Dempster, Robert James (No. 18/910)

Dempster, Robert James

Rifleman

No. 18/910, 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Thursday 7 June 1917 (aged 29)

Buried:

Lone Tree Cemetery Belgium (Grave II C 20)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission (as Robert James Dempester)

Comber and District War Memorial

Comber Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church

BIOGRAPHY

Robert James Dempster was born on 7 May 1888 in Crescent, Comber and he was the eldest son of James and Isabella (Bella) Dempster (nee Patterson) who were married on 28 February 1888 in Comber Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church.  James Dempster (aged 22) from Comber was a son of James Dempster, a shoemaker.  Isabella Patterson (aged 20) from Comber was a daughter of Alexander Patterson, a labourer.

The Dempster family lived in the townland of Carnasure, Comber

James Dempster worked as an agricultural and distillery labourer and he and Isabella had at least seven children including:

Robert James (born 7 May 1888 in Crescent, Comber)

Emily (born 27 May 1890 in Carnasure, Comber)

Mary Anna (born 1 May 1893 in Carnasure, Comber)

Isabella (born 30 April 1895 in Carnasure, Comber)

William Stewart (born 12 October 1897 in Carnasure, Comber)

Alexander (born 19 August 1902 in Carnasure, Comber)

Their mother Isabella died of pneumonia on 27 January 1905 (aged 36).

Their father James married Elizabeth (Lizzie, sometimes Eliza) Welsh on 25 March 1913 in Comber Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church.  Lizzie Welsh (aged 34), a spinster from Braeside, Comber was a daughter of James Welsh, a labourer (deceased).

Robert James Dempster enlisted at Clandeboye and on 10 October 1916 he made his will at Clandeboye Camp.  He bequeathed all his property and effects to his father.

Rifleman Robert James Dempster (No. 910) was killed in action on 7 June 1917, the first day of the Battle of Messines, and he was buried in Lone Tree Cemetery Belgium (Grave II C 20).

Rifleman Robert James Dempster is commemorated on Comber and District War Memorial and in Comber Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church.