McCann, Frederick (No. 1524)

McCann, Frederick (Fred)

Lance Corporal

No. 1524, 15th Battalion, Australian Infantry, Australian Imperial Force

Died of wounds on 9 June 1918 (aged 26)


Crouy British Cemetery, France (Grave III. A. 21)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Australian War Memorial

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour


Frederick McCann was born on 28 October 1891 in Ballycullen, Newtownards and he was a son of Samuel and Ellen Jane McCann (nee McCormick) who were married on 23 July 1889 in Donegall Pass Presbyterian Church Belfast.  Samuel McCann was a son of John McCann, a farmer.  Ellen Jane McComick, a teacher of music, was a daughter of Isaac McCormick, a blacksmith.

The McCann family lived in the townland of Ballycullen, Newtownards.

Samuel McCann was a farmer who also worked as a general labourer and he and Ellen had at least four children:

Robert McCready (born 22 June 1890 in Ballycullen)

Frederick/Isaac (born 28 October 1891 in Ballycullen; registered as Isaac at civil birth registration and registered as Frederick at baptism)

James (born 4 April 1893 in Ballycullen)

Sarah/Helen (born 13 August 1895 in Ballycullen; died of tubercular meningitis 3 August 1896; registered as Sarah at civil birth registration and registered as Helen at baptism and at death registration)

These children were baptised in Regent Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards.

Samuel McCann had previously been married to Elizabeth (Lizzie) Moore.  Samuel McCann and Lizzie Moore were married on 20 July 1882 in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church.  Their son John was born on 28 April 1885 at Scrabo.

Elizabeth (Lizzie) McCann died of tubercular peritonitis on 26 April 1887 (aged 24).

Samuel McCann died of cancer in the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast on 4 November 1906 and his sons Robert, Frederick and James McCann moved to Australia.

In 1901 and 1911 Ellen McCann was living with her widowed mother in Farnham Street, Belfast.  Later she lived at 41 Hatfield Street, Belfast; Frederick McCann’s cousins, the Misses McDowell, lived in Wyndham Terrace, Belfast.

Frederick McCann worked in Australia as a labourer and he enlisted at Enoggera in Queensland on 16 December 1914.  He cited his brother Robert as his next-of-kin and in his attestation papers it was noted that he was 5 feet 8½ inches tall with a ruddy complexion, grey eyes and auburn hair.  He went from Australia to Egypt to England and then to France.

On 5 September 1917 Fred McCann was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal and later that month he suffered severe gunshot wounds to his leg and shoulder and was transferred to the First Southern General Hospital in Birmingham for treatment.  He recovered sufficiently to be able to re-join his Battalion on 9 March 1918.

In June 1918 Lance Corporal Fred McCann was wounded again, this time fatally.  He suffered gunshot wounds to his left arm and his right thigh, and a bullet penetrated his abdomen.  He was 26 when he died at the 47th Casualty Clearing Station on 9 June 1918.

Everything that Fred McCann possessed when he died was listed – one Testament, three notebooks, one letter, one fountain pen, one pencil, one mirror, cards, one matchbox and one silk scarf.  His possessions were sent to his brother Robert in Bundaberg, Queensland in Australia, and his memorial scroll and memorial plaque were sent to his mother Ellen in Belfast.

Lance Corporal Frederick McCann (No. 1524) was buried in Crouy British Cemetery, France and he is commemorated on the Australian War Memorial; on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in the Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour.