McCammon, Thomas Valentine Plaisted

McCammon, Thomas Valentine Plaisted     

Lieutenant Colonel

5th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles attached 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment

Died of wounds on Saturday 28 April 1917 (aged 42)

Buried:

Etaples Military Cemetery, France (Grave XVII. A. 10)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Holywood and District War Memorial

Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip & St James)

Holywood Masonic Hall (named the McCammon Memorial Hall)

Memorial Plaque in the McCammon Memorial Hall

Down Church of Ireland Cathedral Downpatrick

Cheltenham College Chapel Memorial Plaque

BIOGRAPHY

Thomas Valentine Plaisted McCammon was born on 27 October 1874 at 77 Pembroke Road, Dublin and he was a son of Colonel Thomas Andrew McCammon (5th Royal Irish Rifles and in civilian life a barrister) and Maria Theresa McCammon (nee Valentine) who were married on 4 October 1873 in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip & St James).  Thomas Andrew McCammon (aged 24) of 77 Pembroke Road, Dublin was a son of Thomas McCammon, a gentleman.  Maria Theresa Valentine (aged 20) of The Moat, Strandtown, Holywood was a daughter of Thomas Valentine, a merchant.

Thomas Valentine Plaisted McCammon was educated at Cheltenham College and he entered his father’s regiment shortly after his 17th birthday.  He was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1895 and became a Major in 1902.  He also worked as a stockbroker.

Thomas Valentine Plaisted McCammon served with the Royal Irish Rifles in the South African Campaign and he was awarded the Queen’s Medal with two clasps.

Thomas Valentine Plaisted McCammon and Charlotte Amelia Garratt (sometimes Garrett) from Helen’s Bay were married on 11 February 1903 in Glencraig Parish Church of Ireland Church.  Charlotte Amelia Garratt from Helen’s Bay was a daughter of Joseph Richard Garratt, a manufacturer.

Thomas Valentine Plaisted McCammon and Charlotte Amelia McCammon (nee Garratt) had at least two children:

Catherine Elizabeth Plaisted (born 26 March 1904 at Woodville, Holywood)

Ann Plaisted Davis (born 15 May 1908 at Woodville, Holywood)

Thomas Valentine Plaisted McCammon was a member of the Ulster Unionist Council and a prominent figure in the Loyal Orange Institution (Deputy Grand Master of Down).  He was a member of Holywood Masonic Lodge No. 381 and he took a keen interest in the town of Holywood where he was a member of the Urban District Council.  He was also a member of the local contingent of the Ulster Volunteer Force.

On 22 January 1913 Thomas Valentine Plaisted McCammon succeeded Colonel R.H. Wallace in command of the 5th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and, following the illness of Lieutenant Colonel James Craig MP in 1915, he acted for a period as Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster-General of the Ulster Division.  He was involved in recruitment and raised the 20th (Reserve) Battalion Royal Irish Rifles.  He applied to be sent to the Front and this request was granted in April 1917 when he was attached to a Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment overseas.

On 28 April 1917 Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Valentine Plaisted McCammon died in hospital as a result of a shell wound and he is commemorated on Holywood and District War Memorial and in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip & St James).  In Down Church of Ireland Cathedral Downpatrick there is a memorial which takes the form of an entablature close to the east window.  The inscription reads:  ‘To the glory of God and in memory of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Valentine Plaisted McCammon, 5th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (the Royal South Downs) who died on 28 April 1917 of wounds received in action at Monchy.  This tablet is erected by his brother officers, past and present, of the Royal South Downs, as a token of their love and esteem for a gallant soldier and staunch friend’.

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Valentine Plaisted McCammon is also commemorated in Holywood Masonic Hall (the hall is named the McCammon Memorial Hall); on the Memorial Plaque in the McCammon Memorial Hall and on the Memorial Plaque in Cheltenham College Chapel.