Cromie, William John (No. 17506)

Cromie, William John (William)

Lance Corporal

No. 17506, ‘C’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Thursday 16 August 1917 (aged 20)


New Irish Farm Cemetery, Belgium (Grave XVIII. B. 9)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Killinchy Parish Church of Ireland Church

First Cousin of Rifleman David Cromie (No. 17/989)


In some records his surname is spelt Crommie and in others, Cromey.

William John Cromie was born on 1 November 1895 in the townland of Ballybundon and he was a son of Robert and Sarah Cromie (nee McBride) who were married on 17 October 1881 in Killinchy Presbyterian Church.  Robert Cromie (aged 26) from Balloo, Killinchy was a son of Felix Cromie, a labourer.  Sarah McBride (aged 18) from Craigarusky, Killinchy was a daughter of Thomas McBride, a labourer.

The Cromie family lived in the townlands of Craigarusky, Balloo, Ballyminstra and Ballybunden, Killinchy.

Robert Cromie worked as a farm labourer and he and Sarah had eleven children including:

Agnes (born 20 March 1883 in Craigaruskey)

Thomas McBride (born 14 July 1885 in Balloo)

Margaret Finlay (Maggie, born 16 September 1887 in Balloo)

Hugh (born 15 October 1890 in Ballyminstra)

Ucilla (born 26 July 1893 in Ballybundon)

William John (born 1 November 1895 in Ballybundon)

Robert (born around 1896/1897)

Nathaniel McConnell (born 20 October 1898 in Ballybundon)

Grace Edgar (born 23 April 1900 in Ballybundon)

David Alexander (born 15 August 1902 in Ballybundon)

William John Cromie’s father Robert died of double pneumonia on 10 December 1915 (aged 58) and, prior to enlisting, William worked on his mother’s farm at Ballybundon, Killinchy.  His brother Robert was also on active service.

William John Cromie enlisted in Downpatrick and he served with the 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles.

Lance Corporal William John Cromie (No. 17506) was killed in action on 16 August 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres and, after he died, a For King and Country notice was placed in the 1 September 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle by ‘his loving friends Eva Thompson and Private D. Hanna (on active service)’.  It contained the verse:

For a noble cause his life he gave,

And fell at his post like a soldier brave.

Lance Corporal William John Cromie (No. 17506) was 21 when he died, and he was buried in New Irish Farm Cemetery, Belgium.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:


Lance Corporal William John Cromie (No. 17506) is commemorated in Killinchy Parish Church of Ireland Church.

Lance Corporal William John Cromie (No. 17506) was a first cousin of Rifleman David Cromie (No. 17/989).