BALLYMENA 1914-1918

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The year of mud and blood


By 1917, much of the bravado and jingoism which had dominated the earlier years of the war had been swept away. It was to be a year of mixed fortunes on the Western Front. At Messines in June, the British army used mines to blast away the German strongpoints and secured a relatively easy victory. It was also the first battle in which the 36th (Ulster) Division and the 16th (Irish) Division fought side by side.


Yet, just two months later, the same two formations were badly mauled at the Battle of 3rd Ypres, in part of the action commonly known as the Battle of Langemarck. It began on the 16th August 1917 and was another day of heavy casualties for the Ballymena area.


In November, Ballymena men were amongst the Ulster Division troops who fought at Cambrai. Early success there was short-lived as the German army's counter-attacking skills enabled them to regain most of the lost ground.


On the home front, people raised money for soldiers' comforts or the Red Cross Funds. There were shortages but nothing on the scale of the Second World War.


And every week, the Observer continued to publish the lists of dead and wounded. It was growing longer all the time. 

McALLISTER, John, 6343, Private,  6th Connaught Rangers, was killed in action on the 11th January 1917. Aged 26, he enlisted in Ballymena and lived at Duke Street. He was the son of John and Charlotte McAllister of 11 Emily Street, Belfast. He is buried in Pond Farm Cemetery, Belgium.


Ballymena Observer, March 2, 1917 - Mr. John McAllister, Duke Street, Ballymena, has been officially notified by the authorities that one of his three soldier sons, Private John McAllister, Connaught Rangers, has been killed in action. Private McAllister joined the forces in January 1916 and had been at the front for five months. He was formerly in the employment of Mr. T. N. Millar, Broughshane Street, Ballymena. 


His two soldiers brothers are Gunner David McAllister, Royal Garrison Artillery and Private Thomas McAllister, Royal Engineers. (Royal Engineers is a mistake. As stated in the photograph caption, Thomas was in the Connaught Rangers. The other brothers mentioned are 6343 John McAllister, 6th Connaught Rangers, killed in action 11th January 1917 and probably 5630 Gunner David J(oseph) McAllister, Royal Garrison Artillery. He was gassed near Ypres in 1917 but survived the war.)

GREGG, Charles, 476832, Gunner, Canadian Field Artillery, 2nd Divisional Ammunition Column, aged 32 years, died on the 1st January 1917. He was the son of John and Rose Gregg, of Ballymena, Ireland. He is buried Barlin Military Cemetery, France.


STEWART, Samuel, 12440, Rifleman, 15th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 10 January 1917.  Aged 34, he was the son of  Matthew and Catherine Stewart of Ballymena and husband of Annie Stewart, Lower Urney Street, Belfast. He is buried in Quentin Military Cemetery.


Second Lieutenant W. Perry, Royal Field Artillery, who has been slightly wounded in action - but was able to continue with his duties - is a son of Mr. Samuel Perry, Ahoghill, Ballymena. He received his commission in June 1915 and has been at the front for fifteen months. He was previously gassed.

Rifleman Robert Quigg, VC of Carnkirk, Bushmills, of the 12th Royal Irish Rifles (Central Antrim Volunteers) was the recipient of congratulations from the inhabitants of Ballymena on his return home for a well merited month's additional holiday.


As the 4.20 pm train steamed into Ballymena Station, carrying the gallant hero home after receiving his award at Buckingham Palace, it was met by a large contingent.


As the VC, accompanied by Capt. Thompson, stepped out of the carriage he was cheered enthusiastically and congratulated on his magnificent and conspicuous bravery.


Mr. Huston Lancashire JP, on behalf of the inhabitants of the township said: 'I am very proud to have the pleasure of meeting such a brave man. I heartily congratulate you on the honour you have done County Antrim and the Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles to which you belong - our own 12th Battalion in the Ulster Division (cheers).


We in Ballymena are justly proud of this battalion as hundreds upon hundreds of our townsmen are connected with it both as officers, non-coms and privates. When we heard of your great bravery we felt still greater pride.


Rifleman Quigg briefly thanked them all for their kindness adding that he had only done a man's part and was prepared to do the same tomorrow (cheers). He said that men in the army were not good at speech making and what he had passed through within the past few days was to him more difficult than what he had gained his distinction over. 


He declared: I am glad to be back in the land I love so well and I know and hope that many more of my countrymen will come forward and join the colours for their assistance is much required.


As the train steamed out, fog signals and station detonators were discharged.

Ballymena Observer, January 12, 1917


The following recruits joined the colours from the town and district in the past three weeks (January 1 - 19, 1917)


18th Royal Irish Rifles - Thomas Taggart, Alfred Street; Andrew Carson, Craigs.


19th Royal Irish Rifles - S. H. Perry, Lisnafillan, Galgorm; Archibald Craig, Bridge End, Galgorm; Kennedy Bamber, Moneydollogh, Ahoghill.


20th Royal Irish Rifles - William Whiteside, Glenleslie, Clough; William David Rainey, Waring Street.


Army Service Corps - William James Lynas, Linenhall Street.


Lance Corporal John Wylie, formerly managing clerk in Mr. Robert Boal's Office, High Street, is at present home on leave and we understand he has been transferred to a Cadet Corps for officers. He was six months at the front with the Liverpool Scottish and was wounded slightly in the head. 

Ballymena Observer, January 19, 1917


PORTER, Archibald, 28611, Private, 1st Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 27th January 1917. He was born in Ballymena, enlisted in Kilsyth and lived in Glasgow. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.


GRAY, David, Private, 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers,  was killed in action on the 28th January 1917.  Aged 21, he was the youngest son of Robert Gray of William Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, February 16, 1917 - Mr. Robert Gray, William Street, Ballymena, received notification from the War Office Authorities last week that his youngest son, Private David Gray, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, has been killed in action.


2nd Lieutenant James S. Boal, LL.B.


BOAL, James Spence, 2 Lieutenant, 109th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA), died of wounds on January 29, 1917. He is buried at Dernaucourt Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme. Aged 26, he was the son of John and Margaret Boal, Tullygarley. He is commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, February 2, 1917 -  The sad intelligence of the death of 2nd Lieutenant James S. Boal of the Royal Garrison Artillery came as a great shock to the inhabitants of Ballymena on Wednesday last.  


The information was conveyed by an official wire to his relatives from the War Office, informing them that he had died of wounds on January 29th. He was the only son of Mr. John Boal of Tullygarley and nephew of Mr. Robert Boal, High Street. He was educated at the Ballymena Academy where, gaining distinctions as a student, he displayed marked ability. After leaving the Academy, he took up the law as his future profession and served his apprenticeship with his uncle. In nearly all his legal examinations, he took first place gaining the gold medal in the preliminary.  


At his final he took first place in all Ireland. Shortly after entering practice with his uncle, with whom he was connected for over a year, he took his LLB degree with honours at London University. He went to the front almost a year ago but was at home on leave for a few days at Christmas. He was a member of Wellington Street Presbyterian Church and a familiar figure in the Mid-Antrim Hunt Club.


DUNLOP, David Lynn, First Engineer, SS Essonite. His ship was torpedoed and he drowned on the 1st February 1917. He was the eldest son of James and Mary Dunlop, Carnlough. He was born at Carncairn, Broughshane. 


Ballymena Observer, March 16, 1917 - News has been received in Carnlough that Mr. David Linn Dunlop, who was chief engineer of a steamer which was torpedoed without warning by an enemy submarine last week, went down with the ship. Deceased was the eldest son of Mr. James Dunlop, Carnlough.

Private W. A. Fulton


FULTON, W A, 418938, Private, 42nd Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment), died of wounds in accidental rifle discharge on the 4th February 1917. His mother lives at Casement Street, Ballymena. He is buried in Ecoivres Military Cemetery, France and commemorated in Harryville Presbyterian Church. 


Ballymena Observer, March 2, 1917  - News has been received by Mrs. Fulton, Casement Street, Harryville, Ballymena, that her son Private W. A. Fulton, Canadian Infantry, has died of wounds accidentally received. It appears that a comrade of the deceased was handling a loaded rifle when it went off with the fatal result stated. Prior to enlistment, deceased was employed in a lumber camp in Canada and before emigrating was for a number of years in the employment of Mr. George Graham, Bridge Street, Ballymena.


DUNN, Thomas, 2323, Private, 44th Australian Infantry, died of pneumonia on the 7th February 1917.  Aged 44, he was the son of Charles and Margaret Dunn, Ballymena. He is buried in Durrington Cemetery, Wiltshire.


McCONNELL, Daniel White, 48905, Airman 2nd Class, Royal Flying Corps, 37th Reserve Squadron, died of pneumonia 9th February 1917. He was the son of William McConnell of Colleen, Broughshane. He is buried Ballymena Old Churchyard, Church Street and commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, February 16, 1917 - We regret to announce this week the death of Mr. Daniel White McConnell, Royal Flying Corps, which took place in the Lily Lane Military Hospital, Manchester.


The deceased, who was a son of Mr. William McConnell of Colleen, Ballymena, was educated at the Ballymena Academy and was studying engineering prior to his enlistment about three months ago. He was stationed in a military training centre in England and was engaged for some time in the works of the Crosley Car Company. Contracting an illness about three weeks ago, pneumonia set in and proved fatal. His brother, Mr. George McConnell is in the Motor Transport Service.  


Deceased was buried in the Old Churchyard, Ballymena.


STEWART, James Andrew, 19861, Rifleman, 14th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 15th February 1917. Aged 24, he was born in Ballymena and was the son of James and Jane of Virginia Street, Belfast. He is buried in Bailleul Military Cemetery Extension, France.


Joined since the outbreak of war 


Royal Scots - Thomas Foster, Patrick Place; William Lynn, Castle Street.


The following two recruits joined recently but were not included on our lists:


19th Royal Irish Rifles - Matthew Smith, Knockahollet; 

20th Royal Irish Rifles - James Swann, Carmegrin.


Lieutenant John C. McDowell of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, who was awarded a Military Medal for bravery when he was a sergeant, visited his relatives in Kinhilt Street.

Ballymena Observer, February 9, 1917


Private Sandy (Alexander) Bartholomew, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who has been made a recipient of the medal of St. George 3rd class, is the youngest son of Mr. George Bartholomew, Antrim Road, Ballymena.


Private Bartholomew, who was awarded the Military Medal in December last for conspicuous bravery in the field, enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war and took part with his regiment in the landing at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli. He has two brothers with the colours, Private Wm. Bartholomew, Army Service Corps and Private Jack Bartholomew, serving with the Canadian Forces.

Ballymena Observer, February 23, 1917


McMICHAEL, J, 11689, Private, 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died on the 26th February 1917.   He lived at Linenhall Street, Ballymena and is buried in Fouquescourt British Cemetery.


Mrs. Knox of 19, Greenvale Street, Ballymena, has been officially informed that her son, Lance Sergeant James Knox, Royal Irish Rifles, has been seriously wounded. Lance Sergeant Knox enlisted in September 1914 and proceeded to the front with the Ulster Division in the autumn of 1915. Prior to joining the army he was in the employment of Mr. John McNiece, Mill Street. He was a member of the Ulster Division recruiting party which visited Ballymena last year. His brother, Private John Knox was killed in action on 8th April 1916.


Official intimation has been received by Mr. James Laverty of Alexander Street, Ballymena, that his son, Private D. Laverty has been wounded in action and is now in hospital. Another son, Private James Laverty has been at the front since the outbreak of war and his eldest son, Private John Laverty was killed in action at Gallipoli.

Ballymena Observer, March 2, 1917

Private James Gordon


GORDON, James, 799154, Private, 15th Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment), died on the 2nd March 1917.  Aged 23, he was the son of William and Martha Gordon, Ballymarlow, Ballymena. He is buried in Fosse No. 10 Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais and commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, March 23, 1917 - Mr. William Gordon, Ballymarlow, Ballymena, has been officially notified that his son, Private James Gordon, Canadian Highlanders, has been killed in action. Private Gordon, who enlisted in Toronto about two years ago had a brother, Private Charles Gordon, Canadian Contingent, killed at the front some time ago and another brother, Rifleman William Gordon is on active service with the Royal Irish Rifles.


SMYTH, Alfred John, 49714, Private,  14th Durham Light Infantry, was killed in action on the 6th March 1917. He was the son of Thomas and Margretta Smyth, Ballymena. His wife Edith C. Negus (formerly Smyth) lived at Sea Bank South, Bognor, Sussex. He is buried in Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France.

Lance-Corporal William Blair


BLAIR, William, 10938, Lance Corporal,  1st Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds March 8, 1917. He is buried Boulougne Eastern Cemetery, France. He was born and enlisted Ballymena. Aged 21, grandson of Mary Blair, 7 Galgorm Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated in 2nd Ballymena Presbyterian Church. 


Ballymena Observer, March 16, 1917 - Mrs. Blair, Galgorm Street, Ballymena, was officially notified on Friday last that her grandson, Lance Corporal William Blair, Royal Irish Rifles, was wounded in action and was in No.3 Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne. Further intimation on Saturday contained the fatal news that he had succumbed to his wounds, peritonitis having set in. The deceased joined the forces at the outbreak of war and took part in the Dardanelles Expedition, being wounded at Suvla Bay. On recovering, he was transferred to another theatre of war where he had been on active service up to the time of receiving his wounds on 8th inst. He was formerly employed by Messrs. Carson and Giffin, confectionery manufacturers, Ballymena.


McMULLAN, George, 12/19119, Lance Corporal, 12th  Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action, on the  8th March 1917. Aged 21, he was the son of Hugh McMullan of  Carniny.  He is buried in St. Quentin Military Cemetery.


Ballymena Observer, March 23, 1917 - Mr. Hugh McMullan, Carniny, Ballymena, has received notification that his youngest son, Lance Corporal George McMullan, Royal Irish Rifles, has been killed in action. Deceased formerly served in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, and, in September 1914 he enlisted with the first batch of recruits from this district. He was 21 years of age and prior to joining the colours was in the employment of Mr. A. Thompson, Coachbuilder, Ballymena. His brother Hugh is serving at the front in the Royal Irish Rifles and both were members of the UVF.


The following recruits from the Ballymena District joined the colours during the past month:


North Irish Horse - Hugh McCahon, Moneyleck; George Killough, Rasharkin; John Johnston, Rasharkin; John Scott, Parkmore. 

17th Lancers -  Robert Robinson, Ballinacaird, Broughshane.


Ballymena Observer, March 16, 1917

Rifleman George E. Fullerton


FULLERTON, George Edmond, 58, Rifleman,13th Royal Irish Rifles, died at home on the 19th March 1917 from illness incurred at the front.  Aged 21, son of Ellen, 9 Clonavon Road, Ballymena. He is buried in 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, March 23, 1917 - Rifleman George Edmund Fullerton, Royal Irish Rifles, who succumbed to an illness contracted at the front, has died in the Foster Green Hospital, Belfast. He was a son of Mrs. Fullerton, Clonavon, Ballymena. Deceased enlisted in December 1915 and went to the front in August last where he remained for three months being subsequently invalided home. He was the fourth son of the late John Fullerton and was formerly engaged in the Bridge Street Bakery, Ballymena. His brother, Private Herbert A. Fullerton is serving at the front with the Royal Army Medical Corps.



DARRAGH, Matthew Sloan, 2nd Lieutenant, 6th Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment, was killed in action leading patrol on 20th March 1917. He was the son of late Sam and Jane Darragh, Ballycraigy, Ballymena. He is named on Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. He is commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.

Rifleman Robert Magee


MAGEE, Robert, 19219, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 22nd March 1917. He was born in Belfast and enlisted in Ballymena. Aged 24, he was the son of David Magee, 60 Queen Street, Ballymena. He is buried Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension and commemorated in 2nd Ballymena Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer March 31, 1917 - Mr. David Magee of 60 Queen Street, Harryville, Ballymena received a telegram on Friday last stating that this son Rifleman Robert Magee, Royal Irish Rifles, was seriously wounded in both legs. He has now received an announcement of his son's death due to these wounds.


Mrs. John Wylie, Mount Street, Ballymena, has been informed that her husband Corporal John Wylie, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded in the shoulder, right thigh and right foot. Corporal Wylie enlisted in September 1914 and went to the front with the Ulster Division prior to which he carried on a remunerative business as a house painter in Ballymena.


Mrs. Smith, Warden Street, Ballymena, has received news to the effect that her husband, Rifleman David Smith, Royal Irish Rifles, is at Dulmen, Germany, as a prisoner of war. Rifleman Smith has been in the army about two years and was employed prior to enlistment in the Braidwater Spinning Mill.


Mrs. Henry, Leighinmohr, Ballymena, has been notified that her son, Seaman James Henry, who was on a mine-sweeper which was recently sunk, was saved. He joined the navy in November 1915 prior to which he was an employee at Messrs. Kane Bros. Foundry. Seaman Henry is at present home on leave.

Ballymena Observer, March 23, 1917


HOUSTON, David, 28883, Private, 2nd Canterbury Regiment,  NZEF was  killed in action on the 29th March 1917. He was the son of Thomas and Sarah Houston of Carmacmoin, Ahoghill. He is buried Berkshire Cemetery Extension, Ploegsteert, Belgium and commemorated in 2nd Ahoghill Presbyterian Church.


Military Medal for Ballymena soldier


The Military Medal has been awarded to Corporal J. Cameron, Canadian Infantry, for gallantry during a recent raid on the enemy's trenches. 


The Brigadier General of the Canadian Brigade has written on behalf of the brigade to Corporal Cameron, congratulating him most heartily on the honour which has received in recognition of his courage and gallant conduct.


Corporal Cameron was born in Ballymena and is a son of Mr. James Cameron who was for a long number of years in the employment of the Braidwater Weaving Company. He is 26 years of age and prior to emigrating to Canada about six years ago, was on the staff of the Clyde Shipping Company, Belfast. He joined the army in Canada where he was working on the Canadian Pacific Railway and has been on active service since August last. 


Information has been received by Mrs. Agnes McMaster, Ahoghill, to the effect that her son Private John McMaster, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers has been admitted to hospital suffering from shell shock and that he is on the road to recovery.

Ballymena Observer, March 30, 1917.


Honour for Ballymena man

The following order has been issued by the Commander of the 16th (Irish) Division:


Corporal J. McCartney, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers - 


I have read with much pleasure the report of your regimental commander regarding your gallant conduct and constant devotion to duty in the field in 1916 and have ordered your name and deeds to be entered in the records of your division.


W.B. Hickie, Major General, 16th (Irish) Division.


Corporal McCartney is the third son of Mr. James McCartney, a machine man in the 'Observer' office and Corporal McCartney served his time also as a machine man in this office. He enlisted at the outbreak of war and took part in the landing at the Dardanelles where he remained for nine months.


Some time afterwards he was transferred to another theatre of war where he has seen active service for the past year. He was a prominent footballer in Ballymena and played for South End Rangers. He has two brothers with the colours, Private John McCartney, Seaforth Highlanders and Private Robert McCartney, Sherwood Foresters, both of  whom are on active service. 


His father, who resides at Bridge Street, has received the white parchment with the General's order printed on it.

Ballymena Observer, March 30, 1917

Private Samuel McFadden


McFADDEN, Samuel, 772240, Private, 1st Canadian Infantry (Western Ontario Regiment) died of wounds on the 4th April 1917. Aged 25, he was the son of William and Nancy McFadden, 27 Herbert Street Larne. He lived at James Street, Ballymena before emigration. He is buried in Ecoivres Military Cemetery, France


LOGAN, Joseph, 17/786, Rifleman, 8th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 5th April 1917. Aged 20, born in Cullybackey and enlisted in Ballymena. He was the son of James and Mary Logan of Station Road, Cullybackey. He is buried Pond Farm Cemetery, Belgium and commemorated in the Cuningham Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cullybackey.


CAIRNS, John, 302942, Private. 1/8th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, was killed in action on  April 9, 1917. He is buried Highland Cemetery, Roclincourt, France. He was born in Ballycastle, Co. Mayo. Aged 18. His parents lived at Alexander Street, Ballymena and his home address/wife was at 8 James Street, Ballymena.


Ballymena Observer, May 11, 1917 - Mrs. Cairns, who resides at Alexander Street, Ballymena, has been informed that her husband, Private John Cairns, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was killed in action on April 9th 1917. Prior to his enlisting, deceased was employed in the Braidwater Mill, Ballymena. He was married last Autumn. Much sympathy is felt for his young widow in her sad bereavement.

Lieutenant A. W. Duncan


DUNCAN, Andrew Warwick, MC, Lieutenant, 38th Canadian Infantry (East Ontario Regiment), was killed in action on the 9th April 1917. Aged 25, he was the  son of Archibald and Margaret Duncan, Carnearney, Kells. He is buried Villers Station Cemetery, Viller Au Bois, Pas de Calais. commemorated in Connor Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, April 27, 1917 - Lieutenant Andrew Warwick Duncan, Military Cross, Canadian Infantry, who has been officially reported killed in action, was the seventh son of Mr. Archibald Duncan of Carnearney, Kells, Co. Antrim. Lieutenant Duncan was officially reported missing, believed killed and later information from the War Office Authorities intimates that he had been killed in action on 9th April, 1917.  


The deceased had been awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in command of a raiding party. He gallantly led his men into the enemy trench in spite of heavy fire and carried out the task allotted to him with success.  

He was on a visit home on the outbreak of war and enlisted in the ranks on his return to Canada. He was later given a commission and came to England in November 1916 going to the front early in December. His two brothers, James and Hugh are at the front with the Canadians.


DAWSON, Eveline Maud, Matron, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Nursing Service, drowned in sinking of hospital ship 'Salta' on the 10th April 1917. She is buried Etaples Military Cemetery, France. Aged 49, she was the 3rd daughter of Albert Dawson, Ballymena. Her sister lived at 27 Queen's Road, Bromley, Kent.


McCLINTOCK, Robert, 3622, Private, 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers (Formerly 5766 RGA), was killed in action on the 11th April 1917. Aged 19, he was born in,  enlisted at, and lived in Ballymena. He was the son of late Patrick and Sarah. He was the brother of David, also killed. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

Private David Robinson


ROBINSON, David, 40140, Private, 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers (formerly 24784 Hussars), was killed in action on 11th April 1917. He was born and lived at Ballynacaird, Broughshane and he enlisted in Ballymena. He is buried Brown's Copse Cemetery, Roeux, Pas de Calais. He is commemorated in Buckna Presbyterian Church.

Rifleman Hugh Nicholl


NICHOLL, Hugh,  40941, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on 18th April  1917. Aged 25, he was the husband of Ellen Nicholl, 16 Bridge Street Place, Ballymena and he had three children. He was the son of John Nicholl, 18 Jubilee Street, Larne He is buried in St.  Quentin Military Cemetery and commemorated in 2nd Ballymena Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, May 11, 1917 - Keen regret has been occasioned in Ballymena by the official announcement of the death in action of Rifleman Hugh Nicholl, Royal Irish Rifles. Rifleman Nicholl, who belonged to Prospect Place, enlisted in July 1916 and was formerly employed in the firm of Messrs. Wm. McClelland & He was the son, Church Street, Ballymena. He was a staunch member of the Ancient Order of Free Gardeners and was also a well known Association Football player. On numerous occasions he played for Galgorm and Foundry Thistle and Ballymena Junior Combination. 

 

He leaves a wife and three children to mourn his loss and with these three children to mourn and these the utmost sympathy is extended in their sad bereavement.


Kerr Brothers: Isaac (Above) and William (Below)


Kerr Gravestone in Newtowncrommelin Presbyterian Churchyard

KERR, Isaac, 276045, Private, 7th Royal Scots, was killed in action on the 19th April 1917. Aged 27, he was born in Glenravel and enlisted Edinburgh. His parents were Alex and Sarah Kerr, Skerry East, Newtowncrommelin. He is buried at Gaza War Cemetery, Israel and commemorated in Newtowncrommelin Presbyterian Church.


KERR, William, 352450, Private, 9th Royal Scots, was killed in action on the 21st April 1917. Aged 30, he was born at Ballyweaney and enlisted in Edinburgh. His parents were Alex and Sarah at Skerry East (see above). He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France and in Newtowncrommelin Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, May 25, 1917 - Mr. Alexander Kerr, Newtowncrommelin, Ballymena, has received official notification that his two sons, Privates Isaac and William, both of the Royal Scots, have been killed in action,  Isaac on 19th April in France and William on 21st April while serving with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. Our sympathy goes out to Mr. Kerr in his double sorrow.


McLAUGHLIN, Peter, 192631, Gunner, Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action on the  23rd April 1917. His grandfather was Francis McKeever at Kilcurry, Ahoghill and his parents lived at Dumbarton. He is buried at Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery. 

Private Joseph Nelson


NELSON, Joseph Henry, 201868, Private, 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles (Central Ontario Regiment), died on the 23rd April 1917. Aged 30, he had emigrated in 1913 and  lived in Toronto. He was the son of Joseph and Sarah Nelson of Kildrum. Shankbridge, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Vimy memorial.


AGNEW, John, 42593, Private, 12 Highland Light Infantry (formerly 28614 Royal Scots Fusiliers), was killed in action on the 11 April, 1917, He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France. He was born Crumkill/Tannaghmore and he enlisted and lived in Glasgow.

DCM for Ballymena soldier


Private James Campbell, Garrison Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery in the field. Private Campbell, who was wounded in France, was serving with the 12th Royal Irish Rifles when he won his distinction and is now serving in another war theatre with the Royal Irish Fusiliers. He had a brother who served in the South African War and his brother, Private Joseph Campbell, Royal Scots, was wounded twice in the present war.


Corporal William Leetch, 18th Royal Irish Rifles, son of Mr. James Leetch, 80 Queen Street, Ballymena, has been promoted to the rank and pay of sergeant.

Ballymena Observer, April 13, 1917


The following recruits from the town and district have enlisted during the past three weeks:


4th Royal Irish Rifles - Samuel Lorimer, Broughshane Street;


16th Royal Irish Rifles (Pioneers) - Samuel Graham, Galgorm Street;


20th Royal Irish Rifles - David Thompson, Clarence Street, Thomas Wasson, Ballycraigy;

 

Army Service Corps, Mechanical Transport - Frank McAteer, Greenvale Street, Robert McCrea, Ballycraigy; 


Royal Engineers, Quarry Company - William Marcus, Carncoagh.



J McGall's Photograph and Grave

Presentation to Private James McGall, DCM


A pleasant little ceremony took place at Portglenone when Private James McGall, Distinguished Conduct Medal, Durham Light Infantry, was presented with a handsome clock and ornaments by some friends in his native village to mark their appreciation of the gallant action which won him the medal for distinguished conduct.


The following official account of his brave deed will be read with interest:


Private McGall was one of a party which, when going to occupy a listening post, met with heavy rifle and grenade fire at close range. The suddenness of the attack caused confusion but he at once crawled forward with his grenades and threw them into the listening post, whence the fire proceeded, causing the enemy to retire.


We may add that Private McGall is one of three brothers who have all been wounded - one of them severely - in the great cause.


Commission for Trooper Healey


Trooper A Healey, D.L.O.Y. (Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry), has received a commission as 2nd Lieutenant. He joined the army soon after the war broke out and has been on active service with the BEF since early May 1915. He is a son of Mr. and Mrs. P. Healey, Martinstown, Ballymena, where he is now spending his holidays.

Ballymena Observer, April 6, 1917


SERGEANT Major J. H. Carson, Rifle Brigade, who has sustained dangerous gunshot wounds on the upper jaw, is the fourth son of the late Mr. Henry Carson, Crumkill, Ballymena,. Sergeant Major Carson was serving with the Inniskilling Dragoons in India at the outbreak of war after which he was posted to the Western Front. He is a brother of Mr. George Carson, Carnaughts and Mr. Henry Carson, draper, late of Church Street, Ballymena.


SECOND Lieutenant Eric Jean Bradshaw, King's Own Lancaster Regiment, officially reported wounded and admitted to hospital with gunshot wounds to the knee, is the eldest son of Mr. James Bradshaw, district inspector of national schools, who resides at Glendaragh, Ballymena. 


Educated in Brussels, he afterwards went to the Royal School, Dungannon from which he joined the army. He enlisted in the ranks of the Chemist Corps of the Royal Engineers early in the war and was wounded and gassed at Loos, Later he was given a commission in the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.


Mrs. J. Ferguson, Clonavon Road, Ballymena, has been officially informed that her brother, Corporal W. Spence of the Highland Light Infantry has been wounded in the side. Corporal Spence was employed in Glasgow prior to the outbreak of war and joined the forces shortly after hostilities began.


Rifleman John Millar, Royal Irish Rifles, is at present home on leave after recovering from a wound in the right arm received at the front on 30th September 1916. He is a member of Tullygarley LOL and of North End Unionist Club and was for many years President of Ballymena and Harryville Flute Band. His wife and family reside at Moorfields, Ballymena.

Ballymena Observer, April 20, 1917.


MANN, Robert, 27233, Private, 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 27 April 1917. Aged 35, he was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast. He was the son of Samuel Mann, 58 Esmond Street, Belfast. He is buried Pond Farm Cemetery, Belgium.


BLEAKLEY, James Alexander, 624781, Private, 10th Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment), was killed in action on April 28, 1917. He is named on Vimy Memorial. He was the former Principal of Tardree and Cushybracken National Schools.


Ballymena Observer, May 18, 1917 - Private James A. Bleakly, Canadian Contingent, was killed in action on 28th April. Before enlisting he was Principal of Tardree National School and later the Cushbracken National School near Ballymena.

Private Arthur Holmes


HOLMES, MM,  Arthur, A/21023, Private, 16th Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment) was killed in action on the 30th April 1917. He was the second son of David and Jane Holmes, Hugomont Villas, Ballymena.  He is buried Orchard Dump Cemetery, Vimy Ridge and commemorated on the family grave in Ballymena New Cemetery, Cushendall Road.


Ballymena Observer, May 11, 1917  - Mr. David Holmes, Hugomont, Ballymena, has received intimation that his son, Private Arthur Holmes, Canadian Scots, has been killed in action on 28th April 1917.  


The information came by a letter from a friend soldier stating that Private Holmes had been killed in action by shell fire.


We did all we could for him but he only lived a few minutes. It is very sad news but it is my duty to inform you of his death. We all feel the loss of him very much and God help you to bear the sad news.


A further letter was received from Captain J. P. S. Cathcart, Medical Officer to the Canadian Scots:


Dear Mr. Holmes, 

you have no doubt before this received notice of your son Arthur's death. He was killed during the operations of April 28th while at his duty tending to the wounded. We had his body removed and buried along with some of his comrades in the left of a small village.


His grave is marked and I think as soon as they receive the particulars the Record Office will inform you of the map location. Arthur was without doubt the best boy in my medical section. It may be of interest to you to know that he was recommended for a decoration for his wonderful work under heavy fire in the battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9th. Unfortunately he was killed before he received it. We all feel his loss keenly and I myself feel as if his position cannot be filled. I extend to you my heartfelt sympathy in your sad bereavement and also that of my section.


Prior to emigrating to Canada, Private Holmes was employed as a labourer with Mr. J. Dinsmore, JP, Crebilly, Ballymena. He was a member of Ballykeel LOL (Loyal Orange Lodge) 472.


He enlisted in Winnipeg and came over with the first Canadian Force. He had been previously wounded and on three occasions was buried in shell holes. His last leave was spent at home 12 months ago. His young brother Private David Holmes, is on active service at the front with the Ulster Division.

Captain John Kirk Boal 


BOAL, John Kirk, Captain, 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, was killed in action on May 3, 1917, at Roeux, France. Aged 20, he was the  son of John and Sophie Boal, of Antrim House, Antrim. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.


GORDON, William, 862164, Private, 4th Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario) Regiment, was killed in action on the 3rd May 1917. He was the son of Smyth &Nancy Gordon, Killybegs, Slatt, Ballymena, and he is commemorated on the Vimy memorial.


Red Cross Award

Among the New Zealand Nurses to receive the Royal Red Cross is Sister Jean Gilmer. The only daughter of the late Dr. R. Gilmer, Ballymena.


Seaman Robert Murphy, Royal Navy, of Leighinmohr, Ballymena, is the brother of Mr. T. Murphy, Guy's School, Ballymena. He is presently at home on leave. He joined the navy in 1915 prior to which he was an employee at Christie's Foundry.

Ballymena Observer, May 4, 1917.


Military Medal winner wounded again


Lieutenant J. C. McDowell, of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, attached Canadian Machine Gun service, has written home to his relatives at Kinhilt Street, Ballymena, stating that he has received shrapnel wounds in both legs and was at hospital in Boulogne.


He joined as a ranker and has been at the front for almost two years and has been wounded several times. When a Sergeant, he won the Military Medal for bravery in the field and his promotion was rapid. 


His brother, Drummer Hugh McDowell of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Ulster Division), died of wounds in May 1915.

Lieutenant H. H. Cochrane (Right), Canadian Infantry, has been severely wounded and is at present in hospital in Cambridge. He is the eldest son of Mr. John Cochrane, Cushendun, late of Hillmount, Ballymena. Of his brothers, Tom was killed last November and John is with the Ulster Division.


Mr. T. A. McClean, manager of the Provincial Bank Branch in Ballymena, has received official notification that his second son, Private John Gerald McClean, Royal Scots, has been wounded and that he has been transferred to a military hospital in England. Prior to enlisting in August 1915 he was studying dentistry in Edinburgh. He is a good all round sportsman and was a well known tennis and hockey player in Ballymena.

Ballymena Observer, May 11, 1917


SWANN, Samuel, 17697, Private, 152nd Machine Gun Coy. (f. 19785 Royal Irish Rifles), died a POW on the 13th May 1917. He was the son of Joseph and Agnes Swann, Lisnevenagh, Kells. He is buried Niederzwehren Cemetery, Germany and commemorated in Kells Presbyterian Church.


The following recruits from Ballymena and District have joined the colours during the past few weeks:


3rd  Royal Irish Rifles - W. H. Rea, Rocavan; 


18th Royal Irish Rifles - Robert Gordon, Flag Lane, Ballymena; 


19th Royal Irish Rifles - Walter Greer, Gracehill, Ballymena; 


20th Royal Irish Rifles - Robert Marwood, Cullybackey & John Parker, Clarence Street;


Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers - Mark Burnside, Albert Place; 


Royal Garrison Artillery -William McKay, Appletee, Ballymena; 


Army Service Corps - William Robert Smyth, Glenwherry, A.G. McBride, Tullymore, Broughshane.


Royal Engineers - William J. Reynolds, Laymore, Charles Loughrey, Carniny, Robert Millar, Moorfields.


3rd Royal Scots - James Dunseith, Bryan Street.


204th Canadian Infantry - Private William B. McIlvennan, son of Mrs. McIlvennan, William Street, Ballymena.

RFC officer wounded


Lieutenant T.R. Hepple, Royal Flying Corps, has been wounded, but it is understood that his injuries are not serious. He is the elder son of Mr. W. S. Hepple, Wellington Street, Ballymena and received his commission in the Royal Irish Rifles in 1915, being later gazetted to the Air Service. He was educated at Ballymena Academy and Queen's University, Belfast. He is a civil engineer by profession. His brother Captain R. A. Hepple is serving with the RAMC and went to the front with the first Expeditionary Force.






Intimation has been received by Mrs. Winnington, Moat Road, Ballymena, that her son, Sergeant A. Winnington, Royal Irish Rifles, has been severely wounded and is in hospital in England. Sergeant Winnington was called up at the outbreak of war as a reservist, prior to which he was employed at the Ballymena Union Workhouse.


Mr. Alexander Thompson, Galgorm Street, Ballymena, has received intimation that his son, Private A. Thompson, Royal Irish Fusiliers, has been wounded in the left arm, elbow and face and is at present in a hospital in Wallesley, Cheshire. Private Thompson, who was employed in Renfrew, Scotland, prior to enlisting shortly after the outbreak of war, has been at the front two years and was gassed twice. His brother Corporal John Thompson, Royal Irish Rifles, is on active service.


Mr. Adam Turtle, Main Street, Cullybackey, has received intimation that his son Private J. Turtle, Highland Light Infantry, has been wounded for the second time.

Ballymena Observer, May 18, 1917

Rifleman Alex. McClean


McCLEAN, Alexander, 18/727, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 29th May 1917. Aged 19, he was the third son of Hugh and Ann McClean, Bracknamuckley, Portglenone. He is buried Pond Farm Cemetery, Belgium and commemorated in 3rd Portglenone Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, June 15, 1917 - Mr. Hugh McClean, Bracknamuckley, Portglenone, has been officially notified that his third son, Rifleman Alexander McClean, Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on May 29th 1917.


Mr. David McCosh, Knockboy, Ballymena, has received information that his son, Private S. J. McCosh, Canadian Contingent, has been wounded by shrapnel on the right hand and is at present in a hospital in Scotland. He went from the United States to Canada and joined the army in September 1916.


News is anxiously awaited by Mrs. Blakes, High Street, Ballymena, concerning the whereabouts of her only son, Trooper William Blakes, North Irish Horse, who has been officially reported missing since May 7th 1917. Trooper Blakes enlisted during the latter end of September 1914 prior to which he was employed by Messrs. Morton and Simpson, Church Street, Ballymena. He was a member of the Ballymena Company (1145) of the Church Lad's Brigade and of the I.O.G.T. (Independent Order of Good Templars, a temperance society)


Dr. Alfred McConnell, fourth son of Mr. William McConnell and Mrs. McConnell, Trostan, Ballymena, has received a commission in the RAMC. He was in practice in Liverpool.


Dr. F. W. Stewart, MD second son of the late Mr. E. J. Stewart and Mrs. Stewart, Audley Lodge, Ballymena, has been granted a commission in the RAMC. Dr. Stewart was educated at the old Diocesan School (Later became Ballymena Academy), Ballymena, and at Queen's University, Belfast.

Ballymena Observer, May 25, 1917


Miss Ethel Murray, who has been a Red Cross Nurse since 1914 was one of three Ballymena nursing sisters to escape from a recent torpedoed hospital ship. The others were Sister Miss Nora Patman, daughter of the late Canon Patman, Ahoghill, and Sister Miss Kingston of the Ballymena District Nursing Society.


Petty Officer E. J. Crawford, son of Mr. J. A. Crawford, Clough, who was with Commander Locker-Sampson MP, Armoured Car Division in Russia and Rumania is at present home on leave.


He has made a good recovery from wounds he received in the Rumanian retreat in November last. Petty Officer Crawford was in charge of a machine gun and he received his wound when the car in which he was working was going to the rescue of a Russian car which had got stuck.


He had just opened the door to throw out a rope when he was sniped in the arm and immediately afterwards a shell burst close to the car and he received severe injuries on the left shoulder and side. For meritorious work on this front he received the medal of St. George from the Russian Government.

Ballymena Observer, June 1, 1917


McILVENNA, William, 809001, Private, 50th Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment), was  killed in action on the 3rd June 1917. Aged 31, he was the son of William and Rose McIlvenna, of Cloughogue, Gracehill, Ballymena. He is buried La Chaudiere Military Cemetery.


ANDREWS, William James Morrison, 2 Lieutenant, Royal Flying Corps and General List, was killed on June 4, 1917. He is buried at Dungannon Borough Cemetery. He was the 26 year old son of Alex Andrews, Woodvale, Ballymena. He was born at Dungannon but commemorated on West Church Memorial, Ballymena.

Sergeant James Cameron


CAMERON, MM, James, 160496, Sergeant,  50 Canadian Infantry Regiment, died of wounds on June 5, 1917. He is buried Barlin Communal Cemetery, France. Aged 25, he was the son of James and Sarah of 52 Brookhill Avenue, Belfast, formerly of Ballymena.


Ballymena Observer, June 15, 1917 - Mr. James Cameron of Brookhill Avenue, Belfast, formerly of Ballymena, has received official information that his son, Corporal J. Cameron, Canadian Infantry, has been killed in action. Corporal Cameron was born in Ballymena and his father was for a long number of years in the employment of the Braidwater Weaving Company, Ballymena.


Corporal Cameron, who was 26 years of age, was awarded the Military Medal in March last for gallantry during a raid on enemy trenches and he was heartily congratulated by the Brigadier General of his brigade on the honour which he received.


Prior to emigrating to Canada about six years ago, he was on the staff of the Clyde Shipping Company, Belfast. He joined the army in Calgary where he was working on the Canadian Pacific Railway and went to the front in August 1916. He was a nephew of Mr. William Cameron, hardware merchant, Ballymoney Street, Ballymena.


GLENHOLMES, John, 1418, Rifleman, 8th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 7th June 1917. He came from Connor and enlisted in Ballymena. He is buried Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension. and commemorated in Connor Presbyterian Church.


McBRIDE, Moses, 29802, Private, 2nd Battalion Otago Regiment, N.Z.E.F., was killed in action on the 7th June 1917. Aged 28. He was the son of John and Sarah Paul McBride, of Coreen, Broughshane, Co. Antrim, Ireland. He is buried Wulverghem-Lindenhoek Road Military Cemetery Belgium and commemorated in 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, July 27, 1917 -  Private Moses McBride, son of Mr. John McBride, Coreen, joined the 2nd Otago Battalion of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in June 1916. He was killed in the battle at Messines on June 7th 1917. 


STEWART, James, 1488, Rifleman, 8th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 7th June 1917. He is buried in Wulverghen Lindenhoek Military Cemetery. Aged 22, he was born at Portglenone, the son of James and late Nancy. He lived at Cullybackey.



Rifleman Joseph McAleese




McALEESE, Joseph, 18/816, Rifleman, 9th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 8th June 1917. Aged 20, he was born in Ballymena and was the son of Margaret Gubbin/Gribbon, 2 Mill Row, Ballymena. He is buried  Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France.

Rifleman Hugh Rock


ROCK, Hugh,  18/1289, Rifleman, 11th  Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 8th June 1917. Aged 22, son of George and Agnes Rock of Ballylig, Killagan, Glarryford. He was a native of Cloughmills and he is buried in Spanbroekmolen Cemetery, Belgium.


Ballymena Observer, July 13, 1917 - Mr. Rock of Cloughmills received information that his son, Rifleman Hugh Rock, was killed on 8th June, 1917. The deceased was, for about six years, in the employment of Mr. Turner as a postal official, delivering letters all over the district and on hearing that Mr. Turner's son, Thomas, had joined the colours, he too enlisted in the same battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles (YCVs). The sad intelligence of his death is much regretted in the district. 


Ballymena and District Men with the Colours


The following recruits joined during the past fortnight:


Cadet Royal Artillery - F. Dinsmore (Greenfield House);


North Irish Horse - Trooper Hugh Hall Johnston (Ballyreagh, Clough);


Trooper Joseph Mullan, Portglenone;


Royal Field Artillery - Private James Neeson (Castleton, Ahoghill)


Army Service Corps - Private James Davison, Bridgend, Galgorm; 


Royal Engineers - Private Joseph Galloway, Bridge Street Place.


Royal Irish Rifles - Rifleman William Rainey, Railway Street; Rifleman James Connor, New Row, Ahoghill; Rifleman Kennedy Young, Moneydollagh; Rifleman S. Stevely, Gloonan; Rifleman Thomas Logan, Brook Street. Ahoghill

Trooper Blakes taken Prisoner


Mrs. Blakes, High Street, Ballymena, has received a letter from her son, Trooper Wm. Blakes, North Irish Horse (attached Royal Flying Corps) who was recently reported as missing, informing her that he is a prisoner of war in Germany. Trooper Blakes enlisted in September 1914 prior to which he was employed by Messrs. Morton and Simpson Ltd. Church Street. He was a member of the Ballymena Company 1145 of the Church Lad's Brigade.

Ballymena Observer June 8


Private W C Blake (without the 's') was flying as observer with Lt A W Martin in FE2d A5149 of No 20 Squadron, RFC when they were brought down and taken prisoner of war on the 7th May 1917. The victory was credited to Lt Walter von Bülow-Bothkamp of Jasta 18; it was the 10th of his eventual 28 kills before he was killed in action on the 6 January 1918. A5149 came down on Jasta 18's aerodrome. W C Blake is the only Blake with a W initial shown as being made POW in 'The Sky Their Battlefield'.


******


Information has been received by Mrs. J. B. Gibson, Broughshane Street, Ballymena, that her son, Sergeant John Gibson, Canadian Light Infantry, was wounded on May 3 at Fresnoy and is at present lying in the Duchess of Connaught's Hospital, Taplon, Bucks, suffering from wounds in the breast received in action.


Sergeant Gibson was, prior to enlisting, formerly a member of the RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary). He emigrated to Canada and joined the Canadian Contingent for overseas service shortly after the outbreak of war. He was exceedingly popular in Ballymena and as a football enthusiast and all round sportsman he had few equals. He was a student of the Ballymena Academy and was held in high esteem both by the principal and his classmates.


Lieutenant G. Chesney, RAMC, son of Mr. George Chesney of Wellington Street, has been promoted to the rank of captain. 


Lieutenant Thomas O'Hara, Royal Engineers, son of Mr. Alex. O'Hara, Wellington Street has been promoted to captain. He joined the RE as a private. He was educated at Ballymena Academy.


Mr. John Wylie, managing clerk for Mr. R. Boal, solicitor, High Street, Ballymena, who was recently granted a commission in the Royal Irish Rifles, is at present home on leave. He came through the battle of the Somme in July last year with the Liverpool Scottish.

Captain James Gaston, RAMC, who has been awarded the Military Cross for gallantry is the eldest son of Mr. Andrew Gaston of Carnbeg, Cloughmills. He received his early education at Ballymoney Intermediate School and in Ballymena. He joined the RAMC in 1915 from Newcastle Upon Tyne where he was in practice. He has seen considerable service on the Western front and was wounded in September 1916. 


The award for gallantry relates to 23rd April 1917 when he displayed great bravery in bringing in wounded and showing good organising powers in a very difficult situation. His brother Captain Andrew Gaston in also in the medical branch of the service.


The Rev. Horace Crawford Townsend, Chaplain to the Forces, Rector of Craigs Parish Church, has been awarded the Military Cross. He was appointed Chaplain in December 1915 and has been at the front since January 1916 and was mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig's despatch in January last. The Rev. Townsend has been Rector of Craigs since 1903. He married Edith, daughter of the late Mr. Young of Kintullagh, Ballymena.

Ballymena Observer, June 8 1917


Ballymena and District Men with the Colours:


The following joined in the past month


North Irish Horse - Trooper John Gilchrist, Dunaird, Broughshane. 


320 H.S. Labour Company - Private Daniel Keenan, Linenhall Steet; Private John Herbison, 26 Hill Street.


2nd Lieutenant H M Lancashire, Royal Irish Rifles, wounded on June 7, 1917 is the only son of Mr. Huston Lancashire, JP, chairman of the Ballymena Urban District Council.


The information was conveyed to his father by field card from a comrade at the front on Sunday last, that Lieutenant Lancashire had been slightly wounded.


On Monday, Mr. Lancashire, who was naturally greatly distressed about his son, received a communication from the army chaplain informing him that he has been wounded on the left arm and was then lying in a hospital in Calais.


It was when with his battalion in the ever memorable charge of June 7th (Messines Ridge), leading his men to victory after having passed over the enemy's second line of trenches, that he received his knock-out by a German sniper, who fired two rounds at him at a distance of about thirty yards, the second one, unfortunately, finding its billet in the lieutenant's left arm. Lieutenant Lancashire, who was educated at Ballymena Academy, took an active part in the recruiting movement from the outbreak of war. 


He afterwards joined the cadet corps at Lurgan. After receiving his commission he was appointed to the 18th Royal Irish Rifles, under the command of Col. Sherman Crawford D.L. He was transferred to the Special Reserve on 7th August 1915, being drafted to the 4th Royal Irish Rifles and from thence he was at the front from July 1916.


Intimation has been received by Mr. James Leetch of 54 Queen Street, that his son, Sergeant William Leetch, Royal Irish Rifles, was wounded in the advance last week (Messines Ridge). Prior to joining the colours in June 1915 he was a clerk at the Ballymena Gas Works Office and was a well known footballer. He went to the front only recently. His brother Sam, formerly a compositor in the 'Observer' is on active service with the RAMC.


Mr. John Cairns, Castle Street, Ballymena has received information that his son, Rifleman William Cairns, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded in the recent advance in which the Ulster Division took part (Messines Ridge). He was wounded in both legs and is in hospital in Dundee.


Rifleman Cairns joined the army in August 1915, prior to which he assisted his father in the tailoring business. He took part with his regiment in suppressing the Dublin rebellion in Easter 1916. Rifleman Cairns was a keen footballer and played for Summerfield FC.


Among those who lost their lives on board the hospital ship 'Salta' which was mined in the English Channel on April 10 was Miss Evelyn Maud Dawson, who worked for eight years at St. Catherine's Hospital, Cawnpore. 


On the outbreak of war, being home in Ballymena on leave, she was called up at once as a member of the Imperial Nursing Service Reserve. For two years and eight months she nursed the sick and wounded, first at Aldershot and later on board hospital ships, mostly in the Mediterranean.


At the time of her death, she was matron on board the 'Salta'. Her name was retained on the list of missionaries of the SPG and it was her intention to return to Cawnpore after the war. She loved her profession and when in India she endeared herself to the nurses and patients of the hospital. From 'The Mission Field' 


Nurse Dawson was a daughter of the late Mr. Albert Dawson, Ballymena.

Ballymena Observer June 13, 1917


TURNER, Thomas, 7188, Rifleman, 8th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 20th June 1917. Aged 21, he was the son of Alexander and Rose Turner of Cloughmills. He is buried Cabin Hill Cemetery, Wytschaete, Belgium.


Ballymena Observer, July 13, 1917  - Mr. Alexander Turner RDC, sub-postmaster and general merchant, Cloughmills, has received intelligence that his son, Rifleman Thomas Turner, Royal Irish Rifles, has been killed in action.


Private Turner who was the fifth son of Mr. Turner was only 21 years of age. He was in the Bank Buildings in Belfast and from there enlisted in the YCVs shortly after the outbreak of war. He was wounded in the glorious charge of the Ulster Division on July 1 1916. Mr. Turner has another son, Private Robert Turner at present at the front with the Australian contingent. He joined the colours in the colony at the outbreak of war and was all through the Dardanelles campaign, wounded and after being discharged, he re-enlisted and is still at the front doing 'his bit.'



WHITESIDE,  John, 17724, Gunner, 6th Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action on the 20th July 1917. Aged 45, he was born at  Ballymena, the son of John and Esther Thomson Whiteside, and he enlisted in Glasgow. He is buried Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe.


AUSTIN, James, 2nd Lieutenant, 13th Manchester Regiment, died of wounds on June 21, 1917. He is buried Salonika Military Cemetery. He was the son of Hugh Austin, Belfast and formerly of  Ahoghill.


DARRAGH, James Robinson. Lieutenant, 1/6 Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment, died of wounds received on June 24, 1917 on the 5th July 1917. Aged 26, he was the 4th son of late Sam and Jane Darragh, Ballycraigy, Ballymena. He is buried Choques Military Cemetery, Pas De Calais. commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.


Second-Lieutenant James R. Darragh, who was officially reported wounded on June 24th died at a casualty clearing hospital in France on 5th July. 


Rifleman John McKay of Fountain Place, Ballymena, was wounded on 7th June (Messines Ridge) and is at present in hospital in England. Rifleman McKay enlisted in July 1915, prior to which he was a painter employed by Mr. Matthew Ross, High Street. He was a popular member of Ballymena Brass Band.


Mr. Thomas McKeown, Portglenone, has received information that his son, Private Robert McKeown, Seaforth Highlanders, has again been wounded and is in hospital. Private McKeown was gassed at the front in 1915 and wounded in Mesopotamia in 1916 in the fighting for Kut and Baghdad.


We understand that Dr. John Wilson, second son of Dr. Wilson, Galgorm, has obtained a commission in the Royal Army Medical Corps and has gone to training camp in Blackpool. Dr. J. Wilson is an old boy of the Ballymena Academy and a graduate in medicine and surgery of Queen's. Belfast. His brother Dr. Owen Wilson of the Indian Medical Service is at present serving at the front.

Home on leave :


Signaller Norman Mehaffey, Petty Sessions Clerk, of Brookvale, Ballymena and Signaller W. J. McNiece (seated in photograph), Royal Engineers are at present enjoying leave at home. Amongst others home on leave is Rifleman John B. Thompson, Royal Irish Rifles, Ballee. His brother Corporal  (19226, son of Jane, Ballee, Ballymena) James Thompson, also of the Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action a short time ago.


Other soldiers home on leave during the week were:


Sergeant George Montgomery, Royal Irish Rifles, Doury Road; 


Private Samuel Finlay of the Canadian Contingent, Queen Street; 


Private James Moody, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, and 


George O'Neill Royal Irish Rifles, Warden Street.

Ballymena Observer June 22, 1917


Ballymena and District men with the colours:


The following recruits from the town and district joined during the past three weeks:


Royal Dublin Fusiliers - Private Joe Kennedy, Castletown, Ahoghill.


North Irish Horse - Private James Leitch, Crankill, Ballymena; Private Thos. McKillop, Carnlough.


South Irish Horse - Private George Woods, Farlough, Randalstown.


Cameron Highlanders - Private Robt. John Ross, Drumraw, Portglenone.


Royal Engineers - Private Samuel Young. Moneydollagh, Ahoghill.


Mr. Charles MacAuley, Caugherty, Broughshane, has just received information from his son Sergeant Charles MacAuley, North Irish Horse, that he has been wounded and in at present lying in Romer Hospital, England.

Mr. John McCambridge, Church Street, Ballymena, has received intelligence that his son Lance Corporal John P. McCambridge, Royal Irish Fusiliers, who was reported missing some weeks ago, is seriously wounded and a prisoner of war in Germany. Lance Corporal McCambridge enlisted in June 1916 and went to the front about nine weeks before being taken prisoner. Prior to enlisting he was an engine cleaner in the employment of the Midland Railway Company.

Ballymena Observer, July 6. 1917


Seaman Charles Thompson RN


THOMPSON, Charles Magee, M/16998, Carpenter's Crew, Royal Navy, HMS Vanguard, aged  23, died on the 9th July 1917. He was the son of James and Mary Jane Thompson and husband of Annie Thompson, of Gracehill, Co. Antrim.  He is commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial.


Ballymena Observer, July 20 1917 - Information has been received that Charles Thompson of the Naval service, was killed on HMS Vanguard. He belonged to Gracehill and prior to joining the service was a bread server at Messrs. McClelland's, Church Street, Ballymena.


HMS Vanguard - from Imperial War Museum collection - (c) IWM (Q21888). 



Constructed in 1908-1909, HMS Vanguard, a St Vincent class battleship, was one of the new Dreadnoughts and a participant in the Battle of Jutland (1916), but she sank in Scapa Flow after series of internal explosions ripped through her at about 23:20 on 9 July 1917. 


The ship had been conducting exercises and had anchored in Scapa Flow, Orkney for the evening. Catastrophic explosions, most likely caused by an accidental cordite explosion in one of the two magazines which served the amidships 'P' and 'Q' turrets, resulted in the ship sinking almost immediately. Indeed, it was a terrific and unsurvivable explosion which took place, one witness on duty aboard another vessel describing the intensity of the flash as 'lighting the whole fleet as if it were daylight'. A nearby trawler, according to another witness,  was 'smothered in blood and pieces of human flesh'. 


Of the 845 men aboard, only three were rescued and only two survived; 41 bodies are buried in the Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery in Hoy.

Corporal Thomas Galloway 

 

Mr. Joseph Galloway, Bridge Street Place, Ballymena, has received information that his, son Lance Corporal Thomas Galloway, Royal Irish Rifles, has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field in the recent battle at Messines. Lance Corporal Galloway was in the regulars prior to the war and went to the front at the commencement of hostilities and has seen much fighting since that time. 


His brother, Rifleman James Galloway, Royal Irish Rifles, was wounded on July 1st 1916.

Ballymena Observer, July 13, 1917


KENNEDY, Samuel, 11168, Private, 10th Scottish Rifles (Cameronians),was killed in action on the 19th July 1917. He was born at Connor and enlisted in Glasgow. He is buried Brandhoek Military Cemetery, Ypres.


Rifleman Samuel Russell, Royal Irish Rifles, whose relatives reside at Patrick Place, Ballymena, received information on the morning of the 12th July that he had been slightly wounded and the latest information stated that he was at a casualty clearing station. He enlisted in the North Irish Horse but was transferred to the Rifles and prior to joining the army was an employee at the Ballymena and Harryville Co-op Stores.


Mr. Herbert Given, youngest son of Mr. John Given, Mount Street, Ballymena, has joined the United States Cavalry for service in Europe. If any of our readers know of old Ballymena boys joining the American Army we shall be pleased to receive their names with particulars for publication.

Ballymena Observer, July 20, 1917


COULTER, Alexander, 3473, Private, 2nd Irish Guards, was killed in action on July 21, 1917. He is buried Canada Farm Cemetery. He came from Tullynahinnion/Drumraw, Cullybackey and he is commemorated in 1st Portglenone Presbyterian Church.


Lance Corporal Thomas Trainor, MM & Bar

TRAINOR, Thomas, MM & bar, 1121, Lance Corporal,  99th Field Ambulance, died on the 26th July 1917.  He was born Ballymena and lived in Belfast. He is buried Oissy Churchyard, Somme.


War honours


Captain W. A. Young, Royal Engineers, son of  Mr. R. A. Young, Kintullagh, Ballymena, has been mentioned in despatches for good service at Salonika.


Company Sergeant Major S. McCrea, Royal Irish Rifles, of Ballycraigy, Ballymena, is awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for a recent act of gallantry when he went to the aid of a wounded soldier officer under fire. He was a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force.


88985 C.S.M. S. McCrea, Royal Irish Rifles - For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in leaving our front line trench in broad daylight and proceeding to the assistance of a wounded officer. Assisted by two comrades he subsequently brought him in, and that the officer's life was saved is directly due to the prompt and heroic action of this warrant officer, under rifle and machine-gun fire. He had previously done the same thing in broad daylight.


The Military Medal has been awarded to Lance Corporal William Cairns, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, for bravery in the field. He is the only son of Mrs. Cairns, Alison's Hill, Kells. He has been at the front since October 1915.

Lance Corporal Alex Reid


The people of Rasharkin paid a fitting tribute to Lance Corporal Alex. Reid, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, a native of the district who was recently awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for an act of bravery performed on 25th February last. A committee of which Dr. S. B.B. Keers, JP was chairman, Mr. Dysart Wilson honorary secretary and Mr. Samuel McHenry JP, honorary treasurer, took the matter up and the presentation took the form of a substantial amount invested in War Loan stock.


The ceremony, which took place at Culmore House, the residence of Captain Armstrong, was performed by Mrs. Moore, wife of Mr. William Moore MP. During the afternoon, the Rasharkin Band was in attendance and discoursed lively airs. 


On the same occasion, Mr. Joseph McCaughey of Rasharkin, who lost a leg during the Somme fighting was presented with a wristlet watch. At a special meeting of Rasharkin LOL No. 950, held on a previous evening, Brother William Johnston presented Lance Corporal Reid with a handsome pocket book from the brethren.

 

Ballymena Observer, July 27, 1917

Private Robert Kernohan


KERNOHAN, Robert, 263003, Private, 5th Seaforth Highlanders, was killed in action on the 30th July 1917.  He was aged 28, and his parents lived at 150 Queen Street, Harryville. He was born Renfrew, Scotland. He is buried No Man's Cemetery, Boesinge, Ypres. He is commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, August 17, 1917 - Mrs. Mary Ann Kernohan, who resides at Queen Street, Ballymena, has received information that her son, Private Robert Kernohan, Seaforth Highlanders, was killed on 27th July, 1917 as the result of the explosion of a German shell. Private Kernohan enlisted in June 1916 prior to which he was an agent in Renfrew, Scotland, for the Pearl Insurance Company. He had only been at the front for a weeks when he was killed.


GREENWOOD, William, 19426, Private, 12th (S) Highland Light Infantry, died of wounds on the 31st July 1917. Aged 27, he was born in Ballymena, the son of John and Isabella Greenwood of Broughdone, Cullybackey. He enlisted in Coatbridge and lived in Airdrie. He is buried Brandhoek New Military Cemetery No. 3 Ypres and commemorated in Cullybackey UF Church.


Ballymena Observer, September 7, 1917 - Private William Greenwood, Highland Light Infantry, killed in action, was a son of Mr. John Greenwood, Broughdone, Cullybackey.


He joined the army at the outbreak of war and was wounded three times. He was a well known athlete and took part in boxing matches in Ballymena and also in Scotland where he enlisted. His brother, Rifleman Thomas Greenwood, is in the Royal Irish Rifles at the front.


McREYNOLDS, Patrick, 7865, Rifleman, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 31st July 1917. Aged 21, he was the son of John McReynolds, Killylane, Glenwherry and the late Jane McReynolds. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres.


Ballymena and District Men with the Colours


The following recruits from the town and district enlisted in the past month:


Army Service Corps - Private John Sloan, Ahoghill


20th Royal Irish Rifles - Rifleman James Fullerton, Kells.


North Irish Horse - Private David Kennedy, Blackstown, Broughshane; Private John Ramsey, Drumnicle, Broughshane; Private John Barr, Broughshane.


Labour Company - Private H. McQuillan, John Street, Ballymena.


The relatives of Rifleman Samuel Russell, Royal Irish Rifles, have received a letter from him stating that he has been wounded in the calf of the right leg. Rifleman Russell of Patrick Place was just shortly out of hospital after being treated for a slight wound received on 4th July. He received his present wound on 31st July.

Private Thomas Simpson (left) , 16th Highland Light Infantry, son of Mrs. Simpson of Pottinger Street, Cullybackey, has been awarded the Military Medal for carrying dispatches under heavy shell fire. He was formerly in the employment of Messrs. McDowell, boot and shoe manufacturers, Church Street, Ballymena and has been two years in the army.


Mr. Nathaniel K. Currie, youngest son of Mr. W. B. Currie, Shankbridge, Ballymena, has enlisted in the United States Army and has arrived at the front with the 1st USA Expeditionary Force. He was educated at Ballymena Academy and went out to Michigan about seven years ago.

Ballymena Observer, August 10, 1917


Lieutenant J. F. Hodges, MC, Royal Irish Fusiliers, has been promoted to the rank of Captain. He is the elder son of Mr. J. F. W. Hodges of Glenravel. He was wounded at St. Eloi on March 14th 1915 and was awarded the Military Cross for bravery in the field. His younger brother, 2nd Lieutenant H. B. Hodges,  King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, was killed in action on April 18, 1915.


Mr. Sydney W. Lee, The Rectory, Ahoghill, has been appointed to a commission as a surgeon probationer in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and will leave shortly to join his ship.

3rd Ypres


 'Their brigadiers called it murder ...', war correspondent Philip Gibbs


The month of August 1917 was another bitter period for Ballymena. In the first two weeks of the month, the town and district lost a large number of men killed and even more wounded at the 3rd Battle of Ypres and especially on the 16th August at the opening of the Battle of Langemark.

Private George Wilson


WILSON, George, S/18523, Private, 1/8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was killed in action on the 1st August 1917. He was the son of John Wilson, Laymore, Ballymena. He is buried Artillery Wood Cemetery, Ypres.


Ballymena Observer, August 24, 1917 - Mr. John Wilson, Laymore, has been notified that his son Private George Wilson has been killed in action.


The sad intelligence comes from his commanding officer, who states: 


I have the painful duty to inform you that your son 18523 Private George Wilson, No.9 Platoon, C Coy. 8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was killed in action on the night of 1st August.


He was leaving the front line at the time and coming back for a rest after having fought in the advance, when he was hit by a shell and killed outright. Private Wilson was one of my best men, always very quiet and steady under the heaviest of fire. A man esteemed by officers and men alike. We all mourn with you in his loss and send our sincere sympathy to you in your sad bereavement


Previous to being called up, Private Wilson, who was a tailor to trade, was employed by a firm of merchant tailors in Renfrew. Private Wilson leaves a wife and two infant children.


TAGGART, Thomas, 1636, Rifleman, 14th Royal Irish Rifles, aged 37 years,  died on the 3rd August 1917. He was the son of William John and Hanna Taggart, Queen Street, Ballymena and husband of Martha Taggart 31, Alfred Street, Ballymena. He is remembered on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate), Belgium.


Ballymena Observer, August 17, 1917 - Information has been received by Mrs. Taggart, who resides at Alfred Street, Ballymena, that her husband, Royal Irish Rifleman Thomas Taggart (14th Royal Irish Rifles) has been killed in action. He enlisted in September last year and was at the front about nine months. Before enlisting he was employed by Mr. John Carson, builder and contractor, Clonavon. He leaves a wife and two children.


WHITESIDE, William, 1638, Rifleman, 14th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the  3rd August 1917.  He was the son of John Whiteside of Eglish, Ballymena and he lived at Glenleslie, Clough. He is buried Vlamertinghe Cemetery, Ypres and commemorated in Cloughwater Presbyterian Church.


FISHER, David, 12258, Rifleman, 8th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 5th August 1917.  He was born Ballymena and  enlisted in Belfast. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate).


McMASTER, William, 939, Rifleman, 9th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 7th August 1917. Aged 20, he was born in Portglenone and enlisted Ballymena. He was the youngest son of William and Mary Jane McMaster, Cullybackey. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate) and in Cullybackey UF Church.


THOMPSON, James, 19226,  Corporal, 'A' Coy. 12th Royal Irish Rifles, aged 20, died on the 8th March 1917.  He was the son of Mrs. Jane Thompson, Ballee, Ballymena. He is buried in St. Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery and  commemorated Wellington Street Presbyterian, Church.


GORDON,  William,  13447, Acting Corporal, 7th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 8th August 1917 by shellfire.  He was born in Broughshane and enlisted in Belfast. He was the son of David and Matilda Gordon, Ottawa Street, Belfast. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate).


HILL, Matthew John, 9877, Rifleman, 7th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 8th August 1917. Aged 21, he was the son of Matthew and Lizzie Hill of Broughshane. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate) and in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917 - Mr. Matthew Hill, Broughshane, has been notified that his son, Rifleman Matthew Hill, Royal Irish Rifles (7th Bn) has been killed in action on 8th August 1917. Deceased joined the army last winter and shortly afterwards went to the front.


CULL, Daniel, 8923, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 10th August 1917.  He was born in Kirkinriola and enlisted in Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate), Belgium.


GREER, William, 17770, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died on the 10th August, 1917.  He came from Corbally, Gracehill. He  is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate), Belgium.

Rifleman William Greer 2429


GREER, William, 2429, Rifleman, 'C' Coy. 12th Royal Irish Rifles,  aged 32, died on the 12 August 1917. He was the son of James and Margaret Greer of New Row Ahoghill. He is buried at New Irish Farm Cemetery and commemorated in 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, August 24, 1917 - Notification has been received by his relatives who reside at Ahoghill, Ballymena, of the death in action of Rifleman William Greer of the Machine Gun Section, Royal Irish Rifles.  Prior to joining the colours in 1914 Rifleman Greer was employed in the Lisnafillan or Lisnafillon) Works, Galgorm, and was a well known football player. He had been at the front for a year and 10 months. He lived at New Row, Ahoghill.


FLYNN, William George Acheson, 18981, Rifleman, Royal Irish Rifles. died on the 11th August 1917. Aged 22, he was born in Co. Down, had lived in Londonderry, and his father was manager of Lisnafillan Bleaching Works, Galgorm. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate), Belgium and in Ahoghill Church of Ireland.


Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917 - Notification has been received from Mr. J. Flynn, formerly manager of Lisnafillan Bleaching Works, and now of Upperlands, Co Londonderry, that his son, Rifleman William Flynn, has been killed in action.


Rifleman Flynn was a member of the UVF and was the first man to enlist from the Galgorm Company. He went to the front with the Ulster Division and prior to enlisting was employed in the Lisnafillan Works. 

Rifleman Adam Craig


CRAIG,  Adam, 4934, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the August 15, 1917. Aged 35, he was born in Ahoghill and enlisted in Ballymena. He was the son of Adam and Elizabeth Craig, and his wife Jane and family of five lived at Bridgend, Galgorm. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate), Belgium and in  Cullybackey UF Church.


Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917 - Mrs. Craig, who resides at Bridge End, Galgorm, has been informed that her husband, Rifleman Adam Craig, Royal Irish Rifles, has been killed in action. Rifleman Craig was a son of the late Mr. Adam Craig and joined the colours shortly after the outbreak of hostilities. He was employed in the Lisnafillan Bleaching Works and leaves a wife and five children.

Lance Corporal Andrew McCartney


McCARTNEY, Andrew, 19092, Lance Corporal, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 15th August 1917. Aged 23, he was the son of Sam McCartney, Henry Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate), Belgium.


Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917 - Information has been received by Mr. Samuel McCartney, hairdresser, Henry Street, that his only son, Lance Corporal Andrew McCartney, Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds received in action in the recent heavy fighting in which the Ulster Division took part. 


Unofficial information received last week by Mr. McCartney stated that his son had been severely wounded, having lost a leg. Prior to enlisting in 1914, Lance Corporal McCartney was a fitter in Messrs. Kane Brothers, Harryville. He was a member of the Rechabite Order, also a member of Ballee LOL and of the RBP.


AYRE, Samuel, 1281, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on August 16, 1917. He is named on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. Aged 28, he was born in Kirkinriola, Ballymena. He was the son of James Ayre, Glenavy, and his wife Rachel lived at Hill Street, Crumlin.


BAMBER (also spelled Bammer), Robert, 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, was killed in action on August 16, 1917. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.  He was born in  Ahoghill and enlisted in Ballymena. He was the son of Susan Bamber, Springwell Street, Ballymena.


Ballymena Observer, September 14, 1917 - Private Robert Bamber, Royal Irish Fusiliers (Trench Mortar Battery), killed on action on August 16th, was a son of Mrs. Susan Bamber, Springwell Street, Ballymena. Deceased was in the big offensive on that date when he was struck by a shell and killed instantly. 

His commanding officer writes: 'He was a good boy and a brave soldier.'


BELL, William, 9955, Rifleman, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on August 16, 1917. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial. Aged 25, he was the son of Alexander and Catherine Bell, Broughshane, and he enlisted in Ballymena.


CRAWFORD, Thomas, 27488, Private, 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (formerly 6068 3rd Royal Irish Rifles), died of wounds on the 9th August, 1917.  He is buried Mont Huon Military Cemetery, France. He was born and lived Ahoghill and enlisted in Ballymena. He is commemorated in Ahoghill Church of Ireland.


HAMILTON, James,  1293, Corporal, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action 10th August 1917. Aged 20, he was born at Duneane, Randalstown and enlisted in Lisburn. He was the son of John Hamilton of Ballymatoskerty, Toomebridge. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate), Belgium.


Ballymena Observer, August 24, 1917 -  The relatives of Lance Corporal James Hamilton, Royal Irish Rifles, of Ballymatoskerty, Toomebridge, have been informed that he was killed in action on August 12 (sic) , 1917.


HAMILTON, John, 10827, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles (formerly 6919 Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders) was killed in action on the 10th August 1917. He was born at Glenravel and enlisted in Glasgow. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate).


HARRIS, Hugh, 720, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 9th August 1917. He was born in Ahoghill and enlisted in Ballymena. He was the only son of Robert Harris of Craigs, Cullybackey.  He is buried Wieltje Farm Cemetery, Ypres and commemorated in Cullybackey UF Church.


Ballymena Observer, September 14, 1917 -  Mr. Robert Harris, Craigs, Cullybackey, has received intimation to the effect that his only son, Hugh, Royal Irish Rifles, has died of wounds received in action. Prior to enlisting about two years ago, he was in the employment of Mr. Hugh Coulter, Ballyconnelly, Cullybackey.


CROWE, Agnew,  794, Lance Corporal, 14th Royal Irish Rifles, aged 19, was killed in action on the 16th August, 1917. He was the son of Pat and Mary Crowe, Glenhead, Glenwherry. He enlisted in Belfast and is commemorated on then Tyne Cot Memorial and in Glenwherry Presbyterian Church.

Signaller Nathaniel Dunlop


DUNLOP, Nathaniel, 5700, Rifleman, 7th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917. Aged 20, he was born at Craigs, Cullybackey and enlisted in Ballymena. He was the son of John Dunlop, Loan, Cullybackey. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial and in Cullybackey UF Church. He is also named on the family headstone just north of the now disused church.


Ballymena Observer, September 7, 1917 - Signaller Nathaniel Dunlop, Royal Irish Rifles, reported killed in action on 16th August, was the second son of Mr. John Dunlop, Loan, Cullybackey. He enlisted in February 1916 at the age of 18 years and after training in Carrickfergus and Newtownards, proceeded to France in April. Prior to enlistment he was in the employment of Mr. A. Harbison, Cullybackey, as a carpenter. Signaller Dunlop was a member of the UCF Sabbath School and was awarded prizes for regular attendance extending over 10 years.


GARRETT, James,  10554, Rifleman, 7th Royal Irish Rifles (formerly S/19159 Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders) was killed in action on the 16th August 1917. He enlisted in Paisley but came from Tamneybrack. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial and in Buckna Presbyterian Church.


Rifleman David Jamison


JAMISON,  David,  657, Rifleman, 14th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917.  He was the son of Robert Jamison of Greenvale Street, Ballymena. He is named on the  Tyne Cot Memorial and commemorated in Harryville Presbyterian Church.


Rifleman Alexander Kennedy


KENNEDY, Alexander, 3794, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 8th August 1917. Aged 32, he was the son of James and Eliza Kennedy of Cullybackey Road, Ahoghill and he lived at Buick Row, Ahoghill. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate) and in 2nd Ahoghill (Trinity) Presbyterian Church.

Rifleman Arthur Kennedy 


KENNEDY, Arthur, 815,  Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles,  was killed in action on the 16th August 1917. Aged 27, he was the son of James and Jane Kennedy, Craigs, Cullybackey and he lived at Broughdone, Cullybackey. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial and in Cullybackey UF Church.


Ballymena Observer, September 14, 1917 - Mr. James Kennedy, Cullybackey, has received the following letter from the Rev. A. Gibson, Chaplain to the Forces, informing him that his son, Rifleman Arthur Kennedy is missing:

 

26/8/17


Dear Mr. Kennedy, 


I am very sorry to tell you that your son Rifleman A. Kennedy, Royal Irish Rifles, has been reported missing since August 16th. Unless you may have heard from him or of him from some reliable source it must be concluded that he is either killed or a prisoner of war. Sincerely hope he is not killed and I feel for you because of the suspense and anxiety that will be years for some time to come.


In six weeks to two months time we hope to hear who are prisoners and I can only ask you to have patience till then and bear up as bravely as you can.


Rifleman Arthur Kennedy was wounded on 1st July 1916 and his brother, Rifleman R. J. Kennedy is reported missing from that date. Another brother, Rifleman George Kennedy of the same regiment was also wounded at the battle of the Somme.


LOWRY, James, 891, Rifleman, 14th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917. Service no. 891. Aged 19, he was born at Ahoghill and enlisted in Ballymena. He was the son of Thomas Lowry, Fenagh, Cullybackey. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Rifleman Harry McIlroy


McILROY, Henry (Harry), 23187, Private, 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917. Aged 25, he enlisted in Glasgow but he was the son of Mrs. Taylor, of Fenagh Cottage, Ballymena. He is commemorated  on the Tyne Cot memorial.


McKINNEY, James, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917. He was raised in Ballymena Union (workhouse) and 'boarded out' with Hollingers of Ahoghill. He is buried Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke, Belgium and commemorated in Ahoghill Church of Ireland.


MILLS,  David,  139, Rifleman, 14th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917. He was born at Ballymarlow and enlisted  in Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.


Ballymena Observer, September 7, 1917 - Information has been received by his relatives who reside in the Ballymena District that Rifleman David Mills, Royal Irish Rifles, was amongst the many brave men from Ulster who made the supreme sacrifice in the advance on 16th August

Lance Corporal Allan Montgomery


MONTGOMERY, Allan, 15634, Lance Corporal, 14th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917. Aged 24, born at Antrim and was the son of Robert and Annie Montgomery of The Cottage, Castle Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial and Wellington Street Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917 - Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery, Castle Street, Ballymena, have received intimation that their son, Lance Corporal Allan Montgomery, Royal Irish Rifles, has been reported killed in action.


Rev. John Knowles in a letter dated 21st August 1917 says:


I write to express to you my sincere sympathy in the great loss that has come to you through the death of your son, 15634 Lance Corporal A. Montgomery, who was killed in action on August 16th. I am very sorry that up to the present, his body has not been recovered but we hope that soon an advance may take place which will render this possible. Your son has seen much service out here and in everything that he did he proved himself a brave and gallant soldier, and we were all sorry to hear that the decoration for which he had been recommended, and which he thoroughly merited, was somehow never bestowed upon him. Now he has won a soldier's higher honour by laying down his life fighting for a glorious cause. He has been faithful unto death and we all mourn his loss and our heartfelt sympathy goes out to you.


Lance Corporal Montgomery was on three occasions recommended for distinctions, amongst them being the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery.  


NEVIN, William, 15696, Acting Company Sergeant Major, 14th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917. Aged 22, and of Clonavon, Ballymena, he was the son of Mr. And Mrs. S. Nevin, Finaghy Park, Belfast. His wife lived at Mill Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.


Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917 - Sergeant William Nevin, Royal Irish Rifles, was a native of Ballymena and formerly resided at Clonavon. He is the eldest son of Mr. Samuel Nevin, now of Chadwick Street, Belfast. His father was for some time a tailor in the employment of Messrs. Barclay and Crawford, Ballymena and his grandmother, Mrs. Nevin resides in Mill Street, Ballymena. He returned to the front in May last after recovering from wounds received in action on 1st July 1916. He was previously in the employment of Lafayette, Donegal Place, Belfast, as a photographer and was a member of the original YCVs.


Lance Corporal James Rea


REA,  James,  3/8834, Lance Corporal, 8th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917.  Aged 20, he was the son of Matthew and Hanna Rea, Drumcrow, Carnalbanagh. He is buried in Tyne Cot Military Cemetery and commemorated in Carnalbanagh Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, August 17, 1917 - Intimation has been received by Mr. Matthew Rea, Carnalbana, in a letter from the front, that his son, Lance Corporal James Rea, Royal Irish Rifles (8th Btn)  has been killed in action. Deceased enlisted from Renfrew, Scotland, two years ago, where he was employed and had been about nine months at the front.


REID, Thomas, 8360, Sergeant,  1st  Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917. Aged 31, he was the son of James Knox Reid and Grace Reid of Knockboy, Broughshane. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial and in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, September 14, 1917 - Mr. James Reid of Ballycloughan, Broughshane, has been officially notified that his son Sergeant Thomas Reid 1st Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on August 16th.


REID, Robert, 42883, Private, 8th Yorkshire Regiment, was killed in action on the 20th September 1917. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Yorkshire. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.


ROBINSON, William John, DCM,  40839, Lance Corporal, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917. He was the son of Joseph Robinson of Rathkeel, Broughshane. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial and in 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, September 14, 1917 - Mr. Joseph Robinson of Rathkeel, Broughshane, has received a letter from the war office stating that his son, Corporal W. J. Robinson has been killed in action. He went to the front in December 1916


SMITH, Samuel, 14926, Sergeant, 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917. He was born at Toome and enlisted in Belfast. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial and in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church, Ballymena.


STEWART, James, 7275, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, killed in action on the 8th August 1917. Aged 18, he was the  son of Robert and Jane Stewart, Main Street, Randalstown. Aged 18, he is buried in New Irish Farm Cemetery, Ypres and commemorated in Randalstown Old Presbyterian (The OC) Church.


THOMPSON, Scott, 4935, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917. Aged 35, he was the son of James and Mary Jane Thompson of Lisnafillan, Ballymena and he was the brother of Charles Thompson above. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial and in Gracehill Moravian Cemetery.


Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917 - The relatives of Rifleman Scott Thompson, Royal Irish Rifles, who reside at Lisnafillan, Galgorm, have received information to the effect that he was killed in the recent offensive. Rifleman Thompson was formerly employed in the Lisnafillan Bleaching Works. He was previously wounded and, after recovering, returned to the front. His brother Charles (Thompson) was lost in the recent disaster which overtook HMS Vanguard.


Rifleman W. J. Watson


WATSON, William J., 19298, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles,  was killed in action on the 16th August 1917. He was the only son of Robert Watson, Alexander Street, Ballymena and the brother of Mrs. Sarah Russell of Henry Street, Harryville, Ballymena. He is commemorated on Tyne Cot Memorial.


Ballymena Observer, September 7, 1917 - Mr. Robert Watson, Alexander Street, Ballymena, has received notification to the effect that his only son, Rifleman William J. Watson, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on 16th August. Rifleman Watson, who enlisted in September 1914 was wounded at the Somme on July 1st 1916, receiving a gunshot wound to the right arm. Prior to joining the colours he was in the employment of the Braidwater Spinning Company.


WHITE, Robert, 7896, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 10th August 1917. He was the son of Samuel White, Knockboy, Broughshane. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate).


Ballymena Observer, September 29, 1917 - Mr Samuel White. Knockboy, Broughshane, has been notified by the war office that his son, Private Robert White, Royal Irish Rifles, has been killed in action on 10th August last. This is Mr. White's second son to meet the same fate. The other, Private William White, Irish Guards being killed on 15th September 1916. Mr. White has another son and a son-in-law serving at the front.


Wounded in this period


Captain Murray of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, who is reported dangerously wounded by a gunshot in the head is formerly of Ballymena. He is a son in law of Mr. Huston Lancashire, chairman of the Ballymena Urban Council. 


At the outbreak of war Captain Murray was an inspector of the Scottish Widows Provident Association in Dublin, a position which he immediately gave up and joined the Rugby Football Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, as a private.


He took part in the landing at the Dardanelles where he was in the machine gun section and on the morning after the landing he was recommended for promotion, shortly afterwards being gazetted a second lieutenant. He also participated in the Serbian Campaign, in which he was wounded and when in France was mentioned in dispatches by Sir Douglas Haig. He was a popular footballer and tennis player in Ballymena and was educated at Ballymena Academy.

Ballymena Observer, August 24th, 1917


Mr. R. J. Craig, Randalstown, has received intimation from the war office that his eldest son, Captain James Craig, Royal Irish Rifles, was severely wounded on 17th August, receiving gunshot wounds on the right arm and thigh. 


He is at present in a Red Cross Hospital. Captain Craig was previously wounded on 10th July 1916 in the chest, neck and arms. He returned to active service in February.


He was at the Queen's University, Belfast, as a medical student when the war broke out and applied for and was granted a commission in the Royal Irish Rifles. While training in the South of Ireland he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and when the 16th (Irish) Division moved to England in the spring of 1915 he was made adjutant of his battalion at the age of 21 and was perhaps the youngest adjutant in the British Army. He was a prominent athlete.

Ballymena Observer, August 24, 1917


2nd Lieutenant (John) Taylor, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who received gunshot wounds in the recent advance on 16th August is a son of Mr. James Taylor, Galgorm Parks, Ballymena.


Prior to joining the army, he was employed in Londonderry, where he gave up a good position and enlisted as a ranker. He later obtained his commission and suffered from shell-shock last year. His brother, Rifleman David Taylor is serving at the front with the Royal Irish Rifles.

Ballymena Observer, August 24, 1917

Sergeant Major J Lorimer


Sergeant Major Lorimer, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, whose parents reside at Alexander Street, Ballymena, has been wounded in the foot and ankle and is at present in hospital at Boulougne. He was previously wounded and is one of five brothers with the colours.

Ballymena Observer, August24, 1917


Two brothers wounded


Mr. William Smyth, The Curragh, Ballymena, has been officially informed that his two sons, 2nd Lieutenant J. Smyth of the Royal Irish Rifles and 2nd Lieutenant T. W. Smyth of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, have been wounded.

Ballymena Observer, August 24, 1917


Mr. George Russell Snr., Patrick Place, Ballymena, has received a letter from his son, Lance Corporal James E. Russell, Royal Irish Rifles, stating that on 17th August, he was thrown off a fully loaded lumber wagon, one of the wheels of which passed over both legs which were badly bruised.


He is at present in the 5th General Hospital, Portsmouth. His wife resides at 79 Paisley Street, Glasgow. His brother, Rifleman Samuel E. Russell, Royal Irish Rifles was twice wounded last July and is at present in an Auxiliary Hospital in Perth, Scotland.

Ballymena Observer, August 24, 1917


Information has been received by Mr. David Kerr, Greenmount Terrace, Ballymena, informing him that his son, Lance Corporal David Kerr, Royal Irish Rifles, has been reported seriously wounded in the head and shoulder. He has also had his right arm amputated in hospital.

Ballymena Observer, August 24, 1917  ... 


and on August 31 : Nursing staff have informed the family that Lance Corporal Kerr's left arm has been amputated.


Mrs. Millar, Harperstown, Cullybackey, has received intimation that her son, Rifleman Ben Millar, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded in action. He received shell shock on 1st July 1916 but soon recovered and has been on active service for the past year. Prior to enlisting he worked at the Hillmount Works, Cullybackey.

Ballymena Observer, August24, 1917


Mr. William Nelson of Market Road, Ballymena, has been notified that his son, Rifleman William Nelson, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded.


Rifleman Nelson was previously wounded in the thigh on 1st July 1916 and prior to enlisting was an apprentice fitter at the Braidwater Foundry, Harryville.

Ballymena Observer, August 24, 1917


Mrs. Watson, Gilmore Street, Harryville, has been notified that her son, Rifleman Charles Watson, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded in the left shoulder. This is the second time Rifleman Watson has been wounded, receiving slight injuries in the arm and foot on 1st July 1916. He enlisted in July 1915 prior to which he worked at the Braidwater Spinning Mill. He has a brother serving at the front with the Royal Irish Rifles.

Ballymena Observer, August 24, 1917


Information has been received by his relatives who reside at John Street, Ballymena, that Rifleman John Scullion,  Royal Irish Rifles, has been gassed.


Rifleman Scullion, a well known Ballymena footballer, was wounded in the advance of 1st July 1916 and prior to enlisting worked in the Braidwater Mill.

Ballymena Observer, August 24, 1917


Lance Corporal James Craig, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who has been wounded and is now in a Canadian Hospital, is the youngest son of Mrs. Craig, 33 Albert Place, Ballymena. He first enlisted in the North Irish Horse and afterwards joined the Inniskillings. Prior to joining the army he was employed in Milford Foundry, Belfast and Kane Bros. Foundry, Harryville, Ballymena.

Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917


Mr. David Magee, 60 Queen Street, Ballymena, has been notified that his son, Private William J. Magee, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded in the right arm. Private Magee enlisted in September 1914 and went to the front with the Ulster Division.


His brother, Rifleman Robert Magee, who was personal servant to Lieutenant B. Stuart, M.C., Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds received in action in March 1916.

Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917


Mrs. Robinson, Castle Street, Ballymena, has been notified that her husband, Rifleman George Robinson, Royal Irish Rifles, has received severe gunshot wounds. Prior to joining the colours shortly after the outbreak of war he was employed in a large ironworks firm in Coatbridge, Scotland.

Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917


Notification has also been received by Mrs. Robinson, Castle Street, that her son, Driver Samuel Robinson, Army Service Corps, has been admitted to hospital suffering from mild valvular disease of the heart. Driver Robinson has been almost two years in France and before joining the army worked at the Braidwater Mill.


Mrs. Robinson has the record of 29 near relatives serving with the colours.

Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917


Mrs. Lynn, Castle Street, Ballymena, has received information that her son, Rifleman J. Service, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded in the left thigh and right shoulder. He was formerly a mechanic in the Braidwater Mill and before joining the army in October 1914 was employed on the Queen's Island, Belfast. He came through the Battle of the Somme.

Ballymena Observer,August 31, 1917


Mrs. Nixon, Parkhead, Ballymena, has been informed that her husband, Private Joseph Nixon, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was gassed during the recent fighting in France and is now in an English Hospital. Before joining the army, Private Nixon, who was 11 months at the front, was employed by Messrs. Coleman and Co. Broughshane Street, Ballymena.

Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917


Information has been received by Mrs. Larkin of 22 Hill Street, Ballymena that her son, Cyclist William Larkin, Cyclist Corps, has been wounded in the shoulder and thigh by shrapnel. Cyclist Larkin, who has been two years at the front, was formerly employed in Messrs. Lipton's Branch in Ballymena. His brother, Thomas Larkin, Royal Irish Rifles, was wounded last year and took part in operations to secure Dublin during the rebellion of 1916.

Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917


Mrs. Rock, Ballygarvey, Ballymena, has been notified that her son, Rifleman James Rock, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded. Prior to enlisting he worked for the Midland Railway Company.

Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917


Information has been received by the relatives of Private William Marcus, Carncoagh, to the effect that he is badly wounded. Prior to joining the Labour Brigade, he was employed by Mr. Alex Clyde, registered plumber, Ballymena, as a quarryman and pump sinker. He joined the labour brigade in March of the present year.

Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917


Information has been received by Mr. Robert Brown, Drumack, Rasharkin, that his son Rifleman Matthew Brown, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded in action. Rifleman Brown, the son of a very respectable farmer, joined the colours shortly after the outbreak of war.

Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917


Mr. James Kyle, Rasharkin, has received information that his son, Rifleman Robert Kyle, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded in action. Rifleman Kyle, prior to enlisting was a farm servant working in the district of Rasharkin.

Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917


Rifleman J. Armstrong, Royal Irish Rifles, who has been wounded, is a son of Mr. Robert Armstrong, Hillmount, Cullybackey. Prior to joining the army he was employed as a tailor by Mr. W. Hepple, Wellington Street, Ballymena. He was wounded on July 1st 1916.

Ballymena Observer, September 7, 1917


Mr. D. Rock, Hillmount, Cullybackey, has received information that his son Rifleman David Rock, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded. Before enlisting he was employed in the Hillmount Works and was a member of the UVF and Dunminning LOL.

Ballymena Observer, September 7, 1917


Rifleman James Gordon, reported wounded, is a son of Mrs. Gordon, Station Road, Cullybackey. He was employed in the Maine Works prior to enlistment and was a member of the UVF and Fenagh LOL.

Ballymena Observer, September 7, 1917


Mr. John Gordon, Harperstown, Cullybackey, has been notified that his son, Rifleman Jack (James?) Gordon, Royal Irish Rifles (Central Antrim Volunteers) has been wounded in action. Prior to enlistment Rifleman Gordon was employed in the Hillmount Works and was a member of the local UVF.

Ballymena Observer

Rifleman Hugh Mullan


Mr. Thomas Mullan, Queen Street, Ballymena, has received information that his son, Rifleman Hugh Mullan, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded and is in hospital in England. Rifleman Mullan was previously wounded on 1st July 1916. Prior to enlisting he was in the employment of the Midland Railway. 

Ballymena Observer, September 7, 1917


Private Samuel Sutter, Canadian Contingent, son of Mr. Alex. Sutter, Queen Street, Ballymena, is at present home on leave. He was wounded a few months ago and received the Military Medal for bravery.

Ballymena Observer, August 17, 1917


Rifleman William John McCaughern


McCAUGHERN, William John, 41344, Rifleman, 4th Battalion New Zealand Rifle Brigade, was killed in action on the 21st August 1917. Aged 37, he was born at Crushybracken, Rasharkin, and he was the son of Andrew and Hannah McCaughern, 'The Cottage', Kells. He is buried La Plus Douve Cemetery, Belgium.


HILL, Daniel Coulter, 234835,  Private, 52nd Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment), was killed in action on the 22nd August 1917,  just three months after he joined his unit in France.  Aged 37 years, he was the husband of Jane Hill of MacDowall, Saskatchewan, Canada. He had relatives at Kellans Post Office, Rasharkin and he visited them in February 1917. He had served in the Imperial Yeomanry during the Boer War before he emigrated.  He is buried in Aix-Noulette Cemetery Extension in France. 


GORDON-KIDD, DSO and Silver Medal for bravery (Montenegro), Arthur Lionel,  Captain, Royal Flying Corps, 19th Squadron and 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards, died of wounds on the 27th August 1917. He is buried Mendinghem Military Cemetery.


Dr. Cecil Woodside, who has received a lieutenancy in the RAMC is the elder son of Mr. J. A. Woodside, Roselea, Ballymena. He was educated at Ballymena Academy, Campbell College and Queens University.

Ballymena Observer, August 31, 1917


Sapper Charles Loughrey, Carniny, Ballymena, of the Royal Engineers, who has had six  month's experience of the front, has been discharged with a pension owing to the loss of an eye caused by a splinter from a shell. 


Sapper Loughrey is an employee of Mr. John Carson, Builder. He is an old campaigner and was through the Afghan war in '79 with the Cameronians. He is 60 years of age and like an old warrior he enjoyed his service at the front. 


Comparing the luck of some with his own experience, he says: "Some of the young ones are out more than three years and I was only 8 days up in the danger zone when I got it in the eye. Sure I was through the Afghan war and only got a wee skit of a bullet." 

Ballymena Observer, September 7, 1917.


A clever case of deception was brought to light at the Ballymena Petty Sessions on Friday when a householder was charged with harbouring and concealing a deserter named Private Frederick Charles Goymer of the Seaforth Highlanders.


The soldier played the confidence trick on his landlady and impressed upon her his importance, telling her was a secret service agent with £3000 a year. He said that a Prussian agent was on his track and that he (was on) six months holiday at a time and all the rest of it! The woman, believed him. Magistrates took a lenient view and dismissed the case.

Ballymena Observer, September 14, 1917.


McMASTER,  Alexander, 19481, Private, 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 19th September 1917. Aged 39, he was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Paisley, Scotland. His wife lived at 1 Ralston Square, Paisley. He is buried Coxyde Military Cemetery,  Koksijde, Belgium.


Military Cross awards for Ballymena officers


Temporary Captain William  Bruce  George Stuart, Royal Irish Rifles:


For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in commanding his company during an attack. He led them with great dash and personal gallantry, capturing many prisoners and later on doing excellent work in consolidating captured positions.


Throughout the action his fine example of determination and enthusiasm kept his men going at a time when they were dead beat.


Captain Stuart is a son of Mr. William Stuart C.E. Mount Earl, Ballymena and a nephew of the late Rear Admiral Leslie C. Stuart. He was wounded in April 1916.


Lieutenant George Lawrence Hastings, Dragoon Guards:


For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in leading raids on the enemy's defences on two occasions. His ability and fine personal example have proved of the utmost value to the success of our operations.


Lieutenant Hastings is a native of Ballymena, being a son of Mr. and Mrs. George Hastings, formerly of Audley Terrace and now of Hong Kong.


Sergeant Major Bertie Letson, Royal Irish Rifles, was home recently on leave and his many Ballymena relations were glad to see him looking so fit and well.


Sergeant W. Brown, Royal Irish Rifles, son of Mr. T. Brown, Prices Street, is at present home on leave. He went to the front in December last.


Mr. William G. Young, eldest son of Mr. J. B. Young and Mrs. Young, Clonmohr Terrace, Ballymena, has joined the Motor Transport Service (Army Service Corps). Mr. Young, who was educated at the Ballymena Academy, held a Customs and Excise Appointment and was stationed at Greenore for the past three years.


Praise for Ballymena Chaplain


We have read a very interesting letter from the Rev. J. A. Wilson, son of the late Mr. W. O. Wilson, Knowehead, Broughshane. he writes: 


 I have been working out here for the YMCA at the 'back of the front' for about three and a half months and have been having a great time which I would not have missed for a great deal.


I go back to my church in London early next month. A friend told  me that he occasionally sees the Rev. D. Mitchell of First Broughshane who has been a Chaplain at the front for two years or so. Rev. Mitchell was in the thick of some of the recent fighting and does not know what fear is and is very popular with the men.

Ballymena Observer, September 21, 1917


FLANAGAN, Hugh, 41229, Lance Corporal, 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers (f. 1508 North Irish Horse), was killed in action 22nd September 1917.  Aged 21, he was  born in Ballymena and enlisted in Antrim. He was the son of R H and Martha Flanagan,  129 Dunluce Avenue, Belfast. He is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial.


MURRAY, Patrick Joseph, G/18524, Private, 11th Royal Sussex Regiment, was killed in action on the 24th September 1917. Aged 16, he was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast. He was the son of Mrs. Mary Murray of 12 Colin Street, Falls Road, Belfast. He is commemorated in Tyne Cot Memorial.


TURNER,  Robert,  1842, Private, 54 Battalion, Australian Infantry, was killed in action on the 25th September 1917. Aged 26, he was the son of Alexander and Rose Turner  of Cloughmills, Co Antrim. He is buried in Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Belgium.


CLARK (Clarke),  William,  31310, Private, 2nd Royal Scots, was killed in action on September 26th, 1917. He is named on the Tyne Cot Memorial. Aged 20, he enlisted/lived in Glasgow. He was the son of George and Margaret, Garvaghy, Portglenone and he is commemorated in 1st Portglenone Presbyterian Church.


McCULLOUGH, James Alexander,  162, Sergeant,  42nd Battalion, Australian Infantry, was killed in action on the 4th October 1917. Aged 20, he was the son of Robert and Isabell McCullough, of Punch's Creek, Millmerran, Queensland and formerly of Kilgad Cottages, Kells, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate).


WEIR, DCM,  David,  703A,  Private, 7th Battalion,  Australian Infantry, was killed in action on the 4th October 1917 4/10/1917. Aged 27, he was the son of Hugh and Mary Ellen Weir and husband of Sarah, Lisnafillan, Gracehill. He enlisted in Swan Hill, Victoria. He is commemorated  on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate) and in Ahoghill Church of Ireland.


Ballymena Observer. November 30, 1917 - Mrs. David Weir, Lisnafillan, Ballymena, has just been notified that her husband, Private David Weir, Australian Imperial Force, has been killed in action. Private Weir, who was a son of Mr. Hugh Weir of Straid, Ballymena, emigrated to Australia about six years ago and joined the army on the outbreak of war. He was recommended for the DCM on September 20, 1917. Prior to emigration, he was a member of Straid LOL.


Mr. James Ferguson, only son of Mr. J. P. Ferguson, Glenmanus Place, Ballymena has been granted a commission in the Royal Garrison Artillery. He joined the colours shortly after the outbreak of war and served as a despatch rider. In civil life he held an important position in the Braidwater Spinning Mill.


Rev. A. Spence, Chaplain to the Forces (attached Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers) has been awarded the Military Cross. He is the son of Mr. Alex Spence, Brookfield, Portglenone.


Fourth Engineer Thomas Murdock has been commended by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty and presented with a certificate for 'devotion to duty shown in carrying on the trade of the country during the war.'


Mr. Murdock is the second son of Mr. John Murdock of Hillmount, Cullybackey. Before joining the mercantile marine he was employed in Messrs. Vickers Works in Barrow-in-Furness. He served his apprenticeship in Messrs. Kane Bros. Foundry, Ballymena.


Home on leave 

 

Lance Corporal Samuel Russell, Royal Irish Rifles, son of Mr. George Russell of Patrick Place, Ballymena is at present home on leave. He was slightly wounded on 4th July, 1917 and on the last day of the same month he received a bad wound in the leg. Prior to enlisting he was employed in the Ballymena and Harryville Co-operative Society Store.


Gunner Ernest F. Getty, Canadian Field Artillery, son of the late Mr. J. G. Getty and of Mrs. Getty, Mill Street, arrived home recently on leave. He joined up in 1915 and prior to enlisting was employed in Eaton's Store, Toronto.


Mr. James Love, son of Dr. Love JP, Ahoghill, has joined the Royal Flying Corps. Mr. Love, who was studying medicine at Edinburgh was educated at Ballymena Academy and was a well known member of Cullybackey Golf Club.

Ballymena Observer, September  29, 1917


Home on leave: 

2nd Lieutenant Jack Young, Royal Irish Fusiliers, son of Mr. J. B. Young, Clonavon Terrace, Ballymena, is at present home on leave. His brother. Mr. W. G. Young joined the transport service recently.


Lance Corporal McCarroll, Royal Irish Rifles, son of Mr. and Mrs. Josias McCarroll, Ballylesson, is at present home from the front.


Seaman R. Carroll, Mill Row, Ballymena, is at present home on leave.

Ballymena Observer, October 5, 1917


FORSYTHE, John, 1077, Guardsman, 2nd Coy., 4th Irish Guards Machine Gun Regiment, was  killed in action on the 9th October 1917. Aged 26, he  was born, enlisted and lived in Ballymena. He was the son of James and Maria Jane Forsythe of the Fire Station, Castle Street, Ballymena.


Ballymena Observer, October 26, 1917 - Mr. James Forsythe, Fire Station, Castle Street, Ballymena, has received notification that his son, Private John Forsythe, Machine Gun Section, Irish Guards, was killed in action on October 9, 1917. Private Forsythe was for some time in the employment of Ballymena Urban Council, after which he went to Scotland where he was employed on munition work and where he enlisted in January 1916. He was about 23 years of age and was a member of the Orange Order, the Apprentice Boys and the UVF.  


HENRY, Patrick, 30697, Private, 7/8th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 9th October 1917. He was born Antrim associated with Cloghogue, Ahoghill.


Ballymena Observer, November 2, 1917 - Mr. James Henry of Cloghogue, Toomebridge, has received notification that his son, Private Patrick Henry, Royal Irish Fusiliers, was killed in action on October 19, 1917.


CAMERON, Robert Hugh, 48701, Rifleman, 3 Battalion New Zealand Rifle Brigade, was killed in action on October 12th, 1917. He is buried Poelcapelle Cemetery, Belgium. Aged 42, he was the son of John and Sarah Anne Cameron, Ballycloughan, Broughshane. He is commemorated in the Congregational Church.

Private Samuel Wallace


WALLACE, Samuel, 2684, Private, 34th Battalion,  Australian Imperial Force, was killed in action on the 12th October 1917. He was the son of Sam Wallace, Crumkill, Kells. He is buried Hooge Crater Cemetery, Belgium and commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church.


Nov. 9 1917 - Mr. Samuel Wallace, Cromkill, Ballymena has been notified that his son, Private Samuel Wallace, Australian Imperial Force, has been reported missing since October 12.  Private Wallace was eight years in Australia before enlisting and was employed as a barber. His brother, David, who joined the army in 1915 was at the Somme with the Irish Guards and was wounded on December 15 of last year being later discharged.


CRAWFORD, Alexander,  7821, Private,  2nd Royal Irish Fusiliers, died on the 16th October 1917 from Malaria in No 42 General Hospital, Salonika, Greece.. He was born Ahoghill, enlisted in Ballymena; his wife Elizabeth lived at Dunaird/Roughan, Broughshane. He is buried Mikla British Cemetery, Kalamaria, Greece.


Ballymena Observer, November 16, 1917 - Mrs. Elizabeth Crawford, Roughan, Broughshane, has been notified that her husband, Private Alex. Crawford, Royal Irish Fusiliers, died on October 16, 1917 from malaria in the 42nd General Hospital, Salonika. Private Crawford was in the regulars and served three years in India prior to the outbreak of hostilities. Before joining the army he was a farm servant at Castleton, Ahoghill. Deceased went to the front in 1914 when he was wounded and afterwards went to the Balkans in June 1915.


Captain W. McM, Chesney, M.C., Royal Army Medical Corps, of Kilcurry, Ahoghill, is reported wounded. He was awarded his Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry at Ypres in 1915.


Captain D. S. A. McKimm, M.C., of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry, has been wounded. He is a brother of Mr. R. L. McKimm, Claremont, Ballymena.


Lieutenant J. Patrick, Royal Garrison Artillery, son of Captain John Patrick, D.L., J.P., Royal Irish Rifles, Dunminning, Glarryford, has been awarded the Military Cross. Captain Patrick is the head of a well known Co. Antrim family. He is the President of the County Antrim Agricultural Association and chairman of the Executive Committee.


Captain John Wilson, RAMC, Alexandra House, Ballymena was home on leave during the last week.


Captain R. A. Hepple, RAMC and Lieutenant T.R. Hepple RFC, sons of Mr. W. S. Hepple, Wellington Street, Ballymena are both home on leave. 

Other Ballymena men home from the front are:- 


Sergeant R. Barr, Royal Irish Rifles, Princes Street; 


Private Hugh Smith, Hope Street Terrace; 

Sergeant J. Nesbitt, Irish Guards; 

Corporal Archie Devlin, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Bridge Street and Rifleman W. J. Bankhead, Royal Irish Rifles.

Ballymena Observer, October 12, 1917


PATTON, Archibald, 18689, Rifleman, 1st Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade, was killed in action on the 12th October 1917. Aged 33, he was the son of John and Sarah Patton of Tyanee, Portglenone. He is buried Perth Cemetery (China Wall), Ypres and commemorated in 1st Portglenone Presbyterian Church


Private John McNeice


McNEICE , John Alexander, 45107, Private, 3rd Bn Otago Regiment, N.Z.E.F., was killed in action on the 15th October 1917. Aged 30, he was a policeman and the son of John and Esther McNiece, Ballymatoskerty, Toome, Co. Antrim. Ireland. He is  commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.


Ballymena Observer, November 23, 1917 - Mr. John McNeice, Ballymatoskerty, Toomebridge, has received information that his son, Private John McNeice, New Zealand Rifles, has been killed in action.


DORNAN, James, 55634, Private,  198th Coy. Machine Gun Corps. (F. 34542 Royal Scots), was killed in action on the 20th October 1917.  Aged 23, he was son of James and Elizabeth Dornan, Newtowncrommelin.  He enlisted in Glasgow. He is commemorated in Tyne Cot Memorial.


The following have joined the colours from the town and district during the past two months: 


Royal Irish Rifles: John Alexander, Ballygarvey; Joseph Black, Garfield Place; James Logan, Duke Street; William Wallace, Rasharkin; John Johnstone, John Harkness, Samuel McCrory,  all Broughdone, Cullybackey; W. A. Johnston, Alexander Laverty, Robert Armstrong, John Johnston, Hugh Barr,  all Hillmount, Cullybackey.


Royal Engineers: James Tuff, Thomas Rodgers, James McCaughern, Daniel O'Neill,  all King Street; James Laverty, Hugh Gribben,  Alexander Street; Charles Sinclair, Harryville; Peter Surgeoner, Springwell Street; Richard Patterson, Clarence Street; George Smith, Railway Street; Robert Kennedy, Ballylesson; R. Wylie, Fairhill Lane; George Crozier, Portglenone.


Army Service Corps: William Haslett, Glenarm; Alex. Reid, Springwell Street; Thomas Moag, Patrick Place.


Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders: John Mawhinney, Kells; R. M. Ewart, Portglenone; Robert Robinson, Alfred Street.


Lancers: Robert McAuley, Clonavon Road; 


Hussars: William Adams, Carnmore, Clough.


Mrs. Scullion, Linenhall Street, Ballymena has received notification that her son Lance Corporal William Scullion, Royal Irish Rifles, was wounded in action on October 3. He was previously wounded in August last. Before enlisting he was employed by Mr. H. McNeilly, hairdresser, Church Street and was a member of the Church Lads' Brigade and of the Ballymena Honourable Society of Bellringers. His brother, Sergeant Thomas Scullion is serving at the front with the Royal Irish Rifles.

Mrs. Wells, Ballycraigy, Ballymena, has been notified by the War Office that her husband, Gunner F. Wells, Royal Garrison Artillery, has been wounded in action and is at present in a base hospital. Prior to enlistment he was in the employment of the Eaton Company, Winnipeg, Canada, but on the outbreak of war he crossed to England to offer his services.


Mrs. McAteer, Ballymacvea, Shankbridge, Ballymena, has been notified that her son, Private William McAteer (Left), Royal Irish Fusiliers, who had been returned as missing, is a prisoner of war at Lemberg (Limburg?). His wife lives at St. Helens, Lancashire.


Sergeant Major William Ferguson, formerly of the North Irish Horse, has been granted a commission in the Royal Irish Rifles. 2nd Lieutenant Ferguson, who enlisted on the outbreak of war was employed with the firm of Messrs. Alex. Caruth and He was the son, Solicitors, Ballymena. He served for a considerable time in France and recently returned home, being appointed to a Cadet Corps. Mr. Ferguson is a well known Ballymena vocalist.


The Military Cross has been awarded to Captain W. Ellis, Royal Irish Rifles, for conspicuous gallantry in action. Captain Ellis is a son of Mr William Ellis, Postmaster and petty sessions clerk of Toome. He formerly played for Summerfield Football Club.



Signaller James Hughes


The Military Medal for bravery in the field has been awarded to Signaller James Hughes, Connaught Rangers, son of the late Mr. M. Hughes, manager of the stores of Messrs. James McAllister and He was the son, Bryan Street, Ballymena. Signaller Hughes is attached to the Field Telegraph Service and he won the coveted distinction for carrying messages through the danger zone.  He was home on leave in Ballymena a few weeks ago


The Military Medal has been awarded to the late Private Arthur Holmes, Canadian Infantry, son of Mr and Mrs. David Holmes of Hugomont Villas, Ballymena.


The particular act of bravery which merited the award was described as follows:


This man went forward as a company stretcher bearer. He displayed conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in dressing wounded men under shell fire. This work was so remarkably done that the most serious cases did not require a second dressing at the aid post.


Private Holmes was killed on April 28, 1917 while tending the wounded. He had previously been wounded himself. He enlisted in Winnipeg and came over with the first Canadian Contingent. His younger brother, Lance Corporal David Holmes was wounded in action in August, 1917.


Letter to the Editor

A call from Mesopotamia

Dear Editor 


There are a good many of the boys out here from the north of Ireland, and we were wondering if you could spare a few lines in one of your columns, asking the people of Ballymena if there is any lady or gentleman that has got, or could get a melodeon or mouth organ for us.


It certainly would be highly appreciated in this beautiful country of sunshine, sandflies and mosquitoes.

Now a few words about the world renowned sandflies; give honour where honour is due, for the boys idolise them absolutely, and I must spell the word FLIES with capitals.


It's best to leave them alone - but they won't let you alone and when they make a frontal attack on you it's worse than a shower of Turks charging a lone commissary wagon for a little chow-chow!


Then you parade in front of the medical adviser and tell him that some poisonous reptile stung you; then he takes your temperature, pulse, heart-beat, asks you if you are regular and whether you are eating regular. You tell him 'Yes'. 


After that, you trot on down to the dispensary where you see the native doc from Bombay with a smile all over his face and half way down his back with a big glass of sparkling medicine awaiting you. He tells you it is 'Whiskey-Ka-Hai'. Of course, you're soon cured.


Well Mr. Weir, I hope you will excuse my spelling for I was educated at Harryville University and many a good lick the principal gave me across the bare legs, bless his dear heart.


Yours, faithfully


Stafford MaCartney, Rockfield, Ballyloughan.

Ballymena Observer, October 19. 1917


1st Royal Irish Regimentt on Seres Road to Struma Valley, June 1916

Courtesy of Imperial War Museum - (c) IWM (Q32128)

Mr. William Blair, 29 Queen Street, has been notified that his son, Private John Blair (Left), Irish Guards, has been seriously wounded in the left hand. Prior to enlisting he was in the employment of Mr. John Greer, Draper of Church Street, Ballymena.


Cadet Hugh Healey has been granted a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Irish Rifles. He is a son of Mr. and Mrs. P. Healey, Martinstown and prior to training as a cadet, served 23 months in France and Flanders with the Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry. He took part in much of the fighting with our 'contemptible little army' in repelling the Huns' efforts to reach Calais.


Lance Corporal W. J. Robinson of the Royal Irish Rifles, Rathkeel, Broughshane has been gazetted with the award of the Distinguished Conduct medal.

Ballymena Observer, October 26, 1917

NEWELL,  Robert Mitchell (Right),  204624, Corporal,  1/4th Northumberland Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 26th October 1917. His father James Newell lived at Craignageeragh, Ahoghill and Robert lived Newcastle on Tyne. His wife and three children were at Ahoghill and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial and in 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Church.


APSLEY, Alexander, Deal/10648(S), Private, Royal Marines Labour Corps, killed in accident October 28, 1917. He is buried Dunkirk Cemetery. He was the second son of the late William Apsley, brother of Mrs. Barr, Ballymoney Street, Ballymena.


Ballymena Observer, November 16, 1917 - Private Alexander Apsley, Royal Marines, accidentally killed overseas on October 28, 1917, was the second son of the late Mr. William Apsley and brother of Mrs. Barr, Ballymoney Street, Ballymena.


Private Wm Giffen (Left)


GIFFIN, William, 36034, Private, 2nd/5th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, died of wounds on the 28th October 1917. He lived at 3 Mackenzie Street, Greenock and was the eldest son of Frank Giffen, 42 Mount Street, Ballymena.  He is buried Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium and commemorated in 2nd Ballymena Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, November 9, 1917 - Mr. Frank Giffen, Mount Street, Ballymena, has received information that his son, Private William Giffen, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, has been killed in action. He enlisted in 1915 and was severely wounded about six months ago in the arms, head and legs. Prior to joining the army he was employed at Greenock and he leaves a wife and five children. His brother Corporal J. Giffen is serving with the Canadian Infantry in France.


BOYLE, Daniel, 829213, Private, 44 Canadian Infantry (New Brunswick Regiment), died of wounds October 29, 1917. He is buried Nine Elms British Cemetery, Belgium. Aged 27, he was the son of W.J. and Katherine Boyle, Drumcrow, Broughshane.


GALLAGHER, John, 5702, Rifleman, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 29th October 1917. Aged 23, he was born at Ramoan, Ballycastle,  enlisted in Belfast and lived in Ballymena. He was the son of John and Mary Gallagher, Castle Street, Ballycastle. He is buried Pont-D'Achelles Military Cemetery.


CURRIE, James, 251217, Sergeant, 1/6th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, died of wounds in casualty clearing station (gassed) on 30th October 1917. Aged 43. He was the son of William and Mary Currie. He enlisted Paisley, Scotland and his sister lived at  8 Patrick Place, Ballymena. He is buried Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.


Ballymena Observer, November 9, 1917.  - Miss M. Currie, 8 Patrick Place, Ballymena, has been informed that her brother, Sergeant J. Currie, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, died on October 30 in a casualty clearing station from the effects of gas poisoning.


The Rev. W. R. Brown, Chaplain to the Forces, writes in a letter informing her of her brother's death and states:


The boys were subjected to a heavy gas barrage when they were coming down the line in the early morning. Your brother caught it really badly. We hoped, however, he would pull through it all right and it was with sorrow that we received word that he has passed away in the clearing station.


Your brother will be greatly missed in the battalion. He was one of our 'old hands' of whom there are not many left now. Personally, I shall miss him for I was very fond of your brother; but yours is the great loss and my deepest sympathy is with you. I pray that God may give you strength to bear your heavy burden.


Sergeant Currie was, prior to enlisting, employed in a shipyard in Renfrew, Scotland and joined the colours at the outbreak of war. His brother, Private John Currie, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action about two years ago and another brother, Sergeant Samuel Currie is serving at the front with the Royal Irish Rifles.


WORKMAN, John, 46955, Gunner, 115th Heavy Battery, RGA, was killed in action on the 1st November 1917. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast. He is buried Minty Farm Cemetery, Langemarck, Belgium.


McKAY, William, 12356, Rifleman, 15 Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 2nd November 1917. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast. He is buried in Metz-en-Couture Communal Cemetery British  Extension, France.


News has been received that Sergeant Sam McNeilly, Australian Imperial Forces, son of Mr. Samuel McNeilly, Liminary, Kells, has been wounded. He was engaged farming in New South Wales where he enlisted almost two years ago. He has been two months at the front. His brother, Lance Corporal Duncan McNeilly is at present in hospital having been wounded on July 31.


Mr. John Speers, Rathkenny, has received official intimation that his son, Private John Speers, New Zealand Contingent, has been wounded on the right wrist and is at present in a convalescent depot in France.

Cadet Robert Heron (Left), Tully, Kells, has been granted a commission. He was formerly in the North Irish Horse, and, as a Territorial, was called up at the outbreak of war when he saw action in France.


Home on leave


Rifleman John Wallace, Royal Irish Rifles, Galgorm Street; 


Private T. McAllister, Connaught Rangers, Duke Street; 


Cyclist Wm. Larkin, Cyclist Corps; 


Rifleman William McVeigh, Mill Street Place; 


Trooper James Magill, North Irish Horse, Springwell Street.

Ballymena Observer, November 9, 1917


KIRKPATRICK (also Kilpatrick), Charles, 3/3667, Private, 1st Seaforth Highlanders, was killed in action on the  6th November 1917. Aged 25, he was the son of James and Susan Kilpatrick, Dreen, Cullybackey. He is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, Iraq.


Private Charles Kirkpatrick & Rifleman J. Kirkpatrick


Mr. James Kirkpatrick of Dreen, Cullybackey, has been officially notified by the War Office that his son, Private Charles Kirkpatrick, Seaforth Highlanders has been killed in action.


Information has also been received by Mrs. Kirkpatrick that her son, Rifleman J. Kirkpatrick, has been killed in action.

Ballymena Observer, December 21, 1917

Sergeant Archie McNeice

McNEICE (or MacNeice), Archibald, 20650, Sergeant, 10th Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment), died of wounds at No. 47 CCS on the 10th November 1917. Aged 27, son of Archie and Agnes McNeice of 21 Queen Street, Ballymena. He is buried Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium and commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, November 23, 1917 - Mr. Archie McNeice of 21 Queen Street, Ballymena, has been notified by the Canadian Record Office that his son, Sergeant Archie McNeice, Canadian Infantry, died at a casualty clearing station from wounds received in action on November 10, 1917. Sergeant McNeice enlisted at the outbreak of war and prior to that was two years in Canada and was employed in Eaton's stores in Winnipeg. He was wounded on several occasions, the last time being on Easter Monday, 1917. For some time he was in the Canadian RAMC and later transferred to the infantry. He was on home leave in July together with his brother, First-class P.O. Alex McNeice, Royal Navy. Another brother, Edward is on war work in Belfast.



David Waldo Mullan

MULLAN, David Waldo, 5120, Private, 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers (formerly 13694 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers) was MIA/later killed in action on the 10th November 1917. He was the only son of the late Dr. Andrew and Mrs. Helen Mullan, Wellington Street, Ballymena and he lived in Portrush. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial and in Ballymena New Cemetery, Cushendall Road, Ballymena.

Lance Corporal Robert Courtney


COURTNEY, Robert, 20/40, Private, 20th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds in Belfast (had been wounded July 1, 1917) on November 13, 1917. He is buried 3rd Ahoghill Presbyterian Church. Aged 21, he was the son of Robert and Eliz. Courtney, High Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated in West Church Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, November 16, 1917 - The death took place in Belfast from wounds of Lance Corporal Robert Courtney, Royal Irish Rifles, second son of Mrs. Courtney, High Street, Ballymena. His remains were interred on Wednesday afternoon at Ahoghill. Lance Corporal Courtney was wounded in July 1916 and before joining the army in November 1915 was in the employment of Messrs. W. McClelland and He was the son, Church Street, Ballymena.


Lieutenant James Vint, Royal Garrison Artillery, officially reported wounded in the left side and leg by shrapnel, is a son of Mrs. Vint, Waveney Road, Ballymena. He was educated at Queen's University Belfast and Cambridge University. His brother 2nd Lieutenant F. W. Vint is serving at the front with the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Rifleman H. Stewart (Lefy), Royal Irish Rifles, son of Mrs. Stewart, Laymore (sometimes Leymore), Ballymena, has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field.


He was in an advanced bombing post with instructions to hold it at all costs, and although the Germans opened a heavy bombardment which lasted for 65 minutes during which he was almost buried, he held on and saved his lines at a very critical time.


Captain Andrew Gaston, RAMC, who has been awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry in the field, is the third son of Mr. Andrew Gaston, Carnbeg, Cloughmills. Captain Gaston was educated at Ballymena Academy and Queen's University.

Ballymena Observer, November 16th 1917


GRAYSON John Henry, Lieutenant, Royal Irish Regiment, was killed in action on the 20th November 1917. Aged 20, he was a former pupil of Ballymena Academy and was residing in Malahide Co. Dublin at time of enlistment. He is buried Crosilles Ralway Cemetery, Pas De Calais.


McCLELLAND, Daniel, 23765, Private, Royal irish Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 20th November 1917. He was born in Larne, enlisted in Carrickfrgus and lived at Brecart, Toomebridge.


Ballymena Observer, December 7. 1917 - Mrs. McClelland of Brecart, Toomebridge, has been officially informed that her husband, Private Daniel McClelland, Royal Irish Fusiliers, was killed in action on November 20, 1917.

Lieutenant T. S. Haslett MC


HASLETT, MC, Thomas Sinclair, Lieutenant, 10th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 22nd November 1917. Aged 20, he was the son of the Rev. Thomas Haslett, Galgorm Road, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial and in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, November 30, 1917  - Lieutenant Thomas Sinclair Haslett, MC, Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division), killed in action on November 22, 1917 was the eldest son of the Rev. Thomas Haslett of First Presbyterian Church, Ballymena. He was 20 years of age and was educated at the Ballymena Academy, Campbell College and Foyle College.  Joining the army in 1915, Lieutenant Haslett was posted to the 17th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles at Ballykinlar and on a arrival at the front in the summer of 1916 was detailed to one of the Belfast Battalions of that regiment. Lieutenant Haslett played for Ulster in the Schools Inter-Provincial in two succeeding years and was one of the most promising halfs in Ireland. He was a playing member of Ballymena Cricket Club.


CAREY, Charles, 27608, Private, 7/8th Royal Irish Fusilier, died of wounds on November 21, 1917. He is buried Bucquoy Road Cemetery, Pas de Calais. He was born Omerbane, enlisted in Bathgate and he lived at Omerbane, Cloughmills.


DUNBAR, Daniel, 256, Lance Corporal, 10th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 22nd November, 1917. He was born and lived in Broughshane and enlisted in Belfast. He is commemorated on Cambrai Memorial.


Ballymena Observer, December 7th 1917 - Mrs. Dunbar, Broughshane, has been officially notified that her son, Rifleman Daniel Dunbar, was killed in action on the November 20th.  Captain D. R. Mitchell, Chaplain to the Forces, writing to Mrs. Dunbar, says:


It all happened on Tuesday, during a very fierce attack. Perhaps it may be some consolation to you to know that I was beside him at the time. He was out on top with his company when a machine gun bullet got him on the side of his head, just under the rim of his steel helmet.


He stumbled back into my arms and I called him by his name but he was too busy answering Another who was calling the roll up above and he never spoke to me.


In fact, I am perfectly sure he never knew he was hit. It was a beautiful death, just doing his duty with his face to the enemy and then a sudden transformation from this world to the glory which awaits him who is faithful unto death.


Deceased was formerly employed in the Raceview Woollen Mills and joined the army after the outbreak of war as a bugler. He volunteered for active service on three occasions before being accepted. He was a popular member of the Broughshane Boys' Brigade.


MAYBIN,  John,  12/6545, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 22 November 1917.  He was born at Broughshane and enlisted in Ballymena. He is buried Moeuvres Cemetery Nord, France and commemorated2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church.

Sergeant Samuel Currie


CURRIE, Samuel,  319, Sergeant,  12th Royal Irish Rifles,  died of wounds on the 24th November 1917.  He was born Ballymena and enlisted in Ballymena. His sister lived at 8 Patrick Place, Ballymena. He is buried Grevillers British Cemetery, France and commemorated in West Church Presbyterian Church.


Ballymena Observer, November 30, 1917 - Mrs. Currie, 8 Patrick Place, Ballymena, has been officially notified that her son, Sergeant Samuel Currie, Royal Irish Rifles, died from wounds received in action. Deceased join the army in 1915 and prior to that was in the employment of Mr. David Christie at the Braidwater Foundry. He was a member of the UVF, Church Lads' Brigade, Rechabite order, the IOGT (Temperance group) and the Boys Scouts. A brother, Private John Currie, Royal Irish Fusiliers, was killed in action shortly after the outbreak of war and a few weeks ago another brother, Sergeant James Currie of the Argylls, was killed in action.


LOGAN, Samuel, 19605, Corporal, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 22nd November 1917. He was born in Ballymena, enlisted in Belfast, and lived in Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial and in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.

2nd Lieutenant John Smyth


SMYTH, John, 2nd Lieutenant, 9th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 22/23rd November 1917. Aged 26, he was the son of William and Margretta Smyth, The Curragh, Monaghan, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, France  and in Cloughwater and 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Churches.


Ballymena Observer, November 30, 1917 - Second Lieutenant John Smyth, killed in action on November 22, 1917, was the eldest son of Mr. William Smyth, principal of Monaghan National School, Ballymena. Prior to joining the 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles as a private, 2nd Lieutenant Smyth was principal of Craigywarren National School. He was wounded while serving as an NCO and was promoted to commissioned rank on April 26, 1917 being wounded for the second time in August. His brother 2nd Lieutenant W. T. Smyth is serving with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Captain William Bruce George Stuart


STUART, MC, William Bruce George, Captain, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, aged 24 years,  died on the 22nd November 1917.   He lived at  Mountearl (or Mount Earl, house at the St Patrick's Church end of Castle Street), Ballymena. He is commemorated on Cambrai Memorial and on the family grave at Derrykeighan, Ballymoney.


Ballymena Observer,  November 30, 1917 - Captain W.B.G. Stuart, MC, Royal Irish Rifles, killed in action on November 22, 1917, was the youngest son of Mr. William Stuart, Mount Earl, Ballymena, sub-agent of the Ballymena Estate.


He was an enthusiastic member of the Ulster Volunteer Force and was connected with North-End Unionist Club. He was educated at Monkton Combe, near Bath, where he had a distinguished career. He afterwards became apprenticed in Denny's Shipbuilding Yard and completed his term of indentures at the end of July 1914. In September 1914 he received a commission in the 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (Ulster Division).


He received the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry at Messines in commanding his company during the attack. He led them with great personal gallantry, capturing many prisoners and later on did excellent work in consolidating captured positions.



Rifleman David Wright



WRIGHT,  David,  1403, Private, 12th Royal Irish Rifles,  died of wounds on the 22nd November 1917. Aged 19, he was the son of John and Agnes Wright, Laymore, Ballymena. He is named Cambrai Memorial and at the family grave in Kirkinriola Cemetery.


Ballymena Observer, March 8, 1918 - Mr. John Wright, Laymore, Ballymena, has been notified through the Record Office, Dublin, that his son, Rifleman David Wright, Royal Irish Rifles, is in the list of British dead reported from Germany.


The notification states that the identification disc of Rifleman Wright was found and enquiries are being made to obtain further particulars. He was reported missing since November 22, 1917 and prior to joining in early 1916 was a farm labourer to Mr. Herbison. Deceased was 15 months at the front.

Trooper James McCartney


McCARTNEY, James, 2729, Trooper,  Household Cavalry, died of wounds on the 24th November 1917. Aged 23, he was the son of James and Martha McCartney, Newtowncrommelin. He enlisted in Falkirk. He was the brother of William (see below). He is buried Newtowncrommelin Presbyterian Churchyard and commemorated in the in same church.


Ballymena Observer, December 14, 1917 - The death has taken place in hospital at Hampstead Heath, from wounds received in action of Trooper James McCartney, Household Battalion, third son of Mr. James McCartney of Glenravel.


2nd Lieutenant George H. Wilson, Royal Garrison Artillery, from Ballymena, has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. He is the son of the late Mr. William Wilson who died in New York many years ago. Lieutenant Wilson came to live in Tullygarley, Ballymena with his uncle and aunts. 


Prior to enlisting as a private in the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1908, he was in the employment of Messrs. J. A. Caruth, solicitors, Ballymena.


After his enlistment he spent two years on home service and afterwards was sent to Gibraltar where he remained for a further three years. When war broke out he came home for six months and then went to France where he spent six months with a naval gun. He was commissioned from Sergeant in June 1916.


Captain William McMeekin Chesney, MC, MB, RAMC, has been awarded a 'bar' to the Military Cross. He is a son of Mr. David Chesney Ahoghill. He received his first award in 1915.

Rifleman Robert Smyth (Right), Royal Irish Rifles, who has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, is a son of Mr. Robert Smyth, Cromkill, Ballymena. He was at one time in Australia, and prior to enlisting was working on his father's farm at home. Rifleman Smyth was wounded on 19th July and is at present in King George V Hospital, Dublin. The distinction is awarded to him for conspicuous devotion in rescuing wounded men under shell fire.


Published date - 6th February 1918 page 1744


18/132,8 Private R. Smyth, Royal Irish Rifles, (Ballymena)


For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as stretcher-bearer,  carrying stretcher-cases long distances under fire until he was severely wounded, even then he insisted on bandaging other wounded before himself receiving attention.

Ballymena Observer. November 23, 1917


McATEER, Nathaniel, 51802, Private,11th Squadron,  Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry), formerly 2747 Dragoon Guards, was killed in action on the 1st December 1917.  Aged 28, he was the son of Archibald and the late Jane McAteer, 26 Waring Street, Ballymena. He lived in Ballymena, is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, France,  and in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.


SMYTH, John, 41205, Private, 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers (formerly 1435 North Irish Horse),  died of wounds on the 1st December 1917. He was the son of John Smyth, Sprucebank, Portglenone. He is buried St. Sever Cemetery Extension,  Rouen, France.


Ballymena Observer, December 14, 1917 - Mr. and Mrs. John Smyth, Sprucebank, Portglenone, have received information that their third son, John Smyth, of the North Irish Horse and lately of the Royal Irish Fusiliers, has died from gunshot wounds received in action on November 26th. He was 22 years of age and has served three years. Mr. and Mrs. Smyth's eldest son is serving with the New Zealanders.


ADAMS, William James, 9554, Sergeant, 1st  Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on December 2nd, 1917. He was born and lived at Portglenone and he enlisted in Ballymena.


Second Lieutenant James Ferguson, Royal Garrison Artillery, wounded is the only son of Mr. James Ferguson, Glenmanus Place, Ballymena. He was educated at Ballymena Academy and served his apprenticeship at the Braidwater Spinning Mill, subsequently serving with Messrs. John Preston and Co. at Riga and Messrs. John Hogg and Co., Belfast. He served at the front as a despatch rider in the Royal Engineers between November 1914 and February 1917 when he came home for his commission. He returned to the front a few weeks ago.


Lance Corporal William McVeigh, Royal Irish Rifles, only son of Mrs. McVeigh, North Street, Ballymena, has been wounded in action. Before enlisting he was employed as a clerk in the office of the Braidwater Spinning Co. Ltd. he was a popular member of the IOGT and was home on leave a few weeks ago.


Rifleman Alexander Black, Royal Irish Rifles, who is reported wounded, is a son of the late Mr. W. Black of Harryville and a brother of Mrs. Brizzle (Brizzel), Queen Street, Ballymena. Prior to joining the colours he was employed at Kane's Foundry.


Mr. Samuel Caldwell, Upper Tannybrake, Kells, Ballymena, has been informed that his son, Rifleman Robert Caldwell, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded. Prior to joining the colours he was in the employment of Mr. John Moody, Tannybrake Dye Works, Kells.


Shot down in flames

Lieutenant T. S. Hepple, Royal Flying Corps, who has been admitted to a base hospital suffering from severe burns is the eldest son of Mr. W. S. Hepple, Wellington Street, Ballymena. He was formerly in the 18th Royal Irish Rifles.


 A chaplain has written to the young officer's parents:


Your son was attacked by four Bosche planes and he machine set on fire at a height of 4,000 feet. How he made a safe descent he does not know but his poor observer perished. He feels some one of the enemy went down.


The chaplain adds that his face and hands are burned but that his condition gives no cause for anxiety.


We have received further particulars of the incident in which Lieutenant Hepple was wounded. The following are extracts from his flight commander's letter to a relative. 


He was attacked from the clouds by four enemy machines. His observer got only a few rounds off at the Huns and was then apparently shot. The bullets from the enemy were hitting Tom's machine very badly and he had a spiral. Unfortunately three bullets went through his petrol tank and set it on fire at 4,000 feet.


After this, the Huns put another burst into him which hit the machine but missed Tom. From 4,000 feet with a blazing machine, he side-slipped down and landed safely, just managing to crawl out of his machine with his clothing burning.


Despite his condition he tried to get back to the plane to assist his observer but it was useless as it was a blazing mass and the observer was already dead.  He had landed near the front trenches and a man crawled out and took him into a dug-out where he had first aid and eventually was sent back to a base hospital. Poor Tom has had a terrible experience and it is still a marvel to me how he came out alive. It was a magnificent effort and worthy of reward.


Chaplains at the Front


Sir 


I read and hear of severe criticisms about those who go as Chaplains to the front. Might I ask you to publish the enclosed extract from a letter received about a young Broughshane boy who was killed in action on November 20th. Surely it discloses a fact which should silence a great deal of unfair and unfounded remarks about those who go to comfort the wounded and dying in the trenches.


Yours etc. 


Thomas Dowzer, Rectory, Broughshane.


Extract from letter of Rev. Captain D. A. Mitchell, CF, Minister of 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church:


We have lost  a lot of our bravest and best officers and men and dearest to me of all was Dan Dunbar. Strange to say, I was beside him at the time and he was fighting like a Trojan. He actually jumped up on the parapet to fire at them and tumbled back, shot in the head, into my very arms. I don't know how I have escaped nor why the Lord spares me. I have not had my clothes off for a long time and we are living on hard rations.

Ballymena Observer December 7, 1917


ARMSTRONG, Andrew, 12958, Private, 1st Canterbury Regiment, NZEF, was killed in action on  December 3, 1917.  He is remembered on Buttes New Cemetery Memorial, Belgium. He came from Pollee, Broughshane and is named on the family headstone there.


Mrs. Scullion, Leighinmohr, Ballymena, has received intimation that her husband, Sergeant Thomas Scullion, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded. Sgt Scullion joined the army in November 1915 and his brother. Lance Corporal William Scullion, Royal Irish Rifles, was wounded in October last. Prior to enlisting Sergeant Scullion was a hairdresser.


Major the Rev. Canon A. E. Ross, Chaplain to the Forces, has been awarded the Military Cross for rescuing wounded under heavy shell fire. Canon Ross is rector of St. Patrick's Ballymena, to which he was appointed in 1912.  He was formerly curate in St. Anne's Cathedral, Belfast and subsequently rector of Portrush and Ballymena. He has been serving as a Chaplain of the Forces for over two years and was previously mentioned in despatches.


Rifleman McLaughlin, Moat Road, Ballymena, has just been discharged from the Royal Irish Rifles. He enlisted in 1914 and prior to the outbreak of war was in India. He has come through many big battles and lost his left eye.

Ballymena Observer, December 14, 1917


CAMERON, David, 25101, Private, 7th Royal Irish Regiment (formerly 3151 South Irish Horse), died of wounds on December 17, 1917. He is buried Tincourt New British Cemetery, Somme. Aged 26, he was the eldest son of William and  Margaret Cameron, Cardonaghy, Galgorm. He enlisted in Antrim. He is commemorated in 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Church.


The following from the town and district have joined the colours during the past two months:


Royal Irish Rifles - Wm. Orr, Dreen, Cullybackey; Wm. Harkness, Broughdone, Cullybackey; Thomas Hall, Glebe, Rasharkin; Harry Weir, Straid; Patrick Redmond, Lisnamurrican.


I.C. Labour Company - Patrick Cushenan, Alfred Street; John Campbell, Kells; W. J. Maternaghan, Garfield Place; James Elliott, Mitchell's Court; Thomas McAlonan, Alfred Street.


North Irish Horse - William McGregor, Brookvale Terrace; Hugh Reynolds, Tully Hill, Portglenone.


Army Veterinary Corps - Logan Anderson, Lisnamurrican, Broughshane. 


Royal Garrison Artillery - P. J. Linton, Clough. 


Royal Field Artillery - Frank Kyle, Ballymacilroy; Nat Dickey, Ballybollen; Thos. Armstrong, Hillmount;


Army Service Corps, Mechanical Transport - Samuel Weir, Ballybollen.


The Military Cross has been awarded to Lieutenant James Vint R.G.A. (Special Reserve) for gallantry. He is a son of Mrs. Vint, Waveney Road, Ballymena. He was one of the best all-round cricketers in Ballymena.


The Military medal for bravery in the field has been awarded to Corporal Thomas Greenwood, Royal Irish Rifles, son of Mr. William Greenwood, Broughdone, Cullybackey. Prior to enlisting Corporal Greenwood was employed in Messrs. Frazer and Haughton's  Ltd., Hillmount. He was a member of the UVF and a prominent marathon runner. His brother Private William Greenwood, Highland Light Infantry, was killed in action recently.

Ballymena Observer, December 21, 1917


Sergeant W. J. Nesbitt, Irish Guards, son of Mr. Samuel Nesbitt of Mount Street, Ballymena, has been wounded. Sergeant Nesbitt has been wounded in previous occasions having been at the front since the outbreak of war. He has two brothers with the colours, both in the Royal Irish Rifles.


Lieutenant J. M. Boyd, Australian Light Horse, is promoted to the rank of captain for distinguished service and gallantry in the field during the recent Palestine Operations.


The squadron of which he was in command carried out their work very successfully, capturing two guns and many prisoners. Later, he with 60 men, rode down an enemy convoy and cut through them, capturing 350 prisoners and several wagons. Captain Boyd joined the Light Horse as a private in September 1914 and has since been on active service. He was wounded at Gallipoli. He is a son of Mrs. W. Boyd, Waveney Road, Ballymena.


Private J. Elliott, Royal Engineers, was home last week on leave prior to going to the front. His son, Private J. Elliott, won the DCM for bravery in the field.



Chief Petty Officer Daniel McCurdy  


Chief Petty Officer Daniel McCurdy, son of Mr. William McCurdy, 11 Bridge Street, Ballymena, arrived home in Ballymena on leave. He has a medal for the Persian Gulf Campaign prior to the war and one for long service.

Ballymena Observer, December 28, 1917