Carser, James (Jim)
No. 3351, 6th City of Glasgow Battalion, Highland Light Infantry
Died of wounds on Sunday 21 November 1915 (aged 25)
Lancashire Landing Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey (Grave H. 38)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
First Newtownards Presbyterian Church
In some records his surname is spelt Carson, in others Couser, in others Coursir and in others Courser.
James Carser was born on 1 November 1890 and baptised in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church.
James Carser was a son of David and Sarah Jane Carser (nee McDonald) who were married on 29 July 1881 in Trinity Presbyterian Church Bangor. David Carser from Greengraves was a son of John Carser, a labourer. Sarah Jane McDonald from Ballyalton was a daughter of John McDonald, a labourer.
The Carser family lived in the townlands of Ballyalton, Ballyrogan and Ballycullen, Newtownards and later at 33 Balfour Street, Newtownards.
David Carser worked as an agricultural labourer and he and Sarah Jane had at least nine children including:
Isabella (born 4 May 1882 in Ballyalton)
William Henry (born 19 August 1886 in Ballyalton)
John Andrew (born 25 June 1888 in Ballyrogan)
James (born 1 November 1890 in Ballyrogan)
Robert Hugh (born 8 October 1892 in Ballyrogan)
David (born 27 May 1895 in Ballycullen)
Alexander (twin, born 10.10 am 18 September 1897 in Ballycullen)
Samuel Marshall (twin, born 10.25 am 18 September 1897 in Ballycullen)
James Carser worked as an agricultural labourer and on 11 April 1911 he and Margaret (Maggie) Anne (Annie) Miskelly were married in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church and that is where their children were baptised. Maggie Miskelly (aged 17), a smoother from Newtownards, was a daughter of Robert Miskelly, a furniture dealer.
James and Maggie Carser (nee Miskelly) had three children:
David (born 19 June 1911 in Mill Street, Newtownards)
Robert Miskelly (born 16 September 1913 in Mill Street, Newtownards)
Isabella Carlisle (born 5 February 1916 in Movilla Street, Newtownards)
By the time Isabella was born, her father was already dead; his address in Scotland had been 79 Sandeford Street, Kelvenhaugh, Glasgow.
In May 1915 James Carser enlisted in Glasgow and he served with the Highland Light Infantry in Gallipoli. During November 1915 there was heavy rain and sleet and the temperature fell. Men wore all the clothes they had and, with little to shelter under, together with the cloying mud underfoot, conditions were desperately uncomfortable.
Private Jim Carser was 25 when he died at No. 17 Stationary Hospital on 21 November 1915 from wounds sustained in action at Gallipoli and at that time his wife was living with her parents at 32 Little Frances Street, Newtownards.
Annie Carser, together with Jim’s parents, sister and brothers placed separate For King and Country notices in the Newtownards Chronicle and Annie’s contained the verse:
If love and care could death prevent,
Thy days would not so soon have been spent.
Someday, sometime my eyes shall see
Thy face I loved so well;
Someday my hand shall clasp in thine,
And ne’er bid farewell.
The notice placed by Jim’s parents contained the verse:
Away in a far off foreign land,
His grave we cannot see;
As long as life and memory lasts
We’ll still remember thee.
In 1916 family members placed Our Heroes – In Memoriam notices in the Newtownards Chronicle and they contained the verses:
A year today has just passed by
Since this great sorrow fell,
And in our hearts we mourn the loss
Of one we loved so well.
The one who sleeps in a foreign land,
Neath the sod where their feet never trod,
A grave unknown to all earthly friends,
But one well known to God.
Somewhere abroad a volley rings,
The buglers sound farewell;
A little cross, a passing flower,
Marks where a British soldier fell.
In 1917 Jim’s parents, sister and brothers placed an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:
He is gone, but not forgotten,
And as dawns another year,
In our lonely hours of thinking
Thoughts of him are always near.
Private Jim Carser (No. 3351) was buried in Lancashire Landing Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey and his CWGC headstone bears the inscription:
THY WILL BE DONE
Private Jim Carser (No. 3351) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church.
Jim Carser’s widow Maggie married James McBratney on 29 November 1917 in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church. James McBratney, a book-keeper from Newtownards, was a son of Andrew McBratney, a farmer.