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:
Thomas H. Philpot.
Philip R Keightly.
Robert S. Rogan.
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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.
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:
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
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.