Gray, Robert James (Robert)
No. 18/1125, 11th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, then
11th/13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, then
22nd Entrenching Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Saturday 30 March 1918 (aged 23)
No known grave
Pozieres Memorial, France (Panel 74 to 76)
Bangor and District War Memorial
Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque
Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum
First Bangor Presbyterian Church
Robert James Gray (known as Robert) was born on 11 February 1895 in Railwayview Street, Bangor and he was a son of John and Maggie Gray (nee Thompson) who were married on 1 November 1892 in First Bangor Presbyterian Church. John Gray (aged 21) was a son of James Gray, a painter. Maggie Thompson (aged 21) was a daughter of Robert Thompson.
The Gray family lived in Railwayview Street, Bangor.
John Gray worked as a painter and he and Maggie had six children:
Robert James (born 11 February 1895 in Railwayview Street, Bangor)
Minnie (born 26 August 1896 in Railwayview Street, Bangor; died 23 January 1960)
Alexander (born 1 June 1898 in Railwayview Street, Bangor)
John (born 17 October 1900 at 101 Sugarfield Street, Belfast)
Hugh (born 25 July 1903 in Railwayview Street, Bangor; died 11 December 1903)
Eliza (born 2 November 1904 in Railwayview Street, Bangor; died 27 June 1905)
Their mother, Maggie Gray, died of pernicious anaemia on 17 November 1904 (aged 33) and she was buried in Bangor Abbey Graveyard.
Their father, John Gray, married Frances Elizabeth Wilson in Bangor Abbey Church of Ireland Church on 30 April 1906. Frances Elizabeth Wilson aged 27 was a daughter of John Wilson, a shopkeeper.
John and Frances Elizabeth Gray (nee Wilson) lived in Church Street, Bangor and they had at least four children:
Jane Graham (born 15 December 1907; died 13 April 1984)
Grace (born 3 June 1910; died 12 August 1965)
Frances Priscilla Wilson (born 1 July 1912; died 13 July 1982)
Sarah (Sadie, born 2 November 1914; died 6 November 1918)
Robert James Gray worked as a golf caddie before the outbreak of the Great War and in November 1915 he enlisted in Bangor. He served with the 11th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and in November 1917 the 11th and 13th Battalions were amalgamated. When they were disbanded in February 1918 Robert James Gray went to the 22nd Entrenching Battalion.
Rifleman Robert James Gray was 23 when he was killed in action on 30 March 1918 at the beginning of the German Spring Offensive and he has no known grave.
Rifleman Robert James Gray 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 44) and in First Bangor Presbyterian Church.
His father, John Gray, died on 30 August 1948 (aged 78) and his stepmother, Frances Elizabeth Gray died on 20 December 1954 (aged 75). Both were buried in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor.