McIlveen, John (No. 18302)

McIlveen, John


No. 18302, ‘B’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 22)


Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery, France (Grave III. C. 13)    


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Comber and District War Memorial

Andrew’s Mill Memorial Plaque

Second Comber Presbyterian Church

Brother of Rifleman William Hewitt McIlveen (No. 18303)


John McIlveen was born on 7 February 1894 in Mill Street, Comber and he was a son of Joseph and Ellen Jane McIlveen (nee Crowe) who were married on 29 April 1893 in Gilnahirk Presbyterian Church.  Joseph McIlveen from Comber was a son of Robert McIlveen, a labourer.  Ellen Jane Crowe from Comber was a daughter of Patrick Crowe, a labourer.

The McIlveen family lived at Hillhead, Comber and later in Railway Street, Comber.

Joseph McIlveen worked as a general labourer and he and Ellen had four children:

John (born 7 February 1894 in Mill Street, Comber)

William Hewitt (born 23 March 1896 in High Street, Comber)

James (twin, born 5.00 pm 18 June 1901 in High Street, Comber)

Harriet (twin, born 5.15 pm 18 June 1901 in High Street, Comber)

Baby James McIlveen was ten days old when he died of debility on 28 June 1901 and the following day, 29 June 1901, his mother Ellen died (aged 29).

Joseph McIlveen and Jane Lowry were married on 1 May 1903 in Dundonald Presbyterian Church.  Jane Lowry, a domestic servant from Lisbane, was a daughter of Robert Lowy, a labourer.

Joseph McIlveen worked as a carter and he and Jane had at least four children:

Jane (born 19 September 1905 in Railway Street, Comber)

Robert (born 15 January 1908 in Railway Street, Comber)

Joseph (born 13 September 1910 in Railway Street, Comber)

James (born 25 October 1912 in Railway Street, Comber)

Before the outbreak of war, both John and William McIlveen worked in Andrew’s Mill, Comber.  They enlisted together in Comber and were allocated consecutive service numbers.

Rifleman John McIlveen (No. 18302) served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and he was 22 when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Rifleman John McIlveen (No. 18302) was buried in Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery, France and he is commemorated on Comber and District War Memorial; on the Andrew’s Mill Memorial Plaque and in Second Comber Presbyterian Church.