Campbell, Hugh (No. 12650)

Campbell, Hugh


No. 12650, 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Thursday 21 June 1917 (aged 22)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium (Panel 40)

Bangor Grammar School (To Be Confirmed)

Knock Methodist Church

Holywood Orange Lodges Memorial Plaque

Brother of Rifleman Frederick Campbell (No. 249)

Brother of Rifleman William Henry Campbell (No. 548)


Under the headline Holywood Rifleman Killed the death of Sergeant Hugh Campbell (No. 12650) was reported in the 28 July 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle.  It was also recorded that Sergeant Hugh Campbell lived in Lennox Terrace, Holywood.

Sergeant Hugh Campbell (No. 12650) served with the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and was killed in action on 21 June 1917.

In the Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 database it is recorded that Sergeant Hugh Campbell (No. 12650) was born in Ballymacarrett and enlisted in Belfast.

Prior to enlistment, Hugh Campbell was a member of the East Belfast Regiment of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and of Holywood Loyal Orange Lodge (LOL) 1906.  He worked as chauffeur for Mr Frank Workman, The Moat, Strandtown, Belfast.

In the Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects it is recorded that Hugh’s widow Jeannie was his sole legatee.

Hugh Campbell and Jeannie Mills were married on 9 February 1915 in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip and St James).  Hugh Campbell, a Sergeant in the Royal Irish Rifles stationed at Ballykinlar, was a son of Hugh Campbell who was described as a land steward.  Hugh declared that he was 22 (he was in fact 19).  Jeannie Mills from Lennox Place, Holywood was a daughter of Frank Mills, a gardener.  Jeannie declared that she too was 22.

Sergeant Hugh Campbell (No. 12650) has no known grave, and he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium.  He is also commemorated in Knock Methodist Church and on the Holywood Orange Lodges Memorial Plaque.

Desk studies and public appeals to date have not confirmed whether these service details relate to the H. Campbell who is commemorated on the Bangor Grammar School First World War Memorial Plaque.

Sergeant Hugh Campbell (No. 12650) was born on 14 June 1895 in Ballymachan and he was a son of Hugh and Elizabeth (Lizzie, sometimes Eliza) Campbell (nee Lowry) who were married on 12 May 1882 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church.  Hugh Campbell, a labourer from Belfast, was a son of Henry Campbell, a labourer.  Elizabeth Lowry, a minor from Crawfordsburn, was a daughter of William Lowry, a labourer.

Hugh and Lizzie Campbell (nee Lowry) had six children, all boys:

William Henry (born 3 June 1883 in Knocknagoney)

James (born 14 August 1884 in Knocknagoney)

Hugh (born 11 March 1887 in Ballymachan; died of whooping cough 28 February 1890)

Frederick (born 26 January 1890 in Ballymachan)

Hugh (born 14 June 1895 in Ballymachan)

Samuel (born 10 November 1900 in Glen Close, Ballymachan)

Two of Hugh Campbell’s brothers were also killed in the Great War:

Rifleman Frederick Campbell (No. 249)

Rifleman William Henry Campbell (No. 548)

Both served with the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Debt of Honour Website it is recorded that they died on 2 July 1916, the second day of the Battle of the Somme.  In the heat of battle, the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles did not make a casualty return on 1 July 1916 and many military historians agree that those 8th Battalion casualties listed on the 2 July return were killed in action on 1 July.  They have no known graves and are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France and on the War Memorial tablet in Knock Methodist Church Belfast.