McClelland, James Arthur
No. 18224, ‘A’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Thursday 16 August 1917 (aged 23)
No known grave
Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium (Panel 138 to 140 & 162 to 162A & 163A)
Bangor and District War Memorial
Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque
Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum
Ballygrainey Presbyterian Church
Cousin of Rifleman John Alexander Strain Keating
James Arthur McClelland was born on 17 April 1894 in the townland of Cottown, Donaghadee and he was a son of William and Maggie McClelland (nee Keating) who were married on 10 July 1891 in Ballygrainey Presbyterian Church. William McClelland from Cottown was a son of James McClelland, a farmer. Maggie Keating from Ballyhay was a daughter of John Keating, a shop-keeper and she already had a son, John Keating, who was born on 24 August 1889 in Ballyhay. After his mother married William McClelland, John Keating used the surname McClelland.
William McClelland worked as an agricultural labourer and he and Maggie had at least three children:
Maggie (born 31 January 1892 in Ballyhay)
James Arthur (born 17 April 1894 in Cottown)
Charles Campbell (born 25 January 1897 in Cottown)
James Arthur McClelland was baptised in Ballygrainey Presbyterian Church.
James Arthur McClelland worked as an agricultural labourer and he was a member of the Cottown branch of the Ulster Volunteer Force. He enlisted in Bangor, served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and was killed in action on 16 August 1917 at the Battle of Langemarck. Initially he was posted as missing in action and then, in January 1918, it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action. The 16 February 1918 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle carried a For King and Country notice from his sorrowing father, mother, sister, brothers and sister-in-law and it included the verse:
We little thought his time so short
When he on furlough came,
When to the front again he went,
Never to return again
We may not, Lord, Thy purpose see,
But all is well that’s done by Thee.
The 17 August 1918 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle carried an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice from his sorrowing father, mother, sister, brothers and sister-in-law and it included the verse:
We did not clasp your hand, dear son;
Your face we did not see;
We were not there to say good-bye;
But we still remember thee.
Rifleman James Arthur McClelland (No. 18224) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium; on Bangor and District War Memorial; on the Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum and in Ballygrainey Presbyterian Church.