BALLYMENA 1914-1918

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Neely - Young


N. B. 'Commemorated' means that he is remembered in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914-19, on a tablet or plaque in the church named, or that his name is on a family headstone in the churchyard.  Place names may refer to an area, e. g. 'Cullybackey' often means 'from the Cullybackey area' rather that from the village itself.


NEELY, Samuel,  44376, Corporal,  12th North Staffordshire Regiment, died of chest wounds at No.1 Australian CCS on the 12th September 1918.  He was born at Tullygrawley, Cullybackey on the 1 June 1885, the son of Matthew and Margaret Ann Neely, nee McCaughy. The family were at Parkhead, Ballymena in 1901 (Neilly) and at Ballyclosh or Ballyclose, Cullybackey, Co. Antrim in 1911 (Neely), and Samuel was the husband of Margaret Neely, nee Colvin of nearby Artibrannan, and later of Parkhead, Ballymena. The couple had married in High Kirk Presbyterian Church on the 16 October 1912.  Samuel was 18/942 of the Royal Irish Rifles and 396569 of the Labour Corps before he moved the the North Staffordshire Regiment. He is buried in La Kreule Military Cemetery, Hazebrouck and commemorated in 2nd Ballymena Presbyterian Church.

Left: NEESON,  Charles, 48698, Sergeant, 7/8th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (formerly 2550 6th Connaught Rangers), was KIA on the 11th October 1918. He was born at Galgorm Street, Ballymena on the 27 July 1893 and was the son of sawyer John & Elizabeth Burns) Neeson, nee Burns, of Ballymena and he enlisted and lived in Belfast. He is buried in Voormezeele Enclosure No. 3, Ypres. His brothers, Patrick and James, also served.


NEESON, James, 5308, Private, 7th Royal Munster Fusiliers, was KIA on the 16th August 1915. Aged 23, he was born on the 20 March 1893 at Ballylummin, Ahoghill and he enlisted in Belfast. He was the son of labourer Thomas and Ellen Neeson, nee Morgan, of Ballylummin, Ahoghill. He died in Gallipoli and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Turkey.

Right: NELSON, Joseph Henry, 201868, Private, 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles (Central Ontario Regt.), was killed in action in the trenches at Vimy on the 23rd April 1917. He was almost 5' 11" tall and a teamster.  He had emigrated to Canada in 1913 and lived at 110, Parliament Street, Toronto. He was born on the 4 June 1886 at Connor, the 30 year old son of Joseph and Sarah Nelson, nee Porter, later of Kildrum, Shankbridge, Ballymena. In 1901 the family had been at Ballycowan, Kells. He nominated his mother as his next of kin, giving her address as Shankbridge Post Office. He is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial, France.


NELSON, Samuel, 8180, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 12th December 1914. Aged 30, he was born on the 24 October 1888 at Coach Entry, off Castle Street, Ballymena the son of painter Sam and Catherine Nelson, nee McKillop, of Castle Street (1901 census) and Henry Street (1911 census), Ballymena. He had married Margaret Thompson at People's Hall (Methodist) Chapel, Belfast on the 20 January 1911. He enlisted in Belfast and lived at 8, North Ann Street, Belfast. He is buried Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France.


NEVIN, William, 14/15696, Company Sergeant Major, 14th Royal Irish Rifles, was  KIA on the 16th August 1917. He was 22 and originally from Clonavon, Ballymena. He was born on the 29 May 1895 at Clonavon, Ballymena and was the son of painter Samuel and Isabella (Bella) Nevin, nee Anderson, later of 'Beaumaris', Finaghy Park, Belfast. His wife lived at Mill Street, Ballymena. He is  commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.


NEVIN, William James, 7910, Private, 4th (Reserve) Highland Light Infantry,  drowned while swimming near Fort Rennie and after becoming entangled in seaweed on 17th September 1914. He was aged 17.  He was born on the 24 June 1897 at Gloonan, Ahoghill and he was the son of labourer William and Matilda Nevin, nee Kennedy,  8, Cedar Avenue, Ballydollaghan, Newtownbreda. He is buried Hooe (St. John) Churchyard Extension.


NEWELL, Robert Mitchell, 204624, Corporal, 1/4th Northumberland Fusiliers, was  KIA on the 26th October 1917. He was born on the 28 September 1885 at Craignageeragh, his parents James and Mary Newell, nee Nicholl, Craignageeragh, Ahoghill. His wife Sarah and three children were also at Ahoghill. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial and in 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Church.

NICHOLL, Hugh, 40941, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 18th April 1917. He was born on the 14 November 1892 at Glynn, near Larne, and he was the eldest son of John and Jane, nee McWilliam, Nicholl, 18, Jubilee Street, Larne.
He played football for Galgorm and Foundry Thistle and was the husband of Ellen Nicholl, nee Stewart. The groom, an engine cleaner,  and bride, from High Street and Ladysmith Terrace respectively, had married in High Kirk Presbyterian Church on the 13 March 1912.  They had three children by the time of his death and his widow lived at 16, Bridge Street Place, Ballymena.
He is buried in St. Quentin Military Cemetery, France and commemorated in 2nd Ballymena Presbyterian Church (High Kirk).
NOBLE, 12/18566 Rifleman George, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action when 29 years old on the 1 July 1916 at the Somme and he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial and on the war memorials in Larne and Ballymena.  He was the illegitimate son of Martha Mitchell and had been born at Taylorstown, Ballyscullion, Toome on the 23 October 1887. He is associated with Riverside, Antrim (1901) and Herbert Avenue, Larne.  His sister, Kezia McFadden, nee Noble, lived at Herbert Avenue, Larne (She had married William McFadden of Herbert Avenue, Larne in Larne Parish Church (Cof I) on the 30 November 1912). He is commemorated on the roll of the British Aluminium Company (Larne Harbour).


Right: NIXON, James, 8313, Rifleman, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 9th May 1915.  He was born in the Ballymena area, the son of Robert John of Galgorm and Margaret Nixon of Broughshane, nee Anderson; they had married in 2nd Presbyterian Church on the 6 August 1879. The family were listed at Railway Place on the 1901 census and at Parkhead at the time of the 1911 census.  James had been 13 years in the forces and had fought at Mons and Neuve Chapelle in the early part of the war. His wife lived at 11, Parkhead, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium. 


O'CONNELL, 424799 Private Michael, 191st Company, Labour Corps, was killed in action on the 29th November 1917. He was born on the 26 October 1885 and he was the son of Joseph O’Connell, a sailor of Chatham (Chatam  sic) and Sarah O'Connell, nee McNeill. He was aged 32 years when killed and he is buried in Haringhe Cemetery, Belgium, Plot 1, Row B, Grave 2.
O'CONNOR (CWGC says Connors, IWM say O'Connors), Patrick, 11239, Guardsman, 2nd Grenadier Guards, died of wounds on the 22nd May 1915. He was born Ballymena and lived in Bristol. He is buried in Bethune Town Cemetery,  France.
O'DORNAN, Fireman  Henry, died on the 25th December 1914 when S.S. Gem struck a mine at 6.15 p.m. on the 25th December 1914, broke in two, and sank in the North Sea 3.5 nautical miles (6.5 km) south east by east of Scarborough. He was then 23 years old. He was born at Killyharn (Location unknown), Co. Antrim, and was the son of Ann O'Dornan; he was the husband of Catherine O'Dornan, nee Harrill, of Minisle, Carnlough, Co. Antrim.

Left: O'DORNAN, Samuel, 4301, Private,  6th Connaught Rangers, died of wounds on the 11th September 1916. He was born in the Braid, at Tamybuck, Broughshane on the 7 June 1892, the son of Henry and Margaret Anne, nee Hamill.  In 1911 he was 18, described as a grandson and living in the household of John and Nancy Hamill, Ballyligpatrick, Broughshane. He was a member of Irish Volunteers and enlisted in the British Army in May 1915. His wife Margaret and two children lived at 11, William Street, Ballymena. He is buried in Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L'Abbe, Somme. (He appears twice on the Ballymena war memorial as Samuel O'Dornan and Samuel Dornan.)


O'HARE, Hugh, 19713, Private, 1st Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.  He had enlisted in Glasgow but he lived at Carmegrim near Portglenone, Co Antrim.  He had enlisted early in the war, his service being noted in the Ballymena Observer Supplement of the 7th May 1915. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial on the Somme.


O'NEILL, Joseph McKeown, 9134, Rifleman, 1/8th London (Irish Rifles) Regt, was KIA on the 6th September 1918. He was born on the 25 July 1899 at Coach Entry, Ballymena and was the son of David and Ellen O'Neill, nee Moore, later of Springwell Street, Ballymena. His brother served in the David in Royal Irish Rifles, and another brother, John, was discharged unfit for further service. He is buried in Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France.


O'NEILL, Luke, 22128, Private, 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 12th October 1916. He was born on the 25 March 1894 at Gortfad, Portglenone, the son of Roger and Mary Ann O'Neill, nee Dunlop. The family were at Lisrodden, Lisnagarran in 1901 and at Gortgole, Portglenone in 1911.  He enlisted Coatsbridge and lived at Rasharkin. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.


CAPTAIN ARTHUR E. B. O'NEILL, MP, 2nd  LIFE GUARDS

This statue of Erin mourning for her fallen sons was presented to Lord and Lady O'Neill (circa1922), a memorial for their son who had died in the Great War. It stands beside the family's vault in Shane's Castle, Randalstown.


O'NEILL, Arthur Edward Bruce, Captain, 2nd Life Guards, was KIA on the 4th November 1914. He was aged 38, born 19 September 1876, and was the 2nd son of Baron O'Neill of Shane's Castle, Randalstown and his wife Louisa Katherine Emma. He had married Annabel crewe-Milnes on the 21 January 1902 at St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, London. He was the MP for Mid-Antrim and was the first MP to die in the war. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate), Belgium.


O'RAWE, 23248 Private Felix, 2nd Royal Scots, was killed in action on the 22nd July 1916. He was born on the 30 June 1884 at Cargan/Glenravel, the son of Charles and Ann O'Rawe, nee McDonnell,  and he lived in Bathgate, Scotland. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.


ORR, S/15921 Serjeant Frederick James Alexander, 5th Cameron Highlanders, was killed in action on the 21st March 1918.  He was born at Killyree, Clough on the 6 July 1889, the son of James and Rose (Minnie) Orr, nee Brown, later of Drumbare, Cloughmills. They were listed as living in Ballybogy (Ballybogey), Clough in 1901 and 1911. He is buried in Fins New Cemetery, Somme and commemorated in Clough Presbyterian Church.


Orr's Grave - Then and Now


ORR, Robert Clifford, Captain, 3rd  Somerset Light Infantry , attached 1st Battalion,, was killed in action on the 19th December 1914. He was born on the 17 September 1880 at Brookvale Terrace, Belfast and was living at Lower Crescent, Belfast in 1901 and at Marlborough Park, Belfast in 1911.  He is also associated with Masoe, Ballymena. He was the son of Robert Harrison and Cassandra Marchaise Orr, 1, Lombard St., Belfast.  He was Adjutant to the North Antrim UVF and worked as a solicitor in Ballymena. He is buried in Ploegsteert Wood Military Cemetery, Belgium.  A brass plate recording his death is held in Ballymena Museum.

Right: ORR, 12/19161 Rifleman David McAdorey, 'A' Coy., 13th Royal Irish Rifles, died at home on the 17th February 1916 in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast of tuberculosis contracted at the front.  He was aged 18 and born at Ballee on the 6 June 1897, the son of William and Annie Orr, nee McAdorey, 24, Queen Street, Ballymena. He is buried in Ballymena New Cemetery (Cushendall Road).


OSBORNE, William, 2248, Lance Corporal, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917 and he is named on the Tyne Cot Memorial.  Aged 30, he was born the son of Martha Osborne on the 12 March 1887 at Tannaghmore, Drummaul,  and later referred to as the son of the late Martha Osborne, Craigmore, Randalstown. He is named on the Congregational Roll of Honour for 2nd Randalstown Presbyterian Church.

OWENS, Robert James, 10716, Private, 2nd Highland Light Infantry, was MIA/later KIA on the 30th July 1916. He enlisted in Glasgow.
He was the 26 year old son of William John and Jane Owens, nee McFetridge, and he had been born on the 8 June 1891 at Castlequarter, Ballymoney.  He was the husband of Elizabeth Owens, nee Lorimer; the couple had married in St Patrick's Parish Church (C of I) the 23 December 1911.
His widow lived at Broughshane Street, Ballymena.  Hee is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme. 

Right: PARK, John James, 22890, Private, 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Machine Gun Section), was MIA/later KIA on the 1st July 1916.  He was aged 24, born 25 August 1891, and the son of John and Elizabeth Park, nee McMillan of Carnlea, Glarryford, Ballymena. He enlisted in Glasgow.  He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Killymurris Presbyterian Church, Glarryford.


PARK, David, 10204, Private, 2nd Scots Guards, died on the 16th May 1915. He born on the 4 August 1883 at Carnlea, Glarryford and was the son of Moore, a weaver and Agricultural labourer, and Lizzie Park, nee Rock, later of Dromore, Glarryford. The wedding took place in Killymurris Presbyterian Church on the 31 May 1878. He was from Carnlea, Glarryford, his bride from Dunminning, Cullybackey.

He is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais and in Killymurris Presbyterian Church.


PARRY/PERRY, 127 Rifleman William, 15th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 31st October 1916 and he is remembered on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate), Belgium.

He had been born the son of Robert and Elizabeth Parry (birth registered as Perry), nee Bell, on the 22 November 1887.  He lived at Brussels Street, Belfast in 1901 and at Earl Street, Belfast in 1911. He also enlisted Belfast and his brother was John Parry, 105, Upper Canning Street, Belfast. His name appears on the roll of Sinclair Seaman's Church, as does that of his brother James.




Left: PATTON, Archibald, 18689, Rifleman, 1st Bn., 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade, was KIA on the 12th October 1917. He was aged 33 and had embarked on the 26th July 1916 with the 9th Reinforcements to 2nd Battalion, F Company.  He was the son of John and Sarah Patton of Tyanee, Portglenone. He is buried Perth Cemetery (China Wall), Ypres. He is commemorated in 1st Portglenone Presbyterian Church.

PATTON, 15/9243 Lance Corporal James, 15 Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1 July 1916 and he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.

James Patton was the illigimate son of Anne Patton and he was born in Ballymoney Workhouse on the 22 November 1878. He  and his mother were living at Artiloman, Vow, Rasharkin in 1911, as they had been in 1901. He married Margaret Campbell of the Vow, Rasharkin in Finvoy Presbyterian Church on the 20 February 1912.

PATTON, Samuel, 8854, Lance Corporal, 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 19th May 1917.  He was lost when 29th Division positions were obliterated in a failed German advance. He was born in Loughguille, lived at Ballyweaney, Cloughmills, enlisted in Ballymoney and is commemorated in Kilraughts Presbyterian Church and on the Arras Memorial.

PEDLOW, William (MC), Captain, 2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers, was KIA on the 12th October 1918. He was aged 24, being born at Everley Villas, Belfast on the 5 October 1894.  He had been a student at Trinity College, Dublin,  and he entered the army from Sandhurst. He is buried in Honnechy British Cemetery, Nord, France.

His father William, born in Co Cork, was a senior inspector of National Schools. His mother was Mary Anne McCallum, Lower Crescent, Belfast.  The couple had married in St Anne's, Belfast on the 1 January 1880. Parents William and Marianne Pedlow lived at 59, Anglesea Road, Dublin at the time of their son's death.

The family had close links with Ballymena and may have lived at Broughshane Road at one time. William's name is recorded on the Ballymena Academy war memorial. 


Above: PENNY (Pennie), William, 460819, Private, 19th Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regt), was KIA on the 8th September 1916. He was born on the 21 August 1888 at Kirkinriola.  He was a farm labourer and the son of James and Martha Pennie, Ballygarvey, Ballymena. He is buried Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension, France. He is commemorated on a headstone in Ballymena New Cemetery.


PERRY/PARRY, James, 2275, Private, 2nd Royal Irish Fusiliers,  died of wounds on the 29th March 1915. He was born at Lismurnaghan, Ahoghill, the son of Robert and Elizabeth Perry, nee Bell. He enlisted in Cavan and lived at Earl Street, Belfast. He is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. He is remembered in Sinclair Seaman's Church, Belfast, as is brother William.


PETERKIN, 11992 Guardsman John James, 1st Scots Guards, was killed in action on the 27th September 1915 and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial. He was aged 30. He was born at Warden Street, Ballymena on the 8 October 1884 and was the son of Alexander, a tailor of Ballymena and Janet, nee Brown. John James Peterkin was living at Cornhill Terrace, Leith, Scotland in 1901 and he enlisted in Edinburgh. His father lived in Leith at the time of his son's death.


PETERS, 7879 Rifleman Joseph, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 30th August 1916. He was born on the 1 February 1891 and the son of John and Anne Peters, nee Patterson, Tullymore, Broughshane. He is buried in Pozieres British Cemetery, Somme, and he is commemorated in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church.

Captain Thomas McCann Phillips 

Photo courtesy of David Power, Our Heroes




PHILLIPS, Thomas McCann,  Captain, RAMC, attached Major Hayes Ambulance,  died of wounds on the 4th November 1914 after being struck by a shell. He was aged 24 and had been Mentioned in Dispatches.  He was formerly of Ahoghill and the son of Reverend J.G. and Mrs. Anne Phillips. He is buried in Poperinge Communal Cemetery, Belgium.

PICKERING, John Cecil, SPTS/3223, Lance Corporal, 'B' Coy., 24th Royal Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 13th November 1916. He was aged 22 and was the only son of John, a tea merchant, and Cecilia Barr Pickering, nee Lennie of Cork. John C had previously lived in Ballymena, and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in St. Patrick's Church of Ireland, Ballymena.
PITT, 34239 Private James, 5/6th Scottish Rifles (Cameronians),  died of wounds on the 23rd September 1918 and he is buried in Thilloy Road Cemetery, Beaulencourt. He was born at Ballykeel, Ballymena on the 4 February 1881, the son of weaver John and Jane Pitt, nee Heggarty, and he enlisted Hamilton and lived at Busby, East Renfrewshire. He was married on the 28 November 1913 in the United Free Church, Busby, his wife being Mary, nee McMillan, and the couple lived at Main Street, Thornliebank, East Renfrewshire, Scotland.

POLLOCK, 11/16942 Rifleman Alexander, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born at Tamlaght on the 8 November 1891, the son of weaver William and his wife Mary Jane, nee McMullen. The family was at Andraid, Randalstown in 1901 and at Caddy, Randalstown in 1911. Alexander Pollock is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.

PORTER, Archibald, 28611, Private, 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 27th January 1917. He was born at Ballykeel, Ballymena on the 5 December 1883 and was the son of Archibald and Margaret Porter, nee Craig, both of Ballykeel. The couple had married in the Ballymena Registrar's Office on the 8 July 1879. Margaret was a widow in 1901 and 1911 and living at Coggery, Ballyclare, and son Archibald was in 1911 employed in a spinning mill. He later enlisted in Kilsyth and lived in Glasgow. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme. 

Photo courtesy of Nigel Henderson

PORTER, James, S/2015, Private, 7th Seaforth Highlanders, was killed in action on the 25th September 1915 and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial. James was the son of Robert and Margaret Jane Kerr, Ballybeg/Craignageeragh, Ahoghill.  The couple married in 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian on the 24 December 1884.  James was born on the 23 May 1892 at 41, Lake Street, Belfast, for the family had long left the Ahoghill area and were living in the city; they were at 41, Lake Street in the 1880 Belfast Street Directory. The family are at Cromac in the 1901 census and at Essex Street in 1911.

The 1911 census says there nine children born of Robert and Margaret Jane's marriage and that seven of them were then alive.  Four of them served during the Great War. James's brothers were Hugh Porter (MM), RAMC, born on 6 October 1885 at Craignageeragh, Ahoghill, and Lance Corporal William Porter, born 11 February 1898 at 41 Lake Street, Belfast, Seaforth Highlanders, and John Porter, born 3 February 1890 at Lake Street, Belfast, of the 10th Royal Irish Rifles. John and William were both wounded.

All four brothers are commemorated in Crescent Presbyterian Church, Belfast.

Hugh and William, Brothers of James Porter
Photograph courtesy of N Henderson
PORTER, William, 8552, Corporal, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 17th May 1915. He was born on the 5 October 1889 at Railway Street in Ballymena, the son of James and Mary Ann, nee Clarke, and was the husband of Mary Porter, nee Hamilton, Whitewell, Belfast. The couple had married on the 28 October 1913 in Carnmoney Parish Church.  He is buried in Ridge Wood Military Cemetery, Heuvelland, Belgium.

Left: POWER,  Joyce, 308879, Leading Stoker HMS Hawke. His ship was sunk by U-Boat on the 15th October 1914. He was aged 33, born 10 March 1881 at Ahoghill, and was the son of Mr. and Mrs. William and Maria Power, nee Allison, Ahoghill. He was the husband of Maggie Power, nee Marcus, Waring Street, Ballymena. The couple, then of Craigywarren and Eglish respectively, had married in Cloughwater Presbyterian Church on the 6 August 1912. He is commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial and in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church.  There is also a headstone in Ballymena New Cemetery, Cushendall Road.


QUAITE (Quate),  Robert,  16 Royal Irish Rifles, born 20 July 1878 at Rathkenny, died at home of pulmonary tuberculosis on the 16th May 1918. He was the son of Samuel and Mary Quate (sic), Rathkenny, Broughshane. Mrs. Quaite lived at Parkmore, Glenariff, Co Antrim around the time of his death. He is commemorated in Newtowncrommelin Presbyterian Church but is not on Commonwealth War Caves Commission record, probably ecause his condition was not directly attributable to war service.

RAE (sometimes REA), James Hoy, 15973, Private, 12th Royal Scots (Lothian Regt), was KIA on the 28th September 1915. He was aged 29 and the son of James and Sarah, 12 Waveney Avenue, Ballymena.  His wife Agnes Logan Rae lived at 148, Institution Street, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial. 778267 Lance Corporal David Rea of No. 2 Canadian Railway Troops was his brother.

RAE (Sometimes REA), Richard, 15910, Private, 12th  Royal Scots (Lothian Regt), was KIA on the 15th or 18th July 1916. He was the son of James and Sarah Rae, 12 Waveney Avenue, Ballymena. His wife resided in Newtownards. He is buried in Quarry Cemetery, Montauban, Somme. 778267 Lance Corporal David Rea of No. 2 Canadian Railway Troops was his brother.

RAINEY, 290563 Private James Greer, 1/8th Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), died on the 29th July 1918. He was the son of John and Hannah Rainey, Aughnahoy, Portglenone, the couple of Carmegrim and Aughnahoy respectively and both weavers, had married in Portglenone Parish Church on the 7 August 1882.  He, one of a family of six children,  had been born on the 30 April 1891 at Aughnahoy. He is buried Raperie British Cemetery, Villemontoire, France.
RAINEY, James, 622046, Private, 52nd Bn, Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment), was killed in action on the 17th September 1916 and he is remembered on the Vimy Memorial.  Born on the 6th August 1890, he was single, the 24 year old son of James Rainey, Leitrim, Randalstown.  He worked as a checker on the Canadian Pacific Railway.  His brother, labourer John Rainey, A20451, also served in the Canadian Army.
RAMSAY (usually RAMSEY), 18672 Sergeant Robert, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 23rd August 1916. He was aged 21, born 7 August 1895 at Carncoggy, near Ballybogey and Dervock, and before the war he had worked as a telegraph messenger and later as a linen lapper in Clarke's Mill at Upperlands.  It is now clear he was not a Ballymena soldier but will be left recorded on this site.
He was shot in the head by a sniper when in a careless moment during action he stood up to reload his rifle.  He is buried in Ration Farm Annexe, Belgium. He was the second child and son of Daniel and Ellen Ramsay, nee McMullan, Culmore, Rasharkin (townland lies between Rasharkin and Kilrea).
The couple had married in Benvardin Presbyterian Church on the 24 April 1894 and Daniel Ramsey was a coachman in the service of Captain Armstrong of Culmore. He said he hailed from Carncoggy and Ellen was from Ballynaris, near Dromore, Co Down. They met while in domestic service.


Photograph courtesy of Nigel Henderson, Ulster History Hub


REA, James, 3/8834, Lance Corporal, 8th Royal Irish Rifles, was  killed in action on the 16th August 1917. He was aged 20 and the son of shoemaker Matthew and his wife Hannah Rea, nee Steele, Drumcrow, Carnalbanagh and he had been born at Carnalbanagh on the 3 June 1897. He is buried in Tyne Cot Military Cemetery and commemorated in Carnalbanagh Presbyterian Church.


REA, James H., 7828, Rifleman, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 23rd October 1916. He was aged 20 and the son of John and Susanna Rea, Carnalbanagh and he is commemorated in Carnalbanagh Presbyterian Church. He was born on the 26 December 1895 at Carnalbanagh. The family lived there in 1901 bur were at Owencloghy, Glenarm in 1911.  James had enlisted in Paisley, Scotland, and he is buried in Longueval Road Cemetery, Somme.


REA, James, 3/11302, Rifleman, 8th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 2nd September 1916. He was born on the 14 September 1891 at Ballee, Connor, near Ballymena and was the son of James and Elizabeth Rea, nee Montgomery, 187, Beersbridge Road, Belfast. He was married to Mary (Minnie) Graham on the 4 December 1915 in Bloomfield Presbyterian Church.


REA (or RAE),  William,  4915, Private, 58th Australian Infantry, died of wounds received in action on the 14th August 1916. He was the son of William and Joyce Rae (Rea on headstone, Rae on his enlistment papers) of Tullygarley, though he had been living in Australia since his 18th birthday. He was aged 51 (Age given as 47 yrs on CWGC/Australian records. He gives his age as 43 years & 7 months at his enlistment. His record of birth says 24 January 1865.) and he was a baker, his address being Leura Villas, St Alban's Rd, East Geelong, Victoria. He enlisted on the 28th July 1915 and sailed from Melbourne on HMAT Wiltshire on 7th March 1916. He joined the 58th Battalion at Etaples, France on 22 July 1916 and he was wounded on 14th August 1916.  These wounds were described as a compound fracture of the skull and a fracture of the knee, and the record shows he died of gunshot wounds at 1 Australian Casualty Clearing Station.  He is buried in Estaires Communal Cemetery, Nord, France, and commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church and in Ballyclug Old Cemetery.


REID, Alexander Dunbar, M/344918, Private,  MT Depot, Royal Army Service Corps (MT means Motor Transport), died on the 12th November 1918 of pulmonary tuberculosis, allegedly an illness contracted on active service. He was born on the 13 April 1900 at Carnearney, Ahoghill, the son of John and Maggie Reid, nee Dunbar, 27 Springwell Street, Ballymena. He is buried Ballymena New Cemetery, Cushendall Road.


REID,  Robert, 42883, Private, 8th Yorkshire Regiment, formerly Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action on the 20th September 1917. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Glasgow. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial. His wife's address in his will is given as 9, Turner Street, Townhead, Glasgow.







REID, Thomas, 8360, Sergeant, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 16th August 1917.  He was aged 31 and was the son of labourer James Knox Reid and Grace Reid, nee Hamill, of Knockboy, Broughshane, and he was born at Craigywarren on the 12 June 1886. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial and in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church.


REID, Thomas, 11741, Serjeant,  15th Bn, Royal Irish Rifles, was born on 31 May 1882 at Ballykennedy, Ahoghill, Ballymena, was killed in action aged 36 years on 20th October 1918 and is buried in Harlebeke New British Cemetery, Belgium. He was the son of Joseph and Mary Reid, nee Craig, and the husband of Sarah Murray. The couple were married in Gracehill Moravian Church on the 25 October 1911. He was named on the Galgorm & District War Memorial, now lost.

RENNIE, 1619 Private David, 2nd Bn. Australian Imperial Force, was killed in action on the 9 April 1917.  He was the son of John Rennie, a farmer, and his wife Mary Jane, nee McClarty, of East Torr, Culfeightrin, a townland about half way between Cushendall and Ballycastle. He joined the AIF at Liverpool, NSW, Australia on the 19 November 1914, left Sydney aboard HMAT (A49) Seang Choon and was part of the ‘permanent beach party’ at the Dardanelles, Turkey. He served on ‘kit bag escort’ to Cairo and later went to Marseilles, France as part of the ‘baggage escort’. He was still with the 2nd Battalion when he served in France and it was while with them that he was killed. He is buried in Hermies British Cemetery, ‘8 miles east of Bapaume’, France. He had at least three brothers, Charles, Samuel, and John Rennie, the latter at East Torr, Ballyvoy, Ballycastle.

RICE, 27692 Private William Blaney, 10th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was born on the 1 August 1893 at Tullygrawley, Cullybackey, the son of labourer James and his wife Jane, nee McAuley. He lived at Craigs, Cullybackey and he enlisted Ballymena. His parents at the time of his death lived at 29, Glu Street, Paisley. He is buried in Connaught Cemetery, Somme.

Left: RICHARDSON, Joseph, 8068, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 24th October 1914 . Born in Ahoghill on the 8 November 1885, he was the son of shoemaker James and Isabella Richardson, nee McDowell,  of 7, Alfred Street, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial and Harryville Presbyterian Church.


RITCHIE, David Lynn, 376, Sergeant,  9th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916.  Aged 39, he was born at Elgany, Broughshane on the 10 September 1876 and was the son of farmer Charles Ritchie and his wife Mary, nee Alexander, of Ballylig, Broughshane. He was the husband of Jane Ritchie, nee Montford, Carncairn, Broughshane. The couple had married in West Church, Ballymena on the 16 April 1912. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church.



RITCHIE, John Ross, 23/2078, Private, 2nd Bn. Wellington Infantry Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, was KIA on the 15th September 1916. ABorn at Carncoagh, Broughshane on the 17 September 1872, he was a labourer and the son of John and Hannah J. Ritchie, nee Ross, of Carncoagh, Rathkenny, Co. Antrim, Ireland. He listed his uncle Thomas Ritchie, Rathkenny as his next of kin when he embarked on the 4th March 1916 with the 4th Reinforcements 1st Battalion, E Company.  He is commemorated on the Caterpillar Valley Memorial, Somme and in Clough Cemetery and Cloughwater Presbyterian Church.
ROBERTSON, 18196 Private Charles, 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 16 May 1915. He is named on the Le Touret Memorial, France.  He came from Cushendun and enlisted in Ballymoney.  He is incorrectly named as Charles Robinson on the Cushendall entry in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour 1914-1919.
ROBINSON MM, 874446 Private James, 27th Battalion Canadian Infantry, was killed in action aged 21 years on the 1 October 1918 and is buried in Haynecourt British Cemetery, France. He was born on the 9 August 1897 at Glenhead, Glenwherry and lived at 229, Gordon Avenue, Elmwood, Winnipeg.  He was the son of Arthur and Jennie Robinson, nee Porter, and he is remembered on Broughshane War Memorial.

Right: ROBINSON, James  A, 18/719, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was  killed in action on the 1st September 1916. He was born the illigitimate son of Martha Robinson at Straid, Ahoghill on the 25 July 1891, though Martha and husband Robert later lived at James Street, Harryville, Ballymena. He was the father of two young children, and husband of Jane Robinson, nee Thompson, James Street, Ballymena.  He is buried in Ration Farm Annexe, Ploegsteert, Belgium.

 

ROBINSON, Daniel, 8262, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 25th October 1914. Soldiers died in the Great War says he was born in Ballymena, though possibly at East Street, Belfast on the 29 February 1886, and he enlisted in Belfast. He had married Catherine McConkey, Matilda Street, Belfast in St Anne's Parish Church on the 16 November 1908, his father then being recorded as Daniel, a carter. His association with Ballymena is unclear. He in commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

 

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

 

ROBINSON, Edward, Rifleman, 3745, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 1st July 1916. He was born at the Grange and lived at Taylorstown. He was the son of John Robinson of Kilvillis, Toomebridge. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Grange Presbyterian Church.

 

ROBINSON, Robert, 13551, Private, 10th Scottish Rifles (Cameronians), died of wounds on the 17th October 1915. Aged 20, he was born in Ballymena and lived at Stanley Grove, Manchester. He was the son of Mrs. M J. Robinson, 196, Northumberland Road, Southampton. He is buried in Ste. Marie Cemetery, Le Havre, France.

 

ROBINSON (DCM), William John, 40839, Lance Corporal, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, was  KIA 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.


Rev. Francis Cavendish Roche 

photograph courtesy of David Power, Our Heroes




ROCHE, Reverend Francis Cavendish, Padre,  died of enteric fever at 19th General Hospital, Alexandria, Egypt on the 14th November 1915. He was a former curate of St. Patrick's Church of Ireland, Ballymena. He is buried in Alexandria (Chatby) Military Cemetery, Egypt.


ROCK, Hugh Morrison, 18/1289, Rifleman, 11th  Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on 8th June 1917. Aged 22, he was the postman son, part of a family of ten, of George and Agnes Rock of Ballylig, Killagan. He was a native of Carabeg/Carnbeg, Cloughmills and enlisted in Ballymoney. He had been asked to deliver dispatches around the trenches during the Battle of Messines Ridge and it was while engaged in this work that he was shot by a sniper.  He is buried in Spanbroekmolen Cemetery, Belgium.

ROSS, George, 17896, Lance Corporal, 62nd Btn. Machine Gun Corps, attached Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 21st July 1918. Aged 26,  he was the son of George and Margaret Ross, Castle Street, Ballymena. 

His brother is John McCart (Ross) who died on the 1st July 1916. George is buried in St. Imoges Churchyard, France.
ROSS, 446990 George Raphael, 10th Battalion Canadian Infantry, was killed in action aged 44 years on the 14 June 1916 and is remembered on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate). He was born on the 26 June 1871, the son of John Raphael and Agnes (Nancy) Ross, nee Brown. See Ballymena Canadians entry.

Lt Thomas George Rutherford

RUTHERFORD, Thomas George, Lieutenant, 10th Canadian Infantry, died of wounds on the 12th October 1916. Born on the 20th April 1880 in Newcastle, Co. Down and aged 36 at the time of his death,  he was the the son of the Rev. Thomas and Margaret Rutherford of Hollywood, Co. Down. He lived at 283, Pacific Avenue, Winnipeg and his wife was E Margaret Rutherford, Hilliers, Vancouver Island, Canada. He was a pharmacist (Druggist). He is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery and commemorated in Ballymena New Cemetery.
SCOTT, 71780 Private John, 19th (Queen Alexandra’s Own) Royal Hussars was killed in action on the 8th October 1918. He born on 25th March 1897, and was the 21 year old son of John, an iron ore miner, and Mary Ann Scott, nee Steed, Parkmore Row, Co. Antrim. The couple, both from Skerry East, had married in Newtowncrommelin Presbyterian Church on the 25 January 1883. They had had 9 children, all of them still alive, at the time of the 1911 Irish census. ‘Johnnie’ (14) and his brother Thomas are also recorded as iron ore miners.

John Scott initially enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Ballymena in February 1917, his service number being 2372, but he was transferred to the 19th (Queen Alexandra's Own Royal) Hussars after his deployment to France and Flanders. Historian Phillip Tardif in his book ‘The North Irish Horse in the Great War’, published by Pen & Sword Military, says Scott was killed during severe fighting in the vicinity of Serain, Premont and Brancourt as the unit advanced towards le Cateau. He was buried near the town of Brancourt-le-Grand but his body was reinterred in Busigny Communal Cemetery.

He is commemorated in Layde Parish Church, Cushendall and in Newtowncrommelin Presbyterian Church.
Photograpth from the Ballymena Weekly Telegraph, November 1918 & courtesy of Nigel Henderson

SCOTT, Robert Henry, 74281, Private,  28th Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regt), was KIA on the 15th September 1916. He was aged 42.  He was born in Ballymena, though his mother lived in Kyle Street, Dungannon at the time of his death.  His father was the late William,  and his brother, J.B. Scott, was headmaster of Model School, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial.


SCULLION, Hugh, 3918, 8th  Bn. Australian Imperial Force, died of broncho-pneumonia on the 29th May 1920, aged 40,  and is buried in Brighton General Cemetery, Victoria.  He was born on the 28 March 1882 at Duke Street, Ballymena, Co Antrim, the son of Hugh and Maria/Mary (nee Kennedy) Scullion.  He enlisted on the 9th July 1915 in Melbourne, Victoria, aged 32 years & 4 months, and described himself a labourer.  He gave his next of kin as Mr Lewis Scullion, Butler Street, Belfast.  He was a widower and had no other family in Australia.  His service record gives his mother as Mrs Scullion, 30, Brookfield Street, Belfast. Agnes, Lewis, Bernard and Elizabeth appear to be the other Scullion children.  


Hugh is listed in CWGC records and his death is war related.  He had travelled via Alexandria and Marseilles to join his unit in France on the 29th July 1916, and he was almost immediately wounded in action on the 18th August 1916.  He was transferred to England and seems to have spent the remainder of his war there before being medically discharged. See Ballymena Australians

SEMPEY, James, 19751, Corporal, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 10th February 1916. He was aged 29 years.  He was born in Ballymena and was the son of Hugh and Isabella Sempey. He lived Ballyclare and his wife, Sarah McNeill (formerly Sempey), lived at Main Street, Ballyclare. He is buried in Mesnil Ridge Cemetery, Somme.


SEYMOUR, John, 23735, Private, 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died of wounds on the 28th March 1918.  Aged 22, he was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Seymour, Randalstown and he is buried in St. Sever Cemetery Rouen, France.


SHANNON, Robert, 2842, Private, 4th Australian Infantry Battalion, was killed in action on the 6th May 1917 in France and is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneau Memorial.  Aged 36, he was the son on Samuel and Agnes Shannon (nee Henry), Montalto, Newtowncrommelin and he was the second of seven children.  He was five feet six inches tall, with a dark complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair.  He was educated at Tullybane School, Cloughmills, worked in Turner's shop in Cloughmills, emigrating to Australia when about 25 years old; two of the Turners also emigrated to Australia and Robert died in WW1 - see list.  His eldest sister, Sarah, lived in Narrabri, New South Wales and worked as a draper in a clothes shop. 


According to Thompson (Ballymoney Heroes, 1914-18), he enlisted in 1915 but his arrival in the fighting zone was delayed because he contracted mumps and required prolonged medical attention.  He finally arrived at Marseilles on the 30th March 1916. On 24th July 1916, he sustained bullet wounds to the head and left foot and he was taken to 44th Casualty Clearing Station and immediately transferred to No 19 Ambulance Train. In July he arrived in hospital at Rouen. After three days here he was moved to Le Havre and taken on board the H.S.Marami and to hospital in Newport, Monmouthshire. He arrived there on the 30th July and was there until the 17th October, when he was moved to Wandsworth where he spent another week before being granted two weeks leave. On 13th December he embarked on S.S.Arundel at Folkestone and landed next day at Etaples and on 20th December rejoined the 4th battalion. He was killed in action on 6th May 1917 and a report states that he was buried in the vicinity of Bullecourt.


He is commemorated in Killagan Parish Church, Cloughmills.  He gave only his mother's name as next of kin when he enlisted. His sister Sarah wrote to the AIF as follows: 'his mother is still alive. But considering her state of health and what the news of his death caused her. I think it advisable that she receives no medal as it could only revive the past and give her more pain and suffering than pleasure.' (Sic) Sarah took the medals.  Her words remind us of the  pain WW1 caused, that these were real people.

SHAW, James Dunbar, Rifleman, 11/13th Royal Irish Rifles & 22 Entrenching Battalion, was killed in action on 28th March 1918. He was born on the 6 December 1897 at Killygore, Broughshane, son of Robert & Esther Shaw (nee Dunbar), Killygore, Martinstown, Co. Antrim.  He is listed in Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour, 1914 - 1919 under Cloughwater Church and he is named on the Pozieres Memorial and the Broughshane War Memorial.


SHAW,  Thomas, 724, Rifleman, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds aged 31 on the 29th November 1916. He was born on the 31 October 1885 at Dunaghy, Clough. He was the son of John and Mary Shaw, nee Rock, Clough.

SHAW, Sailor Thomas Molyneux, Mercantile Marine, was killed on the 16 November 1917 when he was aged 18 in the sinking 40 miles east-northeast of Bayonne, France of the SS Garron Head. He was the son of John James Shaw, a scutcher of Ballynacaird, Broughshane and Margaret Shaw, nee McFetridge, also Ballynacaird, and he had been born at Ballynacaird on the 7 December 1898. The family were living at Ballynacaird at the time of the 1901 census, at Bay, Waterfoot, Carnlough in 1911, and at Aughareamlagh, Carnlough, Co. Antrim at the time of his death.

The SS Garron Head, a 1,933-ton steamer built in 1913 by Irvine’s SB. & DD. Co., Ltd., West Hartlepool and operated by the Ulster Steamship Co., Ltd. (G. Heyn & Sons), Belfast, was originally thought to have struck a mine while on voyage from Bilbao to Barrow with a cargo of iron ore, but it now confirmed that she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-103 (Commander Claus Rucker). Twenty-eight crew were killed, Master E. Suffern amongst them. U-103 had completed five tours of duty under Captain Claus Rucker and had sunk eight ships, but on the 12 May 1918 as she prepared to sink the Olympic, then a troopship, she was rammed and sunk by her intended target.

Left: SIMPSON, Alexander, 79354, Gunner, 9th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, was killed in action near Dikkebus, Belgium on the 21 July 1917.  He was the son of James and Annie Simpson, Firview Farm, Ballymaconnelly, Rasharkin.  He had studied Art in London and was a noted athlete and footballer, and for some time prior to his enlistment he had been living in Kilbride, Scotland. He is incorrectly listed as James Simpson in the Ballymena Observer, 14 September 1917.


SIMPSON, Christopher Redmond, 'Christy', 20/86 Rifleman, 15th Royal Irish Rifles, was a POW and died of influenza on the 24th October 1918.  He is buried in Berlin South Western Cemetery, Germany.  He was born at Jaffa Street, Belfast on the 10 November 1898 and was the son of George and Hannah Simpson, nee Redmond. His grandmother lived at Aughafattan Post Office, Broughshane and he resided in the Ballymena area.

SIMPSON, 10072 Private James, 1st Battalion Auckland, was killed in action on the 30 September 1916 and he is remembered on the Caterpillar Valley (NZ) Memorial, in Larne's Gardenmore Presbyterian Church, and on the war memorial in Larne.  He was born on the 5 June 1881 at Ballylummin, Ahoghill and was later associated with Larne. His parents Robert and Ann (Annie) Simpson, nee Luke, had married in 3rd Ahoghill Presbyterian Church on the 12 September 1874. He lived in Grey Lynn, NZ and at the time of his death his parents lived at Greenland Terrace, Old Glenarm Road, Larne.
SIMPSON, Second Engineer Thomas, died on the 25th December 1914 when S.S. Gem struck a mine at 6.15 p.m. on the 25th December 1914, broke in two, and sank in the North Sea 3.5 nautical miles (6.5 km) south east by east of Scarborough. He was then 24 years old. He was born on the 23 January 1890 and was the son of Joseph Simpson, miner, Magheramullagh (now usually Magheramully), Broughshane, Co. Antrim, and he was the husband of Sarah Lizzy (Eliza) Bell. At the time of his son’s death Joseph Simpson was a widower and lived at The Wood, Perisha, Glenarm, Co. Antrim.

SINCLAIR, William B.,  41416, Private, 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers, was KIA on the 30th July 1918. He was born in Ballymena but had been living in Bellshill, Scotland. He is buried in Meteren Cemetery, Nord, France.


SLOAN, Albert Edwin, 21191, CQMS, 8th Royal Irish Fusiliers (formerly 2340 Connaught Rangers), was KIA on the 5th September 1916. He was born in Carclinty, Craigs, Co. Antrim, the son of Robert and Jane Sloan, nee Cochrane, and he enlisted in Belfast where the family lived. He was the husband of  Catherine Sloan, nee Quinn; the couple had married in St Paul's RC Church, Belfast on 30 December 1906. Widow Catherine 'Cassie' Sloan lived at Leeson Street, Falls Road, Belfast.  He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

SLOAN, 18/18781 Corporal Samuel Fisher, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died of influenza/pneumonia aged 23 years on the 25 October 1918 (he had been discharged wounded on the 28 January 1918) and is buried in Larne (McGarel) Cemetery.  He was born on the 19 January 1895 at Ballee, Connor, Ballymena, the son of Samuel C and Sarah Sloan, nee McDowell.  The family had moved to Larne and Samuel Fisher Sloan's widow lived at 11 Meadow Street, Larne.

Left: SMALL, Robert, 3082253, Private, 14th Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regt.), died in accident at Ballymena Railway Station on the 23rd December 1918.  He was aged 24. He was born on 27 July 1891 at Ballykeel, Ballyclug, Ballymena, the son of Samuel and Jane Small, nee Cameron, of Ballyminstra, Straid, Ahoghill. He had emigrated and lived in Rhode Island, USA before joining Canadian forces in Montreal. He is buried in 2nd Ahoghill Presbyterian Churchyard.


SMITH, Samuel Lyle, 28326, Gunner, 10th Field Artillery Brigade, AIF, died of wounds on the 23rd May 1918. Smith was said to be aged almost 26 (actually born 26 June 1890 at Tollymore, Broughshane) and was just over 6 feet in height, and he joined the army on 29th May 1915.  He travelled from Melbourne to Plymouth on 'Ulysses', arriving in England on 28th December 1916. He was almost immediately admitted to hospital with influenza and was not released for duty until 14th February 1917.  He then travelled to France via Folkestone and was finally 'taken on strength' on the 20th June 1917.  He was admitted to No.5 General Hospital on the 9th May 1918 with gunshot wounds to the left hip and the right leg and died there in Rouen on the 23rd May.


He was formerly of Tullymore Cottage, Broughshane. He appears to have had sisters, Mary Elizabeth Lyle Smith and Susan are mentioned in connection with 19, Wolsey Street, Belfast. He is buried in St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France and commemorated in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church.


SMITH, Roberta S,  US Army Nursing Corps, formerly of Broughshane, is remembered in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church.  She was born on the 15 May 1885 and was the daughter of Samuel Smith, a timber merchant, and his wife Margaret, nee

Stevenson.  The family are recorded on the 1901 Irish census living at Tullymore, Broughshane. Samuel was 51 and a widower and he lived with his mother Mary, 79 and a widow, and daughters Susan (21), Mary E (19), Roberta (15), and son Robert L (10). Their servant was Catherine Erwine. Roberta was the sister of Australian soldier Samuel Lyle Smith above. Her full name was Roberta Kathleen Martha Stevenson Smith.


SMITH, Samuel, 14926, Sergeant, 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was KIA 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.


SMITH (Smyth), Thomas McIntyre, S/1943, Private, 1st Seaforth Highlanders, was KIA on the 16th August 1915. He was born in Dungall, Clough and enlisted in Johnstone, Scotland. He is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial.


Robert Smylie 

Smylie's Jacket and Personal Effects (Note torn shoulder)

 

SMYLIE, Robert Stewart, Lieutenant, 7th Royal Scots Fusiliers, attached 1st Btn., was KIA on the 14th July 1916. He was raised at Linenhall Street, Ballymena by mother and sister and is linked with Bridgend, Galgorm. He was headmaster of County Grammar School, Sudbury. He is buried in Flatiron Copse, Mametz, Somme.

 

SMYTH, Alfred John, 49714, Private 14th Durham Light Infantry, was  KIA on the 6th March 1917.  He was born in Rasharkin and lived in Streatham, London. He was the son of Thomas and Margretta Smyth, Rasharkin, Co. Antrim. His wife Edith C. Negus (formerly Smyth) lived at Sea Bank South, Bognor, Sussex. He is buried in Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France and commemorated in Finvoy Presbyterian Church.

 

SMYTH, James, 501, Lance Corporal, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 1st July 1916. He was aged 19 years. He was born on the 27 May 1897 at the Caddy and was the son of Thomas and Margaret Smyth, nee Risk, Caddy, near Randalstown.  He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

 

SMYTH, John, 41205, Private,  9th Royal Irish Fusiliers (formerly 1435 North Irish Horse), died of wounds on the1st December 1917. He was born in Tamlaght O'Crilly, Co. Londonderry and was living in Portadown, but he was the son of John Smyth, Sprucebank, Portglenone. He is buried in St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France.

 

SMYTH, James, 19211, Corporal, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 1st July 1916. He was the son of John Smyth, Craigs, Cullybackey and he lived in the area. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

Right: SMYTH, 2nd Lieutenant John,  9th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 22/23rd November 1917. He was aged 26 and 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. Local press reported: Lieutenant J Smith, Royal Irish Rifles, killed in action on the 22nd November, was the son of Mr William Smith, The Curragh, Ballymena, Principal of Monaghan National School, Ballymena. Prior to the war, Lieutenant Smith was Principal of Craigwarren National School. He was promoted to commissioned rank six months ago.

The Weekly Irish Times, February 9, 1918.

SMYTH,  55633 Rifleman John Robinson,1st Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade, was killed in action near Ypres (Ieper), Belgium on the 7th December 1917.  He had lived at lived Methven, Canterbury, NZ for about six years, but he was the son of John and Elizabeth Smyth, Aughafatten, Broughshane and said he was born on the 29 November 1892. He had only been with his unit in the field for just over a month before he was killed.  He is buried in Polygon Wood Cemetery, Belgium.


Frederick Robert SMYTH (Smith)

SMYTH (Smith), Frederick Robert, 74122, Private, 28th Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regt) was KIA on the 28th September 1916. He was aged 30 and lived in Winnipeg, Canada; he worked in the Post Office.  He was born in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh but had lived at 8, Atlantic Avenue in Portrush before emigrating.  He was the son of Robert Smith, Portrush.  His father is buried in Kirkinriola Cemetery, Ballymena and the deceased is named on stone (now fallen & broken). His brother was Edward Smith, 688, Strathcona Street, Winnipeg; he worked for R J Whitlock & Co, Winnipeg. F R Smyth was hit by shrapnel from trench mortars and never regained consciousness.  He is buried in Locre Cemetery, Belgium.


Smyth Brothers Archibald and Hugh


SMYTH (Smythe), Archie, 340, Sergeant, 10th Australian Light Horse, B Squadron, died of disease on the 27th December 1918, according to CWGC. 


Smyth was 5 feet 8 inches tall and aged 23 years and 6 months when he enlisted on 20th October 1914, and he gave his next of kin as Robert Smythe, Ballymena; this was later overwritten to read c/o Mr A Watt, Bridge Street, Ballymena.  He was sent to Gallipoli in October 1916 and left Australia on HMAT Mashobra.  He sustained gunshot wounds to his right leg on the 20th April 1917 and was in No. 14 Australian General Hospital until June 2nd.  He recovered to a degree but was often sick and he ended up in No.88 General Hospital in Cairo, Egypt in 1918. He died of pneumonia on 2nd January 1919 - according to his medical records.


He was aged 27 and unmarried, though apparently engaged to Miss N Bowden, 405 Bulwer Street, Perth, W.A.  He was the labourer son of Robert and Catherine Smyth, Crumkill, Ballymena; this spelling and address was given by his father when he certified receipt of his son's effects. 


His brothers were Robert Smyth (MM & DCM) and Hugh Smyth, wounded. He is buried in Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. 



SMYTH, Thomas, Private 1st Class, 361 Infantry Regiment, 91st Division, US Forces, was killed in action on the 9th October 1918.  He was born on the 15th August 1892 and came from the Caddy, Randalstown.  He is listed in the Congregational Roll of Honour for 2nd Randalstown Presbyterian Church.  He enlisted in Washington and he is buried in Meuse-Argonne Cemetery, France.  The church listing suggests (Unconfirmed) that he had two brothers, R J and WJ, who also served in the US Army. 501 James Smyth (above) was his brother.

Right: SPEEDIE, Harry, 14572, Sergeant, Royal Canadian Dragoons, died on the 30th March 1918 and is named on the Vimy Memorial.  Aged 30, he was the son of the late Henry & Mrs Margaret Speedie, Clover Hill, Randalstown.  He is named in the Congregational Roll of Honour for 1st Randalstown Presbyterian Church.  What appears to be his brothers, T J Speedie of the 12th RIR & Captain W Speedie of the RAMC, are also listed.  He was 5' 8.75" tall and had light brown hair and grey eyes.  He was single and was working in Canada as a commercial salesman at the time of his enlistment.


SPENCE,  Thomas, 9385, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 7th May 1915. He was aged 23 and had been born in Ballymena, though he lived in Belfast. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial(Menin Gate).


SPENCE, William John, 22351, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died on the 1st/2nd April 1919 from pneumonia while on active service (Occupation Duties)  in Berlin .  He was born at Craigs, Cullybackey and lived in Ballymena. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Spence, 38, James Street, Harryville. He is buried in Cologne Southern Cemetery, Germany and commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.


SPENCE, Alexander Reverend,  Padre 36th Dept. Army Chaplains, died of wounds as POW on the 31st March 1918. His father Alexander Spence of Brookfield, Portglenone. He is buried Roye New British Cemetery, Somme. He is commemorated in Ahoghill Church of Ireland.


STEELE, 3/8832 Rifleman George Earnest Albert, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, died in Germany on the 3rd December 1918. He was born on the 27 February 1895 at Moat Road, Harryville, Ballymena, the son of John and Margaret Jane Steele, nee Allen.  He lived in Glasgow and enlisted in Paisley, Scotland. He is buried in Hamburg Cemetery, Germany. He is commemorated in Carnalbanagh Presbyterian Church.

STERLING (Stirling on Scottish National War Memorial & Soldiers Died in Great War),  James, 22025, Rifleman, 4th Royal Irish Rifles,  died of wounds as the result of an accidental explosion on the 28th October 1918. His friend John Frater - see listings - died in the same incident.  He was born in Glasgow, enlisted in Ballymena and lived in Cullybackey.  He is buried in Durrington Cemetery, Wiltshire.
From South Wiltshire Coroner’s Inquests into death of Riflemen James Sterling & John Frater – courtesy of Salisbury Inquests

The County Coroner (Mr F H Trethowan) held an inquest on Wednesday evening concerning the deaths of two young riflemen, John Frater, aged 17, and James Stirling, aged 18, of the 4th Royal Irish Rifles, who were killed as a result of an accidental explosion of a bomb on Normanton Downs, near Stonehenge, on Monday.

They were walking over the downs, as it was officially stated they were entitled to do, whilst bombing practise was proceeding, as no red flag was shown at the time. A witness said he saw one of the men kick at “something,” which turned out to be a 16lb unexploded bomb, which upon impact exploded and killed both Frater and Stirling.

It was stated by a military officer that the ground is periodically searched for unexploded bombs but no record was kept from which it could be stated definitely that all unexploded bombs had been found.

A verdict was recorded that the two men died from injuries caused by the accidental explosion of a bomb, and the military authorities intimated that an enquiry would be held with a view to effecting precautions against the recurrence of similar accidents.

A death for James Stirling, aged 18, was registered in the December quarter, 1918 in the district of Amesbury, Wiltshire, England.


STEVELEY, ERNEST,  43963, Private,  15th Bn. Machine Gun Corps (Infantry),  was KIA on the 30th October 1918. He was the son of Hugh and Jane Steveley, Station House, Cullybackey. He is buried in Guignies Communal Cemetery, Brunehaut, Belgium.



STEVELY, Samuel, 1757, Rifleman, 1st Royal Irish Rifles,  was KIA on the 21st August 1918. He was aged 18 and the foster son of Mrs. Rachel Boyd of Gloonan, Ahoghill. He is buried in Bertenacre Military Cemetery, Fletre, Nord, France. He is commemorated in 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Church.

Left: STEVENSON, William, 19204, Rifleman 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was wounded on the 1st July and a POW at Lazarette Hospital, Minden. He died on the 20th November 1918. He was born in Crumkill and lived 18, Railway Street, Ballymena. He is buried Niederzwehren Cemetery, Germany.


STEWART, 1488 Rifleman James, 8th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 7th June 1917. He is buried Wulverghem Lindenhoek Military Cemetery.  He was aged 22, born 4 June 1895 at Lisnahunshin, Cullybackey, the son of James and Agnes (Nancy) Stewart, nee Smyth.  The family were at Lisnahunshin, Lisnagarran in 1901 and 1911 and James's will said they lived in Killyless, Cullybackey.


STEWART, 19861 Rifleman James Andrew, 14th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 15th February 1917.  He was aged 24 and born at Larne Street, Ballymena on the 8 November 1892, the son of James, a baker, and Jane Stewart, nee Aiken. The couple had married in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church on the 22 December 1880. The parents later lived at Virginia Street, Belfast. He is buried in Bailleul Military Cemetery Extension, France.


STEWART, James, 7275, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 8th August 1917.  He was aged 18 and was the son of Robert and Jane Stewart, Main Street, Randalstown. He is buried in New Irish Farm Cemetery, Ypres and is commemorated in Randalstown Old Congregation Presbyterian Church.


STEWART,  Andrew, S/11266, Lance Corporal, 6/7th Gordon Highlanders, was KIA on the 14th October 1918. He was born in Ballymena and  lived in Airdrie, Scotland. He is buried in Iwuy Cemetery, Nord,  France.


Stewart's Headstone in Layde Parish Churchyard

STEWART, 2828 Private Daniel, Depot, Royal Irish Regiment, was born at Cushendall on the 29 October 1884. Robert Thompson's Ballycastle Heroes says he died of wounds and aged 31 but others say he died of pulmonary pneumonia at Abbey Sanitorium, Whiteabbey on the 16th February 1916. He was the son of shoemaker John Stewart and Mary Stewart, nee Patton, The Tower, Cushendall. He is commemorated in Layde Parish Church and buried in the churchyard.

STEWART, John, S/697, Private, 2nd Gordon Highlanders, was KIA on the 11th  March 1915. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Dumfries, Scotland. He is commemorated on Le Touret Memorial, France.


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


STEWART, William, 7240, Company Sergeant Major, 12th Highland Light Infantry, died of wounds on the 27th  March 1918.  He was born in Ballymena and lived in Glasgow.  He is buried in Warloy Baillon Cemetery, Somme.

Left: STUART (MC),  William Bruce George,  Captain,  12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA at Moeuvres on 22nd November 1917. Aged 24, he was the son of William & Barbara Frances Stuart of  Mount Earl, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial and in Derrykeighan Churchyard.

Other members of the family served in the forces. One brother, Lieutenant Leslie Jon Stuart, was in the army, another, Lt. Charles Gage Stuart, in the Royal Navy, perhaps because he was  a nephew of Rear Admiral Leslie Stuart CMG.


Lieutenant Leslie Jon Stuart was born in 1888 in Toronto, Canada, and was educated at Monkton Combe School, Bath, between 1901-06. When the war began Stuart was farming sheep in Australia. He returned home to Ballymena and in November 1915 applied for a commission in the North Irish Horse. Appointed a 2nd Lieutenant, he embarked for France on 26 August 1916, and there joined the 1st Regiment North Irish Horse. He was promoted to Lieutenant in July 1917 and in March 1918 transferred to the Machine Gun Base Depot at Camiers. He was subsequently posted to the 19th Hussars and, after about one month, to the 8th Hussars in 1918. He contracted 'colitis' at Arras in August  and was  in the UK until October 1918. He returned to Australia after the war, where he managed his uncle George's 50,000 acre sheep station, Goolgumbla, in the Riverina country of NSW.


Lt. Charles Gage Stuart had served on the China Station during the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-05, and when the WW1 broke out he was on the cruiser HMS Glasgow, patrolling the south-east coast of South America. He was in the action with Von Spee's squadron on 1st November  1914.  Von Spee outclassed Cradock's squadron and sank the British cruisers HMS Good Hope and HMS Monmouth off the coast of Chile at Coronel (Battle of the Coronel). HMS Glasgow got away damaged.  It joined Sturdee's fleet in Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, and with battlecruisers, HMS Invincible and HMS Inflexible, and with cruisers HMS Carnarvon, HMS Cornwall, HMS Kent, and HMS Bristol, went on to inflict a serious defeat of the Germans.  Six German ships including Spee's own flagship, SMS Scharnhorst, were sunk, with some 2,200 sailors drowned, amongst them von Spee and his two sons. The Dresden escaped but was sunk a little later and Lt. Stuart had the satisfaction of being on board his ship in the engagement. It was for his role in this latter action that he 'was presented on Wednesday, by the King, at Buckingham Palace, with the Distinguished Service Cross for 'meritorious service in connection with the sinking of the German Cruiser 'Dresden' on March 14th, 1915.'


The London Gazette of 17th September 1917 
SURGENOR, James, S/10912, Private, 6th Cameron Highlanders, was KIA on the 26th September 1915. He was born in Bridge End, Lisnafillon, Ahoghill on the 22 October 1883, the son of James and Margaret Surgenor, nee McNally. He married Margaret Reilly in West Church, Ballymena on the  5 September 1910 and lived at 52, Main Street, Thornleybank, Glasgow with his wife and three children. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial and in Ahoghill Church of Ireland.


Wounded in Action: George, James and Alexander Surgenor, Bridge End, Galgorm


SURGENOR, James, 2539, Company Sergeant Major,  11th Royal Irish Rifles, was gassed on the 1st September and died of wounds on the 3rd September 1916. He was born in Ahoghill and lived at the Grange. He is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension and commemorated in Grange Presbyterian Church.


SURGENOR, Ernest Glover, 177850, Private, 81st Machine Gun Company, died on the 4th November 1918. He was born in Ballymena and was the son of John and Catherine of Glasgow. He is buried in Kirechkoi Hortakoi Cemetery, Greece.


SWANN, 17697 Private Samuel Finlay, 152nd Machine Gun Company, MG Corps (Inf), formerly 19785 Royal Irish Rifles,  died on the 13th May 1917. He was the son of Joseph and Agnes Swann, nee Finlay, Lisnevenagh, Kells and he had been born on the 1 November 1892. He is buried in Niederzwehren Cemetery, Germany. He is commemorated in Kells Presbyterian Church.

TAGGART, 789 (19/789) Private Andrew, 10th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action on the 13 August 1917.  He was born on 30 November 1894 at Deer Park, Glenarm and the son of William, a farmer and widower of Deer Parks, Glenarm.  William, of Tamybuck, Broughshane, had married Rachel McNeill, Loughconnelly, Broughshane in 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church on the 6 October 1892. Robert, Lizzie, Esther, William and David were his brothers and sisters.  Their mother, aged 45, had committed suicide in 1910.

TAGGART,  Robert, 21392, Private, 7th Royal Irish Fusiliers, died of gas and wounds on the 2nd May 1916.  He was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Taggart, nee Miller, Water Street, Ballymena. His parents later lived at 42, James Street, Ballymena.  He is buried Lillers Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.


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


TAGGART,  William James, A/201981, Rifleman,  King's Royal Rifle Corps, was KIA on the 2nd September 1918.  He was born at Tardree and had  family at Craigywarren, Ballymena. He is buried in Dury Crucifix Cemetery,  France and commemorated in Cloughwater Presbyterian Church.

Right: TAYLOR, David, 520, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles,  died as POW on the 19th June 1918.  He was aged 23 and was the son of James and Annie Taylor, Galgorm Parks, Ballymena. He is buried in Plaine National Cemetery, Bas Rhin, France. He is commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church.


TAYLOR,  Robert Gordon, 532376, Private, 46th Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment),  died of wounds on the 10th July 1918. He was 38, originally from 35, Queen Street, Harryville, Ballymena.  That was still the address of his father/next of kin at the time of his enlistment.   He lived at 570, Ross Avenue, Winnipeg and was an iron worker by trade.  He had previously served for 4 years in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.  He is buried in Aubigny Communal Cemetery,  France.


TELFORD, William, 4262, Private, 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was KIA on the 1st July 1916.   He was the son of Mrs. John Telford, Alexander Street, Ballymena and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.


He had been involved in heavy fighting in the Dardanelles area before transferring to France. His brother James was also wounded in the Somme fighting.




TEMPLETON, James, 7613, Private, 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was  killed in action on the 26th August 1914.  He was aged 29 and was the son of George and Agnes Templeton, Moat Road, Ballymena, though he lived in Belfast.  He is commemorated on the La Ferte Sous Jouarre Memorial,  France.



TEMPLETON, Robert Miller, 5555, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, died on the 18th July 1916. He was the 34 year old son of George and Agnes Miller Templeton, Moat Road, Ballymena and brother of James (above).   He is buried in Puchevillers British Cemetery.

TENNANT, Thomas,  Lieutenant,  5th Coy. Australian Machine Gun Corps , was killed by a shell while leading an attack.   He was 26 years and 7 months old when he enlisted on 12th March 1915 in Port Kembla, New South Wales, and he sailed from Australia on HMAT Ceramic on the 25th June 1915.  He was rapidly promoted from Private (12/3/15 - 16/5/15) to Sergeant (17/5/15 - 10/3/16) and then to 2nd Lieutenant (10/3/16 - 4/9/16) and Lieutenant (4/9/16 - KIA); this may have been helped by the fact that he had previously served for 4 years in the Royal Marines Artillery.  He was KIA on the 14th November 1916 while serving with the 19th Bn, 5th Machine Gun Coy; he was initially posted MIA but his body was found and it was identified by Captain Hamilton on the 27th February 1917.  Tennant had seen service in German New Guinea, Gallipoli and the Western Front.


He was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Tennant, 3 Francis Street, Ballymena, and  husband of M. Tennant, of 4, Lothair Avenue, Belfast, Ireland. In Australia prior to enlistment his address was C/O Mrs James, Port Kembla, NSW.   He was buried 1 mile east of Le Sars, 3 miles SW of Bapaume but was later reinterred in Warlencourt Military Cemetery, France.

THOMPSON, Charles Magee, M/16998, Carpenter's Crew, H.M.S.Vanguard, was killed on the 9th July 1917.  He was born on the 13th February 1894 near Ballymena, County Antrim, son of James and Mary Jane Thompson and husband of Annie Thompson, Gracehill, Co. Antrim. He was a Moravian.


He lived at Lisnafillan, Gracehill and had worked for the Lisnafillan Bleaching and Finishing Company, but he joined the Royal Irish Constabulary in 1913. He served in Castledawson and Coleraine before enlisting in the Royal Navy on the 12th November 1915. He married Annie Gillen about Oct-Dec 1916; she still lived at Gracehill at the time of his death. He is commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial and in Gracehill Moravian Churchyard.


HMS Vanguard was a St Vincent class battleship, an enhancement of the "Dreadnought" design built by Vickers at Barrow-in-Furness, and she spent her life in the British Home Fleet. At the outbreak of World War I, Vanguard joined the First Battle Squadron at Scapa Flow, and fought in the Battle of Jutland as part of the Fourth Battle Squadron. She was a part of the action from beginning to end, but did not suffer any damage or casualties.


However, just before midnight on Monday, July 9, 1917, Vanguard suffered an explosion, probably caused by an unnoticed stokehold fire heating cordite stored against an adjacent bulkhead in one of the two magazines which served the amidships turrets P and Q. She sank almost instantly, killing an estimated 843 men; there were only two survivors. In terms of loss of life, the destruction of the Vanguard remains the most catastrophic accidental explosion in the history of the UK, and one of the worst accidental losses of the Royal Navy.

THOMPSON, Captain Harold Francis, 9th Bn., attd. 12th Bn., Rifle Brigade, was killed in action on the 12th July 1915. He was born on the 16 July 1877 and died aged 38.  He had been born in Cushendall and was the son of Rev. William Thompson, M.A., Rector of Layde Church, Cushendall and Sarah Margaret Thompson, nee Sprott or Spratt (almost illegible). He is interred in Poperinghe Military Cemetery, Plot 2, Row E, Grave 4
THOMPSON, 9551 Private James Thompson, 1st Bn. Irish Guards, was born on the 18 September 1889, though his birth was registered by a statutory declaration of the 9th September 1890, and he was killed in action on the 23rd February 1917. He was the 26-year-old son of Archibald, a car driver, and Jane Thompson, nee Reid, both of Cushendall. They were living at the time of his death at Bridge Street, Cushendall. He is buried in Combles Communal Cemetery Extension, France.
THOMPSON, James, 19231, Rifleman, 13th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 1st July 1916.  He was aged 20, the son of William and Margaret,  and he was a native of Ballymena, though he lived at Kircubbin, Co. Down.  His parents were married in St Partrick's church of Ireland on the 8 June 1887.  William, described as a french polisher, came from Coleraine and Margaret Lynn, his bride, was from Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

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


THOMPSON, John, 4601, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles,  was KIA on the 16th June 1915. He was the 27 year old son of Isabella Thompson, Cromkill, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate) and in Kells Presbyterian Church.

Right: THOMPSON,  John (Jack), 12/19228, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, a POW since the 21st March 1918, died of pneumonia at Freiburg, Germany on the 13th May 1918. He had joined the Ulster Division at the time of its formation and had previously been wounded on the Somme on the 1st July 1916.  He was the 19 year old son of Thomas, a tailor, and Rachel Thompson, nee Allen, Kintullagh Terrace, Ballymena (also associated with 19, Clarence Street). John had been born at Greenvale Street on the 5 November 1898. Prior to the war he had worked for Messrs Smith & Co, Ballymena.  He is buried in Niederzwehren Cemetery, Germany.


His brother Robert served in the Royal Irish Fusiliers.


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

TILNEY, John, 7201, Rifleman, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 2nd June 1915.  He was born in Ballymena and lived in Belfast. He is buried in Ridge Wood Military Cemetery, Voormezeele, Belgium.
Above: Todd Grave Marker, Old Presbyterian Cemetery, Church Street, Ballymena

Right: Todd Family Grave Marker, Carnmoney Cemetery, Belfast

Left: TODD,  Hugh,  Engineering Commander, Royal Navy Reserve,  died of wounds in Inverness Hospital on the 3rd July 1915.  He was from Harryville, Ballymena and is buried in Carmoney Cemetery, Co. Antrim, but he is commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church and in Ballymena Old Cemetery, Church Street, Ballymena.


TORBITT, William, 12684, Private, 6th Royal Irish Fusiliers, was  KIA in Turkey on the 15th August 1915.  He was born at Ballybeg Ahoghill and lived in Belfast; his parents had addresses at Bann street (1901) and Summer Street (1911 & CWGC). He was the son of  Arthur & Agnes (Nancy, nee Mooney), 46, Summer Street, Belfast. He is buried in Helles Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey.


TORBITT, William Robert, 18840, Lance Corporal, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 1st July 1916.  He was born at Limnaharry, Ahoghill on the 4 June 1880, the son of Alexander and Mary, Torbitt, nee McLean. He lived in Larne - the family appear in the 1901 & 1911 census returns - with his father, mother, brother and sister at 153 Greenland Terrace, Old Glenarm Road.  He was the Bandmaster of Sir John Smiley's Flute Band and a member of Gardenmore Presbyterian Church, Larne. 


His family was described on 12 December 1914 in the Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph as follows:


'The family of Mr and Mrs Torbitt, Old Glenarm Road, Larne,  have shown their patriotism in an unmistakable manner. The sons, Robert, William and Thomas, have enlisted in the 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (Central Antrim Volunteers) and the daughter Miss Mary Torbitt is a member of the Factory District Nursing Corps, Larne. All were employed by the Larne Weaving Company'.


He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.


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


TURNER,  Thomas, 7188, Rifleman, 8th Royal Irish rifles,  died on the 20th June 1917 of wounds sustained in the fighting around the Messines Ridge. He had enlisted in Belfast and he was aged 21 when he died.  He was the son of Alexander and Rose Turner of Cloughmills, the parents of five children, three boys and two girls. They owned a shop in Cloughmills and Robert Shannon, a local boy, had worked in it for five years before going to Australia.  He - 2842, 4th Bn. Australian Infantry, son of Samuel & Agnes, Montalto, Newtowncrommelin - had been killed on the 6th May 1917.  Thomas is buried in Cabin Hill Cemetery, Wytschaete, Belgium and commemorated in Ballyweaney Presbyterian Church. Another son was Robert Turner of the Australian Infantry.


TURNER , Robert,  1842, Private,  54 Bn. Australian Infantry, was  KIA near Ypres on the 25th September 1917.  He had initially left Australia on HMAT Argyllshire on 25th June 1915. The 5 foot 8 inch draper had suffered much illness prior to his death: he was returned to Australia because the healing after an operation for appendicitis went badly, on his return to duty he contracted a skin disease that kept him in hospital for 37 days, and he then had his foot badly injured by a ration wagon.  Aged 26, he a draper and gave his address as C/o Mr Cunningham, N Gardiner & Co, York Street, Sydney, NSW. He was the son of Alexander and Rose of Cloughmills. He is buried in the Menin Road South Military Cemetery,  Belgium, about five miles away from his brother.

TURNLY, 2nd Lieut. John Francis Turnly, Machine Gun Corps, was killed in action on the 16th April 1918. He was aged 19 and was the son of Francis John Seymour Turnly, a land agent of Lisloughry, Co Mayo at the time of his son’s birth on the 1 October 1898. Hessie Metcalfe McNeill Turnly, nee Higginson, was his mother. The birth was registered in District 4, South Dublin. At the time of their son’s death the couple lived at Drumnasole, Carnlough. John Francis Turnly, who appears to have joined the army while a student and by way of Trinity College, Dublin’s Officer Cadet Corps (O.T.C.), has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial on Panels 154 to 159 and 163a.
TURTLE,  John (P), 19572, Corporal,  62 Bn. Machine Gun Corps, formerly 12161 Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 20th July 1918. He was aged 22 and was born in Ballymena, though he lived in lived Belfast.  He is commemorated on the Soissons Memorial, France.
WADDELL, William, 22446, Private, 8th Royal Dublin Fusiliers, was KIA on the 9th September 1916.  He was born in Edinburgh and lived at Cullybackey. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.



WALKER, Robert, 371, Rifleman, 13th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action when on a night patrol on the 17th August 1916.  The 21 year old was hit in the spine by a machine gun bullet.  He was born at the Craigs, Cullybackey and was the son of Robert and Margaret Walker, Parkhead, Ballymena.  He is buried in Ration Farm, La Plus Douve Cemetery.


WALLACE, Alexander, 19242, Rifleman,12th Royal Irish Rifles was killed in action on the 1st July 1916.  He was the 26 year old husband of Amy Wallace, 5, Gilmore Street, Ballymena and father of two children.  He was a good footballer and had played for two local teams, Foundry Thistle and Summerfield Strollers.  He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.
WALLACE,  Samuel, 2684, Private, 34th Infantry, Australian Imperial Force, was MIA/KIA on the 12th October 1917. He was a 27 years and 9 months old labourer when he enlisted on 21st September 1916, though at some point he said he had served 2 years of an apprenticeship as a tailor. The 5 feet 3 inch tall soldier had travelled to war on the SS Napier from Sydney, arriving in Devonport in November 1916. He left Folkestone for France and arrived at Etaples on 4th May 1917.  He was wounded in action on the 7th June by gas but returned to duty on the 12 June 1917.  He was KIA on the 12th October 1917 and buried about half a mile east of Hooge. He is now buried in Hooge Crater Cemetery,  Belgium and commemorated in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church, Ballymena.  He was the son of Samuel Wallace, Crumkill, kells, Ballymena.  His brother David of the Irish Guards was severely wounded during WW1 and discharged.

WALLACE, James F, 1575, Lance Corporal, 1st Irish Guards, was KIA on the 26th October 1914.  He was aged 32 and the son of John and Isabella Wallace, Railway Cottages, Ballymena. His wife Clara lived in London.  He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate) and in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church.


WALLACE, Robert Hugh, 5619, Company Sergeant Major, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 18th August 1918.  He was born in Church Street, Ballymena and his later adresses reflect his career in the military.


Additional information: 5619 CSM Robert H Wallace, 'C' Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, a veteran of the South African Campaign, was the son of Henry and Eliza Wallace, nee O'Briens, Mount Street, Ballymena. The couple, then of Church Street, Ballymena, had married on the 30 June 1875 in St Patrick's Church of Ireland; Henry, son of Gordon, was a widower and shoemaker.  Robert Hugh Wallace married Lizzie Smyth, 5, South King Street, Dublin on 30 March 1905 while he was stationed at Portobello Barracks, Dublin with the 2 Royal Irish Rifles; Henry is recorded as his father.


The 1911 Irish census records him as a 34 year old Sergeant in the 4th Royal Irish Rifles.  His wife Elizabeth, a RC, was 30 and the couple had had three children, two of whom survived and are listed as Elanor Elizabeth (3 years and born India) and Charles Henry (1 year old).


Robert was wounded on the 16 August 1917 and died two days later on the 18 August at Calais. Calais was where No 6 Base Supply Depot was established in April 1915 - Calais was closer to the fighting zone than either Le Havre or Rouen and it served to take the pressure off Boulogne. It became the home of a number of hospitals, notably the 30th 35th, 38th General Hospitals, No 9 British Red Cross Hospital and No 10 Canadian Stationary Hospital.  Burials from these were made in Calais Southern Cemetery from 1915 to 1918, and it is there that CSM Wallace is buried.


WALSHE (or Walsh), Patrick, 9424, Private, 1st Cheshire Regiment, was KIA on the 29th April, 1915. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate).


WARDEN, John, 56883, Private, New Zealand Reinforcements, died on the 24th September 1917 and is buried in Plymouth (Efford) Cemetery, England.  He was the 33 year old son of Samuel & Sara Warden (nee McAuley) of Artlone, Randalstown, Co. Antrim.

WATERMAN,  Ronald, 210, Lance Corporal, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 1st July 1916.  He was aged 19 years and was born at Ballywatermoy, Craigs, Cullybackey, Ballymena (Irish Memorial Record has him listed incorrectly as being from Ballywater, Moy, Co. Tyrone) and he lived in Belfast. He was the son of Samuel and Elsie Waterman, 8, Glencollyer Street, Belfast. 


He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Craigs Parish Church, Cullybackey.


Waterman Family Grave, Craigs Parish Church, Cullybackey.



WATSON, James, 19297, Corporal, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 1st July 1916. He was the son of the late Andrew Watson, Broughshane Street, Ballymena.  William John and Charles Watson, his cousins, were also also wounded on same day.  He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.


WATSON,  William John, 19298, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 16th August 1917.  He was the only son of Robert Watson, 7, Alexander Street, Ballymena and brother of Mrs. Sarah Russell of 6, Henry Street, Harryville, Ballymena. He was the cousin of James (above).  He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.


WATT, Robert John, 19818, Rifleman,  11th Royal Irish Rifles,  died on the 29th February 1916.   He was killed almost instantaneously by shrapnel while out gathering wood for a fire and while in billets behind the lines. He was aged 30 and the son of Agnes Watt, Garvaghy, Portglenone. He was the husband of Elizabeth Ann Watt, Portglenone, Co. Antrim, and a cousin of Mrs Johnston McGall, Fair Hill Lane, Ballymena. He was buried in Mesnil Ridge Cemetery, Somme, the funeral service conducted by the the battalion chaplain, the Rev. Mr Manning. Col. Pakenham and Lt. G O Young, the latter soon to be killed himself, were at the funeral.


WATT,  25010 Private William, 13th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regt.),  died as a POW on the 12th May 1915.  He was aged 20, an engineer, and was the son of James and Maggie Watt, nee Orr, Frosses, Cloughmills, Ballymena. He is buried in Niederzwehren Cemetery,  Germany.  He is commemorated in Clough Presbyterian Church. See Ballymena Canadians


WEBB,  Oswald Brooke,  Captain,  11th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 3rd July 1916 from wounds received in 1st July - the record says he was hit 'the very moment our men slipped over parapet.'  He was aged 37 and the son of late Charles J. Webb, Old Bleach Linen Company, Randalstown. He is buried in Warloy Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme.


WEIR (DCM), David,  703A, Private, 7th Bn. Australian Infantry, was KIA on the 4th October 1917. He had been in Australia for about six years when he enlisted on 24th February 1916 and had left Australia on HMAT Runic on the 20th June 1916. He was a labourer, aged 27, and was the son of Hugh and Mary Ellen Weir, Straid, Gracehill. He was the husband of Sarah Weir, Lisnafillan, Gracehill, Ballymena, formerly C/O Swan Hill P O, Victoria. He enlisted in Swan Hill, Victoria. He is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate) and in Ahoghill Church of Ireland.





WEIR,  Hugh, S/40159, Private, 1/8 Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was KIA on the 21st March 1918.  He was aged 25 and was the second son of Hugh and Mary Weir, Straid, Gracehill. He was the brother of David (below).  He is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme.

WEIR, 12/19310 Rifleman Matthew, 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds aged 27 years at home on the 12 January 1919 and he is buried in Larne New Cemetery. He was born on the 16 June 1892 at Drummaul, Ballymena/Randalstown and was the son of William, a labourer, and Charlotte Weir. The couple had moved to Larne before 1911. Mrs Charlotte Weir lived at 9, Coronation Terrace, Glynn Rd., Larne. He was the brother of William James Weir and the consecutive numbers mean they enlisted together.
WEIR, 19311 Private William James, 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, born Drummaul, Ballymena/Randalstown on the 30 June 1890, died of wounds on the 10 August 1917 and aged 27 years.  He was the son of William and Charlotte Weir, nee Morgan, of Drummaul and husband of Nora Weir, nee Barr, of 20, Mill Brae, Larne, Co. Antrim. The couple had married on the 30 May 1915 in the Methodist Church, Larne. His brother Matthew also died.




WHITE, Joseph, 19819, Rifleman, 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 1st July 1916. He was the son of John White, 7, Galgorm Road, Ballymena. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

Left: WHITE, William, 8192, Private, 1st Irish Guards, was KIA on the 15th September 1916. He was the son of Samuel White, Knockboy, Broughshane and brother of Robert White (below). He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.


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


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


WHITESIDE, Samuel, 17701, 59th Coy Machine Gun Corps (inf) and formerly of the 11th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on 30th November 1917.  He was the 24 year old son of James (Dec'd) and Emma Whiteside, Ballytresna, Randalstown. He is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial and in Randalstown Old Congregation Presbyterian Church.


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

Right: WILSON,  William,  6444, Company Sergeant Major,  7/8 Royal  Inniskilling Fusiliers, died of wounds on 16th September 1918. Aged 37, he was born in Ballymena. He was the son of John and Margaret Wilson, Drumcon, Rasharkin and he enlisted in Glasgow.  His wife Jeannie lived at Henry Street, Enniskillen. He is buried La Kreule Military Cemetery, Hazebrouck Nord, France. He is commemorated in  Rasharkin Presbyterian Church.


WILSON,  Thomas, 19826, Rifleman,12th Royal Irish Rifles,  died a POW in Germany on the 3rd October 1918.  He was aged 20, was born near Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast.  He lived in the Ballymena area and was the son of James and Mary Agnes Wilson, Killyfleugh (Killyflue), Ballymena. He is buried in Niederzwehren Cemetery, Germany and commemorated in High Kirk (2nd Ballymena) Presbyterian Church.


WILSON,  Matthew, 49783, Private, 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, formerly 1003 Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 21st October 1918. He was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Belfast. He is buried in Harlebeke New British Cemetery, Belgium.


WILSON,  John H., 19327, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 1st July 1916, having been last seen 'half way across German lines'.  He was the son of Mary Wilson, Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry, and he lived on Church Street, Ahoghill. He was a marathon runner of note and played for Ahoghill Football Club.  He is commemorated in Ahoghill Church of Ireland.


His mother Mary received a letter from the Rev. Andrew Gibson, Presbyterian Chaplain, at the time her son had been reported officially as missing in action. He said, ‘I wrote to offer you our deepest sympathy in your suspense and anxiety and to express the hope that you may have heard of him from some reliable quarter. It is to be feared that many of the missing have laid down their lives on the field of battle. Today there are many homes in Ulster where sorrow is, and many hearts prostrate with grief. Ulster’s sons fought a great fight and covered her name with glory. We are confident that you at home will meet these losses bravely and will walk the hard path with unwavering faith as those who have fallen would wish us to do.’




WILSON, Andrew, 571, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was  KIA on the 18th March 1916.  He was aged 32, born at Kirkinriola on the 3 February 1884, and he was the son of Jane, nee Moore, and the late Andrew, Prospect Place, Ballymena.  He is buried in Auchonvillers Military Cemetery, Somme and commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.

WILSON,  John Hugh, 162865, Gunner,  Royal Field Artillery (and 373550 Irish Command Labour Centre), died at home on the 12th February 1919.  He is buried in Dunluce Presbyterian Churchyard and commemorated in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.  He was the brother of William Oliver Wilson who is named in the same church and headstone and who died on the 20th February 1917.  


William Oliver Wilson cannot be traced on CWGC records, though, according to his mother, the two brothers 'both fought in the Great War, 1914-19, and died for justice, home and liberty'.   His name appears on Queen's University war memorial and he is 'Captain, Medical Officer, Natal Carabiners', and his date of death is given as 20th February 1917.  Their father was manager of a Northern Bank branch in Ballymena. 


Queen's site says he was born on the 21st July 1885 at Cavanaleck, Co Fermanagh, that he lived as a child in Ballymena, attended Ballymena Academy, and resided at the Northern Bank, George Street, Ballymena; the Irish census confirms he was the son of John Wilson, bank manager and J.P. and Mrs Margaret Malcolm Orr Wilson. His sister, not named on the headstone, was Margaret Isabel Dalzell Wilson. He got his BA from QUB in 1907, his MB, B. Ch. and BAO in 1912; in short, he was a doctor, as was another brother Malcom. He had joined the Queen's University Officer Training Corps on the 21st November 1908. During his time at Queen's University Belfast he lived at 44, University Avenue, Belfast.


This entry from the Ballymena Observer, 7th May 1915, confirms that he and his brother Malcolm served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and another of the 10th December 1915 indicates that William was serving in the campaign to capture German colonies in South West Africa.  An article of the 9 March 1917 in  the Northern Whig newspaper says he was in the South African Medical Corps and that he had been attached to the Natal Carabiners.

He came home to Ireland and married Miss Dora Burnett in St Andrew's Church, Blackrock, Dublin on the 22 December 1915, but he died suddenly in 1917.  The reports of his death in Johannesburg do not suggest he was killed in action and it appears that he simply died, hence the absence of his name from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. His family view that he 'died for justice, home and liberty' might suggest his death was linked to some disease originally contracted during service.

Thanks to Nigel Henderson for his invaluable help and additional material.


Old Northern Bank, George Street, Ballymena


WILSON, Robert, 10/3127, Private, 1st Wellington Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, died of wounds on the 25th September 1916.  He was aged 34 and was the son of James Wilson of Ballymena and Sarah Anne Junkin of Ballymacombs. The couple had married in Castledawson Presbyterian Church on the 15 April 1881. Robert is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, France. See Ballymena New Zealanders


Private Robert Wilson, 58104, 20th Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment)

WILSON, Robert, 58104, Private,  20th Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment),  died of wounds on the 5th April 1916. He was aged 35 and the son of Samuel and Eliza Wilson, nee Kennedy, Main Street, Cullybackey. He had lived at 537, Logan Avenue, Toronto, Canada.  He is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery,  Belgium and commemorated in the Cuningham Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cullybackey.  See Ballymena Canadians


WILSON, Thomas, 604, Rifleman,  11th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 1st July 1916.  He was aged 21. He was born at Duneaney, Glarryford and he enlisted in Ballymena. He was the son of John and Lena, Duneaney, Glarryford. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Killymurris Presbyterian Church.




Left: WILSON, S/18523 Private George, 1/8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was killed in action on the 1st August 1917.  He was born on the 16 February 1881,  the son of John Wilson, a sawyer, of Laymore, Ballymena and his wife, nee Jane Lamont. He is buried Artillery Wood Cemetery, Ypres.



Right: WISNER (Wisener),  John, 42380, Private, 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, was KIA on 23rd October 1918. Aged 36, he was the son of Daniel, a shoemaker, and Jane, nee Craig, and had been born in Garvagh, Co Londonderry on the 15 July 1884. He was the husband of Annie Wisener, nee Shaw, Ballycregagh, Cloughmills, the couple having married in Killagan Parish Church on the 25 December 1908.

Dan Wisner had four sons and three, Robert, John and Hugh, all served in WW1, as did their father; Francis, the remaining son,  was only 12 years old. John Wisener is buried in Harlebeke New British Cemetery and commemorated in Killymurris Presbyterian Church & in Killagan Parish Church.


WORKMAN,  John,  46955, Gunner,  115th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, was killed in action on the 1st November 1917.   He was born at Craigs, Cullybackey on the 19 January 1900, the son of William John and Eliza (Lizzie) Workman, nee McLean. He was at Craigs in 1901 and 1911 but he had enlisted Belfast. He is buried in Minty Farm Cemetery, Langemarck, Belgium. CWGC says his parents were living at 88, Disraeli Street, Belfast.


WORKMAN, S/6099 Private Robert, 11th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was killed in action on the 27th October 1915.  He was born on the 5 October 1895 at Craigs, Cullybackey, the son of Samuel and Jane (Jannie) Workman, nee McWhirter and he enlisted in Greenock, Scotland. The CWGC says Samuel and his wife Jane lived at 5, Mile Street, Greenock. Robert is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.




WRIGHT, David, 1403, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, died of wounds on the 22nd November 1917 (note date discrepancy).  He was aged 19 (actually 24, according to birth certificate above) and was the son of John and Agnes (also known as Nancy, as on CWGC) Wright, Laymore, Ballymena. He is named Cambrai Memorial and at Kirkinriola Cemetery, Bally Road, Ballymena.


Right: WYLIE (sometimes Wiley), Alexander, 41583, Private, 2nd Manchester Regiment, born 6 July 1886 at Dunminning, Craigs, Cullybackey, died on the Somme on the 18th November 1916. He was the husband of Annie Wylie, 17, Rope Street, Oldham and the 27 year old son of Alex & Lena Wylie, nee Anderson, of Harperstown, Cullybackey.  He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.


WYLIE,  Archie, 23197, Private, 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died of wounds on the 2nd October 1918.  He was aged 24, born 1 July 1892, and was the son of John and Margaret Wylie, nee Young, Ballywatermoy, Craigs, Cullybackey. He had lived at Ballywatermoy (1901) and Tullygarley (1911) and he enlisted in Glasgow. He is buried in Haringhe Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium and commemorated in Killymurris Presbyterian Church, Glarryford and in Cullybackey United Free Church. His brothers John and David were also killed.
WYLIE,  David,  20446, Lance Sergeant, 7th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died of wounds on the  5th April 1916.  He was born on the 1 May 1887 at Ballywatermoy, Cullybackey, had lived at Ballywatermoy (1901) and Tullygarley (1911),  and enlisted in Glasgow. He was the son of John and Margaret Wylie, neee Young, of Ballywatermoy, Dunminning, Cullybackey. He is buried in Bethune Town Cemetery, France. Brothers Archie and John were also killed.
WYLIE, John, 13837, Private, 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 28th April 1918.  He was aged 34 years and had been  born at Ballywatermoy, Cullybackey on the 1 April 1884, and he was the son of John and Margaret Wylie, nee Young, of Ballywatermoy.  The family were at Ballywatermoy in 1901 and at Tullygarley, Ballymena in 1911. John Wylie enlisted Belfast.  He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. He was the brother of Archie and David, also killed, and of Mrs Jane Boyd, 107, East Bread Street, Beersbridge Road, Belfast.


WYLIE,  Robert,  331411, Pioneer, Inland Waterways and Docks,  Royal Engineers, died at home on the 29th January 1918.  He had been the husband of Jane Graham, his first wife, the couple having married in High Kirk Presbyterian (2nd Ballymena) on the 30 August 1895. He had been discharged from the army on 11 December 1917 due to illness, and the record of his death says he, a butcher, had had pulmonary tuberculosis for one year; his second wife Annie was present at his Fair Hill Lane home when he died. He had married Annie Watt in St Patrick's Parish Church (C of I) on the 15 December 1904. He is associated with Gilmore (Gilmer) Street and Fairhill Lane, Ballymena and he is buried Ballymena Old Churchyard, Church Street, Ballymena.


WYLIE, Thomas, 22467, Private, 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 1st July 1916.  He was born at Ballywatermoy, Craigs, Cullybackey on the 19 December 1896, lived in Ballywatermoy, Cullybackey, and was the son of John and Elizabeth Wylie, nee Russell. The family are at Ballywatermoy at the time of the 1901 and 1911 censuses. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme.




WYLIE, William, 4402, Rifleman, 12th Royal Irish Rifles, was KIA on the 1st July 1916.  He was the son of William and the late Ellen Wylie, Tullygrawley, Glarryford. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and in Killymurris Presbyterian Church.



Lieutenant George Patrick Neville Young (MC) 

photograph courtesy of Our heroes, South Dublin Libraries 


YOUNG (MC), George Patrick Neville,  Lieutenant, 2nd Leinster Regiment, died on 25th July in Boulogne Hospital of wounds received earlier in July 1915.  He was the 23 year old son of  George Lawrence & Annie Young, Culdaff House, Donegal & of Millmount, Randalstown.


Lieutenant Young was wounded on the night of the 10/11 July 1915. His friend Dennis Barnett reported to his mother that Young 'got a shrapnel bullet nicely through the shoulder, and insisted on walking round the line to say good-bye to everyone before starting for the dressing station. There was no despondency there. He'll get a good holiday which he's earned if anyone did.'
Regrettably, he died from gangrene two weeks later on 25 July.


Samuels, Dorothy Gage (nee Young, married in 1913), Millmount, Randalstown was the wife of Captain Arthur Purefoy Irwin Samuels and she was also a sister of fellow 11th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles officer Guy Owen Lawrence Young and of George Neville Patrick Young (MC), Lieutenant, 2nd Leinster Regiment, who died on 25th July in Boulogne Hospital of wounds received on the 12th July 1915. 


YOUNG, Thomas, 2674, Lance Sergeant, 6th Royal Irish Regiment, was KIA on the 3rd September 1916.  He was aged 43, probably a professional soldier, and the son of John and Elizabeth Young.  He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme and remembered in Killagan Parish Church, Glarryford.