Second Lieutenant William Kearns Adrain - died 24/8/1916

5th Royal Irish Regiment, attached 1st Royal Irish Rifles

         

William was born on 27th January 1896, and was the son of Robert Adrain of Ballyclare, and Mrs Jane Adrain of 5 Donard Villas, Belfast. As well as Inst, he attended the Model School, Belfast. He is associated with Barclay & Crawford's general drapers shop in Church Street, Ballymena and is named in 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church.

A member of the Queen's University Belfast Officer Training Corps (his commanding major ranked him as Class B+), William was single and living at 25 University Avenue in September 1915, when accepted for a commission with the 5th Royal Irish Rifles. He departed for the front on 10th July 1916, being transferred to the 1st Royal Irish Rifles 8 days later.

He was killed in action on August 24th, 1916, near Vermelles, Pas de Calais, at the age of 20. The War Diary states the following -

"In the 'Quarries' Sector. At about 10.50pm, the enemy attempted to enter the 'Northern Crater'. Bombs were thrown opposite Boyau (trench) 98 to distract their attention. A party of between 20 and 30 of the enemy attempted to raid the crater. They were discovered when within 20 yards of the crater, rapid fire was opened and bombs were thrown. The enemy scattered and were seen to carry some of their men back. 2nd Lt Adrain and 1 OR killed, 14 OR wounded Battalion subsequently withdrawn to brigadier reserve in Curley Crescent"

The Irish Life of 24th November 1916 reported that "he met his death while heroically helping to dig out men who had been buried in the debris when their trench was hit."

William is buried in Vermelles British Cemetery (ref. III P 17), Pas de Calais, France.

Private Richard Howell Ashmore - died 6/5/1917

Canadian Army Medical Corps 2nd Field Ambulance - service number 525078

Richard was born in Creevelea, County Leitrim on 22nd February 1872, the son of Rev. John and Mrs. Martha Ashmore, of Drumkeerin, County Leitrim.

At the time of enlisting, he was living in Mission City, British Columbia, with his wife, Mary, and taught in McKay, BC. He enlisted on 1st November 1916 in Victoria, BC.

He died on 6th May 1917 at the age of 45, while the 2nd Field Ambulance were based at Ariane Dressing Station, on the Lens-Arras road, and is buried in Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension (ref. II F 84), Pas de Calais, France.

Second Lieutenant James Austin - died 21/6/1917

13th Manchester Regiment

James was the son of Hugh Austin of 8 Cranmore Avenue, Belfast, and later of 32 St Judes's Avenue, Ormeau Road, Belfast. Before entering Inst with a scholarship in 1901, he had attended Skegoniel National School. At Inst, he was Head of School and captain of both cricket and rugby. He continued his education at Trinity College, Dublin, where he became Senior Moderator in Experimental Science, Demonstrator in Physics. For a short time, he returned to Inst to teach.

He joined the Trinity College Officer Training Corps and obtained his commission in the 15th Manchesters.

James transferred to the 13th Manchesters and sailed with the battalion to Salonika (now Thessalonika) in January 1916. He was wounded in action in April 1917, when his unit were holding a line of trenches against an attack, near the village of Krastali, on the western side of Lake Doiran. He was admitted to 28 General Hospital, Salonika, on 5th May 1917, when he was described as being "dangerously wounded" after suffering gunshot wounds to the left thigh and right hip. His father was informed on 12th May that his condition had slightly improved, but on 14th June he was told that James was still dangerously ill.

James died on 21st June 1917 and is buried in Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery (ref O.37), Greece. His brother Hubert died in 1916 and is buried in Adanac Cemetery on the Somme.

The school magazine "School News" reported in the December 1917 issue:

"As boy and man, at school, university and in the Army, James belonged to the elite. He was of a singularly unassuming disposition, bearing his success with true modesty. Wherever he went he was always popular, though he never courted popularity. Had he been spared, he would undoubtedly have attained the highest eminence, and it is indeed sad to think that such a promising life has been cut off so early. He was always a true son, a loyal friend and comrade, honourable in every relationship of life. To his old School he was intensely loyal and always keenly interested in all branches of its activity."

Captain Hugh Montgomery Baillie - died 21/3/1918

16th Royal Irish Rifles (A Company)

Hugh, the unmarried son of Robert and Sara Baillie of Ellerslie, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, was born in Ballymacarrett, Belfast, on 31st May 1893.

He had served in the Ulster Volunteer Force since its inception, holding the positions of Squad Leader, Section Commander and Half Company Commander.

He was serving his apprenticeship with Carson and McDowell solicitors, Belfast when he enlisted in November 1914, He was accepted for a commission in January 1915, into the 16th Royal Irish Rifles, a pioneer battalion..

In 1916, his brother, Lieutenant R Baillie, also of the Royal Irish Rifles, was wounded. That same year, Hugh was reported to be in charge of trench work in the vicinity of Ross Castle, Thiepval Wood.

In November 1918, a letter was received from 2nd Lt W Q Rea of the 16th Royal Irish Rifles, a prisoner of war in Karlsruhe, Germany. He confirmed that Hugh was his Company commander, and he had seen Hugh being killed in action on 21st March 1918. He stated Hugh had been shot through the head, while standing by his side. The shooting occurred at a road junction 1500 yards west of Urvillers on the Essigny- le-Grand to St Quentin road. They had been taken prisoner and Hugh was struck before they were out of the danger zone.

Hugh is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial (Panel 74-76), Somme, France

He is also commemorated on the Solicitor's Memorial, Four Courts, Dublin

Lieutenant Herbert Stanley Bannister - died 21/6/1918

Royal Air Force and 10th Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment)

Herbert was born in Belfast on 1st April 1888. He moved to Canada, worked as a dentist and enlisted in Edmonton in March 1916. He was not married.
 
At the time of his death, his brother Frederick was still living in Wellington Park, Belfast. 

Herbert transferred from the Candian Infantry to the No 151 Squadron of the RAF. The Squadron arrived in Marquise, between Boulogne and Calais, two days before his death, with the purpose of combatting the frequent raids by German bombers over the Abbeville region. He was killed in an accident on 21st June 1918 while flying a Sopwith Camel, from the UK to France, and is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery (ref. VII B 52), Pas de Calais, France.