McClelland, Alexander (Sandy)
No. 7610, 4th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed on Thursday 27 April 1916 (aged 18)
Greyabbey Cemetery, Co Down (Grave about middle of cemetery)
Kircubbin Parish Church of Ireland Church (Holy Trinity)
McClelland Family grave headstone in Greyabbey Cemetery
In Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) records Rifleman McClelland’s date of death is recorded as 27 April 1916. In Civil Death Registration records his date of death is recorded as 26 April 1916.
Alexander McClelland was born on 26 August 1897 in the townland of Balligan and he was the fourth (second surviving) son of James and Agnes McClelland (nee Ledlie, sometimes Ledley) who were married on 26 April 1881 in Balligan Church of Ireland Church, Innishargie. James McClelland from Greyabbey was a son of Robert McClelland, a labourer. Agnes Ledlie from Innishargie was a daughter of Robert Ledlie, a shoemaker.
The McClelland family lived in the townland of Balligan, Kircubbin.
James McClelland worked as a stone mason and he and Agnes had ten children:
Jane Ledlie (born 21 November 1881 in Balligan)
Agnes (born 27 March 1883 in Balligan)
Robert (born 5 April 1885 in Balligan; died of meningeal irritation 21 August 1885)
Robert James (born 8 June 1886 in Balligan; died of pertussis 7 February 1887)
Grace (born 13 January 1888 in Balligan)
Ellen (Nellie, born 11 February 1890 in Balligan)
James (born 23 May 1892 in Balligan)
Mary (born 16 October 1894 in Balligan)
Alexander (born 26 August 1897 in Balligan)
Robert (born 30 May 1900 in Balligan)
These children were all baptised in Kircubbin Parish Church of Ireland Church (Holy Trinity).
Sandy McClelland served with the 4th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (Machine Gun Section) and he was killed in Sheriff Street, Dublin on 26 April 1916 (Civil Records) or on 27 April 1916 (CWGC Records). On his death certificate it is recorded that he died of ‘gunshot wounds received in rebellion’.
Rifleman Sandy McClelland’s funeral was on 1 May 1916 to the family burying ground in Greyabbey. The following year the McClelland family placed an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in the 28 April 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle. In it Sandy McClelland was ‘Ever remembered by his loving Father, Mother, Sisters and Brothers’ and it contained the verse:
The news was sad, the blow was hard,
God’s will, it shall be done;
With a manly heart he did his part,
Our dear beloved son.
On 29 April 1917, the day after the notice was published and two days after the first anniversary of Sandy’s death, Sandy’s father James McClelland died of valvular heart disease (aged 61) and he was interred beside his son.
Agnes placed an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in the 27 April 1918 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:
The blow was hard, the shock severe,
To part with those we loved so dear;
The cup was bitter, we won’t complain,
But trust in Christ we’ll meet again.
Agnes placed an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in the 3 May 1919 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:
They are gone but not forgotten,
Never shall their memory fade;
Sweetest thoughts shall ever linger
Round the grave where they are laid.
Rifleman Sandy McClelland (No. 7610) is commemorated in Kircubbin Parish Church of Ireland Church (Holy Trinity).