Clements, James

Clements, James


SS Gower Coast, Mercantile Marine

Died as a result of enemy action on Wednesday 4 April 1917 (aged 42)


Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension, France (Grave II. E. 4)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Holywood and District War Memorial

Glynn, Magheramorne and Raloo War Memorial


James Clements was born on 14 December 1874 in Pound Street, Larne and he was the eldest son of John and Margaret (Maggie) Clements (nee Paisley) who were married on 18 July 1873 in First Carrickfergus Presbyterian Church.  John Clements (aged 24), a sailor from Larne, was a son of James Clements, a seaman.  Margaret Paisley (aged 21) from Larne was a daughter of James Paisley, a labourer.

The Clements family lived in the townland of Magheramorne, Larne, Co. Antrim.

John Clements was a sailor and he and Maggie had at least five children:

James (born 14 December 1874 in Pound Street, Larne)

Margaret (born 5 January 1881 in Ballylig, Glynn)

Annie (born 6 April 1883 in Ballylig, Glynn)

Mary (born 5 June 1885 in Ballylig, Glynn)

David Paisley (born 18 May 1887 in Ballylig, Glynn)

After leaving school James Clements went to sea and he and Rachel McCalmont were married in Belmont Presbyterian Church Belfast on 1 October 1902.   James Clements, a master mariner from Magheramorne was a son of John Clements, a master mariner.  Rachel McCalmont from Alexandra Park, Holywood was a daughter of James McCalmont, a clerk.

The Clements family lived in Downshire Road, Holywood and at 7 Churchill Terrace, Church Road, Holywood and they had at least two children:

John (born 12 July 1903 in Downshire Road, Holywood)

Rachel McCalmont (born 6 September 1906 in Downshire Road, Holywood)

During the First World War James Clements was Master aboard the SS Gower Coast.

Weighing 804 tons, the SS Gower Coast was built by the Dundee Shipbuilders Company in 1899 for the Powell Bacon & Hough Lines Ltd.  Loaded with coal she left the Tyne on 31 March 1917 bound for Treport in France.  The SS Gower Coast was last seen on 4 April 1917 and probably sank after striking a mine. She had a crew of 15 on board.

Captain James Clements was 42 when he died, his body was recovered from the sea at Le Crotoy, and he was buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension in France.

Captain James Clements is commemorated on Holywood and District War Memorial and on Glynn, Magheramorne and Raloo War Memorial.