McConnell, Reginald Brian (Brian)
6th Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers
Killed in action on Monday 22 January 1917 (aged 18)
Faubourg D’Amiens Cemetery, Arras, France (Grave II. C. 4)
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI)
Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) War Memorial
Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Book of Remembrance
Second Lieutenant Reginald Brian McConnell’s death was reported in the 2 February 1917 edition of the County Down Spectator under the headline Bangor Man Killed in Action.
Reginald Brian McConnell was born on 3 February 1898 at Innisfallen, Galwally and he was the youngest son of Thomas Edward and Annie Louisa McConnell (nee Price) who were married on 29 April 1891 in Fitzroy Presbyterian Church Belfast. Thomas Edward McConnell from Belfast was a son of Joseph McConnell, a merchant. Annie Louisa Price from Belfast was a daughter of John Price, a merchant.
The McConnell family lived in Belfast, at 16 Annadale Avenue and at 81 University Street. The McConnell family moved to Bangor where they lived at 22 Downshire Road. Thomas Edward McConnell’s business address was 31/33 Chichester Street, Belfast. Thomas Edward McConnell worked as an auctioneer and valuer in the firm of Messrs Robson’s Ltd and he and Annie Louisa had seven children:
William Herbert (born 4 March 1892 in Belfast)
Cecil Edward (born 16 May 1893 at Oakbank, Rosetta, Belfast)
Thomas Price (born 27 December 1894 at Oakbank, Rosetta, Belfast)
Elizabeth Helen (born 28 February 1896 at Innisfallen, Galwally)
Reginald Brian (born 3 February 1898 at Innisfallen, Galwally)
Mabel Dorothy (born 2 June 1903 at Augustaville, Bangor)
Adelaide Patricia (born 17 March 1906 at Augustaville, Bangor)
Thomas Edward McConnell was also a Unionist politician and JP and he died on 22 May 1938 (aged 70).
Reginald Brian McConnell was educated at Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI) and after leaving school he worked as an auctioneer. On 8 May 1915 he joined the Queen’s University Officers’ Training Corps (OTC). He obtained his commission on 1 July 1915 and served as a Second Lieutenant with the 6th Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action when the battalion was in the front line at Roclincourt and, in a letter to Brian’s father, his Commanding Officer outlined the circumstances of Brian’s death:
‘Your son was killed this afternoon by a trench mortar bomb. He was in the front line trench and the bomb burst quite close to him. One piece struck him in the throat and another penetrated his heart. He died instantaneously’.
At the time of Brian’s death two of his brothers were on active service – William and Thomas, both with the Tank Corps having transferred from other regiments. One of his sisters was working as a nurse in Rouen.
Second Lieutenant Reginald Brian McConnell was 18 when he died and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
In loving memory of our darling son Brian
He gave his life for his country