Newtownards District LOL no. 4

The governing body of 12 Orange lodges in Newtownards, County Down

Somme Sacrifices

As we mark the 104th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in 2020, we remember those local brethren who served with distinction for King and country. Sadly, a number of those men from the ranks of the Newtownards Orange Order lost their lives on that fateful day, 1 July 1916. Jack Greenald has recorded their stories.

Lance-Corporal James Young, No 582, B Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, Apprentice Boys LOL 128, killed in action 1st July 1916 (aged 29).

James Young was born in Newtownards where he worked as a general labourer. Before the outbreak of the war James Young was a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force. He married Annie Wilson on 20th December 1907 in Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church. They lived at 44 William Street and had five sons, Andrew, James, George Burch, Robert, and Elliott Thiepval.

Initially reported as missing in action; in September 1916 Annie Young was informed by the British Red Cross that he was being held as a prisoner of war in Germany.  However, in August 1917 it was confirmed that he had been killed in action on 1 July 1916. James Young has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Newtownards War Memorial, Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour and Newtownards Orange Hall Roll of Honour.


Rifleman John Weir, No 18/663, B Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, Temple of Loyalty LOL 481, killed in action 1st July 1916 (aged 26).

John Weir was born in Newtownards where he worked as a general labourer. Before the outbreak of the war he was a member of B Company of the 2nd Battalion of the North Down Regiment of the Ulster Volunteer Force. He lived with his wife, Mary Ann Weir, in 65 Mill Street, Newtownards. John Weir has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Newtownards War Memorial, St Mark’s Parish Church Roll of Honour and Newtownards Orange Hall Roll of Honour.


Rifleman Samuel Hugh Ledgerwood, No 18079, B Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, Temple of Loyalty LOL 481, killed in action 1st July 1916 (aged 23).

Samuel Ledgerwood was born on 10th May 1893 and before the war he worked as a cotton weaver, living at 64 East Street. He was a member of C Company of the 2nd Battalion of the North Down Regiment of the Ulster Volunteer Force. He was reported as missing in action on 1st July 1916 and it was in February 1917 that his mother received official notification of his death in action.

His brother, Rifleman John Ledgerwood, served in the 9th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and died of wounds on 6th January 1917.  Samuel Ledgerwood has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Newtownards War Memorial, St Mark’s Parish Church Roll of Honour and Newtownards Orange Hall Roll of Honour.


Rifleman Alexander Robinson, No 18687, B Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, Total Abstainers LOL 991, killed in action 1st July 1916, (aged 18).

Alexander Robinson was born in Newtownards where he worked as a message boy and lived at 3 Lower Mary Street. Before the war he was a member of the B Company of the 2nd Battalion of the North Down Regiment of the Ulster Volunteer Force. He was underage when he enlisted on 17th September 1914. He was initially posted as missing in action but in February 1917 it was confirmed that he had been killed in action. The Officers and Members of Total Abstainers LOL 991 published a notice of their regret at the death in the ‘For King and Country’ notices in the Newtownards Chronicle in the 3rd March 1917 edition. Alexander Robinson has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Newtownards War Memorial, Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour and Newtownards Orange Hall Roll of Honour.


Rifleman William Dalzell McQuiston, No 18168, B Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, Boyne LOL 1054, killed in action 1st July 1916 (aged 27).

William McQuiston was born in Newtownards on 23rd October 1888. Before the war he worked as a house painter and was married to Eleanor Dempster on 11th May 1912 in First Donaghadee Presbyterian Church, they had two daughters Elizabeth and Letitia Boyce, and lived at 76 Upper Movilla Street. Before the war he was a member of the A Company of the 2nd Battalion of the North Down Regiment of the Ulster Volunteer Force.

William McQuiston was initially posted as missing in action, and in June 1917 it was confirmed that he had been killed in action on 1st July 1916. William McQuiston has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Newtownards War Memorial, Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour and Newtownards Orange Hall Roll of Honour.


Sergeant Alfred Blythe, No 16197, B Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, Newtownards True Blues LOL 1055, killed in action 1st July 1916 (aged 29).

Alfred Blythe was born in Newtownards where he worked as a labourer and lived with his widowed mother in West Street, Newtownards. Alfred Blythe has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Newtownards War Memorial and Newtownards Orange Hall Roll of Honour.


Sergeant Samuel Devoy, No 17563 B Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, Newtownards True Blues LOL 1055, killed in action 1st July 1916, (aged 29).

Samuel Devoy worked as a draper’s assistant and lived at 58 South Street, Newtownards. Before the war he was a member of the B Company of the 2nd Battalion of the North Down Regiment of Ulster Volunteer Force. Samuel Devoy has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Strean Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour, Newtownards War Memorial and Newtownards Orange Hall Roll of Honour.


Rifleman John Shannon, No 19197 B Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, Newtownards True Blues LOL 1055, killed in action 1st July 1916 (aged 27).

John Shannon was born in Newtownards where he worked as an agricultural labourer. He married Anna Johnston on 17th April 1908 at the Methodist Church. They lived at 99 South Street, Newtownards. Before the war he was a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force. He was reported as missing in action until it was confirmed in June 1917 that he had been killed in action on 1st July 1916.

When the news of his death was confirmed the secretary of his lodge, James Beale, wrote to his father, who was also a lodge member: ‘I am instructed by LOL 1055 to convey to you our deep sympathy in the loss you have sustained through the death in action of your beloved son, John, who was killed on 1st July 1916. The words I write to you cannot convey how we all feel the loss of such a member as our late Br. John Shannon. He was a faithful Orangeman, true to his obligation wherever he went; I am sure he fell doing his duty for King and homeland. You must feel proud and more so to know that he died a hero’s death. I hope you will accept this humble letter of sympathy which we extend to you and your beloved wife, and may God bring this cruel war to a speedy end’.

John Shannon has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Regent Street Methodist Church Roll of Honour, Newtownards War Memorial and Newtownards Orange Hall Roll of Honour.


Rifleman Thomas Newell, No 18/87 11th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, Newtownards True Blues LOL 1055, killed in action 1st July 1916 (aged 26).

Thomas Newell was born in Millisle. Before the outbreak of the war he worked as a general labourer.  He served in the Lewis Gun section of the 11th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles and was initially reported missing in action. In May 1917 it was confirmed that he had been killed in action. He had been a member of Lord Londonderry’s Own Flute Band and was an ‘ardent member’ of LOL 1055.

His brother Charles Newell, who was also a member of LOL 1055 had been killed in action on 7th February 1916. Thomas Newell has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Second Newtownards Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour, Newtownards War Memorial and Newtownards Orange Hall Roll of Honour.


Rifleman Alexander Russell, No 18713 B Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, Greenwell Street LOL 1363, killed in action 1st July 1916, (aged 20).

Alex Russell was born on 6th June 1896 and before the war he was a mill worker. Alex Russell has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial and Newtownards Orange Hall Roll of Honour.


Rifleman Robert Lowry, No 18111 B Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, Loughries True Blues LOL 1948, killed in action 1st July 1916 (aged 21).

Robert Lowry was born on 27th October 1894 and worked as an agricultural labourer. He was a member of the Guild and Bible class at Ballyblack Presbyterian Church. He was the secretary of Loughries True Blues LOL 1948. Before the war he was a member of A Company of the 2nd Battalion the North Down Regiment of the Ulster Volunteer Force.

He was initially reported as missing in action and his death was confirmed in February 1917. Robert Lowry has no known grave and is remembered at the Thiepval Memorial, Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour, Newtownards War Memorial and Newtownards Orange Hall Roll of Honour.


Corporal William James Patterson, No 18606, B Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, Mill Street Heroes LOL 1908, killed in action 1st July 1916.

William Patterson was born in Moneyreagh. Before the war he lived at 197 Mill Street and was a member of B Company of the 2nd Battalion of the North Down Regiment of the Ulster Volunteer Force.  William Patterson has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Regent Street Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour, Newtownards War Memorial and Newtownards Orange Hall Roll of Honour.


Rifleman Thomas Harrison Military Medal, No 17838, B Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, Mill Street Heroes LOL 1908, killed in action 1st July 1916 (aged 27).

Before the war Thomas Harrison worked at the Urban Council Gas Works. He was a member of D Company of the 2nd Battalion of the North Down Regiment of the Ulster Volunteer Force. In May 1916 he was awarded the Military Medal for ‘bravery in the field in carrying wounded comrades to safety’. Thomas Harrison did not live long enough to receive his Military Medal, which was presented to his parents on 3rd August 1917. Thomas Harrison has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Newtownards War Memorial and Newtownards Orange Hall Roll of Honour.

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