McDermott, Robert (No. 830179)

McDermott, Robert


No. 830179, 144th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment)

Died of disease on Saturday 25 January 1919 (aged 43)


Brandon Cemetery, Manitoba, Canada (Grave L. 35. B. ‘A.’ S. 17)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Canadian Virtual War Memorial (CVWM)

Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance

Carrowdore Presbyterian Church

Family grave headstone in Whitechurch Cemetery Ballywalter


In some records his surname is spelt Derman.

At attestation Robert McDermott declared that he was born on 13 November 1875 in Ballywalter.

Robert McDermott was a son of Thomas and Margaret McDermott (nee Johnston) who were married on 14 January 1875 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).  Thomas McDermott (aged 22), a labourer from Ballyferris, Ballywalter was a son of George McDermott, a labourer.  Margaret Johnston (aged 21), a flowerer from South Street, Newtownards was a daughter of Robert Johnston, a labourer.

Thomas and Margaret McDermott (nee Johnston) lived in Ballywalter and they had at least five children including:

Robert (born 13 November 1875)

James (born 10 August 1877 in Ballywalter; baptised in Ballywalter Church of Ireland Church)

Henry (born 12 November 1878 in Ballywalter; baptised in Ballywalter Church of Ireland Church)

Margaret Ann (born 26 May 1880 in Ballywalter; baptised in Ballywalter Church of Ireland Church)

Their mother Margaret died ‘post-partum’ in Ballywalter on 27 May 1880 (aged 25) and ‘three children who died in infancy’ are also commemorated on her headstone in Whitechurch Cemetery Ballywalter.

Their father, Thomas McDermott, married Mary Anne Dorrian on 5 January 1884 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).  Thomas McDermott, a widower, from Queen Street, Newtownards was a son of George McDermott, a labourer.  Mary Anne Dorrian (aged 23), a spinster from Glastry, Ballyhalbert was a daughter of George Dorrian, a labourer.

Thomas McDermott died of heart disease in Ballywalter on 3 July 1913 (aged 58).

Robert McDermott worked as a bread server and he and Agnes Martha Taylor were married on 15 May 1896 in Carrowdore Presbyterian Church.  Robert McDermott, a labourer from Ballyblack, was a son of Thomas McDermott, a labourer.  Agnes Martha Taylor from Carrowdore was a daughter of James Taylor, a labourer.

Robert and Agnes Martha McDermott (nee Taylor) had two children:

Thomas James (born 18 February 1897 in Carrowdore; worked as a shop assistant in Belfast; died of tuberculosis 5 May 1912 at his then home, 188 Spamount Street, Belfast)

Annie Jeanetta (born 2 April 1904 in Belfast; died 12 May 1926 aged 22)

The McDermott family lived in Carrowdore; in Castlereagh Street, Newtownards and at 188 Spamount Street, Belfast.

Robert McDermott moved to Canada where he lived at 117 Harriett Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba and he worked as a labourer.  He enlisted in Winnipeg on 20 December 1915 and in his attestation papers it was noted that he was 5 feet 8 inches tall with a dark complexion, blue eyes and black hair.  Private Robert McDermott served with the 144th Battalion Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment) in Canada from December 1915 until September 1916 when he was posted to England.  He did not serve overseas.  On 9 August 1917 Private McDermott was admitted to Warrington Lord Derby War Hospital with mental illness.  On 17 October 1917 he was invalided to Canada aboard HMHS Araguaya from Liverpool.  In Canada he entered custodial care in Brandon Hospital, Manitoba where he died on 25 January 1919.  He was buried in Brandon Cemetery.

Private Robert McDermott (No. 830179) was deemed eligible for the British War Medal but not eligible for the 14/15 Star nor for the Victory Medal.

Private Robert McDermott (No. 830179) is commemorated in Carrowdore Presbyterian Church and on the McDermott family grave headstone in Whitechurch Cemetery Ballywalter.  This headstone was erected by his widow Agnes and, also commemorated thereon, are their two children, Thomas who died on 5 May 1912 (aged 15) and Annie who died on 12 May 1926 (aged 22).

In 1923 Agnes and Annie McDermott placed an In Memoriam notice in the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:

Yet again we hope to meet thee,

Where the strife of life is fled,

And with joy in heaven to greet thee,

Where no farewell tears are shed.