McClements, Alexander (No. 17/1300)

McClements, Alexander (Alex)


No. 17/1300, 14th & 1st Battalions, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Saturday 23 March 1918 (aged 19)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Pozieres Memorial, France (Panel 74 to 76)

Bangor and District War Memorial

Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque

Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum

Bangor Grammar School

Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church

Conlig Presbyterian Church


In some records his surname is spelt McClement and in others McLement.

In one record Alex McClements has a second forename – Lamont.

Alexander McClements was born on 30 March 1898 in the townland of Whitespots, Newtownards and he was the second son of Robert Neill McClements and Ellen McClements (nee McCleery, sometimes McCleary) who were married on 12 March 1896 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church.  Robert Neill McClements, a carpenter from Newtownards, was a son of Alexander McClements, a carpenter.  Ellen McCleery from Mount Stewart (she was born in County Monaghan) was a daughter of George McCleery, a farmer.

The McClements family lived in the townland of Drumhirk, Newtownards and then in Crawfordsburn.

Robert Neill McClements was a carpenter and part-time farmer and he and Ellen had seven children:

George Robert (born 24 June 1896 in Drumhirk)

Alexander (born 30 March 1898 in Whitespots)

Samuel (born 17 December 1899 in Drumhirk)

John (born 23 June 1901)

Mary Jane (born 27 April 1903)

Eileen (born 20 July 1908 in Crawfordsburn)

Robert Neill (born 30 May 1910 in Crawfordsburn)

Eileen and Mary Jane were baptised in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church.

Eileen McClements died of scarlatina on 8 February 1915 in Newtownards Fever Hospital when she was 6½ years old.

Alexander McClements attended Bangor Grammar School from 1911 until 1913.  He enlisted in Belfast, served with the 14th and 1st Battalions, Royal Irish Rifles and was 19 when he was killed in action on 23 March 1918 during the retreat from St Quentin.  Initially Rifleman Alex McClements (No. 17/1300) was posted as missing in action and in September 1919 it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed.

A collection of the embroidered postcards that Alex sent home from the Front has been preserved along with other memorabilia – including his medals and his button stick (the device that he used to protect the fabric of his uniform when he was polishing his buttons).

Rifleman Alex McClements (No. 17/1300) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial in France; 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; in Bangor Grammar School; in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church and in Conlig Presbyterian Church.