Claney, Robert McKee (Robert)
No. 228269, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
(Eastern Ontario Regiment)
Died on Tuesday 19 December 1916 (aged 37)
Ecoivres Military Cemetery, France (Grave IV. A. 3)
Bangor and District War Memorial
Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque
Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum
Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church Bangor
Bangor Grammar School
Family grave headstone in Bangor Abbey Graveyard
In some records his surname is spelt Clanney and in others Clancy.
Robert McKee Claney was born on 12 November 1879 in Lower Balloo and he was the youngest son of John Claney and Martha Claney (nee McKee) of Balloo House, Groomsport. They were married on 27 February 1872 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church. John Claney, a spirit dealer from Newtownards was a son of Henry James Claney, a farmer. Martha McKee from Newtownards was a daughter of Robert McKee, a farmer.
John and Martha Claney (nee McKee) had seven children:
Margaret Stewart (born 31 January 1873 in Francis Street, Newtownards; died 11 November 1942)
Henry James (born 24 May 1874 in South Street, Newtownards; died 6 November 1920 aged 46)
Robert (born 29 July 1875 in Francis Street, Newtownards; died 24 May 1876)
Unnamed male child (Johnny, born 3 September 1876 in Francis Street, Newtownards; died 18 September 1883 aged 7 years)
Mary (Minnie, born around November 1878; died 12 August 1881 aged 2 years 9 months)
Robert McKee (born 12 November 1879 in Lower Balloo)
Martha Agnes (born 18 November 1881 in Lower Balloo; died 1 January 1883 aged 13 months)
John Claney Senior died of a liver abscess in Lower Balloo on 8 January 1882 (aged 47).
On 3 December 1885 Martha Claney remarried. Martha Claney (nee McKee) and John Claney were married in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip & St James). John Claney, a land-steward from Orlock, was a son of John Claney, a farmer.
John and Martha Claney (formerly Claney, nee McKee) had four children:
Samuel McKee (Sam, born 11 October 1886 in Ballymagee Street, Bangor)
Jane Ferguson (Jeannie, born 22 December 1887 in Ballymagee Street, Bangor)
John (born 9 March 1889 in Ballymagee Street, Bangor)
Gordon Stafford (born 2 June 1892 in Ballymagee Street, Bangor; died 16 March 1922)
Martha Claney (formerly Claney, nee McKee) died on 16 December 1924 (aged 75).
Robert McKee Claney attended Bangor Grammar School and after leaving school he moved to Canada where he worked as a farmer. He enlisted in Calgary on 27 April 1916 and in his attestation papers he stated his date of birth to be 11 November 1882 – some three years after the actual date. It was noted that he was 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 150 lbs. He served with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regiment) and went to England on 6 July 1916 before being posted to France on 14 October 1916. Two months later, on 19 December 1916, Private Robert Claney was killed in action at Mont-St Eloi and he was buried in Ecoivres Military Cemetery. He had cited his mother Martha, who was living at 74 Ballymagee Streeet, Bangor, as his next-of-kin.
Robert’s half-brother Sam, who had worked for Bangor Urban Council and had played rugby for Bangor, served with the Yorkshire Dragoons and the West Yorkshire Regiment. In 1917 Sam Claney was hospitalised in Aberdeen after being gassed.
Private Robert Claney was 37 when he died and he is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial; on the Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum; in Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church Bangor; in Bangor Grammar School and on the family grave headstone in Bangor Abbey Graveyard:
In loving remembrance of a kind and affectionate husband and father
Who died at Balloo, Groomsport on 8 January 1882 aged 47 years
This memorial is erected by his widow
Also their two children
Robert who died in infancy, and
Minnie who died on 12 August 1881 aged 2 years & 9 months
Also their youngest child, Martha Agnes McKee
Who died on 1 January 1883 aged 13 months
Also their son Johnny who died on 18 September 1883 aged 7 years
Also their son Robert McKee Claney
Killed in France on 19 December 1916 aged 37 years
Also their son Henry James Claney
Who died in South Africa on 6 November 1920 aged 46 years
Gordon Stafford Claney died on 16 March 1922
Also Martha, widow of the above named John Claney
Died on 16 December 1924 aged 75 years
Also their daughter Margaret Stewart Cranston
Died on 11 November 1942