No. 18162, ‘B’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Thursday 16 August 1917 (aged 30)
No known grave
Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium (Panel 138 to 140 & 162 to 162A & 163A)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for
Strean Presbyterian Church Newtownards
Greyabbey Masonic Lodge No. 183
In some records his surname is spelt McClean.
Duncan McLean was born around 1887/1888 in Scotland and moved to Newtownards with his parents. He was a son of Peter and Mary McLean (nee Hutchinson, sometimes Hutchenson, sometimes Hutcheson, sometimes Hutchison), both of whom were born in Scotland
The McLean family lived in Newtownards, in Thomas Street, Clarence Street, Balfour Street and at 13 Mark Street.
Peter McLean held a directorship in the Glen Printing and Finishing Works, Newtownards.
The McLean family moved to Newtownards from Scotland (where at least two of their children, Mary and Duncan, were born).
Peter and Mary McLean had at least nine children:
Mary (born around 1885/1886 in Scotland)
Duncan (born around 1887/1888 in Scotland)
Maggie (born 23 February 1889 in Thomas Street, Newtownards)
John (born 17 May 1890 in Mark Street, Newtownards)
Peter (born 18 February 1892 in Mark Street, Newtownards)
Annie (born 6 October 1893 in Clarence Street, Newtownards)
James Norman (born 13 June 1895 in Balfour Street, Newtownards)
Hugh Charles Hutchinson (born 30 July 1898 in Balfour Street, Newtownards)
Flora McDonald (born 24 August 1901 in Balfour Street, Newtownards)
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Duncan McLean worked as an engineer-fitter in the Glen Printing and Finishing Works. He and Maggie Finlay were married on 19 April 1907 in Dundonald Presbyterian Church. Maggie Finlay (aged 19) from Newtownards was a daughter of John Finlay, a labourer.
Duncan and Maggie McLean (nee Finlay) had six children all of whom were baptised in Strean Presbyterian Church Newtownards:
Mary Hutchinson (born 1 July 1907 at 33 Newry Street, Belfast)
Agnes Finlay (born 17 February 1910 in Marquis Street, Newtownards)
Peter (born 5 May 1911 in Marquis Street, Newtownards)
Martha Finlay (born 27 October 1913 in Balfour Street, Newtownards)
Duncan (born 18 January 1915 in Balfour Street, Newtownards)
Andrew Finlay (born 22 November 1916 in Balfour Street, Newtownards)
In September 1914 Duncan McLean joined the 1st County Down Volunteers when he enlisted in Newtownards and he went to the Front in October 1915. Rifleman Duncan McLean served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and five months after his brother Charlie was killed in action Duncan was also killed in action. Initially he was posted as missing in action on 16 August 1917 and in July 1918 it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action at the Battle of Langemarck. These were anxious times for the McLean family in Newtownards. Lance Corporal Norman McLean serving with the Royal Engineers was in York Hospital being treated for wounds sustained in action. These wounds were so severe that Norman was given his discharge papers from the Army. Corporal Peter McLean serving with the Canadians was in a military hospital in England suffering from the effects of gas poisoning. Peter recovered sufficiently to be sent back to the Front.
When Rifleman Duncan McLean (No. 18162) died his wife Maggie and their children were living at 13 Balfour Street, Newtownards.
Rifleman Duncan McLean (No. 18162) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium; on Newtownards and District War Memorial; in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for Strean Presbyterian Church Newtownards and in Greyabbey Masonic Lodge No. 183.