Mahaffy, George (served as Mahaffey, George)

Mahaffy, George (served as Mahaffey, George)

Lance Corporal

No. 13/18402, ‘B’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 35)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s) – as George Mahaffey


In the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Debt of Honour Website his surname is spelt Mahaffey.  In other records his surname is spelt Mehaffey and in others, Mehaffy.

George Mahaffy was born around 1881/1882 in Detroit, Michigan in the United States of America and his wife Isabella was born in Scotland.  George Mahaffy worked as a labourer and plasterer and the Mahaffy family lived in Belfast for a time before moving to 3 Ella’s Villas, Bangor Road, Newtownards.

George Mahaffy and Isabella McTaggart were married on 19 December 1901 in Belmont Presbyterian Church, Belfast.  George Mahaffy from 3 Channing Street, Belfast was a son of James Mahaffy, a farmer.  Isabella McTaggart from 28 Willowfield Street, Belfast was a daughter of Robert McTaggart, a printer.

George and Isabella Mahaffy (nee McTaggart) had eight children:

Margaret (Maggie, born 16 April 1902 at 3 Channing Street, Belfast)

Georgina (born 29 January 1904 at 2 Clara Street, Belfast)

Jane (Jennie, born 18 November 1905 at 38 Mayflower Street, Belfast)

Herbert (born 10 March 1908 in Ella’s Villas, Bangor Road, Newtownards)

Elizabeth Gregory (born 17 June 1910 in Stitt’s Row, Bangor Road, Newtownards)

Mary McClelland (born 15 February 1912 in Ella’s Villas, Bangor Road, Newtownards)

Isabella (born 21 August 1913 in Ella’s Villas, Bangor Road, Newtownards)

James (born 12 June 1915 in Ella’s Villas, Bangor Road, Newtownards)

Before the war George Mahaffy was a member of the Newtownards Branch of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).  He enlisted in Newtownards on 17 September 1914 and served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.  He went to France in October 1915 and was home on leave in February 1916.  Rifleman George Mahaffy was 35 when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.  Initially he was posted as missing in action and then in June 1917 it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed.

Isabella and her eight children, along with George’s sister Jane who was a nurse in Baltimore USA, placed a For King and Country notice in the 16 June 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle.