Burrows, James Charles (No. 412316)

Burrows, James Charles (Charlie)


No. 14547, Royal Scots Fusiliers, transferred to

No. 40235, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles and

No. 412316, 894th Garrison Guards Employment Company, Labour Corps

Died of wounds on Friday 29 March 1918 (aged 27)


Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension, France (Grave II. A. 30)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Donaghadee and District War Memorial

Carrowdore Presbyterian Church


In some records his surname is spelt Borrows and, in others, Barrows.

James Charles Burrows was born on 1 August 1890 in Ballybuttle and was baptised in Carrowdore Presbyterian Church.

James Charles Burrows was a son of William and Maggie Burrows (nee Ritchie) who were married on 7 May 1886 in Ballycopeland Presbyterian Church.  William Burrows, a servant from Ballywhiskin, was a son of John Burrows, a labourer.  Maggie Ritchie, a servant from Kilbright, was a daughter of Hamilton Ritchie, a labourer.

Maggie Ritchie had a daughter before she and William Burrows got married:

Mary Elizabeth Ritchie (born 17 June 1883 in Carrowdore)

The Burrows family lived in the townland of Ballyfrenis.

William Burrows worked as a farm labourer and he and Maggie had five children:

Margaret Jane (born 17 November 1887 in Ballyfrenis)

James Charles (born 1 August 1890 in Ballybuttle)

Robert (born 31 December 1892 in Ballybuttle)

Sarah (born 14 April 1895 in Ballybuttle)

Agnes McConnell (born 22 June 1897 in Ballybuttle)

On 22 March 1897, three months before Agnes was born, William Burrows was found drowned in Spencer Basin, Dufferin Dock, Belfast.  He was 36 years old and an inquest was held on 23 March 1897.

In 1901 the widowed Maggie Burrows (nee Ritchie), aged 35 and working as a hand embroiderer, was living in Ballyfrenis with five of her children – Mary Eliza, James Charles, Robert, Sarah and Agnes.  All belonged to the United Free Church of Scotland.

Also living in the townland of Ballyfrenis in 1901 was William Burrows’s brother Robert Burrows, a labourer aged 47, his wife Maggie (nee Menagh), a seamstress aged 42, and six of their children – William John, David, Robert, James, Mary (Minnie) and Charles.  All belonged to the United Free Church of Scotland.

Robert Burrows and Margaret (Maggie) Menagh were married on 13 December 1880 in Newtownards Registry Office.  Robert Burrows from Ballyfrenis was a son of John Burrows, a labourer.  Maggie Menagh from Carrowdore was a daughter of John Menagh, a labourer.

Robert and Maggie Burrows (nee Menagh) had nine children:

Eliza (born 19 December 1881 in Carrowdore)

William John (born 1884)

David (born 7 August 1886 in Ballybuttle)

Robert (born 26 August 1888 in Ballybuttle)

James (born 15 July 1890 in Ballyfrenis)

Mary (Minnie, born 9 March 1893 in Ballybuttle)

Charles (born 31 August 1895 in Ballybuttle)

Maggie Jane (born 10 May 1899 in Ballyfrenis)

Samuel (born 27 September 1903 in Ballyfrenis)

Their mother, Maggie Burrows (nee Menagh), died of pernicious anaemia in Ballyfrenis on 12 March 1905 (aged 46).

Their father, Robert Burrows, and his former sister-in-law, Maggie McConnell (formerly Burrows, nee Ritchie) were married on 12 February 1906 in St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland Church, Ballymacarrett, Belfast.  Robert Burrows, a labourer, full age, widower, living at 108 Jocelyn Avenue, Belfast, was a son of John Burrows.  Maggie McConnell, full age, widow, living at 108 Jocelyn Avenue, Belfast, was a daughter of Hamilton Ritchie.

Robert and Maggie Burrows (formerly McConnell, formerly Burrows, nee Ritchie) had three children:

Matilda (born 10 August 1906 in Ballyfrenis)

Henry Garrett (Harry, born 4 April 1908, died as a result of service in the Second World War)

Ethel May (born 31 July 1910 in Ballyfrenis)

In 1911 Robert Burrows (a labourer aged 59) and his wife Maggie (a hand embroiderer aged 46), were living in Ballyfrenis with ten children.

Four were children of Robert and Maggie Burrows (nee Menagh) – David, James, Minnie and Samuel

Three were children of William and Maggie Burrows (nee Ritchie) – Maggie Jane, Sarah and Agnes

Three were children of Robert and Maggie Burrows (formerly McConnell, formerly Burrows, nee Ritchie) – Matilda, Harry and Ethel May.

All belonged to the United Free Church of Scotland.

James Charles Burrows and Mary Jane Robson were married on 8 March 1912 in Ballyblack Presbyterian Church.  Mary Jane Robson (aged 20) from Carrowdore was a daughter of James Robson, an insurance agent.  Mary Jane Robson had a son, John Robson, who was born on 30 April 1910 in Carrowdore.

James Charles and Mary Jane Burrows (nee Robson) had at least two children:

James William (William, born 16 September 1912 in Carrowdore)

Mary Jane (Jeannie, born 30 August 1913 in Carrowdore)

Less than a year later, her mother, Mary Jane, died of tuberculosis on 2 February 1914 (aged 21).

In September 1914 James Charles Burrows enlisted at Lochans near Stranraer in Scotland.  He joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers and went to Bristol for training.

In August 1915 he went to France and in November 1915 he was severely wounded.  In 1916 he returned to France and was transferred to the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, then to the 894th Garrison Area Employment Company of the Labour Corps.

Corporal Burrows was acting as a stretcher bearer in the 45th Casualty Clearing Station when it was bombed and he was seriously wounded.  He was taken to the 3rd General Australian Hospital at Abbeville where he died of his wounds on 29 March 1918.  He was buried the following day with full military honours.  At the time of James Burrow’s death his younger brother Robert was on service with the Royal Navy in Devonport Barracks.

Corporal James Charles Burrows was 27 when he died and after his death two For King and Country notices were inserted in the Newtownards Chronicle.  One was placed by his father-in-law and mother-in-law James and Eliza Ann Robson in Carrowdore, along with his three children John, William and Jeannie.  It contained the verse:

Day and night we think of him,

We cannot think he’s dead;

We did not think when he left home

That it was his last farewell.

Sad thoughts do linger in our hearts,

While tears they often flow,

And to that sad and lonely grave

Our thoughts do often go.

Dearest children, I have left you

To the care of God above;

Do not let my absence grieve you,

For my sake each other love.

Oh! Daddy dear, we think of you,

And Daddy we often call;

But there’s nothing left to answer us

But your photo on the wall.

The other was placed by his mother, brothers and sisters in Ballyfrenis and it contained the verse:

Sleep on, dear son, sleep and take thy rest,

Lay down thy head upon the Saviour’s breast;

We love thee well, but Jesus loves thee best:

Good night!  Good night!  Good night!

Calm is thy slumber as an infant’s sleep,

But thou shalt wake no more to toil and weep;

Thine is a perfect rest, secure and deep:

Good night!  Good night!  Good night!

In 1919 his mother, brothers and sisters placed an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:

The midnight stars are gleaming

On a grave I cannot see,

Where sleeping without dreaming

Lies the one so dear to me.

Peaceful be thy rest, dear Charlie,

Tis sweet to breathe thy name;

In life we loved you very dearly,

In death we do the same.

No loving hand clasped yours that day,

No home voice said good-bye!

You fell in battle’s dread affray,

But God Himself was nigh.

Oh, son, little did I think,

When first I cradled thee,

That on the battlefield you’d fall,

So far away from me.

Dearest brother, you have left us,

And our loss we deeply feel.

It is God Who has bereft us;

He can all our sorrows heal.