No. 18230, ‘B’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Died of disease on Wednesday 16 March 1921 (aged 27)
Newtownards (Movilla) Cemetery, Co. Down (Grave I. 91)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
James McClure was born on 12 March 1894 in William Street, Newtownards and he was a son of Thomas and Margaret McClure (nee Campbell) who were married on 23 August 1886 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s). Thomas McClure from William Street, Newtownards was a son of William McClure, a stone mason. Margaret Campbell from Circular Street, Newtownards was a daughter of Hugh Campbell, a labourer.
The McClure family lived in Newtownards, in Circular Street; in William Street; in Britannia Place and at 6 Talbot Street.
Thomas McClure worked as a stone mason and he and Margaret had at least eight children:
Elizabeth (Lizzy, born 24 September 1886 in Circular Street, Newtownards)
William (born 12 February 1888 in Circular Street, Newtownards)
Margaret (born around 1890)
Hugh (born 11 April 1892 in William Street, Newtownards)
James (born 12 March 1894 in William Street, Newtownards)
Agnes (born 9 May 1896 in William Street, Newtownards)
Mary (born 9 August 1899 in Britannia Place, Newtownards)
Annie (born 29 November 1901 in Talbot Street, Newtownards)
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War James McClure worked as a winding master. He was a member of the Newtownards contingent of the Ulster Volunteer Force and at the outbreak of hostilities he joined the Army. He served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (1st County Down Volunteers) in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division. He went to France in October 1915 and fought in the trenches through the winter months.
Rifleman James McClure was wounded in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. He sustained a bullet wound in the right foot and shrapnel wounds in the leg. He was transferred to Townley’s Military Hospital, Farnworth, Bolton in Lancashire and was at home in Newtownards on 24 October 1916 when he helped to carry the coffin at his brother Hugh’s funeral.
Rifleman James McClure was 27 when he died of pulmonary tuberculosis and meningitis at 6 Talbot Street, Newtownards on 16 March 1921 and he was buried in Movilla Cemetery.
The name James McClure is listed on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in the booklet produced for the Unveiling and Dedication Ceremony held on Saturday 26 May 1934 he is described as a Rifleman in the Royal Irish Rifles. The organising committee of the day decided to include the names of ex-servicemen who died up to that date from what they considered to be war related causes, whether as a result of wounds or disease.