Kerr, James McDermott (No. 19048)

Kerr, James McDermott (James)

Ex-Rifleman

No. 19048, ‘B’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Died of disease on Monday 13 June 1921 (aged 24)

Buried:

Greyabbey Old Graveyard, Greyabbey, Co. Down

Commemorated:

Ballywalter and District War Memorial

Family grave headstone in Greyabbey Old Graveyard

BIOGRAPHY

Ex-Rifleman James Kerr, Royal Irish Rifles is listed on Ballywalter and District War Memorial as having died in the Great War.

James McDermott Kerr was born in Greyabbey and he was a son of Hugh and Jane Kerr (nee Beckett, sometimes Becketts) who were married on 11 May 1885 in Greyabbey Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Saviour).  Hugh Kerr (aged 22) from Greyabbey was a son of Henry Kerr, a dealer.  Jane Beckett (aged 19), a servant from Greyabbey, was a daughter of Thomas Beckett, a labourer.

The Kerr family lived in Greyabbey and in the townlands of Ballyatwood, Springvale and Killyvolgan, Ballywalter.

Hugh Kerr worked as an agricultural labourer, Jane worked as an embroiderer and they had at least ten children:

William Thomas (born 21 February 1886 in Greyabbey)

Edward (born 23 July 1888 in Greyabbey)

Mary Jane (born 22 September 1890 in Greyabbey)

Agnes Caroline (born 13 January 1893 in Greyabbey)

Elizabeth Magee (Bessie, born 2 March 1895 in Greyabbey)

James McDermott (born 12 April 1897 in Greyabbey)

Hugh Henry (born 24 May 1899 in Ballyatwood)

Robert Alexander (born 31 July 1900 in Springvale)

George (born 16 February 1903 in Killyvolgan)

James McDermott Kerr was seven when his mother, Jane Kerr, died of uterine haemorrhaging during childbirth on 9 November 1904 (aged 38).

After leaving school, James Kerr worked as a domestic servant and ‘dog boy’ (working in the kennels).

James Kerr enlisted on 17 September 1914 and served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.

Rifleman James Kerr was wounded on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and survived.  He was discharged from the Army on 24 October 1919 because of ‘abscesses’.

Ex-Rifleman James McDermott Kerr was 24 when died of pulmonary tuberculosis on 13 June 1921 at Springvale, Ballywalter.  His father Hugh was with him when he died.

Ex-Rifleman James McDermott Kerr was buried in Greyabbey Old Graveyard and he is commemorated on Ballywalter and District War Memorial.