McGimpsey, James (No. 18/206)

McGimpsey, James


No. 18/206, ‘D’ Company, 11th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 19)


Mill Road Cemetery, France (Grave VI. C. 4)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Newtownards and District War Memorial


In both the 1901 and 1911 census returns James McGimpsey is recorded as a grandson of Martin McGimpsey who lived in Loughries, Newtownards.

Martin McGimpsey and Eleanor (Ellen) McGimpsey were married on 7 October 1870 in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church.  Martin McGimpsey from Loughries was a son of William McGimpsey, a farmer.  Eleanor McGimpsey from Loughries was a daughter of David McGimpsey, a farmer.

Martin McGimpsey was a farmer and he and Ellen had at least seven children including:

William (born 16 February 1871 in Loughriscouse)

David (born 25 December 1872 in Loughriscouse)

Mary (born 25 February 1875)

James (born 15 February 1877 in Loughriscouse)

Margaret (born 25 August 1881 in Loughriscouse)

Eleanor (born 23 January 1884 in Loughriscouse)

Their mother, Ellen McGimpsey, died of cancer on 3 June 1895 at Loughries.

James McGimpsey was born around 1896/1897 and he grew up on his widowed grandfather’s farm along with his uncle and aunts James, Mary, Elizabeth and Eleanor McGimpsey.

Rifleman James McGimpsey (No. 18/206) trained at Clandeboye and in July 1915 he went to Seaford in Sussex.  In October he landed at Boulogne and went to the Front with the 11th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.

Rifleman James McGimpsey (No. 18/206) was 19 when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and he was buried in Mill Road Cemetery, France.

Rifleman James McGimpsey’s grandfather, uncle and aunts placed Our Heroes – In Memoriam notices in the Newtownards Chronicle and the one in the 5 August 1916 edition contained the verse:

Too far away thy grave to see,

But not too far to think of thee,

No morning dawns, no night returns,

But what we think of thee.

The notice in the 30 June 1917 edition contained the verse:

For his King and country well he stood,

Unknown to coward’s fears;

In battle strife he shed his blood

With the Ulster Volunteers

Rifleman James McGimpsey (No. 18/206) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.