Dines, Alexander (Alex)
No. 6741, 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles attached
25th Light Trench Mortar Battery
Killed in action on Wednesday 30 August 1916 (aged 20)
Vermelles British Cemetery, France (Grave VI. E. 5)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Comber and District War Memorial
Killyleagh War Memorial (as Dynes)
Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for
First Killyleagh Presbyterian Church (as Dynes)
Brother of Rifleman Thomas Dines (No. 10418)
Brother-in-law of Rifleman John Kennedy (No. 17/1773)
In some records his surname is spelt Dynes.
Alexander Dines was born on 16 October 1895 in Killyleagh and he was a son of William and Ellen Dines (nee Kennedy) who were married on 5 February 1886 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office. William Dines from Ringneal was a son of George Dines, a labourer. Ellen Kennedy from Ballyaltikilligan was a daughter of James Kennedy, a labourer.
The Dines family lived at 19 Irish Street, Killyleagh.
William Dines worked as a general labourer and he and Ellen had at least ten children including:
Mary Alice (born 26 March 1887 in Ringneal)
Martha (born 7 February 1889 in Ringneal)
Hugh (born 20 December 1890 in Killyleagh)
George (born 19 August 1893 in Killyleagh)
Alexander (born 16 October 1895 in Killyleagh)
Thomas (born 12 December 1897 in Killyleagh)
William (born 29 March 1900 in Killyleagh)
Gawn (born 5 June 1902 in Killyleagh; died of tubercular meningitis10 December 1905)
Ellen (Nellie, born 12 November 1904 in Killyleagh)
The Dines family moved from Killyleagh to 16 Ann Street, Newtownards and subsequently to Brownlow Street, Comber.
Alexander Dines enlisted in Ballykinlar and served with the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles.
On 30 August 1916, the day that Rifleman Alex Dines was killed in action (aged 20), he made a will and after he died his property and effects were received by his mother.
An officer wrote to Alex’s mother and said, ‘Your son was killed instantaneously. My only words of comfort to you can be that he died fighting, a noble and brave soldier. His death means a great loss to me, as during the time he was with me he was one of my most reliable men. Apart from his fighting qualities and wonderful bravery, his cheerful disposition helped the other men to face many a black hour. I can only tell you that you are the mother of one of the nation’s heroes’.
Rifleman Alexander Dines was buried in Vermelles British Cemetery, France and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
EVER REMEMBERED BY
HIS SORROWING PARENTS
W. & E. DINES
Rifleman Alexander Dines is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial; on Killyleagh War Memorial (as Dynes); in the PCI Roll of Honour for First Killyleagh Presbyterian Church (as Dynes) and on Comber and District War Memorial.