders, was indeed
killed on 6 July 1916 and he had been born in Banchory.) and King belonged to
The 1911 Irish census records James Beaton,
gardener, aged 20 and born in Scotland and James King, a gardener and aged 18, born in
County Antrim, living with two other gardeners in a cottage at Breda, Knockbreda,
Ballybrogan, County Down. It would appear that James Beaton, probably senior
gardener, enlisted in the 7th Gordon Highlanders and James King followed his
KING, James, 19046, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles was killed in action on the 1st July 1916 on the Somme. He was reportedly born in Carnmoney but lived and enlisted in Ballymena. The 1901 census records the family at Carniny, Ballymena, and his father John died at Clonavon, Ballymena on the 21 December 1904. John King of Grange, Ballyscullion had married Rose Anne Erwin of Brocklamont, Ballymena in Ballymena Register Office on the 6 December 1875. James (27) of Carniny, Ballymena married Maggie Mitchell of Springwell Street in Ballymena Baptist Church on the 12 November 1910. The 1911 census recorded James (27) and Margaret (27) and his widowed mother Rose Ann at Ballyloughan, Ballymena. His wife was said at the time of his death to reside at 10 Springwell Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and 2nd Ballymena Presbyterian Church.
Right: KIRKWOOD, 19049 Lance Corporal Robert, 'C' Coy. 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds at Southwark Military Hospital on the 21st March 1916.
He was born in Kells on the 12 July 1892 and was the son of blacksmith Nathaniel Kirkwood and Maggie Jane Bailey, Kells. The couple, Nathaniel from Ballycraigy and Margaret from Connor, had married in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church on the 27 January 1890. The family appear in the 1901 and 1911 census returns. They listed eight children in 1901 and Maggie Jane (41) was a widow in 1911; Nathaniel had died on the 24 December 1901 and aged 39 years. Robert is buried in Nunhead (All Saints) Cemetery and he is commemorated Connor Presbyterian Church.
Right: LAMONT, 2nd Lieutenant John, 7th King's Own Scottish Borderers, was killed in action on the 12th May 1916.
He was born at Skerry West, Newtowncrommelin on the 28 December 1890 and was the son of John Lamont and Lillie Ann Stewart, Skerry West, Newtowncrommelin. The couple, both from Skerry West, had married in Newtowncrommelin Presbyterian Church on the 13 October 1880. He is buried Vermelles Military Cemetery, France. He is commemorated in Clough Cemetery.
Left: LAVERTY, Arthur, 19470, Private, 11th (S) Highland Light Infantry, born 6 August 1894 and the son of Alexander Laverty and Margaret Ferris, was killed in action on the 25th September 1915. Alexander Laverty of Cullybackey had married Margaret Ferris of Cardonaghy, Ahoghill in Ahoghill Parish Church (St Colmanell's) on the 22 July 1893. She was to die at Dreen, Cullybackey on the 4 September 1907.
Arthur enlisted Coatbridge, Scotland. He was originally billed as missing but enquiries led to Private J Brennan, 'A' Company, 11th Highland Light Infantry, then in the Scottish General Hospital, Craigleith, Edinburgh, reporting that 'On September 25, at Cambrai, I saw Laverty shot through the body and killed instantaneously; it was in a charge. This occurred about 8 or 9 am'. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial and in Cuningham Memorial Presbyterian Church.
As indicated in the newspaper cutting below, elements of the family fought and suffered in both world wars. QMS Samuel Laverty fought in WW1 and won the Military Medal. Two brothers, William (3779794, 7th Bn. Oxford & Bucks. Light Infantry, died 20/09/1944, son of Alexander and Agnes Laverty, of Cullybackey, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.) and Albert fought in WW2, William being killed. Agnes Dempsey, his second wife, married Alexander Laverty on the 20 April 1908 in Craigs Parish Church, Cullybackey.
LAVERTY, 6840 Lance Corporal Arthur, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, born 31 July 1885, was killed in action on the 13th October 1918, almost certainly in the taking of Goldflake Farm. The War Diary indicates that it was considered a problem. On the 11th October there was 'Heavy fire by our guns on Goldflake Farm, and enemy positions in the vicinity'. Next day 'D' Company attacked and captured Mansard Farm, then on the 13th October, ' 'C' Company attacked and captured Goldflake Farm, and pill-boxes immediately behind ... casualties slight'.
He was born at Craigs, Cullybackey, the son of Alexander Laverty and Elizabeth Marrs, who had married in 2nd Ahoghill Presbyterian Church on the 7 July 1883. They later lived at Hillmount, Cullybackey. He was the brother of Canadian soldier Alexander Laverty, also killed in action. Arthur's wife was Sarah Brownlee, mistakenly recorded as Brownlie. Arthur, then of Islandbawn, Muckamore, married Sarah of 12, Moat Road, Ballymena in High Kirk Presbyterian Church on the 16 October 1909. She was later Mrs. M. E. Frame (formerly Laverty), of 8, Roxburgh St., Belfast. He is buried in Dadizeele British Cemetery, Belgium.
6840 Arthur Laverty's Will
I leave all my personal property and belongings to my wife Sarah Laverty, Harperstown, Cullybackey, Co Antrim
LAVERTY, 7551 Rifleman William, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, born on the 5 December 1898 at Millquarter, Toome, died
on 2nd June 1916, and is buried in Etaples Cemetery, France. He was the
son of Patrick Laverty and Rose O'Neill, Millquarter,
Toomebridge. Labourer Patrick had married servant Rose in Moneyglass RC Church, Ballyscullion, Toome on the 26 September 1898.
Yellow dot marks place where 9423 Guardsman James Leetch, 1st Scots Guards was lost.
LENNOX, 1925 Rifleman James, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 22nd August 1916. He was born in Ballymena in 1896 and enlisted in Clandeboye. He was the son of James Lennox and Sarah Law, the couple, both textile workers from Leighinmohr, Ballymena, having married in Ahoghill Parish Church on the 24 May 1894. He was then 19, his wife 21. They lived at Alfred Street, Harryville in 1901 and were later at Edward Street, Harryville, Ballymena. Rifleman James Lennox is buried in Etretat Churchyard, Seine Maritime, France. He is commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church. See separate page for his story.
Right: LITTLE, 22849 Lance Corporal Robert, 'C' Company, 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, said to have died on the 12th December 1918 from existing injuries while a prisoner of war. He was captured at St Quentin on the 21st March 1918, the first day of the German Spring Offensive (Operation Michael) and, surprisingly, his German record is marked 'unverwundet' or 'unwounded'. He was at Cassel and Mannheim Camps, and he presumably died of abuse, malnutrition, disease or accident.
He was born 18 May 1885 at Main Street, Limavady, Co. Londonderry and he lived and enlisted in Ballymena. His parents, engine cleaner William from Ballyclose and his wife Annie Thompson of Meeting House Lane, both seemingly Ballymena locations, had married in Drumachose Parish Church on 21 July 1884. Jockey Robert of Tullygarley married Agnes Johnston, Galgorm Street, Ballymena in St Patrick's Parish Church on the 21 June 1905. His wife and five children resided at 1 Millview Place, off Robert Street, Galgorm Road, Ballymena.
He is buried in Niederzwehren Cemetery, Germany and commemorated in 2nd Ballymena Presbyterian Church.
LOGAN, 18605 Corporal Samuel, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was posted as missing on the 22nd November
1917. He was, as stated in a Ballymena Weekly Telegraph article of the 29 March 1919, subsequently deemed to have been killed on that date.
He was born on the 21 January 1898 at James Street, Ballymena and was the son of flax dresser James Logan and his wife Matilda. The couple, James of William Street, Ballymena and Matilda Turtle of James Street, Ballymena, had married in St Patrick's Parish Church, Ballyclug, Ballymena on the 25 December 1895. The family lived at Castle Gardens, off Edward Street, Harryville in 1901 and 1911. They had had six children by 1911 and all were then alive; Samuel was their eldest son. Samuel was employed in the Braidwater Spinning Mill before enlistment in Belfast early in the war. He is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval and in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.
Left: LOVE, 26/1632 Lance Corporal David, 2nd. Bn, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade, was killed in action on the Somme on 2 April 1918. He was a labourer and had been born on the 25 October 1885 at Killycreen, Glenbuck, near Glarryford. He was the son of farmer David Love, Killycreen and Hannah Jane Linton, Frocess, Dundermot, Glarryford. The couple had married in Ballymena Register Office on the 26 November 1872. They said they had had nine children together and all were alive in 1911. David listed as his next of kin his brother, a Mr Asher Love, Woodville, New Zealand. David had left New Zealand on the 1 April 1916 with the 2nd Reinforcements, 4th Battalion, H Company. He is remembered on the Grevillers (NZ) Memorial. See Ballymena New Zealanders.
LYNAS, 17/1552 Rifleman William John, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, a prisoner of war, died 'at 4.30 in the morning in war hospital 216 following inflamation of the lungs at Stendal' on the 29th June 1918. His German record says he was captured on the 21st March 1918 at St Quentin and 'was kept behind the lines on the transport to Stendal'. This means he may have died from flu in France and explain his burial there.
He was born on the 25 September 1897 at Alfred Street, Ballymena, though he told the Germans he was born in Belfast on the 22nd September 1887, and was the son of mill worker William Lynas of Alfred Street, Harryville, Ballymena and Mary Clarke, Garfield Place, Ballymena. The couple had married in St Patrick's Parish Church, Ballymena on the 25 December 1890. They were at Edenderry Street, Belfast in 1901 and were later at 219, Cambrai St., Belfast.
He is named on a headstone in Ballymena Old Cemetery, Church Street, Ballymena. He is buried in Premont British Cemetery, Aisne, France.
LYNCH, 3/6872 Private Michael James, 1st Somerset Light Infantry, was killed in action on the 9th August 1916. He was born in Belfast, enlisted in Cardiff and lived in Ballymena; this Ballymena connection is unproven. He served as Thomas Charles Blair. He is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.