No. 15910, 12th Battalion, Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment)
Killed in action on Saturday 15 July 1916 (aged 36)
Quarry Cemetery, France (Grave II. L. 10)
Ballymena War Memorial
In some records his surname is spelt Rea and in others Wray.
Richard Rae was born on 29 February 1880 in the townland of Knockboy, Ballymena, Co Antrim and he was a son of James and Sarah Rae (nee Dunseath) who were married on 12 May 1865.
The Rae family lived in the townlands of Rathkenny, Lisnamurrican, Knockboy and Kenbally and in Greenvale Street, Ballymena.
James Rae worked as a general labourer and he and Sarah had at least ten children:
Alexander (born 1 December 1866 in Rathkenny)
William John (born 16 January 1869 in Lisnamurrican)
Eliza (born 12 July 1873)
Agnes (born 15 July 1875 in Knockboy)
David Crawford (born 14 February 1878 in Knockboy; died 4 March 1878)
David (born 16 January 1879 in Knockboy; died)
Richard (born 29 February 1880 in Knockboy)
David (born 16 December 1882 in Knockboy)
James Hoy (born 29 April 1886 in Kenbally)
Hugh (born 18 March 1888 in Kenbally)
Richard’s father, James, died on 25 October 1910 (aged 71) and Richard (by then living in Kirkcaldy) registered his death. Richard’s mother went to live with relatives – Samuel and Agnes Leetch (nee Rea) in Galgorm Street, Ballymena.
For a time Richard Rae worked for Messrs William McConnell & Sons (Provision Curers and Lard Refiners) in Hill Street, Ballymena. His brother James moved to Scotland where he and his wife Agnes lived in Kirkcaldy, Fifeshire. It was in Kirkcaldy that brothers Richard and James Rae enlisted and they served with the 12th Battalion Royal Scots. James Rae (No. 15973) was 29 when he was killed in action on 28 September 1915. His wife, Agnes Logan Rae lived at 148 Institution Street, Kirkcaldy, Fife and he is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.
Private Richard Rae was killed in action on 15 July 1916, the day after the 12th Battalion Royal Scots launched an attack at Longueval during the Battle of the Somme. The 12th Battalion suffered very heavy casualties. At the time of Richard’s death his mother Sarah was living at 12 Waverley Avenue, Ballymena and his wife Pearl was living in Newtownards. Richard Rea and Pearl Alexandra Adair were married on 18 June 1902 in Kirkinriola Presbyterian Church, Ballymena. Pearl Adair was a daughter of Alexander Adair, a labourer.
Richard and Pearl Rae (nee Adair) had at least three children before they moved to Kirkcaldy:
Sarah Dunseath (born 24 March 1904 in Greenvale Street, Ballymena)
David (born 7 March 1906 in Greenvale Street, Ballymena)
James (born 16 May 1908 in Greenvale Street, Ballymena)
Private Richard Rae’s death was reported in both the Newtownards Chronicle and the Ballymena Observer. Both brothers are commemorated on Ballymena and District War Memorial.