No. 8563, ‘A’ Company, 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 26)
No known grave
Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
First Newtownards Presbyterian Church
William Anderson was born on 24 March 1890 in the townland of Ballyrea, Newtownards and he was a son of Thomas and Agnes Anderson (nee McKnight, sometimes McNeight, sometimes McLeight) who were married on 18 August 1882 in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church. Thomas Anderson from Ballywatticock was a son of Patrick Anderson, a farmer. Agnes McKnight from Carrowreagh was a daughter of William McKnight, a farmer.
The Anderson family lived in the townlands of Carrowreagh, Ballyrea and Ballywatticock, Newtownards.
Thomas Anderson worked as an agricultural labourer and he and Agnes had eight children, all of whom were baptised in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church:
Ellen Jane (born 18 September 1882 in Carrowreagh)
Jane (born 18 February 1884 in Ballyrea)
David (born 3 December 1885 in Ballyrea)
John (born 26 November 1887 in Ballyrea)
William (born 24 March 1890 in Ballyrea)
Samuel (born 20 February 1893 in Ballyrea)
Henry Crawford Orr (born 15 June 1895)
Agnes (born 16 June 1897 in Ballywatticock)
Their father Thomas died on 13 April 1932 (aged 80).
After leaving school William Anderson worked as an agricultural labourer.
He enlisted in Belfast and served with the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles.
Rifleman William Anderson (No. 8563) was 26 when he was killed in action near Ovillers on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
Rifleman William Anderson (No. 8563) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France; on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church.