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Monday, 21 January 2013

O'Kane, Paul

Newspaper photo courtesy of Nigel Henderson

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.


  1. Excerpts of email received:

    Dear Gavin,

    I was very surprised to find a reference along with a photo I have never seen of Paul O'Kane from Ballycastle on your blogspot.

    It was a lovely thing to do this site, very honourable. I read why you did it. I haven't looked at everything but what I have seen is impressive, you've clearly put a lot of work into it.

  2. Thanks Gavin. Really interesting to read of my namesake Paul O'Kane.


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