No. 17865, ‘A’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 23)
Mill Road Cemetery, France (Grave XII. B. 5)
Holywood and District War Memorial (as W.A. Herron)
Holywood Orange Lodges Memorial Plaque (as William Herron)
In some records (including the 1901 census) his surname is spelt Herron.
William Heron was born on 30 January 1893 in Spencer Street, Holywood and he was the fourth son of Thomas and Rachel Heron (nee Walker) who were married on 9 April 1888 in First Ballymena Presbyterian Church.
The Heron family lived in Holywood – in Hibernia Place; Hibernia Street; Spencer Street and Trevor Street – before they moved to the townland of Ballycultra and then Brown’s Park, Marino.
Thomas Heron worked as a garden labourer and he and Rachel had four children:
Thomas (born 3 May 1888 in Hibernia Place, Holywood)
John (born 24 April 1889 in Hibernia Place, Holywood)
James Henry Cooley (born 14 September 1890 in Hibernia Street, Holywood)
William (born 30 January 1893 in Spencer Street, Holywood)
William Heron worked as a domestic servant before he enlisted in Holywood. He served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and was 23 when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. At the time of his death William Heron’s parents were living in Brown’s Park, Marino, Holywood.
Rifleman William Heron was buried in Mill Road Cemetery, France and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
CALL HIM NOT DEAD
WHO FELL AT DUTY’S FEET
Rifleman William Heron is commemorated on Holywood and District War Memorial (as W.A. Herron) and on Holywood Orange Lodges Memorial Plaque (as William Herron).