Jenkins, William (Willie)
No. 18/1139, 18th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Died of disease on Sunday 16 January 1916 (aged 25)
Belfast City Cemetery (Screen Wall. H. 534)
William (Willie) Jenkins was born on 6 June 1890 in Ardbraccan, Navan, Co Meath and he was the only surviving son of Robert and Maria Jenkins (nee Lang) who were married on 16 August 1878 in Ardbraccan Parish Church of Ireland Church. Robert Jenkins from Red Commons was a son of Lambert Jenkins, a labourer. Maria Lang from Ardbraccan was a daughter of Robert Lang, a labourer.
Robert Jenkins worked as a garden labourer and he and Maria had seven children including:
Lambert (born 20 January 1879 in Ardbraccan; died of influenza 14 March 1879)
Annie Katharine (born 14 April 1881 in Ardbraccan)
Thomas (born 24 May 1883 in Ardbraccan)
Robert (born 19 November 1886 in Ardbraccan; died of bronchitis 24 December 1886)
Mary Anne (born 9 December 1887 in Ardbraccan)
William (Willie, born 6 June 1890 in Ardbraccan)
Four of their children died in infancy.
Willie Jenkins moved to Bangor where he worked as a gardener at Seacourt for Samuel Cleland Davidson (Sirocco Works).
Both Willie Jenkins and William George Rowan boarded at 107 Abbey Street, Bangor. William George Rowan, who was from County Cavan, also worked as a gardener and he was killed in action during the Great War.
Prior to enlisting, Willie Jenkins was a member of ‘C’ Company of the 1st Battalion, North Down Regiment, Ulster Volunteer Force and he was a member of Cleland’s Royal Standard Temperance LOL 769 (Bangor).
Willie Jenkins enlisted in Bangor in November 1915 and served with ‘E’ Company, 18th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. Two months later, on 16 January 1916, Rifleman Willie Jenkins died of cerebrospinal fever in Purdysburn Hospital, Belfast and he was buried with full military honours in Belfast City Cemetery which contains almost 300 Commonwealth burials of the First World War.
The date of death on his death certificate is 16 January (20 January in CWGC records).