Hurley, William Joseph (No. 5138)

Hurley, William Joseph (William)


No. 5138, 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Tuesday 27 October 1914 (aged 35)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Le Touret Memorial, France (Panel 42 and 43)

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour


William Joseph Hurley was born on 22 May 1879 in Athy, Co Kildare and he was a son of William and Maria Hurley (nee Cashion).  William Hurley worked as a labourer.

William Joseph Hurley was a career soldier and it was while he was stationed in Newtownards that he and Mary Slowey were married on 21 September 1900 in Bangor Roman Catholic Church.  Mary Slowey was a daughter of James Slowey, a dealer.

William and Mary Hurley (nee Slowey) had four children:

John (born 24 August 1901 in Mill Street, Newtownards)

William (born 26 November 1903 in Marquis Street, Newtownards)

Joseph (born 11 September 1906 in Marquis Street, Newtownards)

James (born 26 October 1910 in Victoria Barracks, Belfast)

When the Hurley family lived in Newtownards Rifleman William Hurley was a Bugler in the band of the Royal North Downs.

During the Great War Rifleman William Hurley served with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles and, after the intense fighting on 27 October 1914 at Neuve Chapelle, Rifleman William Hurley was reported as missing in action.  Over the next 18 months his wife Mary sought information through the pages of the Newtownards Chronicle, and in other ways, as to what had happened to him.  At that stage, she and their four children were living at 8 Maralin Street, Belfast.

Later it was officially confirmed that Rifleman William Hurley must be presumed to have been killed in action and he has no known grave.

Rifleman William Hurley is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, France; on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 283).