Gatchell, James Harcourt Cecil
Royal Army Medical Corps attached 11th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment
Killed in action on Thursday 27 September 1917 (aged 30)
Bedford House Cemetery, Belgium (Enclosure No. 4. VI. D. 11)
Bangor Grammar School
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
James Harcourt Cecil Gatchell was born on 22 November 1886 in the townland of Mount Bernard, Castlederg, Co Tyrone and he was a son of the Rev James Henry Gatchell DD and Louisa Josephine Gatchell (nee McMunn) who were married on 29 June 1881 in St Thomas’s Church of Ireland Church Dublin.
In the early 1880s the Rev Gatchell worked as Chaplain in the Ebenezer Terrace Home for Inebriate Women in Newington, Surrey and then as Rector of Castlederg Parish Church of Ireland Church.
The Rev James Henry Gatchell DD and Louisa Josephine Gatchell (nee McMunn) had at least two children:
Ethel Evangeline Ada Louisa (born 5 April 1883 in the townland of Mount Bernard, Castlederg, Co Tyrone)
James Harcourt Cecil (born 22 November 1886 in the townland of Mount Bernard, Castlederg, Co Tyrone)
James Harcourt Cecil Gatchell was educated at Bangor Grammar School and, as a boarder, he lived in school accommodation in Seacliff Road, Bangor. He studied medicine in Dublin and during the Great War served with the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. ‘He worked with great zeal for many hours in the open under heavy shellfire. He frequently dressed wounded men on the spot where they were hit, and when he was wounded he refused to leave his post until ordered to do so by his commanding officer. His contempt of danger and devotion to duty were an example to all ranks’.
Captain James Harcourt Cecil Gatchell was 30 when he was killed in action on 27 September 1917 and at the time of his death his parents were living at 30 Cliftonville Avenue, Belfast. Captain James Harcourt Cecil Gatchell was buried in Bedford House Cemetery, Belgium and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH
AT REST WITH JESUS
EVERMORE TO BE
His mother, Louisa Josephine Gatchell, died in 1921 (aged 67) and his father, the Rev Gatchell, died on 26 January 1932.
Captain James Harcourt Cecil Gatchell is commemorated on the Memorial Plaque in Bangor Grammar School and in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 210).