McDonnell, Alexander (No. 166671)

McDonnell, Alexander


No. 166671, 214th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery

Killed in action on Wednesday 5 September 1917 (aged 37)


Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery, Belgium (Grave VII. G. 11)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Portaferry Presbyterian Church

Family grave headstone in Ballymanish Cemetery Portaferry


Alexander McDonnell was born on 26 January 1880 in the townland of Ballyspurge, Portaferry and he was a son of John and Ellen McDonnell (nee Moore) who were married on 17 October 1866 in Glastry Presbyterian Church.

The McDonnell family lived in the townland of Ballyspurge, Quintin, Portaferry.

John McDonnell was a farmer and he and Ellen had seven children:

William (born 16 March 1868 in Ballyspurge; died 3 September 1913 aged 45)

John (born 25 April 1870 in Ballyspurge; died 4 August 1915 aged 45)

Annie (born 13 August 1873 in Ballyspurge; died 29 May 1961 aged 87)

Jane Isabella (born around 1876; died 1 February 1942 aged 64)

Alexander (born 26 January 1880 in Ballyspurge)

Samuel (born 13 February 1883 in Ballyspurge)

James Andrew (born 16 May 1888 in Ballyspurge)

These children were baptised in Portaferry Presbyterian Church.

Their father John died on 15 June 1915 (aged 68) just a few weeks before his son John died.  Their mother Ellen died on 12 February 1921.

Before moving to England Alexander McDonnell worked as a draper’s assistant.  He and his wife Matilda lived at 5 Park Road, St Anne’s-on-Sea in Lancashire.  Alexander McDonnell enlisted in Southport and he served during the Great War with the Royal Garrison Artillery.

Gunner Alexander McDonnell (No. 166671) was 37 when he was killed in action on 5 September 1917 and he was buried in Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery, Belgium.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:


Gunner Alexander McDonnell (No. 166671) is commemorated in Portaferry Presbyterian Church and on the family grave headstone in Ballymanish Cemetery Portaferry.