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Monday, 1 July 2019

McElvaine, Andrew Floyd

Lieutenant Andrew Floyd McElvaine
was born in 11th January 1895 in Lisnabrague townland, Scarva to Andrew McElvaine JP and Susan McElvaine nee Poole.  They had previously married on 24th March 1894 at Banbridge Registry Office.

In 1901 he lived in house 14, Lisnabrague, Scarva, Co. Down with his parents and 3 siblings; Annie Martha, Mary Winifred and Edmund.  3 servants and a visitor were also present on census day.  

By 1911 the property was known as house 7, Lisnabraque, Scarva, Co. Down.  Living in the house with Andrew was his parents, 5 siblings; Annie Martha, Mary Winifred, Nora Dorothy, Susan Ratha, and Henry Norman.  There was also a governess and 2 servants present.  Edmund (15) was at boarding school in Lisburn (house 5.1 Lisnagarvey - Ulster Provincial School).

The Newry Reporter dated 22nd November 1911 has an advertisement for 'Stapleton's Academy'.  It quotes 'Our successes for the term just ended: Last Belfast Bank exam, Mr A F McElvaine, Scarva.

[Advertisement re Stapleton's Academy - AF McElvaine bank exam results]

McElvaine would have joined the Belfast Banking Company around 1912 working in Cookstown and Portadown branches.

[Security bond record taken by bank for new entrant]

[Belfast Banking Company, Cookstown Branch, 1918]

[Belfast Banking Company, Portadown Branch, 1918]

His father, Andrew died on 5th January 1914.

On 30th December 1914 McElvaine enlisted into the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) with Service Number (RNAS) was F2889.  His period of engagement was 'for hostilities'.

[Royal Navy Record Card]

His first theatre of war is recorded on his Medal Index Card as France from June 1915.  Union Lodge, Scarva Street, Poyntzpass is recorded as his address.

He served on the 'Pembroke III' and the 'President II' before becoming an Armoured Car Driver in July 1915.  A further period at sea on the 'President ?' followed from October 1915.  His rank was Chief Petty Officer.

He later served with the Royal Irish Fusiliers.  On 8th January 1916, he attained the rank of Temporary 2nd Lieutenant.  Transferred to HB MGC on 16th December 1916 ('D' Battalion).

He was wounded on 5th May 1917.  Later he was treated for treated trench fever at Poperinge and returned home.

The Belfast News Letter of 17th May 1917 reports:

The Belfast Banking Company 'Roll of Honour' booklet records McElvaine as 'previously wounded'.

McElvaine was awarded the 1915 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

A 22 year old brother, Edmund (farmer) passed away on 18th November 1918 as a result of the influenza pandemic. 

The London Gazette dated 23rd April 1920 records two entries:

Tank Corps

Temp. Lt. A. F. McElvaine relinquishing the Acting rank of Capt. on ceasing to be employed as (an) Instructor - 1st October 1919.

Temp. Lt. A. F. McElvaine relinquishes his commission on completion of service, 4th January 1920, and is granted the rank of Captain.

It is not known if Andrew returned to the Belfast Banking Company.  However, from the following evidence, he may have joined a London based bank and continued his career in London, Argentina and Spain.

There are various records on Ancestry.Co.UK of an A F McElvaine departing and returning to the UK from Argentina.

On 15th August 1935, an A F McElvaine (40) arrived in London from La Plata, Argentina with Hazel (Knapp), Denis McElvaine (24) and Denis Philip McElvaine (1).  AFM is described as a bank employee with an address at 6-8 Tokenhouse Yard, London.

On 18th November 1950, an A F McElvaine departed London for Argentina.  Described as a bank clerk with an address at 25 Fifth Avenue, Baylands, Bangor.

On 25th February 1984, an A F McElvaine died in Malaga, Spain leaving the sum of £26,188 (probate, London, 4th December 1984.

1935 saw the Union Lodge estate being sold.

[Belfast Telegraph, 13th December 1935]

[Union Lodge, Scarva, County Down - no date.  Courtesy Denis McElvaine]

A son, Denis survives and lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Denis wrote:

"Yes my dad sent to Russia in (I think) 1917 as tank instructor to the white russians.  A link may be found : McElvaine/Wrangel.  After demob he joined the ?? Bank and was posted to Medellin Colombia.  He later was posted to the Bank of London and South America in Posadas Misiones where he met my mother  Hazel Knapp and where I was born in 1934   Transferred to Buenos Aires where he worked at the BOLSA until 1955 when he was advised to leave Argentina for criticism of the government.  He retired and went finally to live in Fuengirola, southern Spain where he died in 1984.  My father was very reticent about his war service and about his Ulster family.  I do know that he was presented with the Cross of St. George by General Wrangel for his service."


  1. R.N.A.S. Armoured Car Driver - Royal Irish Fusiliers. Transferred to HBMGC 16/12/16 - D. Btn.
    wounded 5/5/17.
    Treated for treated trench fever at Poperinge and returned home

    Interested in descendants of Lt. McElvaine as researching a battle he was in.

  2. He was my great uncle. However I know nothing of his wartime life. I may be able to find people who do.


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