Killyleagh, County Down

Killyleagh Castle, County Down.
Killyleagh War Memorial tablets are attached to the castle walls at the junction of Frederick Street and Shrigley Road. The original marble plaque, made to the order of the Woman’s Work Guild, was placed on the flank tower of Killyleagh Castle at the end of the Linden Walk.
During the Great War the members of this Guild gave their time, their leisure, and their skill to making woollen garments and comforts which would alleviate the sufferings that the men at the front had greatly to endure. One day every week they met to settle and arrange what parcels and medical aids they could dispatch abroad.  Similar activities to this occurred all through the British Isles.
The unveiling and dedication ceremony was described as ‘short and simple.’
Surmounted by a shield and wreath, the tablet bears the following arresting inscription:

 “All ye who pass by remember with gratitude the men of Killyleagh who gave their lives for others in the great war,

Boyd David

Calvert James

Campbell Robert

Charters Thomas

Cheevers Frank

Clarke Robert

Crawford Richard

Coffey Samuel

Dornan Patrick

Dunwoody Thomas

Dynes Alexander

Dynes Thomas

Hamilton Edgar

Eldred Pottinger Gordon

Thomas Gribbon

Hamilton Archibald J. Rowan

Hamilton Victor

Hunsdale Hans

Jennings Francis

Kennedy John

Magill Robert, Royal Navy, H.M.S. Seagull.

Martin Samuel

Massey Patrick

McCleery James Moore, Sergeant

McConnell Robert

McManus John

McVeigh Andrew

Moore William

Monds George

Montgomery William Samuel

Morrow James

Norney Thomas

Norris Frank

Norris William

Philemey Robert

Porter James

Quinn Alexander

Quinn James

Rooney Hugh

Rooney Patrick

Rogan Thomas

Sullivan Samuel

Walker William

Walker Edward

World War Two names are below.


James Moore M’Cleery, Sergeant, 1st Co. Down Volunteers, killed, was the son of Rev. John R. M’Cleery, Killyleagh. He was an apprentice manager in Shrigley Spinning Mill, Killyleagh, at the out­break of war. He was an active member of the U.V.F., and joined the Ulster Division in September, 1914. Lieutenant Fullerton, his platoon officer, with whom be had returned to the front recently after brief leave, has furnished the relatives with the circumstances under which Sergt. M’Cleery’s fate overtook him, his letter throwing a vivid light on the desperate gallantry which animated every man of the division on the fateful 1st July 1916. Only 12 of the company were left when Lieutenant Fullerton’s men reached the German trenches, and his handful of fearless Ulstermen were then cut off from the rest of the division. For six hours they occupied the position so dearly won, but when their bombs ran out were helpless. By this time there was but the officer, Sergeant M’Cleery, and three men left, and the Lieutenant sent the four back to a sunken road half-way between the opposing trenches, The little remnant reached the road, where they became anxious for their officer. The sergeant sent some of the men back to look for him, and the officer and these men had just reached the sunken road when a shell exploded beside M’Cleery killing him instantly. It was a hard fate thus to overtake him after surviving the peril of the great charge, in which men fell by the score.

Calvert James, Ballybreda, Killyleagh, Private Royal Irish Rifles
Mrs. Sarah Calvert, widow, Ballybreda, on Tuesday was apprised by his platoon officer, Lieut. E. Johnston, that her son, James, a private in the 13th R.I.R., France, on the 7th inst., during a heavy bombardment was instantaneously killed in a dug-out, which was wrecked by a German shell. Sadly enough, she also received on Tuesday the letter penned by her son, saying that he was in good form, and hoped shortly to be home on leave. He was only 19. Before the war he was employed by Mr. Joseph Gilmore, of Toye. A member of the Killinchy U.V.F., he enlisted in September, 1914, and another brother, William, is now serving in the 18th R.I.R., at Clandeboye. Lieut. Johnston writes : ‘He was buried in a graveyard behind the lines with two others killed by the same shell-C. Newell and D. M'Connell. Please accept my sincere sympathy in your bereavement. Your son was transferred to my platoon from C company before he left Ireland, and during his time in B company he did his work well, and became most popular with his mates. He had lately been put forward for training as a signaller, and promised to become a fully-trained man very quickly. In all circumstances he was a most cheerful, willing soldier.’

Doran, Patrick J., Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, KIA
His aunt at Shrigley has been officially notified of the death in action on the 8th August [1916] of Private Patrick J. Dornan, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, a Shrigley mill employee, formerly resident at Breakey’s-brae, Killyleagh. His brother, Private John Dornan, of the Royal Irish Rifles, has been a prisoner of war for two years.

The Magill family. Sons of Robert and Rebecca Magill, of Irish St., Killyleigh, Co. Down.
Formerly a hackler in Messrs. Sinton's mill, and a footballer, cricketer, and sprinter of more than local note, James Magill has given up his post in Eaton's big store, Toronto, and joined the 9th battalion of artillery now in training there. His brother Robert, a sapper in the Canadian engineers, is in France, and another brother, Robert, is a stoker on H.M.S. Seagull, while the youngest brother, Thomas, has been five times refused by recruiters on account of a crocked knee. Robert Magill, the local postman, has reason to be proud of these four sons.

Montgomery, W. S. Corporal, 16th Royal Irish Rifles, D.o.W.
Business houses were temporarily closed and the blinds of private houses drawn on Monday, on the occasion of the funeral of Corporal W. S. Montgomery, 16th Royal Irish Rifles, to the Meeting-house-green. A young man of splendid physique, eldest son of Mr. W. Montgomery, the deceased enlisted on 20th December, 1914. To a friend he said, ‘I should not like, after all the trouble I took to get fit, to miss having a go at the Germans.’  He got his chance, and acquitted himself well. On 10th July [1916] at Thiepval Wood he was wounded in the left lung by a shell splinter. In Wharncliffe military hospital, Sheffield, be underwent three operations, the last proving fatal on the 17th August [1916]. The remains were brought home on Saturday, and a funeral party of Riflemen from Newtownards attended on Monday. Owing to the indisposition of Rev. W. T. Brown, rector, the service was conducted by Rev. J. R. M’Cleery, himself bereaved by the war. When the concluding prayers were said, the three volleys were fired, and the buglers sounded the ‘Last Post.’ The soldiers were entertained at tea in the Cooke hall by Rev. J. R. M’Cleery and other friends.

Walker, W., L-Corporal,1st Royal Irish Rifles, reported missing
Mrs. Thomas Walker, 49, River-row, Shrigley, bereaved recently of her husband and a daughter, on Monday received from machine-gun officer W.  V. C. Lake the following message touching the fate of one of her soldier sons, Lance Corporal W. Walker, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, ‘Your son has been certainly reported missing by the War Office, but my machine-gun sergeant swears that he saw him being carried into a dressing station on lst July, [1916] wounded. Had he died then a record would have been  made of it. The only explanation I can offer in that he has got mixed up with a batch of wounded of some other regiment. In that case, as soon as he is well enough, he write to you. In the meantime, you must hope and pray for the best. He was a good little chap, and promised to become one of my best N.C.O.s. I need hardly tell you that I miss his cheery face very much. It may comfort you to know that he did his duty very well in the great push. William Walker was later stated to have died on 1st July 1916.


1939 - 1945

In Honoured Memory of those of this district who gave their lives in the World War.

Anderson John
Berner Robert, R.N. H.M.S. Hood. Son of Robert Victor and Catherine Berner, of Killyleagh, Co. Down, Northern Ireland.
Doyle Patrick
Dempster William Alexander
Fee James Alexander
Gilmore John, Royal Navy.(see below)
Gordon John Eyre
Hannity Francis
Jess Albert S.H., (see below)
Kelly Charles
Killops Thomas
Morrison Samuel
Morrow Samuel
Murphy William
McCormick George
McDowell David
Perry Frederick J.
Rooney Harry
Thompson Martin
Withers Alexander


Gilmore John, A.B. Royal Navy.
Mr. and Mrs. Terence Gilmore, Maymore, Toye, Killyleagh, have been officially notified that their eldest son, A.B. John Gilmore (24) has been killed by enemy action [1942]. He had eight years' service with the Royal Navy, and was home last Christmas. He was torpedoed on two occasions and was in the Dunkirk episode. His younger brother, Edward, is at present in the Navy.

Jess, Albert, Sergeant Wireless Operator-Air Gunner, R.A.F.,
Mr. and Mrs. J. Jess, Plantation Street, Killyleagh, have been officially notified that their son, Sergeant Wireless Operator-Air Gunner Albert Jess, R.A.F., who was previously reported missing, was shot down over Germany and has been buried in Hambourg Cemetery, Ohlshorf [1941]. Deceased, aged 20, gained rapid promotion since he entered the Service. He was home on leave at Christmas.



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