McCandless, James Lamont (James)
No. 11364, 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Friday 6 September 1918 (aged 18)
Messines Ridge British Cemetery, Belgium (Grave I. D. 5)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for
Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards
James Minnis was born on 2 August 1900 in the townland of Castle Espie, Comber and he was a son of Elizabeth (Lizzie) Minnis. He used the surname McCandless after his mother, Lizzie Minnis, and Thomas McCandless were married on 28 July 1904 in Second Comber Presbyterian Church. Lizzie Minnis from Castle Espie was a daughter of Robert Minnis, a labourer. Thomas McCandless from Stevenston, Scotland was a son of James McCandless, a labourer.
The McCandless family lived in Greenwell Street, Newtownards and at 9 Queen Street, Newtownards. Thomas McCandless, who was born in Scotland, worked as a labourer and dealer and he and Lizzie had at least seven children:
Thomas (born around 1905)
Robert (born around 1906)
Mary (born 8 October 1908 in Greenwell Lane, Newtownards)
Lizzie (born 29 December 1909 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
William (born 14 November 1912 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
Alexander (born 2 May 1915 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
David (born 11 May 1917)
Mary, Lizzie, William, Alexander and David were baptised in Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War James McCandless worked in the Ulster Print Works, Newtownards.
James McCandless enlisted on 26 July 1917 in Newtownards and after training at Clandeboye, Holywood and Ballykinlar Camps he went to France at the end of March 1918. He served with the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and less than six months later, on 6 September 1918, Rifleman James McCandless (No. 11364) was killed in action during the Allied offensive against all sections of the German line.
Elizabeth and Thomas McCandless placed a For King and Country notice in the 14 December 1918 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:
The news was sad, the blow was hard;
God’s will, it shall be done;
With a manly heart he did his part,
And a crown of victory won.
Rifleman James McCandless (No. 11364) was 18 when he died, and he was buried in Messines Ridge British Cemetery in Belgium. He is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards.