No. 17/989, 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Sunday 2 July 1916 (aged 31)
No known grave
Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)
Killinchy Presbyterian Church
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
Willowfield Parish Church of Ireland Church
Harland & Wolff War Memorial
Family grave headstone in Killinchy Presbyterian Church Graveyard
David Cromie was born on 16 April 1885 in Killinchy and he was a son of David and Jane Cromie (nee Geddis, sometimes Geddes) who were married on 18 September 1874 in First Killyleagh Presbyterian Church. David Cromie, a labourer from Balloo, was a son of Felix Cromie, a labourer. Jane Geddis from Balloo (she was underage) was a daughter of David Geddis, a shoemaker.
The Cromie family lived in the townlands of Balloo and Ballyminstra.
David Cromie Senior worked as a scutcher in a flax mill and he and Jane had at least six children:
William (born 28 October 1874 in Balloo; died of pneumonia 22 March 1906 aged 31)
Alexander (born 16 November 1876 in Balloo; died 10 October 1952 aged 75)
Sebina (born 22 October 1878 in Balloo)
Agnes (born 30 October 1879 in Balloo)
Margaret Lowry Coulter (born 9 June 1882 in Balloo)
David (born 16 April 1885 in Balloo)
David Cromie was baptised in Killinchy Presbyterian Church and he was just 20 months old when his mother Jane died of tuberculosis on 3 December 1886 (aged 32). His father David died in Down Infirmary on 11 July 1919 (aged 71).
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War David Cromie Junior worked as a general labourer and he and Margaret Houston were married on 19 October 1907 in Willowfield Parish Church of Ireland Church Belfast. David Cromie was living at 14 St Kilda Street, Willowfield, Belfast and Margaret Houston, who was a daughter of Hugh Houston, a labourer, was living at 55 Shamrock Street, Willowfield, Belfast.
The Cromie family lived at 35 Rathmore Street, Belfast and they had at least one child:
Hugh (born 5 November 1908 at 43 Newcastle Street, Belfast)
David Cromie enlisted, and he served with the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division. In the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Debt of Honour website it is recorded that Rifleman David Cromie (17/989) died on 2 July 1916. In the heat of battle the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles did not make a casualty return on 1 July 1916 and many military historians agree that those 8th Battalion casualties listed on the 2 July return were killed in action on 1 July.
Rifleman David Cromie (17/989) was 31 when he died, and he has no known grave.
Rifleman David Cromie (17/989) is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France; in Killinchy Presbyterian Church; in Willowfield Parish Church of Ireland Church; on the Harland andWolff War Memorial and in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 130). He is also commemorated on the family grave headstone in Killinchy Presbyterian Church Graveyard where his date of death is inscribed as 1 July 1916 and his age as 32.
Rifleman David Cromie (17/989) was a first cousin of Lance Corporal William John Cromie (No. 17506).