Dunlop, John Gunning Moore

Dunlop, John Gunning Moore (John)

Second Lieutenant

2nd Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Killed in action on Thursday 27 August 1914 (aged 28)


Honnechy British Cemetery, France (Grave II. C. 9)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Holywood and District War Memorial

Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip & St James)

Gonville and Caius College Chapel Cambridge

Chemical Society Memorial

Holywood Masonic Hall

Brother of Captain George Malcolm Dunlop


John Gunning Moore Dunlop was born on 14 December 1885 in St. Helens, Holywood and he was a son of Archibald and Elizabeth (Bessie) Dunlop (nee Moore).

Archibald Dunlop was a physician and he and Bessie had three children:

John Gunning Moore (born 14 November 1885 in St. Helens, Holywood)

Elizabeth Dorothea (Dora, born 9 October 1886 in St. Helens, Holywood)

George Malcolm (born 13 January 1889 in St. Helens, Holywood)

The Dunlop family lived in High Street, Holywood.

From his previous marriage in 1861 to Elizabeth Jane Stanton (nee Henry), Archibald Dunlop had at least three older children:

Shuldham Henry (born around 1863; married Marion Christina Gunning on 30 June 1891 in Derryloran Parish Church of Ireland Church Cookstown; medical doctor who moved to Australia)

Archibald Samuel (born 27 December 1864 in High Street, Holywood; later Colonel Archibald Dunlop stationed at St Albans)

Violet Madeline (born 22 June 1872 in High Street, Holywood; married Elliott Hill of Craigdarragh, Helen’s Bay on 5 October 1898 in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church).

Archibald Dunlop died of heart disease on 13 November 1902 (aged 68) at St Helen’s, Holywood and Bessie Dunlop died on 13 December 1926 (aged 79).

It was Bessie Dunlop who unveiled Holywood and District War Memorial on 28 January 1922.

John Gunning Moore Dunlop was educated at Summerfields, Charterhouse and Gonville & Caius College Cambridge where he was a member of the Officers’ Training Corps and he graduated with an MA degree.  He gained first class honours in both parts of the Natural Sciences Tripos with Chemistry as his chief subject. After taking his degree he was awarded a research studentship by the College, where he remained in residence until the outbreak of the war, devoting himself to chemical research with considerable success, as shown by frequent articles published between 1909 and 1914. During the earlier years of this period, he held the position of Junior Demonstrator in the University Chemical Laboratory, and later undertook some teaching work in College. He was one of the secretaries of the University Chemical Club, and he was also interested in the ‘social side’ of Chemistry. He had always taken a keen interest in military work and spent most of his vacations with the Ulster Volunteers.  He was a member of Holywood Masonic Lodge No. 381.

John Dunlop received his commission from Cambridge University in September 1910, and was gazetted to the Special Reserve of Officers, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, in June 1911.  At the outbreak of the war he volunteered at once and in August 1914 he went to the Front with the 2nd Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers.  After Mons he was reported missing in action and hope that he might have been taken prisoner was not abandoned until 12 November 1914 when a message was received from the American Consul in Berlin stating that Second Lieutenant John Dunlop had been killed in action near Clary on 27 August.

[Three hundred and fifty men and officers of the regiment were cut off in the retreat. Only fifty succeeded in fighting their way through the enemy back to their Division.]

Second Lieutenant John Gunning Moore Dunlop was 28 when he died and he was buried in Clary Cemetery.  His body lay in that cemetery, which was held by the Germans, for the next four years until the ground was recaptured and his body was exhumed and reburied in Honnechy British Cemetery, near Le Cateau.

On his CWGC headstone there is reference to a Biblical text:


[I thank my God upon every remembrance of you]

In his last will and testament, dated 3rd August 1914 John Gunning Moore Dunlop stated that his executors were to be ‘The Masters and Fellows of Gonville & Caius College’.  He left his estates and lands in County Tyrone to his brother George Malcolm Dunlop, and to his sister Elizabeth Dorothea he left the contents of his rooms at College.  The rest of his estate was left to the Masters and Fellows of Gonville and Caius College.

Second Lieutenant John Gunning Moore Dunlop is commemorated on Holywood and District War Memorial; on the Memorial Plaque in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip & St James); on the Memorial Tablet in Gonville and Caius College Chapel Cambridge; on the Chemical Society Memorial (now the Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London) and on the Memorial Plaque in Holywood Masonic Hall.