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War Memorials

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

Railway Street’s dead from the First and Second World Wars

We will remember them

Twenty-six men from Railway Street congregation laid down their lives in the First and Second World Wars. Twenty-two members of the congregation died in the Great War 1914-1919 and four were killed during the 1939 - 1945 war. This article compiled largely with the assistance of Pat Geary, History Department, Friends’ School, Lisburn, records their name, age, rank, regiment, when they were killed and where they are buried.

(a) The First World War

At a service in Railway Street Presbyterian Church on Sunday 18th April 1920, Mr J Milne Barbour unveiled a Memorial Window in memory of 21men from Railway Street congregation who laid down their lives in the Great War, 1914 to 1919.  The 21 men who laid down their lives are:

John Bell.

Matthew Lyness.

James Braithwaite.

Isaac McNair.

Robert Cathcart.

Alexander Maginiss.

Thomas Cathcart. 

Douglas Morrison.

William Cunningham.

Francis Neagle.

Quinton Dunlop.

Thomas H. Philpot.

John Hillis.

John Ramsey.

Philip R Keightly.

Robert S. Rogan.

George King.

James Skelly.

James Lennox.

William Skelly.

William Lewis.

 

War Memorial window in memory of Johnston Hunter Thompson

A few years later, a War Memorial window was erected in remembrance of Johnston Hunter Thompson, Sergeant, 1st Battalion Irish Guards, who served in Belgium and France all through the Great War and died from the effects of war service on 9th March 1921, aged thirty seven years.

Lisburn’s dead from the Great War 1914 - 1919 by Mr Pat Geary

An article on the Friends School Website entitled ‘Lisburn’s dead from the Great War 1914-1919’ by Mr Pat Geary, History Department, Friends’ School, Lisburn, records the names of all people from Lisburn who died in the Great War 1914-1919.  It also includes the names of the twenty-two men from Railway Street congregation who laid down their lives. 

BELL, Rifleman John. Born in Workington, Cumberland, he lived at 2 Hillhall Road, Lisburn. He enlisted at Lisburn or Belfast and served in 14 Royal Irish Rifles (YCV) (19383). Killed in action on the Somme on 1st July 1916, his death is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France, pier 15, face A/B. He was the husband of Maria Bell of 2 Hillhall Road, Lisburn and his father may also have served in the war.

BRAITHWAITE, C S M James. Born in Lambeg, he lived in Lisburn. A gymnasium instructor, he enlisted at Belfast and served in 1 Manchester Regiment (714). Killed in action in Mesopotamia on the 8th March 1916 aged 33, his death is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, Iraq. He was the son of Samuel and Eleanor Braithwaite of 56 Millbrook, Low Road, Lisburn and husband of Alice Braithwaite of 22 Barkwell Lane, Mossley, Manchester. He may also have been a brother of C S M Samuel Braithwaite of Lisburn. He (Samuel) had served in the Boer War for which he held both the King’s and Queen’s medals, and was a Sergeant Instructor in the 1st Lisburn battalion of the UVF. He had embarked with 11 Royal Irish Rifles for France from Bordon in October 1915 and was reported wounded in the first week of July 1916 although he appears to have survived the war.

CATHCART, Rifleman Robert. Born and living in Lisburn Co. Antrim, he enlisted at Belfast and served in 8 Royal Irish Rifles (259). Killed in action in France on the 23rd November 1917 aged 18, his death is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval Military Cemetery, France. He was the son of Thomas Cathcart of 3 Longstone Street, Lisburn, Co. Antrim.

CATHCART, Lance corporal Thomas Jnr. Born at Blaris and resident in Lisburn, before the war he worked for William Barbour and Sons and was a member of the UVF. He enlisted at Lisburn and served in D Company 11 Royal Irish Rifles (2558), embarking as a rifleman for France from Bordon Camp in October 1915. Killed in action on the Somme on the 1st July 1916, his death is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France, pier and Face 15A/B. His father and brother were also in 11 Royal Irish Rifles and he had two uncles “serving in the colours.” Nephew of Miss A. Nelson of 62 Chapel Hill, Lisburn.

CUNNINGHAM, Guardsman William. Born in Donegal, Co. Donegal, he had an address at Terrawee, Co. Londonderry and Lisburn where he was a member of the RIC stationed at Smithfield. He enlisted at Dublin and served in 1 Irish Guards 6280. Wounded once before his death he was killed in action on the Somme on the 12th September 1916 aged 24. His death is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France, pier and face 7D. He was the son of Mitchell and Maggie Cunningham of Terrawee, Glencely, Co. Donegal.

DUNLOP, Corporal Quinton. Born at Belfast on the 31st October, he lived at Inglewood, Lisburn. Educated at Friends’ School, which he entered on the 6th September 1905, his reports between then and his departure in November 1908 were consistently good. A member of Lisnagarvey Hockey Club and Lisburn Cricket Club, he enlisted at Lisburn and served in A Company 11 Royal Irish Rifles (18950) rather than applying for a commission which, in the view of the editor of the Standard, he could have had in other battalions. Rather, “he preferred to stick with his pals”. He embarked for France from Bordon Camp as a lance corporal with 11 Royal Irish Rifles in October 1915 and was involved in attempts to save Henry Corkin from drowning on the 17th May 1916 (see above). He was killed in action on the Somme on the 1st July 1916 aged 19. Prior to the attack that morning, he and three others including Lieutenant Waring, had volunteered to go out into no-mans-land on “scouting duty”. Waring was the only one to return alive. In a letter to George Dunlop he explained that his son “was shot at his (Waring’s) side and that death was instantaneous”. Quinton Dunlop, who at the time of his death had been recommended for a commission in 11 Royal Irish Rifles, has no known grave. His death is commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, France, pier and face 15A/B. He was the only son of George and Mary Dunlop of Inglewood, Lisburn, Co. Antrim. The report on Dunlop in the Standard is, like many others, full of praise. However, it is unusually long compared to those for others of humble rank and somehow more sincere. Perhaps this is a reflection of the fact that he was, in the words of the writer, “a personal friend of our own”.

HILLIS, Rifleman John. Born at Edinburgh, and living in Lisburn, he enlisted there and embarked for France from Bordon with A Company 11 Royal Irish Rifles in October 1915. He was one of the men involved in the attempt to save Henry Corkin from drowning on the 17th May 1916 (see above) and was himself wounded at the Somme on the 1st July 1916. Subsequently transferred to 12 Royal Irish Rifles (17880) he was killed in action in Belgium on the 12th April 1918. His death is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium, panels 138-140.

KEIGHTLEY, Captain Philip Charles Russell. Born in Lisburn on the 24th January 1895, the family home was Drum House, Drumbeg. He was an old scholar of Friends’ School, Lisburn, which he entered on the 18th January 1904. His school reports show his work and conduct there to have been generally “very satisfactory” but his progress was hampered by frequent absences due to illness. He served in France for 3 years with 262 Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery and died at “home” of pneumonia on the 2nd March 1919 aged 24. He is buried with his mother in grave 314, St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland graveyard, Drumbeg beside Drum House. He was the eldest son of Sir Samuel Robert Keightley KT, M.A., LLD. and Lady Keightley of Drum House, Drumbeg and “The Fort,” Lisburn. Lady Keightley was chairman of the Lisburn Board of Guardians and laid the foundation stone for Brownlee P.S. in 1913/4. She died on the 31st October 1929 aged 65 and was buried in the same grave as her son. Sir Samuel, whose barristers practice was at Fort House, Lisburn, may be buried abroad, perhaps in Egypt. Their youngest son Lieutenant Maurice F. Keightly, passed the qualifying exam for the Indian army and on the 27th June 1916 was due to leave for Quetta in India for six months preliminary training as a cadet before being commissioned. He survived the war.

KING, Private George. Born and living in Lisburn, he served in 2 South Lancashire Regiment (6775). He died of wounds in France on the 23rd September 1914 and according to the Standard, was the first Lisburn man to be killed, although Private Joseph Hanna had died three days earlier and Private William John Johnston 1 DCLI was killed in action on the 9th September 1914. See above. He is buried in Villeneuve-St.Georges Old Communal Cemetery, France, row 1, grave 736. Villeneuve-St Georges is 18 kilometres south-east of the centre of Paris on the Paris-Melun road. The majority of the 1914-18 war casualties commemorated or buried there died in 1914 when the railway station was on the British lines of communication and a British ambulance was posted there.

LENNOX Lance Corporal Francis John. Born in Castledawson, he lived there and in Lisburn. He was an Orangeman in Lisburn Lodge 557 and a member of the local UVF battalion. For two years before the war he had been in charge of the woolens and ready-made department in Messrs. Duncans. Enlisting at Lisburn he served in 11 Royal Irish Rifles (18090) with whom he probably embarked for France in October 1915. Killed in action on the Somme on the 1st July 1916, his death is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France, pier and face 15 A or B. He was the son of Mr. W.G. Lennox of Aughrim, Castledawson, Co. Derry.

LEWIS, Private William. Born in Blaris Co. Antrim, he lived and enlisted in Lisburn and served in 6 Royal Irish Rifles (10501). Killed in action in Gallipoli on the 10th August 1915, his death is commemorated on the Helles Memorial Gallipoli, panels 178-180. He was the son of Margaret Lewis of 40 Ballynahinch Road, Lisburn.

LYNESS, Sergeant Matthew. Born in Blaris Co. Antrim, he lived and enlisted at Lisburn, and served in 1 Royal Irish Rifles (11/6493). Wounded in September 1916 and subsequently killed in action in France on the 22nd March 1918 aged 28, he is buried in St. Pierre Cemetery, Amiens, France, plot 7, row E, grave 4. He was the son of Mary Anne Lyness of 35 Millbrook Road, Low Road, Lisburn.

McNAIR, Rifleman Richard Isaac. Born at Millbrook, Lisburn, he lived and enlisted in the town and served in 11 Royal Irish Rifles (18167). He died at Purdysburn Fever Hospital on the 29th March 1915 (about the time there was an outbreak of cerebro-spinal meningitis amongst the 36 Division at Clandeboye) aged 35 and is buried in Hillhall Presbyterian Church graveyard, grave 191. The headstone inscription reads, “God is my salvation”. He was the son of John and Ellen McNair and husband of Mary McNair of 70 Millbrook, Low Road, Lisburn. According to the Standard, “He was married twice and his ambition was to get to the Front”. He died 7 months before the battalion left Bordon Camp for France in October 1915.

MAGINNIS, Pioneer Alexander. Lived in Lisburn, and served in the Royal Engineers (330428). He died at “home” on the 20th February 1919 aged 52 and is buried in Lisburn Cemetery, new plot, row E, grave 215. The headstone inscription reads, “From his loving wife Sarah Jane Maginnis”. He was the husband of Sara Jane Dalzell, formerly Maginnis of 34 Canal Street, Lisburn.

MORRISON, Lieutenant Douglas St. George. Mons Medal with Star. Born in Boyle, Roscommon, he lived in Lisburn and was educated at T.C.D. from which he graduated with a B.A. He served in the Royal Field Artillery being attached to “R” anti-aircraft Battery at the time of his death on the Somme on the 3rd September 1917 aged 27. He is buried at Achiet-le-Grande Communal Cemetery Extension, France, plot 1, row K, grave 13. The headstone inscription reads, “We asked full life O God of thee, thou gavest immortality”. He was the son of Robert Douglas Morrison, County Inspector, R.I.C., and Henrietta Maria Langrishe Morrison, nee St. George, of “Dunsona”, 28 Derryvolgie Avenue, Belfast.

NEAGLE, Rifleman Francis. Born in Blaris, Co. Antrim, he lived and enlisted at Lisburn and served in 2 Royal Irish Rifles (11327). Killed in action in France on the 17th May 1916 aged 21, his death is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Faubourg D’Amiens Cemetery, France, bay 9. He was the son of James and Mary Neagle of 13 Canal Street, Lisburn and brother of Lance Corporal James Neagle who was wounded in late June or early July 1916. He (James) had been employed at the Island Spinning Company and had a wife and two children living at Island Cottage.

PHILPOTT, Private Thomas Henry. Born or living in Cabra, Hillsborough, he served in 42 Canadian Infantry, Quebec Regiment (192419). He died in France on the 9th April 1917 aged 22 and is buried in La Chaudiere Military Cemetery, Vimy, France, plot 7, row D, grave 2. He was the son of James and Charlotte Philpott of Lisburn. Cabra (Cabragh on the map) is north of Annahilt and south east of Hillsborough.

RAMSEY, Rifleman John. Born in Blaris, he lived at Young Street, Lisburn and was employed at Queen’s island. Having enlisted at Lisburn he served in B Company 11 Royal Irish Rifles (2197) and embarked with them for France from Bordon Camp in October 1915. Wounded on the Somme on the 1st July 1916 he died of wounds on the 13th July 1916 aged 27 and is buried in Lodge Hill Cemetery, Birmingham, Warwickshire, plot B 10, row 5, grave 52. The only son of Jane and James Ramsey of 10 Old Hillsborough Road, Lisburn, at the time of his death his father was serving in India.

ROGAN, Private Robert S. Commemorated on Lisburn War Memorial and on the memorial in Railway Street Presbyterian Church, there is no further positive trace.

SKELLY, Corporal James. He lived on the Belsize Road, Lisburn, enlisted at Belfast and served in 10 Royal Irish Rifles (6717) attached to the 21st battalion. Killed in action in France on the 21st March 1918 aged 24, his death is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, France, panels 74-6. He was the eldest son of John and Mary Skelly of the Belsize Road, Lisburn.

SKELLY, Rifleman William. Born in Derragh, Co. Antrim, he lived in Lisburn where he enlisted and served in 6 Royal Irish Rifles (5/5255). He died of wounds in Salonica on the 31st October 1916 aged 21 and is buried in Struma Military Cemetery, Greece, plot 6, row C, grave 1. He was the son of William and Mary Jane Skelly of Lambeg, Lisburn.

THOMPSON, Sergeant Johnston Hunter. Served in 1st Battalion Irish Guards in Belgium and France all through the Great War and died from the effects of war service on 9th March 1921, age 37. His death is commemorated on the Memorial Window in Railway Street Presbyterian Church, Lisburn.

(b) The Second World War

1939 - 1945 War Memorial Tablet unveiled
At the Armistice Day Service in Railway Street Presbyterian Church on 6th November 1955, Mrs D. C. Lindsay unveiled a War Memorial Tablet showing the names of the four members of the congregation killed during the 1939 - 1945 war, among them Mrs Lindsay’s own son Edward. The names and ranks of the four that fell are: Squadron Leader Edward Workman Lindsay, R.A.F., V.R., Flight Lieutenant George Frederick Alderdice, Sergeant John McAfee and Leading Signalman James Jackson Boyd.

Squadron Leader Edward Workman Lindsay, R.A.F., V.R.
He served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Service Number 74707. He died on 12th August 1944, age 24. Cemetery/Memorial Name: Runnymede Memorial, Grave/Memorial Ref: Panel 200

Flight Lieutenant George Frederick Alderdice.
He served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Service Number 120401. He died on 26th July 1943, age 21. Cemetery/Memorial Name: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Grave/Memorial Ref: 6. D. 4.

Sergeant John McAfee.
He served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Service Number 1037806. He died on 3rd February 1945, age 21. Cemetery/Memorial Name: Rheinberg War Cemetery, Grave/Memorial Ref: Coll. grave 8. D. 22-24.

Leading Signalman James Jackson Boyd.
He served in the Royal Navy, Service Number D/JX 158635. He died on 23rd September 1943, age 21. Cemetery/Memorial Name: Plymouth Naval Memorial, Grave/Memorial Ref: Panel 80, Column 3.