Magee - Murray
NB: '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 often refer to an area, e. g. 'Cullybackey' often means 'from the Cullybackey area' rather that from the village itself.
Left: MAGILL, 41435 Private James, 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, (North Irish Horse Bn.) was killed in action on the 6th June 1918 by friendly fire, a French air raid. He was born on the 5 April 1893 and was the son of greengrocer Dyas (Dias) and Catherine (Cassie) Magill, of 25, Springwell St, Ballymena, Co Antrim. Dyas Magill had married housemaid Catherine Dunlop, also of Springwell Street, in All Saints RC Church, Ballymena on the 8 February 1893. James was to be the oldest of their 15 children.
James initially enlisted in the North Irish Horse in November 1915 and 1805 James Magill went to France in summer 1916. The men were transferred to the 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers and he became 41435 of 'A' Company.
He was to see a lot of action and to suffer shellshock but met his fate as a consequence of the German Spring Offensive of 1918. He was part of the retreat from St Quentin and was taken prisoner. He was held in a compound which was bombed by the French, the airship raid killing over twenty British prisoners. The Germans buried him and he was 'missing' until the bodies were later exhumed and he was identified from his paybook and identity disc. He is now buried in Ham British Cemetery, Muille-Villete, France. His death plaque and medals are now prominently displayed at Ballymena Services Club.
MARK, 41562 Private George, 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, formerly 2251 of the North Irish Horse, was killed in action on the 4th September 1918.
Mark's unit relieved regiments in the line that 'ran through St Quentin Cabaret-L'Alouette' on the 3rd September and they went into action on the 4th. 'Good progress was made' and the troops established a new line along a road, a hedge and along the breastwork line. The enemy were not numerous 'but their machine gun fire was heavy. The shelling was fairly heavy but was confined to vicinity of St Quentin Cabaret ... During the day there was ... sniping and machine gun fire' and St Quentin was again shelled. 'In the afternoon ... attempted counter attack was beaten back. At dusk ... patrols were pushed forward to get the line behind Bristol Castle but were unable to do so'. Somewhere on this day of action 41562 George Mark fell in battle.
He was born on the 3 April 1896 at Alfred Street, Harryville, Ballymena and he was the only son of Samuel and Mary J. Mark, later of 40, Casement Street, Ballymena. The couple, Samuel Mark from Craignageeragh, Ahoghill and Mary Jane Allen, from Ballybeg, Ahoghill, had married in 3rd (Brookside) Presbyterian Church, Ahoghill on the 16 March 1893. They were still at Ballybeg, Ahoghill and living with the Allen family in 1901 but were at Casement Street, Harryville, Ballymena in 1911.
George was in the North Irish Horse in 1916, with initially with them in France and Flanders in 1917, but like many dismounted NIH personnel he was transferred to the 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers. He had previously been slightly wounded in 1917.
Mark is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium, in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church, and on the family headstone is in Ballymena New Cemetery, Cushendall Road, Ballymena.
Left: MARTIN, 8490 Rifleman Jack (John), 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 18th September 1914. His unit was then, as stated in the War Diary, fighting in the 'Valley of the Aisne', and they were being subjected to daily shelling.
He was born on the 24 October 1886 and was the son of the John Martin and Catherine McGahey. Widower John had married Catherine, both Ballymena, in High Kirk Presbyterian Church, Ballymena on the 11 August 1894. John died at Albert Street, Ballymena on the 23 November 1898 and aged 63 years, and Catherine at Clonavon, Ballymena on the 21 January 1910 and aged 66 years.
The couple had three children listed in 1901 - Lizzie (16 - 11/10/1884), John (14-24/10/1886) and James (12-11/10/1888). Lizzie married Charles Magill, both of Springwell Street, in All Saints RC Church, Ballymena on the 26 December 1905 and in 1911 the couple were living at Coach Entry, off Castle Street. Charles (28) and Elizabeth (25) said they had had four children and one was alive in 1911, a girl called Maggie (1).
Jack enlisted in Ballymena, though his wife, Margaret Martin, lived at 52 Abercorn Road, Londonderry. He is commemorated on the La Ferte Sous Jouarre Memorial.
Right: MARTIN, 9014 Lance Corporal Joseph, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 10th March 1915. He was born on the 1 January 1889 at Craigavole, Ballymoney and he was the son of James Dorrens Martin and Elizabeth Gregg. The couple, James from Drumsaragh, Co Londonderry and Elizabeth from Landmore, Co. Londonderry, married in 2nd Kilrea Presbyterian Church on the 31 May 1878. The family lived at Hope Street, Ballymena in 1901 and 191; Joseph's will leaves his effects to his father James at 15 Hope Street, Ballymena. They said at the latter date that they had been married for 33 years and that all six of their children were then alive. Joseph Martin was then with the 1st Royal Irish Rifles, a soldier in 'Burmah and the Andaman Islands'.
The 1st Royal Irish Rifles first major action was the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, fought between 10 and 13 March 1915. A local soldier called Alexander, according to the Ballymena Observer, relayed the news to the parents of their son's death.
The War Diary says the battalion on the 10th March had gone into 'support trenches ... in orchard E. of Tilleroy Road ... 2nd Lincoln Regiment advanced ... but owing to the rapidity with which they advanced ... 1RIR filed out at once ... and attacked the 2nd objective ... there were heavy casualties ... the Battalion still continued ... pushed through Neuve Chapelle ... and at 9.40 am secured the line ... east of chateau garden ... Battalion remained in its positions throughout the night.'
The very heavy battalion casualties, amounting to 18 officers, including their Colonel, and 440 other ranks, included 9014 Joseph Martin.
He is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, France and in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church.
MAWHINNEY, 289182 Petty Officer Stoker William, HMS Gaillardia, was killed in action when his ship hit by a mine off the Orkneys during the night of the 22nd - 23rd March 1918. He had 20 years' service, having enlisted as boy sailor.
William Mawhinney was born on the 12 February 1878 at Ballymena and he was the son of Samuel Mawhinney and Jane McMeekin. The couple had had six children by 1911 and all were then alive. They were living at Edenvale, Shilvodan, near Randalstown in 1901 and 1911. His stated next of kin was Mr. Thomas McKeen, Bryan Street, Ballymena. He is named Chatham Naval Memorial.
H.M.S. Gaillardia was a Sloop of the Flower class. She was approximately 1250 tons and was built by Blyth SB and launched on the 19th May 1917 as a minesweeper. Her armament consisted of 2 x 4 inch guns and one 3 pounder AA gun.
There is a family headstone in Connor New Cemetery but William is not named. It reads:
Erected by Samuel Mawhinney, Edenvale.
In loving memory of his wife Jane, died 14th May 1920.
Also their son Samuel, died 8th Aug 1916.
The above Samuel Mawhinney, died 22nd Feb. 1933.
And Mary Lyle. died 9th Nov. 1953
James McMeekin Mawhinney, died 18th April 1969.
MAYBIN, 106392 Private Richard (Meban on headstone & census), 1 Canadian Mounted Rifles (Saskatchewan Regiment) was born on the 16 January 1889 and was originally a farmer, though he appears to have been working as a locomotive fireman at the time of his enlistment at Saskatoon on the 28 December 1914.
Meban or Maybin was from Co. Antrim, from the village of Broughshane. His mother Margaret was already a widow at the time of the 1901 census. She was a farmer and listed the following children, though whether they were the entire family is unknown: Maggie (24), Mary (22), John (20), Joseph (18) Agness sic (16) and Richard (12). In 1911 she stated she was 64, a widow and still farming. She listed three offspring: Mary (30), John (28) and Richard (21); all were single and it must have been shortly after this date that Richard went to seek his fortune in Canada.
Richard left Canada aboard the SS Megantic and reached England on 6 June 1915. His unit was in France on the 22 September 1915. The 1st CMR was with others manning the 3rd Division front east of Ypres (modern Ieper) in Belgium. An Allied advance was planned and troops moved forward, but the Germans struck on 2 June 1916 before the Allied plan could unfold.
The barrage devastated the forward Canadian positions and killed many, including the division commander, Major-General Malcolm Smith Mercer, the highest ranking Canadian officer to be killed in World War 1. German infantry then took Canadian positions at Mount Sorrel and on the two surrounding hills. A hastily organized counterattack on 3 June failed. Three days later, the Germans captured the village of Hooge. Ypres was at their mercy but the opportunity was not taken, and having lost the first two phases of the battle, the Canadians eventually achieved victory in the final operation.
Richard Meban’s effects were returned to his mother in Broughshane, among them his bagpipes (The Canadian CMR units, 48th Highlanders of Canada, had a pipe band and Richard was a piper.) The instrument lay forgotten in an attic for many years but was recently rediscovered. The pipes were restored by Harold Bennett, Dungannon. The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch, subsequently decided to participate in a Living Memory project to mark the Battle of the Somme Centenary, and held a Slow Air/Lament Pipe Tune Composer’s Competition in July 2016. It agreed that the tune should be named in memory of Private Richard Meban (Maybin). The winning tune was composed by Iain Bell, Dumfries, Scotland and was played in 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church on 2 November 2016 by Ian Burrows on the pipes that belonged to Private Meban. A framed copy of the tune was presented to George McMullan, Clerk of Session, 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church.
Right: McALEESE, 18/816 Rifleman Joseph, 9th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 8th June 1917.
His unit in southern Belgium where the 36th Division was deployed to help capture the Messines-Wytschaete Ridge. They 'marched via Dranoutre, the south slope of Kemmel Hill and via tracks to the assembly trenches for attack.' They were in position and ready by 2 am. At 'Zero Hour', 3.10 am on the 7th June 1917, they still had the element of surprise, the enemy 'entirely unconscious of the fact that an attack was imminent, a relief actually being in progress at the time'. One of the mines under German trenches, that at Spanbroekmolen, was exploded in front of their positions and 'this dominating defence ... was transformed into a large crater ... on the stroke of Zero our artillery and machine guns open and placed a barrage on the enemy line behind which our troops advanced ... our men were able to keep within 40 yards of it till the final objective was reached'. Things went well generally, many Germans captured as they fled L'Enfer Wood, but not for Rifleman McAleese. These events described and others surrounding them, such as the German shelling of Steenbeek Valley and other positions in the morning, created the conditions in which he was wounded and died. The rest of the men were relieved and withdrew to Fort Victoria on the 8th June; the interim tally recorded 21 dead, 93 wounded and 1 missing.
He was born in Ballymena on the 30 July 1897 at Robert Street, Ballymena and was the son of Margaret McAleese. She married pedlar William Griffen on the 22 April 1901 in Armoy Parish Church. Local press refer to her as Gubbin, Gribben or Gribbon; CWGC record her as Gubbin). Her address was 2 Mill Row, Ballymena - Mill Row/Mill View led off Robert Street. The couple were at Robert Street in 1911 and said they had ten children but only four had survived. They list Annie (5), Lizzie (2) and infant James. Joseph McAleese (13) is listed as a relative. Joseph is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery, France.
Left: McAnally (sometimes McNally), 6/2795 Lance Corporal Hugh, 6th Connaught Rangers, died of wounds in Bellahoustin Military Hospital, Glasgow. He had been slightly wounded in the stomach but remained in the field, though assigned only light duties. His condition deteriorated and he was eventually transferred to hospital in Scotland. A telegram reached Mrs McNally from his commanding officer, this stating that her husband was seriously ill and asking that she go over to see him. She went but may have arrived too late. Lance Corporal Hugh McAnally died of septicaemia on Thursday 23rd March 1916 in Bellahouston Military Hospital, Glasgow.
He had been born on the 13 February 1878 at Cullybackey and he was the son of Margaret McAnally - no father is named, though the 1901 Irish census says 62 year old Margaret McAnalley (sic) was a widow. 22-year-old Hugh is also recorded.
Hugh of Galgorm Street, Ballymena married Sarah McKeown, Coach Entry, off Castle Street, Ballymena in All Saints RC Church, Ballymena on the 17 November 1902; the record says his father was 'not known'. Margaret McAnally died aged 63 on the 9 December 1906 at Galgorm Street, Ballymena, her son's wife Sarah being with her. CWGC say Hugh's wife Sarah lived at Railway Place, Ballymena and that Hugh's parents, John and Margaret McAnally, lived in Cullybackey. He is buried in St. Mary's (Aughnahoy) Cemetery, Ahoghill Road, Portglenone.
Right: McATEER, 10187 Private Adam, 'D' Coy. 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was deemed killed in action on the 22nd May 1915. He was 'missing in action' until a statement from a fellow soldier surfaced and it said the man had seen him killed at Gurkha Bluff, near Achi Baba. He had apparently been buried in the cemetery at Gurkha Bluff but the whereabouts of the grave was unknown.
He was born on the 23 August 1893 at Railway Street, Ballymena and enlisted in Glasgow. He was the son of Archibald McAteer and Jane McCaughey, later of 26 Waring Street, Ballymena. Farmer Archibald McAteer, Ballyloughan, Ballymena married Jenny (sic) McCaughey of Killyflugh, Ballymena in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church on the 8 March 1878. Adam is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli and in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church. He was the brother of Nathaniel (below). Six McAteer brothers served in the war. The four who survived the experience were Thomas, North Irish Horse; Wilson, Royal Irish Rifles; Archibald, Royal Garrrison Artillery; and James, Royal Irish Rifles.
Right: McBRIDE, 11/19633 Rifleman Thomas, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 4th April 1916.
He was born on the 15 July 1889 at Kilknock, Drummaul and lived at Muckrim. He was the son of farmer and widower John McBride, Muckrim, Duneane and Ellen Nicholl, Kilknock, Drummaul, two townlands close to Randalstown. The pair had married in 2nd Ahoghill Presbyterian Church (Trinity) on the 19 January 1889. The couple had a large family, though two perished in childhood - Thomas McBride (born 15th July 1889), Robert McBride (born 6th September 1891), Agnes McBride (born 28th April 1894, died 27th October 1902), David McBride (born 10th August 1896), Samuel McBride (born 11th November 1899), George McBride (born 24th January 1902, died 30th January 1902), Ellen McBride (born 21st November 1902), Maggie McBride (born 1st January 1907).
Thomas's death was noted in the Belfast Newsletter of the 13th April 1916. It said : Mr John McBride of Muckrim, Toomebridge, has received official intimation that his eldest son, Private Thomas McBride, Royal Irish Rifles, has been killed in action. The deceased, who was 25 years of age and most popular in the Toome district, enlisted in the Ulster Division in September 1914.
His will left his effects to his sister Margaret at Muckrim, Toomebridge.
He is buried St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen and commemorated in Grange Presbyterian Church.
McCann Grave Marker, Crebilly RC Cemetery
McCART (Ross), John, 818 Rifleman John, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916, the opening day of the Battle of the Somme. He was born on the 27 February 1896 at Mill Row (sometimes Mill View, ran between Robert Street and George's Street), Ballymena, and he was the son of watchmaker George Ross and Margaret McCart. The couple had married in High Kirk Presbyterian Church, Ballymena on the 13 January 1893. The family were living at George's Street in 1901 and at Coach Entry, just off Castle Street, in 1911. Widow Margaret Ross was still at Castle Street, Ballymena when John was killed; George had died on 31 March 1905 at George's Street, Ballymena.
CWGC have him listed as John McCart, as shown on the newspaper photograph, but he was actually John McCart Ross and he was the brother of 17896 George Ross, also killed. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme and in St Patrick's Parish Church, Ballymena.
Left: McCARTNEY, 2729 Trooper James, Household Cavalry, died of wounds on the 24th November 1917. He was born on the 15 August 1894 and was the son of James McCartney and Martha Johnston, Legagrane, Cargan, Newtowncrommelin. The couple had married in Newtowncrommelin Presbyterian Church on the 3 September 1890. James enlisted in Falkirk and lived Antrim. He was the brother of William (see below) and John. He is buried in Newtowncrommelin Presbyterian Churchyard. The headstone is almost illegible.
McCartney Grave, Newtowncrommelin Presbyterian Churchyard.
In loving memory of James McCartney Jnr. Died 29th November, 1917, aged 23 years.
"He made the supreme sacrifice, for God, King and country."
Also his brother William, died 29th September, 1918, aged 22 years, whose body lies in France.
Also their father James McCartney, died 22nd Jan. 1926, aged 63 years.
Right: McCLEAN, 18/727 Rifleman Alexander Hinds, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 29th May 1917. He was born on the 13 June 1898 was the third son of Hugh McClean and Ann Surgenor, Bracknamuckley, Portglenone. The couple, Hugh (McLean sic) from Mullinsallagh, Portglenone and Ann from Gortfad, Portglenone, had married in 3rd Portglenone Presbyterian Church on the 5 December 1884.
The War Diary of the 11th Royal Irish Rifles tells us the 11th Battalion had moved forward to relieve the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles on the 26th May. They were still there on the 29th May and were caught up in an incident involving the 12th Royal Irish Rifles. The record reads: '4.00 am - Enemy attempted to raid Battalion (12th RIR) on our right. Barrage extended to our right Company causing 7 casualties, 4 killed and 3 wounded.' Alexander McClean was probably one of these.
Alexander is buried in Pond Farm Cemetery, Belgium and commemorated in 3rd Portglenone Presbyterian Church.
McCLEARY, Andrew, 12428, Guardsman, 1st Scots Guards, was killed in action on the 25th January 1915. Aged 31, he was born at Clough, Co Antrim and enlisted Bo'ness. He was the husband of Annie McCleary, 27, Murrayfield Terrace, West Lothian, Scotland. He is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, France.
The unit were in the Cinchy-La Bassee area. A German deserter warned them on the 25th January that an attack was imminent and it unfolded one hour later just as he described. The War Diary describes events thus: '5 RF & 40 LF got away ... the Germans first shelled them, then got out of their trench, and attacked ... threw bombs (grenades) in, got to the lip of the parapet and shot ... into the trenches. The Germans afterwards swarmed up to the 'Keep' ... they were checked and held.' Reinforcement allowed a counter attack at 1 pm 'but did not retake much ground.' The 'Battalion was relieved at 4 pm by the Sussex Regiment' and on the 26th marched back to Bethune and billets at Caserne Montmorency. The tour, as recorded in the diary, cost the unit 4 officers and 27 other ranks killed, 3 officers and 120 men wounded, and 7 officers and 235 men missing.
He was possibly/probably Andrew McCleary, son of miner John McCleary and his wife Elizabeth Young of Skerry East, near Clough. There is no record of the family in Ireland in 1901 or 1911 and they may well have emigrated to Scotland long before the Great War.
Right: McCLINTOCK, 7300 Rifleman David, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 26th August 1914.
He was born on the 2 May 1884 at Broughshane Street, Ballymena and he was the son of Patrick McClintock and Sarah Elder. The couple had married in St Patrick's Parish Church, Ballymena on the 11 April 1883. The family were at Coach Entry, Castle Street, Ballymena in 1901 and at Mitchell's Entry (off Coach Entry, Castle Street?) in 1911. Twelve children were born of the marriage but only three boys survived, namely Patrick. John and Robert; the last daughter, Matilda of Tilda, died at James Street, Harryville in 1902. He was the brother of 6322 Robert - see below. David McCormick is commemorated on the La Ferte Sous Jouarre Memorial, France.
The Battle of Le Cateau in which he perished was one element of the Retreat from Mons. British forces, the Germans in pursuit, were moving fast, units marching in excess of twenty miles in a day. They were exhausted: the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles and other units had fought on 23 August and then spent 48 hours marching some 45 miles. The War Diary says that on the 25th August 1914 they ‘took up position covering the retirement, [and] ‘subsequently … acted as rearguard to the Brigade. They then ‘retired via Gommegnies, Le Quesnoy. At Le Quesnoy [they] received report that a strong German force of all arms was in our rear. Fell back to Romeries and Le Cateau to Maurois and went into temporary billets’.
However, Smith-Dorrien believed, though Sir John French disagreed, that his II Corps needed to inflict a blow to break General Von Kluck’s First Army momentum. He chose to deliver the strike on the open countryside along a line running west from Le Cateau. On the morning of the 26th August the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles ‘received orders to take up a position near Caudry’. They became in effect a Corps reserve battalion ready with others to counter any German breakthrough at the dangerous salient around Caudry that was held by 7 Brigade, the left brigade of 3rd Division.
Two Royal Field Artillery batteries were deployed in the open a few hundred yards to the rear of the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles. In the ensuing battle the advancing enemy in the open was devastated by their shrapnel shells and by rifle and MG fire from the professional soldiers of the British Army. However, German numbers were great, the odds so imbalanced, that by mid-afternoon the forward divisions were beginning to give way. The Army Commander, General Sir John French, anticipating the destruction of II Corps, ordered Smith-Dorrien to retire at 1530 hours.
Parts of the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles withdrew from Caudry, following an earlier deployment of reserves, to cover 7th Brigade’s eventual withdrawal, and some twenty minutes after the Brigade was clear, the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles withdrew and rejoined 7th Brigade around midnight at Beaurevoir. They had lost 60 men killed in action, many more missing, wounded or taken prisoner, but for a total of just under 8000 casualties killed, wounded or missing, and for the second time in three days, the British had inflicted heavy losses on the Germans and managed to disengage successfully.
7300 David McClintock was killed in the maelstrom. His fate was known because another Ballymena soldier relayed the news to his home town. He said, ‘Private David McClintock of Garfield Place, Ballymena was wounded in this battle, being shot in the back and he was taken to this hospital. The church was afterwards blown up by a German shell and almost all the occupants killed. I looked for Private McClintock afterwards and made inquiries about him but I could find no trace of him, and I am afraid he must be dead'. However, it was only on 21st May 1915 that the Ballymena Observer could report that, ‘Mrs.. McClintock, Parkhead, was notified on Saturday last that her son, Private David McClintock of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles has been killed in action. He was wounded a considerable time ago and no news has been received from him since. The hospital to which he was taken was believed to have been shelled by the Germans and it is surmised that he lost his life in that way.’
Right: McCONACHY, (also McConaghy and McConaghie) 234602 Able Seaman Charles George (Birth register says George Charles), H.M.S. Amphion, was lost as the result of mine explosion on the 6th August 1914. He was born on the 9 July 1889 at 9, Pacific Avenue, Belfast and he was the son of David McConachy sic and Margaret Anderson. The couple, a 30-year-old clerk, and Margaret Anderson, a cook from Dungiven, Co Londonderry, had been married by Father John Walsh of Dungiven at 7, Butcher Street, Londonderry. They were living at Kentullagh Terrace, Cullybackey Road, Ballymena in 1901. David, 44 and a widower, listed four children - Maggie (13), Charles George (11), James A (9) and Ethel F (7). David and his family were then Presbyterians and he was then attending Ballymena Academy. His mother had died at 24, Eglington Street, Belfast and aged 32 on the 21 May 1895. CWGC give the family address as Strath House, Dungiven, Londonderry. He is commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial.
HMS Amphion was the first Royal Navy ship to be sunk in WW1. On the 5th August 1914 HMS Amphion sank the German vessel Konigin Luise but next day at 6.30 am she hit a mine off the Thames Estuary. Almost immediately all the forward parts of the were on fire and it proved impossible to flood the fore magazine. The ship's back appeared to be broken and by the time other destroyers closed in it was clearly time to abandon ship. Three minutes later the vessel exploded, debris falling on the rescue boats. One of the Amphion's shells burst on the deck of a destroyer killing two of the men and a German prisoner rescued from the cruiser. After 15 minutes the Amphion had disappeared. 151 lives were lost, together with those of 19 German sailors who had been rescued from the Konigin Luise.
Adapted from the Ballymena Observer, 21st August 1914
Left: McCORD, 3450 Private William, 1/8th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, was killed in action on the 13th November 1916. He was born on the 13 July 1898 at Cullybackey and he was the second son of Thomas McCord and Elizabeth Adger. The couple, labourer Thomas from Corbally and Elizabeth from Moneydollagh, had married in Ballymena Register Office on the 5 October 1894. They were living in Cullybackey village in 1901 and 1911 and said at the latter date that they had had nine children; seven were alive in 1911 - Joseph (16), William (13), Emily Fleming (12), Elizabeth (10), John (6), Robert (5) and James (1). William had worked for William Young of Finaghy but he had moved to Larne with his parents before the Great War. He was employed at Drumalis House and was one of the Dowager Lady Smiley's staff when he enlisted. CWGC give his parents' address was 17, Newingtown Avenue, Larne. His will of July 1916 leaves his effects to his mother at 19 Herbert Avenue, Larne.
William is buried in Mailly Wood Cemetery, France and commemorated in the Cuningham Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cullybackey and in Gardenmore Presbyterian Church, Larne.
McCOSH, 781211, Private Samuel James, 46th Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regt), was killed in action on the 2nd September 1918. He lived in Briercrest, Saskatchewan and was a farmer. He was born on the 14 March 1889 at Knockboy, Broughshane and he was the son of David McCosh and Lydia Speers. The pair, David from Knockboy, Broughshane and Lydia from Rathkenny, had married in Cloughwater Presbyterian Church on the 3 October 1878. The 1901 census shows them at Carncoagh, Glenravel and the 1911 census records them living at Knockboy, Broughshane. The pair said in 1911 that they had had eleven children and that ten were alive in 1911. They had in 1901 recorded Agnes & John (21), Annie (17), Samuel (11), Martha & Margaret (9) David (7), Robert (5), Lizzie (3) and Isabella (infant).
Samuel James McCosh is buried in Dury Crucifix Cemetery, France. See Ballymena Canadians
(McCrackin), 487 Rifleman Robert 13th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the Somme on 1st
July 1916. He was living with his grandfather Griffen McCracken, Bottom, Ballymena in 1901 and with his aunt, Isabella McCracken, at Ballyclosh, Ballymena in 1911.
Tailor Robert McCracken had married linen weaver Mary Magill, Harryville in High Kirk Presbyterian Church on the 31 March 1902, and the record says his father was Robert McCracken, possibly an error. Mary died at Moat Road in Harryville, Ballymena on the 20 September 1906. She was 24 years old and her mother Eliza was present at her death. The 1901 census shows widow Elizabeth Magill living at Moat Road with her carpenter son Richard (32), and daughters Martha (20), Mary (18) and Lizzie (15).
Widower and tailor Robert was living at Ballyclosh, Ballymena in 1911 in the household of widow Isabella McCracken (60). Daughter Martha McCracken (27), nephew Robert McCracken (28) and nephew James Getty (32) were the others listed.
Robert married a second time on the 29 April 1911 in the Cuningham Memoral Presbyterian Church, his new wife being Martha McCracken, Ballymena; his father's name was recorded as John. It was to her that he left his possessions in his will and she was then living at Station Road, Cullybackey. Robert is commemorated on the Thiepval Memoiral, Somme and in the Cuningham Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cullybackey.
Right: McDONALD, 257 and 18/257 (The 18/ refers to the 18th RIR, a training battalion) Rifleman Albert, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 29th April 1918. The War Diary shows that the unit 'moved into Pilkem trenches. Brigade HQ Foch Farm', NNE of Ypres, on the 22nd April. No details of events are given but the entry for the 29th April indicates '10 other ranks wounded. 7 killed, 5 other ranks missing'. CWGC also records 7 killed, McDonald being one of them.
He was born at Greenvale Street, Ballymena on the 21 July 1899 and he was the youngest son of butcher and cattle dealer David McDonald and Sarah O'Neill, Greenvale Street, off Broughshane Street, Ballymena. They were there in 1901 and 1911. The couple, both of Ballymena, had married in High Kirk (2nd Ballymena) Presbyterian Church on the 7 January 1876. They said in 1911 that they had had sixteen children and that eleven were still alive in 1911.
Albert had enlisted aged 16 in 1915 and had been at the front for only three months when he was killed after having volunteered to assist a wiring party.
He is buried in New Irish Farm Cemetery, Ypres and commemorated in 2nd Ballymena Presbyterian Church.
McDONALD, 67686 Gunner Thomas, 101st Siege Bty., Royal Garrison Artillery, died of wounds on the 7th July 1916 of wounds received on the 2nd July 1916. The War Diary entry for the 2nd July shows the guns at Bienvillers and reports the men 'shelled junction of Fellow, Fell and Etch trenches by order to prevent counter attack & prevent working parties'. There is no information about how Thomas McDonald might have been wounded. However, two other soldiers of the unit were killed on the 2nd July and are buried in Bienvillers Military Cemetery. They were 66277 E Hall and 64029 E Sharp. A third was wounded and died the next day. He was Acting Bombadier John Reginald Evans. The Primitive Methodist Leader newspaper reported on 29th July 1916 as follows: 'John Reginald Evans – Many will regret to hear of the death of John Reginald, son of Rev. and Mrs S Evans, of Redhill. He was with the R.G.A. at the front, was wounded by a bursting of a shell and succumbed to his injuries the following day ... he had been ... chief dispatch rider for the battery.' (quoted from WWW.undying memory.net/HAVERHILL/evans-john.html) It seems likely this same shell also wounded and killed McDonald.
Thomas McDonald was born on the 17 July 1896 and was the son of carpenter Robert James McDonald and Lila McLaughlin, both of Ballymena. The couple had married in Ballymena RC Chapel on the 7 November 1885. The family are listed at Larne Street, Ballymena in 1911 and they said they had had nine children. All were alive in 1911 and all had been born at James Street, just off Larne Street. The children were as follows: Robert Emmet (1886), Henry (1888), William (1890), Edward (1894), Thomas (1896), Clara 1898), Charles (1898), Joseph Patrick (1899) and Annie (1902).
Thomas had been in the army for nine months when he was killed. The family then lived at 7, Larne Street, Ballymena. He is buried in Carnoy Military Cemetery, France.
McDOWELL, 13882 Private/Drummer Hugh, 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died of wounds in No.2 Stationary Hospital, Abbeville, France on the 26th May 1916. He had been in France and Flanders since 5th October 1915.
He was born on the 27 July 1893 at Moat Road, Ballymena and was the son of the late Hugh McDowell, Ballymena and his wife Mary Chambers. The couple had married in 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church on the 22 July 1890. The family were at Kinhilt Street, Clonavon, Ballymena in 1911 and they were living with John Chambers (73) and his wife Margaret (72). The house was also home to daughters Maggie J D Chambers (38) and Sarah Chambers (33) and six grandchildren. They were Hugh McDowell (18), Maggie McDowell (14), Sarah McDowell (12), Mary McDowell (9), Jessie Chambers (18) and Elsie Coulter (6). Maggie, Sarah and Mary were all born in Dumbartonshire, Scotland. Had the children returned to Ballymena to live with their grandparents after the death of their parent/parents?
His death was documented in local press. The Ballymena Observer, June 2, 1916 reported:
fortnight ago we intimated in this column that Drummer Hugh McDowell of
the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Ulster Division) has been seriously
wounded by shrapnel on the shoulder, muscles of the arms and knee, while
serving in the trenches and we regret this week to record his death as
the result of his wounds which took place on Friday evening last in No.2
Stationary Hospital, Abbeville France.
sad news was contained in a telegram which reached his relatives who
reside at Kinhilt Street, Ballymena on Monday morning. A letter from a
nurse in the hospital received on Tuesday stated that his position
became worse and he died somewhat suddenly at 9.45 pm and that he was
such a good patient and seldom complained of pain.
Drummer McDowell enlisted in September 1914 and after training in Ireland and England he proceeded to the front with the Ulster Division. Prior to his enlistment he was employed in the dressing shop of the Phoenix Weaving Factory, Ballymena and he was a popular member of the Young Conquerors Flute Band. He was a member of Wellington Street Presbyterian Church and was a prominent figure in the choir.
He had kin at 1, Windsor Terrace, Clonavon, Ballymena and in Canada, and CWGC record him as the son of the late Mr and Mrs Hugh McDowell.
He is buried in Abbeville Military Cemetery and commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church.
Right: McFADDEN, 234899 Able Seaman Andrew, Royal Navy, was washed overboard from HMS Foresight on the 15th December 1915. He was a former employee of the Braidwater Spinning Mill had been in the Royal Navy for about eleven years by the time of the tragedy. He, son of William McFadden of Duneany, Glarryford and Nancy Wright of Craigs, Cullybackey, had been born on the 15 December 1887 at Duneany. The couple had married in the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Cullybackey on the 2 January 1886.
The family were at Dunclug, Kirkinriola in 1901 and Nancy (48) listed four children - Ellin sic (21), Andrew (13), Maggie (10) and Samuel (8). The parents lived at James Street, Harryville, Ballymena in 1911, and his sister Maggie was Mrs Thomas Russell of Newington Ave, Larne. He is commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial.
HMS Foresight was built by Fairfield. She was laid down in October 1903 and finally finished in 1905. She survived the war and was scrapped in 1920. She was one of a class of ships which, though capable of speeds of 25 knots, were not highly regarded. Her career was as follows: 1914 - 8th Destroyer Flotilla Dover Patrol; May 1915 - Temporarily attached 6th Light Cruiser Squadron Humber; 1915 - Mediterranean; July 1916 - Aegean.
772240 Samuel McFadden (below) was his brother.
Left: McFADDEN (birth recorded as McFaddin), 772240 Private Samuel, 1st Canadian Infantry (Western Ontario Regt), died of wounds on the 4th April 1917. He was born on the 25 May 1891 at Crushybracken, near Glarryford and was the son of William McFadden and Nancy Wright. He was living at Dunclug, Kirkinriola, Ballymena in 1901 and he was a boarder at Newington Avenue, Larne in 1911. This was in the household of labourer Thomas Russell (24), husband of his sister Maggie (21). The couple had a one year old daughter called Annie.
Canadian papers give the parental address as 27 Herbert Street, Larne. Samuel is buried in Ecoivres Military Cemetery, Mont St Eloi, France. His brother was Andrew McFadden (above).
McFARLAND, 7518 Rifleman George, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action at Kemmel, Belgium on the 14th January 1915. The entire War Diary entry for that date reads as follows: 'Kemmel. 1 Killed'. 2nd Royal Irish Rifles had gone into the line on the 12th January and had men, including an attached Rifle Brigade officer, killed or wounded every day until they were relieved and went to Locre (modern Loker) on the 16th January.
He was born on the 8 November 1886 at Moat Road, Ballymena and he was the son of Robert McFarland and his second wife Margaret Watt; she was to die on the 17 January 1900. The couple, both from Ballymena, had married in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church on the 6 February 1886.
George was living at Glenwood Street, Belfast in 1901 and his widow Agnes lived at 7 Roseberry Street, Belfast. George McFarland and Agnes Patterson had married in Belmont Presbyterian Church on the 7 September 1911.
George enlisted in Ballykinlar. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate) and on a gravestone at Ballymarlow & Ballyclug Church of Ireland. It states he was killed in action at La Bassee.
McGALL, DCM, 3/10823 Private James, actually William James, Durham Light Infantry (Depot), died on the 1st November 1918 of influenza and pneumonia. He was born on the 7 April 1884 at Portglenone and was the son of Johnston McGall and Lizzie Gourley, Portglenone. The couple, Johnston from Tyanee, and Elisa from Portglenone village, had married in Portglenone Parish Church on the 20 February 1879. James worked in Newcastle on Tyne and enlisted in Gateshead. His wife Sarah Jane, nee Scott, lived at Portglenone. In 1911 she was 29 and living in her family home at Portglenone with her parents Hugh and Sarah Scott, two brothers and a nephew, and she listed two children, Agnes (4) and Sarah (2).
James is buried in Heworth (St Mary's) Churchyard, Co Durham.
McGARRY, 3111165 Private Bernard, 'M' Company, 315th US Infantry, 79th Division was killed in action on the 29 September 1918 and was buried at Nantillois, Meuse before his reburial in the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery, France. Nantillois was almost totally destroyed during the Great War. It was occupied by the Germans for just over 4 years, and liberated by US troops on 28 September 1918, as part of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive which started on 26 September 1918.
He was born on the 29 August 1891 at Killygarn, Portglenone and was the son of John McGarry and Jane McGill (also Magill). The couple, John from Kilcurry and Jane from Killygarn, had married in St Mary's RC Chapel, Aughnahoy, Portglenone on the 15 February 1884. They lived at Kilcurry, Ahoghill at the time of the census recording in 1901 and 1911.
Bernard McKeever listed his aunt as his next of kin. She was Anna Walker, 2713 North 4th Street, Philadelphia, USA.
The family grave is in Portglenone (St Mary's, Aughnahoy) RC Churchyard and reads as follows:
Erected in loving memory of John McGarry Kilcurry who died 13th February 1922, Aged 56 years
Also his son Bernard of the American Army who was killed in France 29th September 1918, Aged 25 years
Also his wife Jane who died 14th March 1941, Aged 77 years
McGARVEY, 17/1803 Rifleman James, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on
the 30th September 1918 during the events described below.
The War Diary for the 29th/30th September 1918 reads: '29.9.18 - Battalion marched out at 4 am via Menin Gate-Hellfire Corner-Westhoek-Glencorse Wood-Black Watch Corner (SE Corner of Polygon Wood). About 1 pm Battalion were ordered to move up and take up a position in rear of 109th Infantry Brigade on the high ground N.W. of Bercelaere. On the night of 29.9.18 Battalion received orders to move forward with the 9th Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers on its right along the Molenhouck-Terhand - Dadizeele Road, passing through the 109th Infantry Brigade, reported to be holding a line N. & S. through Terhand at 7 am 30.9.18.- As the 109th infantry Brigade was found to be forward of this line the Battalion did not deploy until it reached Westhoek, advancing with "A' Coy on the left, ‘B’“Coy on the right, 'D' Coy in support, and 'C’ Coy. in reserve left of Battalion resting on Dadizeele- Klephoek-Ledeghem Road right of Vijfwegen. About 10.30 am the line ran Richmond Crossroads along Roulers Menin Road-Showery Crossroads-Henessy House -Brunswick Copse-Vifjwegen Corner. Right being held up at Hill 41 which was strongly held by the enemy and made it impossible to advance beyond the Roulers-Menin Road, especially as the 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers on the right had been held up by strong enemy resistance in Square K23 (roughly). During the night 30th/1st October, the line as above described was unchanged and the portion S.W. of Brunswick Copse was taken over by 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers.'
He was born on the 7 August 1888 at Cross, Ballyclug, Ballymena, the son of unmarried mother Catherine McGarvey. He enlisted in Belfast. He is buried in Dadizeele New British Cemetery, Belgium.
McGOWAN, 6190 Rifleman James, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the Somme on the 1st July 1916. He was the son of William McGowan (also Magowan) and Jane Gray; the information comes from the registration of his brother John's birth. The parents, both from Drumfin, near Ballymena, had married in Ballymena Register Office on the 5 December 1893. Some reports say he was born in Bushmills but this seems unlikely. The family appear in the 1901 and 1911 census returns, present at Drumfin in 1901 and at Coach Entry, Castle Street, Ballymena in 1911. They said in 1911 that they had had seven children, all of them alive at the time of the census. All registered births relate to the Ballymena area. Hugh was born at Drumfin in 1894, John at Drumfin in 1896, Hannah at Drumfin in 1900, Sarah at nearby Bellee in 1902, William at Pound Cottages, Ballymena in 1905 and Samuel at Portglenone in 1907. James's birth registration is missing but we know he was two years younger than John. CWGC say James was the son of Jane McGowan, 4, King Street, Ballymena and that he is commemorated on the Theipval Memorial, Somme.
McGOWAN, 12/19687 Rifleman John, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the Somme on the 1st July 1916. He was born at Drumfin, Kirkinriola, near Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast. He was the son of William McGowan and Jane Gray, and in 1916 they lived at 4, King Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Theipval Memorial, Somme. He was the brother of James (above) and full details of the family can be found above.
Right: McILROY, 23187 Private Henry (Harry), 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action when a dugout was shelled or mined on the 16th August 1917, the opening day of the Battle of Langemarck, an early phase of the 3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele).
Aged 25 and a former member of the UVF, he had been born on the 27 August 1892, the son of Henry McIlroy and Jane Neilly. Henry McIlroy of Mossside, Scotland had married Jane Neely (sic) of Fenagh, Galgorm in Cullybackey (Cuningham Memorial) Presbyterian Church on the 15 July 1891.
Henry McIlroy enlisted in Glasgow. CWGC record him as the son of Mrs. Taylor, of Fenagh Cottage, Ballymena. Henry (Snr) had died in 1894 and aged 36 years. Jane Neilly/McIlroy thereafter married William Taylor of Fenagh in Ballymena Register Office on the 3 March 1896. Henry and Samuel McIlroy were stepsons living with his mother's new family at Fenagh in 1901 and Henry was again recorded there in 1911.
He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.
Left: McILROY 11929 Private John, 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers, was deemed MIA/KIA at Loos on the 26th September 1915 - the Battle of Loos took place from 25 September - 8 October 1915.
On the 24th September 1915 'the Battalion moved from billets in Bethune to Cambrin and occupied Grenay Lines' and next day at 5 am 'the Battalion moved towards the front line trenches … At 5 pm left front line trenches and advanced past right of Hohenzollern Redoubt to Fosse Trench, which they occupied. Two Companies sent to support in … Pekin Trench shortly afterwards. At 9 pm these two Companies forced to withdraw from Pekin Trench owing to strong bombing attack by enemy.'
On the 26th September, the day of McIlroy's presumed death, 'At 1am the Battalion withdrew from Fosse Trench, one Company occupying part of Hohenzollern Redoubt, and being relieved at dawn by Middlesex, remainder of Battalion occupied support trench behind our old front line. Through the day was relieved in the Quarry. At 3 pm 2 Company were sent forward to occupy Hohenzollern Redoubt & 5.30 pm remainder of Battalion joined them, staying there until midnight.'
He was born on the 22 December 1889 at Ballyclosh, Cullybackey, the son of Robert McIlroy and Ann Erwin. Robert from Ballyclosh and Anne from Dunnygarran had married in West Church Presbyterian Church, Ballymena on the 19 June 1886.
The family were living at Ballyclosh in 1901 and at Dunnygarran, Cullybackey in 1911. However, John McIlroy was later living in Howwood, Scotland and was employed by Midtonfield Bleaching, Dyeing and Finishing Works, Howwood.
He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, High Kirk (2nd) Presbyterian Church, Ballymena and in Cullybackey's Cuningham Memorial Presbyterian Church. He is also named on the Howwood memorial.
McILVENNA, 809001 Private William, 50th Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regt), was killed in action on the 3rd June 1917. He was a farmer, and a resident of Hanna, Canada for about 12 years. He was the 5' 11" son of William McIlvenna and Rose Nicholl, Cloghogue, Gracehill, Ballymena. Widower William McIlvenna of Andraid, Drummaul had married servant Rose Nicholl in Ballymena Register Office on the 2 June 1884. The couple were recorded as McIlvena in 1911 and were living at Cloghogue, Drummaul, Ahoghill. William was then 56 and a agricultural labourer. Rose (56) was recorded, as were Lizzie 12 and Samuel J (8). It was recorded that they had had five children and all were alive in 1911. It appears, however, that six children had been born - in addition to William, Lizzie and Samuel J, these already noted, there was William's twin Rose (7/1/1885), Annie (24/12/1886) and Margaret (1/6/1889). All recorded children were born at Cloghogue.
William is buried in La Chaudiere Military Cemetery, France.
Above: McILWAINE, 10261 Rifleman Anderson, 'A' Company, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds received at Ypres on the 2nd December 1914. He was aged just 17. He at was born on the 14 October 1897 at Dunfane, near Ballymena, the son of baker Robert McIlwaine and his wife Jane Anderson. Robert from Ballygarvey had married Jane from Ballymena in West Church Presbyterian Church on the 5 July 1884. The family lived at Dunfane, Kirkinriola, Ballymena.
The Ballymena Observer reported on January 1, 1915 that 'Mr.
Robert McIlwaine, Dunfane, Ballymena, has been notified by the War
Office that his son, Private Anderson McIlwaine of the 2nd Btn. Royal
Irish Rifles, has died from wounds received at the Battle of Ypres on
December 2, 1914. Private McIlwaine, who is only 17 years of age,
joined the army in November 1913 and was sent to the front with a draft
of the Rifles last month. Mr. McIlwaine has two others sons serving with
Anderson is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery, France. He is commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church and on a headstone in 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church. See Weekly War 1914 for other detail.
McKean), 29286 Sergeant Adam, 16th Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment),
died on the 23rd April 1915. He was the draughtman carpenter and
husband (former husband: he describes himself as 'widower' on his
attestation papers) of Mary E. McKane, 6, Century Street, Belfast. Adam McKane was born on the 13 September 1874 at Fernacushog, Clough, the son of Archibald McKane and Nancy Herbison. He was living at Erdlingham Street, Belfast in 1901. He was then 26, his wife Mary Ellen was 27 and he had three children, Maggie (2), Mary Eleanor (1) and infant Adam. Adam McKane, 112, Dee Street had married Mary Officer of 43, Thistle Street in Eglington Presbyterian Church on the 1 September 1897. Mary Ellen McKane (38) was living at Daisyfield Street in 1911 with her children Margaret (12), Mary Eleanor (11), Adam (10), Albert Edward (8) and John (7). Adam's widow was later living at 6, Century Street, Belfast.
He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate) and in Clough Presbyterian Church.
Left: McKEE, 22246 Private William, 2nd King's Own Scottish Borderers, was MIA, later declared killed, on the 23rd July 1916. His Medal Index Card shows his entitlement to two medals, the absence of the 1915 Star indicating he was not in the battle zone until 1916.
McKee was taking part in a large operation in the area around High Wood and Longueval, the role of the 13th Brigade of the 5th Division, which included the 2nd King’s Own Scottish Borderers, was ‘to carry and make good a position on road from southern corner of High Wood to Longueval’. Their men were before the attack ‘in the old German 2nd line between Bazentin-Le-Grand and Longueville’, and they were in the support role.
The attack began on the 20th but it was on the 22nd that 2nd KOSB’s 13th Brigade got orders to assault in their location, this led by the 1st Royal West Kents, their orders being ‘to carry isolated German Trench to the east of High Wood’. 2nd KOSB, in the support role, were ‘to pass through RWK and carry a part of the German Switch Line from north end of High Wood to … about 500 yards east of it’.
On the 23rd the attack began at 10.45 am, but it had halted at 1.30 pm. ‘’A’ & ‘D’ Companies were again told off for assault, being supported by ‘B’ & ‘C’. The 1st RWK reached part of their objective but were held up by machine gun fire from a trench position not previously located. One platoon of ‘D’ Company went forward to them but eventually all RWK & this platoon had to withdraw with heavy loss. We then took up our former position on the road.’
The unit remained in this position to 9 pm and were then relieved, thereafter withdrawing to Pommiers Redoubt. McKee was one of those who did not return.
He was born on the 11 November 1890 at in Connor and he was the son of John McKee and Sarah Allen. The couple, John from Connor and Sarah from Kells, had married in Ballymena's West Church Presbyterian on the 21 November 1879. They appear at Connor in the 1901 and 1911 census record, and at the latter date the couple said they had had thirteen children. Nine were then alive.
William married on the 2 April 1915 in Glenwherry Presbyterian Church, his bride being Mary Hamilton Francy (1911 census - Francey) of Ross, Kells.
William is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme and in Kells Presbyterian Church.
(or McKENDRY), 18/754 Rifleman Daniel, 11th Royal Irish Rifles,
was killed in action on the 19th May 1916. The unit diary states 'enemy
artillery active from 5 am. Sgt McQuillan ('D' Coy) wounded &
subsequently died ... Rfm McKensie (sic) killed and 3 men wounded later
30621 Private Charles (Joseph), 3rd Canterbury Regiment, NZEF was killed in action on the 18th
October 1917. He was born on the 21 September 1891 at Kilnacolpagh, Racavan, the son of Felix McKeown and Late Mary McAllister (also McCallister), later of 18 Herbert Street, Carnlough. The couple, Felix (20) and Mary (30) and both of McKeownstown, probably a clachan, married in Braid RC Chapel on the 23 October 1890.
His sister was Mrs C Carter, 10
Wingfield Street, Wellington and also 2, Fleet Street, Aukland. His father was said onhis NZ papers to be F McKeown, c/o Charles Hutchison, 52, Northfield Avenue, Ayr, Scotland. See Ballymena New Zealanders.
McKINNEY, James, 3742, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917, the first day of the Battle of Langemarck, a phase of the Battle of Passchendaele (3rd Ypres). He was raised in the Ballymena Union workhouse and 'boarded out' with the Hollingers of Ahoghill. He is buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke, Belgium and commemorated in Ahoghill Church of Ireland.
Right: McLAUGHLIN, 192631 Gunner Peter, 'B' Battery, 50th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action on the 25th April 1917. His unit were operating in the area east of Arras, specifically around Fampoux and Roeux. The Allies had been pushing forward for some time and on the 23rd April 1917 launched their latest assault. 50th Brigade War Diary says that the 'attack was not a success. We were badly held up by machine gun fire, and the chemical works and Roeux were formidable obstacles.' The entry for the 24th says nothing of importance for us and there is no entry for the 25th, the day of McLaughlin's death. On the 26th it was 'A quiet day. 1 officer and 16 men per battery went into Arras for a bath and 24 hours rest.'
His grandfather was Francis McKeever of Kilcurry, Ahoghill and his parents lived in Dumbarton, Scotland, his pension going to his mother. She was Mrs Jane McGrogan, 40, Levenhaugh Street, Dennistown (Dennistoun), Dumbarton. He is buried at Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France and remembered on the war memorial in Dumbarton, Scotland, his name inscribed there as Peter McLaughlan.
Left: McLOUGHLIN (sometimes McLaughlin), 14530 Lance Sergeant William, 'C' Company, 10th Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment, was killed in action on the 5th July 1916. His unit were at Becourt Wood, south of La Boisselle, on the 4th/5th July when 'during the evening orders were received to capture and consolidate certain positions.' These positions were just SW of Contalmaison, Somme. The Battalion Commanding Officer was delighted, pointing out, 'This is the first time that the Battalion has been employed on attack.' The fighting that ensued was difficult and intense but resulted in no major gains. It did, however, result in 4 Officers being killed, another 2 wounded; 13 Other Ranks were also killed, one being McLoughlin, and another 66 wounded.
He was born on the 22 January 1889 at John Street, Ballymena and he was the son of the William McLaughlin and Lizzie Sands, later of 15, Springwell Street, Ballymena. They were at Springwell Street at the time of the 1901 census and, confusingly, the children Agnes (18), Ellen J (16), Robert (14) and William (12) are all said to be grandchildren. There is also a daughter, Agnes (23). A William McLaughlin died there aged 76 years on the 24 September 1914, and 76 year old Eliza McLaughlin also died there on the 1 November 1919, her 'daughter' Ellen McNeill being with her. Ellen June McGlaughlin (sic) had been born at John Street on 2 February 1885; Ellen McLoughlin of Springwell Street married Thomas Ramsay McNeill of Gracehill in St Patrick's Parish Church, Ballymena on the 17 December 1892.
William enlisted in Huddersfield, Yorkshire. He left his effects to his grandmother Elizabeth, as so identified on the 1901 census return, his sister Aggie McIlveen (Agnes married Thomas McIlveen of Tullygarley in Wellington Presbyterian Church on the 30 April 1904) and his brother Robert; Robert McLaughlin had been born on the 27 January 1887 at John Street. CWGC give his details as Robert McLoughlin, 45, Newry Street, Belfast.
He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme and in Ballymena's St Patrick's Parish Church.
Right: McMANUS, 3093 Private Charles, 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died in England of wounds on 24th July 1916. He was born on the 1 June 1890 at Coach Entry, off Castle Street, Ballymena, the son of John McManus and Mary Ann O'Hare. The couple, John McManus and Mary Ann O'Hara (sic), had married in Ballymena's All Saints RC Chapel on the 25 April 1885. They both lived at John Street, Ballymena.
In 1901 they lived at Robert Street, Ballymena. Horse dealer John was 40, as was his wife Mary Ann, a hawker. John (14) was also a hawker and Charles (11) and Alexander (2) were still scholars.
Dealer and Pedlar John was a widower in 1911 and was boarding with Thomas Devlin (27) and his wife Lizzie (26) and their daughter Kate (1) in Mill Row, Ballymena. Son John (22) was still in Ballymena in 1911 and living at Flag Lane, off Broughshane Road. John had married Mary Gilmer, both of John Street, on the 27 February 1910 and they had a one year old daughter called Lizzie. Charles and Alexander were no longer in Ballymena.
Charles left his effects to his brothers John and Alexander. John had been born on the 15 January 1886 at Sydney Lane, off John Street. Alexander had been born on the 19 August 1898 at Mill Row, Ballymena.
Charles McManus is buried in Crebilly RC Churchyard. See Weekly War 1916 (The local press in Weekly War referred to Robert Street and Alexander Street. Robert Street was adjacent to Mill Row, and Flag Lane was directly opposite Alexander Street, on the other side of Broughshane Street.)
Left: McMASTER, 19626 Rifleman Samuel, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the Somme on the 1st July 1916. He was aged 21. He was born in Ballymena and his wife and one child lived at Railway Street, Ballymena.
Samuel Stewart McMaster, Ballymena married Martha Lorimer (Lormer sic) in 2nd Ahoghill (Trinity) Presbyterian Church on the 19 November 1913. The 1911 census records Martha living in the family home at Railway Street. Her father David, a carter aged 41, listed his wife Mary (40) and four children - Martha (18), Maggie (11), William (9) and David (6).
Samuel McMaster had been born at Galgorm Street, Ballymena on the 17 November 1894 and was the son of tailor and widower Samuel McMaster and Agnes Barkley. Agnes was widow Agnes McClure who had married Samuel in West Church Presbyterian Church on the 10 August 1894. They were living at Galgorm Street in 1901. Widow Rose Barkley (70), Sam (40) and Agnes (45) McMaster, McMaster children Samuel (6), William (4) and Agnes (2), Agnes's children George (17) and Kerr McClure (16), and a boarder all shared the house.
They were in Belfast in 1911 and living on Oldpark Avenue. Rose Barkley (80), Samuel (46), Agnes (50), Samuel (16), William (13), Agnes (12) and Kerr McClure (24) all lived together. Samuel McMaster must have returned to Ballymena after that date and local press refers to the enlistment by 1915 of Samuel McMaster, James Street, Ballymena; this is near Railway Street.
He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme and in 2nd Ahoghill Presbyterian Church.
McMICHAEL, 11689 Private Joseph, 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died on the
26th February 1917.
On the the 23rd/24th the unit was 'in billets in Beauport' but then 'marched to the trenches ... Three Companies in front line and one ... in reserve'. They remained at the front from the 24th to the 28th and were then relieved. The only significant comment made may be that ''A' Company moving into the front line on the night of the 26th'. McMichael may have perished during that move forward.
McMichael may have come from Linenhall Street, Ballymena,
but connections with the town are tenuous. He was born around
Ballymoney but had been in Belfast for a long time. He and his sister Hessie were in the 1901 Irish census recorded as residents of the Balmoral Industrial Schools, set up after
1868 to care for "neglected, orphaned and abandoned children". Hessie later lived in the city at 35 Upper Meadow Street.
He enlisted in Rutherglen, Scotland and had gone to the Balkans on active service after 11 July 1915. He is buried in Fouquescourt British Cemetery, a spot east of Amiens and about five miles north of Roye.
Left: McMULLAN, 19118 Lance Corporal Hugh, brother of 19119 Lance Corporal George (above), 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 21st March 1918, the first day of the German Spring Offensive.
The Germans launched Operation MICHAEL, the main offensive of the German Spring Offensive (or Kaiserschlact) after a heavy artillery bombardment. Among the Irish infantry facing them was the 12th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles and they were in the Forward Zone. They were annihilated – many were killed, others were wounded and some were taken prisoner.
Indeed, the whole 36th Division was affected. By the end of the Spring Offensive, the 36th (Ulster) Division had suffered 7,310 casualties. The 16th (Irish) Division also suffered 7,149 casualties. They had been destroyed as effective formations and were removed from the British order of battle for reconstruction.
He was born on the 2 June 1890 at Brocklamont, Ballymena and was the son of Hugh McMullan and Margaret Gore. He received Italian Bronze Medal for gallantry.
Hugh is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, France.
McMULLAN (also McMullen), 22400 Private John, 1st Royal
Dublin Fusiliers, was killed in action at the Somme on 1st July 1916. He
had served with the 29th Division in Turkey, his unit taking part in the
murderous Cape Helles landing of 25th April 1915.
The unit had returned
from Gallipoli for the Somme batttle. On the morning of the 1st July 1916
they were in the support role, this meaning they were to capture the second line defences in the area of Beaucourt Ridge after the first line had been taken by the assaulting soldiers of the 2nd Royal Fusiliers. These men had not achieved their goal but 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers advanced as ordered.
The War Diary clearly indicates what happened them. It says, 'Our own barbed wire was cut only at intervals of about 40 yards and by this time the Germans had machine guns trained on these gaps, the result being that our casualties were very heavy and only a few of our men ever got through their own wire and still fewer of these succeeded in advancing 50 or 60 yards before being shot down ... At noon the attack here was abandoned.' The unit thought they had lost perhaps 300 men.
John McMullan was the son of then grocer Hugh McMullan and Catherine McFarland and he was born at Tullaghans, Dunloy on the 10 January 1891. The couple, Hugh from 'The Craigs' and Catherine from Tullaghans, had married on 1st July 1884 in Dunloy RC Chapel.
In 1901 the family were at Knockans, Dirraw, County Antrim. Labourer Hugh (40) and Catherine (40) listed Mary (born 20th August 1884), Maggie (born about 1887, America), Thomas (born about 1889, America), John (born 10th January 1891), Elizabeth or Lizzie (born 22nd March 1893), Patrick (born 21st March 1895), Ellen (born 24th January 1900), Joseph (born 1st March 1903).
In 1911 the family was at Mullans, Dirraw, County Antrim. The parents said they had had nine children during their marriage and that eight were alive at that time. John was a twenty-year-old tailor. He subsequently went on to live in Swatragh and later enlisted in Coatbridge, Scotland.
Private John McMullan is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and on Ballymoney War Memorial. The CWGC record John as the son Hugh and Catherine McMullan, Drumagamer, Kilrea, Co. Londonderry.
Left: McMULLAN, William John, 19657 Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the Somme on 1st July 1916. He was born on the 6 March 1889 at Lismurnaghan, Ahoghill, the son of Daniel McMullan and Margaret Jane Thompson. Weaver Daniel of Ballylummin, Ahoghill had married Margaret Jane Thompson, Glebe, Ahoghill in 3rd Presbyterian Meeting House on the 14th January 1882. The family later transferred to Harryville, Ballymena.
CWGC name his parents as Daniel and Margaret McMullin, 82, Queen Street, Ballymena and he is listed as William John McMullin. He is buried, actually 'buried near this spot', in Ancre British Cemetery, Beaumont Hamel, Somme.
Right: McNEICE (McNiece, or MacNeice on CWGC), 20650 Private Archibald, 10th Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regt.), died of wounds at No. 47 Casualty Clearing Station on the 10th November 1917. He was born on the 6 December 1889 at Railway Cottages, Ballymena, and he was the son of railway porter Archie McNeice and Agnes McKelvey, later of 21, Queen Street, Ballymena. The couple, Archy McNeice from Cromkill, Kells had married Nancy McElvey (sic) in Wellington Street, Presbyterian Church on the 31 August 1898.
The family (McNiece) were at Railway Place in 1901 and at (McNeice) Queen Street in 1911. On the latter date the couple said they had been married for thirty two years and that they had had seven children, six of whom were alive at that date. Archie was then a 21 year old carpenter.
He is buried in Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium and is commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church.
Left: McNEILL, Hugh, PO/10353, Lance Corporal, Royal Marine Light Infantry, was killed in action when a U-boat torpedoed the SS Montebello at Ushant on the 21st June 1918 and the 4,324 ton vessel, built in 1911 for the Ellerman Wilson Line, went down with the loss of 41 lives.
He was born in Belfast on the 5 January 1881 and he enlisted in Belfast in 1899, serving thereafter until 1912. He was one of those who served in China during the Boxer Rebellion and also aboard HMS Goliath. He worked in the Imperial Hotel, Belfast after discharge and was then, as a reservist, recalled on outbreak of war. He served with the Royal Navy units in the defence of Antwerp and saw his friend, Private Deane of London, probably PO/10349 Private C E Deane, RMLI, killed in action on the 4 October 1914, his 'head blown off' by a German shell. He was wounded by shrapnel in the left leg and right knee during the withdrawal, probably in the fighting that followed the blowing up the train in which he was travelling.
He was the husband of Annie McNeill, nee Harland, 11, James Street, Harryville, Ballymena. He is commemorated on a list for All Saints Church (RC) in Ballymena and on Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
McNEILL, 6681 Private James, 1st Royal Scots Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 18th October
1914 at the Battle of the Marne. He came from Ahoghill, near Ballymena, Co Antrim. The Ballymena Observer, 4 December 1914, noted that 'Much
regret is felt in the Ahoghill and Broughshane District over the death
of Private James McNeill of the Royal Irish Fusiliers (sic), which sad event
took place at the Battle of the Marne. The deceased was a native of
Ahoghill and was for the past four years the faithful servant of Mr.
John Martin of Roughan, Broughshane. The deceased was held in high
esteem by all who knew him'. There is regrettably no further information about him currently available and he cannot be positively identified in the cenus returns. The best fit is that he is the son of James McNeill of Drumrankin and his wife Mary Leitch. If so, he was born on the 22 December 1883 and the twin brother of Rebecca.
He is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial and in 2nd Ahoghill Presbyterian Church.
McNEILL, 25944 Private Samuel, 8th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers part of the 49th Infantry Brigade, was killed in action on the 9th September 1916.
On the evening of the 4th/5th September 1916 the 8th Inniskillings were 'in support in and around Guillemont', and on the 8th September the Brigade recorded receipt of 'orders ... for attack on Guinchy and the ground to the SE of it, the Brigade being detailed for Divisional Reserve ... 8th Inniskillings to occupy new trenches at the NE corner of Guillemont'. They did so but on the 9th September were at Bernafay Wood as 'the Brigade was relieved by the 3rd Guards Brigade on the night of the 9th and early morning 10th.'
is no mention of action in the 49th Brigade Diary but the document
records that during the period 3rd to 10th September 1916 the 8th Royal
Inniskilling Fusiliers had the following casualties: Officers - Killed,
Wounded and Missing - 3, 11 & 1 respectively, & Other Ranks - Killed, Wounded & Missing - 35, 134, 39 respectively.
McNeill was the son of James & Mary McNeill, Drumcon,
Rasharkin and he enlisted in Londonderry. The family were at Drumcon in
1901 and 1911, and at the latter date James said he had been married for
forty-five years and that nine of the eleven children born of the
marriage were alive at that date. Samuel was listed in 1901 and was said
to be 13 years old, but no record of his birth can be found.
children are listed in 1901, a few in 1911, though not all of the nine
survivors of the eleven born of the marriage. Four of the named can be
traced. Mary was born on the 2 September 1872 at Maboy, Sarah on the 23
April 1874 at Maboy, Annie on the 13 June 1880 at Maboy, and Maggie on
the 5 November 1884 at Fernagh, Rasharkin. Two further names can be
added, though they do not appear on the census returns. Elizabeth
McNeill was born on the 31 October 1868 at Gortaheran, and John McNeill
was born on the 5 June 1870 at Gortaheran. Gortaheran, Drumcon, Maboy
and Fernagh are all touching townlands, and in all cases James McNeill
is the children's father and Mary Wright their mother.
Samuel, a single man, had been working in Bell's Hill coal pit prior to the war. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme and in Rasharkin Presbyterian Church.
Photograph courtesy of N Henderson
His brother was Sgt. Samuel McNeilly, born Millport, Bute, Scotland, but living in Australia and serving with the 36th Bn. Australian Imperial Force. He was severely wounded in the 'right buttock' in October 1917 and eventually repatriated on HMAT Gaika. He failed a medical in February 1919 and was deemed discharged from the AIF on 31 December 1918. A letter of 1940 gives his address as 37, Susan Street, Auburn, Sydney, NSW.
McREYNOLDS, 7865 Rifleman Patrick, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on
the 31st July 1917. His unit 'marched from Pioneer Camp to assembly positions at Halfway House, arriving there at 3.15 am on the 31st.' They set out again at 6.05 am and 'moved ... to the Westhoek Ridge, passing over the original first lines which had been taken by the 23rd and 24th Brigades at Zero (3.50 am) ... On arrival at the Westhoek Ridge ... (8.30 am) the situation was not what was reported owing to the Division on the right being unable to take the Black Line [the high ground near Polygon Wood].' This meant that their 'left company was met with heavy fire from the front and right flank; the Company Commander ordered Section rushes. ... cost many casualties.' They withdrew to the original line and 'several counter attacks were driven off.' Another big German counter attack was successful for a time but was then 'driven out leaving many dead ' The men were exhausted and 'The Battalion was relieved at 11 pm ... marched to old German front line'. McReynolds was not amongst those who did so.
He was aged 21 years and was the son of John McReynolds,
Killylane, Glenwherry and Jane McReynolds - Jane died at Glenhead, Glenwhirry on the 5 April 1918 and aged 56 years.
The family were recorded in 1911 at Killylane and John (49) and Jane (49) then said that they had been married for 26 years and that they had had seven children. They were all then alive and they listed Susan (25), Maggie (20), Patrick (15), John (12) and Willie (9).
Patrick is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate), Belgium.
McWHIRTER (or Mewhirter),
8798 Private William, 2nd Bn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), was killed in action between the
20/24 July 1916, later deemed to have been killed on the 24th July. He had been in France and Flanders after the 17th March 1915. His unit had marched on the 14th July 1916 from Barlin to 'bivouac near Bethune prior to moving to the trenches', these said to be 'south of La Bassee Canal'. There was no intense fighting going on, though men were being lost amid the daily grind of war; CWGC records six men of the 2nd Cameronians killed between the 20th and 24th July 1916, one of them on the 24th being McWhirter.
He was said to be born in the Craigs, Cullybackey (Local press & see Scottish National War Memorial record) and he enlisted in
Hamilton, Scotland. He lived in Motherwell.
Without a record of his age or the names of his parents he is impossible to trace with absolute certainty. There are three William McWhirters, some possibly related, who are contenders; none can be positively identified as our William McWhirter. Two, however, are 'best fit' for different reasons.
William's will said he was leaving his effects to 'my sister Jeanie McWhirter or Workman, Craigs, Co Antrim'. Samuel Workman of the Craigs, Cullybackey married Jane McWhirter in Cullybackey Presbyterian Church on the 9 September 1887. Her father is named as John and local records show that John McWhirter, Craigs had married Ellen Campbell, Craigs in Cullybackey Presbyterian Church on the 22nd July 1885. Ellen McWhirter (Mewhirter sic) was a grocer and 35 year old widow living in the Craigs in 1901; John McWhirter (30) had died at Craigs on the 23 June 1893. She listed four children, Elizabeth (14), Sarah (13), John (11) and Ellen (9). We do not know if she had other children, specifically a William and Jane (Jeanie), possibly born in Scotland, but Elizabeth being 14 in 1901 would seem to exclude the possibility of earlier births.
The other candidate is William John McWhirter, Ballyclose (also Ballyclosh), Cullybackey, born on the 6 July 1888, the son of James McWhirter and Eliza Simpson. The couple, James (25) from the Craigs and Eliza (25) of Drumrankin, Cullybackey had married in Cullybackey Reformed Presbyterian Church on the 24 December 1872. The family appear in the 1901 and 1911 census returns. James was 55 and Eliza 54 in 1901. They listed Jane (22 - born 24/9/1878, Craigs), Agnes (20 - born 25/12/80, Craigs), Thomas J (17 - born 14/4/83, Craigs), Lizzie (15 - born 6/7/85, Craigs), William J (12 - born 6/7/88, Ballyclose) and Samuel (9 - born 8/1/91, Ballyclose). Two other children are known: William John, born 22/3/76 at Craigs, presumably deceased) and Robert (born 31/7/74, Drumrankin, Cullybackey). Here we have a William and a Jane but no evidence that Jane or Jeanie married someone called Workman or a Scottish link. We do know that Samuel is 312875 Gunner Samuel McWhirter who enlisted in the Canadian Field Artillery in Toronto on the 22 November 1915, and his Canadian record makes clear that his brother Thomas James was a teacher at Balnamore National School, Ballymoney; he is listed as a teacher in both the 1901 and 1911 census returns.
In 1911 Elizabeth was a 68 year old widow. She listed Agnes (30), Thomas J (28), Elizabeth (25), William J (22) and Samuel (20).
William McWhirter is buried in Cambrin Churchyard Extension, Pas de Calais, France, and he is commemorated in Cullybackey United Free Church.
Right: MEEKE, 42492 Private Samuel, 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers (formerly 4049 [MIC card] or elsewhere 9049 Royal Irish Rifles), died of wounds on the 6th October 1918.
Samuel is buried Haringe (Bandaghem) Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium, and this cemetery site was chosen in July 1917 for the 62nd and 63rd Casualty Clearing Stations and burials from these and other hospitals, notably the 36th Casualty Clearing Station in 1918, continued until October 1918. This tells us that Meeke died quite some time after being wounded.
A wounded soldier would first be taken to a Regimental Aid Post, given immediate care, and then be transferred to a Field Hospital close to the trench zone. Basic medical care here, in a dugout or bunker, was meant to stabilise the wounded for transfer to a Casualty Clearing Station, usually by horse or motor ambulance. These were substantial, well-equipped facilities and they would retain a soldier until he died or was considered fit for onward movement, usually by ambulance train, to a base or stationary hospital. Those in these hospitals would then, if necessary, be moved by train and hospital ships to the UK.
Meeke's unit, since he was probably wounded in late September or on the start of October 1918, as calculated by the time it took for him to reach a CCS, was in action south and east of Ypres during the period. On the 29th September 1918 the 'Battalion moved to Rifle Farm (near the point where the railway crossed the road, i.e. Hellfire Corner) on the Menin Road ... then to Glencorse Wood ... to Reutel ... to west of Becelaere ... for advance on Moorseele.' Next day they were 'to advance on ... Terhand-Vijfwegen Road'. The fighting was fierce and for the 9th Irish Fusiliers it lasted until 'all further attempts to advance our line beyond ... pill box and Leadhall Copse were prevented by heavy machine gun fire'. (Leadhall Copse is immediately west of Vijfwegen). They later appear to have acted as reserve for troops attacking Hill 41. The War Diary says that they had sustained 6 Officer and 130 Other Rank casualties by the end of September.
On the 1st October 'the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles relieved the Battalion in a line south of Hill 41 ... 1 Officer and 15 Other Rank casualties incurred during relief.'
They were back in the line on the 4th October and 'relieved the 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers on Hill 41.'
Meeke was born at Craignageeragh, Ahoghill and was the son of John Meek or Meeke and Margaret Craig. Farmer John Meek, Craignageeragh, Ahoghill had married Margaret Jane Craig, Aughterclooney, Ahoghill in 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Church. The family were at Craignageeragh in 1901 and at Ballykennedy in 1911. In 1901 John (45) and Margaret (39) listed John (6), Martha (3) and Samuel (1). In 1911 John (58) and Margaret (49) listed James (18), John (16), Martha (13), Samuel (11) and William Robert (9). Another child had died. The family later lived at Slatt, Ballymena.
Samuel is buried Haringe (Bandaghem) Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium.
Left: MEWHINNEY (CWGC says Mawhinnie, but also appears as McWhinnie & Mawhinney), 15841 Private William James, 1st Royal Scots Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 29th September 1915.
The death of Mawhinney could be said to have happened during the Second Battle of Ypres, often seen as six separate engagements, the last being the Second Assault on Bellewaarde, 25 September 1915. It is in part connected with the Battle of Loos.
The Battle of Loos took place further south and principally from 25-30 September 1915, and the second Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge on 25 September 1915 was, as well as being part of the on-going attempt to break out of the Ypres Salient, a disastrous diversionary attack launched to distract German attention from Loos and to contain the enemy's reserves. It consisted of an assault on German trenches in the vicinity of Hooge around Bellewaarde Lake.
hour was fixed for 4:20am and the preliminary bombardment was to open
at 3:50am. ‘A’ Company led the assault for the 1st
Royal Scots Fusiliers, part of the 8th Brigade of the 3rd
Division. ‘No. I Platoon led the assault from the E. of our
advanced parapet … losing heavily in advance but experiencing
little difficulty with the enemy’s wire. No. II Platoon crossed the
parapet immediately after the explosion (a number of mines were
detonated prior to the attack) and experienced less difficulty in
reaching the enemy’s lines. No. III & No. IV Platoons pushed
through the assault but suffered very heavily following the advanced
platoons at an interval of about 5 minutes. They lost in the advance
many of their NCOs and headed a little too much to the right thus
encountering some of enemy’s wire’. The Battalion War Diary
accounts says, ‘This Company met with extremely heavy shell and
Maxim fire and great credit is due to all ranks that the assault was
successfully carried through and for the manner in which the enemy’s
trenches were consolidated and held.’ That, of course, was not the
end of the story.
The Diary of the 8th Brigade sums up their situation: '3.40 Pm – Royal Scots report that Royal Scots Fusiliers on their right have been driven back to their original line .... A counter attack by the Germans with bombs is in progress.'
German counter-attacks and shelling were indeed ferocious and other parts of the 8th Brigade, other Companies of the 1st RSF too, were drawn in to the action, though late on the evening of the 25th September the 1st Royal Scots Fusiliers were relieved by the 1st Lincolnshire Regiment and left the scene.
The fighting, with different degrees of intensity, continued in the days that followed, and died down on the 29th September after a final éclat of violence. 8th Brigade War Diary says, 'A quiet day till 4.50 p.m. when the enemy exploded a mine under B.4 trench … At the moment that the mine was fired the enemy opened a very heavy fire from guns and trench mortars all along our line, and his Infantry rushed in with bombs and occupied the mine crater and high ground in the vicinity ...The ground lost although only a few hundred yards in extent, deprived us of a good observation station and gives the enemy a valuable piece of high ground.’
the 26th September the 1st Royal Scots
Fusiliers were at Kruisstaat and, after 3 pm, at bivouacs near
Busseboom. They remained there until the 4th October. Since we do not know what happened later when his unit was away from the trenches, we do not know what befell Mawhinney. He died in action, certainly in connection with the assault above, and must have been back in the danger zone for some reason.
William James Mawhinney (sic) was born on the 24 January 1890 at Culnafay, Ballyscullion, the son of John and Agnes (Nancy) Mawhinney. Weaver John Mawhinney (sic) had married Nancy Fawcett (Fossitt on marriage record) in Grange Parish Church, Ballyscullion on the 25 September 1876. The family were living at Culnafay in 1901 and 1911. John (41) was still a linen weaver and he listed his wife Nancy (42) and children Mary (14), William J (10), Maggie (5) and Andy (3). In 1911 John and Nancy, 53 & 55 respectively, said they had been married for twenty-six years and that they had had eleven children. Only six had survived to 1911 and on census day they listed only Andrew (12). The family later moved to Ballynafie, a townland between Ahoghill and Portglenone.
William James McWhinnie/Mawhinney was living in Port Glasgow, Scotland prior to the war and he enlisted in Greenock. He was married and his wife Sarah, nee Aitken, and family are associated with 14, McKenzie Street, Greenock.
William James is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate). His death was reported, though with errors of detail, in the Ballymena Observer in October 1915 and his demise was also noted in the Belfast Newsletter, 13 October 1915. He is commemorated in Grange Church of Ireland, Toomebridge.
MILLAR, 1574 Battery Quartermaster Saddler (WO2) John, 13th Brigade Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery, Indian Contingent, died of heatstroke on the 29th June 1916.
13th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, composed of 2nd, 8th & 44th Batteries and the 13th Brigade Ammunition Column, were part of the 7th (Meerut) Division of the Indian Army and were in Bangalore, India at the outbreak of the war. They came to France with the Indian Expeditionary Force, though the arrival of the whole unit was delayed somewhat by the operations of the German ships Emden and Konigsberg in the Indian Ocean. Millar’s MIC shows him on active service at the front after 14th October 1914, and as a holder of the 1914 Star with clasp. This indicates that the late deployment of the unit did not prevent them from seeing action, and indeed they did at La Bassée, 1st Messines and Armentieres.
Indian troops found winter in France and Flanders unbearable and A Chamberlain, Secretary of State for India, wanted them deployed elsewhere. Indian Expeditionary Force D in Mesopotamia requested an Indian Division to bolster a planned move on Baghdad and two were sent, one being 7th Meerut Division; the other was the 3rd (Lahore) Division. Submarine activity delayed the dispatch of some of them.
The War Diary of the 13th Brigade gives no clue as to where exactly Millar died on the 29th June 1916 - it could have been anywhere along the supply line. It says only as follows: ‘Sinn - 2nd & 8th Batteries – no shooting. 44th Battery fired a few rounds at machine gun opposite Magasis.’ This location is on the Magasis Canal which runs SE from a bend of the River Tigris. Magasis Fort was at the junction of the two features.
WO2 John Millar was born on the 29 January 1877 at Alfred Street, Harryville, Ballymena, the elder son of late Samuel Millar. Samuel Millar of Drummuck, Broughshane had married Sarah Millar of Ballygelly, Broughshane in Ballymena's West Church on the 29 January 1875. John Millar enlisted Belfast and his wife Annie lived at 26, Parkmount Street, Belfast. The couple had married in Donegall Square Methodist Church on the 17 August 1915.
John Millar is buried in Mesopotamia, in Amara War Cemetery, Iraq.
Right: MILLAR, 240 Lance Corporal Samuel, 'C' Company, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the Somme on the 1st July 1916.
He was born on the 22 August 1888 at Cross, Ballyclug, Ballymena and he was the son of Alexander and Mary Millar, later of 52, Larne Street, Ballymena. Engineman (probably refers to a beetling engine used in linen finishing) Alexander Millar had married Mary Gamble, both from Kells, in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church on the 11 February 1882.
The family lived at Cross in 1901 but were in Larne Street, Ballymena in 1911. The parents said in 1911 that they had had seven children and that six were still alive at the time of the census.
Soldier Samuel Millar married Jeanne E Elliott of Ballymena in Clough Presbyterian Church on the 31 May 1916. His wife Jeannie lived at Castle Lodge, Harryville, Ballymena. He is buried Forceville Communal Cemetery & Extension, Somme and commemorated in Harryville Presbyterian Church.
His brother, Lockhart Gamble Millar, was also on active service.
6862 Rifleman Thomas, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the Somme on the 1st July 1916. He was born on the 27 August 1898 at Drumanaway, Drummaul, Randalstown and was the only son of James and Sarah Millar. Labourer James Millar, Groggan, had married Sarah Stewart, domestic servant in Drummaul Parish Church manse, in Drummaul Parish Church on the 22 November 1897.
Sarah Millar was living at Aghaboy, Drumanaway with Thomas (55) and Mary (54) Stewart, presumably her parents. She was 31 and her son Thomas (2) was with her on census day.
Thomas (77) and Mary (72) Stewart were at Caddy, Drummaul in 1901. Sarah (41) lived with them and she listed her daughters, Elizabeth (8) and Mary Agnes (4). She also said she and her husband had had four children and three were still alive on census day. Thomas (12) was a visitor in the household of the Reverend Joseph McKinstry. He was presumably visiting the minister's domestic servant, Mary Agnes Stewart (32), also listed.
Thomas enlisted in Clandeboye. He is commemorated in Randalstown OC (Old Congregation) Presbyterian Church and on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.
Right: MONTGOMERY, 850 Rifleman Alexander, 13th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born at Alfred Street, Harryville, Ballymena on the 27 October 1877 and was the son of Robert Montgomery and Margaret Jane Brownlees. The couple, both from Ballymena, had married in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church on the 10 June 1876.
Alexander Montgomery, then of Belfast, married Jane Swann in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church on the 3 April 1899.
He was living with John Swann (59) and his wife Mary (57) in 1901. They listed two children, William (20) and Alexander (15). Alexander Montgomery (23) and his wife Jane (23) were also present at the time of the census, as was Joseph Montgomery (10), a visitor.
Alexander Montgomery (33) and his wife Jane (33) were living at Casement Street in 1911. They said they had had five children and that all were alive at that date. They listed Robert (7), Mary Swann (6), Maggie (5), Sarah Jane (3) and infant John. Joseph Montgomery (20) was also a visitor.
CWGC say widow Jane was the son of Robert and Margaret Montgomery, of Patrick Place, Harryville, Ballymena and husband of Jane Montgomery, of 4, Princes St., Ballymena, Co. Antrim. Local sources say Jane lived at 13, Hope Street, Ballymena; Hope Street is a cul de sac off Prince's Street.
Alexander is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme and in Harryville Presbyterian Church. He is seen here wearing a Royal Black Preceptory sash.
Left: MONTGOMERY, 23351 Private James, 13th Royal Scots, killed in action on the 25th November 1915.
Montgomery's unit moved forward into a volitile area on the 12th October when they 'marched to and billeted at Houchin, 3 miles west of Bethune.' They were ordered next day to be 'ready to move at half hour's notice', and on the 14th October the entire Brigade was told it 'was to be at the call of the GOC 47th Division in case of emergency'.
His regiment moved to Philosophe on the 15th and encountered 'remains of various Regiments of the 12th Division wandering about. They appear to have been roughly handled and lost heavily.' The 'Battalion went into Brigade Support in trenches on the Vermelles-Hulluch Road (C1 Sector)' on the 19th October and on the 22nd October 'took over the firing lines of C1 from 7th Royal Scots Fusiliers.' They remained there until the 25th October, the Battalion then being 'relieved by the 10th Gordons and marched to ... Noux-les-Mines. Owing to the whole Brigade trying to relieve down the same trench the relief was a bad one, taking from 2 pm till 3 am 26th.' This was the context for Montgomery's death; he may even have died amid the confusion of the relief of the 13th Battalion on the 25th, as the War Diary says 'a bad one'.
James Montgomery was born at Alexander Street, Ballymena on the 1 September 1895 and was the son of James Montgomery and Margaret McCrea.
The family were at Alexander Street in 1901. James (40) and his wife Margaret (30) listed James (13) and Lizzie (12), stepchildren, and James (5)
In 1911 Margaret (42) was a widow living on Springwell Street, Ballymena and said she had been married for twenty three years. She stated she had had six children and that all were alive at the time of the census. She listed James (22), Lizzie (19), Joseph (8), Margaret (6) and Agnes (4). The family also had a lodger.
CWGC later gave Margaret's address as 10, Fountain Place, Ballymena.
James is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.
MONTGOMERY, 11753 Private William Longmore, 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was wounded in Gallipoli, Turkey and died in Birmingham Hospital on the 29th June 1915. He was was the son of Robert and Agnes Montgomery. Millwright Robert had married Agnes McClintock, both of Lisnafillon, Gracehill, Ballymena, in 2nd Ahoghill (Trinity) Presbyterian Church on the 14 December 1894. William was born on the 22 May 1897 at Whitewell, Belfast.
The family were at Upperlands, Co. Londonderry in 1901 and 1911. Robert (53) and Agnes (40) said in 1911 that they had had eight children during their marriage and that all were still alive. William Longmore was their second child and then aged 14 years.
William was employed before the Great War as an apprentice tenter in Clarke's weaving factory in Upperlands and, a member of the Upperlands Company of the Ulster Volunteer Force, he was amongst the first from the district to enlist.
Private Montgomery's unit, posted to the Dardanelles-Gallipoli sector, landed at X Beach, Gallipoli, on 25th April 1915. He was wounded, shot in the head, possibly by a sniper. Though gravely wounded he survived evacuation by ship and transfer to the 1st Southern General Hospital, Dudley Road Section, Birmingham. It was there he died. The news of his passing came as a shock as previous telegrams had suggested he was recovering.
It was his mother Agnes and her nephew, possibly the nephew Robert McClintock who was living with the family in 1901 and 1911, who went to Birmingham to organise the return of his body. His remains, carried in a coffin draped with a Union Jack, his bullet-scarred helmet on top, were eventually interred in 2nd Ahoghill Presbyterian Churchyard.
11753 Private William Longmore Montgomery, 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
MOORE, 6/2577 Rifleman William John, Rifleman, 6th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 15th September 1916.
Moore's 6th Royal Irish Rifles was part of the 29th Brigade, 10th (Irish) Division and much of their service was outside France and Flanders. Moore went on active service on the 7th July 1915 when he sailed from Liverpool to Gallipoli in the Turkey, landing at Anzac Cove on the 5th August 1915. The unit later transferred to Salonika and it was there that he was to be killed.
There are no precise details of what befell him, but he is one of three men of the regiment who died on the 15th September 1916, the other two being G Hearne (Herne) and James Culbert. The extract below probably provided the context:
On September 10th detachments crossed the river above Lake Tachinos at five places between Bajraktar Mah and Dragos, while a sixth detachment crossed lower down at Neohori. The villages of Oraoman and Kato Gudeli were occupied, and the Northumberland Fusiliers gallantly captured Nevolien, taking 30 prisoners and driving the enemy out of the village … On the 15th similar operations were undertaken, six small columns crossing the river between Lake Tachinos and Orljak bridge. The villages of Kato Gudeli, Dzami Mah, Agomah, and Komarjan were burnt, and 27 prisoners were taken. The enemy’s counter-attacks completely broke down under the accurate fire of our guns on the right bank of the river. (from Nelson's History of the War, Vol. XVII, page 208)
He was born on the 20 January 1898 the son of Andrew Moore and Margaret McMullan. They were then living at Alexander Street, Ballymena.
The family appear in the 1901 and 1911 census papers. In 1901 coachsmith Andrew was aged 78 and Margaret was 40. They listed Lizzie (17), Andrew (15), Mary (13 - died 26/11/1907), Bobbie (11), Maggie (7) Charles (5) and William (2).
Maggie was a widow and aged 48 in 1911; Andrew died on the 19 May 1907 and aged 80 years. She listed Robert (20), Charles (15), Willie (14) and Jannie (9).
William had worked in the Braidwater Spinning Mill prior to the war and had been in the UVF. His brother Robert was employed by Morton & Simpson, 'Grocers, Bakers, Seed Merchants , and Provision Curers', 62-63, Church Street, Ballymena.
Margaret lived at 18, Clonavon Road, Ballymena at the time of the CWGC recording her son William's death and details. He had been on active service for about sixteen months before he was killed in Salonika. He is buried in Struma Military Cemetery, Greece.
He is commemorated on a headstone in Ballymena New Cemetery, Cushendall Road, Ballymena.
MORELL (sometimes Morrell) 666 or 16/666 Rifleman Robert, 16th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the
4th July 1916. He was born on the 7 March 1892 at Linenhall Street, Ballymena and he was the son of James Morell and Lily (Lilly) Anne Young. The couple, Robert from Ballymena and Lilly sic Anne from Dunclug, Kirkinriola, had married in the Ballymena Registrar's Office on the 29 April 1876.
Robert lived in Belfast and was at Craigavad Street in 1901 and at Rowan Street in 1911. Indeed, labourer Robert Morell (21) of 36, Rowan Street, Belfast married Isabella Murphy (21) of North Thomas Street in St Anne's Parish Church on the 23 December 1911.
Robert enlisted in Lurgan. He died on the Somme. The 16th Battalion War Diary does not shed light on what happened to him, the entry for that date stating only as follows:
'The trench across No Man's Land was destroyed by shellfire. We cut it again by night, not losing a single man'.
The trench referred to had been dug on the 3rd. The entry for that date reads: 'at Thiepval to cut trenches across No Man's Land ... No 3 Company succeeded in cutting their trench but with severe loss ... No other trench was cut... Several casualties among our Railway Party.
He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.
MULLAN, 5120 Private David Henry Waldo, 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers and formerly 13694, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was MIA and later deemed killed in action on the 10 November 1917. He had served at Gallipoli and been wounded there, but he was to died during the Battle of Third Ypres (Passchendaele) and he is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial.
The unit, part of a larger action, were placed around Tourant Farm, Veal Farm and Vat Cottages, an area SW of Roulers. The 'Battalion formed up for attack at 4.15 am' and by early afternoon 'all objectives were reported taken'. However, the Germans counter-attacked. 'SOS signals were sent up by us on German counter-attack appearing over the ridge, but artillery failed to notice ... our men were obliged to fall back on the original line.' There they were 'very heavily shelled' and subsequent to this and 'owing to the heavy casualties the Battalion were relieved by the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment'
David Mullan was the only son of the late Dr. Andrew Mullan. Dr Andrew Mullan of Wellington Street, Ballymena married Helen Wood, daughter of a mill owner, in Holywood Presbyterian Church on the 2 December 1872. The family spent most of their lives at Wellington Street, Ballymena, though Andrew died at Benavista Terrace, Larne on the 19th September 1907 and David and his mother later lived in the Dhu Varren area of Portrush.
David is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial and in Ballymena New Cemetery.
Murray was probably killed by fierce fighting around Leuze Wood, Somme. The Battle of Guillemont had unfolded between the 3rd - 6th of September 1916. Troops succeeded in reaching the Ginchy-Wedge Wood Road east of Guillemont, and a further push began to gain the area beyond Leuze Wood, a target they had largely achieved by the 6th September.
The War Diary for the 5th September says that the 8th Irish Fusiliers initially went forward to relieve the 1st Devons and on arrival discovered that the latter had just received and order 'to establish a line in front of the wood'. Since the order arrived 'at the time the relief was taking place the 8th Royal Irish Fusiliers undertook to carry out this order. This line was established during the night ... the enemy's line was about 100 yards north and parallel to our front line.'
On the 6th September some of the men of ‘B’ Company were sent forward 'to bomb down' a trench to assist 15th Brigade. Moreover, the Battalion were shelled in Leuze Wood, probably by their own heavy guns, and sustained considerable numbers of casualties. The diary also says the general level of fighting was such that rations arrived but 'owing to hostile barrage and sniper fire it was impossible to get these up to the Companies.'
The 8th Royal Irish Fusiliers had been active in other ways too. A Battalion of the 15th Brigade had moved up through Leuze Wood and ’A’ & ‘B’ Companies had been ordered ‘to cover the advance by rifle and Lewis gun fire’. ‘A’ & ‘D’ Companies had also been ordered to ‘push out patrols into Bouleaux Wood and reconnoitre ground in order to secure a good jumping off place for the Battalion’. In addition, they had also driven a German patrol from Leuze Wood, and also suffered in a German counter attack which had meant ‘our front line trench was driven in on the second line … The second line held … and finally drove him out of the wood and the front line trench was reoccupied’.
MURRAY, G/18524 Private Patrick Joseph, 11th Royal Sussex Regiment, formerly of the East Kent Regiment, was killed in action on the
24th September 1917.
Murray's unit were in the Ypres area. At 4 pm on the 24th the 'Battalion took over front line immediately south of Menin Road, relieving the 8th Y & L (York & Lancs. Regt). Heavy bombardment throughout the night.' It would seem likely he was one of its victims.
He was born on the 2 January 1901 at Mill Row in Ballymena, and he was the son of Patrick Murray and Mary O'Neill. The parents, Patrick a labourer from Ballymena, married Mary, a servant girl then working in Ballygowan, in Ballymena RC Chapel on the 17 July 1898.
The family appear on the 1901 census at Robert Street, Ballymena and on the 1911 census at Colin Street, Belfast. Mary was aged 35 and her two surviving children are named as John (12) and Patrick (11). She indicated on that occasion that she had been born near Dunloy, Co Antrim, that John was born in Belfast and Patrick in Ballymena.
Patrick enlisted in Belfast. CWGC record him as the son of Mrs. Mary Murray, 12, Colin Street, Falls Road, Belfast and brother of John Murray (above). He was not yet 17 when he was killed and must have been one of the youngest Ballymena soldiers killed. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.