No. 17/489, 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Sunday 2 July 1916 (aged 37)
No known grave
Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
Family grave headstone in Killinchy Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Churchyard
In the Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 database it is recorded that Rifleman Robert McClements (No. 17/489) was born in Killinchy and resided in Belfast.
In a newspaper report at the time of his death it was noted that he was a brother of Miss McClements who lived at 7 Martin Street, Belfast.
In some records his surname is spelt McClemon, in others McClimon, in others McLimons and in others McClement.
Robert McClements was born on 26 April 1879 in the townland of Ballyminstra and he was a son of William and Martha McClements (nee Gilmore, sometimes Gilmer) who were married on 21 August 1874 in Killinchy Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church. William McClements, a miller from Ardmillan, was a widower and a son of John McClements, a farmer. Martha Gilmore from Ardmillan was a daughter of Hans Gilmore, a fisherman. From his previous marriage, William McClements had a son named James McClements.
William and Martha McClements (nee Gilmore) had eleven children:
John (born 17 August 1875 in Ballymartin)
Hans (born 9 July 1877 in Ballyminstra)
Robert (born 26 April 1879 in Ballyminstra)
William (born 22 May 1881 in Ballyminstra)
Alexander Huston (born 8 June 1884 in Ballyminstra)
Thomas (born 12 October 1886 in Ballyminstra)
Hamilton (born 23 September 1888 in Ballyminstra)
George (born 28 December 1891 in Ballyminstra
Bessie (born 6 October 1893 in Ballyminstra)
Isabella Gilmore (born 19 July 1895 in Ballyminstra; died of tubercular meningitis 6 August 1896)
Samuel (born 8 May 1897 in Ballyminstra)
Rifleman Robert McClements (No. 17/489) served with the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster Division) and in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Debt of Honour Website he is listed as having died on the second day of the Battle of the Somme. In the heat of battle, the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles did not make a casualty return on 1 July 1916 and many military historians agree that those 8th Battalion casualties listed on the 2 July return were killed in action on 1 July.
Rifleman Robert McClements (No. 17/489) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France and on the family grave headstone in Killinchy Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Churchyard where it is recorded that his mother Martha died on 10 December 1901 (aged 45) and his father William died on 27 February 1913 (aged 63). His brother John died on 4 October 1955 (aged 80).
Martha McClements died of heart disease at 31 Nevis Avenue, Belfast. Her husband William was with her when she died. William McClements died of tuberculosis at 79 Cheviot Avenue, Belfast. His son George was with him when he died.