Campbell, William Henry (No. 17/548)

Campbell, William Henry


No. 17/548, 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Sunday 2 July 1916

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)

Knock Methodist Church

Holywood Orange Lodges Memorial Plaque (as Henry Campbell)

Brother of Rifleman Frederick Campbell (No. 249)

Brother of Sergeant Hugh Campbell (No. 12650)


In the Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 database it is recorded that Rifleman William Henry Campbell (No. 17/548) was born in Holywood and enlisted in Belfast.

Rifleman William Henry Campbell (No. 17/548) 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 he 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.

In the Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects, the name of Rifleman William Henry Campbell’s widow is recorded as Margaret J.

William Henry Campbell and Margaret Jane Nelson were married on 5 September 1907 in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Church, Ballymacarrett, Belfast.  William Henry Campbell (aged 25), a gardener from Belmont, was a son of Hugh Campbell, a gardener.  Margaret Jane Price (aged 25) from Belmont Avenue West was a daughter of David Nelson, a labourer.

William Henry and Margaret Jane Campbell (nee Nelson) had at least five children:

David Hugh (born 16 September 1907 at 9 Belmont Avenue West, Belfast)

Elizabeth (born 3 June 1909 in Strandtown, Belfast)

Mary Jane (born 5 July 1910 at 77 Chamberlain Street, Belfast)

William Henry (born 21 January 1913 in Strandtown, Belfast)

Georgina (born 4 February 1915 in Sydenham Avenue, Belfast)

Rifleman William Henry Campbell (No. 17/548) has no known grave, and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France; on the War Memorial tablet in Knock Methodist Church Belfast, and on the Holywood Orange Lodges Memorial Plaque (as Henry Campbell).

Rifleman William Henry Campbell (No. 17/548) was born on 3 June 1883 in Knocknagoney 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 William Henry Campbell’s brothers were also killed in the Great War:

Sergeant Hugh Campbell (No. 12650)

Rifleman Frederick Campbell (No. 249)