Search This Blog

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

McIlwaine, James Condy


Company Sergeant Major (CSM) James Condy McIlwaine
was born in Ballymacarret, Belfast on 30th July 1891.

He was the son of James McIlwaine and Annie McIlwaine (nee Condy).  They had married on 15th May 1890 at Great Victoria Street Presbyterian Church.

In 1901 the family are recorded as living in house 123, West Division, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim.  He was of Presbyterian faith being a member of Joymount Presbyterian Church.

On 5th December 1907 McIlwaine joined Northern Bank at Head Office.  Transfers followed with Fintona (1908), Oldcastle (1911), Grafton Street (1913), Head Office (1913) and Coleraine (1913). 

By 1911, the family have moved to house 8, North Street, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim. James is recorded as a Bank Official.

On ‘Ulster Day’, Saturday, 28th September 1912, McIlwaine signed the Ulster Covenant at Carrickfergus Court House.

Whilst in Coleraine, McIlwaine aged 21 volunteered and enlisted on 15th September 1914 into the 12th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles (RIR) as a Private.  His Service Number was 12/18305.

He joined the British Expeditionary Force and was promoted first to Lance Corporal and then to Corporal. Service was seen in the Somme 1916, Messines 1917, Ypres 1917 (Langemarck), St. Quentin 1918, Mesines 1918 (Kemmel) and then the Allied Advance 1918.

Demobilisation came in February 1918.  He was awarded the 1914/15 Star, the British Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

Following demobilisation, McIlwaine rejoined the Northern Bank on 1st April 1919 at Donegall Square. Transfers followed to Crumlin Road (1920), Coleraine (1922), Boyle (1927), Oldcastle (1933), Head Office – Inspector and Head Office – Assistant Chief Cashier (1941).


Northern Banking Company, Donegall Square


McIlwaine is named on the Roll of Honour in the New Row, Coleraine Presbyterian Church.  He is also recorded on this website Carrickfergus Roll of Honour. where he is recorded as achieving the rank of Company Sergeant Major.  The site also records him as being taken prisoner at the Somme in July 1916.

In early 1919, James married.  The records in Ancestry record three women present:  Mary Courtney. Lizzie McGee and Agnes Manson.  It is unclear which was the fiance.


Fryar, William Leonard


Lieutenant William Leonard Fryar
was born in Banbridge on 12th June 1894. 

He was the son of Samuel Fryar BA and Letitia Elizabeth Fryar.  In 1901 the family were living in house 86, Scarva Street, Banbridge.  By 1911 the property was known as house 65, Scarva Street, Banbridge. 
On 23rd August 1911, Fryar joined Northern Bank in Head Office.  He was of Church of Ireland faith.  Transfers followed with Castlewellan (1913), Head Office (1913) and Clones (1914). 

On ‘Ulster Day’, Saturday, 28th September 1912, Clarke signed the Ulster Covenant at Banbridge Orange Hall giving his address as Primrose Villa, Banbridge.   
Whilst based in Clones branch, on 1st January 1915, aged 21, Fryar volunteered and enlisted into the Royal Naval Aviation Service (Armoured Cars).  He was gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 17th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles, transferred into the Machine-Gun Corps, serving with the British Expeditionary Force eventually being promoted to Lieutenant. 

The Belfast News Letter of 30th October 1916 reports:




The Northern Banking Company 1924 Centenary Volume describes him as a Petty Officer. 
Further action was seen in the Somme 1916, Ypres 1917 and Cambrai 1917 before being demobilised in January 1919.  Fryar was awarded the British Victory Medal and the British War Medal. 
Following demobilisation, he rejoined the Northern Bank at Head Office on 17th February 1919.  He was transferred to Royal Avenue in the same year, Donegall Square (1927), Dungloe (1928), Bangor (1933) and Omagh (1941).  


Northern Banking Company, Donegall Square

In 1919, he married a Miss Taylor who also worked in Royal Avenue branch.   They had 3 children, one surviving and living in Switzerland and well into his 80's.

The Campbell College Register of Lennon Wylie records Fryar, John Leonard Hamilton (C), b. 17th February, 1934, son of W. L. Fryar, Northern Bank House, Omagh. U.VI, July, 1951. Scholar. Modern Languages Sizar, T.C.D., 1951. Address: Northern Bank House, Omagh, Co. Tyrone.

Acknowledgements to lennonwylie.

On 26th March 1922, Seapatrick Parish Church honoured the dead of the Great War with the dedication of a stained glass window. Around 200 ex-servicemen paraded with Lieutenant W L Fryar amongst other officers. 

MacBride, Thompson Gamble


2nd Lieutenant Thompson Gamble MacBride
was born in 1896.

He was the son of Joseph MacBride and Phoebe MacBride. In 1911 the family are living in house 32, Knock Road, Pottinger Ward, Belfast.

On 28th September 1912, MacBride signed the Ulster Covenant at the Old Town Hall, Belfast giving his address as Beacon Field, Knock, Belfast.

Following his education at Campbell College, MacBride would have joined the Belfast Banking Company around 1913.

MacBride served with Queen's University Officer Traing Corps before joining the Royal Irish Fusiliers and attaining the rank of Lieutenant.

The Belfast News Letter of 13th Novemeber 1915 reports:




He worked in Head Office and Newtownards.

Osborough, William Thomas


Sergeant William Thomas Osborough
was born in 1895.

He was the son of Andrew Osborough and Margaret Osborough.   They married in 1892 in 1st Holywood Presbyterian Church. 

In 1901, the family were living in house 169.1 Garvagh, Co. Londonderry.  In 1910, a Sergeant (Andrew) Osborough is recorded as being in charge of Portstewart Royal Irish Constabulary station. 

See more on Andrew Osborough below.

By 1911 the family had moved to house 49.1 Coleraine Road, Portstewart. They were recorded under the surname 'Oborough'.

In 1911 William Thomas Osborough is recorded as boarding in house 13, Infirmary Road, East Side (Monpelier Hill). (Arran Quay, Dublin).   His occupation is a Civil Service Clerk (Boy Clerk Irish Land Commission).

On 28th September 1912, Osborough signed the Ulster Covenant at the City Hall, Belfast.

Osborough would have joined the Belfast Banking Company by 1911 / 1912 working in Lurgan.



Belfast Banking Company, Lurgan branch


During the Great War, Osborough served with the 10th Royal Irish Fusiliers. Osborough served with the 11th Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers and attained the rank of Sergeant.

The Belfast News Letter of 17th November 1915 reports:




The National Archives records a Medal Index Card as follows:

Royal Irish Fusiliers, 22758, Sergeant.  He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Following his demobilisation after the Great War, Osborough returned to work. 

He is remembered on the Roll of Honour in Holywood Presbyterian Church.


[Photo courtesy of John McCormick]

There is also a W T Osborough detailed on the WW2 Roll of Honour in Glendermott Presbyterian Church, Altnagelvin, Londonderry.  I have no record of Wm Thomas Osborough serving in WW2; his age would have been between 44 and 50.




He is also remembered on the High Street Presbyterian Church Holywood War Memorial and Roll of Honour.

In 1931 he was Worshipful Master in the Freedom Masonic Lodge No. 394, The Mount, Belfast.

Osborough was a member of the Belfast Banking Company Sports Club on 26th March 1945 paying 5 shillings subscription.   He also served in South End and Western branches.   Osborough is recorded in the 1956 annual accounts of the Belfast Banking Company as being manager of Bangor branch.

Retirement came in 1957.

The Staff Magazine ‘The Link (Summer 1984)’ contains a photograph of Osborough in a 1947 Belfast Banking Company Cricket Team.





Sergeant Andrew Osborough (Royal Irish Constabulary)

ROYAL IRISH CONSTABULARY—CONSTABLE OSBOROUGH, CO. DOWN.
HC Deb 04 April 1887 vol 313 cc360-1360
MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether Constable Osborough, Royal Irish Constabulary, when stationed at Holywood, County Down, was twice reported for neglect of duty, and was, on the recommendation of the District-Inspector, transferred to another station; whether a memorial was received by the County Inspector of Down, from magistrates of the district, asking for the return of Osborough to Holywood station; whether, on this memorial having been forwarded to Dublin Castle, the Inspector General directed that Osborough should be sent back to Holywood; and, whether this action of the Inspector General is in accordance with the practice always followed in such cases?
THE CHIEF SECEETAEY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR)(Manchester, E.)

I am informed that no complaint or report was made against this constable, but that the County Inspector had given an order which led to his transfer, and that the magistrates at Holywood asked that he should be sent back on the ground of his good conduct, local knowledge, and good service, and the County Inspector complied. The matter was in the discretion of the County Inspector, and was not referred to the Inspector General.

Turpin, Aubrey Lawrence


2nd Lieutenant Aubrey Lawrence Turpin
was born in 1892. 

He was the son of Thomas Digby Turpin and Jane Turpin.  In 1901 the family are living in house 1, Lawn View Place, Ballymena.  The father is described as a Bank Cashier. 
Turpin would have joined the Belfast Banking Company around 1909. 

By 1911 the family had moved to house 39, High Street, Portadown.  Thomas’ occupation is now Bank Manager and Aubrey’s occupation is described as a Bank Assistant. 
Turpin served with the 19th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles and attained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

The Belfast News Letter of 14th December 1915 reports:




The National Archives records a Medal Index Card as follows:

Royal Irish Rifles, 2nd Lieutenant


He later had a daughter, Doreen Elizabeth Turpin.

Milligan, Frederick Albert Woods





2nd Lieutenant Frederick Albert Woods Milligan
was born in 1897 in Canada.

He was the son of the late William George Milligan and Elizabeth Milligan, of Ballymascanlon, Co. Louth.

In 1901 the family were living with a Jane McKenney in house 2, Culfore, Ballymascanlon.   Jane is described as the head of family.  William George Milligan and his two children are living with McKenney.

By 1911 Milligan is recorded as boarding in house 24, Drumcar, Co. Louth.  

Following his education at the Educational Institute, Dundalk, Milligan joined the Belfast Banking Company and served in Enniskillen and Drogheda branches.

A relation or family friend may have been the Honourable Gertrude Plunkett (*) of Ballymascanlon House, Dundalk. 

Milligan volunteered and enlisted into the Leinster Regiment to undertake his training.  His Service Number was 7/2205.

He was serving with the 7th Bn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers as a 2nd Lieutenant when he was killed in action on 29th April 1916 aged 19.   Milligan is buried in the Philosphe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, Pas De Calais, France.   

The Belfast News Letter of 11th May1916 reports:





(*) Gertrude (1841-1924) was an Irish aristocrat from Co. Louth.   She was one of six children to Thomas Plunket (1792-1866) a junior Church of Ireland Clergyman who later became the Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry and after his father died became the 2nd Baron Plunket.   Her mother was Louise Jane Foster of Fanevalley, Co. Louth and MP for Dunleer.   She was the granddaughter of William Plunket, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, who became the first Baron Plunket.   Gertrude lived with her sister, Katherine who inherited from her mother one of the family’s ancestral homes, Ballymascanlon House, near Dundalk.




Administration of the estate was granted at Armagh to Susan V McKenney, Spinster.  Milligan's effects were £81 14s 8d.



Milligan is also remembered on the Drogheda War Memorial.  My thanks to John McCormick of the facebook group 'War graves & memorials, Northern Ireland' for the following photograph.





Campbell, Samuel MacDonnell


2nd Lieutenant Samuel MacDonnell Campbell

was born on 16th October 1882.

He was the son of Mr R M Campbell and Mrs Campbell of Dungiven, Co. Londonderry.  The family were of Church of Ireland faith.
On 26th March 1900 he joined Northern Bank at Head Office.  His address at that time is recorded as Dungiven.
In 1901 Campbell was boarding in house 59, Atlantic Avenue, Belfast.  He is described as a Bank Official.  Transfers followed his spell in Head Office with moves to Limavady (1903), Coleraine (1906), Larne (1910) and Head Office (1915).  By 1911, he was boarding in house 53, Main Street, Larne, Co. Antrim and describing himself as a Banker. 

On ‘Ulster Day’, Saturday, 28th September 1912, Campbell signed the Ulster Covenant at Articlave Orange Hall. 
On 10th May 1915, Campbell volunteered and enlisted into the 13th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers as a 2nd Lieutenant.  He was later attached to the 86th Trench Mortar Battery. 
Campbell was killed in action on 1st July 1916.   He is buried in the Beaumont-Hamel British Cemetery, Somme, France.

The Belfast News Letter of 11th July 1916 reports:




Another newspaper reported:




Campbell was awarded the British Victory Medal and the British War Medal. 


Probate was granted at Dublin on 2nd October 1916 to Martin Richards, Dentist.  Campbell's effects totalled £194 18s 9d.



Monday, 28 January 2013

Pattenden, William


Sergeant William Archibald Pattenden
was born in October 1886 in Flimwell, Tunbridge, Kent, England of Church of England faith.

He was the son of Horace Pattenden and had 2 older brothers, George and Frank.

In September 1906, following his education, Pattenden volunteered and enlisted in the Royal Sussex Regiment at Chichester, England.  On his enlistment form, his next of kin is recorded as his father and the 2 elder brothers.  Their address is recorded as East Street, Hambleden, Kent, England.  

He was given the Service Number of 8527.

William is described as being 5 foot 6 inches tall and weighing 141 lbs (10 st 1 lb) with a scar over his left eye.  He has dark brown hair, brown eyes and a fresh complexion.

His military career started off at the Depot, Royal Sussex Regiment.  In 1907 he was posted to the 2nd Battalion.  Later that year he was posted to the 1st Battalion.

Between October 1907 and December 1913 Pattenden was serving in India (Ambular, Rawalpindi, Gharial and Peshawar).

The 1911 English Census records a 24 year old L/Cpl William Archibald Pattenden of the 1st Royal Sussex Regiment.

He transferred to the Army Reserve in December 1913.

According to the Army 'Statement of Services, Pattenden was formally discharged from the Army Reserve on 30th September 1914.

Over the years in service, his army medical form records him suffering from tonsillitis, having an abrasion on his left arm, having an abscess.  In 1913 at Rawalpindi, India he was vaccinated as a result of having 'vesicles'.  On his transfer to the Army Reserve, he was found to have a hernia.

Sometime after 1913 he moved to Belfast and joined the Northern Banking Company as a Head Office Porter and Caretaker.  The newspaper notice below records him as being married and living in 13 Third Avenue, Belfast.

The 1911 Irish Census records a 28 year old Gertrude Pattenden [*] residing in house 9, Norwood Street, Sandy Row, Belfast.  No other Pattenden's are recorded in that census.

War was declared at 11:00 pm on 4th August 1914 and as a Reservist, Pattenden was immediately recalled to the 2nd Bn. Royal Sussex Regiment.  

The battalion immediately went to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force. 
He was the first Northern Bank official to take part in the Great War. 
The Northern Bank Centenary volume records Pattenden as having been reported missing presumed killed in August 1914. 

The War Office Medal Index Card states Private Pattenden (Service Number 7711) as being as being Killed in Action at Ypres on 31st October 1914.  This is confirmed in the 'Ireland's Memorial Records' book (recorded as a Sergeant).


There is no evidence of a Third Avenue in Belfast.  This may be Third Street, Woodvale (Shankill), Belfast.

Pattenden is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial and also on the Shankill Road Mission Church War Memorial. 

Pattenden was awarded the 1914 Star with clasp, the British Victory Medal and the British War Medal.  The Northern Bank Centenary volume quotes Pattenden as receiving the 1914/15 Star.  His official Medal Roll records him as being awarded the Victory, British, 1914 Star and Clasp.  

His family were members of the Shankill Road Mission Congregation.  This link takes you to a record of the Shankill Mission - Eddies Extracts.

[*]  Gertrude Barsmith Pattenden of 92 Cambrai Street,Belfast died aged 30 on 13th August 1916.  She is buried in Dundonald Cemetery.


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Keown, Henry Eugene


Lieutenant Henry Eugene Keown

was born in 1891.

He was the son of Thomas Heron Keown and Sarah Jane Keown.  In 1901 the family were living in house 7, Rosetta Avenue, Ormeau Ward, Belfast.

Keown would have joined the Belfast Banking Company around 1908.

In 1910, Keown became the local Scoutmaster for the Bloomfield Patrol.

By 1911 the family were living in house 42, Dundela Avenue, Victoria Ward, Belfast. He is described as a Bank Official. 

On 28th September 1912, Keown signed the Ulster Covenant at the City Hall, Belfast giving his address as Dundela Villas, Strandtown, Belfast.

Keown served with the 7th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles and attained the rank of Lieutenant.  The Belfast Banking Company 'Roll of Honour' booklet records Keown as serving in the 6th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles. The booklet also states that he was 'previously wounded' with his last known address 'in France'.

The Belfast News Letter of 26th May 1915 reports:




The Belfast News Letter of 15th September 1916 reports:




Following his demobilisation after the Great War, Keown returned to work eventually ending up in Central branch.  He also served in Head Office.

In addition to banking, Keown returned to Scouting.  Aidan Campbell in his book, 'Belmont' describes the picture below:

"A later photograph of the 10th Scout Troop  in 1921 in front of a large semi-detached property called 'Dundela Villas' on Dundela Avenue. .... Scoutmaster Harry Keown is sitting in the second row (with moustache and holding dog) outside his family home".



[Photo courtesy of 10th Scout Troop, Andrew Totten]


Keown was a member of the Belfast Banking Company Sports Club on 26th March 1945 paying 5 shillings subscription. In March 1947, he was in Central branch.

Retirement came in 1952 and he died on 15th May 1965.

MacIlwaine, Frederick McDonnell


Sergeant Frederick McDonnell MacIlwaine
was born on 24th June 1883.

He was the son of Julia Alura Gaussen MacIlwaine of 69 Eglantine Avenue, Belfast.  Other family or friends are Robert Inkerman Calwell of Scottish Temperance Buildings, Belfast and Arthur Douglas MacIlwaine of 1 Wellington Place, Belfast.  Another address for him is 25 Bawnmore Road, Belfast.

MacIlwaine joined the Belfast Banking Company on 1st November 1900 and worked in East End, South End and Lisburn branches.


East End branch (Albertbridge Road, Belfast)

MacIlwaine served with the Royal Engineers and attained the rank of Sergeant. He served as a despatch rider.

The Belfast Banking Company 'Roll of Honour' booklet records MacIlwaine as having been 'previously wounded' with his last known address as 'Houghton'.  He is recorded as being from Rathmines branch.

Following his demobilisation after the Great War, MacIlwaine returned to work eventually ending up in the Accountants Department.

Retirement came on 1st December 1944.

MacIlwaine died on 9th March 1950.

The Belfast News Letter of 3rd May 1915 below records detail of the family of 4 brothers serving in the army:



Ulster and the War - Bank Clerks in the Army

Ulster and the War - Bank Clerks in the Army


The Belfast News Letter of 15th December 1914 reported:



Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Lyons, Stewart


Acting Captain Stewart Lyons
was born in Portrush on 17th January 1895.  

He was the son of Robert S Lyons and Ellen M Lyons.  In 1901, Lyons was living in house 27, Mark Street, Portrush, Co. Antrim.  He was of Presbyterian faith.  By 1911, their property was known as house 19, Mark Street, Portrush, Co. Antrim.  He is recorded as an unemployed Bank Clerk. 
Lyons joined Northern Bank on 5th January 1912 at Head Office.   Transfers followed with Royal Avenue (1912), Drumshanbo (1912) and Magherafelt (1913). 

On ‘Ulster Day’, Saturday, 28th September 1912, Lyons signed the Ulster Covenant at the City Hall, Belfast giving his address as The Bank, Drumshanks, (Co. Leitrim). 
On 30th June 1915, Lyons volunteered and enlisted into the 12th Bn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.  He was promoted to Corporal before being gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 12th Bn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.  He served with the British Expeditionary Force, was posted to the 9th Bn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and then promoted to Lieutenant before being transferred to the 11th Bn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.  Promotion to Acting Captain came later.  Lyons saw action at the Somme 1916 (Thiepval) and the Allied Advance 1918.  He suffered 2 gunshot wounds before being demobilised in April 1919. 

The Belfast News Letter of 18th September 1918 reports:





Following demobilisation, Lyons rejoined the Northern Bank on 12th May 1919 at Ball’s Branch.  Transfers followed to Newry (1920), Londonderry (1922), Omagh (1927), Grafton Street (1930), Boyle (1933) and Bray (1940). 

Northern Banking Company Limited, Londonderry


Monday, 21 January 2013

O'Kane, Paul



Newspaper photo courtesy of Nigel Henderson https://sites.google.com/site/greatwarbelfast/home


Lieutenant Paul O’Kane
was born in 1895.

He was the son of Joseph Patrick O'Kane J.P. and Kate O'Kane. 

In 1901 the family were living in house 18, Castle Street, Ballycastle.  By 1911 the property is known as house 19, Castle Street, Ballycastle, Co. Antrim. 
O’Kane would have joined the Belfast Banking Company around 1912 / 1913.  He was first posted to Newry branch.



Photo courtesy of Newry History Tour facebook group (via John Henning)
 
Following the start of the war, he volunteered and enlisted into the army.  

The London Gazette dated 28th June 1916 records P O'Kane as being confirmed in his rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

Lt. O’Kane was serving with 4th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles and was attached to 1st Bn. Royal Irish Rifles when he was killed in action on 21st March 1918 aged 23. 

The Belfast News Letter of 25th March 1918 reports:






The Glen is highlighted on this map of the Limestone Road area of Belfast.  The former Limestone Railway can be seen between The Glen and the Limestone Road.



Thanks to Richard Graham for this map.


The London Gazette dated 18th May 1918 records P O'Kane as being promoted to Lieutenant as of 1st July 1916 with a note that he had 'since died of wounds'.

O’Kane is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France.  Immediately below his name is an inscription of a famous Comber Victoria Cross holder – Edwin de Wind VC.




O'Kane is also remembered on the Ballycastle War Memorial.  He is also recorded on the find a grave website.

Courtesy of the (former) Facebook group War Graves Ulster Project, Nigel Henderson and Jacqueline Haugseng, I was sent a photo of the family grave in the Saints Patrick and Bridget Roman Catholic Cemetery in Ballycastle.  The gravestone bears an inscription to Lt. Paul O'Kane.





Knox, Samuel Wright


Captain Samuel (Sam) Wright Knox
was born in Coleraine in 1869.
Knox joined Northern Bank in 1885.  In 1901, Knox is living in house 11, Clifton Street, Dock Ward, Belfast.  By 1911, the family had moved to house 9, Somerton Road, Duncairn Ward, Belfast.  His occupation is described as a Bank Director. 
Knox was based in Head Office when he volunteered and enlisted into the 16th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles.  He served with the British Expeditionary Force and was then attached to Royal Artillery at Flamertigue (Ypres) 1917.  Knox saw action at the Somme 1916 (Thiepval), Messines 1917 and Ypres 1917 (Passchendaele).  He was wounded twice and then invalided out of the service in February 1918. 
He resigned his commission to resume civic duties and was granted the honorary rank of Captain on 14th March 1918. 

The Belfast News Letter of 14th March 1918 reports:



In 1921 he was serving as a Director of Northern Bank.

When the Ulster Tower was opened in 1921 at Thiepval, France, trees were planted in memory of the officers and men who died there.  Tree markers were made and erected with the trees.  At a later date, after the trees had died out, the markers were disposed of in a skip.  Some were rescued and are now in the Albert Museum, France.  This marker records a tree planted on behalf of the 'British Legion' by Capt S W Knox.


Picture courtesy of Valerie Quinn & John McCormick


Lyness, William James




An article based on this biography appeared in the Ulster Star.

Captain William James Lyness MC and 2 Bars, Croix de Guerre
was the son of William John Lyness and Frances Mary Lyness.

He was known as Jimmy.

In 1901 the family lived in house 15, Tullyard, Moira, Co. Down.

On 28th September 1912, members of Lyness' family, Isaac, James and Thomas signed the Ulster Covenant at the Moira Demense and Market House.

Lyness served with the Royal Irish Fusiliers and attained the rank of Temporary Lieutenant (1916), Captain and Adjutant (1918). 

The Belfast News Letter of 20th January 1917 reports:




He embarked for France on 19th March 1917 and as part of the 36th (Ulster) Division, saw action at Messines, Langemak, Cambrai and the Somme (1918).

The Belfast Banking Company 'Roll of Honour' booklet details Lyness as serving with the Royal Irish Rifles and taht he had been awarded 'military honours' with his last known address as 'in France'.

The Belfast News Letter of 1st August 1917 reports:




The Belfast News Letter of 19th August 1917 reports:




The London Gazette of 17th September 1917 records his 1st citation as:


T./2nd Lt. William James Lyness, K. Ir. Rif.

"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when clearing a wood with his platoon.  In spite of the! very strong resistance which he met, his dispositions and leadership were excellent, and after heavy fighting at various points he captured a large number of prisoners and guns of various calibre. His splendid gallantry and coolness proved invaluable as an example to his men."



The London Gazette of 18th October 1917 records Lyness as being awarded a bar to his Military Cross with the citation to this 2nd award being published on 7th March 1919:

“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.  When visiting his outpost line he was fired on by the enemy at forty yards range, whereupon he obtained a Lewis gun, stood up in full view of the enemy and fired it from his shoulder until it jammed.  He then rushed the enemy post with two bombers, and cleared them out.  He had already led a successful attack on the two preceding nights, and it was entirely due to his initiative and personal courage, in spite of three days without sleep, that his posts were established and our position made secure.”


The Belfast News Letter of 19th October 1917 reports:





The Belfast News Letter of 9th March 1918 reports:




The Belfast News Letter of 13th September 1918 reports:




The Belfast News Letter of 8th October 1918 reports:





The London Gazette of 10th January 1919 records a 3rd citation as:


T./Lt. (A./Capt.) William James Lyness, M.C.; 12th Bn., R. Ir. Rif.

"When the right flank of the brigade war held up he went forward to reconnoitre and unexpectedly met with a nest of machine guns and about fifty of the enemy, who opened very heavy fire. With great difficulty he made his way back, got a Lewis gun and a man with a supply of magazines and went

forward again, engaged the strong point, firing eleven magazines, killing the majority of the enemy, and capturing a machine gun.  He then led the flank forward about 500 yards and straightened out the line.  The man with him was killed and he was wounded.  He showed great gallantry and determination.

(M.C. gazetted 17th September, 1917.)  (1st Bar -gazetted 18th October, 1917.)




The Belfast News Letter of 31st January 1919 reports:




The London Gazette of 19th June 1919 records Lyness as being awarded the French Croix de Guerre.

Lyness was demobilised with effect from 28th March 1919.  The London Gazette describes it as 'relinguishes the acting rank of Captain on ceasing to be employed'.  A further entry in the London Gazette states 'Temp. Lt. W. J. Lyness, M.C. relinquishes his commission on completion of service, 6th November 1920, and is granted the rank of Captain.

Lyness worked in the College Green, Dublin branch of the Belfast Banking Company prior to the war.


The Lisburn Standard of 13th September 1918 records:

"Captain and Adjutant W. J. Lyness, M.C.. Royal Irish Rifles, wounded, is a son of Mr. W. J. Lyness, Tullyard House, Moira, and nephew of Mr. R. Logan, Belfast Bank, Bangor.  Before the war Captain Lyness was on the Belfast Bank's Dublin staff.  He was a cadet in Colonel Shannon-Crawford's battalion prior to receiving his commission.  Captain Lyness, who has been adjutant of his battalion since 22nd March, has a fine record of service, having won both the Military Cross and a bar thereto.

His brother, Lieut. I. Lyness, of the Tank Corps, also holds the Military Cross.  Captain Lyness has been wounded in the shoulder by a bullet, but his injury is not serious."



 













On 30th July 2014, I met with Richard Lyness of Messrs R & J Lyness.  Richard is the nephew of Jimmy Lyness.  Richard told me that Jimmy returned to banking after the war but may have changed banks from the Belfast Banking Company to the Royal Bank of Ireland.  He retired as an inspector.

Richard also advised that the medal group and other military gear was presented to the Royal Ulster Rifles Museum in Waring Street, Belfast.

A visit to that location on the same date found the medal group to be displayed in a cabinet on their wall. My thanks go to them for allowing me to take the photograph of the medal group.
.