No. 7518, 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Thursday 14 January 1915 (aged 28)
No known grave
Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 40)
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
Family grave headstone in Ballyvester Cemetery, Donaghadee
Family grave headstone in Ballyclug Church of Ireland Graveyard, Ballymena
Ballymena and District War Memorial
Harland & Wolff (Queen’s Island) Memorial
In some records his surname is spelt McFarlane.
Rifleman George McFarland (No. 7518) is commemorated on the McFarland grave headstone in Ballyvester Cemetery, Donaghadee:
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
OUR DARLING MOTHER
DIED 11TH APRIL 1976
RLF/M GEORGE MCFARLAND
KILLED IN ACTION INTERRED IN FRANCE
DIED 9TH AUGUST 1989
LILY DIED 11TH FEBRUARY 2004
In the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour website it is recorded that Rifleman George McFarland (No. 7518) was the husband of Agnes McFarland of 7 Rosebery Street, Connswater, Belfast.
George McFarland and Agnes Patterson were married on 7 July 1911 in Belmont Presbyterian Church, Belfast. George McFarland, a shipyard holder-upper from 80 Nevis Avenue, Belfast was a son of Robert McFarland, a flax buyer. Agnes Patterson from 121 East Bread Street, Belfast was a daughter of David Patterson, a blacksmith.
George and Agnes McFarland (nee Patterson) had two children:
Wilhelmina Martha Pitt (born 31 July 1912 at 7 Bright Street, Belfast)
Elizabeth Colville (born 7 November 1913 at 7 Rosebery Street, Belfast)
During the Great War Rifleman George McFarland (No. 7518) served with the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and was killed in action on 14 January 1915 at La Bassee during the 1914/15 winter operations. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
Rifleman George McFarland (No. 7518) is also commemorated in the Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour (Page 422), and on the family grave headstone in Ballyvester Cemetery, Donaghadee.
His widow Agnes died on 11 April 1976.
Rifleman George McFarland (No. 7518), along with his brother, James McFarland, is also commemorated on the family grave headstone in Ballyclug Church of Ireland Graveyard, Ballymena.
IN MEMORY OF HIS BELOVED WIFE
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE
5TH JANUARY 1881,
AGED 27 YEARS.
ALSO OF HIS FATHER
WHO DIED 10TH MAY 1885, AGED 61 YEARS.
AND OF HIS MOTHER ELIZA,
WHO DIED 11TH JANY. 1891, AGED 67 YEARS.
ALSO HIS WIFE MAGGIE
DIED 17TH JANUARY 1900
ALSO HIS SISTER MARY JANE L’AMIE
DIED 18TH NOVEMBER 1911.
ALSO GEORGE MCFARLAND,
KILLED IN ACTION AT LA BASSEE, 14TH JAN. 1915.
AND JAMES MCFARLAND,
KILLED IN ACTION AT THE SOMME, 1ST JULY 1916.
Private James McFarland (No. 18728) served with the 109th Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) and was killed in action on 1 July 1916. Before that he served with the Royal Irish Rifles (No. 15405). He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France. He is also commemorated in the Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour (Page 422). His home address was 9 Dunmoyle Street, Belfast and it is recorded in the Soldiers Died in the Great War database that he was born in Belfast.
George McFarland was born on 8 November 1886 in Moat Road, Ballymena and he was a son of Robert and Margaret (Maggie) McFarland (nee Watt) who were married on 6 February 1886 in First Kirkinriola Presbyterian Church, Ballymena. Robert McFarland, a widowed flax sorter from Ballymena, was a son of George McFarland, a gardener. Margaret Watt from Ballymena was a daughter of John Watt.
Robert and Margaret (Maggie) McFarland (nee Watt) had eight children:
George (born 8 November 1886 in Moat Road, Ballymena)
John Watt (born 31 January 1888 in Moat Road, Ballymena)
Jane (born 23 March 1890 at 3 Riga Street, Belfast)
James (born 27 June 1891 at 17 Conway Street, Belfast)
Eliza (Lizzie, born 21 October 1892 at 17 Conway Street, Belfast)
Mary Watt (born 9 March 1894 at 61 Riga Street, Belfast)
Joseph (born 25 May 1895 at 51 Berlin Street, Belfast; died of debility 31 May 1895)
Martha (born 17 March 1898 at 107 Glenwood Street, Belfast)
Their mother, Margaret McFarland (nee Watt), died in childbirth on 17 January 1900 at 107 Glenwood Street, Belfast.
In April 1901, their father Robert was still living at 107 Glenwood Street, Belfast, and his children, George, John, Jane, and James were living with him. George was working as an apprentice baker. Lizzie, Mary, and Martha McFarland were living in Queen Street, Ballymena with their uncle and aunt, James and Agnes Watt.
Robert McFarland had previously been married to Margaret (Maggie) Hunter. They were married on 31 October 1876 in First Kirkinriola Presbyterian Church, Ballymena. Maggie Hunter from Ballymena was a daughter of Hugh Hunter, a sorting master.
Robert and Margaret (Maggie) McFarland (nee Hunter) had three children:
Agnes (born 3 March 1878 in Bridge Street, Ballymena; died of debility 4 March 1878)
James (born 29 January 1879 in Bridge Street, Ballymena)
Hugh (born 29 December 1880 in Larne Street, Ballymena)
Their mother, Maggie McFarland (nee Hunter) died of peritonitis on 5 January 1881.