No. 17162, ‘A’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 23)
No known grave
Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)
Comber and District War Memorial
First Comber Presbyterian Church
Dundonald Presbyterian Church
Holywood and District War Memorial
Ballykeel Defenders LOL No. 417
James Auld was born on 29 April 1893 in Comber and he was the youngest son of Andrew and Susanna Auld (nee Mason) who were married on 15 July 1874 in Tullynakill Parish Church of Ireland Church, Kilmood. Andrew Auld, a servant from Ringneal was a son of Francis Auld, a labourer. Susanna Mason (aged 19), a flowerer from Ringneal was a daughter of Thomas Mason, a labourer.
Andrew Auld worked as an agricultural labourer and he and Susanna had nine children:
Robert (born 25 November 1874 in Ringneal; died 15 October 1876)
Robert (born 22 August 1877 in Ringneal)
Margaret (born 24 June 1880 in Ringneal)
Francis (born 31 August 1883 in Ringneal)
John (born 26 April 1886 in Ringneal)
Jane (born 25 February 1889 in Ringneal)
James (born 29 April 1893)
Mary (born 25 March 1896 in Ballykeigle)
James Auld was four when his mother Susanna died of tuberculosis on 27 February 1898 (aged 41).
In 1901 the Auld family lived in the townland of Ballykeel, Kilmood
In 1911 Andrew Auld lived in the townland of Ballyhenry Major, Comber with his daughter and son-in-law Maggie and Robert McMillan.
Later Andrew lived in the townland of Cherryvalley, Comber
In 1911 James Auld worked as a farm servant for John and Eleanor Boyd in the townland of Ballyalton, Newtownards and on 2 October 1914 he and Margaret Moore were married in Dundonald Presbyterian Church.
At the time of their marriage both James and Margaret were living in the townland of Ballymiscaw, Holywood.
Their son James was born on 4 December 1914 at 15 Spencer Road, Holywood.
James Auld enlisted in Holywood and served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.
Two of his brothers were also on active service.
Rifleman James Auld went to France in October 1915 and he was 23 when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
Rifleman James Auld has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France; on Comber and District War Memorial; in First Comber Presbyterian Church; in Dundonald Presbyterian Church; on Holywood and District War Memorial and in Ballykeel Defenders LOL No. 417.
Rifleman James Auld’s widow Margaret was living in the townland of Craigogantlet (commonly Craigantlet), Newtownards.