Petty Officer Regulating
No. 221060/Dev, HMS Ajax, Royal Navy
Died in service on Tuesday 15 June 1920 (aged 32)
Batumi British Military Cemetery, Georgia (Screen Wall)
In the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Debt of Honour it is recorded that Petty Officer Regulating Isaac Armstrong was the husband of Katherine M. Armstrong of 65 Southwell Road, Bangor.
Isaac Armstrong was born on 26 July 1887 at 17 Central Street, Belfast and he was a son of Isaac and Jane Armstrong (nee Hewitt; born in London) who were married on 28 December 1877 in St Anne’s Church of Ireland Church Belfast. Isaac Armstrong (aged 24), a carter from 4 Henrietta Street, Belfast was a son of James Armstrong, a carter. Jane Hewitt (aged 23) from 17 Henrietta Street, Belfast was a daughter of Thomas Hewitt, a gate-keeper.
In 1901 Jane Armstrong was living in Emerald Street, Belfast and her husband Isaac, a labourer, was not at home when the 1901 census was taken.
Isaac and Jane Armstrong (nee Hewitt) had at least four children:
Unnamed Female Child (born 12 July 1878 at 4 Tea Lane, Belfast)
Elizabeth Herbeson (born 24 June 1879 at 13 Venice Street, Belfast)
William (born around 1885/86 – from 1901 census)
Isaac (born 26 July 1887 at 17 Central Street, Belfast)
Isaac’s father, Isaac Senior, died on 17 January 1932 (aged 77) and his mother Jane died on 31 January 1932 (aged 75). They were buried in Dundonald Cemetery (Grave D4 652).
Before he joined the Royal Navy, Isaac Armstrong worked as an apprentice printer.
Leading Seaman Isaac Armstrong and Catherine Maxwell Melville were married on 26 August 1918 in Lisburn Church of Ireland Church (Christ Church).
Isaac Armstrong (aged 32) was serving aboard HMS Revenge and he was a son of Isaac Armstrong, a labourer. Catherine Maxwell Melville (aged 25) from 7 Mercer Street, Lisburn was a daughter of James Melville, a boiler-maker.
Petty Officer Regulating Isaac Armstrong was serving aboard HMS Ajax when he died on 15 June 1920. At the time of his death his wife was living at 65 Southwell Road, Bangor.
HMS Ajax was built in Scott’s shipyard at Greenock on the River Clyde. The ship was completed in 1913 and saw action at the Battle of Jutland and in other engagements during the Great War. During 1920 HMS Ajax was operating in the Black Sea and a few years later the ship was decommissioned and sold for scrap.
Petty Officer Regulating Isaac Armstrong was 32 when he died and he was buried in Batumi British Military Cemetery, Georgia (all 68 casualties buried in this cemetery are commemorated on a screen wall which was erected in 2014, as the original grave locations could not be confirmed).
In 1914 Batumi was a town of the Russian Empire and on 10 December that year it was shelled by the German cruisers Goeben and Breslau.
In September 1917 Georgia became part of the Transcaucasian Federal Republic and in May 1918 it became an independent Republic.
On 15 April 1918 Turkish forces occupied Batumi; in May and June Georgia made peace with Germany and Turkey, and German troops were in the country.
On 27 December 1918, troops of the 27th Division, from Macedonia, occupied Batumi, and a British garrison remained in the town until July 1920.
No. 21 Stationary Hospital stayed from December 1918 to September 1919 and No. 27 Casualty Clearing Station stayed until the evacuation.