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Friday, 9 November 2012

Gilmore, Alexander William Francis

2nd Lieutenant Alexander William Francis Gilmore (Gilmour) MC 
was born on 25th June 1898, the son of the late Isaiah Gibson Gilmore and Mary Jane Gilmore.  He was sometimes known as Alex.

In 1911 the family are living in house 3, Lear, Bailieborough, Co. Cavan. 12 year old Alex was living with his grand-father at house 67, Bailieborough spelling his surname as Gilmour.  He was of Church of Ireland faith.

On 3rd November 1914, Gilmore joined Northern Bank and worked in Head Office.

Alex volunteered in 1916 and enlisted into the Royal Irish Rifles (Cadet Company).  On promotion to 2nd Lieutenant he was posted to the 15th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles, British Expeditionary Force.  It is reported that he went 'to the front early in the present year [1917]'.

Gilmore fought in battles at Messines (1917) and Ypres (1917) before being killed in action on 23rd November 1917 aged 19.  He had first been reported as missing on 1st November 1917.
The Belfast News Letter dated 4th December 1917 reports:

Gilmore was awarded the British Victory Medal and the British War Medal and is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval.

The photograph of Gilmore on the Bank Roll of Honour details him as being awarded the Military Cross (MC).  He received the MC for his gallantry at the capture of Messines Ridge in June 1916.

A BBC Newsline website describes a 'Song of the 19th RIR Cadets'.  It describes how the lyrics of a song were written to '... give an insight into the everyday lives of the young cadets who were billeted to the Co. Down town duriing the First World War ...'.  43 names of cadets were mentioned in the song and the author of the article believes that Gilmore was 2nd Lt A W F Gilmore.
The lyrics are detailed in this link whilst the actual verse mentioning Gilmore is transcribed here:

Now, speaking of ladies, a tale I’ve been told,
Of how Sammy and Gilmore and Pollin were sold,
With officers swanky their sweethearts now walk,
But the three that I’ve named do nothing but talk,
They say what they’ll do if they once get the chance,
But the ladies concerned don’t deign them a glance,
Tis a pity to rupture the sweet harmonie,
Where the mountains of Mourne sweep down the sea.

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