Captain Oscar Henry MacReady - died 3/12/1917
16th Royal Irish Rifles
Oscar, was born on 21st February 1896, the only son of the Reverend H H MacReady and Mrs Eva Mary MacReady (nee Kolkhorst) of the Manse, Ballyharry, Islandmagee, County Antrim. He had just joined Queen's University Belfast, where he was a member of the Officer Training Corps, when he applied for a commission with the Royal Irish Rifles on 23rd October 1914.
On 1st February 1917, he married Kathleen, only daughter of the late William George Murphy, solicitor, of Bawnmore Road, Belfast, his wife living at 27 Cherryfield Avenue, Ranelagh, County Dublin.
He was in action during the Battle of the Somme on 2nd July 1916, leading 90 men as part of the successful 107th Brigade attack on the first and second lines of enemy trenches. They crossed the line of artillery fire three times, bringing up ammunition. The party were highly commended for the action, in which they suffered approximately 50% casualties.
On 29th November 1917, the battalion were in camp south of Hermies, between Bapaume and Cambrai, carrying out work including transporting wire fencing up to the reserve line north of Flesquieres. At 11am, 2nd December 1917, they were heavily shelled, resulting in 27 casualties, including Oscar who was transferred to No 29 Casualty Station.
Oscar died on 3rd December 1917 and is buried in Grevillers British Cemetery (ref VIII E 10), Pas de Calais, France.
Lieutenant James Ganly Marks - died 23/3/1918
5th Seaforth Highlanders
James, the son of James G and Sophia Marks, of "Roselyn", Deramore Drive, Belfast. He enlisted as a private in the Black Watch in October 1914, before obtaining his commission with the Seaforth Highlanders.
In October 1916, he was treated in a Sheffield hospital for a gunshot wound to the left shoulder and found to be suffering from shellshock.
He was killed in action aged 22 on 23rd March 1918, the third day of the German Spring Offensive (Kaiserschlacht). The battalion were in line south of Boursies, between Bapaume and Cambrai. After "a hurricane barrage" of many calibre of guns, the front line was practically obliterated. The enemy infantry attacked from the vicinity of Louverval and James, commanding 40 men, withdrew fighting towards Boursies, joining a party of Gordon Highlanders in a position called Sturgeon Avenue. From this point many casualties were inflicted on the enemy, but at some time during the day, James fell.
He is buried in Lebucquiere Communal Cemetery Extension (ref I G 11), Pas de Calais, France.
Second Lieutenant James Wilson McBurney - died 16/8/1917
14th Royal Irish Rifles
James was born on 9th August 1897, the son of Thomas and Anna McBurney of Moatville, Comber, County Down. He was a student, when he originally joined the 17th Royal Irish Rifles on 22nd June 1915, before applying for a commission in 1916. transferring to the 14th.
James was killed in action on 16th August 1917, the first day of the Battle of Langemarck (3rd Ypres).
James is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial (panel 138 to 140), Flanders, Belgium.
Second Lieutenant William Robert McCann - died 11/10/1916
7th Durham Light Infantry
William, the son of Mr and Mrs James McCann, "Fernagh", Whiteabbey, County Antrim, and later of Meadowvale, Alliance Avenue, Belfast. He proceeded to the Western Front on 15th June 1916.
William died of wounds, at the age of 19, on 11th October 1916. At this time, the battalion was based at Martinpuich, close to the Albert to Bapaume road.
William is buried in Bazentin-Le-Petit Communal Cemetery Extension (ref. B30), Somme, France.