Finlay, Andrew Campbell (No. 29383)

Finlay, Andrew Campbell (Andrew)

Private

No. 29383, 1st Battalion, Wellington Regiment, NZEF

Killed in action on Friday 8 June 1917 (aged 31)

Buried:

Wulverghem-Lindenhoek Road Military Cemetery, Belgium (Grave III. G. 19)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

New Zealand World War One Roll of Honour

Bangor and District War Memorial

Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque

Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum

Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church

Family grave headstone in Bangor Abbey Graveyard

BIOGRAPHY

Andrew Campbell Finlay was born on 3 July 1885 in the townland of Ballymullan and he was a son of John and Catherine Finlay (nee Gray) who were married on 11 May 1876 in Regent Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards.  John Finlay from Ballygrot, Bangor was a son of Andrew Finlay, a farmer.  Catherine Gray, a minor from Ballymoney, Newtownards was a daughter of James Gray, a farmer.

The Finlay family lived in the townland of Ballymullan and at Fairview, Clandeboye.

John Finlay was a farmer and he and Catherine had at least six children:

Elizabeth (Lizzie, born 8 March 1877 in Ballymullan; died of tuberculosis 18 November 1910)

John (born 20 April 1878 in Ballymullan; died of tuberculosis 11 July 1894)

James (born 7 May 1880 in Ballymullan)

Maria Jane (born 25 November 1882 in Ballymullan)

Andrew Campbell (born 3 July 1885 in Ballymullan)

Margaret (Maggie, born 19 January 1888 in Ballymullan)

These children were baptised in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church.

Andrew Campbell Finlay moved to New Zealand where he lived at The Homestead, Leamington and worked for Ambury Brothers (farmers) of Park Road, Epsom, Auckland.

Andrew Campbell Finlay enlisted at Trentham on 27 June 1916 and in his attestation papers it was noted that he was 5 feet 10½ inches tall with a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.  He cited as his next-of-kin his father, John Finlay, of Fairview, Clandeboye, Co Down.

Private Andrew Campbell Finlay left New Zealand on 11 October 1916, arrived in Plymouth on 29 December 1916 and marched into Sling Camp on Salisbury Plain.  He left for France on 1 February 1917 and went to the Front on 1 March 1917.  He served with the 1st Battalion Wellington Regiment and was reported missing in action on 8 June 1917 during the Battle of Messines.  On 11 July 1917, a Court of Enquiry found that ‘sufficient evidence is not forthcoming and sufficient time has not elapsed to form an opinion as to his fate’.

On 10 November 1917, another Court of Enquiry found that it was ‘reasonable to suppose’ that he was dead – and so a death card was issued.

Private Andrew Finlay was 31 when he died and he was buried in Wulverghem-Lindenhoek Road Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Private Andrew Finlay is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial; on the Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum (Page 42); in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church and on the family grave headstone in Bangor Abbey Graveyard.

John Finlay died on 10 February 1930 (aged 76) and Catherine died on 8 February 1934 aged 74).