County Down


Taken from the book

"The Lads Who Marched Away",

By Tommy McClimonds

Seapatrick Parish Church


Seapatrick Parish Church during Two World Wars

This work is dedicated to two soldiers, the first whom i was never privileged enough to meet, but who left behind enough memories and memorabilia to ensure that i was to inherit a keen interest in history ;
My grandfather Thomas Carson Bingham, 1897 to 1954, who was proud to have served during the Great War with the 13th Battalion, (1st Co.Down Volunteers) Royal Irish Rifles ; and my father Stewart Wilson McClimonds, 1920 to 1980, who was also proud to have served in North West Europe during the Second World War with the 6th (Border) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers.


In September 2000, when I first started out on this project, I was largely unaware of the great deal of feeling that still exists today about "The Lads Who Marched Away" during the two World I have been deeply moved by the number of letters, medals, photographs and other personal items have been lovingly kept by families of the soldiers from the two conflicts that ended some 83  years ago respectively. Those who served in the armed forces or lived through the Great War are largely all gone. The last Banbridge veteran from The Great War, Mr Charles (Charlie) McLean, served with the Royal Irish Fusiliers, and was a member of this parish, died a few years Banbridge veterans from World War Two are also slowly fading away as ill health and the years take their toll. To the majority of people living today, even the Second World War is now but a distant memory.

What I set out to do initially with this project was to try and put together some background information to all the names listed on both the First and Second World War Memorial Tablets in parish church. What I wanted to do was find out, who were these "Lads Who Marched Away", where did they come from, what happened to them, what type of people were they and did they leave behind anyone to mourn their passing. I also wanted a permanent record available in the church that would provide at least some history other than just their names recorded on the Memorial Tablets.This would allow today's congregation to perhaps at least try and understand the impact that both World Wars had on our small parish and indeed on the town of Banbridge. This written record would a allow the many tourists and visitors who come to our parish church each year, the opportunity reflect on those named on the two Memorial Tablets, as well as providing a source of information to those researching their family history.

What I have done in the case of each soldier listed is to provide as much information as is available about the individual and also, if possible, the particular circumstances surrounding their death. I have also tried to research details of their last known resting-place, or, in the case of those whose bodies were never recovered, some details of the memorial on which their names now appear. I have been successful in the large majority of cases, but even the most basic details on two soldiers in particular have proved to be rather elusive. The passage of time has also made this task that bit more difficult particularly in relation to the First World War period. My search for more information on these  two "Missing" soldiers will continue.

I still feel that I have not done enough to do justice to these men's memories. I would have liked to visit the Public Record Office (PRO) in Kew, London to conduct further research, looking individual soldiers' records and the various battalion war diaries, but this has again not been possible given the limited timescale available to me. I have amassed a tremendous amount of information, the majority of which still has to be recorded, collated and catalogued into my own records for both World Wars. Perhaps at some stage in the future, time and finances permitting, I will be able undertake this next stage in my research.

I have been extremely privileged, during my research, to interview many parishioners and other people from Banbridge and the surrounding district, whom I would otherwise never have met. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all those who contacted me with information photographs, or welcomed me into their homes, or simply provided me with much needed words encouragement. A book such as this would not have been possible without the help and assistance of many individuals. I have produced elsewhere in this book a list of all those who helped me in any way by providing information or photographs or assisted in any way with the production and publication of this book. If I have inadvertently left anyone out, please accept my apologies.

This book is my attempt to bring these men back to the forefront of all our thoughts. That  we individuals with lives and families, and stories to tell. They all deserve to be remembered by more than just a name on a memorial.

"We Will Remember Them"


A great many of the 250 names inscribed on Banbridge Town War Memorial were parishioners of Seapatrick Parish Church. Some 370 men from the Parish served in the forces during the war with 81 laying down their lives. A further 77 were wounded in action and 16 were taken prisoner. Their deeds on the field of battle attracted no less than 10 gallantry awards; one Distinguished Conduct Medal (D.C.M), three Military Crosses (M.C.), five Military Medals (M.M.) and a Certificate of Gallantry. Five parishioners were also holders of the Mons Star, which was only awarded to those members of the B.E.F (British Expeditionary Force) who had served in France and Belgium during the period from 5th August 1914 to 22nd November 1914. These soldiers were known as the "Old Contemptible" after a comment from the German Kaiser, whom referred to the B.E.F. as "a contemptible little army".

On Sunday 26th March 1922 the Parish honoured the dead of the Great World War by the dedication of a magnificent stained-glass window, and marble memorial tablet, whilst an artistic Roll of Honour recording the names of all the men from the parish who offered themselves for service was also erected above the west door where it still stands today.

The Union Jack was drawn from the Roll of Honour by Major Alick Knight, D.S.O., the Regional Director of the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). Mrs Norman D Ferguson unveiled the memorial tablet listing the names of the fallen. Major-General HH Tudor C.B. C.M.G, Royal Artillery, then unveiled the memorial window. A number of other memorials were also dedicated that day. The marble steps at the entrance to the Chancel were in memory of the Misses Maria, Jane and Anna Tyrrell, and were provided by part of the legacy left by their niece, a Miss Sutherland. A Brass Tablet in memory of Dr John Watson Mulligan, Tullyconnaught was also unveiled by his widow, Mrs Mulligan.

The prayers of thanksgiving following the dedication and unveilings were performed by the Right Rev. Charles T. P. Grierson, DD, Lord Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore, who was a former rector of the parish. The rector at that time, Rev Canon W. S. Kerr conducted the service. Some 200 exservicemen displaying their medals paraded under Captain Lindsay Haire, MC; Captain T.D.Ferguson, M.C; and Lieutenant W.L. Fryar. They, together with the Parish Company of Boy Scouts under the command of Lieutenant J. Morton, Corporal James Victor Haughey and Private William Quail, were given special seating in the north transept. The text taken by the Lord Bishop for his address was from the 13th verse of the 11th. Chapter of the Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews - "These all died in faith". The service was concluded with the "Last Post", the singing of the National Anthem and "Reveille". The buglers were Lieutenant W. Shooter and Private W. Quail.

This event closed, to my mind at least, what was probably the saddest chapter in the history of our parish church. Little did those people realise, as they attended the event to commemorate those who had laid down their lives in "the war to end all wars", that in just a few short years the world would once again be plunged into turmoil.

Parishioners of Seapatrick Parish Church

Men who gave their lives in the 1914/1918 Great War

James Adair, Rfn.16149,  age 36 13th.Batt.Royal Irish Rifles July 1st.1916
John Adamson, Rfn. 16160, age 20 13th. Batt.Royal Irish Rifles July 1st.1916
Andrew Anderson, Rfn. 47202 or 47208, age 31 15 th .Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Jan. 21st.1918
William James Anderson, Rfn.716,  age 19 13 th Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 1st. 1916
John Arlow, Sergeant  4791, age 30 1st. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles May 9th. 1915
Howard Atkinson Royal Engineers Sept.14th. 1918
Robert Barr,C.S.M. D.S.M.,13/26,  age 31 13th.Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Aug. 16th. 1917
William Bennett, Private 12813,  age 24 2nd. Batt.Irish Guards April 28th.1918
Edward Brown,Lance Corporal 732,  age 20 13th Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 1st. 1916
Harold George Brown.Rfn. 9543 , 1st. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles March 11th. 1915
 John Brown, Rfn.16270,  age 25 13th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Aug. 16th.1917
Henry Carson, Rfn. 8/713, age 27 11th or 8/9 Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Aug. 19th. 1917
Robert Close, Rfn. 4816,  age 20 2nd. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles May 7th. 1915
William Close, Rfn. 3973,  age 30 1st. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles May 29th. 1915
Archibald Connolly, Rfn. 763,  age 23 12th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles April 15th.1918
John Cully, Rfn. 597,  age 24 16th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Jan.1st. 1918
James Curran, Rfn. 767,  age 23 13th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 1st. 1916
Stanley Curran, Rfn. 423, age 19 2nd. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Aug. 8th. 1917
Robert Henry Dermott, Corporal 824,   age 22 13th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles April 14th. 1918
John Dickson,  Sergeant 13399,  age32 2nd. Batt. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers Nov.30th. 1917
Robert Dumigan, 4325,  age 30 10th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 1st. 1916
Thomas Elliott, Rfn.10278 , 1st. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 18th. 1915
John Ervine, Private 55912, 1st. Batt Royal Irish Fusiliers April 25th. 1915
Ernest Ervine, Rfn. (181)1176,  age 21 8th Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Oct. 7th. 1917
John Flanigan, Rfn. 789,  age 25 13th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 1st. 1916
Robert Flanigan, Rfn. 4835,  age 24 2nd.Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Sept. 25th.1915
Robert Forsythe, Rfn. 4833, 7th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 30th. 1916
William Fry, Private 1245,  age 31 1st. Batt. Irish Guards Nov. 15th. 1914
Hugh Graham,  S/8493,  age 28 1st. Batt. Black Watch Sept. 3rd. 1916
Richard Ussher Greer, age 47 Chaplin to 8th. Batt.Royal Irish Rifles       1915
Rector of Seapatrick Parish, 1911 to 1915    
William Arnold Hamilton, 2nd. Lieutenant   age 25 6th. Batt. Connaught Rangers June 4th. 1917
William Arthur Herron, Lieutenant  age 25 Royal Canadian Regiment March 21st. 1919
George Hoey, Rfn. 5369, age 40 1st. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Oct. 23rd. 1916
George Homer, Private  4488,  age 18 5th. Batt. Seaforth Highlanders June 3rd. 1916
James (Jarvis) Hylands, Rfn.11  age 24 13th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Aug. 16th. 1917
Adam Jackson, Rfn. 16623,  age 31 13th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 1st. 1916
William Jardine, Rfn. 259, age 20 13th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 1st. 1916
John Jardine, Private 11557,  age 39 16th. Batt. Lancashire Fusiliers March 22nd. 1916
James Jardine, Lance Corporal 6305, 2nd. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles May 31st. 1915
Alexander (Sandy) Jardine, Rfn. 804, 13th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 1st. 1916
William John Jennings, Lance Corporal 803  , 13th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 1st. 1916
James(George) Jennings, 5399,   age 27 2nd. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Sept. 27th. 1916
Edmund Jess  Lance Corporal 5943 , 5th. Batt. Royal Irish Fusiliers March 10th. 1918
William John Jess, Private 8926,  age 25 1st. Batt. Royal Munster Fusiliers Aug. 22nd. 1915
James Johnston, Rfn. 4717,  age 21 1st. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles June 16th. 1915
Charles Stuart Laverty,Private 201844,  age 27 4th.Batt.Canadian Infantry  
  (Central Ontario Regiment) Oct. 8th. 1916
William Henry Major, Private 1st. Batt.Royal Munster Fusiliers April 6th. 1915
Aubrey Manson,  Rfn. 5592 , 2nd.Batt. Royal Irish Rifles May 19th. 1915
Alexander Mitchell, Rfn. 838,  age 30 13th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 1st. 1916
Thomas Moles, Rfn. 1545,  9th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles June 7th. 1917
Frederick Moore, Rfn. 412,  age 18 13th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 1st. 1916
William Bertron Morton, Private  21665, age 33 19th. Batt.The King's (Liverpool Reg.) Oct. 17th. 1916
Samuel McBride, Rfn. 18/301, 13th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles May 20th. 1917
Robert Alfred McCall, 2nd.Leutenant  age 23 9th. Batt. Cheshire Regiment Sept. 25th. 1915
Edward McClean, Sergeant  8347  age 25 1st. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Oct. 8th. 1915
Robert McClean,  Private 7419, 10/11 Batt. Highland Light Infantry Dec. 30th. 1916
Robert McCourt, Lance Corporal 9153,  age 27 1st. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Dec. 13th. 1916
Samuel McCracken, Private 9481,  1st. Batt. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers May 17th. 1915
Ernest McDowell, 4827 , 7th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles June 10th. 1916
Joseph McFadden, Rfn. (171)1253,  age 26 15th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Nov. 14th. 1916
William John McIlroy, Rfn. 8769,  age 23 2nd. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Nov. 11th. 1914
Robert McNeill, Trooper 826, Household Batt. Formerly Trooper  
  2557, Royal Horse Guards  
William Napier, Lance Corporal 852,  age 27 13th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 1st. 1916
Robert Nicholson, Rfn. 288,  age 20 16th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles June 18th. 1917
William James Orr, Rfn. 4735,  age 26 2nd. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles May 11th. 1915
Robert Poots, Coporal  5381, age 19 2nd. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles May 17th. 1916
William John Poots,  Rfn. 798,  age 23 15th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles March 21st. 1918
William Price, Rfn. 4792,  age 31 1st. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 18th. 1917
Robert Scott,  Private 8493, 2nd.Batt. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers Aug. 26th. 1914
William Nicholas Sheridan, 2nd. Lieutenant   age 25 17th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Sept. 1st. 1916
John Edward Simms, Private 4537,  age 41 18th Batt. Australian Infantry Sept. 20th. 1917
  Australian Imperial Force  
Arthur C.Simms, First Mate, age 26 S.S."Lewisham", (London) May 17th. 1917
  Mercantile Marine  
Gordon Lutwitch Simms, Second Mate, age 29 S.S. "Isleworth", (London) April 30th. 1918
  Mercantile Marine  
George Bostall Smyth, Captain, age 28 6th and 7th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles Oct. 22nd. 1918
James Sneddon, Private S/11962, 1st.Batt.Black Watch, Sept. 3rd. 1916
  (Royal Highlanders)  
Frederick Vennard, Private 6D/4123 6th. Dragoons (Inniskillings) May 24th. 1915
Thomas Wilson, Rfn. 569 13th Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 1st. 1916
Crozier Wilson, Rfn. 389 13th. Batt. Royal Irish Rifles July 1st. 1916

Parishioners of Seapatrick Parish Church

Men who gave their lives in the 1939/1945 War

John Arlow, Rfn.7014039, age 21 2nd.Batt.C Company, R.U.R. May 29th. 1940
James Henry Arlow,  Sergeant 624543, age 23 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron, R.A.F.V.R. June 22nd. 1943
Michael Avery, Gunner 1488896 314 Battery,29th Searchlight Regiment, R.A. Oct. 10th. 1943
John Beck, Rfn.7019095, age 22 2nd. Batt. R.U.R. Feb. 27th. 1945
George William Bell, Rfn.7046436, age 23 1st.(Airborne)Batt. R.U.R. Mar. 24th. 1945
Edward Close, Able Seaman D/JX 140143, age 26 H.M.S. Lapwing, Royal Navy Mar. 20th. 1945
James Clydesdale, Trooper 7043169, age 20 5th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards July 15th. 1942
Herbert Hamilton, Gunner 1488899, age 26 4 Light A.A.Regiment, R.A. May 27th. 1945
Robert Getgood McCrory, S.O.1024870, age 23 115 Squadron, R.A.F.V.R. July 29th. 1942
John McHerrie, Stoker D/SKX38, age 21 H.M.S. Galatea, Royal Navy Dec.15th. 1941
Daniel Gwynfor McLoughlin, Pte.3963453, age 24 4th. Batt. The Welch Regiment July 12th. 1944
Samuel Mahood, A.S.D/SSX25513, age 23 H.M.S.Avonvale, Royal Navy Jan. 29th.1943
Valetine Malloy, Rfn.7019015 31st. Batt. R.U.R. Jan.27th. 1942
John Dennison Weir, Stoker 1st.Class P/KX119218, age 21 H.M.S. Somali, Royal Navy Sept.24th. 1942



Adair, James Jennings, James
Adamson, John Jennings, Richard
Anderson, Andrew Jess, Edmund
Anderson,  William James Jess, William John
Arlow, John Johnston, James
Atkinson, Howard Laverty, Charles Stewart
Barr, Robert Major, William Henry
Bennett, William Manson, Aubrey
Brown, Edward Mitchell, Alexander
Brown, Harold George Moles, Thomas
Brown, John Moore, Frederick
Carson, Henry Morton, William Bertron
Close, Robert McBride, Samuel
Close, William McCall, Robert Alfred
Connolly, Archibald McClean, Edward
Cully, John McClean, Robert
Curran, James McCourt, Robert
Curran, Stanley McCracken, Samuel
Dermott, Robert Henry McDowell, Ernest
Dickson, John McFadden, Joseph
Dumigan, Robert McIlroy, William, J.
Elliott, Thomas McKnight, William
Ervine, John McMullan, Edward
Ervine, Ernest McNeill, Robert
Flanigan, John Napier, William
Flanigan, Robert Nicholson, Robert
Forsythe, Robert Orr, William James
Fry, William Poots, Robert
Graham, Hugh Poots, William John
Greer, Richard Ussher Price, William
Hamilton, William Arnold Scott, Robert
Herron, William Arthur Sheridan, William Nicholas
Hoey, George Simms, John Edward
Homer, George Simms, Arthur, C.
Hylands, James Simms, Gordon Lutwitch
Jackson, Adam Smyth, Gordon Bostall
Jardine, William Sneddon, James
Jardine, John Vennard, Frederick
Jardine, James Wilson, Thomas
Jardine, Alexander Wilson,Crozier
Jennings, William John  


Arlow,John Hamilton, Herbert
Arlow, James McCrory, Robert Getgood
Avery, Michael McHarrie, John
Beck, John McLoughlin, Daniel Gwynfor
Bell, George William Mahood, Samuel
Close, Edward Malloy, Valentine
Clydesdale Weir, John Dennison