No. 10409, 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Thursday 29 July 1915 (aged 21)
Y Farm Military Cemetery, France (Grave K. 35)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark)
George Jamison was born on 28 March 1894 in Carrowdore and he was a son of James and Sarah Jamison (nee Devlin).
The Jamison family lived in Carrowdore and then at 159 Greenwell Street, Newtownards.
Sarah Devlin had at least three children whose births were registered without any father’s name being recorded:
James (born 15 May 1882 in Carrowdore)
Thomas (born 27 March 1887 in Carrowdore)
Charlotte (born 31 May 1889 in Carrowdore; died of tuberculosis 25 October 1893)
Subsequently these children used the surname Jamison.
James Jamison worked as a general labourer and he and Sarah had at least six children:
David (born 6 December 1890 in Carrowdore)
James (born 6 March 1892 in Carrowdore; died of debility 2 August 1893)
George (born 28 March 1894 in Carrowdore)
Jane (Jennie, born 24 June 1895 in Carrowdore)
Alice (born 10 July 1898 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards; died of enteric fever 3 September 1908 in Newtownards Workhouse)
John (born 28 October 1900 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
George Jamison worked as an apprentice weaver before the outbreak of the Great War. He enlisted in Belfast and served with the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. Rifleman George Jamison was killed in action on 29 July 1915 while his Battalion was holding the line and the Rev M.W.T. Cowan, Church of England Chaplain, 95th Infantry Brigade conducted his funeral that same day. From 20th Field Ambulance in 8th Division of the British Expeditionary Force, the Rev Cowan wrote a letter of sympathy to George Jamison’s mother the following day. George Jamison had made his will on 18 May 1915 and in it he left all his property and effects to his mother Sarah.
In an article in the Newtownards Chronicle the Rev W.L.T. Whatham, Church of Ireland Rector in Newtownards described Rifleman George Jamison as ‘the soldier who died with a smile on his face’. This description was based on a comment made in a letter of sympathy to his parents written by Lance Corporal D. Wilkinson (No. 6888). He wrote, ‘We all miss him badly here, he was such a real good fellow, always in the best of spirits. I might tell you that he died with a smile. He and I were just after passing a joke. He was showing me the rose and handkerchief you had sent him, then he sat down to write a letter. I don’t think he got it finished. He got up again to have a shot at them, as he said, when he was hit. He got it right through the head. He did not suffer any pain for he was laughing when he was hit, and that is how he fell – smiling’.
His family placed a Killed in Action notice in the 7 August 1915 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and it included the verse:
We in suffering, they in crime
Wait the just reward of time,
Wait the vengeance that is due.
Not in vain a heart shall break,
Not a tear for Freedom’s sake
Fall unheeded; God is true.
His family placed an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in the 12 August 1916 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:
Many times our thoughts do wander
To his lonely grave so far away,
Where his comrades gently laid him,
Just one year ago today.
Rifleman George Jamison was 21 when he died and he was buried in Y Farm Military Cemetery, France.
Rifleman George Jamison is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark).