McAlpine, Francis (Frank)
No. 28854, 126th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Killed in action on Saturday 7 July 1917 (aged 30)
Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery, Belgium (Grave I. A. 16)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for
Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards
McAlpine Family Grave Headstone in Movilla Cemetery, Newtownards
In some records his surname is spelt McCalpin.
Francis McAlpine (known as Frank) was born on 21 February 1887 in Mill Street, Newtownards and he was the only son of Mary McAlpine who lived at 180 Mill Street.
Frank McAlpine enlisted in Glasgow, he served with the Royal Garrison Artillery and he was 30 when he was killed in action on 7 July 1917 during heavy enemy shelling.
On 15 July 1917 Second Lieutenant J.S. Henderson wrote to Frank’s mother Mary to express his condolences. He wrote, ‘It is my sorrowful duty to inform you that Corporal McAlpine was killed on 7 July 1917. He was an excellent soldier, trusted by the officers and idolised by his men. His last words were ordering them to a place of safety. Death was instantaneous and he lies buried in a small graveyard somewhere in Belgium. We all miss him and his cheerful ways and send our deepest sympathy in your great loss. His personal effects which I am sending to you were collected from his kit. His jacket, for which he turned back, was destroyed by a shell.’
Corporal Frank McAlpine (No. 28854) was buried in Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery in Belgium and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
THY WILL BE DONE
On the headstone his age is inscribed as 32.
Corporal Frank McAlpine (No. 28854) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial; in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards and on the McAlpine Family Grave Headstone in Movilla Cemetery, Newtownards.
Mary McAlpine placed a For King and Country notice in the 11 August 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:
He sleeps beneath foreign soil,
A soldier brave was he;
His noble life he freely gave
To keep his country free.
I little thought when he left home
That he would ne’er return;
That he so soon in death would sleep,
And leave me here to mourn.
In 1918 Frank’s mother Mary placed an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:
Days of sadness still hang o’er me,
Hidden tears do often flow,
Memory keeps my dear one near me,
Though killed one year ago.
His loving ways, his smiling face,
Are pleasant to recall;
He had a kindly word for each,
And died beloved by all.
In 1919 Frank’s mother Mary placed an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:
An unknown grave is the bitterest blow,
None but an aching heart can know;
A little hillock of blood-stained clay,
A wooden cross raised two years today.
Mary McAlpine died on 25 August 1929 (aged 70) and she was buried in Movilla Cemetery, Newtownards.