No. 6983, 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Tuesday, 27 October 1914 (aged 30)
No known grave
Le Touret Memorial, France (Panel 42 and 43)
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour (Page 83)
Alexander Campbell was born on 5 April 1884 in Barrack Street, Kilkenny and he was a son of Alexander and Elizabeth Campbell (nee McCormick, sometimes McCormack). At that time Alexander Campbell Senior, who was born in Newtownards, was serving as a Corporal in the 24th Regiment, South Wales Borderers. Alexander Campbell Senior enlisted as Private (No. 1761) in the 37th Regiment in 1870, went to the Army Reserve in 1875, re-engaged as Private (No. 2606) in the 1/24th Regiment in 1881.
Alexander Campbell Senior and Elizabeth McCormick were married on 30 September 1876 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s). Alexander Campbell, a weaver from Windmill Row, Newtownards was a son of William Campbell, a weaver. Elizabeth McCormick from Mill Street, Newtownards was a daughter of James McCormick, a labourer.
Alexander and Elizabeth Campbell (nee McCormick) had at least five children:
Eliza Jane (Lizzey, born 6 April 1877 in Windmill Row, Newtownards)
William Robinson Bayne (born 13 May 1879 in Mill Street, Newtownards)
Thomas (born 2 February 1882 in Gosport)
Alexander (born 5 April 1884 in Barrack Street, Kilkenny)
Samuel (born 24 November 1889)
Alexander Campbell Senior was discharged from the Army on 10 February 1891, and he died on 1 June 1891 in Newtownards Workhouse as the result of ‘softening of the brain’ (aged 40). Elizabeth Campbell (nee McCormick) died on 1 February 1895 at Mill Street, Newtownards as the result of ‘malignant disease of the stomach’ (aged 43). Her daughter Elizabeth was with her when she died.
When his brother enlisted as Private (No. 11971) in the Royal Field Artillery on 21 July 1900, Alexander Campbell was named as his next-of-kin and he was residing at Mill Street, Newtownards. In the 1901 Census he is recorded as a soldier in the Royal Irish Rifles boarding at 67 Mill Street, Newtownards. He was residing in Belfast when he enlisted in the Regular Army, Royal Irish Rifles, in February 1903.
In the 1911 Census his brother Thomas and wife Maggie are recorded as residing at 88 Chadolly Street, Belfast. Alexander Campbell was a labourer residing at 88 Chadolly Street when he and Sarah Campbell were married in Ballymacarratt Church of Ireland Church (St Patrick’s), Belfast on 3 October 1911. Sarah Campbell (aged 23) from 78 Church Street, Belfast was a daughter of Thomas Campbell, a painter.
Alexander and Sarah Campbell (nee Campbell) had at least two children:
David (born 28 April 1912 at 36 Spring Street, Belfast))
Elizabeth (born 10 December 1913 at Front Shuttlefield, Newtownards)
Alexander Campbell enlisted in Newtownards, went to the British Expeditionary Force on 7 October 1914 and was posted to B Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. When he was killed in action on 27 October1914 his widow Sarah was living at 33 Saunders Street, Belfast. Sarah Campbell (nee Campbell) and John McLean, a widower, were married on 25 March 1917 in St Anne’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Belfast and they resided at 63 Lord Street, Belfast.
John McLean died on 23 November 1938 and Sarah died on 25 May 1967.
Rifleman Alexander Campbell (No. 6983) is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial in France and in the Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour (Page 83).