No. 266, ‘B’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Died of wounds on Thursday 16 August 1917 (aged 28)
Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium (Grave XVII. AA. 14)
Comber and District War Memorial
Second Comber Presbyterian Church
Hugh Kelly was born on 12 June 1889 in the townland of Ballyminstra, Comber and he was a son of Henry and Margaret Kelly (nee Scott) who were married on 2 January 1880 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office. Henry Kelly (aged 20) from Ballyminstra was a son of Henry Kelly, a labourer. Maggie Scott (aged 18) from Magherascouse was a daughter of John Scott, a dealer.
The Kelly family lived in the townlands of Moneyreagh, Ballykeel, Lisbane, Lisbarnett and Ballyminstra and then in the Crescent, Comber and Railway Street, Comber.
Henry Kelly worked as a farm labourer and he and Margaret had at least nine children:
John (born 9 December 1880 in Moneyreagh)
Robert (born 2 November 1882 in Ballykeel)
Henry (born 13 January 1886 in Lisbane)
Thomas (born 30 August 1887 in Lisbarnett)
Hugh (born 12 June 1889 in Ballyminstra)
Mary (born 5 April 1892 in Crescent, Comber)
James (born 26 December 1893 in Crescent, Comber)
Anna (born 23 August 1896 in Crescent, Comber)
Samuel (born 7 September 1898 in Crescent, Comber)
Prior to joining the Army, Hugh Kelly worked as a shipyard labourer and for Robert Milling (Merchant and Undertaker) in The Square, Comber. Hugh Kelly and Sarah Ringland were married on 5 November 1910 in St Anne’s Church of Ireland Cathedral Belfast. Hugh Kelly (aged 24) from 18 McCandless Street, Belfast was a son of Henry Kelly, a labourer. Sarah Ringland (aged 22) from 33 Sydney Street, Belfast was a daughter of John Ringland (a labourer).
The Kelly family lived in Crescent Row, Comber and Bridge Street, Comber and they had five children:
Henry (born 8 February 1911 in Maternity Hospital Belfast)
Mary (born 3 February 1912 in Bridge Street, Comber)
Maggie (born 20 January 1914 in Bridge Street, Comber)
Sarah (born 9 March 1915 in Bridge Street, Comber)
Jane (born 20 June 1916, and whom her father never saw)
Hugh Kelly enlisted in Belfast and he served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division. He was wounded on 14 February 1917 and again during the Third Battle of Ypres.
Rifleman Hugh Kelly was 28 when he died of wounds on 16 August 1917 and was buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.
Rifleman Hugh Kelly is commemorated on Comber and District War Memorial and in Second Comber Presbyterian Church.