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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.


  1. It might be James Condy McIlwaine!
    Civil Marriage
    Date of Marriage 15 May 1890
    Groom Name James MCILWAINE
    Bride Name Ann CONDY
    Church Great Victoria St Presbyterian Church
    Parish Shankill
    Civil District Belfast
    County Antrim

  2. Hello Gavin, Hope you are well. I came across James Condy McIlwaine's FWW story on the Carrickfergus Rolls of Honour website. I am delivering a 1916 touring exhibition and have been looking for a Carrickfergus case study. Might you be willing to chat to me about this story with a view to developing some interpretation with me for this exhibition? I am contactable at Mid-Antrim Museums Service on 028 2563 5926.



Please add any verifiable information to assist me in building on the biographical information already detailed. Thank you.