Briggs, John Mackay

Briggs, John Mackay


18th Reserve Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, previously served in ‘A’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (No. 16206)

Died of disease on Monday 2 October 1916 (aged 48)


Holywood Cemetery, Co. Down (Grave 605)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Holywood and District War Memorial

Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip & St James)


John Mackay Briggs was born on 9 October 1867 in Chatham and he was a son of Colonel John Briggs and Maria Anna Briggs (nee Mackey).

John Mackay Briggs and Frances Emily Turner were married in 1895 in Billericay, Essex and they had six children:

John Turner (born around 1896)

Aileen Frances Emily (born around 1898)

Victor George (born around 1900)

Muriel Vera Prudence (born around 1904)

Marjorie Eileen (born around 1908)

Roy Lester (born around 1910)

John Mackay Briggs served with the Norfolk Regiment (No. 2915) for 22 years.  He saw service in Matabeleland in 1896 and fought in the South African War.

John Mackay Briggs was discharged from the Army on 8 August 1913 as a Colour Sergeant and after that he became actively associated with the Ulster Volunteer movement.

On 11 September 1914 John Mackay Briggs re-joined the colours and was appointed Colour Sergeant in ‘A’ Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (No. 16206) and then Sergeant Major on 15 September 1914.  He was discharged to a commission on 23 May 1915 and on 24 May 1915 he was appointed Captain and Adjutant with the 18th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles stationed at Clandeboye.

The Briggs family lived at Glenside, Holywood and Captain Briggs died there on 2 October 1916 as the result of septicaemia and cardiac failure following typhoid fever for two months.  He was a few days short of his 49th birthday and he left a widow and five children.  His brother George was with him when he died.

Two days after he died, Captain Briggs was buried with full military honours and many soldiers who had been invalided home from the Front were present.  The chief mourners were his brother George and his son Victor (No. 21922) Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Captain John Mackay Briggs is commemorated on Holywood and District War Memorial and in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip & St James).